Tag Archives: music

Tokyo Blockparty

Around midnight, a black gear van pulls up in the laneway behind Shibuya Nonbei Yokocho, one of Tokyo’s most famous drinking alleys. The doors open and members of the Ill Effects crew pour out. They begin setting up a makeshift DJ booth and sound system in the narrow street, but there isn’t much urgency to their work: a few of them are just milling about, drinking, smoking, and shooting the breeze. However, as soon as the speakers are plugged in, DJ Vulgar steps behind the decks and sets the party in the motion.

People dance, passersby gawk, and others hang back sipping convenience store-bought booze as a crowd begins to gather in the street. Vulgar is chain smoking cigarettes as he mixes together electro bangers with hip-hop beats. As the set ramps up in intensity, the crowd’s rhythmic swaying and head bopping soon escalate into dancing frenzies. But just as the street party goes into full swing, the police turn up.

午夜时分,一辆黑色的挡风车停在东京涩谷最著名的酒巷 Nonbei Yokocho 后面的车道上。门开了,Ill Effects 的成员们涌了出来。他们不慌不忙地在狭窄的街道上搭建临时 DJ 棚和音响设备,团队里一些人还会到处走走逛逛,喝酒、抽烟、吹吹风。而当音响一插上电源,DJ Vulgar 就上台正式“开趴”。

当人群开始逐渐在大街上聚集,里面的人跳着舞,外面的路人盯着看,另外还有一些就喝着从便利商店买来的酒。Vulgar 一根接一根地抽着烟,并把电炮(electro bangers)和嘻哈节奏混在一起。随着人流越来越密集,场地也越来越紧张,观众的节奏也越来越有节奏地摇摆着,很快就变成了疯舞。但正当街头派对如火如荼的时候,警察来了。

The music cuts and Vulgar bolts around the corner, leaving his crew to deal with the authorities. He occasionally peeks around the bend to see how negotiations are going. Five minutes later, the cops leave, and Vulgar saunters back to the decks triumphantly. He flicks his long aqua-green hair and starts again. A fresh crowd begins to gather, replacing those that left during the short interruption. This time the show runs a little longer, 20 minutes, enough for about four songs, three cigarettes, and a freestyle cypher from a few Ill Effects rappers. Again, Vulgar spots the approaching authorities and ducks out.

音乐声戛然而止,Vulgar 迅速逃到拐角处,留下他的队员与当局交涉,而他时不时偷看一下谈判进行得如何。五分钟后,警察走了 Vulgar 得意地回到台上。他拨了拨他的水绿色长发,又开始了新一轮演奏。新一批观众聚集起来,取代了刚才中断时离开的那些人。这次演出时间长了一点,20 分钟,足足放了四首歌、抽了三支香烟,还来了一段《Ill Effects》的即兴说唱(freestyle)。但又一次,Vulgar 发现了警察局的人,赶紧避开了。

This is how a typical Ill Effects party goes down at their unofficial home at the back of Shibuya Nonbei Yokocho. A three-minute stroll from the Shibuya Crossing, behind a lantern-illuminated alley of bars, and tucked between two department stores, it’s a patch of rare inner-Tokyo space that can fit a small crowd, but it’s not ideal for avoiding the attention of the law.

It’s a mystery as to why Vulgar and his crew doesn’t get into more trouble considering that Japan only lifted its infamous Fueiho law—a piece of legislation that literally outlawed dancing—around three years ago. The 70-year-old statue came to be during World War II as a way for officials to keep control of dance halls, which were often used as prostitution hubs. For owners to run a nightclub, they were forced to apply for a “dancing license.” Although throughout the second half of the 20th century the police generally turned a blind eye to the regulation, there was always a risk that bored officers would arbitrarily enforce the rule if they felt like it.

这是典型的Ill Effects”团队如何在涉谷 Nonbei Yokocho 后巷,他们的“后院”举行的派对模式。从涩谷十字路口出发,在灯火通明的小巷后,夹在两家百货公司之间——这是一隅难得一见的东京腹地,可以容纳一小撮人,但它并不是块合适的“法外之地”。

在大约三年前,Vulgar 和他的组员们还没陷入大堆麻烦中,因为日本解除了臭名昭著的“风营法”(Fueiho,日本娱乐产业管理促进法),这项法律几乎禁止跳舞。这个有着 70 年历史的“法律”出现在二战期间,其时作为官员们控制舞厅的一种方式,而那时候的舞厅常常被当作卖淫中心。很多老板为了经营一家夜店,不得不申请跳舞执照。尽管在整个 20 世纪后半叶,日本警察通常对这一规定视而不见,但风险仍在:只要那些无聊的警察如果愿意的话,舞厅就会受到严厉的处罚。

For most streetside performers, police attention would be enough to call it a night, but the game of cat-and-mouse feels like part of the show for Vulgar. He proudly declares himself to be a chinpira (meaning “delinquent”), and in some ways, it feels like the boys in blue are an accessory to this image. “It’s just their job,” he says with unexpected empathy. “I know some of the young ones are Ill Effects fans too.”

对于大多数街头表演者来说,吸引到警察的注意力就够了,会适时结束了,但这种猫捉老鼠的游戏对 Vulgar 来说就像是节目的一部分一样,他自豪地宣称自己是个 Chinpira(意思是罪犯)。从某些方面来说,这个蓝头发的男孩正是他们组合形象的门面。这只是他们(警察)的工作,他带着意想不到的同理心说道。我知道有些年轻警察也是 Ill Effects 的粉丝。

 “Keep it real” are the only three words on Vulgar’s Facebook and Instagram bio. It’s also his e-mail sign-off. These three simple words have become a motto of sorts for him and his crew. For cynics, the proliferation of this slogan has made it devoid of all its meaning over the years. You’re more likely to see the words scrawled across a poorly designed t-shirt than associated with anything of any real substance. But the earnestness with which the Ill Effects crew embrace the terms brings it a renewed authenticity.

With Vulgar’s style, charisma, and talent, he could easily be making good money playing glitzy clubs in Roppongi to crowds of rich gaijins and businessmen drunk off bottle-service champagne. He’s instead sipping on convenience-store coffee and playing to a motley crew of listeners in a back alley. That seems as “real” as it gets.

“I wanted to play in a space where everyone can participate,” he explains. “Some people don’t like clubs, but they still like music. I’d say some of my most dedicated fans are homeless.”

“Keep it real”是 Vulgar 的脸书和 Instagram 简介上仅有的一句话。这也是他的电子邮件签名。这三个简单的单词已经成了他和他的组员的座右铭。而对愤世嫉俗的人来说,多年来这句话的泛滥,已经使它失去了所有的意义。你更有可能看到在一件设计糟糕的 T 恤上看到这潦草的字迹,和任何真正的物质都无关。但是,Ill Effects 这班人却马郑重其事地看待这句话,给它以新的“真实性”。

凭借着 Vulgar 的风格、魅力和才华,他可以很容易地在六本木市(Roppongi)的豪华夜店里赚大钱,去博得大批有钱的老外、能喝整瓶香槟酒的商人的喜好。但他却在喝便利店里的咖啡,给一群杂七杂八的听众在后巷演奏。这看上去再真实不过。


Oceans and decades away from tonight’s Shibuya street party, hip-hop was born. Like the thick layers of spray paint, poster glue, and inner-city grime that formed on the well-trodden streets of New York City, the late 1970s saw the genre emerge as an accumulation of influences. Built from the past, but something undeniably of the present.

“Fancy clubs aren’t the birthplace of hip-hop and dance music,” Vulgar says.

Real hip-hop attitude is synonymous with the grimy underbelly of the city. True hip-hop doesn’t care about the gold chains around your neck or your pricey limited-editions Jordans.

Vulgar’s Nicki Minaj-dubstep-EDM mashups may not be the same as Tupac’s politically charged anthems on All Eyez On Me, but the ideology is the same—a defiant stand against an, at times archaic, legal system, and a fight for unity in a world that loves to build social barriers.

This past summer marked the third year of illegal pop-up block parties for the crew, and it looks like it’s here to stay. “This adventure is my way of pursuing my love of street-centric hip-hop,” says Vulgar. “This is the dream. It’s not a bridge to something else. This is it. I am living the goal.”

今夜的涩谷街头派对和早先年代相比,已经沧海桑田,嘻哈音乐诞生了。就像在纽约,从 20 世纪 70 年代末开始的一层层厚重的喷漆、海报胶水和城市里的泥污,这逐渐累积成为一种影响后人的风格。一切建立在过去的基础上,但不可否认的是,它们是现代的产物。

高档夜店不是嘻哈和舞蹈音乐的发源地。” Vulgar 说。


Vulgar 的 Nicki Minaj 回响贝斯(dubstep)和电子舞曲混搭可能和 Tupac 在《All Eyez on Me》上发布的充满政治意味的作品不同,但其意识形态是一样的——在一个喜欢制造社会障碍的世界里,它是对一种过时的法律制度的反抗,是为团结而作的斗争。

刚过去的这个夏天,是组员们连续三年非法演出的 pop-up 派对,看似是要在这留下了。这次冒险是我追求的、对以街头为中心的嘻哈音乐的热爱的方式。俗话说。这就是我的梦想,不是通向其他事物的桥梁。它就是梦想。我活在我的目标里。

Instagram: @vulgar5111
Facebook: ~/illeffects2015


Contributor: Lucy Dayman
Photographer: Benjamin Hung

Instagram: @vulgar5111
脸书: ~/illeffects2015


供稿人: Lucy Dayman
摄影师: Benjamin Hung

Taipei after Dark with U.TA



Perhaps better known for its diverse food and its New Wave cinema, Taiwan has been quietly establishing its indie music cred in recent years. As the island’s cultural center, pluralistic, polymorphous Taipei has been awash in a range of aural delights, from post-rock, psychedelia and punk, to hip hop, folk, and jazz. Reverb-laden shoegaze and breathy dream pop bands in particular seem to sprout, blossom, and thrive in the capital’s languid, subtropical heat, with native species Manic Sheep, I Mean Us, DoZzz, and TuT offering a kaleidoscope of shapes and colors.

One Taiwanese dream-pop band in particular, U.TA, revels in cross-pollinating styles and genres to produce striking musical hybrids. Formed in 2013, the band includes vocalist Urayn and bassist Garry Lu, along with Garry’s brother John on guitars and their friend Tao on drums. Urayn and Garry started an embryonic version of the band back in 2006 but felt the need to expand their sonic horizons. “Although we started in Taichung when we released our EP as a duo,” Urayn recalls, “we thought that we’d be more complete if we had a full band.”

近年来,在一向以美食和新浪潮电影著称的台湾,一股独立音乐力量正悄然崛起。作为台湾的文化中心,多元化的台北奉上了一场精彩的听觉盛宴,从后摇、迷幻乐和朋克到嘻哈、民谣和爵士乐,包罗万象。其中,Shoegaze(自赏)派音乐和梦幻流行乐队大放异彩,在台湾慵懒温热的亚热带气候中萌芽、开花。Manic Sheep、I Mean Us、DoZzz 和 TuT 等本土乐队带来万花筒般的音乐。

其中令人瞩目的梦幻流行乐队 U.TA 擅长将各式风格与流派的完美融合,打造出令人惊喜的混血音乐。乐队成立于 2013 年,包括主唱 Urayn、贝斯手 Garry Lu,吉他手则是他的兄弟 John,鼓手则为其好友 Tao。2006 年,Urayn 和 Garry 组成最初的双人组合,后来又觉得有必要扩大乐队的音乐视野。“当初在台中一开始推出 EP 时我们只是双人组合。” Urayn 回忆道,“但我们觉得,如果可以有一支完整的乐队,我们的音乐也会更完整。”

While all four share arrangement duties, Urayn writes all the songs herself. She also sees each one visually: “Each time I sing a song, I have a video script in mind. When I have more time and energy in the future, I’d like to transform each song into a video to reveal the conceptual basis behind it.” With such a cinematic outlook, it’s no surprise that the band is drawn to the emotional richness of Hong Kong cinema, and in particular the films of Wong Kar-wai.

Urayn 负责写歌,四位成员各司其职。Urayn 喜欢将每一首歌都视觉化,她说:“每次我唱歌,脑海里都会在构想一些画面。将来如果我有更多的时间和精力,我想把每首歌都做成视频,表达出其背后的概念。”既然有这种对影片创作的向往,也就不难理解,为什么乐队都喜欢情感细腻的香港电影,特别是王家卫的作品。

Their musical DNA includes dream pop pioneers Cocteau Twins, Chinese musical icon Faye Wong (who starred in Wong Kar-wai’s Chungking Express and 2046), and the dark hues of American band Mazzy Star. “Our music is like a constellation. Just as there are twelve types of people [in the Chinese zodiac], shoegaze, for example, is one type of music, but we can mix it with other types like punk or hip-hop to create something unique.” Anyone who’s listened to the band’s 2015 release “Highway Cruising” will recognize its unique combination of styles and influences.

他们的音乐灵感包括梦幻流行音乐的先锋 Cocteau Twins、王菲以及风格阴柔凄美的美国乐队 Mazzy Star。“我们的音乐就像一个星座,或是中国的十二生肖,例如 Shoegaze 就是一种类型,但我们可以将它和其它类型的音乐混合,譬如朋克或嘻哈,创造出独特的音乐。”如果你听过他们在 2015 推出的《缓飙公路》,你一定能从他们独特的音乐中听出各种不同流派与风格的融合。

Unlike many bands, U.TA is equally at home on stage and in the studio, which they see as two sides of the same coin. “If you don’t create complex lyrical arrangements in the studio, then the live performance won’t be solid either,” they say. Studio work allows them to refine their sound until it matches their emotional register, while live performances offer a more immediate connection with their audiences. Fans in Taiwan, Japan, mainland China, or Hong Kong might respond in slightly different ways, and concerts offer instant feedback that can’t be replicated in the studio.

与许多乐队不同的是,对 U.TA 来说,他们喜欢舞台上的现场演奏,也喜欢在录音室的工作。这两种不同的形式犹如一枚硬币的两面——“如果你不能够在工作室里创作出复杂的歌曲编排,那么你的现场表演也不会很好。”录音室可以让他们不断地调整音乐,直到它符合他们想要的感觉;而现场表演又为他们提供了一个与观众更直接联系的平台。虽然由于文化倾向的不同,台湾、日本、中国大陆或香港的粉丝可能会有不同的反应,但现场表演能让他们获得即时的反馈,那种自发性是无法在录音室中获得的。

What do they think about Taipei itself? “We live in a city brimming with inspiration,” says Urayn. “From the beauty of traditional Chinese characters, to the ways people connect with each other, to the flavors of the city, it all deeply influences our work.” The energy of Taiwan’s capital has spawned various musical events along with a growing roster of clubs and record labels to support them. “Taipei is absolutely heading towards becoming a city of music, and I’m so excited about it.”

而他们对台北本身,看法又如何呢?Urayn 的评价是:“这是一个充满灵感的城市。无论是美丽的传统汉字,人们之间的互动,或是城市的风味。所有这一切都深深地影响我们的创作。”作为台湾首府,这座城市的蓬勃生命力催生了丰富的音乐活动,同时还有越来越多的俱乐部和唱片公司作为后盾。“台北正朝着音乐之都的方向发展,这一点让我很期待。”

Currently at work on a new album, the band reveals they’re exploring urban elements such as “fog” and “fragrance” but will maintain their trademark shoegaze sound. As Urayn enthuses, “What I’m most looking forward to this time is that we’ve invited many musicians from different countries to create new songs together.” Global in outlook, defined by the sights and sounds of Taipei streets, U.TA represents the best of Taiwan’s musical cosmopolitanism. Their openness to experimentation is helping to put their city on the indie music map.

目前,乐队正在筹备一张新专辑,他们透露,乐队正在探索与城市相关的元素,譬如“雾霾”和 “香水”,但乐队的标志性 Shoegaze 风格不会改变。Urayn 兴奋地说道:“这张专辑最让我期待的是,这一次我们邀请了来自不同国家的音乐家一起创作新歌。”立足全球的视野,又始终坚守源于台北街道的风景与声音,U.TA(屋塔)代表了台湾最具创意的音乐世界主义,他们开放性的实验态度正推动着台北独立音乐力量的发展。

Facebook: ~/uta25
Instagram: @utaband_tw


Contributor: Brian Haman
Photographer & Videographer: Anaïs Siab
Audio Courtesy of U.TA

脸书: ~/uta25
Instagram: @utaband_tw


供稿人: Brian Haman
图片与视频摄影师: Anaïs Siab
音频由 U.TA 提供

Girl’s Girl’s World



In October 2017, Shanghai-based musician Shu Ying released her first full-length album Girl’s Girl’s World to critical acclaim—the ten-track record quickly making noise across China’s independent music scene. Formerly a keyboardist with the post-punk outfit Undress for Success and founding member of the electronic dance band Quadruple Cherry, Shu now inhabits her own radiantly untamed melodies amidst the loud, discordant, confused noise of twenty-first century Shanghai. A multitalented singer-songwriter who sings and writes both in Chinese and English, she also works as a digital content marketer and runs the Chinese-Dutch indie music label Waving Cat Records.

2017年10月,上海音乐人树樱发行首张个人全长专辑《Girl’s Girl’s World》,获得一致好评。这张共含十首曲目的专辑迅速在中国独立音乐界掀起波澜。树樱曾担任后朋克乐队 Undress For Success 的键盘手,也是电子舞蹈乐队四重樱(Quadruple Cherry)的创始成员之一。现在,树樱来到上海,在二十一世纪充满喧闹、混乱的上海音乐界中,创作着自己那无所拘束的独特旋律。她是一位多才多艺的创作歌手,用中文和英文演唱和写作,同时还是一名数字内容营销家,负责管理中荷独立音乐品牌 Waving Cat Records

Listen to some of our favorite tracks from Shu Ying below / 点击即可试听树樱的几首歌曲

There’s a chameleon-like quality to her music, undoubtedly due to her diverse personal background. Of mixed Han and Kazakh descent, she spent her early years moving between Shaoxing, Urumqi, and Stockholm, and such youthful experiences proved formative for her music. “I remember taking a 60-hour train with my family to Urumqi as a kid. I encountered stories and different types of people when I was small and didn’t feel uncomfortable with it. Music is diverse—mixing cultures enables me to see things from a different angle.” Girl’s Girl’s World exemplifies Shu’s globally minded approach to music making: the Chinese singer’s album was recorded in the Netherlands and produced by Israeli Idan Altman.

