Monday, January 31, 2011

香港的粉絲 [fan from hk]

a recent interview by internet entertainment media, hiso-ing

thanks to google, we found andrew's blog from hk.

andrew practically bought all our CDs.

what a pleasant surprise :-)

國寶 [pride of nation]

netizens are a young bunch and they are quick to punish and retaliate based on emotions, angsts and not facts.

as soon as malaysian finalist, jess lee, won the taiwan's superstar reality show last night in almost a landslide manner, with so much conviction, netizens launched an attack on astro's judges who gave jess lee less-than-flattering comments during the 2008 astro talent quest, in which jess lees made it into the last 16 but was eventually knocked out. they felt that malaysian judges didn't recognize a real talent and instead, has to resort to taiwanese judges to give jess lee the due recognition.

now, please be fair. jess was very promising in 2008 but she was not world-class yet. looking at her performance in 2008, you would be hard-pressed not to criticize. but looking at her performance last night, she is world-class, without a question.

look the the two performances, separated by 3 years, with jess lee singing the same song, shunza's "forever waiting". she even improves so much in looks and dressing.

the first video was in 2008, the second video in 2011.

即將來臨 [coming soon]

“My Glorious Years” is the first installment of C.O.R (Chinese Oldies Revival) series of concerts organized by pop pop music, a premier audiophile music label in Malaysia.

“My Glorious Years” is based on the main theme of reviving Chinese oldies with Jazz and Bossa Nova flavors. It aims to bring back nostalgia of yesteryears, completely revitalized with modern flavors. It is, in essence, an East-meets-West hybrid music presentation for the discerning and mature audience.

Lydia Chew is the female vocalist of jazz duo “JZ8”, whose debut album has sold over 5,000 copies since its launch in May 2010.

Z Yan, nicknamed “Bossa Princess” is the first in Malaysian to interpret Chinese pop songs with a Bossa Nova feel. Her album “Brasileiro” was launched in December 2010 to much acclaim. So far it has sold over 3,000 copies.

WVC Trio is one of the most active and talented jazz trios in Malaysia. Led by pianist and music director Tay Cher Siang, WVC Trio has toured the world extensively in the last 2 years.

由Pop Pop Music所呈献的“花样年华”音乐飨宴是一個独树一格, 旧曲新唱的演唱會系列。在一片中文怀旧复兴热潮当中,旧曲新唱似是一股锐不可挡的风潮。Pop Pop Music肩负著提倡好音乐,好品质,好声音的前提下,引领大马越来越多喜爱旧曲新唱的音乐发烧友,从中领略不同年代,不同岁月面貌的经典名曲。

“花样年华”音乐会的灵魂,就是以动人的爵士乐(Jazz) 再配合慵懒甜美、浪漫性感的巴萨诺瓦(Bossa Nova), 献给观众无法言喻的喜悦以及中西混合口味的惊喜, 带领观众进入让人难以忘怀的时光遂道。


周翠玲, 大马最美丽的和音天使。2010年5月推出一张以“JZ8”为名的爵士专辑, 专辑曲风带著慵懒迷人气息的爵士乐,以黑马之姿穾破5000销量大关,著实叫人惊喜。

欣彦,甜美可人的“芭莎公主”。2010年12月推出一张让人耳目一新的<芭沙公主>,慵懒甜美而性感的Bosa Nova曲风,再配以旧曲的韵味,竟然在短短的两个月销量内便冲破3000张! WVC三重奏,全马最具魅力与潜质的爵士乐队。

WVC三重奏乐队灵魂人物, 同时亦是”花样年华”音乐总监郑泽相,可说大马少有的华语源流爵士乐手。近两年来于爵士音乐界迅速掘起, 广泛受邀组团,伴奏,出辑,于爵士音乐圈享有一定的名气。

Saturday, January 29, 2011

發燒陳潔儀 [kit chan goes audiophile]

no wonder she didn't reply our email!

