Over the past years, I’ve noticed that bands based elsewhere around China have been avoiding Beijing. I don’t blame them – Beijing isn’t exactly close to any other cities with an adequate music scene (sorry Tianjin) and frankly put, the market place is saturated here, for better or worse. Labels, promoters, and bands here aren’t as gung-ho in creating a network for these bands like say, our southern friends in Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, and even Wuhan. But I think it’s essential to push bands to perform in Beijing. Invite them over, even if it means saving money by sipping on jinjiu all night long (let’s be honest – I would be doing that anyway). Forcing bands out of their comfort zone, getting them to interact with other bands, and just the gesture of asking them goes a long way I’ve learned.
For Live Beijing Music’s latest winter hoorah, we invited Wuhan electro rock philosophers Cod New, a band I’ve been eager to catch for sometime. Simply put, they’re loads of fun – module synths interacting with riff-heavy guitars and spastic drum beats. Expect to see their album drop next year. Also on board were West By West, the trip-hop duo out of Xi’an, whose sensual, heart-stopping songs had plenty of folks entranced, including D-Force Records, who were on hand scoping out their latest catch. Finally, big-ups to Nocturnes for keeping off the night with their catalogue of sweeping hits that have entrenched themselves in audiences’ ears over the last year.