Tuesday, May 29, 2012

马来西亚版的蔡琴老歌 [malaysian version of cai qin lao ge]

many say CD has died and nobody buys CDs nowadays.

but the very few who do, are the genuine music lovers that treasure the silver discs. this group may be diminishing by the day, but you know they always exist.

yudi yap 【友弟】, a veteran local songstress known for her shanghai jazz repertoire, believes that she makes albums for specific listeners who still treasure CDs. collaborating with hotshot pianist and music director, our very own tay cher siang, yudi has created an album worthy of being called "the malaysian version of cai qin lao ge". .... not the least because she covers two songs from that famous album too.

this is one of a kind album that speaks to you in a manner akin to a lover whispering to you in the most intimate manner. it is very sparse (think an older version of 2v1g), very minimalist and very very very intensely emotive.

we would post a mp3 player in our next post.

yes, you may be able to buy it soon! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

新加坡音响展 [singapore hifi show: MOD DAC 2012]

we love going to hifi shows, especially when they invite us to do live performances! not only can we introduce our music to these audiophiles, we also get to sell a lot of CDs!

MOD DAC (digital audio convention) 2012 is going to have its inaugural show in august 25th-26th at Singapore's Raffles Convention Centre. organized by MOD, the publisher for car audio magazine SPL, this show is not just your ordinary hifi show per se. it is gonna combine multimedia, head-fi with the usual hifi and av. the timing is just perfect, as it coincides with regional hifi show calendar with many shows happening in july/august timeframe. 

what makes it sweet is admission is FOC! even sweeter for us is is they have invited winnie ho to be the official performer for the show and her album "the jazzy sounds of teresa teng" made "the official show's CD".  what a privilege indeed for us malaysians!

winnie is gonna perform 2 live showcases per day, on 25th and 26th august, respectively. we don't have the logistics info as yet but we were told we may perform in 4 different rooms where the hifi dealers could showcase their top-notch systems.

if you would like to follow MOD DAC's run-up to this exciting event, do join their facebook  page!        

we also intend to release a new album, a world's premier,  just to greet this prestigious event!

Friday, May 25, 2012

大哥向弟弟致敬 [barry gibb pays tribute to robin gibb]

we know barry gibb of the bee gees would be so heart-broken. we know. barry is a man of great sensitivity.
barry gibb has paid tribute to robin gibb by releasing this farewell video that makes us all 
teary-eye. such touching display of brotherly love, the unspoken bonding that is universal. 

the remembrance clip, set to the bee gees ballad "heart like mine", features never-before-seen home video footage of the gibb brothers as kids, as well as career highlights and live performances.

we share barry's sadness.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

旺角的一个角落 [a little corner in mongkok]

spotted by a friend in a cd shop in mongkok. we guess it must be The Beat or Wai Wai

a close friend tapped on our shoulders and said, "do you know you are one of the very few home-grown music labels in malaysia that have major overseas distribution?". we were like taken aback but then we thought for a while, yeah, that is true!

we don't know about malay artistes' CDs being sold in indonesia or other countries. we do know liyana fizi CDs go all the way to japan recently. we also know sheila majid CDs went to japan and indonesia last time.

for malaysian chinese artistes, we are one of the very few that goes to HK, we guess. penny tai and fish leong, even tho' they are malaysian but their labels are taiwanese labels and that do not count. yuheng (a local singer-songwriter) has her own music label in malaysia and her CDs do go to taiwan and china and that's counted as a rarity. most malaysian artistes based overseas are normally owned by overseas music labels.

but in terms of having good distributors in taiwan and hk, we think we count ourselves lucky as they are all aggressive in promoting our stuff. just look at how they promote winnie ho's album in mongkok. a couple of  friends visited HK lately and they were impressed by the way the record shops promote our stuff. it shows that they definitely accept malaysian products.  

what a blessing.     

Monday, May 21, 2012

原来我才是笑话 [the joke was on me]

we have always been taking bee gees for granted, saying that beatles is the best band in the world and bee gees is a distant behind but truth be told, we can relate more to the gibb brothers than the beatles. Without bee gees' immense contributions, the 60s, 70s and 80s pop would be colorless. 

as a mark of respect, we would dedicate the next 3 blog articles on the bee gees, starting with this one.

the year was 1980, we were in the top class class in ACS, ipoh. there was a very naughty fella in the class by the name of kusu. kusu was the kind who always got punishment from the teachers for all the naughty pranks he did in the class.

kusu is good in caricaturing. one of his fave caricatures is the gibb brothers. he likes to draw on whichever table he sat on. so when you see a table with bee gees caricatures, you know kusu had sat on it. besides that, he could imitate robin gibbs very well, singing in high-pitched falsetto, with the agonized and tightened-muscle look on his face.

