Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Manic Monday @ BluJaz

Chase away the Monday blues on 11 October at BluJaz. King Kong Jane, TypeWriter and Cheating Sons are rocking it out on the third floor of BluJaz (11 Bali Lane) from 7:30pm till 10:30pm. It's free admission too!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Talkin' the Line with Lunarin's Linda Ong

Second in a new series of video interviews brought to you by Power of Pop and Walk On Music. Kevin Mathews interviews Lunarin's singer/bassist Linda Ong on 23 September 2010. Video shot and edited by Patrick Chng.

Lunarin's "Duae" Album Launch is happening on 1 October at the Playden, Arts House. Tickets are on sale right now at The Arts House box office (www.theartshouse.com.sg). For more info, visit: www.lunarin.com

Meltgsnow Black Penance Album Launch

Meltgsnow Black Penance Album Launch is happening tomorrow with support bands Lunarin, Fall of Mirra and Age of Sinfonia.

Date: 25 September 2010
Time: 7pm
Venue: Scape Lab (Youth Park)
Tickets: $16 (with free single, while stocks last!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

MeshRadio Massage, Mama!

Tune in this Sunday, from 3pm to 6pm, and listen to both Chang Kang & Patrick Chng of TypeWriter talk about their recently released debut album, Indian Head Massage (now available at HMV, Gramophone, The Substation, Cat Socrates, Books Actually, Roxy and Straits Records).

Besides the interview with KiDG, they will also be spinning some of their favourite tracks as well as play an impromptu acoustic set live on MeshRadio.

Here's the link to the Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=155242327833499

Digi-Twang Deluxe: Free Download

Twang Bar Kings - Black Twang (Deluxe Edition)
1992-94 home recordings
Cover design and digital packaging by Robin Chua:
"Originally released in 2006 via the band's official website, this deluxe edition now compiles together Black Twang (a collection of demos), as well as Brownblink by Jug, which is another one of Leslie Low's side project. Humpback Oak fans might wanna check out the Jug's versions of "Daddy In The Lift" & "Vein" contained in the second disc."
Link for free download: http://www.mediafire.com/?jyz8psf04d8dcje

For more info, here's the band's Last.fm page.

Talkin' the Line with Dion Roy

First in a new series of video interviews brought to you by Power of Pop and Walk On Music. Kevin Mathews interviewed US singer-songwriter Dion Roy who is performing at TAB (Orchard Hotel) from 21st to 26th September 2010. Video produced and edited by Patrick Chng.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Big on BigO: A Jump Back in Time

Koh Nguang How
Singapore Heritage Society, together with The Post Museum, is proud to present Big on BigO: A Jump Back in Time. It's been described as "an afternoon of conversations, images and music by Koh Nguang How, Ivan Thomasz & Paddy Chng, hosted by Lim Cheng Tju."

BigO (Before I Get Old) magazine is Asia’s most respected rock magazine. Established in September 1985, by brother Michael and Philip Cheah, the Singapore-based magazine has championed the creation and promotion of made-in-Singapore music and has released many CDs of local music. The magazine began as a monochrome photocopied publication and moved to full colour in 1992. It is now an online publication with a huge worldwide audience.

This session, hosted by former Big-O journalist Lim Cheng Tju, features the rock visuals of Koh Nguang How, one of Singapore’s most important archivists/historians/researchers on Singapore art and pop culture. In his talk, Koh will share with us another aspect of Singapore heritage that many have ignored – our DIY/indie/ alternative pop/underground music scene since the mid 1980s.

Most of us have hazy memories of the gigs, the sweat and that ‘no surrender’ outlook that was only possible when you were young. The demo tapes from the late 1980s have crumbled to dust. But the sound and images remain in our heads and now, they will be brought back to light by Koh in this sharing.

Music from that those days of wine and roses will be provided by DJ Ivan Thomasz and a special live performance by Paddy Chng of the Oddfellows will follow the talk & discussions.

