Placebo Live in Hong Kong- 10/03/04: This band who has been in the spotlight for around 8 years came to Hong Kong to perform for one night, where a number of people only found out a week before, turned out to give a great show to everyone in Hong Kong who made it to Hitec that night. The band played a variety of songs from their most recent to other variations, but not some of their classics that the fans were hoping. From our forums people complained about the pushing and shoving in the crowd, but what do you expect at a concert?! Free standing is free movement and the 2,000+ crowd (this is the figure that someone who works with the promoters told us)overall seemed to enjoy the show.

One of the first comments heard after the gig was that more International bands should come each month, hopefully we will get this in Hong Kong, but may take a bit of time.

Rating: 8/10

Review By: Alyson Hau

Don’t Call Mama: Rap battles have been getting popular in this city, as more and more hip-hopper are starting to stand out and create their own sound in their own language. If you have never heard Canto-rap before, you should, just to catch up with the trend. Unlike American rap, Canto-rap doesn’t just have to be about cursing each other, it can be about respect, it can be about what MC really is. Though some of the contestants were not creative enough to say anything other than swear words, and someone’s mom, but that has made the other ones stand out even more.

Through ‘Don’t Call Mama’, we can see that Canto-rap may not rhyme like American rap, which every single line is melodic, of course, that seems to be ideal and catchy, while in Canto-rap, staying with the beat and getting the crowd into what you do seems to be the most important. Even though, honestly, I cannot say that I will pay a hundred bucks to buy their stuff… yet (if the contestants releases a CD), but I can see a pretty impressive future if more people in Hong Kong can get involved and get into it, it’s still taking baby steps, but it’s growing, and it’s all good while we’re getting there.

Rating : 7/10

Review by: Alyson Hau

Maksim In Hong Kong: Fans in Hong Kong would definitely be familiar with the name of Maksim, even just by saying ‘the Piano Player’. This is already his third stay in Hong Kong, but it’s just his first “in concert” performance. The main difference when comparing the other performances to this concert, is that he has a 6 piece orchestra, with a guitarist, an additional pianist, and a percussionist. So what you hear from those speakers in the Academy of Performing Arts, are what’s been played live.

Starting the set off with his ever-so-famous ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’, showing off how fast his fingers can go on the keyboard, with the usual all black outfit and THE smile, Maksim has brought the cell-phone ringing crowd to silence, at least for the first few minutes. Capturing the audience with a string of collection from his debut album, he also threw in a surprise, a song that he has never played live before, ‘Ocean Dream’, the theme for this coming Olympic Games.

The whole performance was captivating, but maybe because that was the first show in Hong Kong, or maybe it’s because of my brain is still addicted to the songs with the dance beats instead of a snare drum, didn’t really feel right when the drums were covering the sound of everything else… Apart from this, it was quite a night.

Rating : 8/10

Review By: Alyson Hau

Sinosphere: It was the first techno event in a long time in Hong Kong. April 30th, 2004 was going to be a night to remember as it marked the beginning of potentially future Sinosphere events to grace the streets of Hong Kong. Sinosphere was to be held at the prestigious Viceroy venue located in the Sun Hung Kai Centre in Wanchai district. Upon entry, it was clear many people had anticipated this event by sporting Technasia T-shirt's and warming up to the tech-house and electro sounds of Teng Boon. It was 12AM and the crowd was getting a bit more eager to hear the harder and pumping sounds of Amil Khan. 12AM came and went still without any signs of the anticipated DJ. Then 1AM came and a silhouette figure of a familiar face graced the DJ booth. It was Amil of Technasia preparing himself for a soon to be hard and thundering set of techno in its purest form. By this time, the venue was clearly getting packed as hot and sweaty dancers were put into a hypnotic state with Technasia's track selection.

House and Tech-House was on rotation for the first half hour before Amil began to bring in more of a funky sound to the decks. Soon tracks like Rino Cerrone's "Rilis 7", The Advent/Subjective's "Tremmer", and Technasia's own "Acid Storm" and "Undisputed Life" could be heard ravaging the speaker walls sending dancers into a state of frenzy. Being the first techno event i have attended in Hong Kong, i must say that overall it was a very good night.

The venue was spacious and had a balcony with a harbour view, the sound system was crisp and clear, the lighting was dark, and the crowd was intimate and having a great time. Sounds of Detroit, hard techno, and electro could be heard screaming the whole night. At 4AM, i was getting a bit fatigue from all the dancing and decided to call it a night, thinking to myself as i left that i sincerely hoped that this would mark the beginning of future Sinosphere events to come.

Review by: philip leung

!!!: Louden Up Now (Punk-Funk) “And you can tell the President to suck my fucking dick. Does that sound intelligent? Like I give a fu*king frick”.Chatting to Skrufff recently !!! guitarist Mario Andreone admitted the 7 piece punk-funk pioneers now wished they’d named checked President Reagan on their reactionary latest single Pardon My Freedom, though any band that can rhyme dick with ‘frick’ is clearly already aware that the devil’s in the detail.

And it’s the detail, or rather the 10 songs included here, which will carry them beyond being ‘the trendiest of New York hipsters’ (NME) after a year in which they’ve already effortlessly surpassed erstwhile contemporaries like DFA and The Rapture.

Essentially a collection of loosely structured jam-style punk-funk workouts, the record is both surprisingly listenable as well as cheerfully upbeat, its serious political messages offset with humour and intelligence that compares favourably with the wit of their spiritual 80s forefathers; namely Talking Heads and original agit-pop provocateurs Gang Of Four.

Breakthrough single Me and Giuliani Down By The School Yard remains a highlight as does live favourite Shitscheissemerde though the whole album trundles along happily, reflecting the band’s chemistry which they’ve clearly now got hold of.

Another reason !!! are set for great things is the sheer brilliance of their live shows (all 7 players are superb musicians as well as clearly great mates) and while Louden Up Now doesn’t quite capture that magic, it’s nevertheless a worthy musical snap shot of a band clearly going places. Louden Up Now is out now on Warp.

Genre: Punk-funk

Rating: 7/10


Track listing:

01. When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Get Crazee
02. Pardon My Freedom
03. Dear Can
04. The Kings Weed
05. Hello, Is This Thing On?
06. Shit Scheisse
07. Merde pt. 2
08. Me and Giuliani Down By The School Yard
09. Space Island
10. Shitscheissemerde

Review by: Jonty Skrufff (

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Courtney Love – America’s Sweetheart (Rock): With a history that extends beyond the years of most listeners, she is an artist with a story to tell. Making her musical debut in 1994 with the group Hole, she became most famous for her marriage to grunge alternative legend Kurt Cobain. However, when he committed suicide in 1994 Courtney Love was forced to make a stance of her own and that she did, releasing some of the most emotionally charged rock music of the time.

Her long awaited and eagerly anticipated solo debut is finally here. After a six-year hiatus Love's "America's Sweetheart" brings the same raw rock that listeners fell in love with from Hole. Again writing her own music, with minor assistance from 4 Non Blondes Linda Perry, whose lyricism is rapidly becoming legendary, the tracks are filled with Love's characteristic angst. However, this time the songs are telling us a little more, and opening a window into life on the edge in Los Angeles. From "All the drugs" and "Sunset Strip" we are given a chance to understand the, as of yet unshared, secrets of the troubled life of Courtney Love.

This disc receives my highest ranking, it has been recommended to my friends and family and now I am recommending it to you. If you ever wanted to know what real unabridged rock was, here is your chance. And of course if you were ever a Hole fan then you probably already own this CD and agree that it could be one of the best of 2004.

Track Listing:
01. Mono
02. But Julian, I’m a Little Older Than You
03. Hold On To Me
04. Sunset Strip
05. All The Drugs
06. Almost Golden
07. I’ll Do Anything
08. Uncool
09. Life Despite God
10. Hello
11. Zeplin Song
12. Never Gonna Be The Same

Review By: Melissa B.

