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Underground Music in China's Capital: Musician and Producer Nevin Domer


Last Friday, Morningside College’s second Writers Series of the year welcomed Beijing-based musician and producer Nevin Domer. Domer has lived in Beijing since 2005 and is actively involved in the city’s thriving underground scene. He helped found two of China’s top indie record labels, Maybe Mars and Genjing Records, and currently manages the U.S.-based distribution company Far Out Distant Sounds. He worked as an executive producer on recordings with the likes of Wharton Tiers, Andy Gill, Martin Atkins, and Brian Hardgroove. Along with managing international bands in China, such as New Zealand’s Die! Die! Die! and the United States’ Kid Millions, he records and performs with his band Struggle Session.


Domer’s talk focused on his time as booking manager at D-22, an underground club in Beijing that provided local musicians a platform to showcase experimental music. Based in the city’s university district, D-22 was a space for musicians to “cross-pollinate” between genres – jazz musicians attended punk shows, and punk rockers attended electronic shows. Domer emphasized that D-22 was not simply a venue, but a community. While the club was opened by American expats, its open-minded, anything goes approach to music meant local musicians made D-22 their own. The club provided support and an audience for experimental acts that otherwise would have gone undiscovered. Several of China’s most recognizable indie bands, such as Carsick Cars, started as university students performing at D-22. At the end of his talk, students enjoyed a conversation with Domer about his personal experience as a musician. Morningside College would like to extend a special thanks to CUHK’s Centre for Chinese Studies for helping bring Nevin Domer to speak with our students.