Rave culture has come a long way from its beginnings in North America and Europe. These all-night dance parties are now commonplace across the globe—even in the East, rave culture has entrenched itself within the underground music scene. In the Middle Kingdom, Chengdu has become the heartland for Chinese electronic music. During the New Year holiday break especially, the Sichuan capital can feel like the Ibiza of the East, popping off with music events, world-class DJs, and jampacked nightclubs for the entirety of the break
However, due to Covid-19 travel restrictions this year, the Lunar New Year ragers were a bit different. Instead of bringing in international DJs, Chengdu clubs and promoters relied on China-based talent, of which there is no shortage. At one such nightclub, TAG, the week-long ragers it had become known for continued without a hiccup. Over eight nights, 50 Chinese DJs and producers hit the stage. Each event began at 10 pm and raged on until 7 to 8 in the morning. For this year’s final event, the club threw a 36-hour-long rager that tested the endurance of the city’s partygoers.
But TAG is only a small corner of Chengdu’s thriving electronic music scene. Head east from the club’s location on Jinxiu Road and you’ll reach Kehua Road, where popular nightlife destinations Funkytown, Cue Club, and GUANXI are located. Further north, across the Jinjiang River, lays AXIS—the nucleus of the city’s avant-garde music scene. It’s difficult to find Chinese cities where these disparate genres are so widely embraced and celebrated; even in first-tier cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, the underground music scene doesn’t feel quite as well-rounded as Chengdu. A popular saying in the city’s underground music scene goes something like, “In Chengdu, if you chuck a beer bottle into a crowd, chances are it’ll land on a DJ.”
In recent years, nightclubs, DJing, and independent producers have exploded in China, but Chengdu has undeniably lead the way. There are too many events to even keep track of nowadays. Techno, house, breaks, avant-garde, bass, trap, afrobeat, disco, funk, and more command dancefloors across the city. There’s no genre that’s considered lesser—there’s always a DJ who’s more than happy to incorporate it in their playlist. In turn, Chengdu has become a bastion for electronic music of all varieties and a must-visit destination for electronic music lovers across the country.
受到疫情影响，2021 年春节期间的成都 .TAG 俱乐部不能像往年一样将世界各地的大牌艺人放在活动名单上，但每年举办的“饕餮盛宴”如期而至。连续八日、七场活动、集结五十余位国内 DJ 和音乐制作人，让成都在那段日子里成为全国电子音乐的“震中”地带。每晚的活动从十点开始，一直持续至次日早上七至八点。而在 2021 年春节盛宴的末尾，甚至还有一场持续“36小时”的马拉松派对在俱乐部举办，向所有舞客的体能发起了极限挑战。
不过，.TAG 俱乐部也只是成都地下电子音乐的一角，沿着 .TAG 所位于的锦绣路向东至科华路上，还有几家俱乐部也正在夜夜笙箫 —— FunkyTown方糖、Cue Club、GUANXI……与此同时，锦江以北的猛追湾平坊，AXIS 俱乐部正和前卫年轻人们打着交道……
最近几年，大批俱乐部和电子音乐人在成都几乎同时爆发，大大小小的活动往往令舞客难以选择。你甚至会听到这样一句流传江湖的话：“你在成都俱乐部里随便扔一酒瓶，没准儿就能砸到一个 DJ。” 这其中涉及的音乐风格从八九十年代兴起的 Techno、House、Breaks 等锐舞音乐代表，到当代的实验、Bass、嘻哈和非洲、南美舞曲，以及 Disco、Funk、Soul 等经典门派等等，每一种音乐风格都能找到对应的玩家。如此盛况，恐怕在上海、北京等大都会也很难见到。
Food is central to the Chengdu lifestyle, and the city has cemented its reputation as one of the culinary meccas of the country. Of all the flavors the region is known for though, spiciness reigns supreme. But it’s not limited to food—the city’s young creatives seem eager to spice things up in every aspect of their life, whether it be in art, music, or fashion. There’s also a certain inclusivity to Chengdu, and the city has become home to passionate creatives of all stripes. As long as you love what you do, there’s a place for you there.
For Chengdu native Vengo, he loves nothing more than partying. He’s been a familiar face in the scene even before electronic music began gaining acceptance within the city’s underground music circuit. All-night ragers with friends and good foods are par for the course every weekend. But he believes the laidback lifestyle often associated with Chengdu isn’t only limited to his city—it’s something that’s common throughout the province and has been a part of Sichuan culture since before his generation.
