Rock in China presents: Zhao Ze

The Swamp “The Boat”

Zhao Ze, or as formerly known The Swamp, is a band based in Guangzhou and has been around the Chinese underground since 1993. They have progressed not only their music from a formerly rock & electronic psychedelic outfit towards a post rock initiative, but they have also engaged themselves pro-actively in the South Chinese scene, hosting the Kaiping Music Festival from 1996 to 2004.

As Jon Campbell has pointed out, Zhao Ze has not only progressed into the area of post rock (that wide genre ranging from Japanese Mono and Godspeed You! Black Emperor to a number of bands merely recognizable being rock), but they have transgressed it into a more yaogun form of post rock:

“The Guangzhou-based post-rock outfit Zhaoze (…) goes back further for its traditional inspiration. The guqin (“goo-cheen”), one of the most ancient of China’s traditional instruments, is a seven-stringed harp/zither type of instrument that is said to be one of the hardest to master. Not only has Zhaoze mastered it, but they’ve made it seem like it was built for post-rock.”

With their latest record 1911 released in December 2011 they have brought their mastering to another level and uploaded all songs to their bandcamp page. For a taste of their earlier songs, you can download the 2008 song The Boat, which was released worldwide for free downloading.

Read more about Zhao Ze and their music:

Find out about Zhao Ze’s history on RiC wiki

Find out about Zhao Ze’s record 1911 on RiC wiki

Find out about the Kaiping music festival

Listen to Zhao Ze’s recent two records and their songs on their bandcamp page

Read about guqin on Wikipedia

Zhao Ze’s douban page with more free downloads

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