Zao Ding Mi is an annual showcase of alternative rock that began in Beijing. The event name is a portmanteau that could be translated as “noise gaze psychedelic,” which blends the names of three rock genres: noise pop, shoegaze, and psychedelic rock.
Psychedelic rock originated in the US and UK amidst the counterculture movements of the ‘60s and became a sound that defined the era. It was the forefather to the noise pop and shoegaze sounds of the ‘80s, genres that demonstrated how sonic dissonance can be used to artistic effect. Interest in these experimental genres waned in subsequent decades, but indie bands kept these retro sounds alive in the underground scene, that is up until recent years, where they’ve made a comeback in a big way.
“噪盯迷” 中的 “噪” 和 “盯” 可以指噪音流行（Noise-Pop）、鞋盯（Shoegazing）等一众上世纪八十年代中后期在英国流行起来的 “反主流摇滚” 音乐形式。相比于直白的呐喊与繁复的编曲构架，这些音乐风格往往以自我审视、幻得幻灭的姿态，以及点到为止的 DIY 音色与旋律在听众耳前一亮。在九十年代垃圾朋克（Grunge）与英伦摇滚（Brit-Pop）复兴的到来之前，这些 “近亲” 形式的音乐曾红极一时，时至今日也依然陶染着大批独立以及地下音乐人。但由于当时这类音乐所表达的内容过于疏离，它们很快消失在更加繁荣的九十年代。 “噪盯迷” 中的 “迷” 则指迷幻摇滚乐（Psychedelic Rock），这种六十年代兴起的音乐风格，往往营造出神秘奇异与遥不可及的美感氛围。而中国当代的迷幻摇滚在不断与本土音乐进行融合，被赋予了更多含义。
Maybe the resurgence of shoegaze, noise pop, and psychedelic rock, with their lonely, detached sounds, owes something to a growing desire to be disconnected in the internet age. In any case, by 2010, new indie bands began sprouting up, and scene veterans were releasing tracks again. Today these genres have proved their staying power, and China’s thriving youth underground scene is now dominated by noise, shoegaze, and psychedelic rock.
Zao Ding Mi is organized by M-Lab, an event agency operating under Chinese record label Modern Sky. The idea for the event was conceived by Lei Jiangtao, the label’s COO, back in 2017. His ambitions were simple, throw a party for young music fans, one that isn’t bound by genre restraints. Aside from the genres that are clearly called out in the event title, it also features bands playing post-rock, garage rock, among other forms of alternative rock. The bands, some old and some new, share a commonality in their DIY roots, which call to mind the heyday of indie rock.
或许因为互联网时代的人们更愿意陷入人与人之间的疏远与距离，“噪盯迷” 类音乐藏匿多年之后，在 2010 年前后又重新被人们提起。那段时间，大量独立乐队在世界各地涌现，曾经始祖级别乐队也相继发片。如今这股风潮显然占据上风，你会发现国内近些年展露的年轻地下乐队当中，“噪盯迷” 几乎占据半壁江山。
M-Lab 是北京摩登天空音乐公司旗下的活动厂牌，主理人雷江涛创立的 “噪盯迷研讨大会” 从 2017 年开始便围绕 “噪盯迷” 类音乐展开一系列活动。这是一个属于年轻人的盛宴，所以在风格上并没有太多限制，你还会听到后朋克（Post-Punk），车库（Garage Rock）及冲浪摇滚（Surf Rock）等等声音。他们来自不尽相同的年龄段，彰显出的那股浓郁的 DIY 气质。或许会让你联想到十多年前独立乐队们争芳斗艳的那股劲儿。
Gathering bands from around the country isn’t an easy task, even though the event has been doing so for three years now. Since its inception, the event has invited The Molds, Birdstriking, FAZI, Gate to the Otherside, The Romp, Future Orients, Last Goodbye, and more. What began as a strictly Beijing event has also now grown into a multi-city affair. The upcoming editions of Zao Ding Mi—themed around the idea of “plunging into the crowd”—will take place in Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai at the end of this month. With the event coming up, we caught up with Lei to find out what fans can expect at this year’s event.
