Teo, Pete - Rustic Living For Urbanites

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Redbag Music
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:29:00

Perhaps the character on the cover of this CD needs some Rustic Living For Urbanites to get his head on straight, or on at all. Pete Teo's new album tells tales of loving and living and all the emotions that make our daily lives so interesting. I had never experienced listening to this artist before but when I saw the name Ronan Chris Murphy on the back of the CD as producer, an artist that I never heard before got instant recognition followed by expectations of an excellent musical experience. Why you ask? Well I am aware of Murphy's work, and interviewed I him not so long ago. I know what kind of quality he demands in the studio. As I expected this recording was no exception to those high standards.

Teo is an artist-poet-musician in the truest sense of the word. His songs are stories set to engaging and irresistible rhythms via strumming acoustic guitars and haunting Chinese instruments such as the erhu, which sounds similar to a violin. His voice captures the meaning of each track while the tone of his inflection makes each composition a poetic musical voyage that creates thought provoking images. I am sure that is what Teo's goal is, to make all of this happen for the listener so you can then become one with the storyline. I found it easy to do so because his music and lyrics are so prolific. The man practices what he preaches (as in the title) and discards digital manipulations while recording this acoustic masterpiece, thus the sound produced is natural, clear and concise.

A girl named Marianne seems to be the object all of Teo's affection and passionate words while the rest of the tracks wrap themselves around your heart, as this woman keeps walking into the film running in your minds eye. "Rhapsody In Blue" is the best and most catchy track-full of sex, fear, truth, and the warning that it's evil to be on your own on a dark night.

Pete Teo wears his heart on his sleeve, bearing his soul for all to see and observe as this album progresses. The music and his voice are in complete agreement at all times, which makes this album exactly what it is, poetry in motion with the soundtrack to put emphasis on the storyline. If you have lost your head lately and need to get back to reality with both feet on the ground, this CD offers wonderful music with sobering thoughts to help you get there.

A more detailed explanation of the instruments used on Rustic Living For Urbanites by Peter Teo:

A. Violin-like instrument

The violin-like instrument on the record is a traditional Chinese fiddle called erhu (or its viola equivalent, 'zhong hu'). You can read about it here - www.philmultic.com/home/instruments/erhu.html

B. Other traditional instruments on the record

(i) Sheng - a hand held reed instrument with 48 brass reeds pointing up like pipe organ. An extremely ancient instrument that used to feature heavily in Chinese Imperial Court music. This is the oboe-like instrument featured on "The Red House" & "Budapest";

(ii) Dizi (Bamboo Flute) - featured in "Where've The Years Gone?";

(iii) Gambus - Arabic in descent, this is a fretless lute, and is actually the forefather of the guitar. Came to Malaysia via Arab traders hundreds of years ago. Featured in "Hush Marianne" & "Rhapsody In Blue";

(iv) Harmonium - hand-pumped wind organ that was brought to India by the British during the Raj. While it has largely gone out of usage in Britain, the instrument remains popular in Indian traditional music all over the world. The instrument is played with one hand on the keyboard and the other pumping accordion-like wind box at the back. Featured in the intro of "Arms Of Marianne" and serves as pad all over the record;

(v) the "Urdu" (Indian porcelain drum) and various Chinese percussion instruments such as gongs, bells and the lion drum are also featured. In fact, the "brush" effect on Budapest was actually Lewis our drummer playing brushes on a giant lion drum with a diameter of about 4 foot.

C. Other weird sounds

The weird distorted sound featured on "Alive N Free" is the Fender Rhodes keyboard patched through a "Small Stone" phaser pedal and distortion box. The lonely distorted sound at the end of "Where've The Years Gone?"' is also the Rhodes - this time patched through only the phaser.

D. Additional Notes

Apart from a touch of digital reverb during mixing, no digital gear was used at all in the production of the record. Amps and mics were vintage valve. We recorded to 2 inch tape (studer A820) via a vintage Neve VR console. No noise reduction technology was used at all. Recording was done in 18 days. Mixed in 7 days on an SSL 4000 series console.

Arms Of Marianne (4:54) / Budapest (3:32) / Jesselton Tonight (5:00) / Alive 'N Free (6:35) / Rhapsody In Blue (4:57) / Marianne Called (5:05) / Blue (6:40) / Where've The Years Gone? (4:29) / The Red House (7:15) / Hush Marianne (6:23)

Pete Teo - vocals, guitar, Rhodes
Sherry - guitar, backing vocals
Hayakawa Takeharu - bass
Lewis Pragasam - drums & percussion
Chan Kum Loong - erhu & zhong hu
Mussadique Suleiman & John Siew - Rhodes
Eddy Marzuki - gambus
Aaron Lee - sheng
Bong Bum Khee - dizi
Shiori Takeuchi, Sasha Wicker & Anima Dastan - backing vocals
Ronan Chris Murphy - harmonium

Rustic Living For Urbanites (2003)

Genre: Other


Added: May 16th 2004
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website: www.peteteo.com
Hits: 880
Language: english


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