多元的文化背景,使得她的音乐像变色龙一般变化多端。她是一名汉族和哈萨克族混血,从小在绍兴、乌鲁木齐和斯德哥尔摩三地生活,年轻时的经历塑造着她的音乐风格。“我记得小时候我和家人一起坐了 60 小时的火车去乌鲁木齐。那时候我遇见各式各样的人,听到各种故事,但从来不会觉得奇怪。音乐是多元化的,融合不同的文化能让我从不同的角度看待事物。”《Girl’s Girl’s World》体现了树樱音乐创作的全球性:这是一张中国歌手的专辑,在荷兰录制,并由以色列裔制作人 Idan Altman 操刀完成。

Despite its international imprint, Shu’s music bears faint echoes of the nightclubs and streets of Shanghai, or at least the beautiful chaos of the city’s recent past. Like most dynamic cities, Shanghai is a city in flux, its kaleidoscopic cultural landscape muted by ever-increasing levels of conspicuous consumption. “I used to go from club to club and street to street because I didn’t want to miss out on anything, but now Shanghai is a bit overwhelming, because of the pace of construction and consumerism,” she says. In a sense, her music has come to be defined less by place than by emotions and experiences: “I guess the emotion I get from my experiences is the most important part of my musical equation.”

尽管树樱的音乐充满全球性,但隐约之间仍然透露出道地上海街道和夜生活的气息。或者说,她的音乐映射出了这座城市近来共存的美丽与混乱。和大多数充满活力的城市一样,上海是一座变幻无穷的城市,万花筒般的文化景观却因为不断增加的炫耀性消费,变得无声无息。“我以前常常到各家夜店,逛遍所有街道,只为了不想错过任何东西。但是快速的城市建设和消费主义的快节奏,让人觉得上海似乎有点失控了。” 她说。从某种意义上说,与其以地理位置来理解她的音乐,不如从情感和体验来定义她的音乐,“在我看来,我从体验中获得的情感,是我音乐创作中最重要的部分。”

From its title to the female characters behind the lyrics, Girl’s Girl’s World is also a female-driven record. Many of the songs are sung from a woman’s perspective and drawn from the experiences of Shu’s female friends. Many of her influences are also female vocalists. Tracks such as “Brought by a Haze” and “Never Want That Talk Ever Again” (from her 2015 EP Are You Still A Teenager?) evoke the visceral grittiness of PJ Harvey, while “Leaving the City” contains the electro-pop DNA of late 1990s Madonna.

In a male-dominated society, it can be especially difficult to find your voice and have it heard. “We don’t have a mature, healthy music industry in China, despite the fact that numbers of streaming music users and concert goers are growing rapidly.” Undeterred by these challenges, she persists in search of that elusive and unique sound: “You have to be totally independent, mentally and physically strong to be a misfit.”

从标题到歌词背后的女性角色,《Girl’s Girl’s World》是一张饱受女性影响的专辑。当中许多曲目都是从女性的视角出发,创作灵感大多来自树樱身边女性朋友的经历。她的音乐创作也受到了许多女歌手的影响,譬如,在她2015年的EP《你还是青少年吗?》(Are You Still A Teenager? )中有两首歌《Brought by a Haze》和《Never Want That Talk Ever Again》就回响着英国女子另类摇滚 PJ Harvey 那种坚韧的精神;而《Leaving the City》(离开这座城市)则指向了90年代末麦当娜代表的电子流行乐。

在男性主导的社会中,作为一名女性,要找到你自己的声音,并让人们听到你的声音,不是一件容易的事情。“在中国,虽然音乐串流媒体用户和会去现场看表演的观众,两者数量都在快速增长,但这还不是一个成熟、健康的音乐产业。” 树樱无惧于这些挑战,坚持寻找自己那难以捉摸的独特声音,“想要成为非主流,你必须完全独立,在精神和身体方面都要很强大。” 她说。

Incidentally, it was painting, and not music, that provided the first studio experiences. She studied traditional Chinese painting and oil painting in primary school, and later developed an interest in the shapes and costumes of Japanese animation. Her training in visual art is reflected in her lush sonic landscapes: “Music has as many aspects as there are colors in the world—intense, destructive, endearing, passionate.” In fact, the two—painting and music—are linked for Shu in a synesthetic way: “Music is flavorless without the imaginative stretch of colors.”

值得一提的是,她成立的第一间工作室并不是因为音乐,而是绘画。小学的时候,她学习中国传统绘画和油画,后来开始对日本动画中的设计与和服装产生兴趣。她在视觉艺术方面的训练反映在她丰富的音乐中。“音乐有着与颜色一样多彩的方面,可以激烈、可以震撼、可以惹人怜爱,也可以充满激情。” 事实上,绘画和音乐对树樱来说是相互连结的,“没有了充满色彩的想象,音乐也会索然无味。”

If her eclectic list of musical influences is any indication, Shu Ying’s new album, slated to be released later this year, carries high expectations. Her current playlist includes stalwarts such as Syd Barrett, Neu!, The Kills, and The Jesus and Mary Chain, as well as her recent obsession: garage and punk bands from San Francisco and Los Angeles such as Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Fidlar, and Mystic Braves.

With songs full of attitude and vulnerability, disclosure and distance, Shu Ying’s music is an exciting presence on the Chinese indie music scene. Longevity almost seems beside the point. As she sings in “To Know Less,” the final track of the EP Are You A Teenager?, “Without short moments of clinking glasses / There won’t be everlasting memories.” Cheers to that.

各种多样的风格都影响、进而形塑了她的音乐,大家对她在今年即将发行的新专辑也寄予厚望。最近她常听的音乐有 Syd Barrett、Neu!、The Kills、The Jesus and Mary Chain,除此之外,她还迷上了旧金山和洛杉矶的车库和朋克乐队,如 Ty Segall、Thee Oh Sees、Fidlar 和 Mystic Braves。

树樱的音乐充满态度和脆弱性,既袒露赤裸却又保持距离,是中国独立音乐界中令人期待的力量。至于自己的音乐生涯能走多久,对她而言,这一点无关紧要。正如她在《你还是青少年吗?》EP 的最后一首歌《To Know Less》中所唱:“Without short moments of clinking glasses / There won’t be everlasting memories.”(没有玻璃叮当作响的瞬间,就不会有值得永驻的记忆。)真是说得太棒了!

Bandcamp: shuying.bandcamp.com


Contributor: Brian Haman
Videographer: Anaïs Siab, Damien Louise
Photographer: David Yen

Bandcamp: shuying.bandcamp.com


供稿人: Brian Haman
视频摄影师: Anaïs Siab, Damien Louise
图片摄影师: David Yen

Universal Equations

Matter and energy are absolutes
Everything is made of atoms
We’re just sleepwalking in
Different dreams constructed by equations
So I’m the cosmos
So you’re the cosmos


Every song is accompanied by a painting.

On the Murky Crows album It’s Okay We Will Meet in Other Ways, the Taiwanese band ponders the idea that our universe is simply an ever-changing reconfiguration of atoms. Each of the album’s ten imaginative tracks tells stories that revolve around themes of space, eternity, and the meaning of life. The band’s lead singer, Li Zhongli, not only guides listeners through these narratives with his gentle vocals but also makes use of his artistic talents, painting ten different portraits that portray the protagonists of each song.




在台湾乐队昏鸦的专辑《一切不灭定律》中,诉说 “宇宙里一切人事物,都是由最小的粒子不停转换着构成方程式所组合而成” 的主题。围绕着这个思考,十首歌描述了十个充满奇幻色彩的寓言故事,用以轻柔的吟唱,与我们一起反覆探讨着宇宙、永恒、生命的意义。而乐队的主唱李中立,同时也是一位才华洋溢的画家,他将十个故事里的男主角分别描绘出来,成为了以下十幅美丽的画作。



Listen to the full album and check out the accompanying artworks for each track below:







Guide me toward the Milky Way
We will meet again one day




因为我们 只因我们

Whisper to me his secrets
This is why we no longer need umbrellas
Just as we need no proof we exist
We aren’t nostalgic for our youth
And it’s all because, all because
We’ll forever die young





I can’t figure out why when I see your face
I shed hidden tears
But if one day
I accidentally discover
You’re not all that special
Then it doesn’t matter all that much





Smoke fills the air in this cursed village
As the young man passes by on his horse
The villagers point and say, “Save us!
Deep in the western mountains lives a devil.”





