I don’t do top-ten lists, and I don’t ever plan on doing that in the future, but things can change at any moment. Still, if I had to nominate a favorite record label at this moment, there’s no doubt it would be Italy’s Unexplained Sounds Group. Each compilation is a tour guide of experimental music from select parts of the world. This one is near and dear to me, as China was and shortly will be my home for quite a while, and Raffaele Pezzella does yeoman’s work documenting what is happening in the Middle Kingdom experimental-music-wise.
Here are some words from Raffaele regarding this release:
China’s experimental music and sound art scene began to take shape in the post-Tiananmen era in the late 1990s. A few musicians from the mainland’s underground music scene started to experiment with new ways of making music while the music industry co-opted the once revolutionary and independent rock music scene. The Hong Kong based experimental musician Dickson Dee and the U.S. based artist Yao Dajunin introduced Western avant-garde, experimental music to the mainland through the Internet and through the organization of music tours and festivals. The practice and spread of sound art, particularly installation and performative kinds, was made possible partially by venues such as contemporary art galleries and studios that have come to flourish in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Developed outside of academic and official institutions, China’s sound art and experimental music scene encompasses noise music, experimental music, free improvisation, sound performance art, and sound installation.
Adel Wang Jing
The Unexplained Sounds Group is proud to present an anthology of experimental music from China, showcasing veteran musicians alongside many young and promising artists from the contemporary underground music scene.