Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2012 最引人瞩目的专辑 [album to watch out for in 2012]

we got the rough mix of the jazzy teresa teng cdr yesterday (a rough mix is a raw version of the recording without proper mixing and mastering), and we listened..... 

感动! (touched)

the sound is the best so far from the ark studios, after some hardware upgrade which includes a new DAC (digital to analog convertor) and a new TAMA drum sets. one can clearly hear the beautiful tone made by the TAMA, played by handsome drummer charles wong of wvc trio.

one can also hear the amazing plucking of double bass by joseph of MPO, the american bassist who played in JZ8.  of course, not forgetting the equally amazing arrangement by tay cher siang which totally revamps teresa teng's music. there are great musicians like salvador guerzo (from solianos) on sax, julian chan on sax as well and the mighty valtinho anasticio from brazil. 

this is some kind of teresa teng. this is the teresa teng for the 21st century. 

mark our words, this album is gonna be one of the best-sellers in 2012 (regardless of genre), that much we are confident. it is gonna challenge the 20,000+ mark set by 2v1g's debut album, a record we have yet to break in recent years.  

and winnie ho is gonna rise, rise, rise to a level never before achieved by 2v1g.

this is the album to watch out in 2012. marketing wise, we will leave no stone unturned. we want to create major waves in the local chinese music industry, as well as overseas markets.

global release date: 14th feb 2012, st. valentine's day

p/s we have received booking of 100 copies of this album by a fan. there will be more orders on the way! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

复古圣诞 [retro christmas]

readers would know how much we dig the retro duo she and him, made up of the completely cute Zooey Deschanel and guitar wizard mark ward.

now they have released a christmas album, some kind of album that's very retro and old-school, for folks like us who always yearn for something different....

if you are sick of the usual commercial stuff, this might be the one for you.

p/s don't you love the album cover?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

接近完美! [fantabulous!]

lydia chew: simply captivating
partial audience filling up the ballroom

pop pop music's concert production upped another notch with the ipoh concert of "in the mood of love" which completed with near perfection on friday night!

not only is the crowd superb (after we announced that they have to behave like mature adults!), the lighting and the sound system were amazing, top it up with fantabulous performances by both lydia chew and zyan and you have a top-notch show that goes a long way in our memory!

everyone is pleased: from our production crew, the audience (which comprised of mostly sam tet old boys), the musicians and our sponsor, andaman. andaman's big boss smiled approvingly to me after the show and said "very good!".

that's the quality of our concert now as we gained more and more experience in this concert business. we stand tall and proud eventho' we are small fry to a lot of megabuck event companies. 

the revamped "in the mood for love" is a far cry from our sketchy efforts in "my glorious years" in april because i was working alone that time but now we have a full-fledged production team that takes care of every nitty gritty. that is called progress, that's called maturity.

two words to describe the concert: classy and polished. topmost credit must go to lydia and zyan, the two beautiful singers on stage who kept the audience nailed onto their seats throughout the one and half hour performance. lydia showed her maturity: beautiful tone and more confident stage persona. biggest surprise of all is zyan, who again, achieved a minor breakthru by "liberating" herself on stage. everyone was stunned to see the new zyan. her red gown was a stunning show stealer, we could tell that many uncles were enchanted by her beauty. both singers delivered great voicing and tone and almost flawless pitching throughout. on the other hand, lydia was wearing a deep-V blouse that must have caused many noses to bleed uncontrollably that night......

the sound system is the best we have achieved so far. our soundman, tan, after getting some pointers from me on how to tune the sound to suit jazzy music, is spot on in creating a sound that's delicate, soothing and most of all, full of details and nuances. well done, tan!

not forgetting the event management team from ideamatrix. the control on lighting, stage and video is done with almost clock-work precision. wonderful programming, guys!

with such high standards in this production, we want to do more of this concert to those who haven't got a chance to see it. corporate buyers, please come forward, will you?