Event: Big on BigO: A Jump Back in Time
Date: Saturday 25 September 2010
Time: 3pm - 5pm
Location: Post Museum

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Randolf Arriola Talks Live Looping

(Photo by Anton Chia)
One of Singapore's finest and most innovative guitarists in the past 20 years, Randolf Arriola has been dazzling audiences with his guitar playing - be it solo or in bands such as The Little Gang, Embryo and Camra. He is also the leading live looping artist in Singapore, and we dare say, Asia too.

Randolf is the headliner at the upcoming Y2K-X international Live Looping Festival in Santa Cruz and San Jose. Fans in Singapore will be treated to a free performance at the Esplanade Concourse on 6 October before he flies off to the world's largest live looping festival, which is happening from 13 - 18 October in California, USA. He is also taking part in the Boss Loop Station World Championship 2010 - his videos for the competition are up on YouTube.

I caught up with Randolf for a quick interview... 

First of all, congrats on being selected as one of the four headliners for the upcoming Y2K-X international Live Looping Festival. How excited are you and how are you preparing for the Festival?
Thanks Pat, I'm really excited and thrilled to be one of the headliners for this year's Y2K-X international Live Looping Festival in North California. For the past 10 years Rick Walker's Y2K Live Loop festival has established itself from the beginning as the Mecca for live looping artists around the world. It is especially exciting for me because it's a great way to step out of the well here and perform, connect, and network with some of the most creative people on this planet. Many are actively involved in cutting edge technology and product designs, music and movie production and musical explorations from indie to mainstream. My preparations for this involves my ongoing daily practice and experiments that result from a wild combination of shifting mood and gear setups. Live looping as a performance method has its own unique set of creative risks and hazards in that they never sound exactly the same each time you start from point of silence. A million things can go wrong and they do happen to the best of us but when things just flow.... there's a certain magic that's often best experienced there and then. The main criteria of this event is there's no use of prerecorded sound material used which is the difference between live looping and looping. I'm still in the midst of arriving at the final decision what I'll bring along with me for the mini tour but I'll definitely be bringing along my Godin Multiac Steel Duet Acoustic Electric Guitar and also my Klein Electric Guitar with the on board attached iPhone contraption that I designed for my own purposes.

You played there a few years ago, what was the experience like?
The last time I played there was in 2007 and it was my first experience playing there. I was contacted by Rick Walker who's the organizer of the event and a great artist himself who specializes in drums and percussion and "found sound" art. Rick liked what he heard from my mp3's on my Myspace and queried me about my abilities to pull it off live without prerecorded materials. He then sent me an official invite for me to come over to perform at Y2K7 in Santa Cruz, Oakland and San Francisco. I was a featured performer amongst 65 others from around the globe and the only live looper from Asia. The reception there was [simply] wonderful, the audience gave me a standing ovation and the whole experience was priceless. I made many new friends who all shared and exchanged freely their knowledge, contacts, experiences and ideas. I was totally inspired from that whole trip. The Mayor of Santa Cruz was in attendance during the show and I was among the recipients of the "Key to the City of Santa Cruz" at the end of the show.

When and how did you get into live looping?
I was freaked out by the galloping bass guitar sound of Pink Floyd's "One of These Days" and Van Halen's "Cathedrals" and stumbled upon replicating this effect by sheer accident whilst playing around with the Boss DD2 pedal's four knobs. Pretty quickly thereafter I discovered that a lot of the sounds that intrigued me from some of my favourite records were basically articulate use of wild combinations of delay systems. The whole world of live looping opened up with total clarity when I discovered King Crimson's "Discipline" album and tracked down every other record that Robert Fripp made and then I discovered Brian Eno and then Steve Reich... and the list goes on and on.

What's your live looping set-up like right now?
I use different gear combinations for various intended performances. My current favourite live looping device is the Looperlative LP1. It's designed and hand assembled by Bob Amstadt a wiz in electronics design and musician from Santa Cruz USA. My workhorse live looper is the Boss RC50 which is what I use for my weekly solo gigs at Harry's Dempsey Hill. At Harry's I combine the use of my Godin Multiac Steel Duet into a signal chain of my self modded pedals including the Boss CS3, Line6 DL4, Yamaha Magicstomp and the Boss DD20 and for my voice it's a Shure Beta 58 mic into a TC Helicon Voice Create all fed into the RC50 Loopstation. My favourite electric guitar for live looping is my Klein electric guitar with my own DIY body attachment device for the iPhone which I use to process the guitar's sound as well as use it as another musical instrument to play with or along with the guitar. It's really a sonic paintbrush for me. I'll be showcasing this instrument at the coming Esplanade Concourse show on 6th Oct and also for the Y2K-10 Live Loop Fest. 

How has your set-up and live looping approach evolved over the years?
It all started with a Boss DD2 digital delay pedal back in the early 80's and then I'd beg or borrow and patch in a 2nd followed by a 3rd delay unit and then in the early 90's I got into rack mount units that allowed me to go into deeper experiments with stereo chains of delays and pitch shifting and modulation, constantly rattling and humming along and tweaking away until I came across my own array of sonic discoveries and whole range of musical possibilities with it. These days I constantly shift from very primitive to highly complex ideas but the middle ground between the two extremes is where music and the secret songs reside so it's a constant chase for me and I reckon this will continue for the rest of my life... and I'm not complaining!

Who are your influences in live looping?
As a guitarist Robert Fripp is my first and foremost influence in live looping.  David Gilmour, David Torn, Michael Brook and Allan Holdsworth are also very strong influences. I'm also very motivated by the daring and creative ideas of Brian Eno, Steve Reich and John Cage.

What advice would you give to a live looping newbie?
Practice, practice, practice and then practice some more but always have fun. Take up underwater basket weaving when the fun stops.
You've entered several videos for the Boss Loop Station World Championship 2010. Tell us more about it
The videos are a good way for me to demonstrate how live looping works, that it does not use any prerecorded material, that everything heard is executed live on the spot there and then. I found out about the Boss competition just days before the final date to submit entries, and was very lucky to have a bunch of supportive and extremely talented friends who came out to help me put the videos together in such short notice - James Woo from Soft.com, Leslie Hui, Nigel Hogan, Anisah Aidid, Pepper See, Marvin Das and Mervyn Asher, all of whom are involved in film, creative industries or music in some way. I believe Boss will announce the finalists by the end of October, but my attitude is - win or not, I'm up there doing my thing and gaining worldwide exposure through this contest, so I'm just trying to take advantage of that and push the videos out there so people can see me and what I do. I've got four videos up there, two originals and two covers, and the video for "Take it Away" is the fastest climbing, almost 3,000 views after just over 2 weeks.  

Do you have any projects lined up after the Y2K-X International Live Looping Festival?
There are a number of international live looping festivals in cities in Europe and North America, and in 2011, I'm hoping to attend a few of them, have the chance to perform for a wider audience and meet other live loopers from around the world. In the meantime, I'm in the process of finalizing and then to release two CD projects that I plan to release when I launch my website - coming soon. And, of course I will be at Harry's at Dempsey Hill every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

What will you be performing at the Esplanade Concourse on October 6?
I will be performing live for the audience all four video clips that are currently on YouTube so it'll be a mixture of my originals, some soundscape improvs and a couple of self arranged covers.

* * *
Watch Randolf Arriola's videos that were submitted to the Boss Loop Station World Championship 2010:

"Take It All Away" (original)

"With Or Without You" (U2 cover)

"Teardrop" (Massive Attack cover)

Original Improv

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Basement In My Loft's Album Out Now

Basement In My Loft's debut album, "See The Rhyme In The Dirt & Grime" is out in stores. The 12-song CD comes with an awesome 12-page booklet of lyrics, poems and sketches.

We caught up with frontman Adrian Jones for a short interview...

How does it feel to have your album out?
It feels really - I mean really - good! It's the final bit of the creative process that makes it all worthwhile: holding the finished album in your hands, smelling it straight off the press, reading the booklet, re-reading the booklet, smelling it again, and then seeing it on the shelves. Then its time to stop, take a moment, breathe and savor that sense of fulfillment.