we knew this would happen one day. now right infront of our eyes, kit chan with a cover version album!

we have a brief listen and it is quite good, minimalist with decent arrangement but it is kit's shining vocals that takes the cake away.

read all about it in her blog.

we expect this to sell by the lorry loads!

now, who's next? ;-)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

發燒呂方 [lu fong goes audiophile]

the trend goes unabated: over-the-hill cantopop singers making a comeback with audiophile dressing!

the latest being lui fong, who has not been active for a long time.

apparently, this is a china production. covers include mandarin classics from the like of teresa teng, sandy lam, mavis hee and amei.

we certainly welcome back lui fong!

let's guess who's next? sally yeh? paula tsui? samuel hui?

the more the merrier!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

我們都哭了 [we all cried]

bella overwhelmed with longings for her father while singing "airmata berderai"

a teary-eyed bella trying to show "peace"

tano trying to act gay

the soliano divas

late morning celebratory supper at taman tun dr. ismail.

in my short music career of 3 years, this is only the 2nd time i witnessed my singer broke down in tears during the recording. the first time was during the recording of our debut album 2v1g, which had regine tai tearing non-stop while rendering "tempting heart", still the most cherished song from the 2v1g's repertoire.

tonight, while bella rendered the last song of the album, "airmata berderai", an original by her dad alfonso, in a solo piano minimalistic mode, she couldn't control her emotions and she choked during a couple of passages in the song, which, of course, was captured nakedly in the recording. even irene joined in the crying. it was a moment that stood still in my memory for many many years to come. suddenly, i felt all the difficulties we had in the course of doing this album became inconsequential. suddenly, the solianos spirits came alive, united as one, the way their father had always wanted them to be. suddenly, i felt that my music career was a divine calling from god. again and again, i am convinced of the reasons i founded pop pop music.

doing "airmata berderai" was irene's idea. we all think that the whole album has already too many busy tracks so a piano solo with just one vocal would be the perfect curtain closer for the album. it turned out that bella and tano (who played the piano) did something magical in just one take. yes, one take. it was breath-taking. i could listen to it over and over again and feel bella's overwhelming emotional outpour. i think this song alone is worth the price of admission of this album. you really really have to buy the album to know what i am gushing about.

bella and irene cried because the song reminds them of their late father, who has really impacted their lives, and for whom this album is made and dedicated to.

we are so damn proud that we completed this album, despite many hurdles and delays.

i don't even think if i can ever best this album in term of artistry, musicianship, quality of music, arrangement and originality. i have said that "brasileiro" is my all-time-fave album, but "pusaka" is my showcase signature work that would be remembered in the history of malaysian jazz music's hall of fame.

really, you might think i am blowing my own trumpet.

come back to this post in one year's time and you would see what kind of achievements and results we could/would achieve with "pusaka".

to end this post, we share with you this anecdote: when one of one of our biggest supporters, who bought all our albums in large quantities (to distribute to all his friends), was asked what is his all-time-fave album from the pop pop music catalog. he answered, without blinking his eyes, "pusaka".

and that was 6 months ago when the album was not even finished.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

最后一擊 [the finale]

i am filled with extreme anticipation: we are going to finish the recording of "pusaka" by tomorrow!

long time coming. this project has so many obstables, so many. finally i am seeing the completion.

i haven't been listening to the rough mix for a while now. i put it back on my car stereo just now and all at once, my goose bumps came back and i instantly knew the reasons i invested on this album. a 6-figure investment, mind you.

