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Listen for Yourself

Posted by 马2 on 16. Feb 2010

BEIJING, Feb 16 - A veteran of numerous local rock bands, Ma2 is currently the singer and guitarist for local act Pacalolo. Combining elements of garage rock and synthpop with striking visuals, they are one of Beijing's most refreshing acts.

Click the song titles below to listen.

TV on the Radio: "Staring at the Sun"

Gerard A Smith 贝司,风琴,合成器,采样,键盘
David Andrew Sitek 吉他,采样,贝司,合成器,键盘
Kyp Malone 人声,吉他,贝司,合成器
Tunde Adebimpe 人声
Jaleel Bunton-Drums 吉他,键盘,风琴,合成器,贝司。

看看他们的乐队阵容就知道他们是一支多怪的乐队了。

五个人,四个人弹贝司,四个人玩合成器,三个人弹吉他,三个弹键盘等等。风格融合了摇滚,电子,自由爵士甚至是灵歌的成分。当然光是怪异和大杂烩不足以造就好的乐队c. 关键是他能打动我的心。我安静的时候他像是在诉说, 我兴奋的时候他像是在煽动。

Look how strange their band lineup is: Out of the band's five members, four play both bass and synthesizer, while three people play guitar and keyboards.

Their style includes rock, electronic, free jazz and even soul. Of course, just having a strange style with many musical instrumentsisn't enough to create a great band: the important thing is that they can touch your heart.

They're like power when I feel peaceful, and agitation when I feel happy.


Imogen Heap: "Just For Now"

有点语无伦次了,不知道说什么好了,这个小妞! 也许是2007年最大的收获了!

可惜当年她在MIDI2007音乐节演出的时候我还不认识她, 1977年12月9日出, 1998年出版自己的一张专辑《iMegaphone》, 2005年出版自己的第二张专辑《Speak for Yourself》。

期间跟乐队Frou Frou 合作出版过一张专辑。一直以为是女主唱的乐队,出了名主唱就单飞了. 这个家伙先出了专辑又和乐队合作再单飞. 1998年出了第一张专辑以后公司给安排了一些相应的演出和宣传活动》。

但是没过多长时间,就被公司认为没有潜力,进了冷宫。后来东家又把她的版权转卖给了别的公司, 于是她变成了一个出过一张专辑,但是没有自己的歌的歌手》。

在和 Guy Sigsworth合作创作了歌曲之后,两人决定以乐队Frou Frou的形式出版专辑。不幸的是这张专辑并没有如唱片公司想象的那样大卖, 于是公司决定解散这个乐队, 要Heap以个人名义出版专辑。然而这个提议遭到了Heap的拒绝, 在两度与唱片公司合作失败的情况下。2003年底,Heap决定做自己的唱片公司, 于是在2005年有了这张《Speak for Yourself》

Hey 我知道人生总是那么不顺利的, 太过顺利的人生似乎也少了点味道
再听这张《Speak for Yourself》。也许这个专辑的名字本身就代表了她经历过这么多事之后。终于自己站起来想说的话:Speak for Yourself。一个艺术家的作品一定反应着他那个时期的生活和心理。用自己的生活见证着自己的艺术。在经历了艰难欺骗之后没有放弃。反而用他们自己的艺术歌颂着自己的人生

给我更大震撼的是Heap的现场。我实在不知道一个做电声的女孩怎么做自己的现场。是有个乐队或者合作人吗?。总不能是唱卡拉ok吧。当我找到这些视频的时候, 真的是非常非常震撼。孤独难不倒有独立人格的人, 他们是可以自己完成一些事情的

I feel a bit incoherent: I don't really know how to express this.

This girl! Maybe she's my biggest sonic harvest this year. It's a pity that I wasn't familiar with her when she performed at the 2007 Midi Music Festival.

Born in 1977, Heap released her debut effort iMegaphone in 1998, released another record under the name Frou Frou in 2002 and followed it up with Speak for Yourself in 2005.

I had always thought that female vocalists performed solo after they became hot, but she published her solo record first, cooperated with a band and reverted back to performing by herself.

Almo Records released her debut in 1998 and arranged some performances and promotional activities. Shortly thereafter, they thought that there was no potential and stopped the promotion.

Heap was later left without a contract after Almo itself was sold to Universal. An obscure Japanese label re-released the effort.

After writing material for her next solo record, she entered into a collaboration with Guy Sigsworth and decided to publish the album under the name Frou Frou.

Unfortunately, the album again didn't meet the sales expectations of the record company and the band eventually disbanded. Heap went on to write, produce and arrange her second solo record, Speak for Yourself, with zero label support.

After she went through so much, she finally wanted to say "speak for yourself," hence the name of the record.

The artist's work must signify the period of their life and its psychology: they witness their own lives through their art.

Heap didn't give up after experiencing such a difficult time. Instead, her art reflects the celebration of her life. Heap's music live really shakes me. I really don't know how a girl can make an electronic music alone: Is there a band or co-producers?

These videos really shocked me upon discovery. Loneliness can't trouble people with independent personalities; they're able to accomplish things by themselves.


Bob Dylan: "Hurricane"

 

听说 Bob Dylan 4月来北京,希望不是空漩来风,在这里介绍我最喜欢的专辑Desire里的一首歌"Hurricane"。这首歌是基于一个真实的故事。在60年代的美国,种族歧视比现在严重很多。一企杀人案发,因为拳击手Rubin Carter是黑人,遭警察盘问后认定他是凶手。可以说这首歌帮人们记住了这次事件。起诉失败以后他被关在监狱22年,直至1988年才得以释放。在服刑期间他写的自传体小说出版,03年拍成电影 "Hurricane."

