Do you have Love for Humankind? You’re surrounded by millions of people all day long and yet, you can communicate very little. You find yourself packed at a 30-platform train station, seeing how locals are heading back home in high-speed trains that make you reconsider the notion of time. You long for freedom and solitude… Might they have the same feeling or are they too used to that? Maybe a Seaside Motel would help to disconnect from it all. What’s a Girl to Do, Young and Unafraid strolling along these gray long boulevards under an orange polluted sky? I observe just how they’re struggling and holding on for Life. Distractions, milliards of beeps and Telephone Calls all in one place. The Heat of the city, the despair of the hurried. All that looks chaotic for you is working smoothly for them and as Les Vacances Continuent it all feels more natural and you end up admiring their everyday code. Made Me to Walk on this culture to learn from their wise traditions.
Unless you’re among the millions of people who want to overcome a heartbreak, you won’t really feel at ease when stumbling upon the first and most prevailing sort of music in this country. A soothing ballad-style song featured by a beautiful (young?) and sexy Chinese girl –usually with quite a sharp and piercing voice– (you also have the male replica for that) dominates the national market.
However, thanks to platforms such as Douban, Xiami or conversation boards, curious people can find answers to an alternative and highly diverse music scene. These platforms could be considered as the signatures for Spotify and Bandcamp.
Headphones are highly recommended for this playlist. Why? First of all, it seems fewer distractions get on your way by plugging them in –none other than the DJ, the bass and the rhythm guiding you towards the world the artist sees and kindly wants to share with you. This is the rather philosophical approach, but now, the second point is that technically speaking, there are songs with binaural sound, so you’ll have a great time if you listen to them with headphones. It might well be eargasmic!
Some bands not found on Spotify
I list below some of the bands which have not yet been included in this most western-oriented platform or where little discography can be found in. You can find more of their music on other global channels, mainly Youtube, or the Chinese Douban, Xiami websites mentioned before.
- Post-rock, Mogwai-like. Impressive, there’s a bunch of bands in this genre. Rhythmically super synched along with depressing(ish) melodies. Main exponents: Hiperson, Carsick Cars with their funny so-called The Best VPN So Far, Elephant Gym, Chu Wai).
- Traditional Chinese Music. Folk. Often with the erhu as accompaniment. For instance, Zhou Yunpeng 周 with shocking lyrics and videos or Alan Dowa Dolma interpreting traditional songs from Mongolia).
- Good electronic music. For example, Yllis, Nova Heart, Guzz (the Chinese Micachu & The Shapes), Howie Lee (similar to Fatima Yamaha), 虎子 (Chinese Nicolas Jaar, impressive, very very good!), AM444, ZHI16, FM3 & BUDDHA MACHINE (interesting band components) , Angry5JaR (who seems a Madonna from the 80s, the Holidays’ period) , ǝıןıʇnɔ bunʎ (Chinese French Touch!)
- Experimental triphop or hiphop, such as Animal Pop, Gavintoo (interesting mixes with German fast-pace rappers and Chinese more melodic MCs).
- Alternative rock. Among this genre, we find Horse Radio (very funny, traditional mixed with ska music), TaanTowch (cool and happy rock in fusion with some traditional music), The Molds, PK14 (they sound like the young Kings of Leon), Bedstars (similar to The Last Shadow Puppets), 简迷离 (Chinese Linkin Park), Guai Li (punk metal listened to mostly in San Francisco although they come from Beijing).
Have a good listen!