“Chengdu is a place where you can unwind,” he says. “Compared to other first-tier cities, there’s not much pressure here. There are opportunities for young kids to experiment and express themselves. People respect the need to have a good time. Being free and living fast are common parts of the local kids’ lifestyles, and that fits right into the city’s club-culture DNA.”
Vengo was first introduced to underground club music when he visited Xiongmao Club (meaning “Panda Club”) in 2011. “I was working in media at the time,” he says. “The club was doing quite well and attracting a lot of rock music lovers who were beginning to discover electronic music.”
At the time, rock music ruled Chengdu, but electronic music was starting to find traction within the underground music circuit. Xiongmao, as one of the few venues focused on electronic music, was a rarity at the time. The club brought in big-name acts such as DJ Shadow and DJ Krush, which turned more people onto different electronic music genres. YENK, a Beijing-based creative and one-half of the graphic design duo MENSLIES, was also first exposed to electronic music at Xiongmao when he was attending Sichuan University. Today, he’s found many opportunities in the Beijing electronic-music scene with his design work, and he gives a lot of credit to Chengdu for being the gateway into the culture. “A lot of people were inspired by Xiongmao,” he says. “Many artists, musicians, and designers forged their earliest connections in that space.”
In 2012, Xiongmao shut down. It was at a far-from convenient location and there was ramping financial pressure in operating such a non-mainstream venue. Despite its closure, its existence was foundational for the city’s burgeoning electronic music scene.
Vengo 是成都较早一批开始接触锐舞文化的年轻人之一，对于他来说，周末的早晨，或许从俱乐部走出来的早餐开始算起。作为成都俱乐部场景中一名不折不扣的“耍家”，Vengo 经常约朋友跳到天亮才肯回家。在他看来，成都人的性格不仅仅源于食物，还有整个四川省独特秀丽的风景，以及一代又一代人积淀下的文化底蕴，都促使着这里的年轻人不断向外探索有趣的事物。
在成都，和 Vengo 一样爱玩的年轻人不在少数，他接着说道：“成都是一座可以让你放松下来的城市，相较于其他一线城市，这里的经济压力不算大，有很多年轻人表现和尝试的机会。同时，及时行乐是这里年轻人推崇的生活方式，自由快活是大家普遍追求的生活态度，这一方面就契合了俱乐部文化的一部分基因。”
2011 年，Vengo 第一次在成都体验地下俱乐部的氛围，那是在当地的一家名叫“熊猫”的俱乐部（Xiongmao Club），他说：“当时的我作为一个媒体观察者的身份介入其中，熊猫俱乐部经营的很好，吸引了非常多从摇滚音乐转向电子音乐的爱好者。” 十多年前，成都的地下音乐圈子还以摇滚乐为主，熊猫在当时是唯一一家主打地下电子音乐的俱乐部，他们邀请到了 DJ Shadow、Dj Krush 等国际大牌音乐人，让一切正在渐渐发生转变。现居北京的 YENK 第一次认识电子音乐也是在熊猫俱乐部，当时他正就读于四川大学，熊猫俱乐部是他学生时代经常光顾的地方。如今的他作为平面视觉团体 MENSLIES 的二分之一、以及北京派对活动 “东三环” 的一份子，活跃在场景当中。他认为正是大学时代在熊猫蹦迪的那段日子，间接地影响着他踏入电子音乐领域，“现在很多成都电子音乐人都是受熊猫的启蒙开始走上这条道路的。很多艺术家也早早在那里建立起了联系。”
由于远离市区、场地经营压力过大，熊猫俱乐部在 2012 年被迫停止营业。但它的出现为之后成都地下电子音乐的繁荣埋下了伏笔。
Shades of Diversity
Living comfortably is a core philosophy for Chengdu locals, and it’s a viewpoint that’s shared by all within the city. People are tolerant and respectful, even when faced with something they’re unfamiliar with. Located in southwest China, far from the watchful eye of Beijing, disparate subcultures and lifestyles have found refuge in the city. In 2010, the first publicly announced same-sex marriage in China happened in Chengdu. On a popular reality TV show, Chengdu-born celebrity Li Yuchun showed the country that androgyny can still be beautiful. In recent years, Chengdu’s LGBTQ+ community has grown larger and larger, and many now consider the city as China’s “gay capital.”