"in the mood for love" is every bit as great as "the jazzy sound of teresa teng". the former is more romantic and melancholic and the later younger, more upbeat and rhythmic.

one anecdote to share: the sponsor's wife told us that the music was so romantic that night she was holding her husband's (andaman's big boss) hand throughout the night!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

好康![free tickets to give away!]

note: this concert is held at hotel equatorial, melaka

As part of our continuous efforts to promote Chinese Jazz Standards and to recruit more like-minded music lovers, we are giving away 20 tickets to 20 lucky fans/supporters of ours, to watch the biggest musical event ever in melaka: The Jazzy Sounds of Teresa Teng on the 7th december 2011 (wednesday)!

Just shoot an email to us: or call me at 012-2083790.

If you are going with your spouse, girlfriend, mistress, pet.... we will give you two tickets (max) then...yes, we are being extra generous :-)

Act now, we have only 20 tickets!

oh, btw, you have to arrange your own transport and accomodation, of course!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

怡保一大盛事 [grand event in ipoh]

怡保一大盛事:【花样年华】这星期五在怡保Syuen Hotel 引爆!票剩不多, 要买从速! 012-2083790. 郑泽相, 周翠玲, 欣彦将会带给你一个与从不同的音乐飨宴!

a great musical event in ipoh: "in the mood for love" musical showcase is on this coming friday at syuen hotel! not many tickets left, call 012-2083790. tay cher siang, lydia chew and zyan are gonna bring to you a musical showcase filled with nostalgia and memorable flashbacks!

Set One

  • Instrumental : Aquellos Ojos Verdes
  • 花样的年华 My Glorious Years
  • 旧梦  (Recurring Old Dream)
  • 醉在你怀中 (Intoxicated In Your Embrace)
  • 桃李争(Fighting For Love)
  • 情人的眼泪 (Lover’s Tears)
  • InstrumentalYumeji’s Theme
  • 晚风 (Evening Breeze)
  • 永远的微笑 (Forever Smile)

Intermission15 minutes 

Set Two

  • 如果没有你 (If I Don’t Have You)
  • 秋夜 (Autumnal Night)
  • 我只在乎你 (I Only Care For You)
  •  Instrumental:  Quizas Quizas Quizas
  • 不了情 (Endless Love)
  •   夜来香 (Fragrance of The Night)
  •    忘不了的你 (Unforgettable You)
  •    往事只能回味 (The Past Can Only Be Reminisced)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

重要的一天 [a significant day]

songstress in red
percussion maestro, piano maestro, jazz songstress and me all dressed in black coincidentally

some have asked: when is the next pop pop album?

yes, today is the first day of recording of "winnie ho: the jazzy sounds of teresa teng" album, a very rare and significant occasion since we have decided to reduce our production drastically.

who in the right mind would produce a big-budget album anymore in today's depressing climate, unless it is backed up by many encouraging factors?

we have not stepped into the studio for a while since february this year, following the completion of solianos pusaka. naturally we are eager to kick start this significant project. there will be 11 songs in this debut solo album of winnie ho: 10 tracks + one bonus track. most of the songs will be from the concert, with the same arrangement but added percussions.

we have some stellar musicians anchoring this project. besides maestro himself, we have valtinho anastacio, the famous brazilian percussionist, and joseph, the double bass wizard from MPO, the same guy who played the bass in JZ8. (amazing plucking, remember?)

so, excitement begins today. you have every reason to follow this thread and be part of it, cos it is gonna be a kick-ass project.

welcome to "winnie ho: jazzy sounds of teresa teng"! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

发烧女王到了! [the audiophile diva has arrived!]

raw CDs and inlays for susan wong greatest hits album

yes, she has arrived all the way from hong kong!

she is gonna be delivered to summit for packaging tomorrow and hopefully you shall see her at all CDRAMA stores nationwide starting next wednesday!

we have listened one round, the song selection is great, great, great. for those who crave for easy-listening english classics by an alluring singer, this is the perfect album.

戀愛預告 [love pre-annoucement]

trust me, this duet between winnie ho and worm lee in tonight's tribute to danny chan gig is worth the admission price of RM40! so much sparks and chemistry, these two make a wonderful duet! 

we have a funny anecdote whereby at the end of the gig, a fan confessed his love and admiration to his girlfriend and sang this song to her right infront of everyone's eyes!

yes, this is the kind of lovey-dovey love song of the good old days that is worth cherished over and over again!

come tonight and relive all those good memories!

Monday, November 14, 2011

我们售卖回忆 [we are the purveyor of memories]

the monstrous success of taiwan's teen movie "apple of my eyes" is a testimony that people buy memories. they want to relive the best times of the youth, especially their first love, their romance and the trials and tribulations.

same here at pop pop music, we are the purveyor of memories. we sell them to those willing buyers who are willing to pay for them. because memories have got a price, they are not like illegal downloads which are free for all and of poor quality. because memories are precious. they are best kept in lock and key.

with the success of "tribute to danny chan at NBT" last wednesday, we are bouyed by the fact that audience love tribute musical party. they love recapping memories. so we are planning more such showcases next year. samuel hui, leslie cheung, sandy lam etc etc, these are some of the names in our minds.

tomorrow we will have another round of danny chan, i think it is already fully booked. if you haven't got a chance to go to NBT, this is the best time!

Friday, November 11, 2011

我们的陈百强 [our version of danny chan]

this is our fifth gig in NBT since 2008's debut with 2v1g, and glad to say we maintained the proud record of FULLHOUSE once again.

this is also the most successful by far, judging from the audience's response, thanks to the great chemistry between winnie ho and our new singer, worm lee, on stage. worm lee proved to be a revelation and biggest discovery. not only does he has a great voice, he is funny and entertaining on stage! the audience lapped every bit of his antics on stage.

typical with cher siang's arrangement, our version of danny chan is injected with much rhythm and youthful energy, safe for a few ballads which must be played as ballads.

the audience were fantastic: responsive, cheering and not stingy with applause. you can tell they didn't want to leave even the last song has been played, forcing cher siang to come up with some brilliant idea to do an encore by re-doing "yatt sang ho kao" (danny's most famous hit) in swing style! by that time, the atmosphere was electrifying!

everyone sang well; winnie, worm, zyan and jeffery. the one with the most accurate cantonese diction goes to worm and jeffery but my applause goes to winnie who really worked hard on her cantonese and it sounded darn convincing. zyan was a breakthrough all the way as many of us have never seen her so exuberant on stage.

it was a fun party and the audience fully partook in it. with 2v1g gigs, because most of the songs were ballads, the audience tend to be more sober and quiet. not this one, they were cheering and clapping from the very start!

we are expecting an even bigger turnout next week with some of them coming back again.

so for those who missed it, don't miss it again! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

永远的小人物 [forever underdog]

just as we were doing a tribute to danny chan, another hk singer/comedian passed away rather shockingly.

ricky hui, the comedian with the deadpan fan, is more famously known as cantopop godfather samuel hui's brother.

in all of hui brothers' comedies, ricky has always been portrayed as the dim-witted, slow and stupid one who always get bullied. he is always the "kesian" one who the audience loved so much in the movie.

very few knew that ricky hui is had a hit song which brother sam wrote for him. "li wo chin siu" 【梨窝浅笑】 became one of the many hit ballads in sam hui's evergreen repertoire but it is ricky who first sang it. another famous song of ricky hui (video below), composed by him is "mo ching yeh lang fung" 【无情夜冷风】 which has such poetic lyrics.

ricky hui was a proof that sometimes,  one does not need to be the front-liner and steal the limelight. you can be equally happy as an underdog hiding in the background, and your role is equally important. we are sure hui brothers' movies without the contribution of ricky would pale in comparison.

we mourn the loss of such a great comedian.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

深爱着你 [loving you deeply]

from the day i blogged about this project more than a year ago, i have been waiting for this day: the day when all my singers can sing his songs on the same stage and the day when an album can be launched in remembrance of him.

we have waited patiently and the day has come.

two wednesdays in a row, we will be singing his songs at NBT. all the famous songs are here.

