Wednesday, February 24, 2010

好事成雙 [double-bill]

bentley auditorium: this setting is quite close to what we want - close-up and intimate

we are in the process of confirming the venue with bentley music。。。 in all likelihood, the concert is on.....

since their sell-out gigs at no black tie two years ago, many have waited patiently for their repeat performance. .... now, 2v1g is back, with a stronger line-up and an even better roger wang.....

soon in april 2010, you will also get to hear the stunning piano-n-vocal duo, jz8, releasing their debut album.....this is the most anticipated album for many....

together, 2v1g and jz8 are going to thrill your aural senses with a double-bill concert held at the very classy bentley music auditorium (picture above) in mutiara damansara come 16th & 17th july 2010...

the night promises to be a night where simple, beautiful acoustic music will tug your heartstrings more than anything else...

if i were you, i would immediately block off these dates and ask all my friends to attend with me.... really, you don't get concert like this very often in malaysia....

watch this space, very closely, as once confirmed, we will open our reservation for early birds... and our hunch tells us that tickets will sell fast....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

jz8 封面拍攝 [jz8 cover shooting]

three words sum up what the production team wanted for the cover photography of jz8 album: classic, elegant and sexy.

because this is exactly what jz8 music is about and exactly what jz8's vocalist lydia chew is about.

lydia is a photogenic looker, that's why we get one of the up-and-coming photographers to shoot for this assignment. also, we engage a style and fashion director to advise on the clothing and stylistics aspects. so, it is strong, creative team we have for the shooting last night.

for many men, especially bachelors, we just couldn't understand why women take so long to do their make-up. in lydia chew's case, it took 3 hours - yes, you hear it right, 3 hours! we were quite bored waiting for the shooting to begin.

it was an indoor shooting, done entirely in tutti studio. we marvel at how the young photographer tirelessly adjusted the lighting, kneeled down, squatted, generally doing all sorts of acrobatics to capture lydia chew in her best moments.

the shooting started at 8pm and ended at 1am. it was really tiring. but we are happy that we captured some magical shots of lydia and cher siang. we must say the photographer is pretty kool and creative. he makes lydia chew look like a million dollars, not that she needs to try hard. we also saw cher siang, usually stern and serious, looking handsome and suave, playing his piano with his hat on.

we can't wait for the release of the photographs. we are confident that just like 2v1g's cover, jz8's cover is gonna be a classic!

十二個音 [more love scale]

so you think this guitarist plays better than roger wang? the answer is obvious, right? ;-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

好時辰 [timeline]

6th april 2010 - mp3 playlist of 6 songs will be posted in this blog and everyone can embed in his/her websites/blogs

6th april 2010 - start accepting online reservation. reserved cds will be despatched by end of april 2010.

28th april 2010 : retail launch - jz8 album available in all record shops nationwide (except rock corner).

12th may 2010: jz8's press conference in bentley music, mutiara damansara

16th and 17th july 2010
: jz8 and 2V1G double-bill concert (venue to be confirmed, most likely bentley auditorium). if you buy jz8 album, it will come will a rebate of RM20 off the concert ticket price

23th, 24th july 2010: launching of 2v1g's sophomore album and possible appearance of 2V1G in KLIAV (KL International AV show).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

關于張學友的錄音師 [a tale about stephen lim, jacky cheung's engineer]

Stephen and Roger with signed copy of Jacky Cheung's Private Corner

do you know kota kinabalu produces many outstanding people in the music line?

here's an interesting story about a kk guy who's landed in his dream job - to be the recording engineer of jacky cheung.

thanks to joanna funk for the great article.

高度傳真的死亡 [the death of high fidelity]

please spend 10 minutes to go thru this famous article and appreciate what we are doing at pop pop music.

like what they say, it is a tough job but somebody has got to do it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

歌在呼吸 #6 [song we cherish #6]

the song "march" [三月] in 2v1g debut is composed by our producer chow kam leong and it is easily one of our faves in the album. it is also roger wang's favorite song in the album. roger picked this song to be the first song to record.