LGBTQ+ culture is now an intrinsic part of the city’s underground electronic music scene. Global dance culture owes a lot to the gay communities that incubated these once-fringe genres, whether it be the disco raves that took place in Stateside warehouses, the vogue dancing of New York’s drag ball culture, or the birth of Chicago house in the members-only gay club The Warehouse. Nearly every genre of electronic music is tied in with the LGBTQ community. With these roots, perhaps it’s not surprising to see tenets such as equality, love, and peace being core to contemporary rave culture.
Queer parties have also found footing in China in recent years, such as Medusa and HTTP in Shanghai, and G2Gather in Beijing. Of course, similar queer parties—such as Seafood, Chilldo, and more—have also catalyzed Chengdu’s nightlife.
Huizit, one of the co-founders of Chilldo, says, “Sichuan has no local lineage so to speak. Chongqing and Sichuan culture was all formed after the large waves of migration from people from Huzhou-Guangxi. The region has long been a place where outside cultures can thrive, so the region’s inclusive nature is deeply ingrained in its identity. It’s a place that’s receptive to all types of cultures.”
一切以舒适为先，已是“蓉城”（成都的别称，因五代十国时期的芙蓉花而得名）人自成一套的生活哲学。贯穿在人际交往之间，则为人与人之间的相互理解和相互尊重腾让出更多空间，人们尝试与彼此和周边事物达成一种和解的状态。地处中国西南部，远离以北京为中心的行政管辖视线，加上安逸的生活环境，让成都成为少数群体的庇护所。2010 年，曾安全和潘文杰的婚礼在成都举办，是中国第一次被媒体广泛报道的同性婚姻；曾经风靡一时的超级女声节目里，从成都走出的李宇春以中性打扮风靡全国，也潜移默化地带动了成都 LGBTQ+ 群体的发展。“同性恋之都”，不少年轻人喜欢以这种玩笑式的称呼来形容这座城市。
而在地下电子音乐文化当中，LGBTQ+ 群体是绕不开的话题，往往是俱乐部场景中的常客，而性少数话题也是舞曲文化诞生的核心。无论是地下派对发展初期的 Disco 舞会上，纽约曼哈顿公寓里总集结着不同性别、性表达、种族和阶层的人群；还是 Ballroom 和 Vogue 文化中，以舞蹈重释自我身份的酷儿群体；更有 Chicago House 和 Detroit Techno 等经典舞曲风格，它们的出现都和性少数人群息息相关……平等、爱与和平的概念一直是电子音乐场景中备受推崇的主题。
现如今，很多中国城市都有属于自己的酷儿派对，例如上海的“Medusa”和“HTTP”、北京的“鸡兔同笼”等等，当然成都也不例外，酷儿派对在当地更是最炙手可热的活动类型之一，其中不乏有 “Seafood 海鲜”、“池糖 Chilldo” 等名声在外的组织单位。Huizit 是 “池糖 Chilldo” 的创办人之一，祂说：“现在的四川就没有几个‘本地血统’，整个川渝文化都是从湖广填四川开始的，所以一直到现在这里都是外来文化的温室。所以说四川从历史上来看本身就很包容，愿意去吸收不同的文化和载体。”
Huizit had the opportunity to live abroad in Europe and the U.S., where Ballroom and Chicago House were booming. The LGBTQ parties where these sounds were played at offered a sense of belonging, and they wanted to bring this same experience back home in China. “When I came back to China, there were a lot of gay bars, but not many people were thinking about how to truly advance the movement,” they say. “Flying the flag of Pride, they were businesses that were first and foremost interested in making money. So, when we were coming up with our queer party, we wanted to think what we were truly bringing to the table aside from just music and alcohol.”
In 2020, pre-sale tickets for Chilldo’s first event were immediately sold out. Since then, their events have scaled exponentially, and they’re even extending their endeavors outside of parties, with LGBTQ-centered art exhibitions, performance art workshops, theatre plays, creative markets, and more all operating under their banner. Other events include movie screenings, talks, and more. “Inclusivity is the main theme we’re looking to promote,” they say. “Not only with gays, but for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. We want to create a space where everyone can feel safe.”
Queer culture now occupies a large corner of Chengdu’s dancefloors, and it’s taught a lot of people that no matter our differences, music can unite everyone. This development is something that Huizit is encouraged by. “Chengdu’s queer culture is fantastic,” they say. “A lot of people have found out about our parties and many are interested in participating or helping us. Even though there are still a lot of problems to be overcome, we’re gaining a foothold. I see a bright future for Chengdu’s Pride movement.”
