Our Music Issue hits stands and doorsteps next week. In the run up to this landmark event, we’ll be featuring a series of related music blogs and content, kicking off with a peek at “Xinjiang,” which is featured in the Hard Seat section of the magazine. Enjoy!
If you’re not in China already, then this is for you. Plane tickets get a little pricey over the summer months, so we’ve found someone who can help you head east, aided only by speakers or a set of headphones. And if you’re already among China’s burgeoning urban population, cooped up in concrete somewhere, this will offer a much-needed aural escape!
French expatriate Laurent Jeanneau’s “Xinjiang” is a collage of rare instrumentals and radio interferences that transports listeners to the remote areas of China’s Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture where the sounds were originally captured. As a field recording specialist, Jeanneau has traveled to villages throughout China and Southeast Asia to record ethnic minorities in the raw, capturing performances often unseen and unheard by tourists, that is, until he mixed and reworked the sounds as part of a project for his own label, Kink Gong Recs.
Check out a sample of Jeanneau’s work below, and for his full story, pick up a copy of our Music Issue, either by subscribing or visiting our distribution partners in Beijing and Shanghai.
For more sounds that meld traditional Chinese music with other influences, check out Chinese band The Tea Rockers or French-Vietnamese beatmaker and producer Onra, whose “Chinoiseries” album blends hip-hop with Chinese popular music from the last 30 years.