Monday, May 31, 2010

天使的聲音 [flawed but what sweetness]

in heavy rotation... aiza seguerra's "perhaps love"....

it is never perfect but what's good is extremely good.

review coming soon....

Sunday, May 30, 2010

白人騷靈 [hall and oates rejuvenated!]

hall and oates were our fave 80s soul/pop duo!

some LA duo calling themselves the bird and the bee are now covering the entire hall and oates repertoire in a modern and more easy-listening setting!

olivia ong also cover "i can't go for that" in her latest album.

for us, we find the bird and the bee a bit too "loungey" and lacking the kick and ooomph of daryl hall and john oates.

當 jz8 遇上了周董 [when jz8 bumps into jay chou]

while cdrama is heavily spinning jz8, victoria music prefer to promote jay chou!

call that wrong timing? we don't think so. people who listen to jay chou would never bat an eyelid on jz8 and vice versa. victoria staff bitterly told us that this time, jay chou cds don't sell that well. no comments on that. we guess perhaps jay chou's fans have grown up or outgrown, or they have changed their idol to super junior....

anyway, the retail market is at its all-time low, we will be patient with will pick up its momentum slowly, much like 2v1g 2 years ago.

market feedback has been positive. many audiophiles like the recording. they commented it is more system friendly than love's tapestry.

and almost 3,000 copies have gone out to the market!

rock corner (who is a neutral party and is not distributing jz8) predicts the following score line:

jz8: 10,000+ copies
jay chou: 5,000+ copies

Friday, May 28, 2010

粉絲的評語 [words from our biggest fan]

s.dali, malaysian blogger extraordinaire

Words From the famous Malaysia-Finance Blogger, S.Dali:

Well, its finally out, and what a beautiful album cover. In case you are wondering why am I so excited over 2V1G and JZ8 albums - well, I loved 2V1G, then I got to know the producer Leslie Loh, who happens to be another Ipoh-mali, I liked his energy and mindset, and the strive for quality. We often argue about the music business, I am trying to wean him away from over-loading on the audiophile centered vision, sigh... Anyway ... he has signed up The Solianos to do their first album, and well, I introduced the group to him. So I am involved somewhat, and I was key to making sure that The Solianos recorded the album in Malay - I believe it will be a huge treasurable recording. Anyways, back to JZ8, its a brilliant recording, a brilliant interpretation of brilliant songs. Enjoy.

Readers of this blog will know that I have been a heavy promoter for the brilliant 2V1G, followed by Gina Panizales and Roger Wang's Love's Tapestry. Love's Tapestry is selling well considering its an English album launched in Malaysia - it made strong inroads in Indonesia and Taiwan.

I like what he is doing, its a passionate job, its a refreshing voice amidst the highly commercialised, heavily marketed artistes by huge management / music companies in Asia. Can we just do great music for once???

2V1G did extremely well, selling way above 10,000 copies for a pure Malaysian effort. I was invited by Leslie to an early listening session of JZ8 just prior to CNY, apparently the first person outside of those in the studio to have a listen - my opinion after the few songs, I told him JZ8 will sell 30,000 copies. 2V1G was all Mandarin, JZ8 has both Cantonese and Mandarin and the jazzed up treatment of some songs were absolutely delicious, plus it took a couple of the older oldies and gave that a wonderful tweak as well - the album will appeal to a much broader spectrum, one can buy it for their gfs, bfs or their parents, or their rebellious teenage kids. Its that cool!!!!!!

From the sampling player on the right, opener Forever Smile was one of my favourite songs from my dad's era. Rarely heard nowadays, and the soft jazz treatment brought life to this magnificent tune. The thrird song Because You're Happy, I am Happy Too was just superb, very different from the lackadaisical Faye Wong's version (which was also superb btw) - that song was crying out for a jazzy treatment and it brought out the cheekiness of the lyrics.

