Thursday, December 30, 2010

吉他神湯美 [tommy emmanuel]

the amazing tommy doing "close to you"... look how seasoned his maton is, as well as his pair of jeans

my encounter with the guitar god last month...

story to come...

亂真模仿 [hilarious copycat]

this is hilarious!

one china singer imitating singing like 20 top superstars~!

i find the parts on stefanie sun, karen mok really close! as for the male parts like andy lau and jacky cheung, how can a female voice gets close to a male voice?

she even edited the music videos, blanko the lyrics and put her own ;-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

bernie 母帶后期處理 [bernie grundman mastering]

do you guys know that, among all our albums, many audiophiles consider jz8 as the best sounding? that's because of doug sax mastering. audiophiles love the analogue sound and the density of the sound.

as we have said, mastering is a delicate art mastered only by a few.

here's we take you to a tour on the bernie grundman mastering lab, another great mastering guru whose skills we have yet to employ.

one thing you should know: both doug sax and bernie use a lot of custom-made vacuum tube equipment because they believe tubes give the best sound, which we totally agree.

one day, pop pop would be able to afford bernie grundman!

杯葛本地版![let's boybott local pressings!]

utter rubbish from local label....

i can't believe that local pressings have degenerated to such low!

bought the above from one of my retailer, went home, listened and feel pissed. returned to the shop, asked for exchange, went home, listened again, feeling more pissed. can you imagine 4 CDs consecutively making your stereo sound like it is having a bad flu with sorethroat?

please, local labels, furchristake, if this is the kind of quality you churn out for your CDs, you may as well sell mp3 instead, cos it is even worse than mp3 actually! more like AM radio, actually.

do you ever listen to the sound before you issue these two CDs as a local pressing?????? your sound engineers are all deaf?

you think malaysian music buyers are a bunch of cotton ears????

**** utter profanity ******

disclaimer: i have nothing personal against this label. it can just be another local label, which i have yet to discover (how bad local pressings are). local pressings have long been accused of having inferior sound quality and many of us have avoided them at all cost. it just happened that i have nothing to buy on that day and i felt like supporting my retailer hence i just simply chose two titles on the rack, not knowing how bad the sound quality can be.

Monday, December 27, 2010

大大聲 [loud and clear]

loud+clear.... still under renovation but you can tell it is promising

i don't know why my music buddy, troy, now the key man of this new record shop in solaris dutamas, named the shop "loud+clear" but i could guess.

being a passionate music lover, troy detests posers - those who pretend they know music but in actual fact don't know about music - hence he wants to let know you that his shop is meant for true music lovers and not posers.

of course, alex and troy are a nice chaps, unlike the arrogant jack black in the previous video. it is just that their religion happens to be music so they like people who really listen to their music, respect their music and spend time researching their music, and ultimately buy their music.

loud+clear promises to bring you rare labels and titles that other record shops don't dare to bring in. they would focus on small indie labels and other niche genres unheard of in other record shops in malaysia.

in fact, i share with alex and troy my philosophy in selling music: assuming there are 10,000 CD-buying customers left in klang valley. 9,500 listen to lady gaga and justin biebel (whose albums you can find anywhere), and 500 listen to radiohead, the national and belle & sebastian. so don't waste your time on the 9,500. instead concentrate and spend all your time and efforts attracting the 500 customers to your shop. provide the music that this group of music lovers want, make them feel at home, make them talk to you about radiohead, the national and belle & sebastian. they would definitely buy CDs from you.

trust me, 500 loyal customers are enough to sustain a business.

so, loud+clear may only cater to these exclusive 500 people, are you one of them?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

音樂新希望 [new hope in music retail]

it has always been our dream to own an ultra-cool record shop like john cusack's "championship vinyl" in romance-comedy "high fidelity", still one of the best comedies about music.

with the global downturn on physical cd sales, record shops is a dying breed worldwide. even the biggest HMV in the world, HMV japan, closed shop just a couple of months ago. no businessmen with a sane mind would invest in this business.

for hardcore purists like us, we dream of record shops like championship vinyl, with eccentric staff who know their stuff, who spin cool music all day long, who have so much passion and knowledge that you enjoy talking with them about music and invariably end up buying cds from them. so much so that you buy all your CDs from them eventually.

for hardcore purists like us, we dream of a terminally cool record shop. no, we don't buy from iTune. sorry, we are hardcore music-loving, cd-buying uncles.

sad to say, there is no record shops in the entire malaysia that could pass the above test.

in the past, only two enterprises qualified, one is of course music exchange, the other is music magic, formerly located in central market. sadly, these are history.

so who in the right mind would still invest in a record shop in today's discouraging climate?

of course, the whole point of this post is to tell you that there still are.

two nutty music lovers, defying all odds, are about to bring you the one and only, the coolest record shop in malaysia.

i am doing my part to help them in publicity, networking to ensure they survive and make money in the long run!

stay tuned! you are the first one to know about this ;-)

Friday, December 24, 2010

圣誕快樂 [a blessed christmas to you all]

we have been listening to this song non-stop for the past few days...

i am not a christian yet i embrace all the noble values and messages promoted by christmas. i for one don't join in the horrendous x'mas crowd in the malls or watering holes, but prefer instead to spend some personal time at home to reflect on the year gone by and make plans for the future.

my all-time-fave x'mas song has always been "have yourself a merry little x'mas" because it is not overly commercial and it is not done to death. i was told that the original singer of this song is frank sinatra. i also like diana krall's jazzy version. there is a little sadness in this song, even a bit of romantic mood, just perfect music to put me in reflective mood.

but just last night at NBT, my good friend, the (in)famous malaysian finance blogger introduced me to his all-time-fave x'mas song: "my grown up christmas list", originally sung by amy grant and composed by david foster.

we need not write any more about david foster and what a legendary producer/composer he is. everything he touches turns gold. eventho' this one sounds a bit like many of his epic monstrous hits, it is still fantastic to me.

this version, sung by his new protege, charice, has become my 2nd fave x'mas song after "have yourself a merry little x'mas".

read the lyrics carefully and they are my messages to all the readers here.

have yourself a merry little christmas.

Do you remember me
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies

Well, I'm all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I'm not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here's my lifelong wish
My grown up christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
and wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree

Well heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth

kk爵士音樂節 [kk jazz fest]

bossa princess has been invited to perform in 2011 kota kinabalu jazz festival (KKJF)!

what an honour! the venue is the beautiful sutera harbor.... so work combined with holiday in a fantastic venue, we really can't complain!

we are not sure how the sweet princess reacts to this piece of good news as it falls on her birthday.....

叔叔上報 [uncle in the press]

uncle has been putting on weights ever since the busy life without exercize for the past 3 months

for whatever good things we have done in the past 3 years, we didn't build good media relations.

but things are going to change starting now...

your uncle here is again appearing, not in one, but 3 full-page article in oriental daily today. gee, i spot the double-chin and bulging tummy....

click here to read page 1.

click here to read page 2.

click here to read page 3.

thanks danae yap 【燕美】 for the great write-up!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

我們夢想的音樂 [our dream music]

ladies and gentlemen, this is the kind of music that truly inspires us.... kay huang yun ling 【黃韻玲】, one of the greatest ever female singer-songwriters in the history of chinese pop music....

pop pop music has pioneered a new genre of music in malaysia and it is gaining momentum..... this force is unstoppable.....

we will do more gigs/concerts along this line/concept...

hope you will support us.

christmas present: anyone who can name the original singers for the above 3 songs will get a free roger wang or brasileiro cd (your choice) from us!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

豐收時間 [harvest time]

it is year-end, it is the festive season, we are shifting our focus to dinner shows, functions and the like so it explains the lack of activity on this blog of late. we are still pretty busy!

next year, we will be even more aggressive on marketing our artistes in this area. really, with cd sales down drastically, we have to work harder on gigs, concerts, functions... and we are confident with our heightened portfolio and branding, we will attract more attention and interest.

our artistes have advantage over their peers because they are recording artistes with good album to back them up. a good album is the best resume for any artiste. it speaks louder than any other form of portfolio.

so, we have sowed the seeds and next year is gonna be harvest time!

take good care, you guys. the traffic is horrendous these few days and shopping malls are packed like sardine.

whenever we have a bit of breather, we rather stay home and seek solace and comfort in the serenity of home and chill to some cool music to recharge ourselves and prepare for bigger things next year!

advance merry x'mas to y'all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

音響叔叔看公主 [princess for hifi uncles]

read the full interview of bossa princess in local hifi blog, hifi unlimited.

as most audiophiles are uncles over 35 year-old, some very hamsup, hence their overwhelming interest on female vocalists, which makes male vocalists a very under-demand profession.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

掌聲響起 [applause]

as part of our forward planning, we have laid down some concert dates in advance with the various venues, sponsors and of course, our supporters.

at the same time, we are planning to tour taiwan, hk and singapore, pending the recruitment of a personal assistant-cum-public relations officer (chinese language a must)..... any takers?

[major album releases 2011]

  • first quarter 2011: 2v1g direct cut 1:1 special edition with bonus tracks played by a superstar musician (yeah!)
  • 25th feb 2011: solianos "pusaka" malay jazz classic (if you buy only one album in 2011, let this be the one)

[major concerts first half of 2011]

  • 9th april 2011: triple-bill with jz8, bossa princess and wvc trio+1 @bentley auditorium
  • 11th, 12th and 13th may (tentative) : 2v1g@NBT
  • 25th june 2011: solianos "pusaka" grand concert @bentley auditorium
there are more projects in W.I.P statuses which are too sensitive to announce here but they are quite ground-breaking.

so you see, it is gonna be exhilarating, we could barely breathe even by looking at the way things are laid ahead of us!

just praying that the global economy would recover and politics in malaysia remain stable, and people have more residual money to spend on quality entertainment...

other than that, 2011 should be a superb year for pop pop music ;;-))

Thursday, December 16, 2010

好累 [tired]

we just delivered the roger wang milestones cd stock to interglobal at 4pm just now (it will be on the rack early next week) and that officially signals the end of a very very tiring and hectic phase. we can safely say: it is time for a rest!

roger wang awarded me in jest "the indie manager of the year" award knowing fully what i have been doing for the past 3 months all by myself. are we indie label? not really. but the spirits are definitely indie.

juggling a 10-persons job in a typical music label company, from driver, to roadie, to groupie, to A&R, to accountant, to ceo, to coo, to sales and marketing director, to delivery boy, to official blogger, to media liaison, to relationship manager, to order fulfillment, to even lighting controller (in the NBT gig!).... you name it, i have done it, all by myself.

it is amazing but i take it all in my stride. crazy as it may sound, i even enjoy delivering the cds personally to the customers and thanking them.

in this day and age, a customer who still buys cd(s) is a precious customer and we need to value and treasure them.

we are glad to say we are changing our business model as we speak and we no longer need to rely on cd sales for survival. at least that's what we would like to think until the financial results come in next year.

next year, we are moving on to a new business, with music production being a secondary supporting business. so aren't you lucky? we will still be making albums.

we are getting very good in making albums so we shouldn't just stop here.

2011 oozes excitement because this new project is yet another ground-breaking project that promises to change the entertainment landscape in malaysia.

mind if i take a nap now?

泰國美女女伶 [thai beautiful jazz songbird]

Beautiful & recognizable. If you were in the Bangkok jazz scene, these two words fit Natasha Patamapongs perfectly. Leader, producer as well as the singer for - CNN
Asia's "Hot List: Top 20 People to Watch in Bangkok" in 2009 band - Mellow Motif, Natasha’s warm, soothing & crystal clear voice will astound you.
Natasha will grace NBT’s stage for two nights this weekend. She often performs some jazz standards in her own special way, in between her original material. Also look forward to modern songs given a jazzy twist.
Seeing as how standards evolve over time, you never know if she might end up giving birth to a standard herself. Beautiful & recognizable.

Come watch Natasha Patamapongs perform and also look out for these other two gorgeous ladies slated to perform at NBT.

we don't know about you, we look at natasha and immediately we wanna go to watch her this friday at NBT!

who knows, she may be the next pop pop's princess who combines beauty and voice.... just hoping that z yan won't be jealous to have another beauty in the house ;-)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

舉世無雙 [second to none]

the amazing brazilian percussionist valtinho lending his skills to the album

the pop pop ladies: bossa princess, soliano divas: irene and isabella

when i was listening to the last two songs recorded by the solianos just now, "kasih sayang" (lead vocal by irene soliano) by alfonso soliano, their great daddy to whom this album is inspired by and dedicated to, and "mulanya disini" (lead vocal by isabella soliano) by freedom, my heart was palpitating so fast.... my god, to whom do i owe this precious, incredible musical gift to?

if anything, solianos "pusaka" album, despite grossly belated (some cynics say by 20 years!) is going to rewrite the history of malaysian jazz/pop music. eat you heart out, cynics! it is better late than never!

if you have the slightest care for malaysian music industry (regardless of genre and language), and you have the musical appreciation (you don't need technical knowledge in music to appreciate the solianos because their musicality will overwhelm you), you will know that this is a work of monumental proportion. very seldom you can find a work of this virtuosity, purity, sincerity and harmony.

if the brasileiro album kicks major asses in the local chinese pop industry, the pusaka is even more encompassing: it is going take the industry by storm, given the right A&P and marketing campaign.

seriously, this is our 7th album and it is the ultimate, the peak, the most awards-worthy we have delivered to date. everything else pales in comparison.

mark this date: 25th feb 2011. this is the the anniversary birthdate of the great man, the late alfonso soliano who inspired this saga, this legacy, this musical gem.

we will be launching this album on this auspicious date.

and on 25th june 2011, we will be hosting, for the first time ever, a soliano grand concert in bentley auditorium. you bet this will be the most sensational musical event in the calendar next year!

freedom's "mulanya disini" will be the first song in the album because the soliano's legacy has been revived by pop pop music and the family members and a new era of great music making is just about to begin.

"sama sama menjejak mimpi... sama sama mencari dan menanti.... sama sama gunung didaki.. ....suka duka bersama dirasai"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

無所不在 [here, there and everywhere]

延遲了足足三個星期, 芭莎公主終于上架了!cdrama 布滿了公主的海報, 好不威風!

delayed for more than 3 weeks, finally brasileiro z yan is on the rack today! posters of bossa princess pasted all over cdrama cd store, what a sight!

thousands apologies for those who waited patiently!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

圣誕的鈴鐘 [silver bells]

what a year it has been!

really, before we go into another crazy year in 2011 (with another new mega project in the pipeline), let's take some time to reflect, meditate and plan for 2011.

what better music to accompany us than roger wang's soothing guitar music.

here's "silver bells" to let sink into the festive mood!~

公主在臺灣 [princess in taiwan]

it is quite incredible, the taiwanese are actually quite excited about our music.

just look at the kind of publicity the brasileiro album has generated in just one week after its launch in Taiwan.

it will be ultimately sad if pop pop music becomes the top chinese audiophile label in the world one day (which is not a far-fetched vision) but the local music people (and media) still fail to recognize the fact that it is not always about malaysian-composed original compositions, it is about good music that sells universally, never mind that some of them are cover versions.

but we are always hopeful that the day will come when our efforts would be duly recognized.

check out the links below....

introduction in audio art

review in u-audio

introduction in joy audio

in eslite online book store, the biggest book store chain in taiwan

Saturday, December 11, 2010

龔柯允與農夫 [karen kong in hong kong]

we don't quite follow cantopop because it has become quite bad in recent years, but once in a while we open our ears to some new stuff, like this from FAMA, featuring malaysian singer karen kong.

FAMA is a rap duo that has been quite popular in recent years. their brand of rap is rather commercial and catchy, very unlike the street-rough LMF.

karen kong, a pretty and petite malaysian singer with a big voice, signed under the very able management of fred chong of prodigee media (not sure if she is still signed there but it is fred who groomed her) has been raising eyebrows in hong kong.

fred is always eagle-eyed. every artiste he picks to groom has tonnes of potential and commercial attraction. his latest investment in none other than namewee 【黃明志】!

anyway, we are happy to see karen kong doing something different in hong kong! really, commercial pop is a waste of time unless your composition is good. combining with a creative group like FAMA will certainly create some sparks!

Friday, December 10, 2010

預告 [pre-annoucement]

if anything, this shows you how seriously we take every concert we organize.

yes, planning 5 months in advance and making sure that everything is perfect.

jz8 is gonna combined with the bossa princess for a one-night only double-bill concert in bentley auditorium, backed by the superb WVC trio, led by maestro tay cher siang. the "+ 1" suffix after the trio signifies that cher siang is gonna add a saxophonist, an instrument that is almost essential for bossa nova.

highlights of this concert:

  • top-notch acoustics and sound systems (with hifi equipment sponsored by hifi dealers)
  • narrative and story-telling aided by well-known radio DJs, much like the 2v1g@NBT last week
  • video showcase that correlate to the narratives
  • superb lighting to create the perfect ambience
  • many evergreen oldies re-arrannged into jazz and bossa nova
  • two attractive vocalists in lydia chew and z yan
  • backed by one of the best jazz trios in malaysia: wvc trio

this is just a teaser, we will soon be open for reservation in januart 2011... watch this space!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

萬千寵愛 [princess in the press]

sinchew chew reporting on bossa princess... click here

another one from nanyang... click here.

yet another report from spotlite... click here.

looks like the press is more keen on how the princess is transformed from a girl-next-door into a sexy princess, rather than how ground-breaking the music is.

芭莎公主試聽派對 [listening party for bossa princess]

note: 3 more songs have been added to the player for your listening pleasure

we have had a couple of listening parties held in hifi dealer's shop in the past and the turn out was not great. it shows that many audiophiles can't be bothered with such gathering.

so we had it in the house this time: more intimate, more casual and cheaper!

by and large, this is a fun party, despite the fact that 10 people didn't turn up. still we managed to gather around 20 people.

the princess was in a sexy short pant and white blouse, totally alluring to many middle-aged "uncle" friends of ours who came.

the whole party is casual with no set agenda. after a lot of mingling around, we then decided to play the bossa promo video we did on a shoestring budget. thanks to chan of CMY who loaned us the projector and thanks to hifi sifu ah tee for setting up the projector nicely.

the food is good as well, thanks to catering from vary pasta : the best and most economical italian restaurant in PJ.

we could sense that the princess is bit shy to mingle with new faces but after some persuasion, she did let herself loose a bit.

there were some media friends from 988 and oriental daily who came and stayed till the end of the party. we are glad that we are getting more friends in the media, that's something we plan to improve on in the next few years: media relations.

the princess is happy with the party, we could tell from her face!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

感性的一晚 [emotionally drenched]

a superbly high-definition video footages of 2v1g@NBT. thanks hi-soing for such a great video

2V1G两位主音(Vocals)何芸妮和阿飞,以及一位吉他手Roger Wang,配合988电台节目单元《写给你》,举办了两场音乐性满分的小型音乐会,全场座无虚席。



we know this is way overdue. in our exhausted state, we still want to share with you how satisfied we are with 2v1g@NBT last week, despite glitches here and there.

getting 988 DJs ying ying and piao ming to host the show was the best decision we have ever made. ying ying, especially, touched many hearts with her very emotive narratives. there were moments where our goose bumps were all triggered. there were so much emotions packed inside this little cave called NBT.