学生时代的 Huizit 曾旅居欧美多年，参加过各种当地的 Ballroom 和 Chicago House 音乐活动。这些派对为祂带来强烈的身份认同感，并坚定了在家乡成都组织 LGBTQ+ 派对的念头。祂说：“回国那会儿发现国内有很多同性恋酒吧，但真正思考怎么去做这类文化的却很少，很多是打着彩虹标签去吸引这个群体和猎奇消费者。因此我们在办派对之初，总会去思考，除了音乐和酒精，人们还能从中获得什么。”
“池糖” 在 2020 年初成立，第一场活动就迎来 250 张预售票的火爆场面，到现在已经成功承办了大大小小数场活动。除了派对本身，酷儿艺术展、身体艺术工作坊、戏剧表演、艺术疗愈实验、酷儿市集、与同乐合作的免费 HIV 检测等等酷儿主题相关的延展性活动也相继展开，对俱乐部内外的所有人进行酷儿文化的普及和输出。祂接着说：“包容与多元是我们的主题，不仅仅是对于同性恋，我们想给 LGBTQ+ 群体、甚至所有人营造一个更舒适自在的空间。”
能在家乡成都看到越来越多的 LGBTQ+ 群体在舞池中尽情展现真我，越来越多人对酷儿文化产生兴趣，对于 Huizit 来说都是一件高兴又感动的事情。祂说：“我觉得成都的酷儿土壤非常好。很多人在知道我们的派对之后都会想办法参与或是帮助我们。即使现实依然有很多问题存在，不过现在大家正在把想法落地，我相信未来的成都上空会升起巨大的彩虹。”
Pop Your White Collar
After the shuttering of Xiongmao, Chengdu-native Ellen Zhang saw an opportunity. In Beijing, where she moved for work, she frequented clubs with friends every weekend, and upon traveling back to Chengdu one break, she realized that Xiongmao’s absence meant there was a massive void in the city’s club scene. She wanted to change that. “My friends and I have kept a close eye on how China’s underground music scene has been developing, and we all believe that techno is the future,” she says. “Chengdu needed a place for the genre to flourish.”
With this philosophy in mind, she and a few close friends opened Hakka Bar, a small space where they could play the music they liked. But this lounge wasn’t enough—they envisioned something far more ambitious, a larger venue where techno and other electronic music genres could truly thrive. In 2014, TAG was born.
熊猫俱乐部的关闭，让 Ellen Zhang 和朋友在成都一下子没了正经蹦迪的地方。Ellen 曾在北京工作，当时每周都会拉上朋友去各种地下俱乐部跳舞，即使偶尔回到成都也不例外。她是一个性格开朗的人，喜欢地下俱乐部里音乐的生猛，还有不谈身份、没有伪装的纯粹。故乡一下子没了属于成都人的地下俱乐部，对早已将蹦迪视为重要生活部分的 Ellen 来说，是一件难以适应的事。她说：“我和身边朋友一直关注不同地区电子音乐的发展，我们都觉得 Techno 是未来，成都需要一个专业的场所。”
当时，她和朋友有一家名为 “院吧 HAKKABAR” 的地方，这里不是俱乐部，更像是专门为当时成都电子音乐爱好者开辟的小型酒吧，供大伙儿播放自己喜欢的音乐。熊猫关闭以后，Ellen 和朋友们聚在 “院吧”，紧接着有了一个更大胆的设想 —— 成立一家全新的锐舞俱乐部。2014 年，成都 .TAG 俱乐部成立了。
In south Chengdu, on Jinxiu Road, an area marked by universities and research institutes, is where TAG is located. It’s where you’ll find the Poly Center, a trio of high-rises with both residential and office spaces. On the 21st floor of Building A is where TAG is located.
TAG’s location isn’t by chance or circumstance—the Poly Center was the unlikely nucleus of Chengdu nightlife a few years ago, with a number of nightclubs in the complex. The white-collar workers who work in the building won’t be found once the sun goes down, replaced with rowdy party go-ers that crowd every elevator. TAG was the first club in the area to solely play underground electronic music, a vastly different space than mainstream clubs such as Jellybean, Blue Hall, and NASA. The music in TAG wasn’t exactly for casuals clubbers; it was a space for bonafide electronic music heads. The space is split into two, with a speakeasy called Hidden Bar located directly above. On the main dancefloor, techno, electro, and trance thump through the night, but in the Hidden Bar, the music selection and vibes are more laid back. Even counting both spaces, the venue is small, with a max capacity of 200, but the intimacy makes for a special experience.