The fifth song, Unforgettable You, to me is one of the saddest Chinese song ever ... The stripped down version finally brought the sadness, the desperation in unrequited love, the hollowness and lingering pain of memories, the empathy and tenderness in the song beautifully. Lovingly sung and Cher Siang's piano puts in the right mood.

Many artistes have done Eason's Mor Tin Loun. I must say, Cher Siang's piano brought to life the carnival, circus feel instead of the original more sombre feeling. Its another song crying out for a soft jazz treatment as the optimistic lyrics yearns for. Exceptional.

The last song is the famous I Have A Date With Spring ... again cut to the bones, a song that needed to reflect the wistfulness, the accepting of fate and destiny, it needed to be melancholic and reflective. It is at the same time tinged with regret, acceptance but also hope. Can you imagine all that in one song - my favourite from the album by far because it was all of the above, wonderfully executed.

連環高潮 [multiple orgasms]

just as we are relieved and rejoiced that jz8 is finally born, we get another high from kicking off another two projects simultaneously for this year: the solianos "pusaka" and my bossa nova princess.

the solianos will have their first recording session next week and from what we are told, they are well prepared. tinoi, the big brother of solianos, told me they have practised hard for this recording. they have revamped the arrangement of many songs. it is a good sign. they know it is a once-in-a-lifetime mission to impress all and sundry and they can do no wrong. so so so much is at stake. it is the solianos' first official recording; this alone warrants perfection. we are all excited about entering the studio next week. it is gonna be an experience to remember! and our talented videographer would tag along to capture all the precious moments for "the making of" video.

on the other hand, things are looking good too on our bossa nova princess. she had her first assessment from her vocal coach and she passed, altho' not with flying colors. the coach wants her to have a few more lessons to train her on the right way for "bossa" voicing. she is having fun too; we all are having fun. coming right after the jz8 album, the bossa princess has a huge task ahead to impress those who have bought and liked the jz8 album. people are sure gonna compare her to lydia chew. but the princess is not perturbed as she has a few weapons up her sleeve too.

so, gonna be two aural orgasms at the same time, hard to beat, right? yes and no.

the fact remains that we are so very broke. it is no joke, the kind of money involved in making albums of these standards.

passion alone can't feed you. it is still, afterall, a business.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

超棒! [incredible]

incredible review from taiwan's top hifi magazine, audio art 【音響論壇】!click here for a high res copy of the review.

don't you find it amazing that taiwan is ahead of us? bravo to our distributor, joy audio, for all their hardwork!

go jz8 go!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

jz8 選曲 [part 2 -commentary]

we continue with part 2 commentary of the songs...

6) old love song [老情歌】

let's face it, lui fong's version is definitive, no one can surpass him but lydia chew has other ideas. again, she uses her deep bassy tone to charm us. cher siang's playing captures the long forgotten feeling of something buried in the past; it is as if he is an old musical archeologist that digs old stuff and gives it a new dressing. we love the sparse arrangement.

it is a song with a certain "mei dou" (taste in cantonese). basically, it is about old love being more precious than new love, and old songs being better than new songs , which we old fogies would surely agree ;-)

7) the beach [沙灘】

this is the kind of song that we think would appeal to the younger generations, ie. early 30s. david tao is the R&B god to most chinese music lovers in the early 30s.

this is a difficult song to handle, not easy for any singer. if any singer wants to compete with david on falsetto, she/he will sure lose out. lydia avoided all that and go for a more heartfelt approach. her delivery is sensitive and touching. cher siang's accompaniment gives the feelings of some desolate soul walking alone in the beach at night. the great thing about tay cher siang is his music paints visual images very well; you could feel that every song has a picture with a story to tell.