the stillness of the night, the emotion-packed narratives, the silently appreciative crowd, the great music on stage, all helped to make 2v1g@NBT gig a memorable outing.

both winnie and jeffery were great despite needing time to warm up. the 2nd half was better for both nights. the starting was always jittery, especially for jeffery. we hope they would improve on this.

the sound was great. the bose compact L1 did a fantastic job in projecting a sound that filled the NBT's space nicely. it was a pure and warm sound never before heard in NBT. roger was completely satisfied with the sound.

our bossa girl, z yan, provided much of the eye candy for the night. she did a good job too, with roger's able accompaniment. you can check what her new fan wrote about her in this blog.

these were the defining moments:

1. when ying ying longed for the departed mother and asked her how she was doing in heaven, it was followed by winnie's "and i love you so". we were moved to tears. winnie has a way with english numbers.

2. roger's solo "here, there and everywhere". it was sensitive, touching and delicate, the way only roger wang can do.

3. jeffery's "the origin of love" (ngoi dik kan yun, alam tam's classic). we chose this song knowing very well jeffery can sing it. full marks for jeffery, and finally

4. winnie's signature tune "coming home". despite her reluctance to sing it, we forced her to sing it because she has improved so much since the last time she sang this song and we are eager to see how the new winnie ho present this song. enough to say that the crowd was silenced (you could hear even a pin drops) by her explosive and yet delicate and totally commanding delivery. this is a song made for winnie ho. shunza herself would have approved winnie to cover her song. this is the kind of song to close the curtains.

overall, it was a great outing and we also sold many CDs.

we would employ the same format (narratives with video) for our future gigs. it actually made the whole gig more like a polished production.

our next concert would be on 9th april 2011. do watch this space!

Monday, December 6, 2010

抱歉, 延遲了[delayed with apologies]

we have been delayed by the telcos on ringtone download information, due to the extreme load for peak festive season.

thousand apologies to those who went to cdrama and various music shops to hunt for both of albums!

our best estimate for it to hit the retail stores would be 15th dec, wednesday next week.

for those who can't wait, as i have always indicated, you can get them personally from me in bandar utama. many have done that!

sorry, again!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

東方寫 pop pop music [oriental daily on pop pop music]

sorry guys, i am suffering from total exhaustion! i have a backlog of at least 4 posts to update, including the f**king amazing tommy emmanuel concert on friday night.... but i need a rest first

meanwhile, for the chinese readers among you, this will keep you entertained....

this must be the biggest ever (2-full spread) articles on pop pop music in a local chinese daily!

click here for page 1

click here for page 2

thanks feature editor lee kim seng 【李金城】 for the comprehensive report!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

人美歌甜 [isn't she lovely]

princess signing autographs for new fans.... in lomo mood, no less!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

歡樂今宵(二) [wonderful tonight(2)]

tonight's host and narrator will be the handsome and multi-talented DJ piao ming

if you left NBT last night feeling totally moved, or sad, or melancholic, or overwhelmed.. tonight is gonna be intensified as we have got over the teething problems and 2v1g has warmed up.

many were amazed by the sound from the bose compact system L1 which acts as a guitar amp and a mixer, hence totally bypassing NBT's sound system. the bose is full-sounding, far-reaching and robust. thanks a million to atlas hifi who loaned us the incredible system. suffice to say that atlas hifi has found a worthy endorsee for its system!

we won't elaborate too much on the show last night but truly, it was great. intensely intimate, heartfelt and moving, 988 DJ ying ying's emotive narrative adds tonnes of emotions to 2v1g's ballad-laden repertoire.

many new comers to NBT were surprised that they could watch such unique performance in malaysia. many confessed to me that they didn't know such cool performing venue even exists in malaysia.

tonight, we will have a new host in 988 DJ piao ming. good looking, humorous and intellectual, piao ming will provide a different vocal landscape from ying ying.

if i were you, i would beg to go into NBT tonight.