"march" is actually the theme song from the local indie movie "3rd generation" [第三代], made in year 2007, starring idol singer nicholas zhang tong liang, super model amber chia and the ultimately babelicious carmen soo (ok, we would admit it now: we watched the movie because we wanted to see carmen soo in body hugging cheongsam!).

it was directed by director CL hor who aspires to be malaysia's wong kar wai. the script was hollow, the acting was wooden, the dialogue was a joke, so naturally the movie flopped disastrously but the soundtrack, entirely produced by chow, is something worth cherishing.

in particular, the theme song "march" sung here in full band by former 2v1g vocalist regine tai, is one of the best compositions by chow. compared this (check out the right panel playlist) with the stripped-down and "swingy" version in 2v1g album (check out the youtube above), which one do you like more?

sad, melancholic and full of pathos, this song speaks of a tragic love (apparently a true story that happened to our producer). chow composed this song while he was on a plane. he wrote it in less than one hour, we were told.

regine tai, what can we say, she is just the perfect singer to convey chow's feelings about lost love, loneliness and pain. for those who miss her, this is a chance to savor this great song.

from now on, all the songs we cherish will be put on the playlist on right panel for your enjoyment!

Friday, February 19, 2010

重要通告 [important announcement]

our long-awaited, stylishly designed RM299-only philip cube micro player

much to our disappointment: our apple-inspired RM299 philips cube micro player from harvey norman does not like the "love's tapestry" album!

true to what many non-audiophile pop fans have complained: the recording sounds "flat" and "lacking of oomph".

here's what happens:

for love's tapestry, we wanted to produce a high-end audiophile recording of a live studio performance as close to the source as possible (in high-end jargon, we call it "true-to-source") . these are all 1-take performances with no edits, fixing and autotune (pitch correction) - meaning no artificial audio enhancement (in high-end, we call it coloration or more commonly known as "ajinamoto" ) typically found in mass-market pop recordings. everything is natural, naked and real. the idea was to capture and present music as it is performed using the best recording equipment available.

note: for pop recordings, the mixing engineer typically soups-up the bandwidth by adding reverb to give an artificial sense of spatial clues, and do a certain level of equalization (EQ) such as giving it more highs, more lows, more forward midrange etc etc. the resultant sound departs greatly from the source but sadly, this is what appeals to most people's ears.

even for the many so-called audiophile recordings, it is never true-to-source as the engineer invariably adds some "ajinamoto" to make it more exciting to normal ears.

love's tapestry was a extremely bold move, and recording quality wise it did achieve this goal. many audiophiles, local and abroad, appreciate this level of startling naturalness and realness. however, as many of you and your non-audiophile friends have noticed, your typical mass-market/consumer electronics players don't like this recording.

while love's tapestry sounds fabulously natural and real in many high-end systems, it sounds dull and flat in mini compos and iPods.

in fact, our debut album 2v1g, which is technically more inferior in recording than love's tapestry, sounds so much more vibrant and exciting in these mass-market players.

a big lesson learned. our sincere apologies to all the pop fans who purchased the love's tapestry album expecting it to be very good.

and to be fair, it has not much to do with gina panizales' singing. the recording makes her voice weak and lacking in presence in these mass-market players.

we will certainly take note of all these shortcomings for future productions.

thanks to those who complained; we appreciate your honesty. we assure you we would take remedy action as soon as possible.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

阿菲的千言萬語 [faye wong on teresa teng]

the year was 1997. the venue was singapore indoor stadium.

12,000 people packed the stadium.

it was the last song of the concert. she stood rigid on the stage and announced the song. it was teresa teng's 【千言萬語】 (thousand words) 。 she said she sang it for her idol.

the stillness of the air, juxtaposed with the glittering gigantic silver globe hanging from the rooftop of the stadium, provided a contrast of a million colors. it was like everyone was showered with silvery leaves of light. stunning scene.

as soon as she opened her mouth and sang the first verse 【不知道為了什么, 憂愁它圍繞著我】, everyone stopped breathing and we could feel our goose bumps raised... we shivered in response to this emotive flux. it was a short song but it lasted a lifetime.

to date, that moment stands vivid in our memory as the most memorable in our concert experience.

yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have found our singer for the teresa teng album.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

介紹新人[introducing astor fong]

just spoke to my hk distributor keith yip of rock in music.

keith would like to recommend his latest album to malaysian audiophiles. she is astor fong [方文] and the album title is "forever young. forever love". many think that astor sounds like a younger version of karen carpenter... this alone is worth investigating!

according to keith, this is his best recording in years and it has garnered rave reviews in many hifi magazines in hk.

check with interglobal (03-41428133) for its availability. we want to get one copy too!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

認同 [endorsement from stage III concepts]

Dear Leslie

Thank you for the CD.