8) overcast + rainy day [陰天 +雨天】

ah, this is my favourite! it is also my idea combined with cher siang's to combine 3 songs into one!

karen mok's inimitable way of singing "overcast" is hard to beat and we don't think even lydia can outdo her and stefanie sun's "rainy day" is also hard to emulate. but when cher siang inserted chopin's "raindrops" in between, the whole song is given a twist and we avoided all the comparisons!

ok, i admit it - i stole the idea from pink martini ;-)

9) fighting for love [桃李爭春】

this is also my fave. lydia is absofuckinglutely sensuous in this song! no one, i mean no one, has sung this song before in such slow and languid tempo! there are so many jokes about this song. when my parents first heard it, they quipped "why you did it so slow ah?" i couldn't stop laughing. and lydia has her joke too. her mum commented that she could have done her nap, wake up and the song is still playing!

fact is, this is one of the best songs in the album and one that will go down well with uncles and aunties. timeless classic given a new lease of life, wonderfully executed.

i fall for lydia head over heel on this song. she is sensuous, sexy and she is my ultimate femme fatale.

i first heard this great arrangement by cher siang at yudi yap's shanghai jazz gig in NBT and i immediately told cher siang i wanted to use his arrangement in my album.

yeah, get your glass of red wine, dim the lights, embrace your loved one and whisper sweet nothings to her.....

part of the lyrics goes: "i don't care whether you love me, as long as i love you". and that was 1950s. beat the audacity of love declaration?

Monday, May 24, 2010

jz8 選曲 [jz8 songs - a commentary]

in any successful album, song selection contributes to at least 60% of the success. like 2v1g, even the harshest critics can't deny the mightiness of the songs in the album.

we put an enormous amount of time in coming out with the right songs for jz8. it is not only about the songs we (the producers) like, it is also important that lydia can sing it well and cher siang can do some cool arrangement on them.

so among the four of us - myself, chow (the producer), lydia and cher siang, we brainstormed a lot on song selection.

the following are our criteria:

1) it must appeal to a wide cross-section of audience, much wider than 2v1g
2) it must cover at least 3 decades of chinese pop music
3) it must have a few standouts that have the "wow" factor
4) it must allow for a total facelift (like faye wong's "because you're happy, i am happy too")
5) it must have at least 2 songs that are quite recent (90s onwards) to appeal to the early 30s

so, here's part-one short commentary of the songs we chose for jz8 debut....

1) forever smile [永遠的微笑】

this is an all-time-top-5-chinese-evergreens in mine and chow's books. we both love zhou xuan and zhou xuan has many many great songs, but this one stands out like a blooming rose. like what one of reviewers in the album liner note says, listening to this song reminds her of maggie cheung in wong kar wai's "in the mood for love" [花樣年華】, with her well-combed hair and tight-fitting qipao (cheong sam) sashaying down the staircase. we must say lydia's rendition is totally delectable, you could feel that she is really smiling sweetly and blissfully to her lover, totally befitting the mood of the song. cher siang's arrangement has plenty of colors and textures; it is unconventional but ultimately satisfying. credits must also go the drummer charles wong and double bassist joseph, who added plenty of tight rhythmic foundation to the music. the basslines are bouncing right away in your hifi system! you probably wouldn't know that these two are some of the best sessionists in malaysia!

to us, this is the song has the "wow" factor and it is perfect for curtain raiser.

2) because you are happy, i am happy too [你快樂所以我快樂】

cher siang chose this song because he thinks he could make it fun! and fun it definitely is! the swing arrangement totally changed the mood of the song (faye wong was cool but she wasn't happy in the song) ; a touch of genius from the maestro! we told lydia to totally let herself loose in this song... if you ears are sharp, when lydia sings "i feel the heat", she purposely sang in a way that expresses the "heat"!

we also feel lydia intentionally sounded "nonchalant" in her vocals, which magnifies the "fun" factor of this song.

we are not sure if faye wong would approve this song but we are sure she would join in the fun and start tapping her feet!

btw, do you spot the chorus of another famous chinese pop song towards the end of the proceeding? this is the cheeky part of tay cher siang!

