Songs From The Water-Curtain Cave :: A Lunar New Year Chinese Pop Mixtape

From Mount Huaguo to your ears: a collection of Chinese-language pop pop songs from the 1960s and 1970s in celebration of the lunar new year.

Earlier this week marked the start of the Year of the Monkey according to the ancient divinations of the Chinese zodiac calendar. Quick wit, curiosity, and ingenuity are among the hallmarks of the people born under the sign of the monkey. These are also the celebrated characteristics of a legendary hero of Chinese lore, the Monkey King. Emerging from his hideout in a cave on Mount Huaguo, the Monkey King was an intrepid traveler (described in the 16th century novel Journey to the West) who performed Herculean feats of strength and speed that continue to entertain.

Named in honor of the restless Monkey King, the following mix pays homage to the other musical immortals from the 1960s and 1970s from across the Sinosphere. This collection celebrates the charming sounds of a bygone era, culled from Chinese-language pop songs from Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and China. You’ll hear echoes of Western pop music throughout–a riff on a rocksteady number, some fuzzy psychedelic vibes plus an indelible cover of the Everly Brothers’ chestnut “All I Have To Do Is Dream”–as well as more traditional East Asian musical modes. Dig in, and good luck in the new year. words / j loudenback

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