Having flown every inch of the globe
Perhaps one day you’ll meet me again
Whoa-oh it’s such a beautiful song
I just hope that it’s all real




请问你 你的王国可是金色
请问你 你的王国可是银色

Pray tell, your kingdom is made of gold
Pray tell, your kingdom is made of silver
With a faint smile, the beloved king
Disappears into the forest





Play me this song of loneliness
Take me quietly away from this
Senseless life, senseless life
Farewell for now





Thank you for helping me take my sweet revenge
But again, I must ask you
To devour its body and soul
And let me become you





Your Saturday self died on Sunday
Of your tears only a single drop remains
It formed a cloud
And fell as rain


After releasing It’s Okay We Will Meet in Other Ways, the band went silent for three years. During that time, many fans learned that frontman Li Zhongli’s moved out of Taipei and opened the Miaoko Hostel in Hualien. Here time ambles along at a slower pace. Every day the sun rises and sets with a sea breeze, and everywhere you look is blue.

Many of the original paintings from the album are on display in the hostel, allowing visitors from all over the world to enjoy them, and in turn, discover the band’s music. Even though he’s left Taipei, Li hasn’t stopped creating music. The Murky Crows’ latest album, I’m Just a Sad Boy Who Lives in a Handsome Body, is slated for release later this year.

距离《一切不灭定律》发行,乐队经过了三年的沉寂。熟知昏鸦乐队的人也许都有听说,主唱李中立离开了台北,搬到台湾东边美丽的花莲市,与家人一起在靠海的路肩上开了一家民宿 Miaoko Hostel。在这里,时光流逝地特别缓慢,每天的日出日落都与海风为邻,放眼望去尽是一片的蓝。而一部份《一切不灭定律》的原画作也保留在这里,与更多来自他方的旅人相见,将音乐与画的故事续写下去。

即使远离了都市,乐队依然保持在创作的路上。2018 下半年他们带来了新专辑《我们目前是什么都先不做》。

Facebook: ~/MurkyCrows


Contributor: Yang Yixuan

脸书: ~/MurkyCrows


供稿人: Yang Yixuan

The Two Sides of Li Daiguo



We caught up with Li Daiguo for an afternoon jam session, accompanied with vocals by Chacha and woven—perhaps—around the theme of sleep. Li’s music hovers on the edge of reality and nothingness, and listening to it you can’t tell, to paraphrase Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi, whether you’re dreaming you’re a butterfly, or whether you’re a butterfly dreaming you’re you. We’ve taken a part of the music and paired it with images, and we invite you to come along in this sonic reverie.

“Improvisation isn’t a genre, because it’s hard to determine what’s going to happen,” says Li. “Even if we repeat the performance, we’re ‘resuming’ it, not ‘replaying’ it, so it’s organic. You find a path in your own habits, a way in, and you have to protect it, build it up, so you can always get back, and then freely go on toward somewhere you never imagined.”

这是李带菓即兴的一个下午,和 Chacha 的人声一起,即兴的主旨也许关于睡眠。它像是现实与虚无的一个交界,你可能是庄周,可能是蝴蝶。后来我们重新剪接了音乐、配了画面,你只当一起做个梦,游一游。

“即兴不是一种风格,因为很难界定会发生什么。即使是我们所谓的重复它,也是我们‘仍在做’,而不是我们‘再次做’,所以它是有机的。你以自己的习惯找到一条路径,从那里进入,你如何保护它、如何建立它,以便你可以随时到达那里,再自由前往意想不到的地方。” 李带菓这样讲。

Who exactly is Li Daiguo?

First and foremost, a musician.

Born in the US, he first began studying Western classical instruments at the age of five. In his adolescent years, he explored instruments from other regions, and in college, he studied Chinese regional music and its cultural roots, while also studying twentieth-century literature and philosophy. Today, he’s become an established musician with experience in over 20 Eastern and Western instruments, in addition to beatboxing, Tuvan throat singing, and other vocal arts. For years he’s been going head-to-head with musicians from around the world, and this multifaceted exploration has led him to stop using labels to define himself. Whenever something resonates with him, he uses it to sow seeds, raise ripples. You never know where inspiration might come from,” he says. “Everything can influence me in some way.”



出生在美国,5 岁开始学习西方古典器乐,少年时接触了更多的地方器乐,到大学阶段便深入研习各地地域性音乐及其背后的历史文化,同时研究二十世纪文学和哲学。如今在二十多种东西方乐器和 beatbox、呼麦等人声中游弋,数年来与世界各地音乐人的“摩拳擦掌”,多维度的探索使得他摒弃了标签式的表象标准,他听到什么信息有共鸣,就拿那些来播下种子、掀起涟漪,“你不知道它来自哪里,因为所有东西都会对我产生影响。”

Listen to select tracks from Li Daiguo below / 点击即可试听李带菓的几首歌曲

Side A: “Listen”


So what’s the best way to approach Li’s music?

“All kinds of theories could easily be applied to explain the ideas behind my music,” he says. “But they might not entirely be true. The truth is . . . I don’t know! I just do something that feels good from my heart to my brain to my body. I’ll stop there. I’m not going to oversell it.” In marketing, the pitch is usually better than the product, he quips, then gives a belly laugh.

“So a lot of things are there for no reason, or the reason lies in what they do. Too many words, too little thought. The things we want to grasp are often beyond our control, so it’s best to stop right at the edge of what you can feel but can’t understand. Experience it, hold on to your perception.”

It’s nearly impossible to shoehorn his music into a theory, of course. His music seems to touch the truth or essence, as though it were the natural sounds of notes or the inner connections between things. It approaches the dao, but you can’t grasp the truth itself.

Side A:听”






For performances, Li’s most frequently used instruments are the pipa, cello, and mbira (an African instrument that’s played by plucking it with a thumb). “When I use an instrument, I’ll think about the sound and vibrations it produces. I respect its original sound more because there’s a historical context there. It’s able to tap into a higher frequency. Someone asked me once, ‘That mbira instrument you use, why don’t you recreate something similar yourself? Or experiment with distortion pedals?’ The answer is simple. To me, the way the instrument was originally constructed is already close to perfection.”

李带菓最常用琵琶、大提琴和 Mbira(津巴布韦手指琴)来弹奏和创作,“在乐器使用上,我会从它的声音和振动来考虑,我更尊重它的原生音乐,因为它有那个历史,它能接通能量的概率更高。有人问我,你那个 Mbira 的非洲乐器,怎么不自己创作?或者加效果器做各种实验?因为对我来说,它那个系统和乐器的结合已几近完美。”

He adds, “So why do I perform with the cello and pipa? It’s because they’re fairly common instruments that many people are used to hearing here. From silk strings to steel strings, there’s so much potential in these instruments themselves, but frankly, old songs aren’t as compelling anymore. I spent much of my youth with these instruments, understanding their aesthetics, so I’d say I’ve become fluent in that language. But the mbira is a more narrowly regional instrument. It’s evolved in its own way. If in the future, I have the chance to express myself within that realm, I’ll let it happen. If not, I won’t fake it just to make something new.”

他又补充,“那为什么会用琵琶、大提琴创作?因为它们在地域范围内已经传播很广,丝弦也成了钢弦,这些乐器本身也有更多的可能性,老曲子的整个编曲没有那么大吸引力了。并且我从小在那个器乐的体系里,消化了它的审美,知道怎么用它的语言说话。但是 Mbira 地域性更窄,那个地区有他们慢慢的进化方式。但如果以后我能自然地在它的体系里说自己的话,那我也会允许它发生,如果没有,也不会为了‘新’去假装‘新’。”

Li’s wide-ranging insight into blending Chinese and Western culture is what allows him to experiment and innovate with musical instruments. “The real fusion is when music’s different souls are combined. There’s no incompatibility between past and present, because everything flows in one stream. As long as this fusion is still happening, then it’s just the evolution of a traditional form.”

“Those who aren’t willing to evolve have lost their way. Same for those who blindly pursue change, changing their posture and their performance. Then they add some drums, mix the traditional and the Western, the old and the new—their environment has warped their sensibilities. They’ve lost their roots, forgotten what’s most true. Perhaps this connection to roots is a sort of instinct, but if you truly seize its essence, you can summon its spirit.”



As of late, Li’s music sounds very electronic. “These are all acoustic instruments,” he clarifies. “All I’m doing is amplifying certain frequencies of their existing sound. It sounds like a synthesizer. A lot of people can’t believe the sound is being plucked from a string since it sounds like a group of instruments. But the instrument’s original sounds are all there, layered and nuanced. If you manipulate sound with acoustic instruments, you can be more flexible and create different sounds. The instrument shouldn’t be something you’re dependent on, but rather it should be a tool that represents and serves you.”


Side B: “Look”


What’s this kind of person like in everyday life?

As we chatted face to face over the table in the backyard of a vegetarian restaurant, his waist-length hair, sometimes gathered with a pin in a topknot, hung around his neck in a braid. The light breeze sprinkled parasol leaves onto our table and dishes. He brushed off the leaves and continued to eat with relish. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from. Everyone loves Chinese food,” Li surmised. “But 90% of the actual cuisine, most people probably can’t stomach. Many people have a limited palette.”

