More press for our projects

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bcr d22
Got some more blog links for our albums from Little Punk and Pairs, the kind we like at blogs by people who like music.

After checking blogs that link to the bandcamp pages, I discovered the Spanish language blog Matinee As Hell. The writer describes trawling the net for music outside the usual western hemisphere and being largely disappointed. But, like Indiana Jones, came back carrying a relic. Really, that's the words on the blog and it's talking about the Little Punk album. Nice review too.

Also, Dan Shapiro has written a proper feature on the CNN Go website for Shanghai. Check it out too

Finally. Pairs are still creating a massive wave all over the Chinese scene. Visiting Beijing band IDH say that Pairs were the best live show they saw in Beijing this year, right here. And the songs are featured on the prominent industry site Music Dish - in their latest podcast.
F paris red
So. We released two albums and featured them in two places. In the artists' Douban pages and at

The next stage of spreading this DIY style was to make it available to Chinese net users for free at a preferred Chinese FTP site. 

We used 115

We created two mega-packs. They are zip files that contain all the album tracks in MP3 format, a promotional video, a selection of photos and flyers and a lyrics sheet/message from the band. We then uploaded them to 115 which is super fast inside China. Finally we posted the link at the various Douban rock and indie groups.

The only drawback is that 115 doesn't have good tools for tracking the amount of DLs. Also, the link will expire after a month so you have to keep an eye on your account and renew it near the time from your dashboard.

Here are the two packs: Little Punk and Pairs

Little Punk album starting to move

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lp cover
Our indie album Hey guy, you are big time alright by Little Punk has hit an early but important point that is worth blogging about for other DIY enthusiasts. 

We had our first fully independent local review. 

We got this via making it available on Douban's music pages for review and sharing. Here is the page.

Here is a nice quote from the review for those who know Chinese:

这是一份值得喝彩的答案,因为它让人看到了一个对摇滚乐充满执着的创作人的更多可能,也避免了许多从朋克"软化"为民谣或独立摇滚的音乐人故作深沉的通病。在这张独立发行的专辑中,无论是声乐部分还是吉他手/制作人Andy Best的演奏都没有经过任何修饰。从在开头曲《Cuties》中不停高喊"fucking cuties"到在结束曲《I'm Not in the Mood for Making a Song》中失落地哼唱"the world's not made for fairy tales",小朋克逐渐转开她为朋克摇晃的脑袋,展现出用民谣和轻摇滚诉说出的直白和细腻,丝毫不见做作的痕迹。当然,我可以说"这张专辑融合了Soko民谣式的俏皮和Zola Jesus哥特摇滚式的粗砺",而事实上我耳中听到的是几个热爱音乐又小有才华的朋友在录音室(甚至可以是客厅里)即兴jam的场景。
It is important to note that it is independent. This means that we (also no one who directly represents us) had no direct contact with the review. They found it by themselves and blogged it with a review. 

The best part of this is just knowing that someone found the music and liked it. Talking of which, the album has made it's way to Scotland too. It's blogspot though, here
lp cover
Without further ado, we give you the digital release of our second album: Little Punk Hey guy, you are big time alright.

We used Bandcamp again for the international page. It's pretty good. The album is free. User tip: you need full quality WAV files for upload. Then the site can give format options for downloaders.

The image you see there was done by underground photographer Ren Hang during this session.

Here is the track list:

1 Cuties
2 Boy on the way to hell
3 Friend next door
4 Fine darling
5 Not be
6 744
7 I'm not in the mood for making a song

Douban updates following soon. Congrats again to everyone involved and special thanks to Adam Gaensler at Luwan Rock.
pairs cover
It's official. Our label's first album is done and released. Shanghai band Pairs' debut album Pairs.

Here's a standalone page at Bandcamp where you can get the whole release or just have a listen. Most of you will be familiar with their famous live tracks by now so why not start with F1, an instrumental that really captures the raw energy.

All the tracks are on Pairs' Douban page now too, for China based or Chinese language users. You had to be singed in to download last time I checked though.

Congrats to everyone involved.

Indie Label: DIY style 10 - mixes down

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little punk zhong
Welcome back.

