Thursday, December 31, 2009

望梅止渴 [quenching the thirst]

unbeknown to many, the "coming home" 【回家】 by winnie ho in 2v1g's debut album is not the best version we have recorded, as far as roger wang is concerned... we actually have a demo version where roger wang played a stunning solo line guitar impromptu, which unfortunately couldn't be repeated in the final version that we kept in the album.

the first time roger played that solo, i had goose bumps all over my skin.. it was so gorgeous and touching.

so in quenching your thirst and in anticipation of 2v1g's second album in april 2010, we present to you an unedited, unadulterated version of "coming home".... listen to the solo guitar, listen to the solo guitar!

新年快樂![happy new year!]



2009 has been an eventful year, for better or for worse.

there has been laughters, tears, joys, sorrows, sadness, happiness.... should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? for auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne. we'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

2009 is coming to an end, so here's auld lang syne from roger wang, fresh from the oven (he just recorded it!), borrowed from me without his permission, especially dedicated to readers of this blog.

here's wishing you a happy new year and a glorious 2010 ahead!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

NBT 的現場錄音系列 [live recording series at NBT]



now, this is worth waiting for...

we are discussing with evelyn, the boss of NBT, to come out with a live recording series at NBT, starting with who else, the solianos.

live recording has plenty of merits. not only does it capture the electricity, the spontaneity, the live energy, the rapport with audience etc etc, it also captures the true spirits of great live acts like the solianos.

however, live recordings present many technical problems to the recording engineer. first, we can't use our studio equipment like the high-end mics, mixer. second, with everyone on a small stage like NBT's, there will be plenty of leakages which make mixing very difficult. also, we may need to record over a couple of gigs to get the best parts.

also, the recording would not be audiophile quality. it does not matter right? it is the music that counts.

of course, the financial outlay is smaller than a multiple-session studio recording. for artistes like the solianos, it is quite impossible to get all the family members to attend multiple-session recording. it is far easier to get them to perform in one venue and get over and done with.

so, we are progressing. if this outing is successful, there will be many more to come. well, they have the blue note live series, now we have the NBT live series.... simply cool.

one thing, the gig/live recording will be performed to selected audience only. you don't want some ah bengs (not that ah bengs will frequent a classy place like NBT) who shout "yam seng" halfway when the solianos sing "gadis idaman".... so do you want to be the selected audience? ;-)

we are ready for 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

向sheila majid 致敬的爵士專輯 [a jazz tribute to sheila majid]



i know this will happen: my burning desire to do something related to sheila majid. truth be told, long before i conceived 2v1g, i already started a project on sheila majid but the producer didn't do much work that time, resulting in a premature death of the project. now that i have a music label and some brilliant musicians under my arm, i am ready to revisit the project again.

i don't know about malay pop scene now but my best memories stay at the 90s where roslan aziz (ex-husband of sheila) helmed that incredible music label, RAP (roslan aziz productions). housed under this label were the best musicians in malaysia such as amir yusoff, zainal abidin and of course, sheila majid herself. RAP's appeal is cross-racial; it attracted the modern malays, the chinese and indians (and lain lain of course)... it was truly malaysian pop music at its best. and how could i forget to mention the music directorship of mac chew and jenny chin, now maestros on their own and highly sought after by many international artistes. RAP was a glorious chapter in malaysian pop music.

i sounded the idea (of making a jazz tribute) to a couple of accountant-minded friends of mine... here's their responses:

"you are self-indulgent la. i don't even own sheila majid's "legenda", supposedly the best malaysian pop album of all-time, you think i will buy your jazz tribute album?"

"it can only sell within malaysia, and possibly indonesia. you will die in taiwan, singapore and hong kong, your key markets."


so, help me to prove them wrong. i want you to tell me en masse how many of you would like to see such an album from pop pop music. please vote on the right side of this blog. i am looking for corporate sponsorships for this album, and i want to show them the vox populi, your voice. if you don't like the idea, let us know, we would definitely drop it.

if this album is on, to make it fun for you. we would nominate 3 singers for the album and you have a say on who you would like to sing on this album.

to make it even sweeter, i would list down 30 fave songs of sheila majid and you will get to vote which are the 12 songs you would like to include in the album.

so please exercize your musical rights, tell me whether you want a tribute album on sheila majid. of course, you must have the confidence and trust that we won't do injustice to sheila's great work!

we have many friends who know kak sheila and we would love to have her endorsing this project by probably writing a preface on the album....

for the younger music lovers, if you don't know who sheila majid is, please go to youtube and listen to songs like "sinaran", "dia" and "legenda".

vote now!