Side B:视”




Curiously enough, Li—despite being a food lover—has actually been a vegetarian since he was 19. He believes we’re all animals. “People refuse to eat cats or dogs in many countries, but they’ll happily eat beef, pork, or poultry. They don’t view these things as related. But if you take the time to befriend a cow or a pig, you’ll discover the emotions they experience are the same emotions we experience. Their actions and feelings are similar enough that we shouldn’t be seeing them as only meat. I’m not a vegetarian because of dietary restrictions or an opposition to killing. It’s because these animals are products as soon as they’re born. That’s pretty bad.”

我却是好奇那么爱吃的一个人,却从 19 岁就开始奉行素食,他认为我们都是动物,“比如说很多国家的人,他不吃猫狗,但他会吃牛和猪、吃鸭吃鸡,他不会把那些当成有关系的东西,但如果你去试一下,跟一头牛或猪有感情,然后反射一下人与人之间的那些感情、各种行为,已经够接近到我们没必要去这样分。我吃素不是吃或者杀的问题,是因为从它们一存在就是一个商品,这个不是特别好。”

As we walked along the sidewalk after our meal, he carried his pipa on his back and lugged his cello behind him. Craning his neck to speak, he stumbled on a step and nearly took a tumble, but he recovered his balance with a series of comedically theatrical movements. Having spent the afternoon together, I was already quite familiar with his silliness, but the absurdity of the maneuver still left me laughing. “You know Charlie Chaplin?” he asked. “You could say that he’s a pessimist. But he wanted to make the world a better place with his comedy. I’m the same way. I know all of his choreographed movements come from the heart. I want to be the Charlie Chaplin of music. It’s my dream,” he said with a decisive glint in his eyes.


Later on, as I combed through all of the audio and video footage, I noticed that he would often approach the camera or the microphone to add a high-pitched “Ah!” as a coda to something he’d said. Li’s playful quirkiness, mischievous tendencies, and contagious charm have won over those who’ve been fortunate enough to get to know him.

In the past, Li used to be fond of words and language, but then he grew tired of writing and concluded that true expression didn’t need very much actual language—and that language itself could be another musical form. So he then blended words into his music, either through singing, recitation, speech, laughing and crying, or in duets with one instrument and one voice, telling a story, singing a story in the music. He also began making film shorts and theater pieces.”



Li currently lives in Dali, China, a town known for its beautiful mountains, clouds, and scenery. There he can enjoy the brilliant splendor of the great outdoors.

In the natural world, all sound is improvised. What we call music is adding to or subtracting from these existing vibrations.



“Nobody can create music that resonates with everyone, everywhere, at all times,” he says. “Only the sounds of nature hold this universal appeal: the sounds of cascading waterfalls, chirping birds, rolling ocean waves, and the pitter-patter of rain. In terms of transmission strength, nature is definitely the most powerful. If you want truly stereoscopic sound, you might as well go into the wilderness and take in the sounds rather than purchase a bunch of fancy equipment. It’s extremely pure. Your mood or mental state can only affect how much of that beauty you can take in. Or from another perspective, the cars outside, the fruit vendor’s call—if you can listen to how they come together, that’s also a kind of natural beauty. Or again, if you’re not influenced by your body, by material values, but can tune in directly to the universe, that’s also a way. In that case, music and art are unnecessary—they’re superfluous, they become self-expression. So I’m just a bird, and all I’m doing is chirping.”


Music is a journey for your senses, it’s a vessel, a medium that allows you to visit unknown realms. It’s something that allows you to tune into internal and external experiences. Music is indescribable.

“In a sense, music is a conversation with another universe,” Li says. “One that goes beyond all the small talk of our daily lives.”



Website: lidaiguo.com
Xiami: ~/lidaiguo


Photographer & Contributor: Chan Qu
Videographers: Anais Siab, Damien Louise
Special Thanks to ChaCha & Yongfoo Elite

网站: lidaiguo.com


图片摄影师与供稿人: Chan Qu
视频摄影师: Anais Siab, Damien Louise
特别鸣谢 ChaCha 与雍福会

Ethereal Tones



“Sheep’s Shadow,” a music video by Chui Wan, the Beijing-based experimental psych-rock group, features watercolor animation by Tu Qian, a talented Chinese artist who we’ve featured in the past. The article, “Watercolor in Motion,” was what first brought Tu’s work to the group’s attention. “They saw the story and really liked my style,” says Tu. “One of the band members, Yu Long, got in touch with me. A lot of my friends are fans of Chui Wan, so I was really excited to hear from them.” The track comes from their latest album, The Landscape the Tropics Never Had, which was released last year.

《羊的影子》是来自北京的四人实验迷幻摇滚乐队吹万的最新专辑《热带从未有过的风景》之中的一首单曲,MV 由艺术家涂迁以水彩定格动画的方式逐格绘制。而我们两年前对涂迁的一篇专访文章《Watercolor in Motion》间接促成了这次合作。涂迁告诉我们,“乐队的玉龙通过报道联系到了我。我的几个朋友都很迷吹万,所以收到邮件的时候还是很得意的。”

The Landscape the Tropics Never Had contains six long tracks, each lasting around seven minutes. Chui Wan’s poetic, psychedelic sound, neither rushed nor slow, leaves plenty of room for the listener’s imagination, while Tu’s watercolor GIFs can quickly set a mood. The artists’ shared creative outlook made this collaboration go especially smoothly. With its ethereal vocals and soft, overlapping colors, the video draws the viewer into a rain-streaked dreamland.

《热带从未有过的风景》里有六首时长超常的歌,平均长度在7分钟左右,他们的歌不紧不慢,带有诗意的迷幻音调为听众保留出足够的想象空间。而涂迁擅长创作的水彩 GIF 动画,也同样是以意境取胜。带给观众相同的从容感。这样创作上的共通之处,似乎也让这次合作来的更加顺畅。MV 中错落重叠的柔和色彩,加上歌曲中飘渺的人声,将观众轻轻一推,推进吹万的雨夜梦境中。

As you’d imagine for such unconventional artists, the collaboration was very free. Chui Wan hardly gave Tu any limitations—they just sent some images from a tour as inspiration. “Balloons become birds, clouds turn into girls, grays gradually shade into bright red-orange, and then into a deep-sea blue,” he says, describing the video. “The tabletop horizon gives way to vertical elevator doors, and the sea’s calm surface is the boundary between the horizontal and the vertical. I want to be clear in the mood and narrative rhythm, but not too clear. I think that pretty much sums it up.”

关于 MV 的绘制过程,如我们想象的一样,这样空灵的两位(组)艺术家的合作,应当无比自由的。吹万对涂迁的视觉呈现基本没什么限制,只发来一些乐队巡演时的画面作启发。涂迁告诉我们:“比如变成鸟的气球到幻化成女孩的羊,渐近的灰转向赤热的橘再到深海一般的蓝,横向的桌面水平线到纵向的电梯大门,平静的海面是横竖空间的间隙。不论是叙事节奏还是歌词意境,我很想把事情说清楚,又怕说的太清楚,就这样随随意意交待一下我觉得就差不多了。”

Cargocollective: ~/tuqian
: 12amto12pm.tumblr.com
: @chuiwan_
Bandcamp: chui-wan.bandcamp.com
Facebook: ~/chuiwanband


Contributor: Ye Zi

Cargocollective: ~/tuqian
Tumblr: 12amto12pm.tumblr.com
: @chuiwan_
Bandcamp: chui-wan.bandcamp.com
脸书: ~/chuiwanband


供稿人: Ye Zi

Modernizing the Accordion



Once revered for its compactness and versatility, the accordion’s popularity has dwindled over past decades. Nowadays, when most people think of the instrument, old folk musicians or Parisian buskers are likely what comes to mind. Despite its fall from popularity, forward-thinking bands and musicians like Arcade Fire and Madvillain have proven the instrument can still be viable in contemporary music. And in Shanghai, equally eager to prove that the accordion shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed is independent musician Chen Kai.

手风琴,曾因其便携和灵活性而备受推崇,但过去几十年间,它已经渐渐尘封于人们的回忆里。现在,当大多数人想到这件乐器,大抵会想到年迈的民间音乐家或者巴黎的街头艺人。尽管不如从前流行,但像 Arcade Fire Madvillain 这样有远见的乐队和音乐家,却向大家证明了这种乐器在当代音乐中的地位依然不减。


All music evolves, and CK, as an accordionist with over two decades of experience, recognizes the importance of adapting. In fact, it’s especially important for an instrument that many consider archaic to keep up with the times. His awareness of this fact directly influences his playing style. Rather than relying on well-known tunes, his live shows are hour-long improvisational sets that blend unlikely genres—like psychedelic rock and baroque music—to form unclassifiable soundscapes.

