Friday, 29 June 2012

Introducing 7 of my favourite Korean indie bands/artists

Following from my Chinese indie bands post, today I will be doing the Korean one :)

I'll be focusing on indie/electronic, leaving jazz/trip/hip hop to another separate post, because otherwise there will be too much eargasms to handle~

1. Firstly, I must tell you guys about my ultimate girl crush, Han Hee Jung. She's one of the 2 members of the indie group Blue Dawn, and also a solo artist. The first song that got me hooked was 'My Kind Path':

her solo albums are also wonderful, I'm currently in love with 'Drama':

2. Next up is Adultchild. Even though I was instantly sold by one song, I'm  not gonna lie it took me a long time to love her. Her genre is mostly dream indie/acoustic. The song that captured me instantly was 'Annabel Lee', due to my love for Edgar Allan Poe and also relevance to my life at the time. The lyrics are taken straight from Poe's poem, and I think it works with the melody amazingly well.

Recently I was blog-hopping and heard 'It's Rain' from her first album BTL BTL, which I did not even know existed even though I had her 2nd album Dandelion for so long. I hadn't listened to Adultchild for almost a year but when I heard her voice in the song something just clicked and I immediately knew it was her. I wonder what it feels like to have such a distinctive voice (like Shiina Ringo too).

If you like the acoustic/easy-listen indie scene, also check out Yozoh, Dalmoon, Park Hye Kyung, Fanny Fink, Clover, Taru, Oh Ji Eun, Misty Blue and  Donawhale. Definitely check out Misty Blue though.

3. Time for a less dreamy sound as we move onto 3-man group, Glen Check. This group, wow. The epitome of brilliance. There are actually hundreds of bands in the west that sound like them but there is something so funky and real about their music, they get the electronic sounds just right so it's not too loud but just brings them out of the box of normal synth rock. It's definitely a great deal of edgy chillwave in it and a hint of psych. So so so good and their French is also so so so good. Can't choose a must-listen to just listen to all their songs!

Here is 'French Virgin Party' and 'Bataille' merged into one video. Work of art.

4. Next is eAeon from another big name, 2-man band MoT. His voice is so sexy it breaks my eardrums lol~ My current eargasm is 'Bulletproof' and wow what can I say.. which genre does it even belong too? it's like some merged Stateless with Alva Noto and added some Jamie Xx. There's definitely lots of electronica, microsound and glitch but that rich, gooey sound that defines MoT is certainly not lost.

If you like that sort of eargasm check out Idiotape too. They really take it to the extreme.

5. No Respect For Beauty is my current band crush and newest find. Their music makes me think alot about myself and the world around me. I think it's because they are more like instrumentals/soundscapes/medleys than structured songs with verses. It's like war music, makes you think about why we live by and turn a blind eye to so much hate, violence and injustice in the world, why do we live like we do now, what can we do to change ourselves.. yeah stuff like that. Check out 'Summit Collision':

6. Now for the easy-listen, band next door, sunshine indie. The best of that genre comes from Vodka Rain. Just listen to this song and take it from there :)

If you like this sort of thing I beg you to check out 10cm and Jaeju Sonyun. They are the 2 bigger names of this genre~

7. And lastly, to round off today's long ass post, I give you Mad Soul Child. You may or may not have heard of them from Won Bin's film 'Ahjussi'. I have never heard someone with a voice like Jinsil. Check out 'Dear' below if you haven't because the entire song, composition and arrangement, is a true gem in the Korean music scene.

That's all for now! Hope you enjoy my recommendations!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012





我还没有咨询,但是如果有机会做志愿者的话我一定会干。我说的是到银行去做,要不然没有什么用处。我妈天天叫我不要把目标顶到天上(比如说UBS,JP Morgan,Goldman Sachs,Deutsche Bank之类的),但是我认识的很多人都已经争取到了(大二的), 所以我也想试试。今年恐怕会蛮难的,但是不伸头探探怎么能知道能潜到多深呢。明年,我的梦中计划是到美国纽约做实习生。听说美国和英国的申请难度查不多,而且从英国往美国报还要更难。我有很多朋友报的是一些亚洲集团,比如说那些中国,日本建立起的投资银行/经融机构,名声度也很大,而且他们很喜欢在英国、美国留学的本国生,因为我们英文交流都没问题。比如说我有一位日本朋友在东京的JP Morgan里找到了实习工作,还是在28个面试之后他自己选的(都是在日本的)。他说因为是从英国往日本报,申请过程省略了很多,好像只有添了一个调查问卷加上一篇简略的简历。

