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KING GONG - Dian Long: Soundscape China / Destruction of Chine [Discrepan - 2018]

Discrepant presents Soundscape China/Destruction of Chinese Pop Songs by KINK GONG (recording as Dian Long). Available as a 2xLP or digital download, this album collects Soundscape China (previously released on Kwanyin/subjam in 2007) and unreleased Destruction of Chinese Pop Songs tracks.

To the uninitiated, including myself, KINK GONG is the moniker of world-traveler and sound artist Laurent Jeanneau. The bulk of the recordings were captured during the early 2000’s during Jeanneau’s travels to China. He describes having a love/hate relationship with China, largely stemming from its struggle between tradition and modernity (or as Jeanneau calls bling bling culture). Armed with his recording gear, Jeanneau set out to destroy the music industry commercialism plaguing modern China and this double recording is the result.

Soundscape China/Destruction of Chinese Pop Songs is a weird assembling of long sampled radio and television broadcasts, field recordings, glitchy electronics, and other manipulated oddities. The first part of this double album is occupied by the previously released Soundscape China. This portion of the album, divided into pt.1 & pt.2, features two long form tracks (respectively 20:16 and 19:31 in length). Each piece features extended samples of: Chinese broadcasts, the Beijing Opera, field recordings of a local river, trains, and the Chinese New Year, and manipulated pop CDs. Listening to these first entries, I couldn't help but be transported to a Chinese hotel, channel-surfing to see what Chinese pop culture has to offer.

Destruction of Chinese Pop Songs is comprised of much shorter tracks (most ranging well under 5 minutes) and are predominantly created through the manipulation of skipping Chinese pop music CDs. These tracks transpire soundwise as glitchy, sprightly electronic morsels to pop music playing through a sea of static.

As a whole, each track is expertly assembled and really helps give insight to the Chinese cultural conundrum. This should appeal to fans of found sounds, field recordings and audio travel documentaries. Or if you’ve dug offerings by labels like Gruenrekorder or 3 Leaves, Soundscape China/Destruction of Chinese Pop Songs should be right in your comfort zone.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Hal Harmon
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