Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Kicks...

I came with these...

Now I have these!!!

Yes... It's infectious... Thanks to Nike Malaysia!

Pop Shuvit's Freakshow Video

Greetings! Just wanted to feature a video by my KL homies Pop Shuvit featuring Dandee of SilkSounds in Bangkok... Check it out!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lawa King - The Videos

Check out the videos from my appearance on Malaysia's #1 comedy show - Lawa King (i love the laugh track!)

Scene one - I'm Sorry!

Scene Two - White Guy Knows Malay

Scene Three - On the Live show

Scene Four - Vandal Performs Lalala (Acapella)

Thanks to the crew at Lawa King and Homegrown!!!

Hong Kong Hostage

Updates galore... This one is gonna be short, not quite as long as my week in the HK chilling with the Hierophat family. To put it short Hong Kong is definitely a one of a kinda place with a vibe like no other city. From the studio I enjoyed a variety of mouth-watering take out and a damn good burger with Gold Mountain and DJ Yin. A night of Heroscape and Skunk made my month and guest appearing with GM at Sugar Club was a night to remember! Unfortunately I didnt take many pix and my lazy ass hasnt uploaded them to my mac yet so tough luck!

GM and I did manage numerous freestyle sessions, one crazy budbomb inspired 2hr session just before I left to the airport was one for the books! I got a little too caught up in the world of Tomb Raider Anniversary, but we did manage to record a few songs and Big ups to GM, Lambert, Alex, Robbie, Tiffany, Master Mic, Ink and everyone else who made my stay as enjoyable as it was!

Pics coming soon!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bangkok Invader

Been a bit slow updating things with all the travelling around but I have time tonight to talk about my trip out to Bangkok... At first I wasnt sure if I was gonna go, late on booking my ticket drove the price up a bit and the timing was tight for everything else going on around KL. I'm definitely glad I made the trip though! My boy Dandee from Silk Sounds and Bangkok Invaders came through to pick me up from the airport. It was my first time at the new airport and it's massive! Dandee works in the clubs (Slim, Route 66 & Bed) as en emcee with his two DJ's Ono and Meeh, so after we dropped off my bags we pretty much bounced straight to RCA. If ya dont know RCA is this strip of warehouses that has been turned into a club district. It been around for a while but now it's THE place to be to party in Bangkok. And yes... people really know how to party in Bangkok!

I also had the opportunity to hang out on Kao San Rd for a night... I was supposed to meet up with DJ Tasc and Rob Solo, but they never made it so I just wondered around aimlessly until I bumped into this Swiss girl I'd met on the plane. After chatting with Zahn, an artists who has a gallery in one of the back alleys, I popped in the Reggae bar and that pretty much where the night started. It ended shortly after jamming at this drum and bass club and drinking whiskey with some other travellers til the sun came up, then i crashed on a bunk bed I paid 80baht for... Kao San is definitely an interesting place...

Had the chance to catch up with my boy Cider, who was out bombing a wall with some other graff cats.

The rest of the week pretty much continued on with the same vibes, party, eat good food and rest... Dandee and I are working on a project called VANDAN, it's an EP featuring guest spots from Gold Mountain, Way of Thaitanium, Nesh and Ras Muhamad. Keep your ears open!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Urban Camping Gets Podcasted!!!

Ok, today I was up mad early and with not so much sleep I made the most of my time, by spending it online... Big ups to my man Fame aka Shane for unknowingly putting me on to doing this podcasting thing... I've always wanted to but never found (made) the time for it... So without further ado, let me introduce to you the first ever Urban Camping Podcast! You can subscribe to it, or just go and listen... up to you :)

Urban Camping - Podcast of a Nomadic Addict

Download episode 1 (18 min)

Facebook and Widgets

I have a feeling that Facebook is beginning to take over... Myspace is about to get left behind... That's my personal opinion from my own experience with the two, but yeah aside from that i'm posting this from a widget i just downloaded... arent widgets cool!

On to other news... I'll be off to Bangkok tomorrow night so there will be more updates/photos and so on coming soon!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

BOTY Malaysia Finals

Was down at 1 utama today with my boys Pere, Bakar and DJ Ritz from Singapore to check out the finals for the Malaysian Battle of the Year competition... Apart from standing in one place for more than 4 hours, I was surprised by the turn out and response from the crowd. It was feirce competition starting with the one on one finals. 32 bboys squaring off in a 2 move elimination quickly left the stage with the final 2 standing to battle it out. Both from the same crew - Soul Fever - from KL. I missed out on the awards ceremony so I cant tell you his name, but it's his 2nd time through to the Asian Qualifiers and we wish him much luck in Korea! Team battles were next.... With DJ Koflow killing it on the decks providing the needed tunage, the teams flexed some mad skills! Personally I was feeling the crew that came from Sarawak - Wakaka as well as the KL Soul Fever Crew but in the end it was Giller Battle Crew that took the title. While there I had the chance to chill with Bboy Katsu from Japan, Joel aka Hotstepper and Karen from Denmark and of course Koflow. Big up DJ Low from Bionic for putting it on!!! So here's are the photos...

Friday, July 6, 2007

Vandals "Lalala" on FLY FM's Campur Chart

Peace party people! If you down with the Lalala why not head over to Fly FM and vote! Currently Vandal's Lalala is rolling at #6, so with your help we can work our way up to #1!!!

PS. Thanks for all the love!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Lawaking Vandal???

So what's new??? Well, last night I was out in Wangsa Maju... An area in Kuala Lumpur known for it's Hip Hop and the NZ Curry House! I rolled to the spot with my man Edwin, who invited me to be a part of the filming for local comedy heroes the "Raja Lawak's" aka the comedy kings. I'd been involved in 2 skits, the first of which will air this Saturday July 6th on Astro Prima, which is channel 8 on ya dial... Oh... It's 10PM for those in Malaysia! You can also catch the repeat on Sunday July 7th at 12pm on Astro Ria aka channel 4.

The following week... Yes there's more! You can catch me live on the show! Peep the Malay skills and witness the first ever on air performance of the latest single "Lalala"!!! For those who lack calendar skills, that's Saturday July 14th on Astro Prima (channel 8) at 10PM and the repeat on Sunday the 15th at 12PM on Ria aka Channel 4.