Monday, December 28, 2009

2v1g 重新出發 [revamped, recharged and ready to go]


yet another change in team composition. 2v1g has cleared hurdles after hurdles, hopefully this is the last hurdle.

tonight the production team convened to lay down the new directions for the trio and finalize 8 songs for the much-delayed sophomore album. this is the first time the team has gone this far in song selections and this is surely a good sign after so many false starts to the project.

how to conquer the all-fearing sophomore jinx? me and my producer are very sure that we would like to maintain the sentimental and languid mood of the debut album. in fact, to many supporters of 2v1g, it is this romantic vibes that win them over. of course, there will always be a segment of listeners who would deem this mood "boring" and "unadventurous" but we are adamant that we can't please all. 2v1g did extremely well in taiwan but only so-so in hong kong. my hong kong friendly openly said that he finds 2v1g boring but you know him, he wants excitement in his music, like a double bass with dancing bass notes and a triangle, high hats or chime with airy highs. to us, that's cool but that's not 2v1g. we are not going to add to trio or quartet to 2v1g to make it exciting and fuller, after all it is the 2 voices and 1 guitar that make it special in the first place.

having said that, we are asking roger wang to dig deeper in the arrangement department to make it fuller and more varied. as for the two voices, we can ask for more chemistry since they are a new combination.

so this time is real. the project is moving. we are throwing the 8 songs to roger wang and ask him to arrange them to his highest standards. he would need to send us the arrangement for critical evaluation before we head into the studio in february 2010.

even the harshest critics of 2v1g (mostly industry people) admitted that the song selections in the debut album is top-notch. i am happy to tell you that for the sophomore album, i am equally excited about the song we selected. and roger's prelim arrangement for a couple of them shows plenty of maturity and understanding on his part on chinese pop music.

lastly, we are not ready to reveal the identity of the new "V" yet. but suffice to say, the new 2v1g is in many ways different and better than the old 2v1g.

no more false starts, no more waiting in vain, this time is real. 2v1g is back.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

我的巴莎諾瓦公主 [my bossa princess]


another exciting project kicks off!

"my bossa princess" aims to bring true authentic bossa nova to chinese pop. so far, we have heard a lot of "commercial"or "semi" bossa nova from chinese artistes but this time, we are gonna give it an authentic feel with brazilian touches!

our hope is to create a lisa ono or olivia ong of malaysia, only with better recording and musicianship!


the singer is going to be a sweet pretty gal (sexy too!) who is adept in singing bossa nova. her identity is not revealed at this point in time but we assure you that she has both the voice and good looks.

we engage jz8's tay cher siang as the producer and the arranger, cheong, the local bossa nova guru who is famous with his long hair and mini nylon string acoustic guitar.


we started off by doing a demo of 3 songs, using 2v1g's singer winnie ho, and some local sessionists. the songs we chose are chinese folk songs [民歌】 of the 70s. the arrangement done by cher siang and cheong is very fresh, authentic and totally cool. you won't imagine chinese folk songs can be played like this!


bossa music needs a lot of percussion and we would add more instruments in many of the songs. of course, there will be ballads which require just a guitar and maybe one more instrument. all in all, the repertoire will have plenty of variety and varied tempo.

actual recording starts after CNY and we are looking at june 2010 timeframe for completion.

as always, you are the first one who gets to listen to the demo here! the playlist is on the right side of the panel. you are welcome to give us comments.

Friday, December 25, 2009

可能嗎?[can make it?]


we have set a deadline for jz8's release. quite an impossible one - 7th feb 2010, just one week before CNY and the V day.

not so much because we want to rush but because our diva and divo would both be busy starting march 2010. lydia will be starting work with jacky cheung, sheila majid and jenny tseng and cher siang will be starting his overseas tour with his WVC jazz trio.



if we miss this, it would have to wait until april or may or even june, which would be terrible, considering how long this project has taken and how eager we want to share it with you.

there are so many more things to do than the launching of love's tapestry. we need more publicity and a proper press conference and more corporate sponsorship.

in all likelihood, we can't meet the 7th feb 2010 deadline but let's hope it doesn't drag beyond march 2010.

as promised, you will be in for a treat.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

我的圣誕音樂 [my kind of x'mas music]


it took five years for norwegian duo, king of convenience (koc) to release their third studio album and what a worthwhile wait it has been.

"declaration of dependence" is quite possibly one of the most beautifully understated folk albums in recent years. tranquil, harmonious, dreamy and thought-provoking, the mood is one of fragile beauty, often either melancholy or bittersweet... this is my best x'mas present ever!



for those who've never heard of koc, the easiest comparison would be a sort of modern day simon & garfunkel or closer still, belle and sebastian.

a peaceful album full of treasures.. highly recommended!

oh, btw, local indie concert organizer, soundscape records is bringing koc to kl in march 2010... well, you better book your tixs fast.

圣誕結 [lonely x'mas]





not being a christian, x'mas is just another public holiday for me. however, i must admit to loving the festive spirits and romanticism of the whole thing.

my x'mas have always been lonely. i remember many x'mas spending time alone listening to my hifi at home. some of my fave x'mas songs are not the happy and jolly kind. i only like the sentimental "have yourself a merry little x'mas". i don't fancy the traditional rendition, i prefer the jazzy take from diana krall and the alternative take from coldplay (weird!), and of course, eason chan's oh-so-sad [圣誕結].



as if realizing that i have been too lonely and spent too many x'mases in solitude, god granted me a company, so i am not spending x'mas alone this year, or for that matter, many years to come.

for that, i am eternally grateful.

so, bachelor guys and bachelor gals, you too, shouldn't spend your x'mas alone anymore.