"pusaka" is gonna rock the music industry for a couple of reasons. first, it touches the heartstrings of those who grew up in the 60s &70s. no words can quite articulate this kind of bonding. you hear the music and you would love it instantly. many people who have heard it said the same thing. second, it is the solianos' first ever album in their last 4 decades of music-playing and contributing to malaysian music scene. many fans, friends and relatives have been waiting for this fateful day. third, it rides of the current "fame" (however humble we deny it) of pop pop music as the boldest and most unconventional music label in malaysia that has consistently showed good results.

a couple of famous malaysians (very very famous!) are going to endorse the "pusaka", you just have to wait and see who they are.

i am glad we are coming to the end of the recording and i am extremely excited to see how "pusaka" would impact the music scene in malaysia.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

百花齊放? [everyone is doing audiophile album]

the chinese music industry has been bitten by the audiophile fever bug

suddenly the chinese music scene is getting interesting.

more and more people are making audiophile albums! major labels included.

we, being the pioneer in malaysia, certainly welcome the competition. after all, it is the chinese media that has been shunning audiophile music and turning a deaf ear to its development as a major force and trend in the ailing music industry. they need to be educated about good music that sells, and not crappy ba-lak and k songs that are only good for downloads.

we were talking to a media person today. we welcome her to visit cdrama outlets all over the country and compare our presence (the number of titles that are displayed) vis-a-vis the supposedly heavenly "kings" and "queens" of local mandopop, who get promoted, praised and pampered by local media. after comparing the display exposures, compare the sales statistics.

the fact is, media people and radio DJs don't frequent record shops or better still interview the sales staff, else they will be shocked to see and hear what's happening.

local chinese music labels are prone to sensationalization, because that's how the chinese media likes it. that's showbiz, baby. all sales figures are inflated. if an album sells 100 copies, they will tell the press that it has broken the 10,000 copies record within the first month. hey, do you live in mars? 10,000 copies for a local pop album, who are you kidding?

it is high time that the media needs to wake up from their slumber. no point to pamper the local pop artistes, no point to excessively promote local compositions. pop is dead, long dead. cover something else.

what the discerning buying consumers (those who really have the dispensable income to buy CDs) are good and mature music that helps them to relax and chill. better still if the recording is of high quality.

we also hope that those who make audiophile albums have some conscience and good hi-fi knowledge in order not to mislead the gullible audiophiles into buying anything with the audiophile tag. there are just too many music labels with audiophile pretensions, major labels included.

our advice: be a discerning buyer!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

花樣年華海報設計 [poster design for concert]

sharing with you the first draft of poster design for "my glorious years" triple bill concert on 9th april 2011!

isn't that gorgeous and full of retro vibes? our designer is really talented, he is young but he grasped the theme and concept very well in his art! he uses the qipao "cheong sam" motif as the background which is really smart and spot-on.

can you see the two beautiful singers in the background?

yes, preparation for the concert has just begun!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

香港音樂環境 [hk's music scene]

the fringe: a cool venue for indie bands of hk

everything has been wonderful with hk, from the weather (extremely cold!), food, shopping to accomodation.

but the biggest disappointment comes from discovering that hk doesn't quite have a music scene, apart from the cantopop scene which is more of a showbiz scene than genuine music scene, which most chinese pop music lovers in malaysia know.

to start with, they don't even have a decent jazz club, the like of NBT. considering how big the expat community in hk, this indeed is disappointing. all the more we should be proud of NBT.

from various conversations with several friends, they do agree that hk is a cultural desert. my hk friend told me that, not even one out of 100 hongkongers know the existence of the fringe club (picture here), a non-profit performing venue for indie bands and other fringe acts! he was amazed that i like the place so much! he said most hongkongers don't even bat en eyelid to it. they only know hong hum colliseum!

look at the amazing poster wall adorning the frontage of the fringe

one of my fave hk indie bands: my little airport's concert poster is pasted here

another hk friend told me they don't even have bands for important occasions like weddings, anniversaries or company annual dinners. it is not popular culture or customary here because of the lack of space. he further added that there are a lot of unemployed filipino musicians because most hotels have cut down budget for bands, from 5 piece to 2 piece. many musicians find it hard to survive in hk. even justin lo 【側田】, the once-popular cantopop singer admitted that his major income is derived from performing in genting highlands malaysia and other overseas venues like canada and australia! how cruel reality!

so we are glad that in malaysia, the scene is more vibrant with many wedding singers and sessionists being able to eek out a comfortable living. and there are plenty of events week in week out in klang valley. most event companies in malaysia are surviving healthily.