所以我的问题是明年要不要试试香港或者新加坡? 那里很招英国、美国的华人。。虽然我知道申请过程肯定不容易(世上没有容易事,除非在家里),你们肯定在想‘她是不是太过胸有成竹’,但是大学有提供这样的机会,何必不试一试呢。*叹*纽约还是回到亚洲呢?我家人肯定会想让我呆在欧洲/美洲,好不容易考出去为何还要回来?大家都在挤破头往国外冲,我到好挤破头从国外逃。。

内行的人能不能给我一点建议呢?我承认我只是行业里的一束不起眼的小草,但是我的成绩/学习背景还是满靠前的,而且能够接受问题,承受磨练; 是能够撑得下去的料。谁给我一点建议啊我现在眼睁睁看着朋友们被邀请到各种银行,而自己都不清楚应该从哪里开始。


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Change: a brief history of my life

Recently a lot of people have been talking about the topic of change, on both big and small scales. For example, people I know moving to new countries for employment, people who are preparing for uni, people who have upgraded their fashion sense, people who are trying to change their music taste, people who want a new circle of friends, people who want to change something about themselves etc. All the time people are either hoping for change or complaining about others changing. I had a good think over this and thought that it was time to write a little summary of my life in the UK here.

Everyone, including myself, will have changed a lot over the course of their life so far. It's a natural process called 'growing up'. This includes appearance, personality, interests, directions in life. If you think about your life right now, you will definitely have experienced that awkward stage, that life changing moment when you realise who are the friends you treasure the most, what you wanted to be then, what you want to be now. To me, change is a constant process and is essential for anyone to 'better' themselves. People who never change will never achieve new things, because they will never see what is out there for them. It's honestly so easy to change yourself, you might have an epiphany one night and change completely the next day. A friend or event may change you. What I find frustrating though is why people have the urge to hide their pasts when they change. (For example, someone I know who is now an inspiring photographer keeps forcing the impression on other people that he was always an enthusiast for photography and visual arts ever since god knows when. I know this is not true and so it's really awkward for me when I'm around his artsy friends and I sort of have to 'keep his secret' that actually he was never an art enthusiast until very recently. I don't understand why he couldn't have just admitted that he got into photography recently.) For me, to be happy with our present selves is important, but we should also learn to be happy with our past, because every little thing that happened in throughout the course of our lives have brought us to where we are now. Even the sad things because they were the ones that you learn and grow the most from.

I'll be very honest here and tell you a bit about my life. From as far as I can remember up to around year 9, I was a very academic person. Being painfully competitive, I studied loads and topped the class in every subject except from sports (honestly). I was always the modal student, and it made me uncomfortable when others were better than me at something (which is why I hated sports haha). I studied classical music (violin maj+singing) at music school on Saturdays and I remember everyday I was happy but also trying to force myself to be better than everyone, which was extremely stressful. 

From year 9 onwards, a lot of things happened in my life and by the start of year 11, the awkward stage began to hit me. During the those 3 years, I had a lot of opportunities with my music school and music/performing arts department in my college which I took part in. They had me performing in choirs, orchestras and our dance troop locally and around London. I always had violin solo slots in the school concerts and performing became a very addictive thing for me. During that time I also met a lot of my life friends, who are amazing people that opened my eyes to performing arts; for example we set up a temporary band for a local competition in which we played jazz music, and I also got involved in performing Shakespeare plays to friends and local primary schools. Being a senior, I had the opportunity to choreograph (really badly but still) for our dance group, and seeing an audience appreciate something I've created was definitely something that opened my eyes to this field. Those were seriously my happiest days. Everyday I was doing something fun, and since my grades were flawless, a lot of teachers and students who I did not know knew about me and gave me a lot of respect because of my academic abilities and music performances, and I was very self confident (might sound so boastful but I am being completely honest here). Since I was doing well with my violin studies, I had set my eyes on being a professional classical violinist after sorting out my priorities.

