Friday, January 30, 2009

王若琳最新 [joanna wang's latest]

didn't buy this album.

i personally think joanna is better singing covers than singing her own compositions.

不朽 [immortal]

you can't imagine how excited i was when i received my cheer chen cd from taiwan on 23rd jan 2008, just one day after the global release of her album.

i have been waiting for 3 years for the follow-up to "a glamorous adventure", the definitive cheer chen album and one of the best chinese albums in the last decade.

i won't write much here cos i do will be doing a full review in MTX (musictoxin xpress), which is slated to be out in mid-feb.

suffice to say that cheer has created another good album but not quite in the league of "a glamorous adventure" and not quite immortal yet, as her album title suggests.

if i were you, i would be camping by the record shops for the release of MTX next month! since it is the inaugural issue, it is gonna be a collector's item!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

听觉高潮 [aural orgasm]

台灣emo-pop的代表「橙草」, 新專輯[積雨雲] 是那种会带你进入听觉高潮 (aural orgasm) 的音乐.


this is the kind of noise-pop i dig - melodic, noisy, plenty of distorted guitars with hooky rhythms... love it!

you can sample their music here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

the factory

yes, we have decided on a name for our recording studio - the factory! we are not going to give it a chinese name.

we are inspired the this very famous indie label in UK called factory in the 80s. factory had many many cool acts including new order, which was one of the biggest electronic/dance acts in the 80s.

we all love the name. it has an industrial and rugged feel to the name.

this is the final floor plan for the factory.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

寻找女歌手 [looking for female vocalists]

we have many exciting projects this year, we are constantly looking for good chinese female vocalists!

you don't have to be mature in age but you have to be mature in mind. you gotta have good attitude and have the right expectations. musictoxin doesn't promise a rose garden and overnight superstar status. as you may have known by now, we are not into mainstream pop music manufacturing; we are in a niche market called lifestyle music.

what we want are genuine singers who are serious about singing. we provide the best environment for you to realize your dreams - the people you work with, the recording studio, our ways of making music, our management style, our market segmentation, everything is tailored to bring the best out of you.

if you think you have what it takes, do email us at we are also considering singer from singapore and regional countries.

we have an eye for special talents and you may just be what we want!





Monday, January 19, 2009

慢 [progress is slow]

could it be the CNY period or could it be that our new studio in nzx is far from ready? i could sense that all activities stood still in the last couple of weeks. no progress, absolutely.

it is getting frustrating. thanks to those who inquired about the 2v1g gig at NBT which has been canceled unfortunately due to some inexplicable reasons. rest assured, we will update you more on 2v1g in due course.

the progress on the studio is slow as well. basically, we are quite shocked by the quotation from the designer/supplier and we are still digesting the figures and see how we could reduce the investment. a lot of musicians/producers prefer not to have a studio cos it is a burden to maintain. the studio business is a sunset business in malaysia. with the advent of technology, a lot of musicians can do recording at home using computers.

we are close to getting the first draft of MTX (musictoxin xpress) out! how often do you read articles by chow kam leong, roger wang and tay cher siang? it is gonna be interesting to see the kind of response from music lovers on MTX. we hope that with the magazine, we could attract more music lovers, contributors and sponsors.

2009 is going to be a tough year for every sector of the economy. we in the music business have to brace ourselves for bad times ahead. however, we believe that music lovers will still buy cds if there are of genuine quality.

this week will see a mad rush for those who "balik kampung" for CNY. please drive safely and have a great CNY. we hope to bring you more updates after the CNY.

Friday, January 16, 2009

吉他之神 [guitar god]

no wonder our roger wang says tommy emmanuel is his idol.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

何去何从? [where to go from here?]

more news of local record labels closing down or laying off people and artistes.

it is all doom and gloom for the music industry.

do you see opportunities or do you see threats?

i feel that this is the time for indie labels to make a mark, to really make a difference, to survive in testing times.

find a niche market; look at the untapped potential; change the way music is being sold and promoted; create a demand. change, change, change. ultimately, people need music. everyone needs music.

to us, the worst of times are the best of times.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

jz8 开案了! [jz8 kicks off!]

it has taken us close to 2 months to convene our first official meeting, even then tay cher siang (our pianist) couldn't make it tonight.

the meeting took place at oldtown kopitiam, south city plaza, all the way in seri kembangan. i have never traveled so far for a meeting!