"Hurricane" 是他在拳坛的外号。Bob Dylan的歌大多数都偏民谣,可是大家一致把他放在摇滚乐的一个非常重要的位置上,就是因为摇滚乐与生俱来的一种使命和责任。当别人人云亦云的时候,热爱摇滚乐的孩子都用自己的头脑独立思考问题,当别人害怕什么东西的时候,热爱摇滚乐的孩子敢于讲真话,表现真性情。这才是摇滚乐,这才是Bob Dylan最具价值的地方。

I heard that Bob Dylan will come to Beijing in April -- I hope it's not hearsay. At this juncture, I'll introduce the song "Hurricane" from one of my favorite albums, Desire.

This song is based on a true story.

In the States in the 1960s, racial discrimination was more serious than it is now. There was a triple homicide and the black boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was questioned, tried and convicted on questionable evidence.

This song, written in 1975, helped people remember the incident. After a new trial, Carter was found innocent, all charges were dropped and he was released from prison in 1988 after serving 22 years.

He wrote an autobiographical novel while incarcerated, which was made into the film "Hurricane" in 1999.

While most of Dylan's songs are folk, this unanimously put him into the rock and roll scene: a very important position, for rock and roll was born of mission and responsibilities.

When people parrot each other, the kids who love rock and roll with their own independent minds are the thinkers. When people are afraid, the kids who love rock and roll dare to speak the truth, showing their true selves.

This is rock and roll... this is Bob Dylan at his most valuable.


Klaus Waldeck: "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön" (To Me You Are So Beautiful)

Waldeck生于奥地利维也纳。六岁开始学习钢琴,十五岁的时候由于他弄坏了一架贝希斯坦钢琴而不得不暂停。(贝希斯坦从1853年起就开始制作最高水准的乐器。)他开始学习法律,成为一名版权律师。同时他发现很多很好的歌,很老,所以没有人拥有版权,是时候去传播他们,让更多的人听到好音乐。Bei Mir Bist Du Schön就是其中一首。这首歌本来是一首犹太音乐剧的歌曲,写于1932年,只公演了六个月就停了,版权在当时只卖了30美元。正是由于这个原因,Waldeck音乐总是富于古典,爵士,复古的气息。这首歌最出名的版本也是Waldeck的这个用德语命名,翻译成英文演唱的 Bei Mir Bist Du Schön. 推荐这个歌也是由于他的MV。你能看到早期人们如何制作唱片,如何演奏低音提琴以及早期音乐剧的表演。

另外超级喜欢他的这两个御用女歌手。爵士唱法,但是一听就知道不是大声带的黑人女歌手,但是唱法却很相近。

Klaus Waldeck was born in Vienna, Austria and began taking piano lessons at age six. After he broke his piano at 15, he decided to go to law school and study copyright law.

While doing so, he found a lot of good, old music that wasn't under copyright, allowing him to legally purchase and promote it.

"Bei Mir Bist Du Schön" is one of those songs. This song, taken from a Jewish musical drama, was written in 1932 and performed for only six months before its termination.

The copyright sold for 30 dollars.

This, the most famous version of this song, uses the Germanic name. I recommend it also because of its music video: you can see how to make records long time ago, how to play double bass and music drama in that time period.

Waldeck's music usually includes elements of classical, jazz and retro.

I also like the two girl vocalists singing jazz. While one can tell that it's not a black girl singing with a loud voice, it's very similar.


Pacalolo: "Pacalolo"

Pacalolo是我的乐队Pacalolo同名歌曲。Pacalolo是一个女孩的名字。是我心目中虚构的一个女孩,也是大家心目中虚构的一个女孩。玩闹的时候她很疯,安静的时候静如止水,伤心的时候会真真切切的哭,高兴的时候让你也打心眼里喜悦。开头的采样是真实的雨滴落在木制窗棂上的声响录音,加上亮丽的合成器音色,现代感十足,却又不乏真实自然的质朴。

Pacalolo is my band as well as the name of one of our songs. She is a fancied girl in my heart and also a fancied girl in other people's hearts. She is crazy when she plays, sometimes quite like water. She will cry when sad and make everyone like her when she's happy.

The sampling at the beginning is the sound of rain falling down on a wooden window. While we added some light synth timbre to make the songs more modern, it lacks the real simplicity of nature.


FIVE SONGS is a weekly column designed to facilitate discussion about China's independent music scene via giving musicians and industry insiders a platform to sound off on their current playlists.

Each week, provided we get our shit together, a different guest contributor will select 5 songs that haven't left their recent playlist and write a 50-100 word description for each.

We'll embed the streaming audio and/or video in the article along with their insights and bio on the front page of this site, where it will be visible to the entire community.

CONTRIBUTORS: Your column can highlight what both you and your fellow musicians have been working on, unveil little-known sonic nuggets or act as a auditory road map to your own influences and tastes.

READERS: We hope that you'll learn something, and this will generate dialogue while also giving deserving artists increased visibility and exposure.

If anyone is interested in contributing, send Pete an email for more info.

Anita Zhang contributed to this report.

Image: Bob Dylan graffiti in Chicago's Lincoln Square. Courtesy of Flickr user Mac(3) through Creative Commons.




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