Rock band
The black comedian of Chinese rock music is Qiu Ye (b. 1966), leader of the Beijing art rock ensemble Yaoshi-Ziyue (English name: You.Me.It.). Originally founded as Ziyue (The Master Says, a.k.a. Sperm & Egg) the band began playing Beijing bars in 1996 and developed a reputation for high-calibre musicianship in a scene essentially devoid of musical technique. Ziyue were quickly discovered by Chinese rock legend Cui Jian, who produced and released their first record, Volume I, in 1997. The association with Cui Jian brought the band immediate attention, and their debut record was hailed by the Chinese media as a major work.
However, a misunderstanding with Cui Jian’s publishing company in 1999 led Ziyue to re-form under the name Yaoshi (translation: ‘a transcendent explanation from the basic units of reality’). By 2002 the dispute was finally resolved, and a second record, Volume II, was released under the hybrid moniker Yaoshi-Ziyue. The band has long since stepped out from under the shadow of its former mentor and is well established as a top act in Beijing nightclubs. Yaoshi-Ziyue’s songs run the gamut from funk comic narrations of daily life to melancholic crooning about lost love and youth. Between songs, as Qiu Ye banters with the audience in the vernacular Beijing dialect, the band’s live set takes on the tone of a Vegas lounge act, betraying the irony and emotion at the heart of Yaoshi-Ziyue’s iconoclastic musings. In 2003 the band reports playing more shows in the provinces and shaking its reputation as a strictly Beijing phenomenon. However, Yaoshi-Ziyue remains a central fixture of the Beijing live-music scene.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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  • rock music, rock bands — The history of Chinese rock music (yaogun yinyue) began in the early 1980s. Since then, the number of bands and musicians has increased as much as the variety of music styles performed. The centre of Chinese rock is Beijing and today, due to the… …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

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