I'll be getting the video for the skits and live performance up when i get my hands on it!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Vandal's Album Launch

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The long awaited follow-up to Vandal’s first album (The Nomadic Addict - with the hit K.L.) is set to release in Malaysia on June 15th 2007 at Laundry Bar, The Curve. The Rebirth of a Classic Obsession continues in the tradition of Vandal’s unique style, offering a glimpse of his travel experiences, mixed with a variety of stellar International production and special guests. Vandal's current single Lalala”is in rotation on Hitz.FM, X-Fresh, ERA & Fly FM. You can hear it online @ www.amp.channelv.com/vandal

The Rebirth of a Classic Obsession (TROACO) incorporates the theme of Urban Camping, with Vandal teaming up with emcees and producers from China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Canada. Intent on creating a wide assortment of sounds and styles, Vandal displays his versatility on each cut leaving the listener not knowing what to expect next. With an uplifting message Vandal raps from his heart and soul about the things that mean the most to him: life, traveling, food, music, culture and the essence of Hip Hop.

The launch of TROACO at Laundry Bar will be a unique live event that will showcase Vandal’s charismatic skills as a performer. International Groove Collective (IGC) will act as Vandal’s backing band for the evening, together with DJ Tasc (Toronto, Canada), creating a fusion of Vandal’s Hip Hop sounds and Live Funk-Based Grooves. With the inclusion of special guests Stylustiks, Moots!, Daly (Ali Fiqir) and Mizz Nina (TTC) the night will be a guaranteed party-rocking experience!

Currently Laundry Bar is one of K.L.’s most popular Live Music venues. Located at The Curve Damansara Mutiara Laundry Bar has made a name for itself over the past year and is regularly filled to its 300+ capacity. Its open-air concept is the perfect place for Vandal’s TROACO launch and to top it off, this is event is FREE. We expect another packed house June 15th!

Festivities will begin with a Tea Time Press Conference at 6PM to 7PM. From 8PM to 9PM our VIP area will be opened for a Chill Out Session, where we will Premiere Vandal’s TROACO CD from start to finish. Our entertainment will begin at 9PM with DJ Tasc taking to the decks and warming things up with a set of Underground Hip Hop. Vandal and IGC will take the stage at 10:30PM for an Hour long set of High Voltage Live Hip Hop!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Lion City Mauling...

Peace and greetings!

Vandal here, just letting you know that I'll be coming down to Singapore to rock a show at the Singapore Street Festival 2007!

I'll be in the Lion City from May 31st - June 4th so make sure you holla at me if you wanna link up.

Peep my Lion City Freestyle from when I was last at the Festival!

Mostly I'll be down at the festival getting my hustle on, so be sure to look out for the bearded white guy... you know... the one in the photo up in the top left corner :)

If things go smooth, I'll be joined by fellow Diplomats Illsteez (Mas) & Gold Mountain (HK) plus I cant forget my Lion City homie Tech1der!!!

Peace & Panggil!!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Weapon X & Ken Hell in KL

Just an announcement that this Saturday May 12th at Laundry Bar Weapon X & Ken Hell from Australia will be performing for Laundry Music Vol.2. They will be joined by DJ A-Style and yours truly, Vandal, will be coming through to drop a verse. Remember 6 MC's on Too Phat's 360 album? Come on out and support!!! Also performing will be The Stylustiks, Estranged and Everyone Love Irene... This is a FREE event...

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Seven Nations Hip Hop Now Out!!!

My friends from Eardrums in the UK have finally released their collaboration project entitled Seven Nations. Go over to the website and pick up the album and support!!! Ya boy Vandal is featured on the tracks "First Out The Blocks" & "Ambush From All Sides". See the details below!!!

18 Heavyweight hip hop collaboration tracks,
featuring 24 underground artists from around the world.

Seven Nations has been produced via internet links with vocalists from
USA, Canada, France, Spain, Australia, Scotland & England.

Pick it up at iTunes Music Store or from the website now!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Shamik & Vandal Live in KL

Peace People!

Just letting you know that Urban Politics @ Laundry Bar, The Curve KL will be featuring myself and my man Shamik the Human BeatBox from Calgary, Canada. Shamik is now in India and will be passing through Malaysia for a week, so I will be his tour guide and host for his stay in KL. Check the details below!!!

Urban Politics Present...
Shamik & Vandal with resident DJ Nesh (Diplomats Int.)
Saturday May 19th 2007
@ Laundry Bar
This event is FREE!!!

Get your copy of Just Duit at the event!!!

Shamik Rocking the crowd when he opened for DJ Q-Bert


Yes, I've been AMP'd... Please check out my profile and the songs!!! If you're making music, consider getting an account!!!
Vandal's Page

Check out my group in Indonesia - The Diplomats International - We were featured on AMP's Seen & Heard!
Diplomats International Interview

Sunday, April 29, 2007


While I was in Jakarta me and my crew The Diplomats International put together our first Mixtape! You can get your copy in Jakarta and KL, contact us for more details!

If you want to listen to tracks from the album follow these links - AMP & Myspace we have an article about our crew on the AMP site, check it out here - Seen & Heard

I wanted to let everyone know that my song "Mongolia" is featured on the Heads Connect Compilation being released in Canada. Launch Parties are planned in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. If you're in the area please go and support!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

American Invasion

Big up to my man Kwame for this wicked video! check the lyrical devistation!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Beyond The Grave

Great people never really die. It was good to get a real night of sleep, though I still miss my old bed back in Toronto, the floor was just as good I guess. Before I woke up I had felt a basket bush my feet and sensed the presence of something beyond this world. Nazri and I got up had some food and headed of to Tok Guru’s gravesite. It was a smooth drive and a hot day so we talked about life, death and the speculation going on about who will be the next Tok Guru. Sometime in mid to late March the answers will be revealed when his will is read. We walked up the hill towards the grounds, behind us a beautiful view of the city. It was a reflective and quite time as we walked through the graves, I thought about my grandfather and uncle, those close to me who have passed on. I thought about my family and friends who are still alive and am thankful for that. Not really trying to get too deep here, but I think most of you have had similar experiences and almost everyone alive can relate to a loss of life of some form. I recited a verse and sent my regards to his spirit before heading off. It was gonna be a long day but somehow I felt purified and renewed, even if it didn’t look that way!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Inter Action

