Cogs and Wheels: The material culture of revolutionary China

February 19, 2007

Revolutionary trance music

This is quite bizarre.  Found it via Free Albums Galore while ‘tag surfing’ China. Ostensibly the people behind ‘Red Unit‘ are Chinese and sampling revolutionary music dating from the Cultural Revolution. But the discussion on Global Noise Offline suggests this is actually a Japanese project.  So, why the subterfuge?  Why pretend to be Chinese?  Is it satire?  Is it commie kitsch?  Is it youthful (if misguided) enthusiasm for ‘the revolution’?  Either way, a really interesting appropriation of the material culture of revolutionary China, especially coming from Japan, given the current poor state of relations between the two nations.



  1. As I understand it, Red Unit is from Shanghai while the Quiet Lounge netlabel is centered in Japan. As for its intention, I’m halfway convinced that it is some form of satire but who knows.

    Comment by Marvin Vernon — February 20, 2007 @ 1:38 am

  2. Ah – thanks Marvin. That kind of makes more sense. An offshoot of the 1980s/90s ‘political pop’ art movement then…maybe. 😉

    Comment by amyjaneb — February 20, 2007 @ 10:03 am

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