As the only record label in China specializing in vinyl releases, Genjing has been unleashing China’s underground music upon the world, one seven inch at a time. No other DIY or indie label in China is creating the output at a speed comparable to Genjing, making their presence on the domestic and international scenes almost as loud as the music they release.
With a catalogue that now is 45 releases deep with 15 of those just in the past year, founder and punk provocateur, Nevin Domer hopes that “Genjing can be used as a vehicle for spreading knowledge of the Chinese scene, while building bridges between musicians here with like-minded artists around the world.” Here’s a history of the label in six releases that reflect this mission and have helped extend a variety Chinese sounds into the pantheon of independent music.
This is the first release in the Genjing catalogue, put out following a Southeast Asian tour with Nevin’s hardcore punk unit, Fanzui Xiangfa and Daighila from Malaysia, which helped put this Genjing story into motion. It’s a sample of some raw sounds coming from both of these countries, which are normally not associated with this genre. There’s some cool almost Reagan Youth style blasts coming from side A that are quite intoxicating.
A fuzz-drenched single that indicated a dramatic shift from the hardcore and punk releases that Genjing started with. Here you will notice something still dissonant but very mature and elegant, like if Galaxy 500 recorded in a hive filled with angry bees. This record exhibits Genjing’s desire to expand beyond the scope of a normal punk label into something more encompassing and symbolic of Beijing’s varied musical landscape, leading to the open foundation it has today.
This record from Li Daiguo, not only shows Genjing’s reach in the mainland spilling out of Beijing and into other provinces but also expanding the label’s depth and variety. Li Daiguo is a notorious folk and experimental improvisor using a mix of traditional Chinese instruments and vocal techniques to create a series of advertisements for specific locations in Chengdu that reflect his admiration of the city. A big step in a very weird direction.
Here Genjing pairs together Beijing’s Carsick Cars with Flavor Crystals from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to inaugurate a series of split 7” records used to pair bands from China and beyond and build bridges between these artists and promote further collaborations. At the core of this release, you’ll find straight up psych pop but under the surface there is something very sinister lurking.
Produced by Andy Gill of Gang of Four, this single from the eclectic Wuhan group signifies further collaboration from foreign music veterans who are noticing China's scene and want to engage creatively with acts. Both sides of this release strongly reflect the diversity and range facilitated by this young band of misfits who traverse from weirdo pop to rugged punk with the flip of a disk.
This not only expands the geographic definition of the split series between Chinese and foreign bands, but also thickens the concept, by pairing two bands of brothers. One, Hot & Cold (Joshua and Simon Frank), a transnational two piece who sometimes call Beijing home and the other Tonstartssbandht (Eddie and Andy White) from Florida. Both bands uniquely use their sides of wax to kick out weirdo blends of folk, rock and electronic noise, swashed with fraternal sentiments.
Genjing Records has no plans of slowing down, with releases from Yang Fan, FUZZ, and Deadly Cradle Death now in production. Check out Genjing Records on the web for more info.
Photos courtesy of Genjing Records, Kipp Whittaker
Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog