Saturday, 29 March 2014

PANCY LAU (劉鳳屏) "負心的人" (1969)




Front and back cover of FHEP 1001 version 1, "Made in Hong Kong"

Pancy Lau (Lau Fung Ping, 劉鳳屏 or 刘鳳屏, also referred to as Liu Feng Ping) was born sometimes in the late 40s / early 50s in a family of musicians; her father Lau Bak Lok (劉伯樂) - also known as Tin Ngai (天涯) - was a well-known Cantonese Opera Star. He was her very first music teacher, and guided her through the entertainment world.

Her career started when she was around 8 or 9 years old singing Cantonese Opera. As a teenager she transitioned to singing songs she enjoyed: Pop music. During the early 60s she participated two times in the Sing Tao Daily Singing Competition in Hong Kong with no significant results. In 1965 at last she won the Mandarin section of the 6th edition of the contest with the song "三年" (Three Years). Upon winning the competition, she became a resident singer at the prestigious Golden Crown Night Club (金冠).

Television Broadcasts Limited (電視廣播有限公司), commonly known as TVB, commenced broadcasting in Hong Kong on 19 November 1967. Pancy Lau was one of the first musical artists who participated in the popular show "歡樂今宵" (Enjoy Yourself Tonight), which was the longest running variety show in Hong Kong's television history.

In 1968 Fung Hang Records released her debut album entitled "My Heart Is Beating - 我的心蹦蹦跳". It was the first in a long series of recordings that continued for more than fifteen years.

Following two EPs entitled "水長流" ("Water Flows Long") and "山前山後百花开" ("When the Flowers Bloom On Mount Qian Shan"), Pancy Lau's second album was finally published in late 1969. "快回頭望一望" ("Quickly Turn Around and Look"), contained twelve songs, including the eight tracks already released on her previous EPs.

The record was a huge success with no less than four editions published - and sometimes also bootlegged - by different labels in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. At the time, a lot of popular music was coming from being featured on television or were theme songs from television drama series. The album, however, did not need any push from the media to become an instant hit, as it contained enough fresh material to estabilish itself as a modern classic.

Three of the four tracks featured on FHEP 1001, "負心的人" (Heartless Person), the subject of this post, were also later included on Pancy's third album, "劉鳳屏之歌" (Pancy Lau's Songs), released by New Wave Record Co. (新風) in 1970, and all of them were also part of the FHLP 1001 "My Heart Is Beating" album, which according to the information I gathered, was released as early as 1968...

Anyway, the two versions of FHEP 1001 in my possession offer the same four songs packaged in two different covers. Cover of Version 1 features a picture apparently taken during the same "red dress" photo session that also produced many of the pictures that grace other Pancy Lau records. The sleeve is marked as "Made in Hong Kong" on the back.

Cover of Version 2 features a picture from the same session that was used for the FHLP 1001 "My Heart Is Beating" album; one of the songs included on this EP, "花好月园" (Blooming Flowers and The Full Moon), was included on that album with a different, but similar, title "月园花好. On the back of the sleeve it says "Printed by K.M.I.L.", an acronym that I have learned to associate with records produced for the Malaysian market.

Althought Version 1 is marked as "Stereo / Mono compatible" on the labels, both versions of this EP offer mono recordings. The same songs are featured as stereo versions on the two albums mentioned in the paragraphs above; they will be the subject of other posts here on Stereo Candies in the future...

For a more detailed biography of Pancy Lau, please have a look at this other post of mine: "The Very Best of Pancy Lau Volume 1 [1968-72]".




Front and back cover of FHEP 1001 version 2, "Printed by K.M.I.L."


Here's the track list for this 7" single:

01. 負心的人 (3:45)
02. 阿里郎 (1:43)
03. 多拉茜 (2:43)
04. 花好月园 (2:50)

All tracks were remastered in March 2014 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.


