JUE | Music + Art = Success

Jue (觉), meaning to sense or to awaken, is an annual urban festival that is held in Beijing and Shanghai. Now welcoming its seventh year, this well established festival is all about embracing local creative communities in the Middle Kingdom as well as inviting international artists along to the party to share in the proceedings.

This multidisciplinary festival is always a refreshing change of pace from the Shanghai scene. Citywide, innovative spaces, stimulating artists and thought provoking topics are introduced to captivate audiences with lots of opportunities for visitor participation.

The formula for the 11 day event is the same as ever – a collaborative, open-source affair with different event organisers putting on creative events all around town during the festival period under the JUE banner. The immense scope, various art forms and creativeness of the project is its main strength and the festival is truly able to boast that there is something for everyone.

Hello Shanghai ren, it’s that time of year again. The seventh edition of JUE | Music + Art is back in town from 12 March to 22 March. The lovely music promoters over at Split Works have outdone themselves once more to bring Shanghai and Beijing the very best of music and arts across the creative spectrum. This multi-disciplinary and multi-venue event will give guests a glimpse into the rabbit hole that is the Chinese creative scene and we have complied a list of highlights that you certainly won’t want to miss.

Almost Famous
Shanghai Live Music Photographer Exhibition

2015 celebrates 25 years since the birth of Rock n' Roll in Shanghai. Even with all the hype of giant music festivals and gigs with stops in Shanghai, it’s still hard to say that rock music in Shanghai has completely stepped out of the shadow.

Each image on exhibit reminds onlookers that despite the thousands pogoing and rocking out to the music, the artists on stage don't want to be “one hit wonders,” but to be respected for the passion and hard work that comes with their performances. Six famous photographers, recommended by Shanghai livehouses, promoters and mainstream media, show with the help of their cameras the most authentic and rocking moments in this land of luxury and dissipation at the "Almost Famous" Shanghai Live Photography Exhibition.

12 March to 22 March. 2pm to 5pm. Thursday to Sunday. Free. On Stage. Red Town Art Centre A2, 570 Huaihai Xi Lu, near Hongqiao Lu.

Genjing Records
Present Primitive Calculators
Once one of the rawest acts of the 70’s Australian punk scene, 35 years later, Primitive Calculators are back, and meaner than ever.

Primitive Calculators formed in 1978 in Melbourne, Australia. Their music was influenced by proto-punk acts like The Godz and The Velvet Underground, Texan 1960s; psychedelic punk, James Brown and The Silver Apples as well as Australian bands like Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs.They are often compared to The Screamers from Los Angeles, Suicide and bands from New York’s No Wave music scene.
They released their debut single I Can’t Stop It / Do That Dance in 1979, and were instrumental in organising a series of gigs named "Little Band Nights," where hastilyformed bands would play for 15 minutes each.

This led to the recording of a compilation EP. They became known for their use of a screeching Mosrite Ventures model guitar, primitive synthesizers (a Wasp and Roland SH2), an electronic organ played through effects pedals and an extra fast drum machine (Roland CR-78).

The Primitive Calculators played their last gig in March 1980, though their self-titled live album came out in the early 1980s.The band reformed briefly in 1986 to perform a live version of their song, Pumping Ugly Muscle in the Richard Lowenstein film, Dogs In Space (they later appeared in Lowenstein's 2009 documentary We're Livin' on Dog Food).

Interest in the band was sustained though, and their recordings continued to be rereleased until January 2009, when the band reformed for the inaugural Australian All Tomorrow's Parties music festival, curated by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The band subsequently commenced the recording of a new album called The World Is F**ked, which was released in 2013.

20 March. 9pm. RMB 60 (student). RMB 80 (adult). Yuyintang. 851 Kaixun Lu, near Yan’an Xi Lu.

Bike To Jue
Co-presented by Factory Five

As both a rebirth and extension of the original Beijing-based Bike To JUE concept, Shanghai’s very first Bike to JUE is an exciting weekend-long scavenger-type photography hunt. This ride-and-seek is open to everybody and only has two entry requirements: You have a bike; You can take photos and share them on Instagram or Weibo If the idea of bicycle-hunts evoke an image of darting between traffic then relax, this is not a race. BIKE to JUE is a way to get out on your two-wheelers with friends and explore this great city of ours!

The time frame is set to the whole weekend to guarantee everyone has plenty of time to discover, have fun and submit their entries. Entries will be judged on total numbers, as well as creativity and expression.

Prizes include a bike valued at RMB 5000 from Factory Five as well as an annual pass for all Split Works shows! If that isn’t enough to motivate you, perhaps tote badges, gift vouchers, film tickets and more might push you to get involved with Bike to JUE.

14 March to 15 March. Free. All over Shanghai.


With her cloudlike upbeat music and saccharine voice, it’s hard not to let your cares melt away when South Korean singersongwriter Yozoh steps on stage.

One of the most remarkable indie-pop musicians coming out of South Korea today, Yozoh dropped onto the music radar in 2008 when she collaborated with another Korean artist to release the album, My name is Yozoh. She was an instant success and quickly followed with a solo album of her own, Traveller, in 2008. This was followed by a second full-length album in 2013, entitled Use of My Own. In the seven years since Yozoh’s debut, she has become an iconic figure in South Korea, writing theme songs for many of South Korea’s most famous TV dramas such as Coffee Prince, New Heart, and Love Rain. She’s also appeared in movies, and has even become an author.

20 March. 8:30pm. RMB 120 (presale) RMB 180 (on the door). QSW Cultural Centre. 1/F, 179 Yichang Lu, near Jiangning Lu.

Jay Electronica & Miss Ko

Native New Orleans rhyme machine Jay Electronica and Queens hip-hop tour de force Miss Ko meet for the first time in the milieu that is the 7th JUE | Music + Art Festival. The two make up an undeniably compelling and exciting double bill with Iron Mic crews in support in both Beijing and Shanghai.

Jay Electronica rippled the musical pool in 2007 with Act I: Eternal Sunshine (the Pledge), and has been swimming upstream ever since. Backed by iconic music mogul Jay-Z (and his label Roc Nation), Electronica has produced tracks that feature the likes of Prodigy and Mobb Deep. His honest and cutting lyrics set against the backdrop of mad rhythms and rhymes serve as a poignant voice for the oppressed in modern American society.

Miss Ko is a rapper/songwriter from Queens, New York who flows fluidly between English and Mandarin Chinese. Ko won “Best New Artist” at Taiwan’s 24th Golden Melody Awards with her debut album Knock Out, cementing her status as not only the first female rapper to release a solo album in Taiwan, but also the
first to ever win the prestigious award.

Ko started writing lyrics back in high school and attended Five Towns College, where artists like Wyclef Jean and Maroon 5 began their musical careers. Throughout college, she performed with both local and international acts, and was chosen out of thousands to compete on Hot 97’s Night of the Rising Stars. After graduation, she independently released her first mixtape titled Industry Makeover. In 2010, Ko ventured to Taiwan to learn Chinese, and in less than two years - on August 15, 2012 - released her first Mandarin album, Knock Out, under independent label Kao Inc. Records.

Ko has attracted the support of industry icons such as Amei, Leehom Wang and Run DMC. Ko now lives in Taipei, Taiwan, where she is currently working on her next album and a clothing line.

18 March. 8pm. RMB 150 (presale). RMB 220 (on the door). Arkham. 1 Wulumuqi Lu, near Hengshan Lu.

The Bug

JUE | Music + Art teams up with Sub-Culture to bring The Bug, the main mutation of producer Kevin Martin, also known as King Midas Sound, Techno Animal/Ice/God (with Justin Broadrick of Godflesh/Jesu), Razor X Productions (with The Rootsman & various M.C’s), Pressure, Ladybug, the man behind Pathological Records and a slew more. He’s provided bass booming remixes for Grace Jones, Thom Yorke, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Primal Scream, Two Fingers, Beastie Boys, and has fans as diverse as Aphex Twin, Four Tet, Trent Reznor, Fuck Buttons and Death Grips.

With a discography spanning labels across the spectrum such as Ninja Tune, Virgin, Rephlex, Position Chrome/Mille Plateaux, Word Sound, Hyperdub, City Slang, Tigerbeat 6 and Grand Royal, this is definitely a show worth flapping on about to your friends. 2013's Filthy EP marked the first rumblings of a new fulllength
record, which in mid-2014 manifested as The Bug’s Angels & Devils LP. For this album Kevin Martin has both enlisted the familiar, and smashed open the idea of what “The Bug” is – it’s a year zero of sorts for The Bug, yet the release draws on what has been before. Indeed, The Bug is the only producer who can bring in the likes of Grouper, Copeland, Miss Red, Gonjasufi, Flowdan, Justin Broadrick (Godflesh/ Jesu), Mala, Death Grips and Warrior Queen and make it seamless.

21 March. 10pm. RMB 100. Shelter. 5 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Xi Lu.

Emilie Simon

The festival welcomes back the enigmatic French singer Emilie Simon to Shanghai and Beijing. With her unique mix of electronic, pop, and Bjork-like vocals, Simon has performed at sold-out shows across the world. Now, following on from her short tour in China in 2010, Emilie Simon is back to play for JUE audiences.

Surrounded by music from an early age, Emilie Simon won critical plaudits as early as 2003, when she recorded a debut album largely written, composed and produced by herself. The selftitled record, Émilie Simon, won Album of the Year at Victoires de la Musique, France’s most prestigious music award ceremony.

Born in Montpellier in Southern France, Emilie grew up bathed in the Mediterranean sun and immersed in the sound of clarinets and electronic melodies. Wishing to imbue her second album with a more wintry and polar vibe, she began to record sounds that related to coldness. Coincidentally, in the midst of her search for sounds for the album, she was contacted by film producer Luc Jacquet to compose the original soundtrack for his Oscar award-winning documentary film, La Marche de L'empereur (March of the Penguins), about the annual migration of emperor penguins.

In 2006, Emilie went on to triumph at the Victoires de la Musique ceremony once again, winning the award for the Best Original Film Soundtrack of the year.

In 2009, Emilie started writing songs arranged for accompaniment on piano, rather than a computer. “I even forbade myself to go near a computer for a year and a half,” Emilie said, “I wanted to see what I was capable of without my usual comforts around me.” The result was a collection of sounds reflecting Emilie’s impression of New York City — an urban, black and white musical that became her most recent album, The Big Machine. On this album, Emilie’s experimental inclination involved the clever use of traditional Chinese instruments - together with keyboards - as a vestige of her long stay in the heart of Chinatown.

In 2011, the album Franky Night, (dedicated to her late fiancé) won her many more fans in France as most of the tracks were sung in French, as opposed to English. Her latest album, Mue, hit markets in 2014 and includes tracks like Chris Isaak’s Wicked Games cover, and other heartfelt songs featuring both English and French lyrics.

19 March. 8:30pm. RMB 150 (presale). RMB 180 (on the door). QSW Cultural Centre. 1/F, 179 Yichang Lu, near Jiangning Lu.