Sampling beyond Shaolin: China Record Corporation
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Sampling beyond Shaolin:
China Record Corporation

Wu-Tang Clan has shown how Chinese influences can perfectly blend in with hip-hop culture. To step in RZA’s footsteps, “Dragon Boat” by He Shufeng is now available as free download for Tracklib members. The track was a best-kept secret within Chinese borders for over half a century.

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Free track download!

This track was free for a limited time only. This was only a free track download - a license is still required to release your new song. 


“Dragon Boat” comes from the catalog of China Record Corporation (CRC). Up till 2005, their 60.000+ releases were only available in China. But now the vaults are open. He Shufeng’s uptempo track (played on the pipa, a traditional Chinese four-stringed instrument) is only the tip of the iceberg: CRC is the world's largest collection of traditional and contemporary music.

That means their catalog offers a wide variety, to say the least. Think of the high-pitched folk song "Qinghai-Tibet Plateau" by Li Na, which calls for a sample flip. Or traditional Peking Opera–as previously sampled by producer Oh No for the soundtrack of GTA: Chinatown Wars. There’s also more contemporary music, such as jazz by the likes of Yao Li & Zhou Xuan, and new-age music by Nitai Gore Band. 

I have found immense similarities between Chinese music and music from around the world.

Tobias J. Record

Toby Record (Managing Director of CRC JIANIAN Inc.) in a 2009 interview with Cool Hunting: “I have found immense similarities between Chinese music and music from around the world. For example, Mongolian music shares an uncanny bond with Celtic music. Shanghai Jazz is reminiscent of a Carl Stalling meets Edith Piaf flavor (only in Mandarin instead of French). ‘Dance of The Yao People’ is a hugely famous melody on the Mainland and reminds me of romantic Italian Mandolin music.”

The availability of China Record Corporation’s music breaks down the Great Wall between producers and music from the Chinese Mainland. The mystery of chessboxin’ has already been notoriously revealed by the Wu-Tang Clan. But there are still many more Chinese musical mysteries to be found.


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