The compilation “Poptastic Conversation” was released in 2008 by German record label Fly Fast Records, which is basically consisting of the people behind the documentary Beijing Bubbles, and therefore it should not astonish anyone that Beijing Bubbles heroes Joyside and Sand, besides The Honeys, The Pancakes, My Little Airport, PK 14 and Car-sick Cars, sing their songs on the record (in German!). A good selection of underground bands from China and Hongkong. What is more astonishing is the selection of German bands participating: Die Ärzte, Wir sind Helden and Die Sterne are singing in their songs in Chinese.
In total 19 songs plus an additional CD with a German and a Chinese language course by respectable publishing house PONS and the Goethe Institute surplus a informative booklet / book with German/Chinese texts, explanations, photos and lyrics are offering not just a pleasent experience for one’s ears, but also an hour worthwile of information about the German-Chinese cultural experiences of exchange students, the Chinese underground music scene and the German one. Most songs can be categorized to punk, pop rock or pop music. There are no experimental songs or heavy metal songs on the record, which is certainly due to the fact that a criterium for the band and song selection had been the clearness of vocals and lyrics, as the CD definitely can be seen as an approach to foster the intercultural and interlanguage exchange (with the Goethe Institute as a sponsor of the record). An approach which has been also taken when Fly Fast Records introduced Joyside to the German punk audience and toured with them.
The quality of the songs is overall excellent and the lyrics, both Chinese and German, well recorded and understandable (which as both German songs and Chinese songs are not sung by native speakers, is quite an effort sometimes). Due to the nature of the songs, it is perfectly applicable for being listened to in the background (e.g. office or at home) or to push up the volume and bring the tune up on a party (e.g. “Junge / Er Zi” by Die Ärzte). There are no major rhythm breaks or style breaks on the record, so that you can go from one song to the next without having to fear to destroy the atmosphere. A well balanced record and a must for every German student and Chinese student, for it offers lyrics in both languages and thereby a well-sound (listening) experience to get a grasp of how the other culture is thinking.