The title of this record is heavily misleading. This is a whole lot more than just a soundtrack!
This compilation is rather an exclusive and intimate glance into the alternative music scene of Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China. The high quality of the final product can only be compared to the output of the great Trikont label or the Rough Guide series. Everything about it from the great artwork to the compilation of the music itself is worked out with a lot of love and a sense for details. The 24 pages, full colour booklet contains English and Mandarin information on and photos of every band on this cd. The cd itself isn’t silver but red on the downside just like the Fanta 4 unplugged record a few years back. I am really impressed.
The bands themselves cover a large field of musical styles. At first I felt like listening to a forgotten Tarantino soundtrack. Especially Sound Fragment sound very “pulp fiction”. After all this isn’t too bad a point of referral at all. Tarantino’s movies and especially “pulp fiction” have become an integral part of this planet’s cultural identity. Like Hip Hop, Coca Cola or The Simpsons they speak a code that is understood in every corner of the world. China may still be a dictatorship but the times when it was closed hermetically from outside influences have ended once and for all. This record can be seen as a proof for the universality of the language of music. Many bands have something very special, very Chinese about them but just as much they all have something very global and cosmopolitan.
Wang Wen sound like early North Of America with a little psychedelia added. Super Ve remind of Motorpsycho and Misandao play Oi! like they were from Bristol not Beijing. In the movie the record’s openers Hang On The Box speak of Peaches as an influence, here they play a riot girl tune with a Jimi Hendrix title. On the other end of the record Wang Fan ranges somewhere between Animal Collective and CocoRosie.
This compilation is very good and I don’t mean “good for Chinese bands” but really good for no matter what regional standards. Stick you eurocentrism up your ass!