5 April 2012

A Short Pause.........

Busy in other life project currently.......hope will return to writing something soon!!

23 November 2011

Mogwai, Live in KITEC Hong Kong, 21 November 2011

If I don’t remember wrong, it should be the 3rd time Mogwai coming to have concert in Hong Kong…….I have missed the last 2 times due to some stupid reasons and I finally have seen them playing in Hong Kong this time…..it’s also my 2nd time to see them playing live in this year as I have been seeing them playing in Spain’s Primavera Sound Festival in May this year……of course, their gig in Primavera is just too amazing for me as the festival vibe, big stage set up, huge crowd’s passion and also my holiday mood have made the whole memory of Mogwai’s gig in Spain are just too awesome and memorable for me……

Coming to Hong Kong gig this time, a bigger concert hall, better stage set up, more huge and passionate crowd and also long show of nearly 2 hours playing lot of songs from recent gorgeous album by the band made the gig was still a very memorable and feeling-good show and made audiences loving Mogwai even more……only regret is no beer is for sale and allowed in the gig!! :)

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18 November 2011

Drive 極速罪駕

My Rating: 3.5/5
Watch Movie Trailer

I didn’t know this movie’s director Nicolas Winding Refn was awarded ‘Best Director’ in 2011 Cannes Film Festival previously……nevertheless, I saw/heard lot of talks/hypes on this movie recently especially in the indie scene……so, having lot of expectation to watch this movie last Saturday with my girlfriend in the nice and very-comfortable IFC Broadway cinema…….but the outcome is a bit disappointing!!!

Honestly, the movie is fine enough…....with not bad direction, photography, acting, etc….but I don’t think it’s a great movie and going to be classic like some hypes suggested……..one more thing I want to point out from this movie is you can’t try to be directing a movie cool and acting a role cool in the cool way that all-we-have-seen-before, it's pretentious and will never be a great/classic movie ……a cool great movie we have been seeing in our life time is those with uncommonly characteristic story, direction, acting, etc. and they should be originals!!!……..this movie’s cult and violence scenes remind me David Lynch, and those overly slow motion of conversation, romance and motion of the starring actors, Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan also remind me of those 60s/70s movies…….a bit kitsch overall speaking for me!! (though I heard it’s a tribute movie to 60s avant-garde film maker Alejandro Jodorowsky)

12 November 2011

Ladytron – Gravity the Seducer

My Rating: 3/5
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It’s already the 5th album of this electro-synth-pop band which formed in Liverpool since 1999. I really started to aware of Ladytron is their 3rd album ‘Witching Hour’ in 2005 as their music turned out to be really cool, stylish and creative with lot of youthful inspirations and impacts for me, little bit like the same feeling of seeing Depeche Mode’s ‘Music for the Masses’ in late 80s that you can expect something breakthrough to be great in short future …..….but seems things not working out like that for Ladytron…….going to their last album ‘Velocifero’ in 2008, they were starting to stuck and repeat into their own music style making their music become dull and lost……

Ok, coming to this new one, it’s not hard to think they are seeking to change….yes, they did, but seems not really in a good and inspiring way enough to make a career U-turn for them…..the cover art work seems providing answer of their new music direction……. after repeat listening, they tried to add some new wave (or new age also!) and mature (or thoughtful, serious, etc) kind of stuff into their own electro synth sound with slower mid-tempo, chill out lounge and shoegaze approach……...maybe due to the shortcoming of song writing and arrangements (and even imagination I think), the songs are turned out to be a bit flat, dull, regid, repetitive, no-more-cool and bold-but-empty electro lounge chill out sound……a bit disappointing for me!!!

9 November 2011

The Last Hurrah!! - Spiritual Non-believers

My Rating: 3.7/5
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I’m a die-hard fan of Norwegian label, Rune Grammofon, embracing their cool principal in independent and experimental music as well as art…….because of that, I will normally buy their releases even I didn’t hear the band or their songs…….you can say I’m in 100% loyalty and in faith of their music choices and releases as well as their gorgeous cover art!!! Honestly, not really a real let down so far for many of such blind purchase for their new artists, haha!!! So, it’s not surprised I bought this one by a blind purchase again as I never heard of the band and their works!!.......nevertheless, once again after listening, it’s like an exciting adventure, a satisfying and rewarding music adventure that I expect from indie muisc…..   