It was great to hear so many songs that are very familiar to me recorded so beautifully.

The recording has excellent "presence" plus the artists are very talented.

The sound is truly fantastic, I congratulate you!

Luis de la Fuente

Saturday, February 13, 2010

大日子 [ushering the CNY]

this year's CNY coincides with st. valentine's day, so would you rather go for your hot date or staying home for some family bliss?

we prefer the latter because "yu shang" and beer definitely beat red wine and roses in simmering hot weather like this!

if that's the case, what better way to usher in the new year than watching a comedy - a locally made no less - that is filled with all the feel-good elements of CNY!

"tiger dance woo hoo" is funded by astro and it casts all its actors/actresses/hosts in a setting that's familiar with all malaysians. the story is based on 4 down-and-out young adults in kl who go all the way to a small fishing village in kuantuan to learn the tiger dance, a tradition that is kept alive by a tiger dance master who is nearing his retirement age and desperately looking for his descendants. along the way, many funny incidents happen that keep the audience in stitches; there is never a dull moment.

the winning element in this low-budget movie is the immensely likable and endearing actors and actresses from astro. you watch them day in day out as serious newscasters, tv hosts and DJs and now you see them in true life comical role. everyone of them shines in front of the silver screen; everyone is a star on his/her own!

we truly enjoy this movie and it goes to show that given enough creativity and sincerity, even local movies can score at box office. we were told that the soundtrack of this movie has sold a whopping 60,000 copies!

more interesting aspect is - you can never find a pirated DVD of this movie thus far. you know why? one of the investors of this movie is a underworld triad "tai kor" (big brother) and he has instructed all the pirates to stay away from pirating this movie!

a true 1-malaysia spirit, if you ask us. malaysia always boleh!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

我們的虎年愿望 [our wishes for the year of tiger 2010]

guys, we appreciate all the participation in our various polls so far!

you know we are serious in promoting local music (not necessary audiophile music) and your voices and participation help us to better gauge market acceptance and market viability. rest assured that we treasure every opinion expressed. we are so grateful that we have all of you who want to see a successful audiophile music label in malaysia.

we will be heading kampung to celebrate CNY soon and what better way to start the year of tiger by telling us your (musical) wishes for the year of 2010.... before we tell you ours...

start leaving your comments unselfishly and tell us what you would like to see in 2010, musically... another susan boyle? uptrend in physical cd sales? high-res download becoming more prevalent? better audiophile music?

whatever, just give us your wishes!

to those who drive home, please drive safely... remember to bring loads of cds in your car and enjoy your journey listening to your favorite music!

gong xi fa cai!

Monday, February 8, 2010

張學友的爵士樂 [jacky's private corner]

we have listened to this album more than 10 times so we guess we are qualified to write a short review.

musically, jacky breaks new grounds by venturing into serious jazz. apart from danny summer 【夏韶聲】 and william so wing hong, we don't remember many cantopop artistes attempting jazz.

and this is not the light jazz that we expect for the audiophile market as jacky goes all out to attempt swing and big band.

it does sound kind of odd to listen to cantopop this way, especially when jacky is not really a natural jazz singer, eventho' he manages to pull it off quite convincingly. we bet many cantopop fans would not be used to listening to this album. we encourage you to give it more time to sink it; it is actually quite good.

the first half are all worth cherishing, whereas the 2nd half gets really weak and forgettable. we love track #1, #3, #4 and track #5. call it bias, we still think the best track is roger wang's "love scale", where the lyrics are close translation to roger's and even better in some parts. we can't imagine how inadequate this album would be without this song.

now, sincere apologies for our propaganda about the audiophile aspects of this album previously. this is far from an audiophile album, recording wise. it is rather hard-sounding and the multi-location, multi-tracked recording is far too obvious in certain songs. simply put, it is not homogeneous in ambience and tonality. so it is our mistake, i don't think andrew tuason (the producer) aims for audiophile standards anyway.

putting that aside, this is a refreshing album from someone who has seen it, done it, been there, done that. even if musically it does not score full marks, jacky cheung's sincerity scores 100% in our heart. for that, you should support and buy a copy.

