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Chinese prog/experimental scene in recent years

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HallucinatedIndignat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HallucinatedIndignat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Chinese prog/experimental scene in recent years
    Posted: November 10 2020 at 22:23
It's been a long while since we've talked about prog in China. Things have changed drastically over the last twenty years, and it's tragic to see some people on this platform still stereotypical about Chinese bands. For the past 20 years, the Chinese underground rock scene expanded in size and became really diverse with its sound. However, despite of China's rising-in-fame (but still niche) death/black metal bands like Zuriaake and Yn Gizarm, not many other bands gained much recognition from the international music community. 

Now, you might just remember Cold Fairyland. Though the band had not issued anything new in recent years, the vocalist and the band's creative backbone, Lin Di, released some really awesome solo albums. Some I think are even better than the band's releases. Here are my picks: 

1. Bride in Legend 《迷路新娘》
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqvc_PApcNA&list=OLAK5uy_mtNqGKSDzhKpkxFpuXIwLIiV3TGGsypYc&index=8
A concept album about a young virgin marrying off to a distant land. Really good balance of its folk and prog/experimental elements. 
Fav tracks: Mula-shabel War, A-jia-li-yalai

2. The Gossypium Era 《棉草纪》
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS-cTHCjQ1A&list=OLAK5uy_kO-K5vUQVpRgN-Z1ijFuR7VYEBMwTAX6c&index=1
Some really nice experimental rock/folk. Also crossing the line of a concept album but preferred not to. Fairly avant-garde. Sounds a bit like OOIOO and some Yoshimi P-we projects. 
Fav tracks: The Bronze Girl, The Sacrifice

3. Ten Days in Magic Land 《魔境十日》
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34Vp_fqaTv0&list=OLAK5uy_m8BkCdP5MkjGtXIcDOQJBulU_qreNNpOM&index=3
Another wonderful semi-concept album by Lin Di. Great instrumentations (Why on earth is this woman so good with her music arrangements??)
Fav tracks: The First Day, The Third Day, The Sixth Day

Now onto some other artists. There are many bands that I'm dying to recommend, but for now I'll just recommend three. 

1. Mamer and the IZ (IZ乐队)
Avant-prog/experimental band formed in the 90s. Often regarded as the lost gem of the Chinese underground. Some extreme mixes of ethnic music and improvisations can be expected. The band collaborated with Tatsuya Yoshida in 2018 and received some international exposures. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92P_pQcAU7Q&list=OLAK5uy_nnvDdEmQedWzinjtuRFWBklYxSCqSsV6A
Please note that Mamer sings mainly in Mongolian as most of the band's members are of the native Mongol ethnic group in China. 

2. Chui Wan (吹万)
A progressive electronic/experimental/krautrock band from Beijing. They get their name from Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi's Qi Wu Lun (齐物论), a mystical work on inner sageliness and outer kingliness. The band cited Can and NEU! as their major influences. Critics also compare their work to new wave bands such as Bauhaus. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoGELKR_TXw&list=OLAK5uy_muf-sfHtrx6gl3SphSya7N8DkOm5FT5Og&index=1
Really loving the first track Lunar Sea. 

3. Utopian Daymare (乌飞兔走昼还夜)
A progressive/art rock project started in 2018. Despite of the project being relatively new, they were invited to play with Damo Suzuki in his 2018 tour and had several gigs overseas. Only one album was released from the project. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjMMZLdww4k&list=OLAK5uy_ncgsy_EOPTRtdG1SO4URWKp50ooIydmDw&index=5
King Crimson with traces of Genesis. 



Edited by HallucinatedIndignat - November 11 2020 at 14:12
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Manuel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 05:52
Nice to know. I must admit I am completly clueless about the music scene in China, so this is a good piece of info for me. Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rivertree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 06:35
Zhaoze is a post rock rooted band, including native folk elements respectively instruments






Edited by Rivertree - November 11 2020 at 06:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cristi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 06:37
just thinking about the two words together "Chinese" and "prog' made me chuckle. 