Things changed from a trip to China after years of not going back, getting my first mp3 player and having my cousin select the songs for me. I remember really well that JJ Lin was one of the first Chinese pop artists I had listened to. Before then, pop music had never interested me as I was always immersed in classical, jazz and contemporary dance music. Mostly classical music I think. But after I found myself loving JJ Lin, I checked out a lot of music sites and discovered other great pop groups like Fahrenheit, Fish Leong etc. It wasn't long before I discovered Korean group DBSK, and my interest in Asian culture skyrocketed from then onwards. Back then KPOP was the new thing in Asia and it was an exciting new thing. Japanese culture was starting to become very popular in the UK with the broadcast of anime on television and even though I was never into the whole anime thing, I definitely got into Japanese culture and music. I began to grow distant with my old friends and embraced those who also loved Asian culture, who were rare in my area. 

With Asian culture obviously came the 'Ulzzang' era, and even though I was not obsessed I definitely became very influenced. I grew very image conscious and my self confidence lessened a little. My style of clothing changed, I took more notice of my appearance and became interested in the whole social network thing. I remember having a little tousle of hair up as a ponytail with a green bow everyday for almost 2 years. The only music I listened to was Asian music, mostly DBSK and some other artists from Korea, China and Japan, and also classical music due to my study requirements. However, even though I might have missed out on some great music in the Western scene, I was still aware of them because I had friends who listened to all those amazing Western musicians, which didn't interest me then but I had still downloaded such as Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Belle and Sebastian, Bark Psychosis, Iron and wine, The Strokes, Velvet Underground, Steve Reich etc. And I will never forget growing up with DBSK because through their promotions in Asia and collaboration with other artists I became familiar with a lot of great bands, solo artists and cultural insights from watching the variety shows they went on. I also met a lot of life friends then who are also fans, and life was exciting when I always had new music to look forward to. 

During 6th form, I still listened to a lot of Asian music, but since I moved to a different school a lot of people influenced me with new music. A special someone who is a singer from my music school also introduced me to old skool hiphop, electronica, synth rock, chillwave, new wave, alternative, funk, garage rock, dream pop, folk, more modern indie rock/folk/pop and new age music. The time when DBSK split was a very sad and depressing period for me, because not only had lost such an inspiration in my life, I was also faced with really important life choices such as having to decide between music and maths at uni. There were dark times when I wondered why I had not pursued Visual Arts further during secondary school (I went to art school when I was in China and also got 100% in GCSE Art), as around then fashion started to interest me too. After I settled on maths as it was always my fort and interest beside music, I realised the need to expand my knowledge beyond school level mathematics and so I found myself reading and doing maths in every spare moment I could squeeze out from between college and music school. My KPOP interest naturally died down and was almostly completely gone for a very long time, as I put all my effort in getting all those A*s I wanted. I endured a lot of emotional hardships in every sense of the word, but now I'm just glad I eventually managed to reach my goals. I'm extremely thankful for all the friends I talked to then, and all the music I listened to that helped ease the stress.

Now that I've finished my first year of uni, I am so happy and proud to have met so many amazing and inspirational people, and am even more happy to say that I am now balancing music out with my maths much better than the past year. I always attend concerts and gigs of all sorts, play when I have the chance to, so that I know that even though I'm not doing music now, that professional is still not far from reach. Meeting loads of new Japanese friends was a great plus as I had so much fun learning about real Japanese lifestyles and listening to all those mindblowing underground artists that they have introduced me to. Truthfully, my knowledge of new artists increases day by day. Now that I also know what a maths degree can offer me, I am much more confident with my goals and a great deal more positive about life. A lot of my friends who I have met in the Asian culture hype days are now pursuing careers in fashion, media and design, and through uni contacts also I have met a lot of people in the fashion field which have inspired me on my style greatly. Fashion doesn't speak to me naturally, but it's just getting the right clothes and at least I have these friends to help me out when I'm clueless. Sometimes I even think about working in the industry not as a designer but in the financial side of things in the near future if my maths degree takes me there. 

Throughout the year, I have kept up playing my violin in some local venues, and being around people who also love the music I love, be it dorm mates, course buddies or people pursuing careers in music, I have learnt a lot about music styles and composition. Actually pretty recently I also discovered the new Korean group EXO which strangely reminds me a lot of my happy but reclusive DBSK fandom days. A lot of my uni friends and the ones that have grown out of KPOP hate them, but I really don't care, because EXO is a fandom/network/family that makes me happy, and that's what matters. Besides, I still listen to a lot of music outside of KPOP so I don't know why there is so much hate. Now that I have spare time on my hands I often find myself reminiscing about the old days, and have also met up with some of the music/dance/drama people that I used to jam with. They, like me, have all changed too and it's pretty fun to think back, talk and laugh over all those amazing memories. 

