Despite China’s strict censorship, there’s an emerging group of Chinese musicians working outside government-controlled media channels, striving to form an independent voice through musical expression in China.
Take a look at the top five music blogs to help you understand more about China’s underground music scene.
Maintained by Beijing and Shanghai-based promotion company Split Works, China Music Radar is a blog about the music scene and related trends in China, from independent musicians to mainstream artists. It’s also a resource for the latest news and updates about China’s music industry. At the conclusion of 2013, Radar said:
In 2013, venues were full to bursting (of shows, not audiences), from big city arenas down to slightly smaller (but still very big) dive bars. Festivals new and old, continued to take hold across the country, while new streaming services from Baidu, Tencent and the now Alibaba-owned Xiami became viable listening alternatives.
Literally meaning “aside”, Pangbianr is a bilingual platform for exploring the culture of making music in China with the mission of promoting underground Chinese music and building relationships between musicians and artists within China and abroad. The blog introduces emerging music from Beijing and other parts of China via streaming audio, video, reviews and interviews with independent Chinese musicians.
Different from other blogs, pangbianr also organizes music performances, film screenings and discussions at various live music venues and art galleries around Beijing. They also work with musicians to distribute CDs, DVDs and books.
Beijingdaze is another important resource about underground music in China with updated CD reviews and gig reviews. One of the most important features of the blog is that the blogger translates some of the Chinese lyrics into English.
MOGO is an online music video platform focusing on emerging young Chinese musicians and artists. It features video interviews with independent musicians and artists.
Founded in March 2009, Wu Jie is a comprehensive music network about original music from China and abroad.
With the mission of promoting “the voice being ignored and the less popular and mainstream artists,” the website shares updated music news, CD reviews, videos, podcasts and interviews with independent musicians. It's also a great channel for Chinese youth to understand western musicians and music.