Radiolab details the effect of Western music cassettes dumped on China in the 1990s

“Cassette tapes trashed as scrap brought western rock music to China and created a cultural remix on the grandest possible scale.” That’s the description of a fascinating episode of Radiolab from earlier this month.

It’s the compelling story of how key figures took cassettes of Western music dumped at recycling centers in China, “changed the musical landscape of China, and reimagined rock and roll in ways we never could’ve imagined.”

Listen to it below or at the Radiolab website, where you can also read the transcript.

Speaking of the spread of rock and roll in countries where it wasn’t welcomed by authorities, Russians used to bootleg Western music on X-rays.

Radiolab image: Bryan Ahonen


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