After a long hiatus, we’re coming back with a new season of B-Side China, beginning with two episodes based on the Found Sound China cultural exchange program that was held earlier in the summer. This was the pilot program in China for Brooklyn organization Found Sound Nation, founded in 2010 with a mission to facilitate “music collaboration across the world and around the block.”
Found Sound Nation co-founder Jeremy Thal spearheaded the China program along with Harlem-based breakdancer and music producer Eddie Lu, bringing three American and three Chinese musicians together in China for a month-long residency, and a series of presentations and performances at the end in Beijing.
During the course of a one-month residency, the six Found Sound China fellows (as well as Lu and Thal) split off to different areas of the country, collecting shared experiences and a variety of field-recorded audio samples from a dramatic variety of locations.
The guests on this episode of the podcast include program co-founder Eddie Lu, who along with Thal visited a Tibetan community in northwestern Qinghai province; Travon Henry (eu-IV), a beatmaker from Baltimore, and Su Zechen (sususu), a producer from Guangzhou, who spent most of their time holed up in the rustic city of Dali exchanging Ableton vibes; Jamel Mims (Jam No Peanut), a multimedia artist and rapper based in New York who spent a year in 2008/2009 researching China’s nascent hip hop scene at the time, and caught up with rap in China 2018 vibe; and Yao Chunyang, a Guangzhou-based artist who integrates the Naxi language into freeform noise and musique concrète compositions.
We talk about their approach to dipping into and recording/sampling the soundscapes they encountered across Qinghai, Yunnan, Chengdu and Shanghai, regional varieties of Chinese hip hop, and the line between appropriation and appreciation.
Opening/closing track: “Lijiang Street Studio” by musicians in Lijiang Old Town and Found Sound China 2018 fellows: Jeremy – Production, Eddie and Travon – Drums, Su – Keys, ChaCha, Kayla, Yao, Jamel – Vocals
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