IN MY EARS 入耳 #17:从貍貓到华语音乐的“全球化” | 专栏

IN MY EARS 入耳 #17:从貍貓到华语音乐的“全球化” | 专栏


关于国内独立音乐人的介绍侧写或者是演出回顾,大家其实也都经常看到,但是来自于一个活跃于北京地下音乐圈多年的资深老外的观点一定显得更加特别。Josh Feola(赵识)住在北京,他既以乐手身份参与及组织摇滚乐和实验音乐演出,同时也是一位优秀的撰稿人,独立运营着音乐网站

在每周的专栏[入耳 In My Ears]里,Josh 会以他的独特视角,讲述独立音乐场景中的种种故事,也许还会展示出音乐人、厂牌或是演出场地更加不为人知的一面。


For English Please Scroll Down.


收听曲目: Aristophanes (貍貓) - “Humans Become Machines (人為機器)” 


我最近在听貍貓(Aristophanes)的新单曲,她是一位台湾的说唱女歌手,去年开始她的流行度开始拓展到全球范围。这是一首很有挑衅性的,怪异又黑暗的 hip-hop 单曲,与她在过去的三年里在 soundcloud 上零散发布的那些作品相比,这首听起来更精良。这个月她将正式发行自己的第一张专辑,我期待从中听到这种更为成熟的声音。不过我选《Humans Become Machines (人為機器)》这首歌是因为,我觉得这是一个有意思的研究案例:全球化是如何影响世界各地的地下文化。


貍貓的音乐——尤其是她早期的作品——混合着实验、氛围、迷幻电子音景以及晦涩难懂的诗意节奏。她的歌词通常强调女性的性欲与性别认同,此类主题在以男性为主导的国语 hip-hop 世界里通常是不存在的。我有一些北京地下说唱/制作人圈子里的朋友是她的粉丝,欣赏她独特的声音与技巧。


狸猫 和 Grimes


貍貓来自台北,但在当地的音乐场景中并不活跃。不过她在西方很有名,很大程度上这得感谢加拿大另类流行歌手 Grimes 对她的“发掘”:Grimes 在 soundcloud 上发现了貍貓的音乐,随即成了她的粉丝,邀请她在自己2015年的单曲《Scream》里献声,之后又与她在MV以及现场演出中合作,包括美国大型的音乐节 Coachella 。《Humans Become Machines》里的 beat 也是 Grimes 做的,这是她第一次做制作人。


Grimes – SCREAM ft.Aristophanes




我不这么觉得。貍貓被很多媒体关注是因为,Grimes 被很多媒体关注。在 Fader 的2016年的一篇名为《认识貍貓,这位 MC 将国语说唱带向全球》的文章里,引用了 Grimes 对貍貓的音乐的描述:“新玩意儿(the new shit)”。这是一种无意义的恭维,反映了全球化的基本审美标准:无止尽的猎奇,然后急迫地吸收并将其资本化。



我不是特别针对 Grimes,尽管我认为她对亚洲文化的肆意占用——尤其是日本漫画美学——是一种恋物癖。但是,这种来自西方的对音乐上的“新玩意儿”的搜寻真不是一种新的特殊现象。比如像 Diplo 这样的制作人,他们的职业生涯就是做世界级的 digger,把一些声音和音乐场景从他们自己的语境里拆解下来,然后拿到纽约、伦敦、柏林的俱乐部和电台中,并保持这种全球化的炒作机器运转。我也能理解那些想要对貍貓进行概述总结的西方音乐记者。你没法指望给纽约 Fader 写稿的人能一夜之间学会普通话,所以通常他们都是写写声音制作或是貍貓的嗓音,最多加上一些翻译。


可是我还是觉得这很奇怪。我没法想象一个记者写一篇 Kendrick Lamar’ 的《To Pimp a Butterfly》或是 Danny Brown 的《Atrocity Exhibition》的乐评,却连最起码对歌词的理解都没有,或是对康普顿与底特律缺乏基础的历史与地理概念。貍貓用国语演唱的地下音乐能拓展到如此多的海外听众,这我当然很高兴,不过我认为同样重要的是她的背景,作为一位艺术家她反映着今日的台北现状,而不仅仅是 Grimes 碰巧听到了的那些“新玩意儿”。





Aristophanes (貍貓):

“Humans Become Machines (人為機器)”:





Josh Feola 是一位音乐人/撰稿人,现居北京。自2010年起,他通过自己的平台“旁边儿”(pangbianr)组织音乐、艺术、电影活动,并先后担任 D-22 与 XP 的演出经理。他的长期项目有撒丽不跳舞实验音乐节(Sally Can't Dance)与北京电子乐偶遇(BEME)。他为以下出版机构撰写过关于音乐、艺术的文章:The Wire,Leap 艺术界,Sixth Tone,Tiny Mix Tapes,他也是纽约观察者报 Gulou View观点专栏的共同作者之一。作为音乐人,他曾在北京乐队吹万担任鼓手,参与首张专辑《白夜》的录音与巡演;目前他是乐队 Subs、迷走神经的鼓手,也化名 Charm 录音、演出。




IN MY EARS #17: Aristophanes and the Global “Scene"


Track: Aristophanes (貍貓) - “Humans Become Machines (人為機器)”


Lately I’ve enjoyed the new single by Aristophanes (貍貓), a rapper from Taiwan who’s popularity around the world has exploded over the last year. It’s a rather aggressive, weird and dark hip hop single, and sounds a lot more polished than Aristophanes’ previous work, which has been sporadically released on Soundcloud over the last three years. I look forward to hearing more of this developed sound on her first official release, which will come out later this month. But the reason I keep coming back to “Humans Become Machines” for now is because it I think it’s an interesting case study in how globalization affects the world of underground music.

Aristophanes' work — especially her earlier material — is a mix of experimental, ambient, and psychedelic electronic soundscapes and esoteric, poetic rhymes. Her lyrics often address female sexuality and gender identity, subjects that are typically avoided in the heavily male-dominated Mandarin hip hop world. I have several friends in Beijing’s underground rap and producer scenes who are fans of hers, acknowledging her distinct sound and skill.


Aristophanes and Grimes


Aristophanes is from Taipei, but isn’t particularly active in the music scene there. She’s quite well known in the West, though, thanks largely to her “discovery” by the Canadian alt-pop singer Grimes. The story goes that Grimes stumbled upon Aristophanes’ music on Soundcloud and became an instant fan, inviting her to sing on her 2015 track “Scream” and later collaborating with her on music videos and live performances, including one at the major US music festival Coachella. The beat on “Humans Become Machines” is by Grimes, her first work as a producer.

The rest of Aristophanes’ success story reads like a cheerful commercial for globalism: collaborations formed on the internet, distribution and media praise funneled to global culture centers like Los Angeles and New York, without much, if any, sense of background or context. Do those even matter any more? Is it important that Aristophanes comes from Taiwan, and raps in Mandarin? Does her work’s critical reception in the West represent a new, global paradigm for “Mandosphere” music?


I don’t think so. Aristophanes has gotten a lot of media attention because Grimes gets a lot of media attention. A 2016 Fader article — "Meet Aristophanes, The MC Taking Mandarin Rap Global” — quotes Grimes describing Aristophanes' music as “the new shit”, a meaningless compliment that shows the basic aesthetic criterion of globalization: an endless fetishization of novelty, and a rush to absorb and capitalize on it as quickly as possible.

I don’t mean to pick on Grimes in particular, although I would describe her free appropriation of Asian culture — especially the Japanese manga aesthetic — as clearly fetishistic. But the Western hunt for “the new shit” in music is not a new or unique phenomenon. Producers like Diplo have made entire careers as globe-trotting crate diggers, ripping sounds and scenes from their context and slotting them in to certain clubs and radio stations in New York, London and Berlin to keep the global hype-machine rolling. I also sympathize with Western music journalists trying to cover Aristophanes. You can’t really expect someone writing for Fader in New York to pick up Mandarin overnight, so they’re often stuck having to write about the sounds of the production and Aristophanes’ voice or, at best, a translation.



Still, I think this is pretty strange. I can’t imagine a music journalist writing a review of something like Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly or Danny Brown's Atrocity Exhibition without at least partially understanding their lyrics, or possessing a basic historical and geographical understanding of Compton and Detroit. While I’m glad Aristophanes is exposing a much wider global audience to underground music sung in Mandarin, I think it’s equally important to establish her context, to listen to her as an artist reflecting a specific situation in Taipei today in addition to creating the “new shit” that Grimes happens to be listening to at the moment.


Associated pages


Aristophanes (貍貓):

Humans Become Machines (人為機器)”:


About the author



Josh Feola is a writer and musician based in Beijing. He’s organized music, art, and film events in the city since 2010, via his label pangbianr and as booking manager of live music venues D-22 and XP. His ongoing event series include the Sally Can’t Dance experimental music festival and the Beijing Electronic Music Encounter (BEME). He has written about music and art for publications including The Wire, LEAP, Sixth Tone, and Tiny Mix Tapes. He also co-authors the Gulou View opinion column for the New York Observer. As a musician, he formerly played drums in Beijing band Chui Wan, recording on and touring behind their debut album, White Night. He currently plays drums in SUBS and Vagus Nerve, and also records and performs under the name Charm.