the three of us - chow, lydia, myself - spoke about jz8's repertoire, the kind of music we want to play, recording schedule and many other issues. chief of it is we would like to launch the debut album in july 2009 (to coincide with the hifi show at j.w.marriot), so we have to work backwards.

since we haven't even started work on renovating our recording studio in nzx mall, we decided to start asking cher siang to rearrange 6 songs in the repertoire so that lydia could practise. we would like to get the overall "feel" of cher siang's piano playing and arrangement style. we are condifent that our pianist is versatile enough to play any "style" that we want provided we give him enough feeeback. as i have said repeatedly, arrangement is key in doing cover versions. it makes and breaks the song. but one thing for sure, jz8 is gonna be "jazzier" than 2v1g!

i also told lydia that i would be featuring jz8 in our magazine, MTX, which will be launched after CNY. so the duo has to attend a photography session as well as an interview session with our writer. i would like to promote jz8 well ahead of its debut so that people would know them early.

tentatively, we expect the recording to start in mid/late-march. it is going to be more challenging as we would be recording piano, which is a difficult instrument to record due to its wide dynamic range.

since lydia is a versatile vocalist who can sing in different tones, we would like her to sing in a lazy, more laidback, husky tone that is suitable for jz8's music. in any case, we are confident both lydia and cher siang would partner well since both of them are so experienced.

so, do monitor this blog closely if you want to follow the blow-by-blow account of the jz8's exciting journey in the next 6 months!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

网络推销音乐 [ internet marketing of music]

most music lovers would have known joanna wang [王若琳] by now. but do you know that joanna wang's debut album tops the sales in almost every chinese-speaking country? in hong kong alone, joanna's album was ranked #3 in terms of sales figures for the year ending 2008.

this kind of achievement, of course, is nothing to shout about for fans used to "idol" artistes like jay chou, lee hom and S.H.E. but i when tell you that joanna's marketing team spent very little on A&P (advertising and promotion) and roadshows, maybe you would then realize the enormity and the scale of her success. it is so against the traditional "splash-the-money-make-it-big" mentality of major labels.

joanna's success validates the power of internet marketing. long before anyone in malaysia discovered joanna, i had already sampled her songs in the internet via sony bmg's playlist. her record label offered joanna's playlist in HTML embedding so that everyone can cut and paste the HTML codes and put it in his blog and website. this is creative marketing which has now become a commonplace. the pervasiveness of the internet was such that joanna became an overnight most-talked about topic in the net across the globe. everyone was amazed that someone so young could sound so mature.

of course, her debut album wasn't great. even joanna herself didn't like it but what is important is - people like her voice and her kind of music! there are many of us who are fed up of the commercial crap being dished out in the market nowadays. there are still discerning music lovers out there who want quality and are willling to pay for it.

tho' joanna is signed to major label, her arrival is a breath of fresh air to indie labels and independent artistes who rely on the internet for their marketing. joanna's success is good news to us indie labels who don't have the support of mainstream media (how often do you read about joanna in the entertainment column in chinese newspapers?) and the slick marketing machinery. as long as your music is good, you get the exposures you deserved, simple as that.

similar success cases where internet played a pivotal role include colbie callait and maria digby (spelling). we are going to see more and more singers enjoying phenomenal coverage via the internet in the years to come.

internet marketing, if executed smartly, can bring enormous success. of course, the singer and his/her music must be good in the first place.

the future is indeed bright for talented indie artistes. commerical pop is dead, unless you are jay chou or khalil fong.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

她回来了 [the queen is back]

睽違三年, 她回来了...

the queen is back after a lapse of 3 years.
we expect another explosion of creativity and out-of-this-world musical experience.

[excerpt taken from ]


製作人鍾成虎說 "這些作品的傑出,讓我啞口無言...","於是我認真思考保存它們的方式。"




貝斯 林羿妏/鼓手 陳柏州/吉他 鍾成虎/鍵盤 陳建騏/手風琴 王雁盟


製作地點橫跨台灣、洛杉磯、北京 。品質精良、製作用心,堪稱2009流行樂壇巨作。

屬於陳綺貞式的藝術追求 花的三部曲 腐朽、重生、綻放

陳綺貞一直在思考一個完整的創作歷程 能象徵自己的生命歷程

從2006開始 她終於思考出 花的姿態三部曲的概念

腐朽 重生 綻放 三個主題 華麗的冒險的專輯概念 和當時想要完成的概念 就是第一個歷程

接下來陳綺貞的唱片靈感都圍繞在 第二個歷程--重生 這個概念