Let’s jump to the juicy bits… the monotony of everyday life can get a bit tedious to write about, you know, like what I ate, brushing my teeth, taking a dump… KL life doesn’t differ much from life in any other big city, it’s generally the same-shit-different-toilet scenario. So on with the show yeah? When we arrived at Maison, one of the clubs along heritage row in the downtown area, I was surprised by the size of the place. I was expecting it to be much bigger than it actually was, but it did still maintain that warm feeling of exposed brick, setting it apart from other clubs in the city. Too Phat had done their sound check so Transient Vortex set up their gear and we got to testing the mics. With the sound balanced out and in check it was straight to a couple of interviews with Hitz.TV and Channel V. Rain began pouring down outside, putting a damper on spirits in the house, but it wasn’t to last very long. In fact it helped to cool down the heat, not that it mattered inside though. HP employees began filling in as it drew closer to show-time. Free flow at the bar helped to loosen most of them up and I gathered this was probably going to be one of the company’s bigger parties of the year as Chinese New Year approaches. Sam warmed the crowd a little more, playing some downtempo joints and we indulged in the amazing buffet upstairs. As is the case, I thought I would bump into people I hadn’t seen in a while. Joey G was no exception. Since the time I met him back in 1999 at Echo in Bangsar I knew this guy was gonna eventually make some waves out here. He’s been a VJ with Channel V for the past three years now, a popular house music DJ and an overall nice guy who gave me my first ever spot on the mic in KL back when I fist rolled through in ’99.

Inter-Action, the concept was a great one. With a satellite dish set up in the back we were broadcasting together with 5 other countries; Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan. Each place featuring local/international artists with the theme of interacting with the latest HP technology – The Sputnik Laptop, the set up was pretty major. Once things got underway DJ Kentaro from Japan was first to deliver on the live feed from Singapore’s Zouk. At a loss for words, Kentaro totally tore it up and passed it on to the next spot, Taiwan. There, local production duo Haifana brought some serious live percussive grooves together with an MPC 2500 smackdown. I was again blown away. Next up was Korea. Hitting the stage was a group of local B-Boys. Long known for their dancing supremacy, the Koreans captivated the onlookers in Maison, people shaking their heads in disbelief. They then made way for Korea’s top Hip Hop act – Dynamic Duo. I wasn’t as impressed this time around, but the showmanship and quality of the music saved my opinion of the group. Local Malaysian Hip Hop heroes Too Phat were finally reunited in this event, Joe, Malik and T-Bone brought the crowd to new levels of loudness as Joey G introduced them to the other onlooker in the other 4 locations. It was Malaysia’s turn to shine. No doubt, Too Phat represented to the fullest concluding with a raucous crowd cheering them on for an encore. They obliged with their hit ‘Just a little bit’. Unfortunately, our performance was not going to be a part of the live broadcast, but that was fine by me. This was a different taste of local flavor, fusion that flew over most people’s heads. The general response was good though, I got the crowd involved on a few occasions and when Syrul joined us we just let loose on the stage and brought only the kind of vibe this type of collaboration could bring. I think it’s the start of a new branch on my tree of music, which has steadily been growing over the past few years. The boys bounced out early so I decided to check the vibe of the spot as it began to fill up way beyond capacity to a point where you could hardly move let along dance. It was crazy hot and because of the short evening rain even going outside didn’t alleviate the heat.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Visa Run & The Vortex

Crashing at Nazri’s place made getting into town a lot easier than if I had stayed in USJ. He dropped me off at the LRT station and I headed to Ampang Park to make my way to the Indonesian Embassy. Previously I’d dreaded going to the embassy, the long walk from the station to avoid taking a taxi, the thick lines and the general unease of consular affairs. My last experience led to a missed flight due to not having booked a return flight. I learned my lesson and this time I was well prepared and knew what to expect. I was early and killed some time at the station waiting to hop a cab. I was mad tired from last night, I didn’t sleep well and had some intense dreams and a brush with a spirit. With the lack of sleep I opted for the cab up there and went straight to the office to get things underway. Normally I would have just got my visa upon arrival, but since I am planning to spend two months in Jakarta and make these moves I’ve again resorted to the using the consulate. It didn’t take long after filling out the application until I hit my first roadblock… payment. I was kinda hoping to be able to pay when I collected, but since it was not the case I had to make the trek up the road to the bank and pull out some loot. Finally all done and in less than an hour I headed back to the station on foot and decided to bang out my ticket at the Air Asia office at KL Sentral before going home to Yi Kin’s to recover a bit. Tonight I had a rehearsal with the boys from Transient Vortex and didn’t want to be in too rough shape.

Sugs came by to pick me up and we rolled back to his place stopping to chow down on some street food along the way. Things were pretty much set for the show tomorrow, so we just went through the songs a few more times and decided on which parts will have vocals and what roll I would be playing in general. I’m pretty excited to be doing this show, not only for the $ but the fact this will be my official performance with a Drum & Bass group and doing something outside of the confinements of Hip Hop is always inspirational and stimulating. Like was saying earlier in this blogathon, one of my main musical missions this year is to dip into as many different genres as possible, create fusion and broaden my musical horizons. Plus this event will give me the chance to meet some more people in the industry here and present the possibility of future shows if all goes well. Oh I forgot to mention that Too Phat is also gonna be there and that the event is going to be a series of international broadcasts between 5 Asian countries. H-P Inter-Action.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Studio Sessions

Monday and Tuesday comprised of a couple of studio sessions with local DJ’s. First was my homie DJ Goldfish, who years ago was rated Malaysia’s top DJ taking home a number of titles and making a name for himself in the club circuit when he and DJ T-Bone ran the famous Ghetto Heaven weekly at Zouk. The day I arrived in KL I had rolled through his new studio, listened to some of his tracks and talked about working on a collabo. Today we made it happen. After listening to a selection of his production and songs he has already done we settled on a minimal beat and I began writing. Not long after I had my two verses done and we banged it out then and there, putting the rough touches on the chorus that awaits a cameo from Goldfish himself. Not following my usual themes for songs, ‘Planet Love’ ended up being inspired by my man Jugular from Toronto. I’ve really been feeling like expanding my horizons as a lyricist, touching on concepts that I wouldn’t normally. I think it sounds pretty fresh, at least once my vocals on the chorus get pushed to the back and G’Fish lays down his. I’m trying to be a lot more productive as well, pushing myself to the limit and getting as much done as I can in the short time I have here before flying off to Jakarta. We finished up the session and went to meet up with Tim and Yi Kin at Sungai Wang for dinner. In the end it turned into another late night at Asia Café sipping drinks and hanging out. Actually, in KL, everyone just hangs out at the mamak, or food court, with friends having drinks. It’s a part of the culture here I really enjoy and unlike most other places I’ve visited it seems that here the social value placed on it stimulates conversation and ideas and really build friendships in ways bars and coffee shops just cant.