3) unforgettable you [忘不了的你】

we chose this song because it is old! (it is reserved for old fogies like us!) and it has a captivating melody and sad, sad lyrics. the sadness is heartbreaking. it is about a woman who can't forget her ex-lover, whom she shouldn't fall for in the first place. the longing and pathos are intense in the lyrics; the addiction to love is horrendous. cher siang's piano fully captures the lost, solitude and helplessness in the song. lydia's rendition has the right amount of old-school feel, as if she is transformed into a shanghai diva of the 50s. lydia sounded damn real in the song. perhaps, what she lacks is a tight-fitting cheongsam and tony leung perhaps ;-)

we love this song to bits!

4) ferris wheels [幸福摩天輪】

lydia and myself love this song from eason chan. and maestro cher siang did the arrangement in the last minute! it was more than a touch of genius. he was only given the notice that we wanted to do this song one day before the actual recording, and what master class work he has done!

the prelude conjures up images of a bedazzled kid, upon entering a carnival, and seeing the rotating ferris wheels in total fascination. the bossa arrangement gives a new lease of life to this song; you could sway your body gently to the rhythm....

lydia did the recording of this song last so obviously she was more relaxed. most listeners choose this song as one of their faves in the album!

5) i have a date with spring [我和春天有個約會】

we are pretty adamant that for someone to do well in this song, she must have a good bassy voice like original singer alice lau ngah lai 【劉雅麗】, and lydia has it in spades too.

while it may or may not surpass alice lau's version,lydia does manage very well to create the "last-song-before-the-bar-closes" atmosphere and mood. cher siang's lonely piano is the perfect replacement for the missing instrument in the original song, the saxophone!

we feel that this is the perfect song to end the album.

part two of the commentary tomorrow!

千呼萬喚:jz8 到了! [jz8 out today!] 

jz8 out today!~

stock will arrive today and reach retail stores probably on wednesday...

check out jz8 fever in taiwan!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

影音吃掉了音樂 [video killed the audio star]

there are two strongly contrasting scenes in malaysia's entertainment business nowadays.

the mushrooming of illegal dvds shop versus the downfall of the music specialist shops. and the contrast is getting more acute as the day passes by. we were horrified we counted 6 illegal dvd shops in kota damansara, all located within the neighborhood, some are even neighbors.

with the advent of bluray discs (and associated pirated copies) and HD TVs, more and more consumers are going into audio visual as a hobby or simply cheap family entertainment. it may sound politically incorrrect, these illegal dvds stores, with its robust business, actually helps the economy and gives rise to many "employment" opportunities, in bad times like these! ironic!

how and why did video kill the audio star?

audio/visual dvd has always triumphed over audio-only cd because AV has both audio and visual appeal. visual satisfaction is more immediate and more gratifying. we get impressed when we watched our favourite movies/idols in high-definition LCD/plasma but we don't always get the same satisfaction if our fave song is played on a high-end hifi system!

human's visual sense is such that they are more responsive to colors and contrast, whereas the aural sense varies greatly from person to person. (being audiophiles, we argue like mad on sound quality, even among ourselves!) while many can agree on the gorgeous picture quality of a 40" LCD TV, very few would share the same opinion on a RM400K hi-fi system!

to make it even less appealing, aural playback (e.g a hifi system) is normally for one or two persons, as opposed to av playback, which can cater to the whole family. ever wonder why people are less willing to spend RM40 on a cd, compared to just RM10 for a pirated dvd? dvd is cheap entertainment for the whole family, while cd is only for the owner of the system.

you would notice in a typical illegal dvd store, the pirated cd section is tucked away in one small little corner, occupying very little space. even pirated cds don't sell that much compared to pirated dvds!

as bluray software and hardware is getting cheaper by the day, we fear that the country will see an unprecedented increase of movie piracy. ever imagine a street or whole township dedicated to movie pirates? it is not really a far-fetched scenario in malaysia-bolehland! the underground triad bosses will be laughing all the way to the bank, so will the enforcement people...

it is always a paradox: is it a good thing?

we will leave our learned readers to answer this question.