I know that next year, my life will be more focused toward my career in maths/finance/investment/banking etc, but who knows what I will become. I'll definitely change and I'm really looking forward to meeting new people, going to new places, experiencing new things, creating more memories with people I love. I believe that everyone who wants to change should bravely step forward and stop thinking too much about what how their friends and family will judge them. Most people make the most transitions in their lives in their 20s to 30s, as career choices can change rapidly with new interest and opportunities, and since I'm 19 now, I'm really looking forward to what this path can take me. However, I will always treasure my past as well and not be ashamed to tell everyone who I was back then. I also hope that everyone out there can stay true to themselves and never regret the life that they had which has brought them to where they are now. 

Long ass post today so early in the morning, but I always knew I needed to post about my life sometime on this blog so here it is. For all of you that have bothered to read this and leave a comment, this is for you :)

ciao xx

Saturday, 16 June 2012

The Ragged Priest + Remix I made last month

Before I start, a little update about life..

the place is massive, with 2 floors, and spacious kitchen and long balcony
i'm sharing with 2 friends, I've already started fantasising about how I'm going to decorate it, how to position the furniture and how I'm going to have massive sleepover parties.

Because my room can potentially hold like 5/6 people sdjhsdhsghsagh

but anyway

this is actually a continuation from my previous Topshop post

After hours of controlling my hunger I still found myself downstairs not for the shoe section but actually for EAT so I could grab a sandwich, but along the way it was hard not to set your eyes on the 3 racks that were taken up by The Ragged Priest~ so many studs and tie dyes everywhere. To be honest, this brand was never my thing, as in, I can't see myself wearing it nor can I see myself buying it. The idea was a bit superficial, no exciting core concept, the 'handmade' thing is interesting but the quality isn't to die for. But I don't know I still sort of like it, afterall it's a successful brand :)

So being the pauper I am, I just took in a million pieces to the changing rooms to sneak pictures HOHO

I really like this top, even though it was a bit see through.. I might make it or something haha

the quality of this top is so bad ;A; but the design is nice.. however I didn't like any of the punk metal bands on them though..

LOOOOVE this so much, it's so warm and pretty, really considered buying it, but it was £50 ;~~;

some weird medieval tunic thing that looked so ugly on me but I tried it anyway :)

I just googled The Ragged Priest's summer look, not sure what I feel about all the pastels and cliche dreamy looks (I hate the wigs) but if it's something you're into, check out their website :)

On to music!

Around a month ago I made a jazzhop (not really lol) remix using some tracks from some of my favourite artists. It's old news now, but I don't think I ever blogged about it... Anyways, here is the final work and also the original tracks I used :)


Consider My Love - Kenichiro Nishihara (ft Pismo)

Kondor - Tribute to Nujabes

Alva Noto - Uni Rec

Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto - Trioon I

Right now I'm working on a dream pop instrumental (which was actually supposed to be a remix of Twin Sister's 'I Want A House', but I cba isolate the vocals or cover it with my own voice haha)

I'm got a great intro sorted out already, but the body is taking me so long because I had planned to use a lot of tracks by Toro Y Moi (Lissoms and Blessa to be precise) AND instrumentals by Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie Xx, but my intro has a bass riff and drone in a different key which I want to keep. I've tried so many things and I still don't know what to do, but hopefully something will work pretty soon. In the morning I actually remembered a Kuramoto piano track that might work.. haven't tried it yet but I'm lazy and I was watching Up..

But when I get it done and get it reviewed I will obviously post it here :)

ciao xx

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

[Outfit post!] Retail therapy, musicccccc

I've finished exams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 12 hours of maths alllll done <3

So so so happy XD this past week I've been living it like a typical 1st year.. and surprisingly I do not remember ever buying myself a drink lol but let's not talk about that..

