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2007-06-03 Cui Jian
    2007-06-03 10:10:09     CRIENGLISH.com

 Cui Jian  [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

Welcome back. This is China Beat, on China Radio International. I'm Xu Jue, here every weekend to share with you the various sounds of today's Chinese music scene.

Today we'll set out a new long march on the road of electronic rock and roll, as we're going to hear several remixed versions of the original works of Cui Jian, the Godfather of Chinese rock and roll.


At a time when China's pop music recedes to a relatively dull scene, we can reflect on the fact that rock and roll has actually been on a steady rise for about 20 years. In retrospect, it seems that rock music was born in China during a single night, and that night was in 1986 at the Beijing Workers' Stadium, when a young man with his guitar in hand, sang "I Have Nothing" on the stage. He was Cui Jian, the man later, probably bit reluctantly, was branded the godfather of Chinese rock and roll.


Now in his forties, he is still scampering on a new long march of Chinese rock and roll with surprising vigor, not only by launching the movement of Real Singing in the music circle of China, but also by trying something absolutely new. He has just partnered with some of the worlds top DJs: Hyper, Hybrid and Sugardaddy, to create a bold new sound - remixing four of his original works.


Here comes the first remixed piece, It Is Not that I Dont See remixed by DJ Hyper, composer of the UK's top break Beat tracks.


(It Is Not that I Don't See, DJ Hyper remix)


With DJ Hyper's remix, Cui Jian's It Is Not that I Don't See welcomes a reborn into a brand new rocking dance track.


Cui Jian was born in a family of Korean nationality. Both his parents are insiders of the art circle. He began to learn trumpet from his father at 14 years old. In 1981, his musical career started. He was enrolled as a trumpeter by the Beijing Symphony Orchestra. During the following 6 years, Cui Jian tried composing songs himself and set up his rock and roll septet, which became the first of its kind in China. In 1986, Cui Jian wrote his first rock song: Not Because I Dont Understand.


Also in 1986, at the concert celebrating the Year of International Peace, the audience got all confused when they saw Cui Jian jump onto the stage of Beijing Workers' Stadium with a broken guitar on the back. Silence fell when the music began and Cui Jian was singing "I used to keep asking, when will you go with me". Within ten minutes, the first Chinese rock star, Cui Jian, was born, amid melting cheers and applause.


And now let's have a listen to the newly remixed version of Cui Jian's "I Have Nothing", which brought him the very initial success. The remix is done by Hybrid, the uk duo most famed for their epic house and progressive breaks sets.


(I Have Nothing, Hybrid remix)


Thats I Have Nothing, a brand new remixed version contributed by Hybrid.


Cui Jian once said that his ideal means of dying is on the stage - not in his bed at home. To him, a man of rock and roll is like a soldier, and the stage is his battlefield. And this soldier intends to fight on until death.


Cui Jian seems to be a genius born especially for Chinese rock and roll. His I Have Nothing is definitely a revolutionary milestone in Chinese musical history, illustrating the mental change of Chinese youths in the 1980s. It's fair to say that, without Cui Jians long march on the path of rock and roll, China's musical landscape would look rather different today.


But this new project of Cui Jian was initiated by another important figure in the Chinese rock scene, DJ Youdai, who greatly helped the spread of rock music and spirit among Chinese youngsters. Now as a club DJ, it's just natural for him to try to combine these two musical genres, that is, rock and electronica, together.


Here is the piece called Wild on the Snow remixed by DJ Hyper again.


(Wild on the Snow, DJ Hyper remix)


That's Cui Jian's Wild on the Snow with DJ Hyper's remix. The use of Zheng, a traditional Chinese zither used in the original song might be an inspiring element for Hyper to cultivate when conducting the remixing.


Well, listeners might not be very familiar with this process. When a DJ gets the original piece, he doesn't simply change the beat or apply various effects to the original texture. Rather, the original song is just a sample or a catalyzer for their own, new creation.


According the project initiator, DJ Youdai, the charm of music has been augmented in this project. The real spark comes from the merging of different eras, languages and cultures. As the world speeds up, so should its music. The music of Cui Jian from 20 years ago has been split, cut-up, rearranged and injected with many fresh sounds. Thus, it has been revitalized, and the music is no longer restricted by space or time.


With the last remix effort of this project, the New Long March done by Sugardaddy, a member of which comes from the famous electronic duo Groove Armada, we've come to the end of today's China Beat on China Radio International. Any ideas about these remixed new-old songs can be sent to our email address, chinabeat@crifm.com. Thanks for listening. Im Xu Jue. Expect to see you next time.


(New Long March)



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