   
FHEP 1001 version 1, "Made in Hong Kong", black labels

Here's what I discovered searching information about the songs included on this EP; the translations of the song titles are approximate in most cases, but anyway...:

01. "負心的人" (Heartless Person) is the theme song from the movie of the same name. The original version was performed by 汤兰花 (Tang Lan Hua, available here); other versions were later performed, among others, by 姚蘇蓉 (Yao Su Rong, here) and 崔萍 (Tsui Ping, here).

02. "阿里郎" (Arirang) is one of the most famous Korean traditional folk songs. In its original form it has been sung for more than 600 years: who would even think about it listening to the swinging version presented here? There's plenty of versions available on YouTube.

03. "多拉茜" (Duolaqian) - I wasn't able to find any relevant information about this song, except that it was also performed by 凌霄 (Ling Seow)...

04. "花好月园" (Blooming Flowers and the Full Moon) is a classic Chinese song from the late '40s that was originally performed by singer / actress 周璇 (Zhou Xuan), one of China's seven great singing stars; you can listen to the original version here. The song has been covered by many divas of the Chinese classic and pop music industry with each imparting their distinct flavour to the song. A lot of versions are available on YouTube.

   
FHEP 1001 version 2, "Printed by K.M.I.L.", dark blue labels


The following clips offer a preview of the remastered single, enjoy the title track "負心的人" (Ungrateful People) and "阿里郎" (Arirang)!






More information about Pancy Lau is available here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Hong_Kong

http://home.ied.edu.hk/~hkpop/music/hkpophistory.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_gilbert/sets/72157608139056712/

http://www.goldenage.hk/b5/ga/ga_article.php?article_id=1079

http://paper.wenweipo.com/2007/04/21/EN0704210024.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUIeOiDudhg&feature=related

http://baike.baidu.com/view/5637119.htm

http://www.vinylparadise.com/4pop_can/1/066LFP0A.htm

http://www.inkui.com/a1/A/A4A8B8CB7ABE6FF6C1CF_a.html

http://robokon.orgfree.com/5080/5080_LauFungPing.htm

http://mypaper.pchome.com.tw/chrishui/post/1276979467

http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/%E5%8A%89%E9%B3%B3%E5%B1%8F

http://www.whatsinmag.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1004%3A2012-04-02-19-44-12&catid=75%3A2012-03-30-21-17-42&lang=tw

I'm currently trying to compile a Pancy Lau exhaustive discography, my work-in-progress is available here.

All my posts dedicated to Pancy Lau on this blog are available here.



In the next months I will post more Hong Kong/Taiwan/Singapore/etc. Pop/Instrumental records released in the late-60s / mid-70s. As usual, I would like to provide information about these releases and their authors.

Unfortunately the Internet doesn't offer much information - written in English - about these artists and this is the reason why I need help: if you can translate from Chinese to English please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you so much!

It's been difficult to obtain these vinyls, some are not in the best conditions and I'm currently working hard to properly master them. It seems that these artists and their music are poorly known in the West, of course it's a real pity because they made stunning releases: I'd like to share them with you with a proper presentation, hope that someone will be able to help.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

BUNGALOW RECORDS, THE POOL SERIES #1: DOB "PLANET DOB" (1997)



Bungalow Records was (...or still is?) a Pop / Electronica label founded in 1996 by Berliner DJs Holger Beier and Marcus Liesenfeld, a.k.a. Le Hammond Inferno:

«We have always been passionate about music, towards the end of the '80s we started playing in an indie band and DJing at the same time, combining our strong passions for Pop and Dance music. That was a very fertile period for the Club scene in Germany and we were very busy organizing a series of parties that have entered into the history of German clublife. Parties attended by Saint Etienne, Towa Tei of Deee-Lite, Stereolab... At that point we ended up being a reference point and many people were interested in the creation of a label. We actually had never thought about it, but our encounter with Christof Ellinghaus of City Slang has made this possibility a reality. We founded Bungalow and slowly we tried to learn how to manage a record label.»

