Local Indie Music Artistes Daniel C., The Color Noise, and Kien Lim released their new music CDs officially at their recent “Indie Club Night” launch party at The Canteen at ChinaHouse, Penang.
Londoner Colin John Brain 25, Clarion’s studio manager, sound engineer and producer, recorded and mastered the CDs for all three bands. Built at the cost of USD1.0 Million the posh Clarion Malaysia’s state of the art acoustic recording facility has the ability to record through a fully analogue console, an array of industry standard analogue with a huge collection of microphones.
The studio also boasts an impressive collection of guitar amplifiers and drums with a live room big enough to record a full band.
Clarion Malaysia was set up to help local artists and bands in Malaysia with production and recording and promotion of the tracks through Clarion’s compilation CD’s which are distributed for free throughout the many tech shows and events that Clarion is involved in.
When Brain was asked if sees himself as a star maker, he laughs, “Not sure about this one to be honest. I think that would be something that could be discussed in the signing process for the artist. “
“My goal as an audio engineer is to help the artist get the sound they envision in their mind to playback through the speakers for everyone to hear. If they become a star from that, then it’s great. If they don’t, then at least we’ve had an amazing experience together and we can both be proud of the end product produced.”
Colin enthuses, “Clarion is always on the lookout for fresh new sounds and talents. To get into the programme, Clarion will need some sort of demo recording from the artist so we can have a proper listen; multiple times before making a decision. The recording could be a simple recording even one from a mobile phone, as long as it’s audible, clear and the team could get the point of the music from it.”
“How Clarion could help is by setting up local events in Penang and KL where some of the signed artists could perform. We have also pushed some of the artist’s material to other names in the industry to help with publishing and touring etc.”
The recent launch albums and EP were recorded at Clarion Malaysia’s private studio located Phase 1, FTZ, Bayan Lepas, Penang.
At the Canteen, the three bands are obviously great buddies on stage and off, as there is an easy going banter with lively chatter and teasing going on. On stage, the dudes chill out with the audience who have become regulars and friends.
Daniel Chan Ming Charn, 30, first started strumming the guitar, singing and song writing when he was 12, and posted his first YouTube video up in 2007.
His experiences of life, his hopes, joy and determination are the source of inspiration when he composes. Daniel’s song ‘If I Could’ was voted #1 song on Hitz FM.
‘If I Could’ was a song he wrote in the early days. Daniel was moved emotionally when he sang this song at the album launch. The defining moment was seeing his family, friends and fans and recalling how the community continually encourage and motivate him.
“I got here not by my own strength but by those who fervently believed in me and invested in me,” shared Daniel, his eyes soften, smiling.
Daniel credits frontman Jon Foreman of alternative rock band “Switchfoot” as his source of musical and personal inspiration in writing songs with wake-up-call messages.
The lyrics of the song “Remnants” is edgier and brings out the determination and strive in Daniel’s voice, as it was a song birthed from a personal life experience.
“There was a difficult point in my life when I felt I was going through battle alone and I was the only one left fighting. Then it dawned on me that it takes is just a few people (the remnants) to stay focused, and to make a monumental impact in society today. It’s the endurance that counts.
The outro echoes ‘Take heart my soul you are not alone, we have a ‘Cornerstone’ is the point of this entire song. At the end of the day, we can work to work things out but ultimately our strength and hope comes from God.”
Grunge Folk guitarist, songwriter and vocalist David Kien Lim Keat Hin 56, gigs as the power duo; with drummer Jordan James Scully, 20 to from DouK.
Jordan’s powerful and fluid drumming style merges and syncs well with Kien’s strong vocals and mean guitar on their 2015 album “The Red Room”.
Kien Lim spent years in the United Kingdom playing in bands as a guitarist before becoming a singer songwriter in 2003. His penchant for haunting melodies is evident in his music.
“I like big, fat, gritty electric guitar tones,” Kien laughs when asked to describe his sounds.
“My music is a cross between Folk, Blues, Country, and Rock. I am constantly looking for ways to make my “sound” more unique, pushing boundaries, to do something nobody in the world has done yet, to stretch the boundaries of music, to create something new. ”
When asked if his role is seen as a big brother, Kien laughs with a resounding and huge, “No, absolutely not. There are a lot of things that I am learning from younger musicians. I encourage younger musicians to find their own voice; a unique trait that is theirs and theirs alone.”
Kien is optimistic about the Indie music scene and is excited to play with new musicians.
His advice for new bands is to be unique, to have something that makes you stand out from the crowd in an image that you create and are comfortable in and a “sound” that is yours.
“In order to cut through the noise, you have to be very sharp and focused. You don’t want to be like the rest. Or else you won’t stand out! Don’t follow trends, set trends! Don’t be afraid to follow your passion, to find the unique voice, that is yours, and own it!”
The Indie band setup is fluid with musician flowing in and out, playing, jamming and supporting each other almost seamlessly. Two young musicians, Rueben Tor, 20 and his good friend Jordan Scully are moving with the wolf pack and finding a niche for their talent.
Jordan who drums with DouK and the Math Heads feels honoured to be part of two amazing bands. He was spotted by Kien Lim at the China House when he started playing for Daniel C.
“Kien and Daniel are willing to accommodate and they support each other. So when it comes to practice, there is no clash as all gigs are scheduled ahead,” says Jordan.
Rueben who teaches music professionally is a keyboardist with The Colour Noise and The Math Heads. Easily recognisable by the loud wave of red streaks in his hair, people see him as pretty flexible to be in both bands as he doesn’t stick to only one genre of music.
“I’m definitely comfortable as a keyboardist for both bands. Many say that having a keyboardist isn’t at all necessary for rock bands but I’m glad to be playing a vital role, providing synth sounds for The Color Noise. But I’d love to pick up the guitar to give the extra drive or put in some extra riffs. Well they do say guitarists look cooler!”
For Rueben, Synth pop is more for him to learn about what appeals to the mass audience in music.
Both young men are firm friends who dig almost any genre of music out there which satisfies their ears and help in the live arrangement of Daniel C’s songs.
Daryl Felix, 29, a restaurateur by day and Divo by night opines that the band’s music is best described with different colours without one particular colour alone that could paint the way they sounded; as it was more of a spectrum based, that the name chosen became The Color Noise.
Daryl continues,” The sound of our music is an ever evolving form. Most of the earlier tracks were heavily influenced by American Folk and British Rock music. As we started to play at gigs, we started to incorporate electronic pop elements.”
“Our future sounds would be more diversified. We could hear the addition of a sitar or a banjo in some of our tracks.
“Pushing my vocal range on ‘We Will Rise’ to extreme lows and highs and hitting those notes were definitely memorable during recording. I see our next project as more experimental with raw scorching vocals.”
Albums for the launch may be purchased from iTunes. For more information; contact email@example.com