Beijing Music Scene
Beijing has one of the most developed music scenes in China, stretching back to the 1980s when western rock cassette tapes flooded into the city. It is primarily known for rock and punk music due to the influence of some seminal figures like Cui Jian or the band Tang Dynasty, and later bands like Car Sick Cars and PK14. This scene is captured on the Beijing Rock Music wiki, collecting all the emerging bands. Other genres exist as well. . . there is a hip-hop scene, a folk scene, experimental music scene, and electronic music scene. Each of these a yearly festival. . . from MIDI to Strawberry near the Great Wall to the Beijing Folk Music Festival to the Intro electronic music festival, held last year in the ruins of Shougang Steel, and the Jue Festival. . . each of these mixes local and foreign groups. Beijing is home to some legendary venues, some that have closed down. There was D-22. There is still Mao Livehouse, Yugong Yishan, 2 Kolegas, as well as many other small bars or rooms that host music.
One of the pleasures of Beijing was being exposed to so much music. Wandering to these clubs to see up and coming bands, or favorite bands from home. Some of the best shows I've ever seen are were in Beijing. . . in a still smoky club, with cheap Qingdao or Yanjing, and a mix of too cool locals and ex-pats mixing together. . .
Sometimes I would dream of music that would arise even more from the space of the city. . . theorize genres that only Beijing could produce in its extreme-ness. . . music for the crowds, ring roads, and pollution. . . punk wails raging against authority . . . mixed with traditional instrumentation run through electronic filters. . . mixed with distorted kraut-rock (jing-rock) beats dirty with granulated distortion, under endless smog highways. . . this music would be both ancient and futuristic (like the city itself), growing organically from the space of the Kapital. . . .
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