2v1g 2nd album being promoted in the beat, an audiophile record shop in mongkok

the retail scene is also suffering, again much worse than malaysia. any audiophile album that sells over 1,000 copies is considered a major success. and unlike us in malaysia, most albums need plenty of A&P (e.g advertising in magazines) in order to let people know of its existence.

we asked our CD factory (sony DADC) about the typical printing quantity of major labels. they didn't reveal but admitted to us that: "your quantity is considered big in today's market".

but the interesting thing about hk music lovers, especially audiophiles, is, they like to collect CDs/LPs that have a certain collectible value. like limited edition, unique serial number, special packaging, different pressing etc etc. it explains why vintage stuff are big in hk.

in recent years, major labels are starting to eye on the stable and steady audiophile music market. not only over-the-hill cantopop singers are making audiophile albums (the latest being lui fong, who is making a comeback), they are also digging out their vast back catalog and apply audiophile remastering on those master tapes. the recent K2-remastering from universal and warner, with as many as 100+ odd titles, is a testament that major labels are getting desperate. simply because the pop market is dead, so the only cow they can milk is from audiophiles buying remastered back-catalogs with audiophile pretensions. truth be told, some titles really benefit from remastering but most of them are ordinary sounding. it is a pop album after all. still, having danny chan, leslie cheung, roman tam, anita mui beats having unknown audiophile singers singing the same songs on any day, any time!

so, major labels are eating into the audiophile music pie. how much the cow can be milked remains to be seen. i suspect they would keep repeating the same old titles with different remastering techniques. audiophiles are known to be collectors, afterall.

a chairman mao-inspired cafe-cum-bookstore, very cool

this bookstore is famous for its sex manuals, very explicit stuff but the staff are all intellectual

skylard jazz lounge with bobby, rumoured to be michael jackson's mentor

Friday, January 14, 2011

岁月如歌 [lamenting a bygone era]

two men with the same profession but contrasting personality

the cover of cd bible 2010 issued by HK audiophile magazine

pride of the nation: 2v1g made it to the CD bible, first ever malaysian production that is listed in the book

Since I started my collaboration with Keith yip, the boss of rock in music hk, 3 years ago, i have never met this man who is responsible for the fame of cass pang 彭羚, Amanda lee 李惠敏, mimi lo 罗敏庄 and Susan wong 黄翠珊。

From the countless telephone conversations with keith, my imaginary impression of him is a soft spoken gentleman in his 40s, wearing a nice smile and slightly chubby. today I finally met keith in his office in tin hau and my impression of him was thrown out of the window!

Keith is much older in real person, still friendly and gentle but he has that "been there done that" weariness in his face. Being in the industry for 28 years, he has seen it all, the ups and the downs, the peaks and the troughs. Speaking to keith brings a sense of lament in both of us. We speak in the same sad tone about the largely diminished music industry, more so in hk than in malaysia. But Keith is in a better position because he had made his money whereas I haven't. Keith recounted the days when audiophiles music was booming (he changed from a pop producer to an audiophile producer in 1998, right after the financial crisis). "it was easy to sell CDs then", he lamented with a tinge of sadness. " Nowadays, it is not possible to even break even. You are doing well by all accounts", keith said to me.