偏偏喜欢你,一生何求,涟漪,等,有了你,深爱着你,今宵多珍重,喝彩,突破,凝望, 初戀, 念親恩,细水长流,冷风中,眼泪为你流,长伴千世纪,恋爱预告

又跨进一大步 [another giant step forward]

press conference in pay foong high school melaka: the great man who made it all happened 

in a world full of apathy and mind-my-own-business mentality, your generosity is like a beacon of hope to struggling artistes like us, who aspire so greatly to change the stale scene and the status quo. you are a great friend and a great sponsor. you must be an angel in your past life.

that pop pop music is about the only music label in malaysia who produced 10 albums so far and has the guts and audacity to host both self-financed and corporate-sponsored ticketed concerts is already a miracle itself. most concert organizers wouldn't bat an eyelid on local artistes. they rather pay millions to get jacky cheung and faye wong. reality fully checked.

in malaysia, who would pay over RM100 to watch a local pop artiste like winnie ho and roger wang? yes, we are silently shocking peers and competitors.

the good news is: it is only the beginning, as more as more people are watching us and they  are bound to be more "angels" who would come forward.  the bad news is: it is still extremely tough to promote chinese jazz and local artistes in malaysia.  the road ahead is still full of uncertainties and obstacles.

it is never easy to ask for sponsorship, dang, it is almost freaking impossible!  have you tried asking money from your friends, even the best of friends? try it, and tell us how easy or hard it is. some will tell you that " they can help you in anything but not money". reality fully checked.

the music scene needs a reshuffle, there has never been a better time to promote chinese jazz standards.

it is a journey with oceans to swim and mountains to climb, but because of sponsor like you, we fear nothing, absolutely nothing.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

一人有一个偶像 [everyone has her own idol]

watch the first 3 minutes where lam san san, a singer, a DJ and then a music label A&R (lam is now the manager of ekin cheng) and a good friend of danny chan, recounted how she got all excited when danny chan asked her for a movie date.

it is definitely over-romanticize for me to feel sad 18 years after his death. i won't even write any sentimental things about him and how much memories his music brings to me and to my family members.

true, i have outgrown his brand of cantopop more than 10 years ago,  but his music stays in my heart forever. it represents a glorious part of my salad days.  

to those who grew up with his music, this coming tribute gig at No black tie is for you to cherish and reminisce.

i am dedicating this special gig to my beloved sister, connie, who re-discovered the meaning of life after a near-fatal illness. danny chan is her idol too. (dang, my whole family loves danny chan)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

爵士乐面对的问题 [dilemma with jazz]

Branford Marsalis: The Problem With Jazz

The saxophonist says the genre needs to get out of its rut of virtuosic self-indulgence.

The following is edited from an interview with jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis, whose latest album, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy, is a collaboration with pianist Joey Calderazzo.
Marsalis once interned at a law firm, and kept the suit.
Marsalis once interned at a law firm, and kept the suit.

You put on old records and they always sound better. Why are they better? I started listening to a lot of classical music, and that really solidified the idea that the most important and the strongest element of music is the melodic content.

In jazz we spend a lot of time talking about harmony. Harmonic music tends to be very insular. It tends to be [like] you're in the private club with a secret handshake.

I have a lot of normal friends. 'Cause it's important. [When] you have a bunch of musicians talking about music and they talk about what's good and what's not good, they don't consider the larger context of it.

You read a review of something and some guy in New York says "This is the most important music since such and such." And then when you look at it in a larger context, you say, "Well, can we really use the word 'important' for something that the majority of the people have never heard?"