I got up with Yi Kin and caught a ride to his office in Kelana Jaya, close to the LRT. I was meeting DJ Uno in the morning and heading to Universiti Station from KJ was a lot easier than taking the bus to Sentral and going backwards from there. It was also a Silat night, so I brought along all my gear and was ready to go. I had written this song about a month a go, before I left Salt Spring, called ‘Dance Floor Fetish’. It’s a dedication to the women you see blazing up the clubs looking fine and enjoying themselves to the fullest. I had selected a beat and wanted to get Saer Ze on the hook, we had it all worked out until I spoke to Uno and he told me the beat had been given to another artist just a day before I asked him! So, today I was going to go through some more of his beats and select a new one for the track. I decided on an up-tempo number and since we still had some time I dropped a rough vocal take. AJ, Uno’s housemate and fellow Pop Shuvit member (Bassist) felt the urge to sing a chorus part, even though the plan was to have Saer Ze on the track. All in all the rough version sounds ok so far, another potential single to go along with the Goldfish track according to Nazri. It turned out to be a more interesting day than I thought, following Uno and Sam Su from Ali Fiqir to town for a press conference they were having I planned to meet with Mo at Sungai Wang and have some lunch. When we reached the Regent Hotel I saw Damian there. It’s been ages since we last linked and it was nice to catch up with him in the short time we had before he left. Seems like everyone is now living up in the Palm Springs condos near The Curve these days. That makes Nazri, Kelvin, Damian and Joe Flizzow near by… I linked with Mo and we headed into Ampang for a drink and some food. Memories came flooding back, we were in the some area that Sairupa’s family used to live in, where I stayed many times while I was in KL. Catching up with Mo was great. It seems that whenever we see each other we have deep conversations, usually lasting for hours on end over some Teh Tarik or a Limau Ice. Today was no different. A lot has happened over the past year and for both of us there was much to share. It had also been years since I’d seen Jacyntha who was working next door at the animal shelter since her return to KL from 2 years in Guangzhou. Mo dropped me off at Silat later on and I was all ready to go. In the past I had this aversion to heading to Silat, like it was something of great difficulty. But this time it’s been different. I know I’m going work up a sweat, I’m going to be sitting a lot, meditating and even doing some sparring and I now really look forward to it. Even though I never know how I’m going to get all the way back out to USJ… Tonight was no exception either. The one thing though, was that tonight Nazri told me the story of how Tok Guru passed away. I’d been waiting to find out, but I didn’t want to ask when the time wasn’t right. A month of fighting in the hospital against a case of full-blown diabetes had him lose his leg as well as his life. Nazri told me they went to visit him a few times before he requested to be left alone with his family. During those visits he spoke as if he knew he wasn’t going to be around much longer. He asked us all to keep doing what we’ve been doing, pushing forward and helping people. He would always and is always, around us in spirit, a spirit that will never die. Nazri also said he spoke of me, saying that I will never stray far from South East Asia and that I will accomplish a lot and be successful. I will truly and dearly miss the man that was Tok Guru. So we all await the announcement of the next Tok Guru. After the 100th day following death his family will open and read his Will, which will kill all the speculation going around. All this should happen before my return to KL at the end of April. I followed Nazri back to his place and decided that Wednesday would be the day I submit my application for my Indonesian Visa.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Weekend Update

Friday, Had a meeting with Petrina at Laundry about the planning for the series of shows in May, looks like things are pretty much confirmed now so it’s a matter of organizing and getting the sponsors on board, More writing to do. So much for having time, the schedule’s been filling up fast but it’s all good cause I’ve been able to link with a lot of people in the week that I’ve been here. I hung out at Laundry for a little while before linking with Brian, one of our Silat brothers. Brian’s runs a tattoo studio just around the corner from The Curve called Exodus with his cousin Aaron. Ayi, a longtime Silat brother had planned to get one done, so we met up at the mamak (food shop) for a drink. It was the first time since I’ve been back I had the chance to see Nazri, as I missed him the night before cause he was in JB helping his mother-in-law. After a few drinks with the crew and we headed to the studio to get busy on Ayi. Lydia, Ayi’s girlfriend, sat with us as we tried to figure out a design that would fit Ayi’s personality, finally located a nice tribal design. Going through the books brought back memories of when I got my tattoo done in Bali just over 10 years ago. It also made me think about doing another one, I think it’s about time… so with the stencil pasted on his arm, Ayi got seated and prepared for his first tat. Less than a moment away from the ink and needle he changed his mind, deciding that a tattoo was just not for him. So as Ayi thought about it Lydia got hers touched up and we teased Ayi about being scared. As the wee hours arrived and no tattoo for Ayi I headed back to Brian’s to crash out there because there was no way to be getting back to USJ. Yi Kin was working early and it wouldn’t be right to roll through at like 3am waking him up. As far as ideas go, Brian and I discussed the possibility of shooting a video clip to help promo the shop and do up a song relating to tattooing. Would be cool to shoot it while I get my next one!

Saturday…Yi Kin was working again and I had a rehearsal set with the boys from Transient Vortex, a drum and bass outfit from KL, so I ended up just chilling with Brian and watching Babel. It had been a late night and sleeping on the floor with the cushions wasn’t as comfortable as I thought it could be. Sugs rolled through to pick me up just after 2pm and we headed to Pantai Hill Park to his place to go through the set for Thursday. Years ago when I first arrived in KL to spend a bit of time I stayed with friends in Pantai Hill Park. While Sugs lives in Phase 2, I was up the road in Phase 5 with Huda and David. Memories came flooding back, making beats in the closet for Da Joint and the beginnings of my Milo addiction. Not long after, Sam came by and we were ready to check out the beats and see how flows would sound on the parts they wanted me in on. I’ve only had minimal experience rapping over D&B, so I’m really looking forward to this event next Thursday at Maison! The session went really good, we listened to more tunes, talked about manufacturing in Malaysia and talked music. I’m trying to make a point of expanding my musical horizons this year, branching out to do more collaborations and experiment with other genres and styles, some of which may even be in the commercial sounding realm of things. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone a little. As we got into the evening Petrina invited me to crash at her place to make it easier for us to do Sunday brunch. We met at Laundry and I chilled with Nesh by the DJ consol for most of the night. Kim, a Danish rock musician has been visiting Malaysia and staying at Trina’s place for the two weeks he’s been in town. We had a drink and once Nesh had finished, headed back to catch some sleep before an early start to brunch creation. Finally a bed all to myself!

Sunday… Don’t you just love it when you go a day and only eat home cooked food! Especially when it’s delicious Malaysian delicacies. Trina went all out with her stuffed squid, garden pasta, sliced Chinese style beef and sweet potato curry shrimp. There was plenty to go around, and by the end of it, we were all nicely stuffed. Adding to the food was wireless Internet, another luxury I forget to really appreciate while I was in Canada. At least we got Starbucks out here, where you can you can buy overpriced coffee, plug in and get online. Speaking of which, this blog is being uploaded right now from the Starbucks at The Curve! I was supposed to meet Kelvin down by Laundry but in the end he didn’t make it in time before I had to head across town to Taman Melawati to meet Dr. Wan and his family for dinner. By the time I got there it was after 8pm and it had taken well over 2 hours… from one side of KL to the other then all the way back to USJ again! Salleh had taken it on him to cook up some Kampung style dishes and things were ready to go when I got in the door. The food was so good! I filled my plate a second time and enjoyed the variety of food that was there. I felt kinda bad that I had to leave so soon after arriving, Nesh was waiting to pick me up to go to the studio for one of his projects. One of the boys dropped me of at the LRT station and I headed all the way back across town to Taman Jaya where Nesh came to get me. It turned out the session was postponed and instead we were going to hang out with some of his friends at a BBQ they were having by the pool of their condo, where I stuck to the home cooked food and indulged in sweet tasting potato salad. It turned into a pretty late night actually, so Nesh thought it best I crash at his place cause we were going to meet Jake Man Monday to talk about a few things bubbling on the horizon, but in the end he left me at Yi Kin’s place so he could make it in time to pick up his friend who was arriving at Pudu. I guess all in all it was a good weekend and I was looking forward to the coming week and all the things planned out.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Jet Lagged...

I don’t seem to have the time every night to write, I’ve been getting back really late and still adjusting to the heat and the new time zone. I’m happy I’m keeping this journal, it’s an exercise mainly designed to help me keep track of all the things that have been happening in my life and one that has mainly been while abroad. Whether people read my blog or not doesn’t really matter to me, it’s more about putting it down, collecting the data and using it in the future for my book. But if you are reading, and I don’t really expect anyone to read everything here, please do leave me a comment and let me know who you are and how you’re doing. This is my way of keeping my friends and family updated on my life, send me a line and let me know how you are doing.

Yesterday was mostly in anticipation. I haven’t been to Silat in a while now and since the death of Tok Guru I wasn’t sure what to expect. Not that much would really change amongst our brother and sisters, but I imagined it would be a topic of conversation. I was feeling lazy as I sat around the house with Yi Kin. He had the day off and we planned to do some music, but sleeping in and going for lunch killed most of the time we had. We did go through some beats and I’ve got one sitting in front of my waiting until I finish this entry for some lyrical love. Finally got to dig in to some Chinese mixed rice. It’s one of my favorite things to eat, all the choices or toppings on your rice and the price is usually just right too. Here in KL you don’t normally pay more than 5RM ($1.80CAD) for a meal. My mixed rice was about 4.50. Oh I wish food was this economic in Toronto! Back at the house I did some writing, catching up on the journal entries. Yi Kin put on a movie, while I complained that we were supposed to work on a track, but the movie was pretty good. 13 Tzameti was a story of murder for money, a game where the players risk their lives in a high-stakes roulette game with loaded pistols. In black and white it the effect was similar to a Hitchcock film, the blood was not visible but the texture remained rich. Time had run out, I got ready to bounce out to Dato Keramat for Silat. I’m really loving the new bus system, getting all the way there in just over an hour and in more comfort than the usual metro bus. Jake had asked us all to arrive early to tidy the house and when I arrived I joined in cleaning up the yard. The house is looking as good as it probably could, being old and falling apart it’s changed a lot over the years since I started my Silat there in 2004. Nazri couldn’t make it, he was still in JB helping with his family. Sometimes I’m lazy to go to Silat, knowing that I’m going to be worked hard, doing Kuda Kuda, Tepang and the buka tutup. But I always know once I get there everything is great. Today was no exception, we had a great work out with Jake leading us through. It’s been a while since I’d done any sparring, so it was good to get into the fray again and get the adrenaline bubbling. Catching up with everyone again was great. Ayi and his students came all the way up from Melaka and although I was hoping to see Shah and Iz I was happy all the same. I’d planned to go out to Maison to see DJ Goldfish and T-Bone but nearing the end of the night and after eating I felt myself beginning to fade away. It was getting late anyways and I was wondering how I was going to get all the way back out to USJ. I caught a ride with Rajdesh and Brain to Kelana Jaya and Yi Kin came through to pick me up. We quickly met with Tim, Lestat, April and a few others for a drink, some chit chat and much to my delight drove home to sleep.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Reshmonu's Laundry

My second night back in KL was a little overwhelming. The jetlag is still kicking my ass, I try to expect more of myself but time to adjust is important if I don’t want to wear myself out. Taking the afternoon off to snooze and watch a movie at Yi Kin’s place I thought it would help me re-energize for the night ahead. I made a move to the bus stop and wondered exactly how I would get to The Curve. KL isn’t the easiest city to get around, but over the years I’ve learned how to navigate it quite well. I know the city better than some of my friends here even, which surprises me sometimes. USJ is a suburb of KL, it sits off the highway that leads to airport, KLIA. I would say it’s about 30KM from the city centre and not very much goes on out there. The T63 Rapid KL is a new bus and I was happy it finally started running since the last time I was here. I had planned to go all the way to KL Sentral to see if I could meet with Yaniz and get a ride up to Damansara Perdana where The Curve is. While I was on the bus I had to make a quick decision and bounced out at a stop where I could hop on the LRT at Asia Jaya station and move three stops over to Kelana Jaya. From that point Yi Kin had told me there was a shuttle bus direct to One Utama mall from where I could easily get to The Curve. Taking public transit in this city is a job for the patient. Waiting for buses, dealing with crowds and of course the evening traffic. From where the bus dropped me off at One Utama I could see The Curve and it was definitely within walking distance. I’d finally made it, one and a half hours after I’d left Yi Kin’s in USJ.

