Shanren, whose debut album Left Foot Dance Of The Yi was released on Riverboat Records last year, are performing at three festivals in Europe at the end of July. Shanren hail from the idyllic region and their band name literally translates as ‘mountain men’ – a clear indication of how their shared heritage is crucial to the group. 

Shanren began their careers as musicians in the 1990s. Buzzing off the red-hot rock heard on illegally imported cassettes they began to draw inspiration from classic bands such as Led Zeppelin and their creative disciples the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Realizing that the mix of Chinese folk music and Western rock was a potent one, their sound quickly matured into something entirely unique – the high-pitched vocals, unusual string textures and driving rhythmic beats heard on this album. Reading deeper in to the musical marriage of the two genres, the band came to see the outcast position of Chinese rock musicians as a mirror image of the Yunan tribes’ struggle for cultural identity. Early Chinese rock and rollers were considered to be on the fringe by members of the mainstream Chinese machine and so their sounds were drowned out by the louder, brasher conventional pop music pumping out of urban cities. The music and traditions of the twenty-six ethnic groups that reside within Yunnan’s borders have been overpowered, leaving many of the younger generations without even a basic grasp of their own native customs. Shanren’s humble hope is that their music can inform the young Chinese of their rich and marvelously multi-faceted heritage. 

Shanren - Left Foot Dance Of The Yi

ShanrenThe mountains of south-western China have inspired the folk traditions of those living in their shadows for millennia. Now, Shanren follow their ancestors' footsteps with a mash of traditional Chinese folk and buzzing modernity on their infectious international debut Left Foot Dance Of the Yi


Listen to the album or order it here


Live Dates 

24 Jul - Rotterdam Unlimited, Rotterdam (NL)
25 Jul - FMM, Sines (PT)
26 Jul - Paléo Festival, Nyon (CH)