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English term Chinese term

To make a hole (lit.), definition see below

打口, da kou

The term dakou or “打口” means to make a hole.[1]
By the end of the twentieth century a new generation emerged in urban China, named after the cut CDs available at illegal markets in Chinese cities. The cut on the margin of these 'dakou' CDs, as they are called in Chinese, has brought this young generation to the centre of global music culture.[2]

General information

The term dakou is used in literature not only for the pure cut CD (or punched CD), but also in respect of a new generation of Chinese youth, as described in the introductory quotes.

The actual dakou record or CD represents an original music record with a hole or a punch somewhere in the disc making some songs not listenable or sometimes being punched in the outer rim of the CD, making the whole record listenable. These CDs were transported to China, sometimes first passing through Japan or HK, and sold in dakou CD stores and black markets.[1]

The first Chinese musicians to claim the word dakou were Rock & Roll artists in Beijing who were part of the Beijing New Sound Movement in the late 1980s. They used the term "dakou generation" to define the generation of musicians born between 1970 and 1985. The term "dakou youth" would later be used to characterize a type of lifestyle assumed by idle and disaffected urban youth also labeled “urban fringe”.[1]

According to Jon Campbell the dakou tape or CD became popular in the 1990s.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The deal with Dakou". Steele, A.D. (June 10, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-08-06.
  2. "Red Sonic Trajectories – Rock in China". de Kloet J. (04.04.2007). Retrieved on 2008-08-06.
  3. Campbell, J.W. (2011). Red Rock. Earnshaw Books (Hongkong). Page 19.

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