It was Reshmonu’s CD release party and the atmosphere was growing as the sun left my sight. The stage was immaculate, Hitz.tv was there and had cameras set up all around along with a crane for those swooping pan shots. The stage was set up for a 12piece band, full horn section and the works. I was excited to see the outcome of all the hard work Resh and Rodney had put in. This is Resh’s 2nd album and doing a free launch along with a delayed broadcast on Hitv was a big move for the local R&B singer. I came just as he was giving his press release inside Laundry Bar. Decked out in costume that reminded me of something outta Star Trek Resh’s hair was even further out of this world. His colourful extensions were wired and sticking up in all direction, I was worried if he had to walk through a doorway.

I’ve been coming to Malaysia now for over 8 years, mainly for doing music related projects and visiting the good friends I’ve made here. So whenever I come back there’s always a lot of catching up to do and most often it occurs the way it did last night, at an event. I had a meeting lined up with the boys from the drum and bass crew Transient Vortex, we had talked online about doing something together and they invited me to perform with them on the 8th of February. We flushed out some details, they passed me a CD and locked down a rehearsal for next Saturday. A lot of ideas have been flowing recently, as I sat with Murat and the boys from IGC I thought it would be great to have a backing band for the album launch in May, partly inspired by the set up Resh had that evening I guess. Yi Kin didn’t want to come, but said he would roll through to pick me up. Just as the night started getting live I get the call from him that he was almost at The Curve. I’d been chilling with Pop Shuvit talking about ideas for collaborating, spoke to Mizz Nina and Jeevan as well as Ashwin about the same thing and I also ran into MC Size, Balan and Nav. I was hoping to see Joe to talk about album related things, I still haven’t heard back from him yet. Bex, Shannan and Joanne surprised me and it was also great to see Nesh, who pulled me up on the mic to drop a little rhyme for the people. Just after I was done the freestyle Yi Kin arrived so I had to bounce out even though I wanted to stick around for a while longer. Ah, there will be other times I’m sure, and although it was overwhelming, it’s those situations on which I thrive. We headed back up to USJ with a pitstop at the internet café, lots of online work has been put off since I’ve got no steady internet access. Still more to do!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

KL KL... Big City of Dreams

KL KL big city of dreams… Time has always been of the essence, whether in a rush or taking your time, it ticks on at the same pace but internally it often creates the impression of a different sort. I now know firmly that things don’t always happen as you may plan. Leaving the tarmac and ascending into the clouds above the islands that make up Hong Kong I was predicting some minor trouble upon my arrival in KL. Since I hadn’t heard back from Nazri I wasn’t assuming there would be someone at the airport, so my first mission was to refill my mobile pre-paid. I went straight for the shop to get my hot link top up and was messing with my phone wondering what was going on. It turned out that my number was no longer in service and apparently had not been registered. In fact, I had already registered before I left Malaysia at the end of September 2006 and I wanted to figure out exactly what was going on. I went to information, they called around, I went back to the shop, I went to the post office and at last broke down and got a new pre-paid number from the photo shop across the post office. The didn’t happen to be a Maxis outlet at KLIA so I was forced to get a whole new number, so as one of my current aliases I went with Digi. I called Naz and he told me Kahled was waiting for my outside gate 5 so I sped down to arrivals and went to meet him. Ah the heat, another reminder that I was really so far away from Canada. We spoke in the car about the differences between the telcoms here and back home, spoke about the death of Tok Guru and I explained my rational for the move out to Asia. Yi Kin, being at work, told me to head to Sungai Wang to Tim’s shop and chill there until he was done, so Kahled and I made our way through traffic and arrived outside on of the first malls in KL. Knowing it like the back of my hand, I thanked Kahled and made my way with all my belongings to the shop. Tim wasn’t around, so I soaked it all up, happy to be back in Malaysia. I thought about the things I had written about on the flight over from Hong Kong, the ideas that I have been working on and about stepping up my game. In fact, I managed to get another track written on that flight, and in order to set the tone of my arrival, its message was very motivational.

Once Tim appeared we went straight around the corner to grab some grub. My first official meal in Malaysia wouldn’t seem like anything special, just some bee hoon goring loaded with chili and a glass of Chinese tea ice. Tim and I caught up, laughed, and finished up the meal to head around to see about unlocking my BlackBerry. After much effort it would seem that BB’s are not at all common out here and no one could help. I guess I’ll wait to try my luck in Singapore or Jakarta. Yi Kin showed up not long after excited to talk about music and new ideas we walked around looking for somewhere to sit, have a drink and chat. It always takes time to reconnect with people after so long and being a lot has gone down since we last met I knew it wasn’t gonna be simply a chat over tea.

