Rock in China interviewed Fly Fast Records on December 17th 2008.
Azchael: Fly Fast Records is a Germany-based record label distributing not only the Beijing Bubbles documentary, but also several Chinese artists. Today’s interview is with the founders of the record label, George Lindt and Susanne Messmer, and we are talking about their record label, the Chinese music scene, Fly Fast’s plans for the future and which bands George and Susanne would like to see more often in Europe. George, Susanne, could you maybe shortly introduce yourself and how Fly Fast Records came into being?
Fly Fast Records: We have both been working as music journalists since many years. George has also been running record labels since he was seventeen years old. We have both moved to Berlin in the beginning of the nineties – a rather exciting period for this city. East and west had not totally been reunified at that time, there were lots of illegal clubs in buildings where the owners still had to be found and the music underground was very vital and manifold, too. There was an atmosphere of “anything goes” just everywhere. This seemed to disappear more and more ten years later. we missed this time a lot. When we first came to Beijing in 2004, we had not planned to explore the music underground at all. We came as tourists. But what we found inspired us immediately.
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Download the songs at Last.fm
Rock in China is proud to announce that another of Zhao Ze’s records is available to be listened world-wide via the internet. By permission of the band, their self-released debut record 沼泽 (Zhao Ze / The Swamp) is uploaded at Last.fm and made available for download.
Please stay tuned, Rock in China is currently making other records of Zhao Ze available for online listening…
Sean Leow (of Neocha.com) reports in depth in a 4-part piece on the underground hip-hop scene in Shanghai with the different musical styles, artist portraits, events and venues. Check it out on asiascoutnetwork.com: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.
Abe Deyo gives in this City Weekend article a pretty good insight into the problems of bringing what he calls bands of the “middle-class of the music industry” to China, especially Shanghai. He argues that while the big acts have the money to apply for the necessary permits and lesser known bands come into China with just tourist visa playing at the smaller underground venues, the musical middle-class operates in a legal gray area or is stuck with the costly and time consuming process of applying for proper visa and performance permits. Due to the increased costs and travel expenses they have to play in bigger venues with even stronger regulations by the Department of Cultural Affairs because underground venues do not have the necessary capacity to generate enough profits to cover the band’s expenses.
Read the full article on City Weekend.