Where and how long did it take to record it?
It's been a labour of love that took, all in all, seven months to complete. It all started back in December '09 when the actual recording took place: the drumming was recorded at Backbeat Studios and vocals, guitar, bass & cello were recorded in the home studio that I've been building up (now called BIML Studios, haha). The neighbours were all away (I think!) when we laid down the guitars. It was loud! The whole thing was recorded in the space of a week, then for the longest part: the mixing, re-mixing, re-re-mixing, mastering , final production, which was done on a souped up iMac using Apple Logic 8.

Why the title "See The Rhyme In The Dirt & Grime"?
It occurred to me when writing the words, melodies and poems that a poet/songwriter's job is to look at stuff and report it in a poetic, metaphoric, symbolic way - and the best fodder for (this) writer is always the dark stuff, the dirt & the grime of one's personal struggles or of life in general. Poets and writers see the rhyme in it all: good, bad & the ugly. It's like using the adversities, the ugly things, transforming them to create something beautiful. Which begs the question: without the dirt & grime, would this writer here have anything to rhyme?

So how was your Baybeats experience?
The whole Baybeats experience - from auditioning to finally playing was very meaningful for the band. It gave us that extra sense of direction: getting our sound tight, developing our stage presence, stepping up to the role of being performers of music we very much believe in. We felt our Baybeats performance itself raised the bar on what the members of this band are capable of, and played an intense, heartfelt highly charged set true to the lyrics and the feelings behind them. We wanted the album to be available there too, and a deadline is always good for obsessive compulsive disorder developed from mixing a 12-track album (it could still have been going on now!).

"See The Rhyme In The Dirt & Grime" is available at the following stores: Roxy (Peninsula Excelsior Shopping Centre), Books Actually (86 Club Street), Straits Records (Haji Lane), Cats Socrates (Bras Basah Complex) and HMV (Citylink).

You can also download the album @ http://basementinmyloft.bandcamp.com/ for USD6.99 or order the album for USD8.99.

Catch Basement In My Loft 'live' at:

Fri 24 Sept, 8pm
BIML 'featured artist' @ OOOM, Singapore Art Museum. Live on front lawn.
(free admission)

Sat 25 Sept, 5.30 - 6.00pm 
Unplugged at the Atrium, Singapore National Library.
(free admission)

Sat 30 Oct, 9.30pm-11.30pm
Album Launch & Halloween @ POW Little India
BIML doing their full 90min set: loud, proud & highly recommended!
(free admission)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stellarium - Album Out TODAY

You heard the Wilde line about how we're all born in the gutter, but some of us look up and see the stars? Either way it rolls, a stellarium trip is one way to enhance your view wherever you are -- be it with a stellarium star-map, or with the debut album from the band called Stellarium, out today.  

Singapore-based Stellarium is already a regional gig favourite for those who like their candy to come with psycho swirls. Gloriously loud, they're a powerful live act who are sonically hypnotic and hang with the twang while armed with honey-dripping hummable hooks. It's the kind of thing that can be conveniently tagged as "shoegaze" -- except this quartet seem too Rock n' Roll to limit themselves to the limits of a genre-lock. Heck, they could be true to their spacious name and call themselves sky-gazers if they wanted to... But never mind the name-games, know this: Stellarium's self-titled album is now available in Singapore at Straits Records (Haji Lane), Roxy (Peninsula) and Books Actually (Club Street).

And it's yours for a mere $12.00 (SDG).

Alternatively, you can get the album via mail-order (complete with a download of the album while you await your CD in the post) or a digital version and more at the Stellarium Bandcamp site. See here for more Stellarium sights and sounds.

May the fuzz be with you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Music Video: Siti Zahidah

Here's another Singapore music video by a talented up-and-coming singer-songwriter - Siti Zahidah's "The Make Up Song", which can be found on the Noise Singapore 2010 CD.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Music Video: Inch Chua

Check out Inch Chua's "Rule The World" music video, directed by Han West. Cinematography/Design by Laetitia Gangotena. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

TypeWriter Album Launch Party

TypeWriter will be having an album launch party at Home club on Friday, 17 September, 8pm. Midnight Marvel and The Pinholes are also performing. It's free entry if you show TypeWriter's album "Indian Head Massage" at the door (the CD will also  be on sale at the door). Otherwise, it's $15 (inclusive of one standard drink).