The Last Hurrah!!, according to Rune Grammofon’s web site, “is a new project from HP Gundersen, a well known producer, artist, musical partner, creative force, mentor and a ture music enthusiast from Bergen, Norway…..Spiritual Non-believers” is a fascinating and lovely mix of acoustic drone guitar, cosmic raga, pure pop and the very local take on country music so special for the west coast of Norway.”……….you can expect something weird from the horrifying but interesting cover art work like dark drone ambient stuff, etc..….but in fact, they are just fake hair and hoodie jacket hanging on the wall and also no dark heavy music here……..after putting the vinyl on my turntable, it is also surprising that the album is packed with those interesting pedal steel drone country/gospel/blue folk with some California surf-rock rhythm and a 60s like lo-fi high-pitch appalachian folk rock female vocal……sometime also weaved with some oddball freak folk vibe!!! (that I’m totally not expecting the album to be like that) ...........a really special album with kinky music style, rich musical arrangements and refreshing music adventure!!!       

8 November 2011

Goldmund - All Will Prosper

My Rating: 3.7/5

My favourite young multi-instrumental musician and modern composer, Keith Kenniff, aka Goldmund, Helios and also member of indie band Mint Julep, is really an efficient talent……..under the moniker Goldmund which mainly focus on thoughtful beautiful piano solo, he has just released the gorgeous ‘Famous Places’ last year and now come again for this new album ‘All Will Prosper’………following the intimacy recording approach of last ‘Famous Places’ by putting mic aside the piano’s mechanism, you can still hear the clear and airy mechanism movement sound of the piano in this new album…….this time is no more contemporary compositions, but to have 14 pieces of traditional folk songs during American civil war era to be rearranged by Keith Kenniff played under solo piano and acoustic guitar…….although they are old songs, but Goldmund can just turn them into some rich, bright, nostalgic, intimate and touching modern piano solo works!!! A great time-traveling album by a great contemporary musician!!!   

Bombay Bicycle Club - A Different Kind of Fix

My Rating: 3.3/5

I have not really noticed the band and thought they are just those typical Brit-pop band until I took a trial listening on their 2nd album “Flaws” in HMV and I felt so impressive on their works……..those full acoustic folk plays with emotional intensity, poetry intimacy and sun-shining youth remind me Kings of Convenience…….so, I bought back their debut “I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose which was released in 2009 and expected some more beautiful acoustic stuff, but the outcome is disappointing which is just different kind of stuff with those ordinary youthful guitar indie-pop stuff…..

Coming to this 3rd album, I wonder if this London act, Bombay Bicycle Club, will go for beautiful acoustic folk stuff again or the ear-catching guitar indie pop stuff for better commercial success……..the answer is including both with some subtle beautiful finger pick acoustic guitar folk ballads and also the upbeat refreshing guitar indie hits……not a bad album though also not really a special one!!!   

4 November 2011

Roll The Dice - In Dust

My Rating: 3.5/5
I have only listened some sample clicks of their 1st album of Roll The Dice under Digitalis label in 2010 and felt they are just ordinary experimental electronic sound artists playing those experimental drone, loops, etc. sound exploration stuff……..a bit too low profile for me……

These two Stockholm-based musicians, Malcolm Pardon & Peder Mannerfelt of Roll The Dice seems going to be more ambitious and mature this time……..moving to a new and more popular music label, Leaf, and releasing new album ‘In Dust’ in 2001 with more clear and expressive approach and also a good cover artwork……..What you see the cover art work is what the vibe of their music want to express……maybe just coincidence, the artwork makes me thinking of the recent protests worldwide against post capitalism greed……in the cover artwork, I interpret human being is just resources and costs for feeding to factory for making even more money for 10% greed people of the world…….little bit like going back to Hilter’s concentration camps situation!!!........Still their electro synth sound creating some cold, despair, isolated but refreshing feeling under some dark industrial vibe……a bit cinematic way of expression…..…reminds me of The Wall of Pink Floyd!!! ……….a good concept album that worth a listen!!!              


1 November 2011

Apparat - The Devil's Walk

My Rating: 3/5

I’m not really an Apparat fan, but do feeling quite cool for his early IDM glitch techno stuffs with something unique subtlety in modern beauty and elegance…….since his last album ‘Wall’ in 2007, it is easy to feel that this German musician aka Sascha Ring seems go for a more poppy approach rather than ambitious experimental we expected…..the result is more mellow dreamy electronica stuff with a bit of his cool electronic twists……although not ambitious, I still like “Wall” for the right balance in accessibility and the electronic quest…...   