廉價籃 [bargain bin]


i have this uncanny tendency to scan the bargain bin corner of all record shops i frequent. not only do i hope to find some undiscovered gems, i also want to know what kind of flops you can find in a bargain bin.

really, if you are the singer or artiste, how do you feel when you see your own CD being thrown in the bargain bin, going for RM9.90 for two CDs?

what causes an album to end up in bargain binl? lack of marketing and promotion? lousy production?

some of the artistes i find in the bin are surprising good singers. i don't mind giving names: 林一峰 (chet lam) from hk, 周筆暢 from china and our local singer danny 溫立銘.

of course, there are many obscure albums/artistes which you don't even want if they were given free to you.

most buyers in the record shop know what can sell and what can't, based on their years of experience and sales trend. still, they can make mistakes. but buyers these days are extremely cautious. a lot of times, they only take 1 or 2 pieces from the distributor, even if the artiste is known one. they don't mind repeating the order only when there is demand or request from customers. this strategy works far better than over-stocking!

also, retailers now would ask for consignment from the distributor, to reduce the risk. which means more work (paper and physical) for the distributor when there is unsold stock.

music retail business is a tough business. very seldom they have windfall like michael jackson and susan boyle, which could buoy their sales drastically.

ultimately, where there is unsold stock that's impossible to clear, after a prolonged period on the shelf, retailers have to make way for new stock and these unsold stock would end up at the ignominious bargain bin.

bargain bin is the place most artistes dread to end up with.

maybe i should do a post on "most frequently found artistes/albums in bargain bin" ;-)

出街啦![It's out!]


there is so much chore in picking the serial numbers reserved for you out of the 1,000 copies in interglobal's warehouse! imagine i have to pick close to 300+ copies pre-ordered and it is really not an easy job! not that i regret doing that for you but definitely i would like to delegate this kind of job to my assistant next time! (if ever i could afford to hire someone) roger wang just made a smart-alecky comment yesterday: "this is what indie label is about". yeah, roger, you are darn right ;-)

the shipment came very late yesterday at 4:30pm, almost 6 hours late! my patience was fully tested. however when i see the final product, i was relieved. it looks nice and the packaging stands out from the crowd. i hope you will like it too.

seriously, i hate the serial number picking job! so i would like to hereby announce that the serial number reservation is now stopped - you can no longer pick your favorite number as the stock have gone out to the warehouse.

having said that, there is plenty of satisfaction in doing everything on my own. fully hands-on will let one understand the end-to-end cycle of a business process!

so, love's tapestry will be out at the music stores this afternoon...a big yay! today is also my dad's birthday too... hey dad, a happy birthday to you!

and do remember, you can't find it at rock corner... only cd rama, speedy and victoria music.

thanks, guys, i am a proud father of my newborn!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 年我最喜愛的三張中文專輯 [my top 3 fave chinese albums in 2009]

the year is coming to an end, it hasn't been a particularly good year for chinese pop music. often, i can't bear more than 3 minutes listening to local chinese radio stations. still, i have a few albums that gave me pleasant surprises.

as you can see, everyone is moving into cover versions, mostly with disappointing results.

the 3 albums listed here are the ones that i could listen to over and over again...

unfortunately, all these albums are not found in malaysia (well, karen mok is forgiven since it is only released in downloadable mp3 format). either i have abnormal tastes or the malaysian music buyers are not adventurous enough ;-)

1) karen mok "reminisce" 回蔚



karen mok and producer zhang ya dong gave everyone a lesson in doing cover versions. in fact, universal music has signed karen mok based on the strength of this incredible album, so it will soon be released in cd format.

bold, controversial and exciting, this is the kind of cover version album that makes me tick.

2) ivana wong 王菀之 "on wings of time"



ignoring the crappy mainstream cantopop, ivana wong is totally on her own and has fully come of age. this album is full of gems and sincerity. ivana still has that little girl demeanor but it doesn't mar her immense talents and musicality.

as always, if you want original music, you have to depend on singer-songwriters like ivana wong.

3) debbie hsiao 蕭賀碩 "stay"
my fave singer-songwriter after cheer chen, debbie is a tunesmith of high order. big sweeping melodies and tight production (her boyfriend was involved), this pop/jazz album oozes sincerity and musicality. equally talented malaysian singer-songwriter wu jia hui, has a hand in one of the songs.

if debbie has the looks of stefanie sun (for whom she wrote many songs), she would have become a superstar by now.

merry x'mas everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

一切很美, 只因有你 [because of you]

since i have told everyone involved in this project that there won't be a 'thank you' list in the album inlay, i guess it is the right time for me to do it here....

drum roll, please.....