We all had a break in August and have been working behind the scenes this month. In the past post we had set up a label page using and posted up our demos and videos as a taster.

Now our producer Adam is back from his stint in Myanmar and the final mixes are in. The next stages:

1) Make the tracks available online
2) Produce the physical CDs
3) Start a promotional tour.

Look out for tracks at the Qu page and the full releases at the artists' pages (link through the label page). We will make everything available for DL there.

As for the physical CDs. Pairs have opted for super DIY style. Xiao Zhong will burn off CDs on a home computer then put them in envelopes, like the normal ones, you know, letters, and hand write on them. A design for an insert sheet is already done and should pop up at the label page soon. For LP we are weighing up options and will post on it as soon as a decision is made.

The tour is just in conception at the moment. The idea is to play seven shows in seven days around Shanghai, choosing only smaller venues. Details to be thrashed out shortly then posted on.

Indie events: photos and reviews

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Fish in Xin'ao
First image: Fish in Xin'ao on Dingxi Lu, the shoot continued into the late dinner

I recently wrote about a night shoot where we broke into an abandoned location:

It was linked to this event.

So now, the photos by Ren Hang (任航) have been processed and are starting to crop up. Click into this full post to see a selection. But first, I want to link an independent review of the event itself. It's long and detailed and feels like a vindication of the entire project:

Renhang has posted all the Boojii shots from that night in one amazing gallery here on Douban. It's Douban though, so a lot of the shots are partially censored, as you'll notice. Also, I can't freely throw around photos I'm privy to that haven't been put in the public by the photographer himself so these are not exclusive or anything. But they are great and it was a great night.
Note: I lost the site from which this picture came, if it is yours comment or mail and I'll credit you properly

So far in books I have been blogging my latest project Love in the Time of Black Magic. A recent event has suddenly brought another project back into action though: The Thousand Mile Lake, a fantasy novella for younger readers. Preliminary points:

It's completely finished
It's a novella - 40 000 words or about 120 pages of a small paperback

The evolution of the project is quite interesting. I had never thought about "teen fiction" and would never dumb down or selectively write for younger readers in their teens - as opposed to early readers which is a whole different field. I have a regular private class of English language students who are very talented and creative and we always like to play Dungeons and Dragons the original table top role-playing game.

Indie Label: DIY style 9 - Douban page

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qu logo
We have successfully launched our label page today on Douban:

We have officially reached step four!

If you are not are not a Douban member then you won't see the download arrows, but they are there. OK. First the concept and then the details of putting a page on Douban.

I guess the pre-net model of existing as a business or venture was to have an office, or an address. These days you can do it with a web site. Of course, you can run an indie label out of your bedroom and just hand out flyers and stuff at gigs - but having a web page validates your existence and is also a handy tool for promoting yourself. I'm on Douban therefor I am. 

Indie Label: DIY style 8 - video

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Read this for the story of the video shoot and some stills.

This post may well seem self-explanatory to someone with an expert knowledge of digital video, if so, please help us out in the comments, thanks.

So. We finished editing the video for Little Punk's I'm Not in the Mood for Making a Song. At the same time, our other act, Pairs, submitted their video for Yangpu Qu. The next step was to upload them to a China based streaming site for easy public consumption.

We accept that putting videos onto streaming sites like Youku results in grainy pictures and quality loss for regular users. It's painful but everyone is aware of it and knows it's not the 'real quality'. However, Yangpu Qu went up there without much change, some loss yes, but satisfactory. The Little Punk vid, on the other hand, was butchered both in picture and sound. 

Yangpu Qu was shot on a Pentax Optio S55 compact camera directly into an MP4 format and then edited on Windows Movie Maker. The format, and the amount of information in the file, was about the same as that used on Youku. I'm Not in the Mood was shot on a Canon XL2 digital movie camera and edited in Adobe Premier Pro to produce a TV quality AVI file. It then must be converted for web use - and then Youku, or any site, converts it again. The infamous double conversion. No matter how we tried it, the sound becomes peaked and the picture pixelated. 

Finally we tried Youku's suggestion of downloading their Iku desktop upload manager and sending up the entire 600MB+ AVI file. It still came out the same.

Here they are: