今天的创新无法逃脱模仿,在中国他们却带来了刺激|专栏

今天的创新无法逃脱模仿,在中国他们却带来了刺激|专栏

1

入耳 IN MY EARS #27:创新与刺激 

撰文/Josh Feola 

 

推荐专辑:P.K.14 《金蝉脱壳》

 

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 pangbianr.com。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

 

 

“中国没有创新,只有模仿。”

 

谈到中国的科技领域,每个西方媒体都绕不开这么一句话。评论家喜欢称新浪微博为 Twitter 的复制品,又或是将土豆网称为中国的 YouTube。很显然,这些比较都过于简单化了。西方观察者想去理解中国互联网并不容易,他们只能依靠自己熟悉的框架去参考。

 

这些比较有明显的不足之处。几周前,几位在潮潮音乐周上表演的艺人问我豆瓣究竟是什么,我的第一反应是:“集 Facebook 上的活动功能、Bandcamp 和 Soundcloud 的上传音乐、留言板功能于一身,以此来汇聚地下音乐、电影和书籍的爱好者。”

 

豆瓣只是在“模仿”这些案例,还是说它在中国的互联网背景下,正用一种创新的方式去联结艺术家与粉丝?模仿和创新之间能保持平衡吗?

 

过去几年中,“模仿与创新”在科技行业的争论已经开始土崩瓦解,像移动支付(微信、支付宝)和共享单车(摩拜、Ofo)这样的互联网科技,正在推动中国走向西方从未触及的新数字化时代。

 

潮潮豆瓣音乐周是一次大胆的尝试

 

作为一个聚焦于中国音乐场景的作者和音乐人,我一直致力于让西方媒体、乐迷去聆听和了解中国的声音,但让西方改变“中国乐队只会模仿西方”的这种想法十分艰难。这之间的矛盾是因为:中国并没有发明朋克或 Techno,所以中国的朋克和 Techno 就不能是原创的,只能是复制品。

 

这种论点在我主持的潮潮音乐节的论坛上出现了几种变体。其中一个发生在 Mark Reeder 与杨海崧的对谈中。Mark Reeder 是一位传奇的音乐家、文化推动者和制作人,他帮助 Joy Division、New Order 这样的曼彻斯特后朋克传奇乐队在柏林发光。而杨海崧在某种程度上也已经算是中国独立音乐的灵魂人物。对于 Reeder 来说,经过了几十年独有的地下音乐场景的发展,中国音乐从现在才开始超越对朋克、金属、嘻哈或是电子乐的“模仿”阶段,发出了属于自己的声音。让我惊讶的是,他竟称秘密行动等乐队是中国第一批真正意义上的原创音乐家,还将成都比喻为“中国的曼彻斯特”。(Reeder 对秘密行动很感兴趣,他在潮潮的前几周为秘密行动的新歌担任制作人)

 

杨海崧、Mark Reeder 和本文作者 Josh Feola 在潮潮音乐周论坛

 

我一直对“模仿”的论点存有异议——我认为这个比喻已经过时了,而且存有缺陷。这个说法在90年代或许成立,那时候北京的地下音乐被朋克和金属所统治,它确实与美国和英国原创音乐有着相似的风格。但从“打口时代”到“互联网时代”,我相信中国音乐场景中一直存在着一种十分独特的混杂性:各种音乐带来的影响同时涌入,又很快被大量利用,然后混成一起,成为了一种新颖有趣的音乐形式。

 

Reeder 的观点也有价值。我提到的这些有创新精神的当今中国音乐人,在他们出生的几十年前,Reeder 就已经搬去柏林了(1978年)。就我个人而言,我相信北京的 P.K.14、重塑雕像的权利、Snapline 等后朋克乐队都拥有自己很独特的视角和味道,但我很难把他们当做我的观点去反驳像 Reeder 这样的人——他们在70年代末在曼彻斯特组乐队,然后见证了 Joy Division 的成长。

 

P.K.14

不过有一点是真的,像 P.K.14 这样的乐队创造了中国音乐的一个新的支流。像 Reeder 一样,杨海崧的工作渗透在音乐行业的各个角度:艺术家,制作人,厂牌运营者,乐队的导师。就当 P.K.14 是一支“后朋克乐队”吧,但他们同时也是一蔟使中国几代乐队成形并觉醒的火花。成都的海朋森就是例证——这支优秀的90后乐队的组建,很大程度上是因为杨海崧和 P.K.14 的音乐带来的影响——难道他们也在“模仿”像曼彻斯特那样古老而遥远的后朋克吗?或者可以说,这其实是中国在形式上的自我创新,是一种由独特的当地新鲜食材烘焙出的新兴类型?

 

Kode9 谈论了他2005年的 mix《Sinogrime》,在这段 mix 中,Kode9 用音乐描绘了自己想象中的中国未来的电子音乐的模样。他说,他的本意是想刺激人们去回应——这并不是在假设未来的中国音乐会变成什么样,这更像一种挑战,一种催化剂,催化它更快的成为现实。自《Sinogrime》发布以来,Kode9 确实一步步见证了中国 Grime 音乐和 Bass 音乐的快速发展,但这与他想象中的中国未来音乐完全不同。

 

这就是重点。在二十一世纪,创新就是一直模仿。除复制外,我们能做的就不多了。最重要的是这些复制品是多么具有刺激性:用这些老东西能创造点新花样吗?