其实,所有的音乐都在演变的过程中。作为一个有 20 多年经验的手风琴演奏家,陈楷认识到适应潮流的重要性。事实上,对于一个被许多人认为已经过时的乐器来说,手风琴演奏要跟上时代的步伐,显得尤其重要。这也直接影响了陈楷的演奏风格。陈楷现场演奏的并非那些人们耳熟能详的曲子,而是通过一小时的即兴表演,混合一些不太常见的流派──比如迷幻摇滚乐和巴洛克音乐──来形成独特而无法被归类的音乐背景。

Not only is CK able to wield the inherent versatility of the instrument, he makes full use of the effects pedals, transforming each note into something foreign yet familiar. Alternating between warm, soothing melodies to upheaving, violent crescendos, CK’s performances are a whirlwind of sound and emotion that both caress and assault the listener’s ears. Watching him perform is an enlightening experience that can sway even the most stubborn of skeptics to rethink the accordion’s place in modern music.


While CK aspires to help his beloved instrument reclaim its rightful place in the world, it’s not the only thing that fuels his motivation. What truly stokes his creative flames is his appreciation of music’s cathartic qualities. To him, music is an outlet, and his accordion is a conduit, one that helps him bring his emotions into the world through sonic means.


Forming an emotional connection with others is perhaps the most rewarding part of being a musician. He speaks to others through his art and lets them interpret it as they will. “In Chinese visual art, negative space is an important concept,” he says. “It’s the room left aside for the viewer’s imagination and own interpretation to take shape. In my music, I try to follow this same concept.”


Of course, taste is subjective. Not only can different individuals find different meaning in the same song, but what qualifies as “good” music inevitably varies from person to person. As a seasoned musician and self-described lover of all genres, how does CK define “good” music?

Hesitating, he takes a long drag from his cigarette and exhales a lungful of smoke before breaking the silence: “Good music should come from the heart. It should move people. Simple as that.”



Contributor & Photographer: David Yen
Videographers: Damien Louise, Cheok Lai

供稿人与图片摄影师: David Yen
视频摄影师: Damien Louise, Cheok Lai

Heavy Metal Mongolia

It’s 1985 – about 100 people are standing around in a local concert hall in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. Cigarette smoke and the murmur of social activity fill the air in equal measure. Members of the band Ayasiin Salkhi step onto the stage to set up their instruments.

Despite the country’s Soviet-allied government placing restrictions on anything it deems as promoting western ideals, many in the city are familiar with rock and roll, thanks to records and tapes that made their way into the country via black market smugglers or people returning from traveling through the Soviet Union, where contraband from the West is easier to obtain. But once the first guitar chords strike, it’s apparent that Ayasiin Salkhi aren’t playing the rock and roll on those black market records. This is something strange and new – this is heavy metal.

时间回到1985年,大约有100人挤在蒙古首都乌兰巴托的一间音乐厅里,二手烟的烟雾和人们交谈的低语声弥漫于此。这时 Ayasiin Salkhi 乐队的成员走上舞台设置乐器。

尽管当时因为蒙古政府与苏联结盟的关系,所有有助于传播西方思想的行为都被禁止,但许多人对于摇滚乐还是相当熟悉,这要感谢来往于黑市的走私者和从苏联旅行回来的人,他们将唱片和录音带带进蒙古,因为在苏联这些来自西方的违禁品更容易取得。但是,当 Ayasiin Salkhi 弹下第一个和弦,很显然的这不是从黑市那里听得到的摇滚乐—这既新奇又古怪—这是重金属。

As Mongolia’s­ first-ever metal band, Ayasiin Salkhi were pariahs in the 1980s.

Heavy metal was relegated to the fringes of Mongolia’s contemporary musical conscience. But metal has clawed its way back over the last 30 years, and now boasts a growing, dedicated following and its own festival in the steppe nation.

One of the Mongolian metal scene’s most ardent supporters is Unenkhuu Umbanyamba, or Uugii, the man behind Mongolia’s biggest annual heavy metal event – Noise Metal Festival – which marks its five-year anniversary this coming autumn.

After seeing how heavy metal festivals in other countries brought like-minded fans together, Uugii felt Mongolia’s metal community needed one of its own.

“We needed this festival to play, to express ourselves – to, you know, just let our energy and emotions go,” he says.

作为蒙古有史以来第一支金属乐队,生长在 80年代的 Ayasiin Salkhi 是被社会放逐的。


Unenkhuu Umbanyamba(Uugii) 是金属乐最狂热的拥护者之一,他同时也是 “噪音金属节” 的幕后操手。噪音金属节是蒙古金属乐界最具代表性的活动 ,今年秋季即将迎来第五周年。

在看到其他国家的金属音乐节是如何将志同道合的乐迷聚集在一起后,Uugii 认为蒙古也需要这样的活动。“我们需要这个音乐节来表达自己,一个让我们尽情宣泄能量和情绪的地方” 他说。

Uugii, the founder of Noise Metal Festival

The first Noise Metal Festival took place in 2014 at UB Palace, a venue in the capital. Uugii was equal parts excited and nervous at the uncertainty surrounding that inaugural event.

Ten bands were booked – eight local and two foreign acts – yet the execution of the event fell short of Uugii’s expectations. “It was a failure, but a big learning experience,” he recollects, noting production difficulties and the sizeable debt he incurred from renting all the equipment at exorbitant rates.

When asked why the difficulties didn’t deter him from throwing a second festival the following year, Uugii put it simply: “First is the passion I have for the music. Secondly, if I didn’t do it, nobody else would.”

第一届噪音金属节于2014年在首都乌兰巴托的 UB Palace 举行。 Uugii 对于首次举办这种活动,感到既兴奋又紧张。

他总共预定了10组乐队——8个本地乐团和2个外国乐团,但第一次音乐节的执行成效不如 Uugii 的预期。 “这是一次失败的经验,但我们从中学习到很多。” 他回忆起筹办中遇到的各种困难,还有当时因为租用高价设备所留下的巨额债务。

当被问到为什么这些困难没有阻止他举办第二届音乐节,Uugii 回答:“首先是我对音乐的热情。 其次,如果我不去做,就没有人会去做了。”

Subsequent iterations of Noise Metal Festival have gone much better, with the turnout growing each year and international acts from Canada, Russia, Japan and Singapore joining the home-grown lineups.

But Andy Teesh remembers when that wasn’t the case in Mongolia. He was the front-man for Ayasiin Salkhi at that 1985 show.

As a high school student, Teesh’s grades and aptitude in extra-curricular activities earned him a scholarship to study in Russia at a police training school in Volgograd. An Iron Maiden tape made its way into Teesh’s possession when he was visiting Moscow, giving the young Mongolian his first taste of the music that would divert his trajectory as an aspiring officer.

Because Mongolia had close ties to the Soviet Union in the 1980s, many of the steppe nation’s citizens were living, working, and studying in Russia. Teesh met other compatriots who also fell in love with heavy metal – so much so that they wanted to play it.

“I got the idea to start the band in 1984. I met this kid in Moscow that was still in high school but could play the guitar . . . I met another kid who used to live in Odessa that played the drums really well, another kid who played bass,” he says. “We all thought that we needed to start a heavy metal band back home.”

And the group became Ayasiin Salkhi, or “Fair Wind” in English, a name that served as something of an antonym to one more suited to a death metal band – “like ‘Death Hurricane,’” Teesh says with a laugh. The name also kept the band off any intrepid censor’s radar.


但是当 Ayasiin Salkhi 乐队的主唱 Andy Teesh,回想起以前金属乐还默默无闻的时候——那时 Teesh 还是高中生,课外活动的优异成绩让他获得一笔奖学金,可以在俄罗斯伏尔加格勒的警察培训学校学习。当他访问莫斯科,拿到了一卷铁娘子乐团的录音带。这是这位蒙古年轻人第一次品尝到金属乐,这改变了他的人生轨道,转移了他原本要成为一个军官的目标。

80年代由于蒙古与苏联的密切关系,许多蒙古公民都会去俄罗斯生活、工作和学习。Teesh 在那里遇见了同样喜爱重金属的同好,他们决定要组一个乐队。

“1984年我有了创建一个乐队的想法。我在莫斯科遇到了一个还在念高中、会弹吉他的小子…… 后来我遇到了另一个住在敖得萨的小子,他鼓演奏的很好,还有另一个会弹贝斯的。” 他说,“我们一致认为,我们需要在家乡组一个重金属乐队。”

“这个组合即是后来的 Ayasiin Salkhi (在蒙古语中意思是“正义的风”),这个名字恰好是一个 “死亡金属乐队” 的反义词。“可能 ‘死亡飓风’ 这样的名字会更适合金属乐队吧。”  Teesh 笑着说,但这个名字让他们成功躲过了审查员的雷达。

By 1985, all members of Ayasiin Salkhi were back in Ulaanbaatar, having spent the previous year practicing their sound. In that time, Teesh landed a job with the Investigation Department of Mongolia’s Ministry of Justice, a position he is still proud of. In stark contrast to the long-hair, black skull cap, heavy Iron Maiden shirt and combat boots dons on any given day, Teesh still has black-and-white pictures of the clean-cut, fresh-faced investigator he was back then, complete with the crisp, grey uniform of his profession. But that didn’t stop the band from practicing constantly.

“When I came back, I earned the rank of lieutenant,” he says. “I even played in the Investigation Department’s band. However, I started to put Ayasiin Salkhi first and spent more time practicing because, in the end, I was a metal head.”