"Indian Head Massage" is available at the following stores: HMV, Gramophone, Roxy (Peninsula Excelsior Shopping Centre), Straits Records (Haji Lane), Books Actually (Amoy Street) and Cat Socrates (Bras Basah Complex).

Read the album review by powerofpop @ www.powerofpop.com/?p=5855#more-5855

and interview @ www.powerofpop.com/?p=6066#more-6066

Happy Hari Raya from Etc.

While members of the Etc trio may be scattered between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, they are still in each others thoughts during this long weekend. 

To mark the holiday and the end of the fasting month, they've put a put a verité recording of an Etc concert for your listening (and downloading) pleasure here. The set was definitely recorded in 2010, possibly in April. And on a Friday, in sweltering heat. 

Enjoy. And Selelmat Hari Raya from Walk On Music!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Music Video: Celina Foo

Check out this beautiful music video for Singaporean singer-songwriter Celina Foo's "Rabbit Hole" song, which is featured on the recent "Noise Singapore - Loud Just Isn't Enough" compilation.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cheating Sons at *SCAPE Lab

Cheating Sons are performing at *SCAPE Confessions: The Series on 10 September, this Friday, 8.30 pm at *SCAPE Lab. It'll be a 30 min set. The band is currently putting the finishing touches to their debut album and we are bloody excited about it!

Doors to the event open at 8pm, and tickets are S$10 per person at the door. Other acts featuring that night are Rahul Advani and Leeson.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Madonna 'Live' In Singapore

Not THE Madonna but the Australian band. Madonna will be playing at Home club on 8 October with Singapore's very own Amter!ble and Quick Quick Danger. Malaysian act Snixtyx was supposed to be on the bill but we've been told that there's been a change now (see new poster above).

The Australian punk misfits are off the back of their Japanese leg and they are flying in kamikaze style for a one night only stop at Singapore’s True Home of Local Music.

Madonna needs no introduction, and when you see the performance you'll wish none was given. A shamelessly chaotic high-energy dose of punk, ska, reggae and noise! Don't miss this act, they will blow your fucking face off.

And if things could not get any worse. Along comes the support acts of Amter!ble and Quick Quick Danger.

Every decade, something terrible comes along. The 90s belonged to VR Man. Cross-colours owned the turn of the century. This decade, it’s Amterible’s reign. The super-group (Justin of Boredphucks, Erik of West Grand Boulevard and Adam & Egan of Vermillion) will amplify the stage with enough chutzpah to forever brand into your skulls the sound, and, the goddamn fury, of a generation non-existent.

Tickets $12 at the door inclusive of a standard drink. Gig starts at 7pm on Friday, 8 October.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Elektone Giving Away Free Album

A Singaporean band is paying tribute to the athletes and volunteers of Youth Olympic Games by giving away a free album download.

Elektone, the Singaporean-"based" electronic-syncpop group, has released an online-exclusive
free album download codenamed Give_aWay, paying tribute to the Singaporean spirit of the recently-concluded Youth Olympic Games. This was a promise made by the band during their appearance last Saturday at the Baybeats 2010 festival presented by the Esplanade.

The tracks were chosen from voted responses on the music discovery site The Sixty One. This American-based website is Digg for new music and a social filter for the tsunami of indie creativity hitting the web these days. When listeners sign up, the site gives them a daily number of “hearts” they can use to vote songs they like. Motivated by the community, these statistics from the awarded “hearts” influenced the choice of the 3 tracks for this freemium release.

http://enter.elektone.com is where users can log on to download ELEKTONE’s high-fidelity sound file formats. Users may also sign up as a subscriber for access to more tracks by ELEKTONE in a monthly series leading up to Christmas. Elektone  has initially planned to press physical copies of the album but shelved it due to the changing consumer listening habits and the concern of environmental waste (like plastic wrapping, retail receipts and even shipping logistics!).

Elektone has also announced the concurrent launch of their online upcycled craft shop http://shop.elektone.com where patrons will receive exclusive download codes for links to the Elektone song vault, along with their purchases.

In doing so, Elektone feels that they are not only creating awareness of the Singapore indie music scene, but also taking on an active role in nation-building, while being thoughtful to the environment.