“We had no experience with operating a nightclub when we opened,” Zhong recalls. “It’s not easy to make money promoting something out of the mainstream in China, so we had the worst-case scenarios in mind when we opened. We all went in with a naive mindset of only wanting to bring high-quality electronic music to the city.”
Zhong and the team wanted to introduce these underappreciated genres to new ears and cultivate a community of people who were genuinely excited about electronic music. Beyond the music itself, the space encouraged the principles of Western rave culture, promoting equality, love, and inclusivity.
城中南部的锦绣路被高等学府和科研机构包裹，穿越老式居民楼和陈旧的美食广场，三栋充满现代感的高楼立在眼前。这里是成都保利中心，.TAG 俱乐部就在其中 A 座的二十一层，距离院吧仅相隔一条街的距离。
将俱乐部选址在这里并非偶然，保利中心几年前曾是成都夜生活的中心，各路夜店汇聚于此。那些白天夹着公文包进进出出的白领，在夜里统统变身，簇拥在写字楼的通道里排队等待通往享乐的电梯。.TAG 是保利中心最早以地下电子音乐为主打的俱乐部之一，与当时为人熟知的麻糖、蓝堂等俱乐部不同，.TAG 希望能沿袭欧洲纯粹的地下俱乐部模式，对于锐舞音乐的严肃态度也绝非玩票。踏入 .TAG，伸手不见五指的环境将舞者包围，唯独强劲的低音炮和随之摇曳的光束震颤人心，让人很难不将注意力放在音乐上面。俱乐部分为大厅和隐藏在楼梯上的 Hidden Bar。通常，大厅播放 Techno、Electro、Trance 等能量飙升的音乐；Hidden Bar 则更令人放松，往往是曼妙旋律与鸡尾酒相伴。整个俱乐部并不算大，最多可容纳 200 人的场地，却通过音乐、灯光和人与人之间的氛围，令每晚在场的舞客未曾感到乏味。
Ellen 说：“最开始我们对于俱乐部的经营都没有任何经验，而且推广文化本身在国内就是一个很难盈利的项目，所以我们从一开始就做好了最坏的打算。也正因如此，大家的初衷都是非常纯粹且理想化的，就是想为人们带来⾼品质的电子乐。” 与欧洲很多跳舞圣地类似，.TAG 坚守着电子音乐文化里永恒的主题 —— 平等、爱和包容心。
The club was welcoming to all, but there are certain guidelines patrons are expected to follow. Fighting is strictly out of the question. Unlike typical clubs, there aren’t any VIP booths and photography isn’t allowed. Overly rambunctious customers that affected other patrons were kicked out. Over the course of seven years, the space has forged countless friendships and become bred a new generation of electronic music lovers. “Our club is an extension of our vision, but it’s communicated in a subtle way,” Zhong says. “And that is to encourage in-person interactions. At TAG, people love and respect one another, and these ideals can influence others.”
Over time, TAG has become a popular stomping ground for electronic music lovers, party enthusiasts, artists, and the LGBTQ+ community. It’s become a safe haven where people of different backgrounds can feel like they belong. It’s become one of the most exciting nightclubs in all of China, considered to be a must-visit destination for DJs at home and abroad. DJs such as Herrensauna, Mama Snake, SVBKVLT, Macro, Shuttle, Henning Baer, and more have all headlined at the venue.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing to get here. In 2017, the government came knocking. All nightclubs in the Poly Center were demanded to be shut down, but Zhong managed to meet their demands and keep their doors open. TAG somehow became the sole surviving nightclubs from the crackdown. And since then, despite rising rent, the club has persisted. “It’s not easy to build a home that belongs to us,” Zhong says. “But it’s a space that gives me a strong sense of mission; I want to keep the club open no matter what.”