4 years later, ‘The Devil’s Walk’ is even heading to a one-sided pop direction with no regret……..no more cool electronic twists or glitch, whole album is packed with those all-you-heard-before poppy-ambient dreamy sing-a-long synth sound and white-horse-pop-star-like emotional vocal….such a 80s old school new romantics synth-group vibe like Ultravox, etc……Honestly, I don’t really like such music direction of Apparat……..a bit kitsch!!!   

28 October 2011

The Horrors - Skying

My Rating: 3.5/5
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A third Horror's album.....still those cool and fashionable post punk/noise rock sound based on their acclaimed and successful 2nd album......nevertheless, this one is more lower tempo and laid back with more synth and dreamy approach.....even more pop and easy-listening approach this time...reminds me the scent of Suede especially with quite similar vocal!!........nevertheless, it's still not a bad follow up of their last successful album which at least can retain their reputation as still an indie hit in the scene!! 

Silver Apples - Silver Apples/Contact

My Rating: 4.5/5

Knowing Silver Apples is legendary 60s electronic/kraut/space rock band amongst those greats like Neu!, Hamonica, Faust, Can, Kraftwerk, etc. due to the hype on them of last few years.......as I like to looking foreward, so I'm not too fond of past great bands generally.......having listened some their clips in my notebook previously, but not too aware of how great they are.....until I accidentally bought this CD at very cheap price in Fopp, London few years ago......I haven't listened this CD in these few years until tonight after a busy working day.......while I put this CD in my CD player, I am totally stunned......just too too impressive.......while I listened back Kraftwerk, Neu!, etc., I just felt they are great PAST bands........but when I listen Silver Apples, I am shocked how visionary of their music in 60s...... even now, I still think their music is ahead of nowadays electronica bands......their music is just too visionary, too avant-garde but very accessible and fun!!.........with inventive oscillators (what they called Simeon), unique drumming set up and dedications, this 2-man-band can just make you have a jaw-dropping listen experience!!

Seeing the CD inlay texts, some interesting quotes as below of Silver Apples' short-lived but unusually interesting band career:

'Silver Apples began in 1967 as a 5-piece band working at New York's Cafe Wha? calling ourselves "The Overland Stage Electric Band". We had 3 guitars, Danny Taylor on drums and me (Simeon) as lead singer.........One night I plugged in an old oscillator that a friend had loaned me, and started swooping the room with electronic sounds. The band hated it, but I thought it was kind of cool. One by one the guitar players quit, and that left Danny and me!..........So, this was Silver apples, I sang, played bass, beeps, boops and swoops, and Danny held it all together as best as he could with inventive drumming..........The first job we got was in front of 30,000 people!.....an all-day concert in Central Park's Sheeps Meadow.........I nearly peed in my pants when I saw the crowd. The promotor guy told us we could only play 5 or 6 songs.........That was fine with us because we only knew 5 or 6 songs, so we played..........Then, the next day, when newspaper came out, we were all over them. They all talked about "the unique sound of Silver Apples"........'

What a dream start and career for a band, a ground breaking band with new sound in 60s and even now!!

7 October 2011

Mogwai - Earth Division EP

My Rating: 4/5

Normally I tend to not buying EP due to its limited playing time that is not long enough to create a complete vibe and concept to listeners I think……but since I like this Scottish post rock legend’s last album ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’ so much, I am very interested to have a listen on their new music before their next release…….. as seeing there’s only 4 tracks with playing time just like some pop songs at 3-4 minutes, so I have no expectation at all before listening……but just less than 20 minutes’ play of the whole album, I am just impressed!!! (for an EP?!)........Mogwai just played some new stuff (at least partially if not all new) in these 4 tracks with more melancholy and minimal approach with more focus on string and piano plays…..much less brutal and powerful, but still epic post rock stuff….reminds me those strings-laden post rock bands like Mono, etc……Maybe this EP is a sign of their new direction or just an one-off test drive….time will tell!!! 

In The Country, Live in City Hall Hong Kong, 30 September 2011

Not really a typical jazz fan….but like some avant jazz or jazz fusion stuff like my favourite Norwegian label, Rune Grammofon, or Smalltown Supersound, etc……not always pay too much attention on this jazz festival in Hong Kong, but this year they feature this Rune Grammofon act, 'In The Country’, so very excited to go to this concert…..the band played last Friday in this boring venue, City Hall that no photo, no video, no standing, no fun, just sit back and keep silent and be polite……really ruined the concert atmosphere……….the trio in fact are very young musician and they brought a lot of jokes, smiles and relaxation…..and also most importantly brought us a very good show with the excellent piano and percussion play…..an impressive jazz jam!!

28 September 2011


My Rating: 4/5

I’m not really a fan of modern dance though I also admire the beauty it turns out.......nevertheless, I do know the name of the legendary German choreographer, Pina Bausch, for her redefinition of modern dance with delicate touches and expression to the human life that you and me also possess……… and also watched once of their performance….

In addition to Wim Wenders, it makes sense we need to see this movie or you can say documentary to pay tribute to Pina Bausch……it’s also rare to see 3D art film and the effect is very good indeed……the documentary is mainly filmed with interviews with dancers worked for Pina Bausch and telling their feeling to work with Pina........weaving together with the absolutely stunning photography of dance performance cut under the Wim Wenders’ unique movie language & atmosphere (a bit reminding me the vibe of Wings of Desire, Faraway, So Close, etc…)………it’s a impressive documentary in simplicity, beauty and faith to truly reflect the works and philosophy of Pina even you are not a dance or Pina’s fan……..    

21 September 2011

Jenny Hval - Viscera

My Rating: 3.8/5

It is my first time to listening Jenny Hval’s music and the album is also her debut under Norwegian music label, Rune Grammofon. As I’m die hard fan of Rune Grammofon, so I meet Jenny Hval’s unique music and see her complex strange music world…..

Viscera is a very eclectic album with assorted influences and expression of emotion and feeling of her sensual world and her body of lust…….at times, her music reminds me the music vibe of Dead Can Dance with those middle east like mysterious string sound…….then she suddenly transforms her music to as those poetry female singer-song-writer like Kate Bush, P J Harvey, etc with those full-of-personality protest-song-alike folk rock stuff with jazzy influence sometimes…....turning to another side of the LP, she even goes back to 60s hippies’ apocalyptic folk song style with her finger-pick acoustic guitar stuff accompanied with her unique high-pitch vocal singing like an emotional social activist with worrying concerns of living world…….coming to end, Jenny Hval leads us going back to a ghost-like Norwegian forest with her psychedelic weird folk music that packs with the dreamscape vibe of loneliness, isolation, escapism, etc…….’Viscera’ is a really ‘rich’ album with lot of sensual and personal tales and music styles bringing audiences travel through ever changing dreamscape, landscape and soundscape also!!!  

20 September 2011

Mountains - Air Museum

My Rating: 3/5

I‘m not really an die-hard ambient music fan, but I do like some cool ambient artists with well blended minimal electro ambient drone and beautiful acoustic sound. Mountains are one of them amongst the poet-like Eluvium, etc……their ambient stuff is like making you being at a isolated sea shore or mystery-like forest in a cold foggy early morning seeing a beauty image (whatever the object you can imagine!) moving close and far out of your reach……..really a cool beautiful meditative listening experience!!

After their last album ‘Choral’ under Thrill Jockey in 2009, the duo Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp of Mountains come up with this new release ‘Air Museum’ which the new direction has just shocked me to dead…..they just abandoned their signature soul of acoustic sound and totally focused on exploring in synth noise and electro pulse sound…..a bit like heading to those Avro Noto or avant techno stuff with more cold, isolated, angular, mechanical, emotionless nature…….I don’t like it honestly!!!    

15 September 2011

Balmorhea - Live at Sint-Elisabethkerk

My Rating: 3.5/5

Balmorhea is one of my most beloved band nowadays………the whole story discovering this Austin-based band is so memorable for me and such sweet surprise is still one of my driving forces why I love and keep digging in indie music……their 2008 album ‘Rivers Arms’ is one of my all-time classic that I keep placing aside of my CD player for in-case I need to listen beautiful songs like “Baleen Morning’, etc ……their beautiful, melancholic and thoughtful chamber/post rock music is just too unique too lovely…..