Friday, May 21, 2010

浪漫的泰國情歌 [romantically thai]

it is disturbing that thailand is having such turbulent times lately.... thai people are the nicest lot and their love for music is immense.

we have been falling in love over and over again with "saichon", this thai love song covered by lisa ono in her latest "asia" album...

just how terminally romantic can a love song be? every time we hear this song, our hearts go a-flutter, our knees go weak and we fall in love helplessly, uncontrollably...

love song like this can bring loving feeling to all of us, whether we are attached, unattached, in between relationship, alone or with someone we love.... it has a timeless quality that speaks of eternal love.

one day, we are going to cut an album of thai love songs ;-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

jz8 亮相 [jz8's appearance]

the jz8 duo looking like a musical couple (aren't they good looking?)

tay cher siang (L) and lydia chew (R) flanking CMY's big boss, john yew

last saturday's listening party at CMY, sunway giza was a good one!

besides getting to listen to some selected tracks from the album and listened to the dynamic jazz duo explaining on how they interpreted the songs, lucky audience got to catch our diva, lydia chew, doing an on-the-spot impromptu rendition of eason chan's "ferris wheels", one of the songs in the album! one of the audience quipped, "at least, i know the singer is real, unlike milli vanilli who lip-synced!". c'mon, all our singers are real singers who have got plenty of substance!

two famous malaysian hifi bloggers captured the event fabulously in their respective blog:

1) hifi unlimited
2) hi-fi avenue

thanks to willy and lam for the write-up!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

第一次下載 [my first (legal) download experience]

here's something amusing.

i got to know this great indie music website from taiwan call indievox. i previewed this album by radio dept called "clinging to a scheme". i like it so i bought it. as soon as i entered the credit card details, i was puzzled that why it didn't ask me for shipping address....

before long, i realized that this website doesn't sell physical CDs, it is a purely a download site! it takes this uncle a good 10 minutes to figure that out! paiseh!

so i spent the next 3 days figuring out how to execute the download! hey, it is not as simple as you think. you need all these java applications....

so finally, after 2 days of on-and-off trying, i finally managed to download one song successfully!

one realization: online download is for buying songs and not for albums. cos buying songs is cheaper than buying albums. this full album costs Rm20 for 10 songs, which is not cheap considering you don't even have the inlay, artwork and the authentic cd on hand. but at Rm2 per song, it is still worthwhile, i guess.

i am glad i have subscribed to TM's unify(high speed broadband), cos streamyx is way too slow for big file download...

cheers to my virgin legal online download experience!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

芭莎公主來了 [bossa princess kicks off]

today is an important day for our bossa princess: she is gonna meet her vocal coach for the project for the first time!

basically, the vocal coach wants to assess her vocal ability and see how to bring out the best aspects of her voice. we were told that the vocal coach is a tough teacher and has high standards for his students but we are equally confident that our princess will impress him.

this is an important project for pop pop, not the least due to our ambition to cross over to pop arena with this album, i.e. we believe it will appeal to both the younger audiophiles and pop music lovers, much like lisa ono and olivia ong. so our marketing approach will be different this time. our princess will appear in radio and various media.

no, it is not going to be as bold as jz8 or as sentimental as 2v1g. it is refreshing, lighter, sweeter, breezier and simply easy-listening.

also first of its kind in malaysia, this album will add another important portfolio to our label.

here's the demo we have done 3 months ago, sung by winnie ho of 2v1g, not the bossa princess!