[chow kam leong]



i owe much to you for bringing me to the music line. your commitment in setting up tutti studios is highly, incredibly respected. your willingness to groom the new generation of musicians is commendable. your generosity, your unselfishness, your benevolence are hallmark of a man that has achieved the highest state of wisdom. i salute you.

[gina panizales]


you are the voice that brings life to these great songs. every time i listen to "still" and "just once", i can't help but feel that excruciating pain that is masked behind the beautiful melodies. thanks too for being able to sing live, one-take recording as not many singers dare to do that! and sorry for bringing back memories of the "scumbag" that hurt you so badly in the song "just tell me you love me".

[roger wang]


what more can i say to my guitar maestro? your guitar playing is getting more sensitive and delicate by the day, a sign of maturing into something even bigger. thank you for being the good story teller. thank you for being a permanent part of pop pop music and musictoxin. we just can't do without you.

[joseph ki]


i thought i am a perfectionist, until i met you. i am never truly a humble person, until i met you. you open my eyes to what's so is so beautiful about chasing perfection, without feeling apologetic even if you don't reach there. it would be a pity if you don't write a book on hifi and music appreciation. we need a legacy from someone like you.


[vong]


we keep saying that our recording engineer is the best and that would definitely attract a lot of attacks and criticism but do we care? you are surely on the way of being the best, if you keep doing what you are doing, adhering to the strictest and highest level of demands. i am proud of you, vong! may we scale higher heights!


[my sister]



you came into my life like an umbrella in the rain, a fire in the cold. without your love, support, and tender loving care for the past months - the toughest ever period in my life - i would still be hopelessly lost and living a decadent life without directions and purpose. there is so much wisdom and analytical power in you that even a grown man like me has gotta listen to you. thank for bringing so much colors into my life! you are one of the most incredible women in my life.

and last but not least,

[my one and only]

it is really not easy to pick up the pieces and soldier on. the void is unbearable; the scar is permanent. i remember more than once, while we were in the car, you thanked me for introducing all those great 80s love songs to you and because of this gesture, i was happy for a long long time. i hope you are happy that i made this album for you. you know, deep inside, we all want you to be happy in your life and successful in your career. if we do cross path again, i hope we could start afresh and renew our friendship. thanks for coming into my life and left an indelible mark, and gave me some of the best times of my life.

Friday, December 18, 2009

愛的真諦 [true love unveiled]



ABOUT LOVE’S TAPESTRY

It is amazing how love can inspire us to greater things.

Love's Tapestry is a love story, albeit a heartbreaking one. It is an ordinary love story involving two passionate music lovers who fell in love because of music. What is extraordinary is that, together they dreamed of revolutionizing the stale and overly commercial music scene by starting an ultra cool indie label called "pop pop music".

Love's Tapestry is a love album that encapsulates love, hope and longing. It is an album for those who have gone through the trials and tribulations of love and for those who have come full circle in love and relationships.

This romantic album covers many of the great love songs of the 70s and 80s, such as “Just Tell Me You Love Me”, “Just Once”, “Still” and “I Honestly Love You”. The songs are played in a stripped-down acoustic (solo guitar) and trio format. Roger Wang and Gina Panizales are merely story tellers of this love story and what a job they have done. While Roger Wang remains our favorite guitarist and regular feature artiste, many people have asked us why and how we chose Gina Panizales. The answer is simply: Gina understands the love, joy and pain in Love's Tapestry. She lived through all these facets of love; she lived through all these music in the album. We can't think of a better singer to interpret these classic love songs.

This fabulous album sees the collaboration of two veteran audiophiles in Malaysia – Leslie Loh and Joseph Ki (audiophile guru of the BBC LS3/5a speaker fame) - joining hands together to create a stunning recording.

The producers of this album have left no stone unturned by investing in the best ever possible hardware and audiophile-grade components. They chose the best studio equipped with state-of-the-art Neve analogue mixing console and assorted models of top-line AKG microphones. Even the audiophile cables (Stage III Concepts A.S.P. Reference Gryphon Silver/Palladium interconnects) alone cost over RM100K. To push the boundaries even further, they have enlisted the world’s top mastering guru, Doug Sax from The Mastering Lab to do the all-important audiophile mastering. The result is a stunning recording, reaching international standards, that would please even the most hardcore and demanding audiophiles.

If you believe us, this album is quite possibly the best ever high-end audiophile recording that is made in Malaysia by a Malaysian music label. Which, in layman speak, it will sound darn good even in your IPod or MP3 players.

The power of love has made us strong and a believer in the impossible.

Love’s Tapestry captures a precious love moment in time.


LOVE’S TAPESTRY專輯简介


是爱这神奇的力量影响了我们,创造了那么多伟大深远的事物。

Love's Tapestry虽然伤碎人心,却是一则爱情故事,一则有关一对对音乐充满热情而互相付出的恋人的普通爱情故事。故事的非凡面是,他们抱着同样的梦想,对过度泛滥和廖无生气的市场主流音乐投于改革的冲劲进而成立自己超凡的独立唱片品牌 "pop pop music".