That was the same year Ayasiin Salkhi had their inaugural, ill-fated show.

到了1985年,Ayasiin Salkhi 乐队所有成员都回到了乌兰巴托,他们花了一整年的时间不断地练习。当时 Teesh 在蒙古司法部的调查部门已经找到一份工作,想到这段过往,他仍然不掩骄傲的神情。工作所需保持的形象和平常留着长发、带着黑色骷髅帽子、身穿铁娘子乐队的衣服和一双军靴的他,形成了鲜明的对比。Teesh 拥有一张他还是调查员的黑白照片,照片中的他干净俐落、神态轻松、穿着整齐的灰色制服。但这份工作没有阻止乐队继续发展。

“当我回来时我获得了中尉的职位。” 他说。“我甚至参加了调查部门的乐队。 但是我开始将 Ayasiin Salkhi 放在我的首位,花上更多时间练习。因为我终究是一个金属迷。“

Ayasiin Salkhi 在同年举行了第一次登台表演,而这是一场不幸的表演。

Teesh recalls: “Our show was really badly received. It was very different in Mongolia back then. The way we were behaving on stage, with the head-banging, our look, and our singing style – for most of the people in the audience, it was very nightmare-like, almost like we were evil.”

There was an almost immediate media blackout enforced on Ayasiin Salkhi. No newspapers were allowed to write about them, no TV stations were allowed to broadcast about them, no radio stations were allowed to play their music. Teesh started to get pressure to abandon heavy metal from family members, friends, and by his superiors at the Investigation Department.

“My bosses told me: ‘Criminals and gangsters listen to this music, so if you are an investigator, be an investigator.’ If you played metal music during communist times, you were seen as supporting Western ideology, as well as disrespecting your own art and culture. In other words, you lacked communist ethics and ideals,” says Teesh.

Teesh 回忆起:“我们那年的表演真的很糟糕。这种音乐当时在蒙古非常少见。我们在舞台上表演的方式,撞击彼此的头,我们的穿着打扮、演唱风格——这对于大多数观众来说是噩梦般的体验,几乎像我们是邪恶的。”

随之而来的,是对 Ayasiin Salkhi 乐队立即的媒体封锁。没有报纸、电视台、广播电台被允许刊登他们的信息,也不能播放他们的音乐。Teesh 开始受到来自家人朋友以及工作上级长官,说服他放弃重金属的压力。

“我的老板告诉我:‘只有犯罪分子或流氓会听这种音乐,如果你是一个调查员,就要有调查员的样子。如果你在共产时期玩金属音乐,你会被认为支持西方意识形态,不尊重你本身的艺术文化。换句话说,你缺乏共产主义的道德和理想。”  Teesh 说。

Mongolia ended its status as a satellite state of the Soviet Union with a democratic revolution in 1990. Just as the country had chosen a new direction, Teesh too had a choice to make that year: a career as an investigator or a life in heavy metal. He chose metal.

“There were few fans, no income, and no respect for us,” says Teesh, who still fronts the band today. “Our families and friends even told us to quit, but it didn’t matter because our hearts were in metal music that much.”

Mongolia’s revolution ushered in a new wave of openness to the outside world in the 1990s, but some of the old biases against what many deemed as western culture remained.

1990年,蒙古发起了民主革命,结束它长期与苏联结盟的关系。正如同国家选择了一个新方向,Teesh 也面临一个抉择:调查人员的职业生涯或是重金属。他选择了重金属。

“我们几乎没有粉丝,没有收入,也没有人尊重我们。” Teesh 说,他今天仍然是 Ayasiin Salkhi 乐队的核心人物。 “当时我们的家人朋友甚至直接告诉我们放弃,但这并不重要,因为金属乐在我们心里实在太重要了。”


Uugii is a member of the generation of Mongolian metal heads that really embraced the genre in the 1990s. Rock and roll was now celebrated, commemorated with a monument dedicated to The Beatles erected in Ulaanbaatar – one of the bands many growing up in communist Mongolia became fans of through illegal record swaps.

Still, heavy metal and the culture that came with it chafed against the social sensibilities of 1990s Mongolia. “Back in the day, people would say ‘Those metal-heads, or whoever listens to rock, are potheads who are just into drugs and sex,’” says Uugii. “This kind of perception carried onto the next generation and people saw people like me and would say, ‘Oh, you guys who listen to this really heavy music probably do drugs,’ but I don’t even smoke cigarettes.”

That experience sowed the seeds for Uugii to later launch Noise Metal Festival, seeing it as his “mission” to one day “help people here understand metal music more as a form of art.”


尽管如此,重金属及其伴随的文化仍然无法被当时敏感的社会所接纳。 “当时,人们会说 ‘那些听金属或是摇滚乐的人,都是大麻和性爱上瘾的毒虫。’ ” Uugii 说。 “这种观念传到下一代,人们看到像我这样的人,会说 ‘哦,听这种金属乐的人可能都在吸毒’。可是我甚至连烟都不抽。”

这样的经验,在 Uugii 心中种下举办噪音金属节的念头,并将其视为他有朝一日要完成的 “使命”——要帮助人们更理解作为一种艺术形式的金属乐。”

The genre has come a long way in Mongolia since then. Local heavy metal albums can be found in the capital’s music stores, and the internet has ushered in a new era of music discovery for the country’s mostly young population. The new generation of Mongolia’s metal heads faces much less resistance in society. According to some, that fact has fostered a greater willingness in the youth to express themselves how they see fit. And Noise Metal Festival has become a place where all generations of the country’s metal heads gather.

Battulga Khurelbaatar is the lead singer of one of Ulaanbaatar’s up-and-coming heavy metal bands, Growl of Clown. The 21-year-old has taken the stage at Noise Metal Festival with his band for the past three years. With a greater ability to express oneself, he says it’s a lot easier for metal fans to build a sense of community in the country.

The young metal head also sees the genre as having a positive influence, a departure from the biases of the past. “This whole metal thing, I’ve never regretted pursuing it or the things I’m doing. Some people may think they may be better off if they chose a different route, but listening to metal music has been a very positive influence on me,” says Khurelbaatar.


Battulga Khurelbaatar 是乌兰巴托崛起的重金属乐队 “Growl of Clown” (“咆哮小丑”) 的主唱。这位21岁年轻人的乐队在过去三年里曾在噪音金属节登台。少了社会的压力,金属迷可以更好的表达自己,他认为现在要在蒙古金属乐迷之间建立凝聚力,再也不是一件困难的事。

年轻的金属乐迷也认为这种音乐类型具有积极的影响力,因为它消除了过去的偏见。 “关于金属乐这件事,我从来没有后悔过追求它和做我现在正在做的事情。有些人可能会认为如果当初选择了不同的路,他们现在会过得更好。但金属乐对我而言有非常正向的影响。” Khurelbaatar 说。

Ayasiin Salkhi has also graced the stages of Noise Metal Festivals. After the turbulence of their first 20 years as a band, they released their first album in 2004. They’ve also racked up countless performances both at home and abroad. Yet, to Teesh, Noise Metal Festival is still an important event for both his band and Mongolia’s metal community as a whole.

“The festival is helping the Mongolian metal scene to grow further. Hopefully, it will attract more metal bands and attendees from abroad to come and experience Mongolia, to see this scene,” says Teesh. “I want more people to experience Mongolian heavy metal.”

While Mongolia’s heavy metal scene has grown, Uugii is still the main force behind its biggest event. Support from outside the metal scene ebbs and flows; the festival has test-driven three venues in its four years of existence, though none is quite a perfect fit. Promises of sponsorship and more commercial funding for Noise Metal Festival often come and go. He generally bears the brunt of the work and financial responsibilities of organizing it. Last-minute changes to the lineup have happened at every festival. Still, the growing turnout year on year means that things are still going more right than wrong.

Despite the difficulties, Uugii expresses no intention of stepping away from keeping the fest going: “When I think about myself, you know, ten years from now, I’ll probably still be doing Noise Metal Fest. I’ll do it for as long as I can. I don’t really feel like I have any other options except to keep doing it.”

Ayasiin Salkhi 乐队的确为噪音金属节增色不少。即使乐队从成立到现在,20年以来经历各种动荡不安,到了2004年终于发行第一张专辑,现在已获得无数国内外的演出机会。然而对 Teesh 来说,噪音金属节对他的乐队和整体乐界来说,仍然是一件重要的事情。

“这个音乐节正在帮助蒙古金属乐市场进一步发展。希望它可以吸引到更多金属乐队和来自国外的乐迷来看看这个地方。” Teesh说,“我希望能有更多人能体验到蒙古的重金属场景。”

尽管蒙古的金属乐版图已经越来越大,但 Uugii 仍然是活动背后的主力军。外界的支持力量时好时坏,四年来他们在三个场地试办过,尽管没有一个是完全适合的。赞助和商业合作的机会总是来来去去,不太稳定。总体上 Uugii 承担着首要的组织工作和财务责任。每次在最后一刻总会发生阵容上的变化。尽管如此,噪音金属节依然年复一年的成长,意味着这件事情是走在正确的方向上,而不是错误的。

即使困难重重,但 Uugii 并不打算放弃这场盛事:“当我试想十年后的自己,我可能还在办噪音金属节,我会尽可能做到这一点。除了继续做下去之外,我并不觉得自己有其他选择。”

Contributor & Photographer: Bejan Siavoshy

供稿人与摄影师: Bejan Siavoshy

Summer Love Aria



“Summer Love Aria” is a long-overdue collaboration between Shanghai-based musicians ChaCha and Akin. The instrumental, produced by the ever-versatile HARIKIRI, works in tandem with ChaCha and Akin’s crooning vocals to form a soundscape that’s equal parts dreamy and funky. Pairing Akin’s buttery smooth delivery with ChaCha’s sultry and seductive voice, the single captures the feel-good vibes of a summer romance from two different perspectives.

