Hong Kong ElectroButt!

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I've got a CD by Kelly Chen and the only thing that isn't in Chinese is the release date (1999), it's the one with the poster in it. HK pop ROOLS! Maybe somebody could tell me more about this CD because I can't read Cantonese!

Defn. 'electrobutt' - the ultimate 80s working-class art form. Think Berlin ('Top Gun' period), Pat Benatar, Loverboy, Billy Squier (whose 'Emotions in Motion' is a lost classic for ANY era!) - buttrock for people who actually talked to GURLZ! Syndrums, VERY processed distortion buried in the mix, ballads with piano/synth/gtr lines in unison. This music owed quite alot to Prince (aforementioned buried-metal, the 'squiggly' kybds, electro-slap bass in place of plodding AOR bass), and in turn, was the source of the mesh-top/legwarmer thing that allowed Madonna to burst out of the NYC art-dance ghetto into the hearts of Middle America (from whence she [AND Prince] came) - "Burnin' Up" is a veritable homage to this most forgotten of forms - forgotten everywhere but MTV Asia it seems - I'll get to that in a minute - but first, if Madonna made the style OK, then it was transmuted into ART by...(drum roll)...

BILLY IDOL. The ultimate electro-cruising music with (crucially) cheeze-metal on top - everybody who was raving about crap like 'Graceland' and 'So' and 'Dream of the Blue Turtles' should've moved their Reeboks down to the 7-11 and stuck their ear in the Camaro with the GURLZ in the front seat, because if they heard 'Rebel Yell' they would've heard the most plasticky-beautiful glowing neon fake-genuine rockin' disco EVER! "Flesh for Fantasy", Jesus! And the next album, 'Whiplash Smile', has a six-minute symphony that's the "River Deep Mountain High"/"Stairway to Heaven"/WHATEVER-you-use-to-mean-apotheosis ("Don't Need A Gun") and other stuff that's equally good. But did anyone notice, besides the kids who were too smart for Maiden but still not dessicated/prematurely senile enough for Sting? NO! Because these crits were wetting themselves over the latest David Byrne or Sinead O'Connor atrocity, that's why! Fuck them!

Anyway, Kelly Chen! Here's the info and anyone who knows can tell me more! Track 1 is a Prince-like thing, where Kelly sounds like Sheena Easton. Track 4 is an absolutely swell soft-metal ballad, the only words in English being "You Don't Have to Say Goodbye", with those half-step time changes before the chorus like Erasure, and it's easily as good as if not better than "Take My Breath Away" (Berlin's and possibly Rex Smith's). Track 7 is the contempo one, it starts off with 10 seconds of drum'n'bass, then turns into this Hi-NRG thing that sounds really anguished about I know not what. It's got that mad effect where it pans from left to right with every syn-drum (yes, SYN-DRUM, not 'programmed', this ain't IDM!), like I haven't heard anyone do since some of the mixes of New Order's 'Round and Round'. Then it stops and does the d'n'b thing again. Track 11 MUST be heard. In the only other English text on the sleeve, it's called the "Kelly Mix" of Track 1, and it is weird. A half-assed Casio beat, synth horns, the vocal vaguely shoehorned into this rhythm, and a Devo-like mutant surf guitar louder than everything repeating the same lick all through the song. But all produced IMMACULATELY, which makes all the difference!

If ANYBODY can tell me more about this CD, Kelly, or HK pop, please do so! Even all the websites are in Cantonese. And if you want to discuss the genius of Billy Idol feel free to do that too!

dave q, Saturday, 17 November 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

As Billy S. said, "Everybody Wants You", but not as much as I want new answers!

dave q, Saturday, 17 November 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Here in Melbourne we have a pretty large chinese community, and you hear quite a lot of this stuff about. It is, indeed, great: totally over the top and totally without shame about being totally over the top. Andy Lau was supposed to be touring recently, but I didn't go... maybe next time...

Ben Butler, Saturday, 17 November 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Don't know about all that, but Billy Idol! What a guy.
In the mid 80s ('85-'87) we would stand by the wall next to the science block every dinner time and Billy would be a mainstay on our 'Rasta-Blaster'.
Even now I can't hear 'Sweet Sixteen', 'White Wedding' or 'Rebel Yell' without being reminded of snogging Diane Reed in 15 minute stretches.

DavidM, Monday, 19 November 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

It's Dave Eddy!

Billy Idol was terrific. Just the right balance of chrome and chug. I can't think of a single song by him I don't like (even maybe his cover of "LA Woman") and yet I own none of them. C'mere, downloads.

Tom, Monday, 19 November 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Wong Faye is my favourite HK popster, her pink album 'lovers and strangers' that came out in '99 is the best introduction you can get it at amazon though : http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00003Q58G/ref=m_art_li_2/002- 3344527-0372865

She sings mainly in mandarin but there are cantonese versions of a couple of the track. generally I prefer the sound of Mandarin though t.

tom p, Monday, 19 November 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

This shld be a ft article.

Sterling Clover, Monday, 19 November 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

fifteen years pass...

I think about this thread title often

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Monday, 17 April 2017 13:47 (one week ago) Permalink


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