The Oriental Music
"unknown" The Oriental Music LP (Fung Hang Records Co., 19??)
The liner notes say that "The most popular Cantonese music has been selected to be played in most popular Western new style in Stereo sound recording makes this very special record for everyone." And, damn if that isn't the truth. While Dream Rythm, Dance Music is a good Asian pop instrumental album, today's selection The Oriental Music is nothing short of exceptional. Three things make this stand out: First, the percussion. The beats aren't just an approximation of Western pop or Latin. Instead they combine a multitude of rhythms, even exploring polyrhythms, which is unusual for this kind of music. Second, not only does the band really deliver on the "Cantonese" melodies, but they mix in Western pop, Latin, and even Celtic sounds. And, third, the songs are just damn good. Listen to the intros and breaks. How the piano subtly compliments the guitar and violin on "Silent Night," one of the best Asian noir songs I've heard. Or the way the guitar strays off the obvious in "The Memory." This is really a fantastic record from start to stop.
"So, Soriano, how did you come about this gem?" One buck at a radio station record sale. "Did you know about it before you bought it?" Nope, and I had no idea what it was going to sound like either. If I was to guess by the record cover I would have gandered that is was Oriental Music that made peacocks want to strut their stuff. But, really, I had no idea. But I did have a few dollars burning up my pocket book and a hankering to find out what kinda Oriental Music peacocks dig so I bought it. Once again, a blind buy that paid off. Get that? Blind buy. That means I didn't look for a sample on line in order to hear it before I bought it. Fuck that. There is no fun in previewing shit. I'd rather live dangerously and blow a god damn dollar on a record that might just suck. It also might be great like this one is. You see, the point of being a music freak is to jump into the unknown, to let the sound massage you and nothing else. The point of being a record hound is to get lost in the thrill of the hunt, to be a Louis Leakey of the vinyl world. And when you are talking about a buck here, five dollars there, why be careful? The internet is a wonderful thing. It enables me to share these sounds with you. However it has also given people an excuse to be timid and lazy. That isn't what creating things or digging creative things is about. Really, if there is one thing you take away from my rambling let it be the desire to seek things out for yourself, to get your hands dirty digging for records, and to be willing to take a chance on something you've never heard of, without a guide or a mediator.
The reason most music blogs are so boring is that they only chose from same certified genres. That`s like going into a jewellry store and picking a diamond that is on display. Digging in the dirt, finding a piece of rock, polishing it and then discovering a jewel is a creative act. It´s the only truly creative part of collecting. It´s surprising and it`s all your own
I have a lot of collector friends and they always ask me: where did you find that? And it`s always the same answer: at the same places that you always go to. They just didn`t see it. When they see it, they always laugh at what I pick. Until they hear it...
On the other hand there is still the problem of what to do with all the dirt that didn`t turn into jewels. At least my girlfriend always complains about all the stuff that keeps piling up in our apartement. Me and a friend of mine found a way recently. We auction them of when we dj. Last night we played the records we thought we couldn`t sell and then let the people bid on the records starting with 10 cent. If nobody bid on them we broke them right away. We sold a whole bunch of them but also destroyed a whole lot of really bad records. It was kind of heartbreaking at first because I love vinyl so much but then some people even bid on records only to destroy their most hated ones themselves. It was a great sight seeing all the destroyed vinyl flying all over the place and we had a lot of fun.
Seeing as vinyl/retro nostalgia is so trendy these days, it wouldn't really matter what you use.