This Balmorhea’s new release is a live album recorded in a church in Belgium……most songs are selected from the last 2 ‘not-too-excellent’ albums ‘All Is Wild, All Is Silent’ (2009) and ‘Constellations’ (2010) and the songs performed are not quite the same as what you hear in album…….the concert ‘air’ feeling is very strong and the recording quality in term of scale is not really good……in addition to the songs selected are rather in atmospheric side, so the album comes out a bit disappointed and unable to draw audience into the mood and vibe I expected……not bad for fans to enjoy the band’s works before their next new works, but certainly not for new people wanting to have good introduction in the band’s music!!!   

14 September 2011

Midnight in Paris

My Rating: 4/5

I always have expectation from Woody Allen even at his such old ages………Midnight in Paris didn’t make me disappointed…....the movie talks about a Hollywood screenwriter travels with his fiancée to Paris and has funny and strange time-traveling adventure back to 20s of Paris at every midnight meeting famous authors like Hemingway, etc and surrealists like Dali, etc…….As a trilogy with the ones in Barcelona and London as well as this one in Paris, Woody Allen seems coming back to his creative peak under such fresh European background……..a special movie full of strange idea, clever fun, middle-class irony, intellectual nostalgia that we are longing for!!!      

7 September 2011

Wires Under Tension - Light Science

My Rating: 3.8/5
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Because of the excellent Balmorhea, I begin to notice the emerging music label, Western Vinyl, and their chamber/classical-influenced post-rock or indie-pop bands/music in last couple of years…….as recommended by friend, I made a trial listen in their new band, Wires Under Tension, which in fact I didn’t even notice the band is from Western Vinyl as they really have a awful band name and also the old-fashioned unappealing album cover design seems just like from light years ago…….

Nevertheless, what matters here is music, in that sense, this South Bronx-based 2-man-band is really a surprise package and has created a superb debut album that is full of great/unique instrumental/post rock music in fusion with violin-leaning chamber music, electronics, samples, jazz jam rhythm……..the thirty-something minutes music comes out to be very rich, packed, high-pace, energetic and also full of detective-investigating-chasing alike cinematic vibe……..reminds me something like Slow Six for the beautiful violin/chamber stuff, Mouse On The Keys for the exciting electronic/jazz jam, etc……as a debut album, it’s no doubt a huge success!!   

31 August 2011

Akron/Family - S/T II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey Of Shinju TNT

My Rating: 3.8/5
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Since their formation in 2002 and debut album ‘Akron/Family’ released in 2005, Akron/Family just can keep offering lot of new weird ideas and strange surprises in their last 5 albums……..coming to this 6th album, I still expect something new something weird something different from this Brooklyn-based psyche freak folk band …….after few listens, I am no disappointing and feeling good on their new release…….still their trademarked mixed-genre mixed-culture mixed-living-philosophies high energy high tempo hippies-party-like music with mixed stuff of psychedelic jam, freak folk, afro-jungle-beat, acoustic country, improvisation, electronics, strange vocal, etc…….something like mixing their US fellows Flaming Lips, Animal Collective, Iron & Wine, etc. altogether……very rich and diversified as usual but more well-balanced and solid album produced this time and full of those vibe of genesis of beginning of everything, earth, planet, civilization, etc……a very good un up-beat enjoying listening experience though you might not really have any idea what’s the meaning of the album title!!

Low – C'mon

My Rating: 3.7/5
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Watch Acoustic Live Video 'Nightingale'
Watch Live Video 'Try to Sleep'

Low is not only a band for me, sometimes they represent a mood…...a mood that is sad, self-pitying, people sucked at low point of life, everything moving slow, depressingly sitting static on sofa don’t want to move starring outside window sky blue thinking lot of things unfocused, etc……… so when they have a new album, it’s not really meaning there’s new music for me…..that might be only meaning it is going to return to the mood of Low helplessly but beautifully…….

Their last album ‘Drums & Guns’ in 2007 is a let down for me because they want having musically changes to be more rich & accessible and might be a bit more bright……it might work for other indie band, but not really for Low…….So, it’s feeling good for me to see them in their ninth new album ‘C’mon’ to go back to their sad/slow core musical track of past 20 years since their debut in 1994……..once again they focus on beautiful & healing song writing and mood setting with simple loosen shoegaze fuzzy guitar notes and Alan Sparhawk’s delicate & full-of-passion saddened vocal……everything’s just simple, serious and solid and giving me another chance to immerse into Low’s beautiful healing dark sad world!!