When the world's eyes turned towards China for the start of the Olympic Games, ears turn towards today's Chinese underground rock scene. This is China

When Chicago-based musician, producer and label owner Martin Atkins (member of PiL, Pigface, Killing Joke, etc) visited Beijing in the fall of 2006, he had no idea what to expect. What he found was a thriving underground culture of rock bands that reminded him of his time in London in the late '70s, and of the downtown scene in early '80s NYC. He signed several bands while he was there, shot 80 hours of video footage, and rented out High End Sound Studios, where he recorded tracks from well over a dozen bands. He recorded live shows at the D-22 club--a venue that embodies the spirit that CBGBs had when Martin arrived in NYC over 25 years ago--just as news of the final show at the legendary NY nightclub was breaking on CNN.

The entire experience is best revealed in '16 Days in China' where Atkins documents his 2006 trip to Beijing. Here he recorded the cream of the Beijing music scene crop. The DVD features exclusive studio footage including the recording of the China Dub Soundsystem album, and upcoming chinese artists such as Snapline, The Subs, and P.K.14. It also contains music videos, cultural commentary, exclusive music, and more.

Complete Info for '16 Days in China'

Absorbing all of this, Atkins set out to create an album that reflected what he was seeing and hearing in Beijing. Pushing the envelope and risking the easy camaraderie with the avant-garde, he chose to bring in traditional Chinese musicians and instruments and Tibetan singers for a fuller picture. The results are two very different collections of contemporary Chinese music:

'Look Directly Into The Sun' features 18 Beijing pop, punk and rock bands. Members of Snapline, China MC Brothers and Carsick Cars are heavily featured on Martin's China Dub album as well. Carsick Cars toured Europe and played Vienna, Prague and London opening for Sonic Youth. The Scoff, PK-14 and Joyside opened for Nine Inch Nails at last year's Beijing Pop Festival. This compilation features the bands that are front and center in the emergence of the Beijing underground beyond China. " 'Look Directly Into The Sun' ... is one of those increasingly rare rock surprises--a collection with enough wit, sass, and smart noise to belong with the post punk classics of 25 years ago." - NPR's "Fresh Air"

Martin Atkins' China Dub Soundsystem, 'Made In China'
'Made In China' is an incredible collision of traditional instrumentation and post-punk, dub and experimentation. Recording the elements separately, and waiting to mix and match them together after returning to his Mattress Factory Studios in Chicago, Atkins was able to keep the performances on both sides uncontaminated by any expectations of the final result. The finished album is probably the most creative and effective musical collaboration that Atkins has spearheaded since 'Gub' by Pigface, Atkins' long- running musical collective.

About Martin Atkins:
Martin Atkins has played drums in PiL, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, Pigface and several other international acts. He is the owner of Invisible Records and the Mattress Factory Studios in Chicago. He is the author of "Tour: Smart," a guide for touring bands and musicians.

Comment