Monday, May 17, 2010

賺人熱淚 [moved to tears]

we blogged about veteran cantopop singer-songwriter lowell lo [盧冠庭】 in our hifi blog many years ago.

we still cherish how touching his music is, despite the fact that lowell is not even a good singer. but beneath that imperfection, therein lies his beauty. it is call "heart" or "connection". it is something that many singers dream of having but can never quite achieve.

last week we got hold of his concert dvd and we got another round of heart-warming performance that made us cry, more than once.

lowell's main guest is the famous jonathan lee 【李宗盛】, another accomplished singer-songwriter that has been thru life and is ever willing to share his life thru his music and lyrics (jonathan is simply one of the best lyricists that the chinese music has ever seen). what could be more enchanting than two middle-aged men, full of life's experiences, on stage sharing their music and telling their stories, in the most heartfelt and sincere manner? we could swear that lowell and jonathan live thru every word in the lyrics of the songs! listening to them singing gives meaning to the lyrics; it is because you are looking the man telling his personal story, you understand the lyrics better. damn real and meaningful. both men also shed tears on stage.

this post is not about lowell lo, it is about singing and writing songs . it is dedicated to today's aspiring singers/lyricists who want to sing/write well. it is about singing from the heart. it is about composing simple melodies that touch people's hearts, and not those formulaic, bored-me-to-death ballads that are dominating the chinese music today.

to all aspiring singers, lyricists and songwriters, watch this concert video over and over again. learn from lowell how to sing from the heart, how to connect with the audience with your music, how to compose songs that are sincere and devoid of pretensions, how to write lyrics that actually mean something.. how to make music that can be remembered for generations after generations.

we may be old fogies who still prefer oldies but there is so much to be learned from the old school of music and musicians.

singer-songwriters like lowell lo and jonathan lee are real musicians that make real music.

p/s a bit of trivia here: can you spot one malaysian celebrity (a very pretty one) among the audience?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

夏天到嚕! [summer is here!]

a question to music lovers: how often you discovered a musical act later in its career, like it, and then decide to buy all its earlier albums?  

it happens to us a lot of times.

another question: how often do you discover another act which influences the one you like, and then buy all its albums?

it also happens often to us.

so you end up buying a lot of CDs. damn our polycarbonate addiction.

she & him's debut album is good but not as good as the 2nd one we reviewed last week. it has some brilliant moments but overall not as consistent as volume II.

nevertheless, it makes us wanna go out in our imaginary convertible (actually a humble myvi) , crank out the volume on our car stereo and cruise in the sunset boulevard, a.k.a. LDP (lebuhraya damansara- puchong) for you and me!

school's out, summer is here and we are so in love!

獨立精神萬歲 [chinese indie spirits alive]

we were at NBT on sunday night to lend support to two singapore girls (actually one is a johorian) who showed us (malaysian music people) what indie spirits are about.

ke wei 【可為】and ein ein 【盈盈】, are two talented singer-songwriters who are bent on doing things themselves, without resorting to major labels or music distributors. their first claim to fame was their youtube video where they played a medley of khalil fong. it has got more than 200,000 views to date.

ke wei is a backing vocalist, whereas ein ein is a keyboardist-cum-composer. together their produced their debut EP, smartly called K.E.E.P, which stands for Ke-wei Ein-ein EP.

the EP was done on a shoestring budget with the help of many friends; it only has three tracks. they are raw but earnestly musical. it shows the vocal sweetness of ke wei. we like what we hear.

ein ein told us that ke wei has been signed to S2S (the late ken suzuki's label who has a HQ in singapore, the same label that housed olivia ong before she left for HIM) and will release an english audiophile album. we can't wait.

it is really rare to see such indie D.I.Y spirits in malaysia's chinese music scene. they are some, maybe, but very few of them are as good and as resourceful as ke wei and ein ein.

we hope they will go far!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

計劃復活 [project revival]

jeff buckly with his definitive "hallelujah"

in august last year, we shared with you about a project called "alternatively yours", basically an audiophile album of big alternative hits arranged in different styles like acoustic, jazz, bossa.

still remember the songs we proposed?

