If you’re into: American Football, TTNG
Latest release: none
Upcoming Release: Debut album, Sep 2014
Recommended listening: Burn It Down (below)
For more: facebook.com/gdjyb
Upcoming show: Street Music Series, Sat Aug 16, HKAPA
This three-girl math-folk outfit of Soni Cheng, Soft Liu and Heihei Ng are bringing something genuinely different to the scene, with their quirky musical take on Hong Kong life. Hard at work on their debut album, coming in September, GDJYB tell Mark Tjhung about the message in their music…
So, GDJYB – tell us about the name!
Liu: It stems from the dish gai dan jang yuk bang (a traditional dish made of steamed egg and pork). Our objective is to talk about social issues and the feelings of the city, but in a funny, quirky way. This name takes something traditional and adds something special.
Your math-folk concept is quite distinctive. Where did that come from?
Liu: We all love folk music but we just thought maybe too many people were already playing it. So one day we were just joking ‘ah, let’s make math-rock folk’. Then we thought it would be a better way to deliver our message – folk is always trying to describe the social or political issues, but with HK society becoming more complicated, we found that math-rock folk, and the varying tempos, patterns and melodies, matched this message.
How have you gone about fusing the two genres?
Liu: We have done a lot of experimenting. Math-rock is really quite different to folk music, so we were trying to use very folky chords and guitar.
Ng: The tempo and groove is about math-rock.
Cheng: We’re trying to do different kinds of song – one with 20 percent math, 80 percent folk, another with just a folk guitar rhythm but with math drums.
Liu: We are still exploring, testing the proportions.
You’re also fusing English and Cantonese a bit, too…
Liu: We use Cantonglish and write down the bits and pieces of Hongkongers’ daily life. The problems Hong Kong is facing today are very complicated. The languages which can best represent Hong Kong are not only Cantonese and English, but also Cantonglish. And by using a world language, that is, English, it can take our music to different corners of this continent.
Would you say that all of your songs are very much about some kind of commentary on HK?
Ng: Sometimes, but we are not very obviously talking about the political. For example, we have a song called Philip the Buster, which actually stems from a filibuster. We are just trying to twist the language we are using,
we just don’t want to be too direct.