俱乐部欢迎任何人，但绝不允许舞客可以乱来。这里不设有卡座、所有人都禁止使用闪光灯和相机、更不可以大声喧哗、影响其他舞客听歌。秉承这份纯粹，.TAG 俱乐部在成立的七年来积累了一帮对音乐虔诚的客人，人们彼此因为音乐成为朋友，因为心中的挚爱建立起一个强大且凝聚的社群。Ellen 接着说道：“俱乐部空间可以传递一种理念，它潜移默化地影响着这里的人群，建立人与人之间的交流的方式。在 .TAG，人和人之间相互尊重、友爱，也还在影响更多的人。”
渐渐地，.TAG 成为 LGBTQ+、音乐爱好者、享乐主义者、艺术从业者等等不同面向人群的精神乐园，寻找归属和认同感的秘密空间。而俱乐部也因此在中国电子音的版图上占据一席之地，成为众多国内外顶尖艺人在国内的必经站，像声名狼藉的柏林帮派 Herrensauna、哥本哈根 Techno 场景翘楚 Mama Snake、上海先锋音乐矩阵 SVBKVLT，以及 Marco Shuttle、Henning Baer 等重磅角色，都曾造访过这里。与此同时，俱乐部还孕育出不少本土主打的派对活动，例如由 HAO 创立的以同志群体为主的“Seafood 海鲜”派对、由 Cora 主理的高速舞曲活动“6G+”、还有由 HAO 与 Cora 联合呈现的“棒锤姐妹SiS B&C”派对等等。
七年的光景下，.TAG 也并非一帆风顺。2017 年，北京政府前往成都视察，要求保利中心的所有娱乐场所暂停营业，最后在 Ellen 极力与行政单位的争取下，才勉强度过禁令，让 .TAG 成为整个写字楼里唯一一家幸存下来的俱乐部；2020 年初，新冠疫情形势严峻，所有聚众场所一律禁止开放，全球电子音乐场景陷入不堪状态，电子音乐场所、艺人、甚至媒体都很难维持。.TAG 并没有放弃，顶着房租开支的压力从逆境中慢慢爬了起来。Ellen 说：“有一个属于我们的家并不容易，这也让我有一种强烈的使命感，把俱乐部毫不犹豫地坚持下去。”
On the Air
Less than half a kilometer away from the Poly Center is an aging business plaza. A row of questionable restaurants, mahjong houses, and a cheap motel dot the first floor—it’s hard to imagine this being another hotspot for the city’s club-goers. Taking the elevator to the 12th floor, a narrow, open-air hallway lined with potted plants offers entry into another oasis of Chengdu underground music. Along the hallway, open doors lead to rooms filled with DJing equipment and speakers. One of these rooms houses Chengdu’s Convenience Music, which hosts a variety of music events that include electronic music workshops to panels with producers. It’s also where Hakka Bar is located. On a day with nice weather, it’s not uncommon to see some of the top producers in the city gathered here having drinks and shooting the breeze.
Next door to the Convenience Music space is Yitong, another operation helmed by Zhong. Inside, a ceiling-to-floor pane of glass divides the space in half. One half is a record shop and cafe, and the other is a studio where Chengdu Community Radio is broadcast from. CDCR.live is a music livestream platform that aspires to bring showcase Chengdu music to the world, and vice versa.
在与保利中心相隔不到五百米的地方，是一处老旧的综合型商务中心，底层的商铺挤满了大大小小的苍蝇馆子，棋牌和快捷酒店的招牌横在路人眼前，这样的景象让人很难想象：另一处成都地下电子音乐人的据点竟扎根于此。按下通往顶楼十二层的电梯，狭长的露天通道和绿色植被尽显眼前，这里开张着各式各样大大小小的空间。仔细向每一个空间里望去，都摆放着各种 DJ 表演设备。沿着通道走向尽头，“院吧（HAKKA BAR）” 便坐落于此；途中，你还会路过“便利音乐”，这里通常会举办一些关于电子音乐制作的分享会和教学活动……每当演出前后或是天气不错的时候，很多本地、或是外地来演出的音乐人聚集在顶楼，他们彼此攀谈着生活和音乐，或是心无旁骛地来上一杯。
在“便利音乐”的隔壁，是 Ellen 开的另一家名为“一同（YíTóng）”的空间。空间的室内被玻璃墙分为两片区域，一边集合了唱片售卖、咖啡及饮品的供应；墙的另外一侧，成都社区电台 Chengdu Community Radio（以下简称为 cdcr.live）正在如火如荼地进行。这是一个以视频直播为主的平台，自 2019 年电台创立以来，每周都会有直播在这里展开。从最早 DJ 和硬件表演，到现在的话题分享会、音乐现场直播，cdcr.live 希望将成都本地音乐文化面向世界各地。不过，除了直播成都本土的声音以外，每当有外地音乐人造访成都，cdcr.live 几乎都会邀请他们前来做客；而 2021 年一年一度的成都“春游”大型音乐节上，cdcr.live 也全程进行了直播。
Live music streaming has become one of the go-to methods of promotion for underground electronic music across the world, following the precedence of Berlin’s HOR and Hong Kong Community Radio. Being able to listen to live music and put a face to the DJ you’re vibing with are invaluable parts of spreading the music.