1) radiohead "high and dry"
2) the verve "the drugs don't work"
3) new order "bizarre love triangle"
4) the cure "just like heaven" (katie melua's version in the video above)
5) jeff buckley "hallelujah"
6) coldplay "yellow"
7) damien rice "the blower's daugther"
8) wannadies "you and me"

the project was stalled because we couldn't find a singer good enough to carry these big songs, and, more importantly we couldn't find a versatile arranger who could transform these tunes.

now, we have both on hand!

it is another daring project that no one has attempted before so we are taking our time to do more r&d but something is telling us that this time we got all the ingredients right...

you are right, no matter how popular are "fly me to the moon", "fields of gold", "somewhere over the rainbow"... we are not touching them!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


memorable: tano, harvey, irene, tinoi, tricia, rizal & evelyn

NBT (no black tie), under the able management of evelyn hii has slowly but surely evolved as an iconic live venue for the serious music lovers. how else could you explain for the diverse acts gracing the intimate stage and the fascinating calendar every month? if we were the youth & culture ministry, we would definitely give an award to NBT!

last night was special. not only because it is the Nth time the delectable solianos graced the stage, it is also our opportunity to shoot some photos as well as capturing some live footages for "the making of solianos pusaka album" video (yes, the cd will come with a dvd of "the making of solianos pusaka"!). but for the audience, the icing on the cake was the surprise guest appearance of harvey malaiholo, the king of indonesia pop. harvey came after the gala dinner organized by the oil and gas industry, where our love's tapestry singer gina panizales also participated.

many famous international artistes have made surprise appearances at NBT after their "official" work, including diana krall. harvey is such a nice gentleman and his voice is absolutely heavenly. he jammed with the solianos in "i have got you under the skin" and what a delightful performance!

horng yih, our preferred photographer, is absolutely terrific with shooting in NBT. he is impressive and we am glad that finally we have some decent photos of solianos to show you! try to google for "solianos", you hardly find any decent photos...

our videographer, choo harn, is also a promising talent and we and tricia (the youngest of the solianos and she with superb voice ) will be in-charge of the script and narration for the video. the video will introduce audience to the solianos family (now in their 4th generation!), snippets of their live performances, their practice sessions for the album and of course, the soon-to-come footages of the recording session held in the ark studio in TTDI.

it is a 30-min dvd given free together with the cd. now, aren't we generous? :-)

Friday, May 7, 2010

品味和質感 [class & quality]

ta-da, 2v1g LP artwork revealed for the first time!

how can you not get a copy? even if you don't have a turntable ;-)

we will let you in on a secret: it is purple in color!

limited edition collector's item, this is a rare occasion where a chinese album will be released in 45 RPM (rotation per minute) which is the premium version for audiophiles.

even speaking about it makes our hearts palpitate.

[please click on the images to see enlarged pictures]

音響大師談音樂 [hifi legend on music trends]

because we used to be in the hifi media industry, we get still invited by hifi dealers whenever some hifi luminaries from overseas come to kl.

this time, it is peter qvortrup of audio note. if you haven't heard of this name, no amount of introduction will suffice for peter is a legend in the hifi industry and his own company, audio note is a premium hifi marque that has a staunch following. peter is also a very controversial speaker due to his colorful personality, outspoken nature, his quirky humor and his beliefs. anyway, hifi is always controversial, that's why we rather do music ;-)

anyway, we didn't talk to peter about hifi; we talked to him about how hifi is going to serve music and the music trends for the next decade and beyond.

for starters, peter doesn't believe in music servers or harddisk storage of music being the de facto standard for audiophiles. he asserts: "how could storing bits and bytes of music in different locations of a harddisk and be assembled randomly on demand could possibly produce music? music is a continuous waveform!" he added sarcastically, "music servers will be great for elevator music or background music".

"when i predicted 10 years ago that LPs (records) will be making a comeback in a big way, people laughed at me. look at the situation now!", peter stated matter-of-factly.