On Friday my neighbour and I decided to go do some shopping as some pre stress relief, because we know that house hunting, bank internships, driving lessons, sorting out holidays and 2nd year prep work are all next on the list of things to mentally kill us. Ironically we both had house viewings on the day so we ended up meeting each other late when the rain started and it ended pretty miserably with us both getting strong coffees and crying over our fails~

But I decided to stay in central a bit longer to see what high street had to offer. To my surprise TOPSHOP actually had some really nice things here and there. I ended up getting leather shorts because I kinda needed party shorts, but I hoarded loads of clothes into the changing rooms to take sneaky pics :D

this is my own outfit :)

the leather shorts I bought and a lovely seethrough top I found. I loved the style only problem was that it kinda felt like paper D:

excuse my bra, but look at the pretty detail!

the ying-and-yang leggings everyone on tumblr has lol

I ended up buying this yellow top even though when I first saw it I hated it haha.. but I really needed a party outfit so yeah

oh and this was in Drop Dead~ their walls were EPIC!!!
that blue top with the eye was only £15, but I didn't buy it because I don't think I'll ever wear it without that jacket.. (which was £60 and I'm poor because I eat too much)

I also bought a new lipstick called 'Devil' from the Makeup Store on Carnaby Street!
You might think なんかゼイタクでしょう?but omg can I just say the only lipstick I call my own is my Mac 'So Chaud'. I have another orange one from Boots which was like £3 and another one from a 99p store which is shit. SO I'M REALLY THRIFTY OKAY??

My mum says I look like a punk with my studded leggings and red lipstick, but oh well, at least it's not my dad lol *asian parents*~~~~ I had to tell her that I'm only 19 once (YAWLAW) and besides, when I get a job in JP Morgan or something I'll have to wear work clothes everyday and won't ever have the chance again, which is quite sad tbh..

Time for some music I think! Here are a selection of things on my Recently Played (i'm been playing these everyday for a longggg time now love them so much ;~~~;): 

后海大鲨鱼 (Queen Sea Big Shark) - Man On The Moon

Sea Oleena - Untitled

I can't remember if I've shown you guys 'Island Cottage' but omggggg LISTEN TO IT NOW OR REGRET FOR LIFE

Lianne La Havas ft. Willy Mason - No Room For Doubt
she is so so so cute and this song is too epic not to post ;~~; in fact I like the version she did by herself more than the duet version, but both gorgeous of course :)

Beach House - Equal Mind
it's perfectttttttttttttttttt

Cass McCombs - County Line
have I posted this already???? oh well LISTEN AGAIN

Bugseed - Tear Loose

I only found out about Bugseed really recently, and loved him instantly because he sounds a bit like my love Nujabes and almost exactly the same as my Japanese jazzhop obsession, 'Green Butter (Budamunk)'

法蓝 (Fran) - 打雷了 (It's thunder)
don't listen to Fran that much, but this song is amazing

Back with more random things later! (omg gotta do the Korean and Japanese playlists like I promised...)

Friday, 1 June 2012

6 songs by 6 Chinese indie artists

I always think the best way to discover new music is just to listen to them and find out for yourself. So enjoy these!!

張懸 (Deserts Chang) - 信任的樣子 (What trust looks like)

魏如萱 (Waa Wei) - 晚安晚安 (Night night)

后海大鲨鱼 (Queen Sea Big Shark) - Money Fxxker

輕晨電 (Morning Call) - Fine

Double 2 樂團 (Double 2 Band) - 安全感 (Sense of security)

雷光夏 (Summer Lei) - 昨天晚上我夢見你 (I dreamt of you last night)

Chinese music isn't all pentatonic scales, Beijing opera, Communist propaganda theme tunes and Taiwanese pop!!

will do the Korean and Japanese ones tomorrow or something when I get rid of my 二日酔いの頭痛!!!!!!!!もう3日も変わらず痛いなんです。なかなか元気になれないいいいいどうするD: あの時薬を飲むべきだったよ。。いま手を打ちようがないねTT

Banana appreciation post!

Today's post is dedicated to bananas, my new favourite food <3

Bananas are healthy and high in vitamins B6 and B12, and very low in sodium so they are basically a perfect dietary food. I live in dorms and sometimes when I'm too lazy to prepare food, I just eat 2 bananas, which are 100 calories each, and it'll fill me up like a good light dinner. You can replace your sugary snacks with bananas, and end up eating very few calories, but still feel full at the same time. I hate the idea of starving myself, I can never diet like that, so eating bananas I find is a very good way to satisfy my hunger. When I eat bananas during the day I can keep my calorie intake to around 1000-1200 a day, which is a good amount for an average day.

So yeah, eat bananas!

My fairtrade bananas: £1.40 for 2 batches, bargain!!



and I have 2 banana related songs for you guys!!