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Music Review Trader

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--- Quote from: thelaptop on November 08, 2017, 18:01 ---Here, go to town on this one: 箫的叙说 by 张维良
--- End quote ---

Challenge accepted!

@Uranium, whenever you're ready, feed me a(n album) title...

@Sereg, yeah but the same goes for YouTube and Spotify. I think over the last 5 months (new job in which I'm allowed to use them as a radio) the albums I've discovered come close to outnumbering the cups of coffee I had. And that says a lot :S

If you want, check out my preferred listening here.

Dr. Granola:
Guess I'll go first. I always look forward to sharing music. Sadly I don't know how to operate Spotify, so that limits me. Can you use Bandcamp?

The album I'll pick is Mag Mell by Mili. Most of the tracks are uploaded on their YouTube channel at
Several songs from other albums can also be found there.
The album can be found on Bandcamp here:
I actually went for a physical disc, shipped from japan. For a first music CD I could've done worse, I believe.

Other links include...
Their website:
A soundcloud:


--- Quote from: Dr. Granola on November 09, 2017, 14:07 ---The album I'll pick is Mag Mell by Mili.
--- End quote ---

And accepted as well. Another title outside of my normal listening routine, thanks. As soon as I've found time to write a little on thelaptop's title, you're next.

--- Quote from: Dr. Granola on November 09, 2017, 14:07 ---Can you use Bandcamp?

--- End quote ---

Yeah of course, valid alternative.

Artist: 张维良 (Zhang Weiliang)
Album: 箫的叙说 (Xiao’s Narrative)
Grade: 8/10
Motivation: Highly soothing and full of feels, but too much of the same by my personal frame of reference

Let me start off by stating that as far as my comfort zone goes, this album lands well outside of it. Most of the music I listen to is contemporary stuff belonging to any of the different rock traditions. Xiao’s Narrative, if I understand the descriptions correctly, is a collection of traditional Chinese/Eastern pieces given a new life. The album contains six duets between the xiao (flute) and konghou (harp), averaging about ten minutes in length. Although I have heard similar music countless times before, it’s always been in a setting where it served to support something else – think of movies, mainly. Listening to it taking the lead role is definitely worth the experience.

I find it hard to judge the skill level of the musicians, but the chemistry between them is obvious. The music is very dynamic, ranging from the demure to the exuberant and the production quality is excellent. Every minor detail in both instruments can be heard with perfect clarity and the sense of space is right on the mark.

Unfortunately, there is little I can say about the songs themselves. Translating the descriptions, I get the idea they deal with pretty esoteric themes – such as “the natural dynamics of water and clouds” – and the lack of lyrics makes the message even harder to interpret. I can only take the songs at face value, but to me, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The combination of the minimalistic orchestration and sublime production leaves the listener prepared to digest every single detail, and boy is there a lot to discover. The result is a highly immersive and incredibly relaxing hour’s worth of music which, if you were to shut out all the distractions of modern life, could very well leave you feeling a lot more at ease with yourself after a listening session.

The only downside to the album is that it doesn’t invite you to play it again from the beginning once it’s done. Inherent to the orchestration and writing tradition, most of the songs sound the same to the untrained ear, and if you were to have told me the album didn’t consist of six but of fifteen tracks, or of three, I wouldn’t have been surprised. Not being familiar with the music plays a big part in this of course, but either way it results in the variation being too little and the vibe being too alien to relate to it as I do to my preferred listening.

All in all I’m very pleased with the discovery though, and can highly recommend anyone to sacrifice sixty minutes, isolate themselves from any interference, sit down, close their eyes and simply let themselves be carried away. The world might be a slightly better place if everyone were to do this every once in a while.

@thelaptop: I find it hard to present you with a title that has any similarity to this one. The best I can offer you is an album that would generally also be more suited for passive than active listening. Please have a listen to Delìrium Còrdia by Fantômas.

I'll start you off with one of my faves: Murmuure's self-titled (and so far, only album ;_;). I saw it described as "blackened ritual industrial" once, and I can't think of a better way to describe it. Probably my favourite album cover ever, too.

Enjoy (hopefully)!


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