Kelis - Tasty (Various): With her third and most stunning album yet, "Tasty", this "delicious Harlem darling" has returned. Since signing with Virgin in 1998 Kelis is now just proving her true natual abilities.

With her first two albums created with the guidance and support of Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, "Tasty" displays this 24-year olds real ambition, co-writing five of the tracks and acting as the executive producer.

Kelis has a strong musical background, beginning at a young age with influence from her father, who was a jazz musician, and growing up singing in the church choir and playing violin, piano and saxophone.

The guest appearances on this new album have been kept to a minimum, but the choice of support is noteworthy, having two tracks supported by Andre 3000 of everybody's favorite hip hop duo Outkast. Also heard on this disc is the hot and flawless single "Milkshake", which has just entered its fourth consecutive week at number two on the Official UK's singles charts and shows no sign of stopping there.

Filled with the succulent sounds of R&B, hip hop, and soul this album is bound to be a success. Exuding confidence and filled with sexually laced lyrics that are spoken with such innocence it leaves the listener wanting to play it over and over again.

Track Listing:
01. Intro
02. Trick Me
03. Milkshake
04. Keep It Down
05. In Public (feat. Nas)
06. Flashback
07. Protect My Heart
08. Millionaire (feat. Andre 3000)
09. Glow (feat. Raphael Saadiq)
10. Sugar Honey Iced Tea
11. Attention (feat. Raphael Saadiq)
12. Rolling Through the Hood
13. Stick Up
14. Marathon

Review By: Melissa B.

Auf Der Maur – Auf Der Maur (Rock) : Do you remember the sexy bass guitarist from Hole, in their legendary days, and Smashing Pumpkins, just before they split? Did you ever wonder what happened to her? Well, in her hiatus from the limelight she has been working with her new band, Auf Der Maur, on their debut release.

Born in Montreal Quebec this musical all-star likens playing the bass to her sexual encounters "I get so into it. The only time I ever feel the same way is when I'm having sex; it's the epitome of unifying with something."

The music on this album tends to be spacey and dreamy, definitely more along the lines of the Pumpkins as opposed to Hole. If you are a Pumpkins fan, and are into female vocals this disc may be a priority of yours.

Track Listing:
01. Lightning is My Girl
02. Followed The Waves
03. Real A Lie
04. Head Unbound
05. Taste You
06. Beast Of Honour
07. I’ll Be Anything You Want
08. My Foggy Notion
09. Would If I Could
10. Overpower Thee
11. Skin Receiver
12. I Need I Want I Will

Review By: Melissa B.

L.S.G. - The Best Of LSG (trance/progressive/chillout/dub) Think of trance, forget the commercial “samey” sounds that we’ve been introduced to over the last few years, add a little experimentation, hints of techno and you arrive at the “ground breaking” sound that is Oliver Lieb who’s remixed many artists like Banco De Gaia and had his tracks repeatedly played out by Sasha amongst many other trance and progressive DJs.

“The Singles Reworked” sees Oliver stripping down to the bone and “chilling out” his previously energetic releases, taking them down to a new level that soothes, excites and takes many an unsuspecting turn into various space scapes. If you are familiar with Oliver’s previous tracks, you might spot a hint or two of them throughout the course of the mix, especially the likes of Hearts, Netherworld and Fragile in this “oh so smooth” production. Throughout the course of this musical ensemble you find hints of dub, spacey delays and plenty of analogue sweeps and bleeps that will make your heart rise along with Oliver’s usual symphonies of pads and lead lines. “The Singles Reworked” really is heading into the realms of chillout and sounds great! Whether you’re at home with the hi-fi or out walking with headphones, there’s every chance you’ll forget the passing of time and purely focus on the sounds alone.

Included with this release is also a bonus CD with even more remixes of Oliver’s Tracks. Again, it’s great to hear trance being offered in such a variable range of genres, especially notable are the pure tech breaks of “Hearts” and the driving acid of “Fragile Part 3”. You will still find hints of trance on this journey although in spits and spurts as the bonus CD covers as many cross genres as “The Singles Reworked”, it tends to be unpredictable and you never quite know where you’re off to next. Unlike “The Singles Reworked”, this CD is all separate tracks that are not all sequenced together into one long set, but still, you can’t have everything with free gifts and I found it didn’t really matter listening to tracks individual in their own right.

Overall a bargain at any price whether you love trance, progressive or laid back techno trance. Marvellously produced and lots of variation to keep even the fussiest of music lovers happy. I’m not a die hard fan of trance (even though I did buy L.S.G’s The Hidden Sun Of Venus on Platypus) but this is a collection that I can relate to as many of you will. Give it a whirl!

Track Listing:

CD1: The Singles Reworked
CD2: Bonus Remix CD

Title: The Best Of L.S.G. : The Singles Reworked
Artist: L.S.G.
Format: CD
Cat No: ???
Release Date: Out Now!

Reviewer: DJ Alixir

Jeff Mills: Exhibitionist (Techno):Showing an acute self-perception often rare amongst DJs, techno’s biggest show off, Jeff Mills has chosen wisely in calling his new mix CD/ DVD the Exhibitionist, though it could equally justifiably have been called Live At The Liquid Room 2, the last such mix CD he released 8 years ago.

The poignantly, the Toyko warehouse style nightspot shut its doors for the last time this New Years Day, making Exhibitionist a testimony to Japan’s best known night club ever.

While the DVD clips were entirely filmed in Detroit, USA, Mills’ initial test took place at the Liquid Room in 2001, where the always innovative jock had run peforming alongside projected images of himself. For the CD though, he’s delivered what all Mills fans have come to love and expect; a superbly mixed, fast changing exhibition of top quality turntable wizardry.

Segueing 45 tracks together over the length of a single CD, Mills typically selects tiny parts from tracks by the likes of Ben Sims, Oliver Ho, Claude Young and even Victor Simonelli, though the dominant name on the writing credits is Mills himself, appearing no less than 17 times. Conducive to being played loud, the CD will impress the faithful though may struggle to achieve the same wider impact Live At The Liquid Room did in 1996.

Release date is February 2.

Genre: Techno:
(React Music)

1 AX-009F segment 3 Jeff Mills
2 Condor to Mallorca Jeff Mills
3 Organic Synthetic Oliver Ho
4 Dances D'Afrique Rmx Samuel L Sessions
5 Laget Hans Jesper Dahlbeck
6 Zulu Nation Part IX: The End The Witch Docter Remix Alan Barratt presents
7 Black Water Octave One
8 Moments Dope Mix Ben Sims
9 Bateria-Latin Impressions UK Gold Remix Victor Simonelli
10 Slipped Again Troy Geary
11 Contact Paula Temple
12 B2 from CR007 Oscar Mulero
13 Harmonix WJH
14 Ride the Threshold Headroom
15 The Bells Jeff Mills
16 Ricoque Samuel L Sessions
17 LATIN LOVER (Voodoooamt aka Patrick Lindsey remix) Monika Kruse & Zafra Negra
18 "the" part 1 Jeff Mills
19 Preview Jeff Mills
20 Knap Danilo Vigorito
21 Camborele Andreas Saag
22 Respectful John Arnold
23 Tango Jeff Mills
24 untitled Jeff Mills
25 Sacred Object (track A) Oliver Ho
26 More Over Paul Mac
27 Long Summer Nights Gary Martin
28 Watching Me Aaron Hedges
29 Midnight Confessions DJ Rush
30 Love Club Mark Williams
31 4Art Jeff Mills
32 untitled Jeff Mills
33 Core Samuel L Sessions
34 untitled Jeff Mills
35 Sugar is Sweeter Jeff Mills
36 Finger Four DJ Zank
37 "see" part 3 Jeff Mills
38 thought of phutura side B Claude Young/Jeff Mills
39 "the" part 3 Jeff Mills
40 Native High Jeff Mills
41 "light" part 3 Jeff Mills
42 Alarms Ben Sims mix Jeff Mills
43 untitled Jeff Mills
44 Aguila Aztec Mystic
45 See This Way Jeff Mills

Rating: 7/10

Jonty Skrufff (

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