China, to put it bluntly, is fucking huge. Not as big as Russia, but still impressive at 9.6 million square kilometres. Famous for it's majestic dynasties, marvellous technological advances (like gunpowder), rampant communism, housing almost 20% of the world's population, pandas and diverse cuisine/takeaways, China isn't widely known for one thing: music.

Even though the nation has had a rich sonic history for about three thousand years, Chinese bands just don't make headlines outside of the locale or Mandarin-speaking diaspora. Sometimes we'll catch snippets of Tibetan folk or Sichuan opera in documentaries or on travel programmes, but you don't get C-pop dominating our charts. Cui Jian didn't break boundaries here.

Nowadays, the output is vast, with hip-hop, punk, black metal and synthpop all finding popularity in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. With one in five people on the planet living in China, it's staggering we don't hear more. There are some truly stunning acts on offer - here are a few we're quite enamoured with at the moment.

Summer Fades Away are adroit purveyors of post-rock from Changsha. The quintet weave natural and organic elements with the mechanical and the robotic; there are Godspeed-esque guitars carelessly cavorting with 65 Days Of Static synths. The percussion is outstanding; it's evocative, orchestral and vital. Their debut, We Meet The Last Time, Then Departure was released at the tail end of last year on micro-label 1724: it fuses provincial folk noises with the calamitous carnage of post-rock - gargantuan crescendos rise from the earth as a myriad of woodwind, axes and drums blur into one all-encompassing wave of white noise.

Hong Kong-based synthpop duo my little airport gained popularity for their kooky in-jokes and Amélie-sweet ditties. The pair - Ah P and Nicole - love Casio keyboards, celebrities and lower case letters, and to date, they've released six studio records that have won numerous awards in their homeland. They're not shy to get political either, with tracks like 'donald tsang please die' and 'divvying up stephen lam's $300000 salary' becoming live staples; there's a fun-tastic contrast when such a bubbly, saccharin indie-pop group spit acerbic words.

Post-punk trio Re-TROS channel Ian Curtis and The Fall for a bleak take on scuzzy '80s rock. It's fuzzy new wave and distorted grunge; it's provocative and incensed, with the band setting out to make a statement. They harness the jagged raw-wound aura of Bloc Party's Silent Alarm and the bitter snarling of Savages to create a dark, brooding phenomenon. The moniker derives from/stands for, quite cryptically, 'Rebuilding The Rights Of Statues' - a lot of the band's draw comes from their imagery. They performed at last year's SXSW and only recently featured on BBC Radio 6, with new track 'My Dying Atmosphere' getting a play.

Queen Sea Big Shark are a DIY indie-rock quartet from Beijing. They've released two albums to date (2010's Wave and 2010's eponymous effort), been featured on the Skate 2 OST and toured the USA to highlight AIDs in China. The sound is like a poppier, Britpop-revival tinged Yeah Yeah Yeahs built for stadiums; singer Fu Han barks melodiously like Karen O and the grinding art-rock does nothing to dissuade notions of YYY. It's huge, guitar-led pop. If they'd been launched in the UK, they'd have slotted in nicely between The Bravery and Franz Ferdinand. Apologies if that's not a selling point. QSBS are frantic fun.

Also worth checking out are Subs, Hedgehog, The Gar, Joyside, Chui Wan, Rainbow Danger Club, Carsick Cars and Zuoxiao Zuzhou.