"CDs will disappear in 5-10 years' time. LPs would remain the high-end medium for audiophiles. another medium - yet to be discovered - would replace CDs for the mass market but it is definitely not harddisk-based servers".

"hifi is always elitist. you have to pay to get good sound. those who can't afford it will resort to harddisk-based servers and cheaper means. do you see ferrari making a cheaper car for the masses?".

and the most provocative and knock-out-funny of all:

"i am the one responsible for bringing hifi to stratospheric price level and i am proud of it!" (note: audio note prices are, for want of a better word, untouchable for ordinary audiophiles with shallow pockets!)

peter, we take our hats off you!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

限量版盒裝的思維 [the boxset mentality]

releasing an album in limited edition boxset has always been the purview of western artistes, that's until taiwan's queen of indie pop, cheer chen, came along and rewrite the rules.

we have here, fresh from the oven, limited edition boxset (with serial number) of cheer's immortal tour, which consists of 2 dvds, 2cds, a poster, a booklet, some postcards etc etc, absolutely luxurious packaging.

since when a chinese indie artiste has boldly and successfully brought this western culture to the chinese music industry? cheer chen is an example of a singer-songwriter that's heavily influenced by western indie culture but still has her roots planted firmly in the chinese indie music.

and why do we music collectors love boxsets, more so if they are limited edition, so much?

story to come.

尾聲 [wrapping up 2v1g]

this project has taken us exactly 2 years and many many things - good and bad - happened during this period of time. even the retail market has dwindled but 2v1g as a brand grows stronger, despite the absence. just google "2v1g" and you will know its presence in the web.

roger wang is arriving in kl today to wrap up the last lap of 2v1g recording. whenever roger is here, we being the host would feast him with food-aplenty. but the last we heard, he is getting more health conscious...

we will also be talking to roger on his forthcoming "milestones" greatest hits album, how he wants to package the double-cd and all the nitty-gritty. we may also be hosting a "roger wang and friends 10-year anniversary concert" in the later part of the year. if we do, would you come?

for all intents and purposes, this will be the last 2v1g album. there is a tinge of sadness in us, but what the heck, we have had fun.

so, please treasure it!

Monday, May 3, 2010

懷舊之寶 [loving zooey deschanel]

after listening to "she and him - volume II" for the whole afternoon, we have big grins all over our face. really, it has been a while since we are so entertained by a cd! she and him brings us back to high school days where life was so much fun and romance was so pure!

since when a young and famous actress can be so much in love with the 50s/60s school-girlish pop and does it with so much conviction? we bet zooey must have grown up listening to her daddy's and mummy's music! zooey deschanel teaming up with producer-cum-guitarist matt ward was supposedly a fun and casual one-off collaboration but the outcome was so popular that they continued with volume II.

we didn't buy volume I but we guess it must be equally good. zooey charms us with her child-like simplicity, sweet and cheery melodies, while matt ward provides lush backdrops for ms deschanel's wistful singing. we love matt ward's retro guitar which brings back the 50s/60s vibes so effectively. as a singer-songwriter, zooey has described her creative impulses (she wrote 11 out of the 13 songs) as being present for many years, the songs just pouring out of her. the music is all pretty, light and breezy and highly infectious . if you are critical, you may term them as light-impact and radio-friendly but we love it all the same. we love the really vintage and colorful sound of this fascinating duo!

we are not going to review every song as the whole album is consistenly great. worthy of mention is the two covers, NRBQ's "ridin' in my car" and skeeter davis's "gonna get along without you now", which she and him offer wonderful renditions.

this album can be a great soundtrack for the next high school musical! for the babyboomers, think of zooey and ward as the modern day olivia newton-john and john travolta!

we could feel that summer is just around the corner, eventho' we are in tropical malaysia ;-)

two thumbs way way up for she and him volume II!

this is a firm contender for the album of the year in our blog; we love this to bits ;-)

音樂拼图 [musical jigsaw]

can you do the same with your album covers? :-)