Monday, 26 April 2010

Home sweet home…

There comes a stage in ones life where he or she embarks on a decision or event that will forever alter their course in life from then onwards. Be it pursuing further studies, career advancement, purchasing their first property or car, falling in and out of love, getting married or having kids: all are rights of passages in the journey that is life.

I have the great privilege of witnessing firsthand the advancement of people close to me, my family and friends. And I am genuinely happy for each and everyone of them (in some cases, with a little sprinkling of jealousy, hehe). As with any life altering decisions, they are more often  not easy, come are fraught with more complications and sacrifices than perhaps the individual had bargained for. But, after sowing the seeds, nurturing and caring, the fruits that they enjoy at the end of it all, has been worth it.

I had aimed to pursue my studies a while ago, but alas that is not in the cards for me for the time being. I have also entertained the prospect of carrier advancement: While that requires not only the determination, drive and self-confidence which somehow I am lacking at the moment, but also the belief that people around me realise and acknowledges the potential that I have. As for falling in love? Well that requires a whole blog entry (or several) in itself, hehe…

So at the ‘ripe’ ol age of 30, what does one do to show (to himself more than anyone else), that every turn and twist leading up to this moment had not amounted to nothing?

In my case, If there is that one thing that I promised myself to undertake is buying my own house, my own place to proudly call my own.

Even that took much procrastination on my part, until of course the fateful Eureka moment when my parents informed me that my siblings will be moving into their apartment that I ‘took care of’ on my own all this while (7 years to be exact). So much for epiphanies, hehehe…

So after searching around, researching and some inner soul-researching, I finally took the plunge last Saturday and embarked on the journey (or should I say adventure) that will hopefully lead me to my dream abode. Thus, it is with great pleasure that I to introduce to you my ASTANA LUMAYAN.


Nestled within the established and pristine Tasik Permaisuri and Bandar Tun Razak cul-de-sac, this condominium promises a ‘lake park living’ lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur. Befitting its lush natural surroundings, the condominium employs state of the art green technology for a truly sustainable and responsible standard of living. And with a small density, it offers the exclusivity and safety that is unrivalled within the vicinity. Public amenities are also close by, offering the convenience and connectivity to complete the urban lifestyle.



The units themselves are a spacious 1,207.9 sq ft that are functionally laid out to maximise space. From the balcony, one can wither enjoy views of either the exhilarating city lights or refreshing lake park.



From time to time, I hope to share with you on the progress this journey: from the home purchase process, to construction and completion and right up to renovation and furnishing, and eventually culminating to the unveiling of the finished residence. So please stay tuned and watch this place…

ps: Is it ever too early to even discuss colour schemes? hehe ;)

Thursday, 1 April 2010



I haven't been reviewing Malaysian music for a while. And who can blame me, given the dearth of new (and worthwhile) releases of late… its a sad predicament of the local music scene. So it is with great pleasure that I start  the first review of the year with Faizal Tahir’s sophomore record: ADRENALIN.

It must have been a daunting task trying to top the irresistible debut that is AKU.MUZIK.KAMU, the winner of the AIM Album of the year in 2008 as well as home to many chart topping hits. That  was very much in the minds of Faizal Tahir and Audi Mok when approaching the follow-up. But, rather that treading down the tried and tested path, the dynamic duo had wisely opted to experiment a bit this time around, expanding their creative horizon’s with some surprising results.

Opening this tight record (only 8 original tracks in all) is the confident, Coldplay-esque ADRENALIN. Then things get rockin’ in SUPERHERO, the most ‘definitive’ Faizal Tahir track in the set. Then there is the stunning first single BENCINTA, with that Queen- inspired beat. Still sounds refreshingly groundbreaking after almost a year after its release. I am hoping that this track wins song of the year during this year’s AIM awards.

But things turn dark and gloomy with KARMA, representing a dramatic departure in terms of song writing and arrangement for the team. For those with a discernable ear might notice some  backing vocals courtesy of Siti Nurhaliza backing vocals in there. Representing a complete turnabout, the ruckus MUZIK is of-kilter crazy in a good kinda way. The song cheekily showcases the duo wicked sense of humour and not taking everything at face value. Like the song’s Queen-esque chorus asks: Kenapa terlalu serius? Dengarlah muzik!

Rock ballads are still featured, and SELAMAT MALAM, the second single does a great job in building in on the emotions without ever being too schmaltzy. But if there is one song that is destined to be a knockout anthem is the sublime, emotionally wrought HANYUT, easily my favourite track on the album. It starts of with Faizal’s singing a capella and then slowly layering in the orchestrations. And that bridge, perhaps one of the best I heard in a Malay song, is simply ah-may-zing! For those wanting a more romantic groove, there is also a acoustic version of the song, showcasing Faizal’s earnest vocals to great effect. And as a thank you tribute to his fans, the album closes with SEMESTA, but what it makes it unique is the hidden reprise. Presented in an ‘and the band played on’ sorta way, the reprise builds on the song, with a hint of influences such as Alanis, Guns N Roses and even Prince cleverly interspersed in there.

All in all, this is a strong collection of songs showcasing the next stage of evolution of Faizal Tahir’s innovative and highly listenable brand of rock music. but, the big question is: can this album repeat the debut’s performance at the AIM awards this year? We will  have to wait and see. But there is no question that Faizal and Audi had definitely deliver the goods: no sophomore slump here…



  1. Adrenalin (Audi Mok/ Faizal Tahir) ****1/2
  2. Superhero (Audi Mok/ Faizal Tahir)****
  3. Selamat Malam (Audi Mok/ Faizal Tahir)****
  4. Karma (Audi Mok/ Faizal Tahir)***1/2
  5. Hanyut (Audi Mok/ Faizal Tahir)*****
  6. Bencinta (Audi Mok/ Faizal Tahir)*****
  7. Muzik (Audi Mok/ Faizal Tahir)***1/2
  8. Hanyut [Acoustic] (Audi Mok/ Faizal Tahir)****1/2
  9. Semesta (Audi Mok/ Faizal Tahir)*****
  10. Semesta [Reprise] (Audi Mok/ Faizal Tahir)****1/2