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  All materials © 1999 
  Beijing Scene


Beijing Scene, Volume 6, Issue 3, October 29 - November 4

New Beijing Noise

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 capital.

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 Xinjiang.

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). 

China Beats

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.

Unplugged Deconstructed

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.


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