Here are some pieces of mine published in 2016 that I’m proud of:
– “The Underground Sound Rising Up From China’s Cities”: a piece that existed for a long time in my head with the working title “Megacity Sound”, an attempt to succinctly trace how the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Dalian shaped recent (2015/2016) albums from rock bands Chui Wan, Duck Fight Goose, and DOC, respectively. (Sixth Tone)
– Li Daiguo: I was completely blown away by Daiguo’s 2016 solo pipa album Li Shurui, and profiled it/him briefly in the August 2016 issue of The Wire (pdf of my Bites feature here). Also added a few thoughts in a recent entry to my weekly Douban Music column, here.
– In My Ears (入耳): On that note, I’m quite happy to have a weekly, bilingual column aimed at Douban Music’s audience, which is predominately young Chinese indie music nerds. Personal highlights so far: Li Jianhong’s 1969, Yang Fan’s What Happened After 1,001 Nights?, Snapline’s Two She’s, Carl Stone’s Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties
– Sinogrime Primer: Parsing a non-genre that nevertheless signifies some sociocultural baggage present in the current alt-club zeitgeist. I wrote it ahead of Kode9’s latest China appearance, at which he told me that this is “the best thing that’s been written about Sinogrime”, for whatever that’s worth. (Time Out)
– Gulou View: My monthly column with Michael Pettis for the New York Observer. Prouder of some entries than others, but I do stand by two two-parters in particular: On hutong gentrification (1, 2); On weirder strains of 21st century Chinese fiction (1, 2)
– Beijing Sound As Art: A primer on several projects that treat the sound of Beijing as a medium in itself, with an obvious focus on field recording and sound art. (Time Out)
– MRR China issue: I had two substantive, history-oriented interviews (with SUBS and Demerit) in the December 2016 “All China” issue of Maximum Rock’n’Roll. Giving back to the punk rag that educated my youth. Download pdf here.
– Interviews and profiles: My bread and butter. I can safely say that I interviewed or profiled more than 100 artists, musicians, producers, label-runners, film directors, et al in 2016, here are some of my personal favorites: Yang Mingming (director, Female Directors), Daniel Miller (Mute Records), Holly Herndon, Andrew Savage (Parquet Courts), Alison Knowles (Fluxus co-founder), Sergey Saburov (Hyperboloid Records, Moscow), Ivan Zoloto (Full of Nothing/Love Cult), Baudouin Mouanda (photographer of the Congolese sapeurs), Howie Lee (Do Hits), Negro Leo (musician, Rio de Janeiro)