As I've started to extend and get back into the outside world—which really started when I was on the Tonight Show—you realize, "Man, nobody knows who the fuck were are." And the idea was not to do things to make them know, but the question is within the context of the music I've chosen to play . . . what are the things that normal people like about music and can we incorporate those things?

When laypeople listen to records, there're certain things they're going to get to. First of all, how it sounds to them. If the value of the song is based on intense analysis of music, you're doomed. Because people that buy records don't know shit about music. When they put on Kind of Blue and say they like it, I always ask people: What did you like about it? They describe it in physical terms, in visceral terms, but never in musical terms.

In a lot of ways classical music is in a similar situation to where jazz is, except at least the level of excellence in classical music is more based on the music than it is based on the illusion of reinventing a movement. Everything you read about jazz is: "Is it new? Is it innovative?" I mean, man, there's 12 fucking notes. What's going to be new? You honestly think you're going to play something that hasn't been played already?

So, you know, my whole thing is, is it good? I don't care if it's new. There's so little of it that's actually good, that when it's good, it shocks me.

So much of jazz, it doesn't even have an audience other than the music students or the jazz musicians themselves, and they're completely in love with virtuosic aspects of the music, so everything is about how fast a guy plays. It's not about the musical content and whether the music is emotionally moving or has passion.

At some point, you get into the music and it's only about, well, this is what I want to convey. I'm into me. I'm into my shit. And after a while you look up and say, "Well, that was nice and self-indulgent and fun." Music clearly has to have more meaning than that.

My job is to write songs that have emotional meaning to me. Because I believe that if the songs have emotional meaning, that will translate to a larger audience that has the capacity to appreciate instrumental music, 'cause a lot of people don't. And I can't do anything to get them to like my music, and I'm not really trying.

性感的黄翠珊 [sexy susan]

isn't it wonderful that pop pop music gets the exclusive license to distribute susan wong's "best selection 16" album in malaysia?

it is a significant step towards international collaborations and resource sharing. we hope to bring more famous artistes under our label in due course.   

look at this cover! do you like it? our hearts palpipate.. and we are sure the music is as alluring as susan's pose:-)

exclusively for CDRAMA, this will be released in two weeks' time.

get it for your loved ones for this festive season!

Susan Wong - Best Selection 16
1    Superstar
2    Stay Awhile ( 2008 Version )
3    Sometimes When We Touch
4    We're All Alone ( 2008 Version )
5    Killing Me Softly
6    I'm Easy
7    Sway
8    Close to You
9    You Needed Me
10    Do That to Me One More Time
11    Kiss Me Goodbye ( 2008 Version )
12    I Only Want To Be With You
13    Rainy Days And Mondays
14    Cavatina (Theme from Deer Hunter)
15    I Believe
16    Can't Take My Eye Off You

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

乱世中的清流 [a new hope amidst chaos]

seriously, today's mandarin pop is such that if you buy 10 albums, you would chuck away 9 of them within the first spin, with one worthy of your collection.

wu jia hui's latest album is most likely the one you would keep.

we have applauded his work many times in this blog. he is easily the best singer-songwriter that malaysia have at this moment. even in the international chinese mandarin pop world's standing today, he is still one of the top 5.

the precious thing about wu is, he is not tainted nor bounded by those predictable chord progressions, formulaic ba-lak (chinese for ballad) recipe that's so prevalent in chinese pop today. (and something that we detest to no end)

his melody is very fresh and catchy, touching and heartwarming. in this EP (times are bad, only 6 songs offered), he is extending the good work he did in his previous full-length album "crazy you", without breaking new grounds. even with playing safe, he is already better than the rest of the bunch out there.

worthy of mention is producer eric huang yun ren (who is a regular guitarist with wakin chau and jonathan lee), whose production house/music label funky monkey is easily the best self-sustained chinese music label in this region. eric is a smart and talented musician. i can't imagine who else can produce wu jia hui to this level in malaysia (perhaps, except percy peng). eric is a singaporean and funky monkey is based in singapore, of course.

get this album if you wanna listen to some of the best mandarin pop today.