简单的说,Love's Tapestry是一张爱、期待和渴望的专辑。是一张献给感受过爱、为爱贡献付出过和为爱经历了无数沧桑的人们的专辑。

这一张浪漫的专辑收录了70和80年代多首经典歌曲如:“Just Tell Me You Love Me”, “Just Once”, “Still” 和“I Honestly Love You”,所有的歌曲都以赤裸裸的原音不插电乐器伴奏如吉他、鼓和大提琴。对于这一些爱情故事,吉他手Roger Wang和歌手Gina Panizales则交出了一个叙述者该有的呈现。Roger Wang,毫无疑问的我们熟悉的杰出吉他手,很多人却问:为何而又如何我们选择了Gina Panizales?答案非常简单:Gina明白Love's Tapestry,她经历了里面所有的爱、欢乐和痛楚,要演绎这一些歌曲,我们舍她取谁?

这一张绝佳的专辑,我们看到了我国发烧音響界两个响当当的名字Leslie Loh (Hi-Fi杂志 "av xpress" 的主编和 "Desirable Audio Boutique" 和 “Pop Pop Music” 部落格的主笔) 和 Joseph Ki (LS3/5a 喇叭的发烧大师)魅力无穷的携手制作。

专辑制作人为了达致最高录音指标,特选择了拥有Neve Genesys混音盘和顶级AKG麦克风的录音室并以破斧沉舟的勇气引进了价值马币100千的发烧線 Stage III Concepts A.S.P. Reference Gryphon Silver/Palladium interconnects.等录制发烧碟最该具备的至佳器材以便录制出最佳听觉效果的专辑,母带后期处理更是交给美国顶级母带后期处理大师Doug Sax,确保最后的成绩可以达到国际水平和合乎要求最高、最顽固的发烧碟人士的要求。

请相信我们,通过普通的音响、IPod 或者是MP3来测听,这一张我国音乐品牌出版同时也可能是我国有史以来一张最高超的发烧碟录制的专辑,同样会带给你绝佳的听觉效果。

爱的力量让我们更坚强同时更相信不可能的非绝对。

Love’s Tapestry记录了爱的所有美好时光。

Thursday, December 17, 2009

延迟 [love's tapestry to hit the stores next tuesday!]


sorry for the delay... we miscalculated :-(

friday is a public holiday and interglobal, our distributor, is not working!

to be safe, next tuesday would be a safe bet.

for those who have pre-ordered, we will despatch the CD on monday via poslaju; for malaysian buyers, it will definitely reach you by christmas! for those who haven't paid, please make your payment now. please refer to the right hand panel with the link entitled "online purchase" and follow the instructions accordingly.

any questions, just email to poppopmusic@yahoo.com

i was told that the packaging is marvellous!

好時光 [good time]



cd rama marketing folks (ah hock, joann, june) occupying the most important seats


me, lam seng fatt and the digi yellow man, mr. cheah

it is the first time i held a listening party at my house. first and many more to come, hopefully.

attendees include 988 radio Djs, cd rama marketing folks and the star reporter and the sunday times reporter. notable absentees were victoria music and speedy video staff. i was quit disappointed that victoria music, my favourite record store, didn't come. i hope they know what they missed and i hope they will come for the my next album's launch.

johhny and moon from 988

i started by giving a short speech on why i created pop pop music and why music retailers should support us. 5 songs from love's tapestry were played and 4 songs from jz8 were given a sneak preview.

the most enthusiastic lot was cd rama marketing staff. i could see that they are really interested in our music and products. they showed a lot of interest and listened attentively throughout the session. thank you, joann, ah hock and june!

johnny, me, moon and winnie ho of 2v1g

mr. cheah, the big boss of interglobal, was only interested in the food! he has been eying on the the food the moment it was delivered, well before we finished the listening! bloody glutton! i had the food catered by my favourite italian restaurant, vary pasta at atria, damansara jaya. everyone enjoyed the beef bacon sandwiches and bruschetta very much!


it was a fun session overall. to me, it is very important to foster a good relationship with the retailers and media and this kind of intimate sharing is both effective and beneficial to all parties.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

網上訂購 [online purchase of love's tapestry]


we are accepting internet orders for “love's tapestry"!

love tapesty's CDs are also being sold in major record shops (except rock corner) nationwide starting 22nd december 2009.

the first press is a limited edition cd of 999 copies. each album is serialized with a unique number from 1 to 999. depending on the availability, you can choose any number from 2 to 999!

this is an imported cd pressed in hong kong's major high-end cd replication factory, sony dadc. the price for the CD is RM62.90. the first press is the virgin press so the sound quality is top-notch. besides, it comes in a hardcover booklet with many glam shots of roger wang and gina panizales!

regardless of mode of payment, please add the following poslaju charges depending on where you are:

  • kuala lumpur ---- > RM5.72
  • peninsular ---- > RM6.00.
  • sarawak -----> RM8.60
  • sabah -----> RM9.20
____________________________________________________________

1) payment maybank2u, interbank transfer or cheque deposit

for maybank2u, please deposit into account: POP POP MUSIC 514271338499

if you pay via maybank2u, please remember to fill in the email address
poppopmusic@yahoo.com so that a confirmation email will be sent to us. write a separate email to poppopmusic@yahoo.com to provide your address.

for cheque deposit, please scan a copy of the receipt and email to us.