I'll listen when in a more serious mood if i may say so. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rivertree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 06:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cristi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 07:07
Originally posted by Rivertree Rivertree wrote:

post resp. math rock is called for obviously



I wish there was a feature to filter the bands by country.
I don't know how to do it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rivertree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 08:32
the sole option is to play a little with the country attribute of the web URL

http://www.junyong39.top/Bands-country.asp?country=43

you may modify the country id, and then bookmark the new rendered page
roundabout 250 countries are available



Edited by Rivertree - November 11 2020 at 08:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 11:23
The only actual prog band I heard of from China is the Rainbow Danger Club. For whatever reason there are very few well known prog bands from China or India. Indonesia is another story though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tupan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 11:30
Originally posted by Rivertree Rivertree wrote:

Zhaoze is a post rock rooted band, including native folk elements respectively instruments





Excellent band, I strongly recommend!
"Prog is Not Dead and never has been." (Will Sergeant, from Echo And The Bunnymen)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 13:05
I have a theory and that is; maybe in Honk Kong, being previously an english colony/harbour;
And have a long influence of english culture, maybe some of that might have rubbed of on a brewing underground rock scene?

Edited by Icarium - November 11 2020 at 13:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 13:18
From my experience almost every type of non-traditionally Chinese form of music from China is somewhat inferior to its Western counterparts. Not that the bands are bad but they haven't quite gotten a grasp of individuality which seems to be a cultural thing.

Another prog band you didn't mention is RAINBOW DANGER CLUB

One of my favorite gems comes from

舌头 Tongue

which is a art rock / post-punk band from the city of Urumqi.

Music from neighboring Taiwan is much better. For a nation as large as China there seems to be a serious lack of creativity and this has been told to me time and time again from native Chinese people who now live in the US.

https://rateyourmusic.com/~siLLy_puPPy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 13:26
Originally posted by Icarium Icarium wrote:

I have a theory and that is; maybe in Honk Kong, being previously an english colony/harbour;
And have a long influence of english culture, maybe some of that might have rubbed of on a brewing underground rock scene?

Hi,

I always wondered about that ... you would figure that the Hong Kong scene was quite strong, but I can not say I ever heard anything from down there, even in the movies.

Originally posted by Rivertree Rivertree wrote:

Zhaoze is a post rock rooted band, including native folk elements respectively instruments
...

What a magnificent touch and feel this band has ... I was duly impressed and will look to get some CD's ... this is beautifully done, and worthy of more attention.

Maybe the music scene will finally grow up to take up where the Chinese film industry came up in the 1990's with the likes of Yimou, Kaige and many others ... and yeah, I would love to see more music from China!


Edited by moshkito - November 11 2020 at 13:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HallucinatedIndignat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 13:42
Well, quite a lot of things you can expect to hear from HK. I don't know much bands from it but have heard a several. There was this legendary underground group called Black Bird (or 黑鳥 in Chinese). You can describe them as this really experimental riot folk that really wants to cross its line with prog but sadly never did. Taiwan not so much, they seem to be really interested in those kinds of Beatlesque softs (I'm talking about the recent years' bands like Sunset Rollercoaster and Angel Baby). They are just more mellow comparing from their other Chinese-speaking counterparts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HallucinatedIndignat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 13:55
Much like their once-communist counterparts like Russia, there were some state-ran bands that were pretty good (kinda pathetic actually, State-ran bands). Cui Jian (Chinese Viktor Tsoi with a lot of folk elements, if u haven't check him out go listen to his debut album) started in a band sort of like this but got kicked out, so he threw himself off to the endless circle of alcoholism and started doing rock. And voila, that's how the Chinese rock scene came to be.

Edited by HallucinatedIndignat - November 11 2020 at 14:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rivertree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2020 at 15:08
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:


Originally posted by Rivertree Rivertree wrote:

Zhaoze is a post rock rooted band, including native folk elements respectively instruments
...
What a magnificent touch and feel this band has ... I was duly impressed and will look to get some CD's ... this is beautifully done, and worthy of more attention.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2020 at 04:11
Originally posted by Rivertree Rivertree wrote:

Zhaoze is a post rock rooted band, including native folk elements respectively instruments





A damn good band
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