Chinese indie post (finally)
The other monkey (aside from the driving test, which I passed with flying colors / unknown score on first shot) that I want to get off my back this week would be the Chinese indie music post that I may've been telling people I'd make (or at least, telling myself that I'd do it). Well, for the past week, been gathering lots of albums, including some which I received by mail yesterday from Yesasia, and which I'll mention with selected tracks down here...
大頭佛 - 膊頭斜 - I got into Chinese indie through HK duo "My Little Airport", after I noticed their cover art for their "toddle at zoo" album. But the story doesn't say that I also got another album at random because of its cover art (who says presentation doesn't matter?), that of 大頭佛 (Tai Tau Fat), whose logo imitates that of HK fast-food chain 大家樂. They defined themselves as cutie rock. Wishing to find more infos about them on Google, I found that my entry on them was ranked #1 on Google for them, and that their site was down, which suggests that they've disbanded ever since (their last release was in 2004, so).
自然卷 - 99滴眼 (99 teardrops) - From Taiwan band "自然卷", also known as Natural Q. Their sound is tropical, evocative of warm weather, a panama hat, and convertibles on the seaside. This is the first track of their first album, "C'est La Vie".
旺福 - 有星星的晚上 (starry evening) - I discovered 旺福 off the Chinese Indie last.fm group, which is also the case for many of the artists below. 旺福 or "wonfu" as per their website url's romanization (it's actually more like wangfu in hanyu pinyin... maybe it's Taiwanese dialect?). They dress and sing like a 60s band! They've a track "DoReMi" in Taiwanese and Mandarin versions, which is totally lovely, as they rime "DoReMi" with "Wo Ai Ni".
順子 - 寫一首歌 (write a song) - From Shunza, with a half in English, which shows her decade and more spend in America. This is a soft ballad with acoustic guitar. The track was taken from the Simple Life music compilation from the urban festival (presumably in Taipei) of the same name. The album art features a booklet with 20-something pages of low-key artistic pictures processed to yield this 70s feel (it's rather cliche, but I can't name it). Compilation also has big names like Karen Mok, Fish Liang Jing Ru, and boys bands Beyond and Mayday.
亞里安 - 下一站德國 (next stop, Germany) - From out-of-print compilation "Pretty Happy & Gay" released by HK indie label People Mountain People Sea （人山人海 - A Chinese expression to mean "tons of people"）. Not a favourite, but chose it b/c of its title, and the fact that it does indeed have a feel of German electronica. XD
Pixeltoy - 说说看 (say say look) - High-energy song from experimental/electronica duo Pixeltoy, with at17 as backing vocals, I think. The music video is on Pixeltoy's website (if you can find it). This is part of the newer compilation released in 2006 by the same People Mountain People Sea label, and is strong on electronica.
at17 - Don't Worry - at17 seems ubiquitous in HK. They're related to well-known songwriters, are themselves songwriters (I think) and are on the cast of TVB music show Jade Solid Gold. This is one song by them that I like a lot. Bought the album. It came with a DVD with music videos.
跳房子 - Try to - at17 collaborated on the soundtrack of a 2004 HK movie called Butterfly, which features an exceptionally interesting soundtrack from independent artists. The group included Hopscotch, otherwise known as 跳房子 (literally "jumping houses"), a Mainland band signed by Modern Sky. The lead singer of the band also plays one of the two protagonists in the movie. Chose a track from their album Wishful Way, which isn't in the movie, but would perfectly fit its self-destructive mood.
陳綺貞 - 孩子 (child) - From Cheer Chen, 陳綺貞, one of the well-known indie/folk singers from Taiwan. Is my favourite songs of the moment. Would describe it as a Sunday morning after torrid night of love, but that only my bias from watching the MV (or hanging out all Saturday afternoon w/ the one you love). The guitar at the beginning is very last-years-of-Beatles-ish. Makes the emo side of me claw leather chairs. Man, too much.
曹方 - 城市稻草人 - Cao Fang. Discovered through a post over at My Randomness. She is dubbed the Mainland Cheer Chen, but I think she sounds like Faye Wong (well, then again, everyone sounds like Faye Wong). This track, City Scarecrow, sounds like the more grave type which I heard from Faye Wong, as rendered by the guitar fiddling, off-vocal moans, flute solos w/ middle eastern overtones.