《恋恋夏日咏叹》由常驻上海的音乐人ChaCha 及 Akin 合作而成。多才多艺的音乐制作人 HARIKIRI 担任编曲与后期制作,为二人的低吟浅唱构建了一个梦幻却时髦的音景。Akin 绵滑的唱腔与 ChaCha 诱人的歌声两相融合,从两个角度演绎出夏日恋曲的浪漫情调。


“My life revolves around love,” ChaCha tells us. “But it’s not limited to romantic love. It includes the love between family and friends, the love for our world and for Mother Nature, the love you feel when pursuing your passions, and the love you feel for yourself. These are the things that make life worth living.”

“爱,是我赖以生活的空气。” ChaCha说,“但它不仅仅是恋人之爱,亲情之爱、友情之爱、对世界和自然的爱、对所做之事的爱,以及对自己的爱,都是保持生活运转的最核心的动力。”



Contributor: David Yen
Images Courtesy of PaulbtRose



供稿人: David Yen

Shedding Labels with 9m88

With a head full of curly hair and an oversized coat, 9m88 is a jazz singer who has risen to fame in the Taiwanese music scene in recent times. Her fashion sense often radiates a stylish retro vibe, sprinkled with offbeat, comical touches in the detail. From head to toe, the way she dresses is reminiscent of someone from straight out of an 80s discotheque. Her unique, idiosyncratic style is what’s most striking about her, after her voice.

9m88’s unexpected rise to fame came about following a successful collaboration with rapper Leo Wang on “Weekends with You.” She has a deep, sultry, alluring sound, the kind that feels more fitting for the age of cassette tapes than our Spotify generation. With nothing to go on but a voice alone, it’d be easy to attribute her voice to a soul singer with a few decades under her belt. But in reality, 9m88 is a millennial whose music career is just taking off.

一头卷发,穿着过大的宽松外套,仿佛刚从八零年代复古歌厅走出来的个性女孩,她是台湾当今独立音乐界最受瞩目的爵士女声 9m88。她全身上下散发一股时髦的复古气息,有时候再加点搞怪的戏谑成分。这种别人模仿不来的独特风格,是这位歌手除了歌声之外,让人印象最深刻的标记。

因为一首和说唱歌手 Leo 王合唱的《陪你过假日》,大家像着了迷似的开始追踪这个魅力十足的嗓音,关于 9m88 的好奇一一浮现。歌声是磁性、低沉而且迷人,是适合存在在卡带里的那种悠扬。如果没有见过她本人,光听声音,脑中想像的是一位已经唱了十年多载的老灵魂歌手。但 9m88 不过是 90后,音乐生涯刚刚起步而已。

My name is 9m, sounds like Joanne


Perhaps like me, you were mystified the first time you saw the name 9m88 – it almost looks like the name of a radio station. In reality, 9m (“jiu em”) is an approximation the English name Joanne, while 88 (“ba ba”) comes from her childhood nickname, Xiaoba.

Ever since she was a child, 9m88 dreamed of becoming a star, she confesses with a laugh. And that always meant through music. She often had intricate fantasies about being on stage with backup dancers performing behind her. “At some point, I’ll have to shoot a few music videos with singing and dancing – definitely!” she laughs. “But now that my artistic career is becoming serious, I’m looking at things more from the perspective of 9m88, figuring out what I want to bring to this world as an artist.”

我的名字 9m,是 Joanne 的諧音


第一次听说这号人物时,连名字都让人有点摸不着头绪,容易联想到某个广播电台。9m 其实是英文名 Joanne 的谐音,88 则取自中文小名‘小芭’。9m 笑说自己从小就有明星梦,音乐是一直不变的梦想,常常幻想有舞者在后面帮忙伴舞那种大排场的演出。“ 未来拍几支唱跳歌手的 MV 还是必须的!但现在当创作者的使命变大了,我会更以 9m88 的身份去做考量,思考自己作为一个创作者,要带给这个世界的是什么。”




While she may not have a group of glamorous backup dancers or tens of thousands of fans at her concerts yet, it doesn’t matter much to her. She just wants to live her life honestly and simply. Even without the resources of a mega-celebrity, she’s still able to create meaningful work when inspiration strikes.

The song “Nine Head Hinano” is a great example of this – it’s a theme song she wrote for a key ring designed by her friends Sid and Geri. The key ring is made up of nine heads, with each representing a different woman. The lyrics describe each woman with a single short line, revealing a little secret about their lives, such as “Joanne sang jazz but didn’t make it, had to work selling juice on the side of the road” (in Taiwan roadside juice stalls are often staffed by attractive women), or “Janet just wanted a little love, went on Tinder but got no likes.”

With this song, the message she hopes to communicate is that people come in different shapes and sizes – there’s not necessarily a one-size-fits-all model. In 9m’s opinion, in a society with an increasingly unified standard of beauty, everyone’s gotten so used to striving for so-called perfection that they’ve forgotten that having flaws is healthy and perfectly normal. It’s an intriguing song that sounds casual but is layered with meaning.

即使没有华丽舞群和万人演唱会,只要诚实、简简单单的过好日子,灵感来时不犹豫的把握住,就算没有大明星级的资源,也一样能做出好的作品。这首《九头身日奈》 是她帮朋友 Sid and Geri 设计的钥匙圈所写的主题曲,钥匙圈上面九个头代表九种女生,歌词里每个女生都只用短短一句话形容,揭幕她们生命中不经掩饰的小秘密。“Joanne 她唱爵士乐却没有红,只好去卖大脚桶”(大脚桶是台湾路边常见的果汁摊贩,店员通常是很漂亮的女生)、或“Janet 只想要一点爱,上 Tinder 却没人 Like”。

人本来就各式各样,不一定只有一种样板,9m 想说的是在这个审美观逐渐趋向一元化的社会里,大家似乎都习惯了朝所谓被认定的‘完美’方向前进,却忘了有缺点其实是一件健康、再正常不过的事情。是一首听起来随意,背后意义却不随意的有趣作品。

I don’t care who wants to be a jazz singer


9m went from being a bedroom musician to an artist now under the limelight – after such an abrupt change in status, how does she perceive herself? “I’ve actually never stopped creating, and as a female creator, femininity has long been a concern of mine,” she says. “As for jazz music, that’s just one part of what I’ve studied. Today my main creative focus is searching for the value of being ‘myself.’ It’s hard to say what I’ll want to talk about in a few years.”



从一个埋头写歌的女孩,到舞台上迎着众人目光的歌手,面对状态的转换,9m 是如何定位自己? “我其实一直都在创作,身为一个女性创作者,‘女性’ 这个表述本来就长在我身上。至于爵士乐,它就是我学习的一部分而已。目前的创作主轴主要还是放在探索身为 ‘我’ 的价值,很难说过几年后我会想要讨论什么。”

As more and more people are beginning to hear her work, her shows in Taiwan have begun to sell out, and with this success, she’s even scheduled tour dates abroad. It might still be too early to say her childhood musical dreams have come true, but this is definitely a promising beginning. At this point in time, planning for a full-time career as a jazz singer might be jumping the gun. But she says it doesn’t matter where life takes her – what’s important is the music. “I think music is music. It doesn’t need a hard definition. Having a style is good, but the spirit of music is not making distinctions,” she says. “‘Jazz performer’ is a label other people put on me when they were trying to help me out. I just want audiences to get to know 9m88 better. I don’t care who wants to be a jazz singer. None of that matters. The main thing is to do what you like.”

作品被越来越多人听见,在台湾的表演场场完售,还巡演到了海外。说从小的音乐梦实现了,还太早,但这一切依然是个美好的开始。9m88 在音乐界引起了一阵小小的炫风,现在就问未来生涯是严肃了点,对 9m 来说,怎么走无所谓,一切重要的只关乎音乐。“我觉得音乐就是音乐,是不需要硬去定义的。有风格很好,但不分家才是音乐的精神。爵士女伶这个称号是别人为了帮我放一个注解,我只想让观众更认识 9m88。至于爵士女伶谁想当,我没关系,都不重要。给你或妳当吧,人生欢喜就好!”

Facebook: ~/9m88baba
Instagram: @9m88


Contributor: Yang Yixuan
Photographer: Xu Anrong

Instagram: @9m88


供稿人: Yang Yixuan
摄影师: Xu Anrong