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Waiting for Your Return: A Shidaiqu Anthology 1927-1952, Pt. I cassette

Waiting for Your Return: A Shidaiqu Anthology 1927-1952, Pt. I cassette

Death is Not the End (DEATH067), 2023, UK

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Sublime stuff from Death is Not the End as usual: Waiting for Your Return is a trip through shidaiqu, a hybrid musical genre that places Western music (pop, jazz, blues) into dialogue with Chinese language and traditional musical motifs. The 20 tracks within are a beautiful and varied trip through classic Cantopop and Mandopop, with stunners aplenty, tunes that would not be out of place in some Tsai Ming-Liang film. Listen to the preview below and you'll be hooked. 

"Shidaiqu literally means 'songs of the era', a term used to describe a hybrid musical genre that first began permeating through the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai in the late 1920s. Blending western pop, jazz, blues and Hollywood-inspired film soundtracks with traditional Chinese elements, the shidaiqu represented a musical and cultural merging that would go on to shape a golden age of Chinese popular song & film in the pre-communism interwar period.

"Waiting for Your Return brings together a wide collection of recordings for an anthological overview of the style. Taking in its early beginnings in the work of the pioneering composer Li Jinhui - whose 1927 song 'Drizzle', featuring the vocals of his daughter Li Minghui, is often referred to as the first shidaiqu record - through to more polished 1930s & 40s examples, when China's western-influenced popular music & movie industry reached it's golden age with the prevalence of the Seven Great Singing Stars (Bai Hong, Bai Guang, Gong Qiuxia, Li Xianglan, Wu Yingyin, Yao Lee and perhaps most prolific of all, Zhou Xuan).

"Included in the collection are tracks recorded right up until the music's demise in Shanghai in the early 1950s - during which time the Chinese Communist Party denounced shidaiqu as 'yellow music', outlawed nightclubs and pop music production, and destroyed western-style instruments - following which, much of these singers would decamp to Hong Kong where many saw further success throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s." – Death is Not the End


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