Neocha: What were your goals when you first started this event? What kind of experience do you hope to bring to music listeners?
Lei: I’ve always loved this type of music, so I wanted to host a showcase of these genres. The goal was just to bring people who liked this type of music together and hopefully build some new friendships.
Neocha: “噪盯迷研讨⼤会” 成立的初衷是为什么？希望乐迷在活动中获得怎样的体验？
Neocha: Zao Ding Mi, in addition to performances, also hosts live panels with the bands. What types of discussions take place?
Lei: We’ve actually met a lot of bands through this event. Many of them noted an appreciation for one another, and they haven’t had a chance to meet in person prior to an event like this. Zhao Ding Mi provided an opportunity for musicians to meet one another and exchange ideas. We’ll be hosting panels where bands interview one another, riff on ideas, critique each other’s music, and more. These types of discussions often provide a new perspective on these bands. It’s fascinating.
Neocha: “噪盯迷研讨⼤会” 听说真的会有研讨的部分，通常研讨的形式是怎样的？
雷江涛: 通过 “噪盯迷” 其实我们接触了不少乐队，发现其实很多乐队都互相欣赏的，只不过没有机会有所关联。“噪盯迷” 为大家提供了这样的机会，大家在一起相互熟悉，交流音乐。会有研讨的形式出现，比如乐队互访、大脑呼唤、相互乐评等等，这样的研讨能发掘他们没被发现过的另一面，很有意思。
Neocha: Now coming up on its third edition, what challenges have you encountered in the past few years?
Lei: There are new difficulties every year, but the support of all the bands has been really helpful. We’re also not making a profit, but that’s to be expected since these genres are still rather niche in China. We want to give fans a fuller experience, but we don’t want them to break the bank for tickets. We want to keep going, to give more bands chances to play at the show and help fans discover them.
Neocha：⽬前 “⼤会” 已经持续展开了三年，这段时间都经历过哪些困难？
雷江涛：每一年其实都会遇到一些困难，但好在每一组乐队都非常支持我们。这类音乐风格在中国对应的受众就比较小，我们总想带给大家更多，同时也不想让乐迷们花太多钱来买门票，所以这三年来我们并没有盈利。我们想继续做下去，为更多 “噪盯迷” 的乐队增加演出机会，为他们培养更多的乐迷和受众。
Neocha: “Plunge into the crowd” is this year’s theme for Zao Ding Mi. What can people look forward to this year?
Lei: This year’s theme is because I’ve noticed that people who listen to this kind of music tend to be very low-key. Their job takes everything out of them, so after work they don’t like to go out, don’t like to socialize, don’t like to meet new people. So I hope people will “plunge into the crowd,” go make friends, go see shows. Of course, this is also a reminder for me.
Neocha: 今年的主题是 “到⼈群中去”，这个主题和⾳乐有哪些联系？今年会有哪些令⼈期待的元素？
Tickets are now available online.
11.28 / Nanjing
Street Kills Strange Animals
DMO Music Space
Nanjing Olympic Sports Center (Across from A18)
222 Jiangdong Middle Road
Jiangye District, Nanjing
11. 29 / Shanghai
Baoli Shiguangli Shopping Mall B1-09
230 Ruiping Road
Xuhui District, Shanghai
11.30 / Hangzhou
Star Horse (SWE)
Street Kills Strange Animals
Young & Dumb
Shui Men Ting
MAO Livehouse (@ Shangcheng 1157)
77 Zhongshan South Road, 3F
Shangcheng District, Hangzhou
11.28 / 南京
11. 29 / 上海
11.30 / 杭州
Star Horse (SWE)
MAO Livehouse (尚城1157)
中山南路 77 号 三楼