[post script]
member of jz8 and 2v1g also sing backing vocals for some of the songs. not bad really, eventho' they get a small credit only in the album inlay.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

令人鼓舞的一把聲音 [an inspiring voice]

we have found something truly inspiring.

check the playlist on the right panel.

we think she can give olivia ong of s'pore and aiza seguerra of philippines a run for their money.

tell us in the poll on the right if you would like to hear more of this voice. the more you vote the more confident we are in giving her voice a bigger arena and outlet.

Friday, February 5, 2010

愛的音阶 [love scale]

read roger's account on how his song was picked by jacky cheung in his latest jazz album, private corner.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

研究小鄧翻唱 [research on teresa teng covers]

we lost count of how many singers past and present who have tried to mimic teresa teng. while many do have bits and pieces of similarity, they are still far from the real mccoy.

in term of closeness, singaproe's xu wen 【徐雯】who is signed to a chinese audiophile label, takes the cake without a doubt. not only does her intonation, even her phrasing sounds like terera. we would rate the closeness an incredible high percentage of 95%! what, perhaps, is lacking is teresa's inimitable sweetness and resonating tone, which is really hard to duplicate.

this chinese audiophile label has released, within a short span of 2 years, 5 installments of terera teng covers by xu wen. such is the drawing power for the consumers for anything related to teresa. you can call them opportunistic but a closer listen to the album would tell you that, surprisingly, the production is very good.

the recording is nothing to shout about but better than most run-of-the-mill made-in-china audiophile recordings. we are surprised by the arrangement, which is far from traditional; in fact, a couple of musicians like the guitarist, are actually quite cool in their playing. we especially like the way they modernize "the moon represents my heart" while maintaining the traditional sweetness for the song.

we find this album hugely listenable but ultimately we come back to the same question: why do we need to try so hard to sound like teresa? xu wen is so close to the real mccoy but in doing so, she lacks a bit of soul and originality that can bring a refreshing sound to all these well-sung classics.

in our hunt for our own teresa interpreter, we have decided not to look for one who is good in mimicking. in fact, we don't want her to sound like teresa or anyone else but her own. we want a more westernized interpretation of teresa's music.

with that in mind, we could narrow down our search.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

jz8 四月一號發片 [jz8 for april's fool]

yes, the schedule is out...jz8's debut album will see the light of the day on 1st april 2010! it is definitely not an april fool's joke!

since not much can be done in the month of february, the bulk of our post-production will be done in march. besides, maestro tay cher siang will be away touring the entire month of march... he needs to be present for our press conference.....

we hope to showcase the playlist next month and start accepting online orders....

gonna be fun!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

蘇蓮諾計劃落實 [solianos moving ahead with timeless]

after few rounds of discussion, both parties have agreed to forge ahead with the "timeless" project.

more than any financial implications or gains, "timeless" is a project with ultimately good music in mind. the solianos view pop pop music as a catalyst to realize their long-held ambition to record a legacy album that they can pass down to the next generations. it is about a big musical family coming together to record an album worthy of a "timeless" classic status.

all the songs they are going to cover are not only classics but songs that have a "muhibah" feeling that will appeal to the chinese, malay and indian and other races in malaysia. music can unite races and we view the "timeless" album as the quintessential malaysian album that speaks of malaysian unity and patriotism. it is the kind of music that will make even the most stone-hearted malasysia patriotic about his own country. in turbulent times and uncertain political climate like these, it is indeed precious to speak about malaysian unity.

we are sure that not many of you know what we are talking about or have any inkling of how the solianos sound like. we brought some of our friends to the NBT gig 2 weeks ago and all of them came out convinced that we have made the right investment.

so, let the project begins.... the project of the year begins....