New Sounds of China (Series2 Ep3) The Beijing Scene

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New Sounds of China

Episode Three - The Beijing Scene

After episode two's critical assessment of the famous Maybe Mars label, we move into territory mostly uncharted by Western journalists, to consider the output of three less-hyped Beijing record labels. The resulting diversity of sound is breathtaking, ranging from the urban folk of Wan Xiaoli, with his tales of modern urban life; to the postmodern self-consciousness of New Pants, with their musical riposte to Pet Shop Boys' "Go West"; and the curiously misplaced Britpop style of Sober, a band more influenced by The Beatles and Blur than Peking Opera and Maoist propaganda songs.

The show includes interviews with the managers of all three record labels: Shen Lihui, the charismatic, Richard Brandon-esque helmsman of Modern Sky Records; Da Fei, one of the idealists behind tiny label Mr Miss, which draws inspiration from legendary 1980s British indie label Sarah Records; and Lu Zhongqiang, the more practical manager of 13 Month, a label devoted to modern Chinese folk.

Paul Kendall, a former music journalist (Time Out Beijing, China Radio International, Billboard) and current Chinese music PhD researcher presents the show alongside Hu Pan, a Beijing-born rock musician, Peking opera performer, and music journalist.



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