_____________________________________________________________

2) payment via paypal

please follow the steps below:

you can pay in ringgit malaysia (RM).

for buyers from malaysia:

courier services will be poslaju.

1) add RM4.80 for paypal fee
2) add RM62.90 for the cost of CD
3) add poslaju fee as stated above depending on your location
4) make payment in RM to lesloh@yahoo.com

for buyer from overseas (including singapore):

all CDs will be sent by normal airmail

1) add airmail shipping charges (for one CD only , extra CD(s) will increase the charges) depending on your country:

singapore ---> RM10.10
australia -----> RM10.70
united kingdom -----> RM13.80
USA ------> RM19.90
canada ---> RM19.90

2) add RM4.80 for paypal fee
3) add RM62.90 for the cost of CD
4) make payment in RM to lesloh@yahoo.com

ALL BUYERS: please remember to provide your shipping address!

if you have queries, please call leslie at +60122083790.

thanks for supporting roger wang and gina panizales!

張學友出爵士碟 [jacky to release a canto jazz album]


i knew this long ago and i heard something on the radio just now.. it sounds like a jacky cheung's old song being re-arranged in jazz. i am not sure.

jacky came to malaysia last year on a "secret" trip to record a canto jazz album. the recording was done in the ark studio in TTDI. the studio has some nice audiophile-grade equipment. it enlisted a lot of top sessionists including lewis pragasam and roger wang.

the producer is andrew 杜自持。

if top artistes like jacky cheung is turning to jazz, you should know that he is pretty disappointed with the pop market.

連環高潮 [multiple orgasms]

orgasmic find

gee, it is starting to read like a pornographic blog ;-)

some of the happiest things in life happen when you least expect it.

i found this dvd entitled "cheer's poses", not even aware that there is such dvd from cheer chen ( i have most of her stuff) . so i thought it must be a personal collection of photos, video footages and snippets and MVs of cheer chen's musical journey. and you know what, it turns out to be a director's cut or an alternative take of cheer's 花的姿態 concert in 2007, with absolutely amazing close-up shots of her on the stage, coupled with stupendous graphics and special effects. the whole thing is akin to having cheer herself producing the whole video just for her diehard fans' private consumption!



i was gasping with pleasure while i watch the incredible photography, amazing editing and stylized poses of her on and off the stage. we all know that cheer chen is not the prettiest of woman but isn't she supremely stylish with her flowing tresses and slender frame?

let me make a statement here: it does not matter whether one actually appreciates chinese indie pop or cheer chen's brand of music, one can't deny that not in our distant memory have we seen a phenomenon like cheer chen, not only in the musical sense but artistic sense. what i mean is you don't see any chinese artiste, an indie artiste notwithstanding, and completely D.I.Y in everything she does, that has such exemplary standards in photography, video, lyrics, packaging, image ... and all coming out from a simple but shockingly talented singer-songwriter.



cheer chen and her production team (led by her boyfriend tiger chung (鐘成虎) is the team that will change the chinese pop music landscape in the next 10 years. already their highly-successful sign-up, crowd lu (盧廣仲),is a testament to this musical force.

i urge all the fans of cheer chen to go all over the dvd shops and hunt for this gem!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

一萬個讀者![10,000 readers!]


my god, in just barely 4 months, pop pop music blog has achieved 10,000 unique readers!

mind you, this counter doesn't count on page views (you visit 10 times in a day, the counter will increment 10 times) , which is meaningless; it counts on unique IP address (the first time you visit, the counter will increment one and won't increment again for subsequent visits unless you sign in from another IP address).

prior to this blog, i was the chief blogger at desirable audio boutique, the first hifi blog in this region, and in my 3.5 years of blogging, i didn't even reach this number of unique readers!

it just goes to show that there are many many more music lovers than hifi enthusiasts!

way to go! i promise to bring in more facets of music to this blog!

at the same time, i would like to invite those interested on music blogging to join me in this blog... any takers?

星報報導 [pop pop music in the star today!]


star writes about pop pop music today. lick here to view!

Monday, December 14, 2009

音樂豐富的一週 [fabulous week at NBT ]




Does Malaysia have a music scene? If you have to ask, then we''ll have to make front-row reservations for you at No Black Tie this week. For at No Black Tie, we pride ourselves in bringing a diverse range of musicians to our stage and giving them tip-top acoustics, in ensuring that the resulting musical experience is a priceless, unforgettable one.