 

 

关于作者

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。

 

2

IN MYEARS #27: Innovation and Provocation

by Josh Feola

 

Selected album: P.K.14 - Music for an Exhibition

 

入耳 In My Ears is a weekly music column by Josh Feola 赵识, Beijing-based writer and musician and founder of pangbianr.com

 

 

“China can’t innovate — only imitate.”

 

This is a cliche used often in Western media when talking about China’s tech scene. Commentators like to describe Sina Weibo as a “Twitter clone,” or call Tudou “China’s YouTube.” Such comparisons oversimplify the situation, obviously — the Chinese internet is not easily understood by a Western observer, and it’s useful to give a familiar frame of reference.

 

But these comparisons easily fall short. A few weeks ago, several artists performing at the Wetware music festival asked me what exactly Douban is. My default answer was something like, “a mix between Facebook for events, Bandcamp or Soundcloud for uploading music, and message boards to gather fans of underground music, films, and books.”

 

Is Douban “imitating” any one of these examples, or is it innovating a way to connect artists with fans in the context of the Chinese internet? Can there be a balance between imitation and innovation?

 

Over the last few years, the “imitation vs innovation” debate in the tech industry has started to fall apart, as internet technologies like mobile payments (WeChat wallet, Alipay) and dockless bike sharing (Mobike, Ofo) are putting China at the edge of new digital trends the West has yet to pick up on. This same, tired cliche continues to be applied to the creative industries, however.

 

Douban's Wetware Music Festival

 

As a musician and music writer focusing on the Chinese scene, one of the most difficult stereotypes I come up against when trying to generate interest among Western publications is the idea that Chinese bands are just imitating Western originals. The argument is that since China didn’t invent “punk” or “techno”, Chinese punk and Chinese techno can’t be original, only copies.

 

Variations on this argument came up during several discussions I moderated at Wetware. One was between Mark Reeder — a legendary musician, promoter, and producer who helped introduce Manchester post-punk legends like Joy Division and New Order to his adopted home of Berlin — and Yang Haisong, somewhat of a figurehead of the Chinese indie rock scene. According to Reeder, China is just now, after several decades of developing its own underground music scene, moving beyond an initial phase of “imitators” — punk, metal, hip hop, techno, etc — and starting to produce its own sound. I was surprised when he pointed to Chengdu as “the Manchester of China,” and to bands like ST.OL.EN as representing the first wave of truly “original” music from China. (Reeder has taken a personal interest in ST.OL.EN, and prior to Wetware spent a few weeks producing new tunes for them in Chengdu.)

 

Yang Haisong, Mark Reeder and Josh Feola at forum of Wetware Festival

 

I’ve always had an issue with the “imitation” argument — I think this metaphor is dated and flawed. It might have been true in the ‘90s, when the Beijing underground music scene was dominated by punk and metal tribes that indeed held deep stylistic similarities to US and UK originals. But from the era of dakou to the age of the internet, one thing that I believe has always characterized the Chinese music scene is a unique hybridity: a simultaneous influx of influences that were largely consumed out of context, and smashed together to create new and interesting forms.

 

Mark Reeder’s perspective is still valuable. Many of the artists making what I consider the most interesting music coming out of China today were still years away from being born when he moved to Berlin in 1978. Personally, I believe that Beijing post-punk — as exemplified by bands like P.K.14, Re-TROS, and Snapline — has its own special character, its own original flavor, but it might be hard for me to make this case to someone like Reeder, who formed a band in Manchester in the late ‘70s and saw Joy Division at their beginning.

 

P.K.14

 

But it’s also true that bands like P.K.14 have created a new tributary of music in China. Like Reeder, Yang Haisong has been involved in pretty much every angle of the music industry: artist, producer, label-runner, mentor. P.K.14 may be a “post-punk band,” but they’re also something more: a spark, a starting point for several generations of bands that have formed in their wake. Does it really make sense to claim that a band like Hiperson from Chengdu — a group of post-’90s kids formed in large part due to the direct influence of Yang and P.K.14’s music — are “imitating” something as old and distant as Manchester post-punk? Or could it be said that this is China’s innovation on the form, an emerging genre made from specific, local, fresh ingredients?

 

This can be argued both ways. In another talk I held at Wetware, with Hyperdub label founder Kode9, another word came up, and I like it much better in this context: “provocation.”

 

Kode9 was talking about his 2005 mix “Sinogrime”, which he described as an imagination of what the future of electronic music might sound like if it were being made in China. He said he intended the mix to provoke a response — it wasn’t an assumption of what the future of Chinese music would sound like, but more of a challenge, a catalyst to hasten it into being. Since releasing that mix, Kode9 has indeed witnessed the rise of a distinctly Chinese idiom of grime and bass music, something that sounds very different from the sonic future imagined on his “Sinogrime” mix.

 

And that’s the point. In the 21st century, innovation is always imitation. We can’t do much besides copy. The important thing is how provocative the copies are: can these olds make something new?

 

 

 

 

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.

 

请先登录再发表你的看法