Forces of darkness
Unixx examine the bleak side of Hong Kong life with their mix of punk, pop and grunge, writes Justin Sweeting
With their debut album release this month, local four-piece rock outfit Unixx are finally getting the attention they deserve.
Vocalist and guitarist Yung Chun-yin (aka Sean Prudent), has been making music with bassist Dickie Chan Kwok-wai since 1994. As members of seminal local band Nameless, they rocked the underground scene until the outfit split in 1996.
Prudent continued to write and collect ideas, and following several lineup changes, Unixx were formed with the addition of drummer Tatsu Yiu On-tat and guitarist Lamb Ng Ka-ho.
'We all enjoy playing music - listening to it is not enough for us,' says Prudent. 'We hope we can create our own unique tunes, release many albums and make history in the local scene.'
The overall result is a fuming amalgam of styles and influences. 'Our sound combines elements of shoegazing, noisenik, post-punk, Brit-pop and grunge. It is somewhere between alternative and noisy pop, though always very easy to listen to,' says Prudent.
Their name comes from a more classically Hong Kong perspective. 'I work in the IT field,' says Prudent. 'Unix is the name of an alternative operating system. Since we are an alternative band, it seemed to work well. I added an X for balance, and it looks cool.'
Released this month, Unixx's debut album, Nasty Fantasy, is the result of 12 months of hard work.
Featuring songs Prudent wrote between 1994 and 2003, Nasty Fantasy is a brooding, sinister collection. 'We are presenting the dark side of society with this album,' he says. 'There are too many hypocrites in this world. There are things that surround us every day like drugs, death, suicide, homosexuality ... but are seldom mentioned. People might think these as nasty, so we named the album Nasty Fantasy.
'We only have English songs,' says Prudent. 'I prefer to sing in English because I think the feel is better along with the kind of music we are playing. It is also an advantage when trying to distribute our music overseas.
'The local scene seems to be getting better, but it's still not enough. The media is not very supportive of local bands. We don't expect to make any profit from this album.'
Bassist Chan says: 'Music means only money and profit to the giant labels here. In their minds, music must be easy to understand, all about love, sung in Cantonese and for karaoke. Some labels and musicians are working hard to change what they can, though, unfortunately, I guess it won't change a lot as music is not a culture for most Hong Kong people.'
To coincide with the release of their album, Unixx will be playing a series of shows throughout the month.
'After the local shows, we'll be planning our tour overseas to Japan and Taiwan. Then a second album, touring, a third album, and on and on,' says Prudent.
Unixx album launch, tomorrow, 10.30pm, Fringe Club, $80 (includes one drink). Inquiries: 2521 7251