Keith showed me his studio which really took me by surprised. It was so tiny. It has that dated feel. This tiny studio where susan wong, mimi lo did their recordings has served keith for the past 12 good years. he is in the midst of producing Bonnie lam album and I saw the song sheets which have some of my fave canto pop songs so I asked keith to play it in his Console. Immediately the trademark rock in music signature sound greets me ears. i asked keith if i can jointly produce this album since i don't have good bona fide cantonese singers and keith said "yes!". so guys, do expect the first ever joint production - a cantonese album no less - from pop pop and rock in!

keith also told me the good news: for the first time ever, 2v1g made it to the authoritative CD bible 2010! i was elated because not only it is an honor, it will also help to make 2v1g an eternal best seller cos CD bible is referred by many chinese audiophiles in hong kong and mainland china.

part 2 will talk about my imminent collaboration with keith on the bonnie lam cantopop album!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

重游香港 [revisiting hong kong]

i can't remember how many times i visited hong kong. many times, i believe. but each time it brought back good memories. if a country is equivalent to girlfriend, then hong kong is in my all-time top-5 list, recently edged out by taiwan.

what attracts me to hk is the hustle and bustle of the city, the vibrancy, the pulsating beat of life in this tiny place. i could be lost in mongkok wandering nowhere and yet i feel so alive and energized by the vibrancy. i also think hk people are smart, ruthlessly competitive and a bit aggressive but nonetheless speedy and efficient in their work.

my understanding of the hk pop culture started way back in the 70s when i was an avid follower of tvb dramas. naturally, i speak good cantonese. i am sure many malaysians learn their cantonese from watching tvb dramas too.

my most memorable trip to hk was in 2005, when i was offered a place to stay in the very classy mid-levels 【半山】, halfway between central and the peak. the weather in mid-levels is always cooling but unfortunately the week i was there, it rained non-stop for 6 days, some sort of a record in hk.

what was memorable was the fact that my visit coincided with the launch of janice vidal's 【衛蘭】 debut album in hk. she was a breath of fresh air but she has gone down hill in recent years. the album was so very romantic and it featured the then very talented justin lo 【側田】 as a composer and arranger. read all about my love for her in my now defunct hifi blog the music still bring sweet memories of that trip. i wonder if i could chance another cantopop album of such quality this time?

i don't really know what to expect in this trip except that i have been warned the weather is extremely cold. so i packed all the winter clothing which is heavy and eats all the luggage space!

just like any other trips in the past, i didn't plan at all. i have many friends to meet, including business partners. i will just go with the flow. it is a trait in gemini, i suppose.

i hope to report to you my travel journal in the next 7 days!

meanwhile, be good ;-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

天籟 [heavenly duet]

i am off to hong kong for a business trip, i will leave you ooh-ing and ahh-ing with this heavenly duet... this is about the only hope left in chinese pop, so savor it with gratitude ;-)

thanks km for the heads-up!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

關于愛情 [all about love]

hey people,

inspiration strikes! i propose to name the next 2v1g's concert 【關于愛情】 (all about love). this will be the theme based on the song 【關于愛情】, please check the youtube above.

this is a very broad theme covering all aspects of love and relationships, so very suitable to 2v1g's style. song selections will revolve around every phase of relationship. of course, the ending would be a happy one ;-)

i have briefly spoken to roger about hosting it in bentley auditorium on 20th august 2011. as long as we enhance the lighting, the ambiance can be intimate and warm.

let me know if you are ok with that date. thanks

2v1g 下一個演唱會的主題將會是【關于愛情】, 主題曲去也用回伍思凱和馬玉芬的那首!

我本身很喜歡這首歌, 也覺得它會適合 2v1g.


為了音樂 [music matters]

since we are on loud+clear, we might as well tell you the history of our "revolution" in music, for the benefits of those who didn't know what we did or contributed in the past...

we started music exchange in 1998, the first major and hugely successful 2nd hand CD store in malaysia, to cater to the fringe and alternative crowd whose musical diet is not like the majority. enough has been said about music exchange in this blog, so we won't elaborate. suffice to say music exchange left an indelible mark in the history of malaysian music industry.

my association with troy, the current music fanatic in loud+clear, started when we began an enterprise call "music matters". it is an online portal selling underground, americana, low-fi, jazz, alternative and indie music, again to cater to the demanding and knowledgeable crowd who knows his john coltrane from kenny G.