practically the whole class loved bee gees and we could sing their songs as familiar as our morning assembly song of "negaraku". yes, as the 80s kids, we practically lived thru the bee gees era, the rise and fall of their long-spanning career.

there was another a very cool guy by the name of kc, who was the prince among us nerds. A1 class being the top class in ACS, it was full of nerds and kc was simply the best looking and best liked guy by female students from MGS.

kc always played "i started a joke", "words", "massachussetts" on his guitar whenever there were gatherings. and we would singalong like there was no tomorrow. the girls were particulatry impressed with kc's guitar skills. with his guitar, kc stole the hearts of many girls.

even until now, when the old classmates gather at  karaoke lounges, "i started a joke", "words", "massachusetts" are still being sung with such gutso and passion.

today, we mourn the passing of robin gibb. we know barry gibb would be heartbtroken because when maurice gibb passed away, barry broke down and shut himself from the outside world.

we are all saddened because bee gees have given us so much good times and good music. the gibb brothers' music was a big part of our salad days.   

Friday, May 18, 2012

音乐良药 [music as therapy]

we have a long-lost friend who suffers from nasal cancer.

this man is humorous, manly and positively well-liked by many, man or woman.

his disappeared from our social circle for more than 10 years and he only picked up the phone to call us last year, telling us about his suffering.

so, before we met up, we imagined a man who is skinny, balding and terribly unwell. how wrong we were, he is still well-built, albeit with a face that's slightly darkened, the result of chemo and radiation therapy.

he recounted to us, blow by blow, how he went thru the treatment and how suffering and painful the treatment were. not a teardrop from his eyes, but sheer guts and determination.

eventho' he is fairly recovered after 3 years, he still needs to be observed for the next 5 years to see if there is any recurrence. so life is never certain.

he sold his money-making business in oz and not knowing what's the next step.  he plans to take a rest.

before parting, we passed him a copy of 2V1G and told him that perhaps, he should listen more to music now that he is stronger and has more time to relax .

this morning, we received a call from him. he said he likes it so much. being a "banana", he knows nothing about the lyrics but he says the songs sound familiar and he also shared it with his corporate-bigwig wife, who also shows great liking in the music. he says something touches him in the music.

we jested to him: perhaps you could invest in our company. just make music that makes people happy and recover faster from unhappiness. 

we are meeting more and more people each day who say they are looking at life with a different perspective, after some major hiccups in life. and most of them say, music does something to them that's is indescribable; it has a healing effect, it is a therapy.

to these people, we offer this advice: amidst life's hustle and bustle, don't lose sight of little little things in life, like music that you grow and relate to: the song you played when you had your first date, when you get wet in the rain to deliver that birthday present to your girlfriend, when you had your first breakup, when your mum recovered from major illness, when you dad was celebrating his 70th birthday,  when your sister was getting married..... there is a song for every memorable occasion.

play those songs once in a while and revel in the beauty of those occasions.           

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

動人的月亮 [a touching moon]

many people have cried over roger wang's solo guitar version of this song.

our hard-working photographer-cum-videograher has chosen to re-title this song "perennial as the moon", see whether you agree with his translation.

the snippet is taken from the recent double take concert. enjoy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

又一首免费下载的歌! [it is coming, the 2nd song for free download!]

due to the overwhelming response to the free download of the song "forgetting him" from winnie ho's album, to the extent that dropbox has to ban us due to excessive traffic, we are thinking of releasing another song for you good people! aiya, you may not have bought the album, but never mind la, we are generous people.

mastering god, mr. doug sax

to make it a bonus, this song MAY be mastered by doug sax! MAY be, not certain yet, depending on whether the sponsorship comes true! naturally, this version is not available on the album yet and may be released in special edition later this year.

the previous download has spread to countries outside malaysia and the feedback has been largely positive. 

but all we can tell you is, this remixed and remastered version is gonna knock your socks off! satisfaction guaranteed.

so be a good boy and wait, good things come to those who wait. 

荣幸上报! [another appearance on the edge financial!]

click to enlarge

as a non-mainstream independent music label, we always have difficulties getting press coverage, other than we calling a press conference to announce something, a concert or an album release.

certain press are not easy to invite to press conference, let alone get them to write an article about us.

it came as a big surprise when the edge financial weekly contacted us last week, telling us that they have heard bits and pieces of winnie ho's album and were interested to do a write-up!

the edge, the edge, wouldn't you be flattered when the edge wanted to cover you? the edge, as far as we know, is the most authoritative, influential and best-selling financial newspaper in malaysia. and it is always a hot-seller the moment it hits the newsstands on sunday morning.

we are not into financial matters but we love the "options" pullout, which focuses on good life and other more lifestyle related topics. it is our favourite section and we are sure many would think likewise.

so, buy the edge on 14th may 2012, monday morning, where tay cher siang and winnie ho would get their space to talk about their most sensational achievement to-date, the "jazzy sounds of teresa teng" album!

latest update: the album has shipped out 3,000 copies and sold over 1,800 copies (retail sales plus corporate sales) in just less than 2 months since its launch on 15th march 2012. this is quite an achievement!      