The founders of cdcr.live are Kristen Ng (a.k.a Kaishandao) and Aymen. Ng is a Chinese New Zealander and Aymen is from Belgium. Ng says, “Chengdu has long had a vibrant underground music scene, many rappers and rock bands from the region have become big names throughout the country,” she says. “The city’s earliest underground music scene can be traced back to 1997, and it’s kept growing since. Artists from southwest China, northwest China, and even Xinjiang all congregate here. This unique mosaic of people and sounds is why I chose to stay.”
When she met Aymen, their mutual love of underground club culture and livestreaming as a medium inspired them to launch CDCR.live. Even though it’s unprofitable and takes a considerable amount of their time and energy, the hard work is worth it. “When I lived in Wellington, the radio kept me up on the latest music and local happenings,” Ng recalls. “CDCR is providing something similar. It feels incredibly rewarding to bring people together, in being this bridge between music lovers and musicians. Our mission is important.”
如今，视频直播已是地下电子音乐文化的主要推广方式之一，类似柏林的 HOR、还有香港的 Hong Kong Community Radio（HKCR）等等。让世界各地的音乐爱好者通过声音和画面，了解更多当地活跃在场景中的人物、音乐风格。同时，也为本地音乐人提供了更多露面的机会。
cdcr.live 的两位主理人 Kristen Ng（aka. Kaishandao）和 Aymen 都不算土生土长的中国人，Kristen 是新西兰华裔、Aymen 则来自比利时。他们好几年前来到成都，被这里丰富的地下音乐氛围迅速吸引。Kristen 说：“成都地下氛围一直充满活力，这里有全国知名的乐队、说唱歌手，最早的地下音乐现场甚至可以追溯至 1997 年。深厚的积淀，又不断吸引着中国西南、西北、甚至新疆的年轻艺术家驻扎在这里。而这种别开生面的地下胜景，也是我选择留在这里的原因。” Aymen 和 Kristen 都是从小听着地下电台长大，二人在成都相识之后，成立电台变得顺水推舟。
目前，cdcr.live 并非盈利，反倒需要大量时间和精力来用心维持，Kristen 说：“我在惠灵顿的时候总通过电台了解周围正在发生的事情、发现新的音乐。我想 cdcr.live 现在正在做这样的事情，无论你身在何处，它都能够把大家聚在一起、在音乐爱好者和音乐人之间建立起一座桥梁，这是非常值得且重要的事。”
These pioneering underground music venues at the Poly Center have proved to be a launchpad for the scene. More and more venues supporting underground music have popped up across the city since then, and with the proliferation of these non-mainstream genres, more and more kids are being turned on to sounds they’ve never heard before. People like Postunk, one of the managing partners of Cue Club, believes this is a great development. He is one of those who were influenced by those parties at the Poly Center back in 2016, so much he decided to turn it into his profession, starting from the bottom as a regular nightclub staff. He spent nights sneaking peeks into the DJ booth to learn the ins and outs of how to work a CDJ. This period of time also allowed him to meet many like-minded individuals, all of whom proved to be invaluable connections when he finally decided to organize parties of his own. Postunk believes the Chengdu youth have a strong sense of community. Strangers can become friends at the drop of a hat. People are eager to meet similar-minded individuals, learn from one another, and work together. “The Chengdu nightclub scene isn’t as hedonistic as you might think,” he says. “It’s more like an academy, where people with similar creative interests gather. People congregate and everyone has their own goals. The club is often just a bedspring for bigger things.”
Following this philosophy, Cue was established as not just a place for partying. Workshops are often held in the space during the day, with topics ranging from DJing and music production to fashion and visual arts. They also have open-deck nights, which means everyone is welcome to step on stage and show people what they’ve got. These are all tied to Postunk’s vision for what club culture can be. “I hope kids can not only find a sense of connection at Cue, but I want them to learn and grow together,” he says. “Inspiration is inevitable when different ideas intersect.”