music matters did well to shock the industry with its boldness to bring in titles unheard of in malaysian record shops. not only that, it was backed up by very up-to-date reviews (written by me and troy). because troy reads all those cool music magazines like NME, Q, MOJO, rolling stone and he knows what is new in the market. so very soon, believe and or not, other record shops started bringing titles by following our recommendations. it really pissed us off because they just stole our ideas like that!

after the closure of music matters, troy went on to work for music magic, another very cool record shop located in central market. again with his fantastic knowledge, troy transformed music magic into a cult music shop. he went on to work for rock corner and again did the same thing by building up his own following.

why we are telling you all these?

because for fanatic music lovers like us, record shops are our 2nd home, where we find inspirations in our music and spend our money on hard-to-find titles. and malaysia seems to be a place where only "safe" record shops exist due to commercialism and the attitude of the record shop owners or buyers to "play it safe". just like the example we had given previously, if you want to buy lady gaga and MJ, what differentiates a record shop from another? convenience and price! not the record shop, the knowledge of the staff or the quality of its stock, as you can find it anywhere!

it is when you want to buy mogwai or sigur ros or belle & sebastian, then you find that shit!, hardly anyone knows them, let alone stock their albums!

there is a certain elitism in music when you know so much and listen to so diverse range. as we have said, when you know your john coltrane from kenny G (or dave koz), your pink floyd from snow patrol, your damien rice from justin biebel, your david foster from air supply (or michael learns to rock! gee, those cheesy music!), you walk tall knowing that you are so much more knowledgeable than the rest and your tastes in music are so much more refined and cultured! trust me, nobody in the elite music circle would admit that they listen to air supply and MLTR!!!! because that's very uncool and that shows your depth in music appreciation or lack of it. just so you know, air supply and MLTR are pretty unknown in their own country! they are only famous in asia!

similarly, such elitism also exist in the chinese pop music. you tell people that you listen to bobby chen, cheer chen, qi chin, lo da you, jonathan li, kay huang, people can immediately tell you know your stuff. tell people that you like S.H.E. TWINS or fahrenheit, then people know you are shallow. and titles like bobby chen, cheer chen and kay huang are the kind of music that's hard to find in the record shops in malaysia.

every country we go, be singapore, hong kong, and more so in taiwan, there are many record shops that are very uncommercial and specialized in certain genres of music. only in malaysia, we don't have such culture and appreciation. so that speaks a lot of the quality of music buyers here.

true, there shouldn't be discrimination in music appreciation after all music is music, there is no wrong if a person finds more satisfaction in kenny G rather than john coltrane but the point is, it will be good if this person can upgrade his appreciation to a higher level and find more artistry, knowledge and intellectual satisfaction in the hobby. it is just like any hobby, from red wine to watch collection to cars, you need to climb the ladder of appreciation in order to achieve maximum enjoyment.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

新景象 [a new dawn]

loud+clear is my CD shopping dream realized

richard hawley: mazzy star meets frank sinatra


many have asked if i am the partner in this business since i am so aggressive in promoting them. heck, no. i am too busy to indulge in another business eventho' owning a record shop used to be a dream. it is because this is how i would like my dream record shop to be (to stock things that normal malaysian record shops won't dare). since someone has taken the lead to do it, i will support with all my might. if you aren't a chronic music lover, you won't understand the bonding.

as i was driving on my way to loud+clear, i slipped mazzy star "among my swan" cd into my car stereo, instantly i feel an immediate bliss coming to my ears. why is that we don't find such cult act anymore in today's alt-rock scene? hope sandoval's dreamy vocals are surely hard to find. what precious gem . i keep on repeating my favourite track in the album, "flowers in december" until i almost get an aural high.

who could have thought when i entered loud+clear, troy, my music buddy, was playing something remotely similar to mazzy star, albeit rendered by a male vocalist? curiously, i asked, "who's that? i kinda like it." troy answered, "richard hawley, pulp's sideman". wow, very terminal, some kind of mazzy star meets frank sinatra! i didn't have to think twice, i bought that album.

