China’s Indie Music Scene: Transforming Contemporary Chinese Culture From The Bottom Up // 中国独立音乐现状剖析:从底层跃升并改变中国当代文化

Hidden beneath the gargantuan, State-driven China that is emphasized over-and-over again in news coverage lies an artistic day-to-day that few people see. As in any developing country, China has become a breeding ground for new and often innovative ideas – and included in that are an increasing number of musicians searching for their own identities. Many of them are following and documenting their own creative impulses, thereby bringing some musical change to a society otherwise dominated by mainstream Asian pop.

尽管中国一直以来都以庞然大国,国家统治形象示人,她所蕴含的日渐浓重的艺术氛围与文化发展却往往为人忽略。如许多发展中国家一样,中国正孕育着许多新颖,极具创造力的艺术思想 – 这些思想都来自于那些努力发声,力求为大众所见的艺术家、音乐家们。众多音乐家正跟随记录着他们自己的艺术脉搏,运用着他们的创造力,努力为日渐单一、主流化的亚洲流行音乐市场带来不一样的声音及改变。

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Moodoïd – Je Suis la Montagne Music Video (w/ Band & Director Interviews in French & English)

In the music video for “Je Suis la Montagne”, psychedelic art rockers Moodoïd have collaborated with director Jérôme Walter Gueguen a true work of surrealist-inspired art. With a relatively minimal budget and ample film school training, they’ve turned childhood recollections of mountains into a Magritte-coloured world of soil-covered faces and tasteful (as well as tasty) object manipulation. In this two-sided, bilingual Q&A interview, we speak with fast friends Jérôme Walter Gueguen and Moodoïd’s frontman Pablo Padovani on their friendship, collaboration, and shared inspirations. Moodoïd’s self-titled EP is now out on Entreprise, a division of Third Side Records.

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Natasha Kmeto Interview: From Crisis To Growth Cycles

“It was my career that facilitated me traveling more and starting to experience different things in my mind, [so] that I kind of realized that the trajectory I was on was not the one that I wanted to be on. I kind of did a 180 and had to get really honest with myself and figure out what I wanted, because I wasn’t happy.” - Natasha Kmeto

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Little Boots – “Crescendo” (Larry Gus Remix) – MP3 Premiere & Ticket Giveaway!

MP3 premiere of the remix for Little Boots’ “Crescendo”, by DFA’s Larry Gus. Win tickets to see Little Boots live in Seattle and Portland this week!

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Seasonal Timeline: Summer Sounds Mixtapes

September 22nd officially marks the end of summer 2013 in the Northern Hemisphere — and to celebrate the passing of time, we’ve decided to create a timeline to forever remember the songs currently trending on our site, as well as take a look back on the music that has colored and given life to our past summers, dating back to 2010.

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Rose Windows Band Interview: Remote Viewing The Future (w/ The Sun Dogs Full Album Stream)

“I can say that for Rabia and I, our profound experiences and insights have stemmed from very real oppression and deliverance. Drugs were the initial escape. Music has been the true deliverer. I definitely reject any religion that aims to divide humans by calling some ‘chosen’ and others ‘damned’. I want to feel the pulse of this planet, to enjoy the life it gives, to really find my place in its system and function positively.” - Chris Cheveyo of Rose Windows

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Dawn of Midi – Dysnomia Album Review (w/ Track-By-Track of Astronomical & Mythological Implications)

When the American trio Dawn of Midi released their accomplished 2010 debut album, First, the world had gained another practitioner of minimalist free jazz. Two years in the making, and at a reported cost of thirty thousand dollars, Dysnomia is the follow-up to that promising debut, and builds masterfully on First, delivering an exciting blend of acute syncopation and imaginative instrumental counterpoint.

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Saman Kesh Music Video Director Interview & Retrospective (w/ Placebo, Vitalic, !!! and More)

Music video director and writer Saman Kesh is a man with a digitally-enhanced vision. A master of weaving curious theories and tales in with his fast-paced music videos, Kesh uses playfulness and modern technologies as a vehicle for pushing forth interesting ideas. His latest music video for Placebo‘s “Too Many Friends” is an interactive mystery story narrated by none other than Bret Easton Ellis. Though it is the first in a series of three videos for the band, it is a strong testament to Kesh’s remarkable eye and conceptual mind; “Too Many Friends” is so intriguing that it at times dominates a viewer’s focus and relegates the music to the background. In this retrospective, Kesh offers commentary on a selection

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South African House Music Videos: Mafikizolo ft. Uhuru, Umlilo ft. Kyla Phil, Bucie, and More

Last month, I came across a music video that Total Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs called, “one of the best music videos I’ve seen in a long time”: a live performance by iFani EWE in the Johannesburg neighborhood of Soweto. Having just seen a South African dance documentary called The African Cypher, this assertion of “best” did not hold true for me; awesome dance is threaded throughout the country’s musical and social culture of SA. This reminder did, however, lead me to dig deep into South African music videos to hunt for visual and sonic gems — the best of which I have shared in this post. (No Die Antwoord on the basis on their being well-known by all.) Mafikizolo ft. Uhuru

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The Child in The Mirror: A Nietzschean Reading of the Myth of Michael Jackson

The character of my fondness for Michael Jackson and Friedrich Nietzsche is very similar. Despite both of these men being extremely influential and leaving behind highly celebrated bodies of work, they are also both often considered tragic cases on the historical stage. They were driven to obsessive heights, if not madness, by their devotion to their craft and their vision for the world. Yet I have never looked upon either of them with anything short of deep respect. Even in their tragedy, these men are beautiful to me. I hope to… reveal two visionaries reaching out to one another from across historical eras and spheres of influence. In the act of aligning these two boldly trailblazing artists, I hope to lend an admirable and rich philosophy to a pop star, and to lend the romance and marvel of pop to the life’s work of a philosopher.

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Weaves – Motorycle Music Video (MV of the Week + Band/Director Interview)

One pervy frog man gets down in the music video for Weaves‘ “Motorcycle”, where vaguely sexual lyrics turn into an animated tale of a naughty amphibian’s newfound, crotch-heavy love for his newfound motorcycle. This animated short is the product of a collaboration between the band and director Jason Harvey, who, for a change of pace, put away his video camera and took out his Wacom tablet. In the featured Q&A, Harvey, along with Jasmyn Burke and Morgan Waters of Weaves, share their perspectives on meeting, the creative process, and the final horny result.

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Flicknife Records Label Feature: Retrospective on a Legendary UK Label

The 1980s: that decade of shoulder pads and deindustrialization, was to be a decade of neon-coloured clothing, big hair and financial big bangs; a decade when Frankie Goes to Hollywood said “Relax”, and David Bohm proffered that space and time were no longer the dominant factors in the relationships of dependence. Behind it, left in the wreckage of history, memory and recollection, lay the 1970s, ten years of turmoil that spawned much to celebrate and much to abjure. In purely musical terms, the years 1970 to 1979 had seen the flowering and then the decay of rock music’s greats, with the seemingly unassailable hegemony of the major labels challenged by a host of new start-ups, supported by an underground press

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