保利时代之后，电子乐和俱乐部文化在成都一度盛行，更多年轻人卷入到场景中。晒豆 (aka. Postunk)，目前与朋友 Ana 共同运营成都刚刚兴起的跳舞场所 Cue Club。2016 年，晒豆在写字楼里经历过数场派对之后，他才决定踏上电子音乐的道路。一切从俱乐部打工开始，除了工作间隙观看在台上的表演偷学技术之外，晒豆还常常在舞池中与他人交流，促使他在之后成为 DJ 并创建了自己的派对活动。他认为在成都人和人之间没有距离，大伙儿都认识彼此，而且能在俱乐部里相互交流、共同进步，这恰恰为年轻人提供了提升自己的机会。他说：“成都俱乐部的氛围不仅仅是享乐，而更像是学校，聚集着志趣相投的人们。大家在这里找到自我存在的意义，并以俱乐部为原点不断向外辐射。”
平时，Cue 俱乐部除了举办电子音乐派对，还有关于 DJ、音乐制作、俱乐部文化、时尚、视觉艺术的创意工坊。与此同时，俱乐部还设有开放平台（Open Deck)，给予了很多年轻或新晋的艺术家施展自我的机会。这恰恰是晒豆在成立俱乐部时最初的理念 ——“我们希望年轻人不仅在 Cue 能找到归属感，大家更可以共同学习和进步，因为灵感总在不同灵魂的交汇处发生。”
与晒豆的经历相似，老王（aka. Amphe2000）也是保利中心辉煌时期的亲历者。他最早在 NASA 俱乐部放歌，后来接触了一系列 Post-Club 音乐类型后，随即对地下俱乐部一发不可收拾。写字楼内大量俱乐部被关停之后，老王和朋友打算重新开始做点什么，他说：“那段时期对于成都来说很重要，很多新兴的派对和俱乐部都是在那个阶段孕育而生”。现在，他和另一位来自海南的音乐人 OEA 共同运营着在成都当地派对活动新宠 Transit过境、Acid Rain。Transit 更是将艺术、时尚、音乐作为共同语言融入进派对中，为成都年轻人提供了新鲜的锐舞角度。现在，即使在保利时代过去的几年后，类似的经历和故事依然正在城市的各个角落里“发声”。
Berlin of the East
For those who’ve been to Chengdu, comparisons are often drawn between the city and places like Berlin and Tbilisi—places widely regarded as electronic music havens. Zhong believes that these comparisons aren’t without reason. Cheap costs of living and a fairly lax local government have allowed Chengdu’s underground music scene to thrive, but the open-mindedness of the city’s youth is undeniable the primary catalyst. “People who like electronic music have similar personalities more or less—they’re all friendly on the dance floor and are mindful of keeping the space inclusive,” she says. “It’s about becoming a space where you can escape from reality. I believe this is a sentiment by electronic music lovers around the world.”
While there aren’t any office-building ragers in Berlin or palate-scorching hotpot in Tbilisi, these locations have undeniably lent their influence on Chengdu. Those who’ve visited these raves or are simply fascinated by the culture are bringing these experiences to China with their own interpretations, and the scene shows no signs of slowing growth. The individuals featured in this story are undeniably important pillars of the Chengdu scene, but they’re only parts of the foundation. There are many more people toiling away—determined, undaunted, passionate, and hopelessly in love with the music. Zhong says, “Love is the cornerstone of building a music scene.”
成都地下电子音乐势力在近几年的蔓延是飞快的，让不少人将这里视为中国屈指可数的电子音乐要塞。同时，也有人将成都与德国柏林、格鲁吉亚第比利斯等地下舞曲重镇不分畛域。在 Ellen 看来，之所以有人这样认为，是因为成都和这些城市的确有着相似之处。除了低廉的物价、宽松的城市政策等客观因素，但归根结底还是要回归到人本身。她说：“喜欢俱乐部音乐的人多多少少都有着共同的特质，他们会友好地对待舞池里的所有人、营造一个包容的空间令彼此感受到现实之外的自由。这是全世界锐舞客共同的特点。”
而柏林没有二十一层写字楼里的俱乐部、第比利斯没有喧沸的火锅和市井，成都的场景由身在那里的人建设，表面的繁荣背后，总有一帮努力的人在默默付出。此次采访的人物，也只能代表成都俱乐部的一抹，还有更多人活跃在整个场景中。那些笃定的、天真的、不畏的、渴望的……的面孔，都带着属于成都人自己的锅气，是任何城市都无法替代的。就像 Ellen 所说的：“爱是建立场景的基石。” 将所有人维系在一起的，是对音乐的虔诚、是被爱和理解包裹在一起的幸福；爱也是磁场，吸引着越来越多的人去参与、去体验，都在这天时地利人和。