A team of 30-something cyberpop pundits has put words to the new sound of Peking, churning out
a photo-fat book on the hotwax explosion ripping through China's
Penned by Gansu groove guru Yan Jun (颜峻), Beijing Xinsheng (北京新声
New Beijing Noise) immortalizes in print and picture the birth of New China Cool, discoursing on the development of
the mainland's most happening local music scene.
More than two years in the making, New Beijing Noise is the brainchild of Shenzhen graphic
design guru Ou Ning (欧宁), who has blended prose and pose into a visually rewarding
post-modern puree. Working from his southern sanctuary, Ou plans to follow the November book release with an
underground history of the mainland's maturing club culture, and a literary pub crawl through
the streets of Sanlitun.
AK47 in Print
Aerosol artist Zhang Dali (张大力) has captured his gritty concrete canvas on glossy parchment
for China's first-ever, full-color expose of spray-can art.
The graffer best known as AK-47 traveled to Shenzhen this month to shepherd into print his photo
collection of seductively subversive Dialogues (对话) between spray-painted human heads and the
crumbling walls of old Beijing.
Zhang's works have confronted capital residents since the early 1990s, winning him mythic
status in modern urban lore and sparking a host of imitators from Shanghai to
Despite urgings to take his show on the road, the original preacher of paint has kept his message
close to his Beijing hutong home, and the book, slated for year-end release, will be the first chance
for waidi (外地) connoisseurs to check out his work.
Pagan Press Debut CD
Shenzhen's moribund music scene is set for a dose of aural adrenaline with the expected Y2K
release of home-cooked boomtown vibe from leading local rockers Pagan (异教乐队). The
discordant disbelievers will soon end years of sonic silence by bringing out a long-delayed debut
album, emerging from karaoke limbo and putting the city of Cantosin on the rapidly-expanding
rock map of China.
Fronted by high-energy electric evangelist Liao Kai (廖凯), Pagan has paid nearly a decade of
dues on the Shenzhen underground music venue scene, preaching the gospel of groove to a city
mired in the mosh for mammon.
Spreading the word from a suburban rooftop studio, Liao is also laying down tracks for other local
talent, including the short, sharp, shock Sunflower (向日葵), who honed their chops at Guangzhou
gigs alongside underground immortal Wang Lei (王磊).
Shedding centuries of literary baggage, a group of 20-something mainland writers have
inaugurated the era of Chinese beat prose, kicking off a multi-volume series of creative cant for
the new generation of urban cool.
Masterminded by Nanjing prose prophet Han Dong (韩东), the Rupture (断裂) series represents a
scathing rejection of China誷 culture elite and aims to act as a beacon for young writers ripe to
buck conservative publishing convention.
The opening salvo by six rising young stars, including Gu Qian (顾前), Hai Lihong (海力洪) and
Wu Chenjun (吴晨骏) is a breath of fresh air for readers frustrated by flaccid popular pulp, but
still tame enough to pass censorship and win access to a nationwide audience.
Han has already begun work on a second series of Rupture releases which promises to up the ante
with even more controversial works and provocative prose.
And finally, the wrecking ball of progress has silenced South China誷 loudest bar, laying waste
to Guangzhou's infamous Club Unplugged (不插电酒吧).
Founded by Sichuan sound shaman Wang Lei (王磊), Unplugged was the official capital of
cantocool and despite its name served up a high-power sonic assault of audio anarchy during
regular live shows by local punk protagonists Pangu (盘古) and Monkeys in Raincoats.
Wang and his crew closed the club in high style, painting their chests with the Chinese character
for "demolish" (拆), and keeping bewildered work crews at bay while a who's who of the live
music underground raved and raged until well after dawn.