and you know what, this album is an omen of good things to come: i finally find a record shop that i am truly proud of, that i can call home. finally, somebody dares to do something bold, beyond the ordinary. bloody achievement, that is. finally, i have a record shop that caters to my tastes, my music and my aspirations.

even an angmoh customer complimented troy, "something different in your shop!". troy was pleased!

but indie and alternative music lovers, hold on to your horses as the new stock on these genres have not arrived from overseas due to the x'mas/new year long holidays! troy has asked me not to over-promote his shop until the stock arrives in late january.

if you are not demanding in your music, stick to your normal record shop(s). they are for the ordinary folks.

if your are not the ordinary folks , you must pay loud+clear a visit.

richard hawley album marks the revival of my massive CD buying days!

this itself is worth celebrating. i am telling you loud and clear (saving the pun for last)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

歌在呼吸 #7 [song we cherish #7]

there are some oldies that hit you like a tornado once in a while... 仙杜拉 【啼笑姻緣】is one such classic.

the urge to listen to this beautiful song strikes me when i was brainstorming on triple bill "my glorious years" concert the other day.

joseph koo's 【顧家輝】 is a legendary composer in the 70s to 80s cantopop era in hk. he was single-handedly responsible for more than 90% of the cantopop hits of that time. this song in particular, the theme song of a tvb drama series of the same name, brought sandra 【仙杜拉】 to superstardom.

there is something permanently gorgeous about this melody and the creator in me wants to give it a new lease of life.

for those who know cantonese, just browse thru the lyrics and see how beatiful they are. absolutely gorgeous poetry that portrays the romance of that era...

if i have my way, i would ask maestro tay cher siang to re-arrange and modernize this with a jazz arrangement.


為怕哥你變o左心 情人淚滿襟
愛因早種偏葬恨海裡 離合一切亦有緣份
願與哥你倆相親 情人共印心
最驚恩愛一但受波折 難望偕老恩消愛泯
藕絲已斷 玉鏡有裂痕 
恩愛頓成怨恨 生則相聚
死也化蝶 幾許所願稱心
莫嘆失意百感生 難求遂寸心
 赤絲千里早已系足裡 緣份天賜不必怨憤

銷量榜首 [topping the chart]

some rewarding news to tell us that our hardwork, our dedication is fully appreciated....

2v1g-1, 2v1g-2, jz8 and brasileiro are in the top-10 sales chart of cdrama.

4 spots out of 10 is definitely an admirable feat.

let's give a pat on our own shoulders!

2010 印象深刻的專輯 [albums that leave a mark in 2010]

wu jia hui: we regard wu jia hui as the best chinese singer-songwriter in malaysia. if he was born in the 80s or even 90s where CD buying is still a pop culture, he would have become very famous. very sad. but we believe jia hui would find fame in his own ways.

soft lipa: many rappers have tried various things beyond the rap genre, like blending with jazz music, but only soft lipa impresses us. even then, we feel this formula cannot be repeated too often.

she & him: this album brings us closer to our parents. if there is a remake of "grease" for the 21st century, zoey deschanel would be the new olivia newton john. we love this album to bits.

lynn li: totally under-reported album of great musicality. in a way, brasileiro is inspired by this album. even taiwanese don't know this album exists. sad. it shows that having good music alone without marketing is not enough.

lisa ono: many people hate this album because of lisa ono's less-than-perfect pronunciation in asian languages. dudes, do you listen to the music at all? it is a beautiful album with first class instrumentation, musicianship and virtuosity. only a music connoisseur would know this.

kay huang: how sad that this album is not even brought into malaysia. poetic, melodic, lyrical, musical, only kay huang makes such music in today's crappy music scene.

hebe tian: this is about the only pop album we could recommend this year. it is not about hebe's singing but the wise choice of songs. perfect pop for the z-generation. but still forgettable for uncles like us after a few spins. nevertheless, a pop gem.