Jet lag began to set in as Tim closed the shop. Yaniz came through as well as David aka Lestat. More food was on the menu and we shuttled over to this hidden away Chinese restaurant. The food was great as we sat around shooting the shit. I played Yaniz some new music and we talked about the possibilities of working together to get some shows set up. Things seemed to be moving along at a good pace, I must always remember to be patient and not fall for the paper chase. It will all come in due course. I was fading fast, but I really wanted to have a teh tarik and a gudang garam. It wasn’t until 1am that that craving had been satisfied. On my last legs we hit the mamak before concluding the night. If it wasn’t for the fact I didn’t really sleep on the flight over I might have been able to hold out. Actually, this afternoon after having a solo meal down the street from Yi Kin’s place, I passed out on the couch and caught up a little bit. I needed that re-energizing. So, it’s almost 5pm and I gotta make a move out before it gets too late. Yi Kin’s at work and I’m headed to The Curve to catch Reshmonu’s album launch party! A lot of catching up yet to do, February is just a day away!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cocoland Lot100

The mango gummy

If you live inside a national park you tend to take more advantage of the nature. So on my last day on the island I decided I would follow the trail up to the peak of mount Maxwell one last time. Often my walks through the park turned into a work out with pit stops to absorb the scenery, greenery and sounds of the wind whistling through the trees. To me it’s a reminder that we are truly alone in the world and as an independent person and only child I’ve learned and practiced many ways to keep myself busy. I’ve got my games and my moments of reflection. Nature proffers reflection on my thoughts and future actions by way of its solitude. In my life that’s similar to meditation and what happens most nights before I fall asleep. Alone through out the whole trek I soaked up the sun on one of the benches and began my return. As I treaded back to the trail home I trade places with the car just pulling into the parking lot. I laughed about it and continued on my way shining in the irony stopping half way down to absorb a certain clearing and fork in the path. I looked down and I saw it, Cocoland lot100 Mango Gummy. Glowing yellow like the sun in between the trees I picked it up, my newfound treasure. Upon inspection I noticed the gummy came from Malaysia! Perfect timing all things considered. A smile crept upon my face beaming down on my find. I wanted to eat it right there, but instead I put it in my pocket and elected hold on to my booty. Having had the whole trail to myself I bumped into a newbie figuring out exactly where to enter the trail. I passed on my direction pointing out the fork in the road where he had to follow to the left. A lot of messages you can read out of my morning accent, facing my own forking the road of life, seeing signs and accepting the first destination as the reality it is.

So as I sit here at the airport sipping on a warm cup of java it’s finally kicking in. (the journey as well as the coffee) Oh the airport… What a relationship we have. We’re never together very long, but always sharing very intimate moments in time. Transitional affairs that could rarely be considered one-night stands. I see the faces, everyone with something in common. Coming from somewhere, going somewhere, working in it or loitering. It’s an intricate yet simple relationship that I’ve learned to build and love.

Well… I’m in HK… Sitting in the waiting lounge after a lengthy flight. I managed to accomplish quite a bit, with the exception of sleep…I did a fair bit of writing and thinking. I shed a tear. I watched two movies and I got my food before everyone else! Yes, I pulled the old special meal trick… So free Wi-Fi is good, I’ve already been on MSN, checked my emails and now going to upload this blog once I’m done writing. Wont be too long now though, my flight to KL leaves in about an hour. I’m caught between imagining there will be someone to pick me up in KL when I get in, to thinking if there isn’t I can just settle in there and hop on the free Wi-Fi and see what happens... Too bad Telus has YVR all locked down and you have to pay, Canada is so wack when it comes to the stranglehold the telcoms have over the public. Anyways, check the photos and I’m out!!! Cocoland here we come!!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Last Night in Canada

Yes, the last night in Canada has finally arrived. It’s getting into the wee hours now and I am just uploading some beats for my man Phil IE aka The Rhyming Chef who has been working hard on his dope project. Check him out! So this entry will just be an assortment of random thoughts… Leafs beat the Habs, looked pretty convincing and made me happy to see them win for my last game I’ll catch this season. Not that I’ll really miss hockey, or basketball for that matter, I just enjoy catching it on TV when I can. Still a fan! Yup yup, this will be my last time online til I reach KL. I’ve already said my goodbyes to my online homies and finishing up this last blog entry before I head upstairs and begin packing up my things. Still haven’t packed… So the money finally came through and all is well on the financial front for the time being, but I still haven’t worked out my ride from the airport yet. No cause for alarm, the urban camper always knows what to do. I was speaking with my girl Saer Ze on MSN about a few tricks of the travel trade. The latest one I came up with was based around food. You never know where they put you on the plane, and if you’re hungry and brought no snacks sometimes you have to wait til the end of the line you get yours. Simply ask at the check-in counter for a special meal. Usually airlines have an assortment of these to choose from, so take your pick, and you are guaranteed to get your meal before the generic food comes rolling down the isle. Now aren’t we special! Any other tips you ask? Maybe another day… there is work still to do!

“A day of waste means a day of haste”
- Vandal

Canada World Youth

CWY 1993/1994 Quebec/Indonesia,

I remember everything so vividly, like it was yesterday. I don't think I am alone either. I believe anyone who has been a part of this program could easily recall their experiences, whether good or bad.

Having applied late I was put on the waiting list, thanks to Duncan, who I had interviewed for school the previous year. The phone rang at home and I answered. I was told that someone had dropped out of the program, that there was a space available and was I interested? Of course I was I answered without even knowing where I'd be heading. It turned out to be Indonesia. I looked at my atlas right away and thought WOW! I wonder who that person is who gave their space up for me, if you're out there, I'd really love to hear from you and thank you.

Well, I'm happy I participated and met the people I met, who to this day I am still in touch with a number of. You all mean a lot to me! You and Canada Wolrd Youth changed my life.


To Grandma with Love

We miss you, we love you and we will always try and keep in touch where ever in the world we are!!! Grandma, it was great to talk to you today! I hope you are feeling better and maintain your good health!

My Grandma is 82 years old, she is an amazing woman who has lived her life to the fullest. She has taught me a lot over the years and I love her dearly! I will miss visiting you in Virgil while I am gone. Your cooking is the best and your company even better! I know you wont ever read this, you dont have a computer, but that's not going to stop me from writing. And yes, I will send you postcards like you've requested! I think the last time I sent a postcard was to you... Who does that anymore??? Hahaha... So with all my love, I hope to see you again soon!

Your Grandson,

Newsletter Vol. 1

Urban Camping Vol. 1 Jan. 2007

Peace and greetings friends and fam.

I hope everyone has begun settling into the New Year already, that resolutions are being followed and that this newsletter sees you all in good health. 2006 has come and gone, it’s a time for new beginnings. Here at Urban Camper Entertainment the new start is very exciting and we cant wait to begin sharing it all with you. Thanks for you continued support and love! So, as they say in the business, let’s get on with the show!

