Club Contact

The new MP3 blog from London's club Contact. The idea is to allow people to hear new music they wouldn't have otherwise found but, if anyone has any copyright issues with a particular song, i'll take the link down. Songs are only available for a limited amount of time.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Sexy Robot, Sexy Robot

I'm well aware that i said only two days ago that there's no pop star alive or dead who can compare to Mylene Farmer, and i stick by that, but there is one that gets closer than any other. Chinese music is still dominated by the Beijing born, Hong Kong based national heroine Faye Wong / Wang Fei / Wong Fei. Even the smallest back-street CD vendor seems to have dozens of her records, from 2003’s To Love stretching back to the late 1980s when she was, inexplicably, called Shirley.

The records from the first phase of her career were frequently wonderful but it is the second phase, her work for EMI and Sony (Faye Wong, Lovers And Strangers, Fable, Scenic Tour, Faye Wong (2001) and To Love), that really demands to be heard. She has everything you could ask for in a pop star - a stunning voice, incredible grace and beauty, intense charisma and a marriage-destroying Mah Jong habit. Her influences include Taiwanese legend Teresa Tang, The Cocteau Twins (who she has both covered and worked with), Bjork, Tori Amos and Kate Bush but she effortlessly outstrips them all. Rather perversely, her influence in return on Western acts appears to have resulted in the new Katie Melua single.

She has developed something of a fanbase in the West as a result of her film work, most notably with Hong Kong's Wong Kar-Wai. It was quite impossible not to fall in love with her in Chungking Express as a girl who repeatedly breaks into the apartment of the man she's smitten with to tidy up and feed his fish. She returned to arthouse screens last year playing a malfunctioning android courtesan in his dazzling 2046.

Fable, Scenic Tour and Lovers And Strangers are the three albums to get immediately but her last six have been absolutely essential. Cheung Oi / To Love is the title track from her most recent studio album and showcases both her voice and her occasional aggressive streak to excellent effect.

Buy! Buy! Buy!
A very useful fan page


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