Monday, May 14, 2012

苏打绿成功因素 [sodagreen:why they are successful]

after cheer chen, sodagreen is easily the most successful indie act that manages to cross over to mainstream in a big big way.

incidentally, they share the same producer in will lin 【林玮哲】. will lin did produce an album for cheer in her early career and now he is fully reaping the rewards (ie. making good money) in sodagreen. he is our top producer in our list of ace producers. will was the pioneer in creating a new style of music in taiwan in the late 90s, which was epitomized by his proteges like faith yang nai wen 【杨乃文】 (his ex-girlfriend) and shunza 【顺子】.

just like many indie acts, sodagreen's success factor lies solely on one man, lead singer and chief composer, qing feng 【青峰】. this young chap is one of the biggest talents in the chinese music industry since jay chou. in fact, sodagreen nowadays sells more CDs than jay chou!

let's analyze sodagreen's music. it is totally original. it is a bit like britpop but not entirely. it is not entirely indie music either in that it has very rich instrumentation and arrangement.  it has strong character, very strong hook and a very definite "qing feng" character. in fact, this is indie music with commercial appeal. sodagreen is quite unlike any chinese indie act that's prone to plagiarizing and imitating western acts. in fact, dare i say, sodagreen is so much more original than mayday 五月天, which essentially is a chinese rock version of beatles and has seen better days.

what's more precious is qing feng's music connects with the youth in a big way. that's the sound of the youth in taiwan. it is not angsty nor angry but relevant on matters concerning the youth such as loneliness, solitude, friendship, love are all dealt with with such gentle poetic manner. sodagreen's music celebrates youth, all the glorious things that make youth so memorable and cherishable.

qing feng's music is stylish, hooky and very refreshing. in our very own high standards of measuring chinese pop, sodagreen's music is one of the best music in chinese pop since david tao in the late 90s. its originality scores the highest in our measuring criteria.

sodagreen has released 10 albums so far and admittedly not all are consistent but this latest one (cover above) is really great, it is like a return to form that made them so unique and special.

we can't praise sodagreen enough except to say this: in 2012, they still make us want to listen to chinese pop. 

another bonus is, producer will lin is very particular about recording quality and most times, sodagreen albums sound great in hifi systems!

Monday, May 7, 2012

摄影初哥 wanted! [novice videographer wanted!]

pop pop music 在此号召对摄影热爱刚萌芽的朋友们参与我们的拍摄阵容。一来可借此机会挑战专业水平并磨练,二来以供往后踏出社会工作的参考资料。若有兴趣者,请联系Leslie 012-2083790, 并将作品寄到lesloh@yahoo.com. 负责人将会迅速与你接洽。

Looking for budding videographer who wants a good portfolio to add to his resume of work! We have a couple of live concerts/MVs which require a good budding videographer who are willing to work for a token fee. Yes, we are well known enough to make your efforts worthwhile. Please contact Leslie 012-2083790 if you are keen!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

爵士人生 [jazz the way you are]

we wouldn't believe what we read! we just read somewhere that jazz is dying in US, a minority interest, and jazz musicians are suffering....

certainly the head honcho in the ministry is western educated! we will surely call datuk kamaruddin to invite him to our next concert! and check out if there is any funding at the same time :-)

indeed, we wanna promote jazz as a way of modern lifestyle and good living. it isn't high-brow or inaccessible, it is just, a lifestyle; a way of living.

in taiwan and china, there is a not-so-new term called the "small capitalist" 【小资】, which refers to a growing group of adults in the late 20s to mid-40s who earns a decent living, with good savings, is particular about lifestyle and the finer things in life. annual holidays to exotic places, red wine tasting parties, watches collection, cigars smoking, jazz club visits, .... you get the drift. we are sure about the existence of such group in kuala lumpur and our aim is to congregate one, even if it is a minor one. that's the sole purpose of our chinese jazz appreciation night in june 2012.

interestingly,  we find a small group of music lovers who have departed from chinese pop music to appreciate our music. they find the typical chinese pop too repetitive and manufactured. this is surely is a very encouraging sign to us!

in these times of chaos and thrash, chinese jazz, a genre seldom heard and explored, will have its best chance to emerge stronger and attract some new supporters.

and we will carry the malaysian flag for being the most aggressive proponent of such genre in the chinese music world!