[from an interview published on Blow Up magazine, issue #26/27, July 2000]



For a few years, until the early '00s, Bungalow was a very prolific and cool label. Their compilations "Sushi 3003" / "Sushi 4004" marked the first time a western indie label delved into the cutting edge Japanese Club-Pop scene:

«...the initial spark was the moment we listened to "Twiggy Twiggy" by Pizzicato Five and later Towa Tei's "Future Listening". We were hearing a new, never heard craziness in playing around with Pop music. The first thing that came to our simple minds was: there must be more. So we contacted journalist and Nippon-Mania-Man Olaf Maikopf and had the quite naive idea to travel to Japan and put together a compilation of modern Japanese Club-Pop. After running through the streets of Tokyo for some 10 days, meeting about 35 record companies and even more bands, we were totally confused and had to carry tons of CDs and LPs back home (much to the pleasure of the Lufthansa customs agents). Back home we slept for a month and then compiled "Sushi 3003" as an introduction to Japanese Club-Pop and concentrated on giving a wide overview of what has been going on in Tokyo in the last 10 years.»

[from the "Sushi 4004" liner notes, 1998]



Bungalow gave us the chance to (re)discover the soundtrack works of German composer Peter Thomas; they also licensed most of Combustible Edison releases in Europe and brought Stereo Total to international success and fame, album after album.

Among others, they released lovely CDs by Czerkinsky, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Yoshinori Sunahara and Bertrand Burgalat, and other little wonders from the German underground like Pop Tarts, Dauerfisch, Mina... For this and all the rest, thank you Bungalow!

The "Pool Series" was a... series of 12" records that explored the more Dance-oriented side of the label. They were released in a simple brown cardboard sleeve with a sticker containing all the pertinent details.

The cover design was changed at a later stage, and the last five issues offered a different design, with all information printed directly on the sleeves and no sticker at all.


The first issue in the series was Dob's "Planet Dob", released in 1997; it contains the following tracks.

01. Planet Dob (4:10)
02. Fa La Le Ra (4:39)
03. Planet Deb (5:22)

All tracks were remastered in March 2014 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.





Side A features "Plenet Dob" - the closing track from the album "La Lu La Roo" - a classy Ambient-Electronica piece with Dub influences and Drum'n'Bass elements.

On Side B we find "Fa La Le Ra" - a remix of the album's title track enriched by a Drum'n'Bass rhythm and offering a different refrain - and "Planet Deb", which - unsurprisingly - is a prominently Dub remix of "Planet Dob".

The following videos offer a preview of the remastered 12", enjoy "Planet Dob"!




Dob, originally called Date of Birth, were formed in 1984 by the three brothers Shigeto in Fukuoka, a small town in the south of Japan; most of their musical output was released by Kitty Records.

They were very successful in their native Country: in 1992 their single "You Are My Secret", the theme song from the classic Japanese TV drama "あなただけ見えない" (Only You Can't See It), sold the unbelievable amount of 400.000 copies.

According to the liner notes of "Sushi 3003", Dob "are not just a band, they are a family obsessed with music as much as they are with graphics"... "La Lu La Roo", their album released by Bungalow in 1996, came as a Enhanced CD with an interactive track for Macintosh users.

The visual side of Dob was also widely explored on "Planet Dob", their own game for the Sony Playstation released in late 1999.


Dob logo

It seems like Dob ceased to exist sometimes in the early '00s, traces of their beautiful website are still around courtesy of the Internet Wayback Machine... Here's the full list of the band members:

Isao Shigeto: guitars, keyboards, composing, computer programming, engineering, etc.

Susumu Shigeto: drums, composing, lyrics, computer programming, engineering, etc.

Ken-1 (Kenichi Shigeto): computer programming, art, visuals, etc.

Norico: voice, lyrics


Dob, circa 1996-97


More information about Bungalow Records and Dob is available here:

http://www.bungalow.de/

http://www.discogs.com/label/1125-Bungalow

http://rateyourmusic.com/label/bungalow_records/

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

http://web.archive.org/web/19990221062919/...

http://date-of-birth.blogspot.com

http://www.geocities.jp/soundtracks1111/artists_dateofbirth.html

http://ks23364.kimsufi.com/psxdata/databasepsx/games/J/P/SLPS-02111.html


The "Pool Series" will continue in the next months. All your inputs are welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

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