Then there are The Solianos, Rozz and Jamie Wilson — all musicians deeply rooted in the legacy of many of the world's music royalty. Come and live vicariously through these music powerhouses. Catch a glimpse of life on the road with musicians like The Eagles and Steely Dan with Jamie Wilson. Feel the invigorating heat of Broadway's stage lights with Rozz and discover Alfonso Soliano's legacy between the notes of The Solianos' performance.

If music is what feelings sound like, then we invite you to indulge in your emotions with your favourite tipple at No Black Tie. For reservations, please call 03- 2142-3737 after 5 pm.

DECEMBER 15/TUESDAY
9.30pm rm30

THE SOLIANOS: Irene Soliano (v), Tristano (p), Valentino (b), Rizal Soliano.It has been said that a family that eats together stays together. For the Solianos whose primary bond is music, playing together is also a reminder of the gift that runs in the family and of the musical lineage that traces back to their late father Alfonso Soliano, who is widely regarded as the grandfather of Malaysian jazz. The Solianos’ brand of music is sure to capture the imagination of all jazz lovers.

DECEMBER 18/FRIDAY
10.30pm rm40

If you're looking to share the evening with a musician who's lived the life of the musician on the road, then meet JAMIE WILSON. Born in Australia Jamie studied classical guitar as a child and made his first formal appearance at the age of 16 at the Sydney Opera House. By his merit alone, Jamie was invited to the prestigious G.I.T. Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California before he went on to play with the famous ‘China Club’ alongside music legends, Joe Walsh ( The Eagles), Jeff Baxter (Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers), Tim Bogart (Jeff Beck Group) and Clarence Clemens (Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band). Returning to Australia he joined rock legend Jimmy Barnes on his national tour, followed by tours with Australia’s music royalty, guitar maestro Tommy Emmanuel, Ian Moss, Richard Clapton and many others culminating in sharing the stage with American legend and Grammy winner Steve Miller.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

超墮落的圣誕 [totally decadent x'mas]

snow white from santa?

i am dreaming of a white x'mas in the form of an all-white piano-finish tivoli audio music system (retailing at RM5,999)!

for the uninitiated, tivoli audio is the "designer hi-end" brand in life-style audio but with sound quality that can embarrass B&O (bang & olufsen) and bose.

as of now, i already have 3 hifi systems in the house - 2 in the living hall (my main hifi system - strictly for critical listening - and the incredible stylish enzer harmoni gold lifestyle cd player but unfortunately enzer has gone kabut and i could no longer buy another unit of this great looking cd player!) and 1 the av room... but i still need 1 lifestyle player in my bedroom for nocturnal listening ...

what else but the sexily looking tivoli could satisfy my aural lust....

santa, could you please grant me this humble wish? ;-)

我要你的性愛 [i want your sex]


25 years in the music industry and this is the first time georgie (george michael) releases a concert dvd! long time coming indeed!

i really don't know what to expect, except to tell you that one of the best concerts i have attended was george michael's concert in sydney in 1986, held at the sydney entertainment centre, chinatown. we were sitting really close to goergie then and we witnessed in amazement how he gyrated, posed and strutted all his way on the stage to woo his fans. georgie was at his prime then: good-looking and sexy, i remember telling myself: "this man is one of the sexiest men alive (other than barry gibb of the bee gess) and his dance moves are so slick and seductive!".

fact is, george michael has been on tour since 2006 and this concert recorded here is the last stop of his 3-year world-tour.

those who remember george michael as the poster pin-up boy of WHAM, his partnership with andrew-whathisname and stop following his career path subsequently, would not know how georgie progresses as a genuine singer-songwriter. in fact, georgie subsequently develops a liking for jazz and soul stuff and his has a voice to carry it.

this concert has amazing stage (notice the artificial ski slope erected!) and gigantic and colorful video presentation. true to georgie's playboy image, you get to see many images of half-naked famous supermodels on screen! (can you name them all?) the pyrotechnics were impressive; it just adds so much excitement to georgie's energetic performance.

if your knowledge of george michael stops at "careless whispers" then you are in for a real surprise, for georgie showcases many of his uptempo hits, which are all funky, danceable and very very stylishly executed. my brother actually tells me that songs like "fast love" and "too funky" are still being played at dance clubs in malaysia.

what impresses me really is how sexy this man is, even in his middle-age, all chubby but still looking good and attractive. his dance moves are so nice to watch. i love to see him gyrate to the rhythm... this man can dance!

watch out for alternative jazzy takes on police's "roxanne" and "the first time i ever saw your face" . i also like the complete silence from the audience when he renders "a different corner", a famous ballad in the late 80s.

you can also get to see how the foul-mouthed georgie blurted out the words "f***king" many times to express his gratitude to the audience. in fact, i was disappointed that he didn't sing "i want your sex", the most controversial of his hits in the 80s. perhaps the malaysian censorship board has decided to censor it!