Monday, January 3, 2011

花樣年華 [triple bill "my glorious years"]

we are kick starting our preparation for the april concert featuring jz8, bossa princess and wvc trio!

to be fair to wvc trio, the concert should rightfully be a "triple bill" because wvc contributes a lot to the music, but we have given the concert a better name: 【花樣年華】, which is "my glorious years" in english. (not wong kar wai's "in the mood for love" la!)

so immediately you get the drift with a title like this - we are going to do many oldies in jazz and bossa nova arrangement! and most likely, you will see lydia and zyan tugged in curve-flaunting , body-hugging cheongsam too ;-)

we would like to open the booking by end of january. chief of our concern is how to handle ticketing. frankly we don't trust local ticketing agents. the biggest ticketing agent has just collapsed with millions in debt...... we just can't take the risk.

so, here we go, my glorious years : a triple bill concert bounds to excite your aural senses!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

音響論壇評芭莎公主 [brasileiro in audio art]

taiwan's top hifi mag, audio art, gives a positive review on brasileiro...

click here to read the full article.

there is a general slow-down in taiwan music retail market so brasileiro is not spared...

but we are confident that it will pick up momentum, much like jz8. some local retailers were not confident of jz8 when it was first launched, saying that "only the first song is good", now they have to eat their own words!

oh btw both 2v1g-2 and jz8 have shot past the 3,000 mark in sales, quite a commendable feat in today's gloomy climate.

let's hope brasileiro can achieve the same or better.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

愛美姬的秘密 [the secret of maggielurva unmasked]

my dream lover, my soulmate and my raison d'entre for making music: maggie

i have been asked, countless times, by countless people, why i had my nick "maggielurva".

many have guessed, including some close friends and supporters who knew me over the last couple of years, that "maggie" is my ex-gf who broke my heart in "love's tapestry". that was close except that maggie is not a living thing!

coinciding with the new year and the launching of maggie 3.7 (the latest model) in USA today, i would like to let you know that maggie is my favourite high-end loudspeakers for the last 10 years!

magnepan, the manufacturer of this superb planar speaker affectionately named "maggie", short for magneplanar, by its staunch supporters over the last 4 decades, is the most conservative and most famous high-end speaker manufacturer from USA. it only releases new models every 10-12 years (unlike many greedy high-end brands) and every new release is a big quantum leap in sound improvement over the predecessors so you could imagine my excitement and anticipation.

maggie is known for best sound for the buck/value. actually, i beg to differ, it is the best sound for any buck/value!

i have been with my maggie 3.6 - an iconic speakers for those who are in the know - for the last 8 years. 8 years of blissful marriage, with nary a single complaint. it is a marriage of passion, lust and intellectual exchanges.

unlike real life companion, maggie does not complain when you don't do housework, when you don't open the car doors, when you pick your nose and scratch your groin habitually, when you don't shower before you go to bed, when you snore during your sleep, when you don't perform in bed.... fact is, maggie is the best lover and soulmate i have ever had.

the most hated attribute of an audiophile is the inherent insecurity that other newer products/brands are always better than yours and the upgrade fever is never ending. not with maggie. when you have maggie, you are safe in the knowledge that you have one of the best, if not the best, high-end products in the market, and your are so secure with yourself that you will only buy back another maggie, the next better model that is, in the next 10-12 years' time. that's the assurance, that's the investment protection of this amazing speaker.

with so much excitement, i have placed my order for the new maggie 3.7, due to be premiered in this january's CES (consumer electronics show) in USA. it will be another 6-12 months before i get my maggie 3.7 but i am already sweating in anticipation.

it may not mean any thing to you guys but maggie has been responsible for producing some of the good sound you hear from pop pop music's albums. i use them as my monitoring speakers to evaluate all the masters before they are approved for production.

yes, a happy new year to you and a brand new listening experience in store for me in 2011!~

p/s i hear you say "get a life!". this is life, my friend!