this is a great concert that shows that george michael is more than an idol; he is a genuine singer-songwriter who can make good music.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

solianos 答應出專輯! [the solianos said yes!]

irene soliano

history in the making - the solianos has tentatively agreed to cut an album with pop pop music!

i just met with irene soliano, the big sister of the soliano family in NBT tonight. irene is a bubbly woman full of vitality and zest, and you can tell that music runs in her blood. basically irene is keen to work with us... now, shouldn't we open a bottle of champagne and celebrate?

of course, there are so many issue to thrash out.

first, timing - how to get all the family members, who are based in langkawi, to come together to record an album? everyone of them is so busy with gigs and engagements. we are talking about the solianos, mind you. well, it is our former PM (dr. mathathir) who offered the solianos residency in langkawi, so it does tell you something about the position of the musical family in the eyes of the the VVIPs.

so irene suggested that all these logistics issues must go thru her best friend and designated project manager for this album, ms evelyn hii, the incredible lady boss of NBT. after all, it is evelyn who is responsible for the reunion of the solianos in the recent 11th anniversary bash of no black tie. without evelyn's initiation, the solianos just won't come on stage all at the same time! irene went to the extent of saying that if evelyn is not involved in this project, she won't either. so i really have to coax evelyn into working with us.

second, irene would prefer recording a live performance as the solianos are famous for their spontaneity and live energy on stage. she is afraid that the studio recording might stifle their performance. now, this is a real problem as we have not done live recording before. i mean, not to the standards of audiophile recording.

whatever it is , tonight's meeting is a milestone meeting. at least, i get irene to consent into cutting an album. the rest of the issues can be resolved stage by stage.

if this happens, it will definitely propel pop pop music into the forefront of malaysian music industry. you, music lovers, are the ultimate beneficiary of this initiative.

you bet i am dreaming hard about the eventuality of this project!

god, let me work with the solianos!

for those who haven't heard the marvelous 3-part harmony of the solianos, come to their performance at NBT next tuesday. you will see many of us there!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

我們真的那么忙嗎?[are we really THAT busy?]


Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:


the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk..

6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.


10 minutes:


A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.


45 minutes:


The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.


1 hour:


He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.


No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.... How many other things are we missing?

介紹曾鈺婷 [introducing mia]




my recent trip to taiwan tells me that singer-songwriters in taiwan are a dime a dozen but if you really want to find one that comes close to the standards of cheer chen qi zhen, it is really not easy.

i thought mia [曾鈺婷] shows promises. check her out in this video of her performance at 河岸留言, one of the best music cafes in taipei.

the last trip i was there, i just missed out on my fave singer-songwriter debbie hsiao [蕭賀碩]; she is a regular at this cafe.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

請試聽啦! [playlist is ready!]



ta-da! we are ready to let have a taste of love's tapestry!

the playlist is on the top right hand corner of the page.

what's more, you can even embed the HTML in your blog/website and share it with your readers and at the same time, help us to promote our album!

you can listen by clicking the play ">" button...

can you hear the pristine sound quality even from your computer? yeah, great sound indeed!

we are still finding ways to improve this customized player so suggestions are welcome.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

迷幻英倫風 [chinese britpop]


yoga lin 【林宥嘉】 is not exactly the kind of voice i like but what daringly good albums he comes out with!

this latest album shows tons of promises as he takes on where he left off in his debut, a style unheard before in chinese pop: britpop a la radiohead and coldplay, of course, in a more commercial setting.

love this. if i were to produce a chinese pop album, this will be the kind of genre that i will attempt....

just for interest, the executive producer is wang zi ping 【王治平】, the father of joanna wang.

review to come soon.

Monday, December 7, 2009

一絕! [thorough gem!]

compilation of best tv theme songs of the 70s (click to enlarge)


click to see all the gems of the 70s

i practically broke out in laughters and almost rolled myself on the floor when i discovered this album in one inconspicuous corner in victoria music, amcorp mall!

i quickly summoned jamie, the store manager, and asked her if they are sung by original singers! she said yes and i yelled "great!"... the sticker price is RM19.90!

you see, the best cantopop was from the 70s era where tv theme songs were household hits in hk.. it was also the era where hk tv drama series penetrated into malaysia... the invasion of video tapes... remember those days of betamax and VHS tape? hahaha.

almost all the songs were composed by joseph ku (顧家輝) with lyrics written by the late james wong (黃霑)。 these two were the top composer-lyricist team that ruled the cantopop in the 70s right till 80s.

this is a thorough gem, through and through just click the on the song list and you know what i mean. roman tam, adam cheng, susanne kuan (her theme song for "kong chiu" is covered by khalil fong recently), lisa wang, you can't possibly beat that. of course, if you are below the age of 35, you wouldn't understand all the fuss!

hey, this is most likely a pirated CD as i don't even see a proper label...

can this uncle name this CD as one of my favourites in 2009?

btw, i am soon going to name my personal top 5 chinese pop CDs of 2009... stay tuned!