New Myspace page for Urban Camper Entertainment!!! Come and check out new material and add us as a friend!!!
- www.myspace.com/gourbancamping

Asian Tour:
Tomorrow, Sunday Jan 28th, is a landmark day. The rebirth of a classic obsession, Vandal will be journeying into a new phase of his life and career as an Artist. Of all his previous journeys and tours this one in particular is of special importance. To mark this momentous occasion we invite you to join us and become a part of the movement. Vandal, after years of thought on the subject, has decided to make his travel journals public. There have been plans of writing a book, so this ‘blog’ will serve as the pilot project. If you want to follow along in the adventures of the nomadic addict, just follow the link below.

Urban Camping – Confessions of a Nomadic Addict
- http://vandigtal.blogspot.com
- You can subscribe to the blog by clicking the RRS feed icon in the top right of the address/URL bar to be automatically updated. Spread the word!

A number of shows are still in the works but we have conformation that Vandal will be performing at the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 3rd 2007. The event will feature Vandal collaborating with Larry’s (SOVA) band and an ensemble of senior jazz musicians from Indonesia. Look out for more listings coming soon.

Hip Hop Gumbo Radio:
My man Sabotawj from San Diego put me on to this online radio show called Hip Hop Gumbo hosted by the lovely Renaissance. The show airs every Tuesday 7-9 (EST) and features Independent Hip Hop from around the world. Look out this Tuesday (Jan. 30th) for music from Vandal!

Hip Hop Gumbo on Renaissance Radio
- www.renaissanceonline.net/hiphopgumbo.htm (Select you streaming options)
- www.myspace.com/RealRenaissance for the myspace heads.
hiphopgumbo@hotmail.com to send shout outs.

New Collaborations in the works… Get ready for new music coming soon. We will let you know once things are ready to go!!! These are worldwide collaborations featuring artists and producers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, UK, USA, Italy, Chile, Japan, Canada and more…

New Feature:
Check Vandal together with Masia One featured on the track ‘Emcee’s Act Like They Don’t Know’. This track is on the fresh ‘Key 2 Da City’ mixtape released last month by Sabotawj out of San Diego. You can find it on the Urban Camper Ent. Myspace page now.

Thanks to everyone for all your continued support and look out for more newsletters coming soon!!! Also don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to follow the adventures!!!

Peace and blessings from the whole staff here at UCE!!!
- Vandal

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Packing List

Ever Wonder what an Urban Camper takes on a long haul trip to Asia? Pay attention, you might learn something, whatever it is...

- Pants (3 jeans + 3 dress)
- Shorts (3 + 1 swim)
- T-Shirts (8+)
- Shirts (3 + HNC)
- Sweater (1)
- Jacket (2)
- Socks (10)
- Underwear (8)
- Sarongs (2)
- Baju Silat

- Music Biz, Cant Stop..., English Grammar (3)
- Writing (2)

- Laptop + HD, Cables, CDR (in case)
- Camera + Accessories (in case)
- Loop Pedal + Mic, Cables
- MDR + Disks, Mic, Cables
- Digital Still Camera
- Phone + BB, iPod
*Power Bar!!!

- Selected CD/DVD
- Barang2 Silat
- Toiletries
- Papers, Wallet & Other stuff?

I think I've narrowed it down enough so it all fits in 1 check-in Backpack, 1 carry-on back pack, camera bag and laptop bag... we will see on Sunday how it all fits!

"If I wasn't an artist, I wouldn't be a materialist"
- Vandal

Me and my Travel Bug

Another day closer to departure and it hasn’t quite set it yet. Could it be all the years of a similar process that has me at ease with all of this? Travelling infected my system such a long time ago now, it’s become symbiotic, a part of me, thick in my blood. I wonder if these entries are a little too long, cause I know people these days just don’t have the attention span or the time. Fuck it, I don’t really care. They will come out however long they do, they are what they are and that they will be!

An entertaining day with the puppies again. After mopping a couple of puddles up and settling in on the couch to catch my last Raptors game of the season, they piled onto me and entered doggy sleep. As a nice going away present, the Raptors pulled out a win against the nagging Celtics, Bosh is definitely looking primed for the All Star game. Watch out!!! Tomorrow will be my last dose of my home teams as the Leafs play Montreal, but by the looks of it, my suspicions tell me it’s going to be a heartbreaker. I’m not obsessed with sports like I used to be, but it seems with so much garbage on TV even catching Poker is exciting…

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. I will be sorting through my stuff again, selecting what comes and what stays. I think I’ll post my packing list after this post, just for the fun of it. Leaving Toronto was the biggest of all challenges, moving stuff out of the storage space, transferring it, sorting, purging and then packing it to come out here (Salt Spring Island). This will be a more relaxing process, kinda like picking the best of the best and what is truly needed for my impending adventure. Then I have to fit it all in my bags…

I’ve also decided I would send out a newsletter. One last edition before I hit the road. I’ve been doing these newsletters for a number of years now and find people still take the time to read them and reply. This one will be special though, because it will be the first to be posted on the blog site as well. A lot is going on in the life of Vandal, my alter ego, and this is what we do to let the friends and family know.

I’ll keep it short tonight, as last night I got tangled up in watching Borat on www.peekvid.com. Oh how I laughed when they were wrestling in the hotel room naked and then ran into one of the ballrooms during a function. Drove me to tears… Anyways and as always… A Quote.

“Create or Die”
- Vandal

Friday, January 26, 2007

Paging Dr. Tangent...

I’ve always wanted to be a scientist. Since I was young I was into robotics, RC cars, computers. I used to draft up inventions I would come up with. One of them was this remote controlled vacuum cleaner, custom fitted with bumpers and the works. I was watching this show tonight on TV, brought me right back to the realization that if I wasn’t an artist I would most likely be a scientists, and probably in the field of computers or nanotechnology. Like, who predicted the iPhone like 2 years ago? I did… Touchscreen technology? Some said it couldn’t be done. Right Gee? Well… I did. Hmmm. That might not seem like much of an accomplishment, but to me, it’s a big deal. Probably like how if george orwell was still alive he would have been like, look! Look what I told you! I was a few decades off but it’s there for all to see if you read between the lines. That’s led me to think about manifest destiny. With a thought can we really create our future?

Now I’m not trying to get too deep in this here journal, as it is only supposed to serve as an outline to my future book, but these are things clog the cognitive wheels as they churn out my thoughts. Come to think of it, I didn’t make it outside at all today. I did wake up late though, enjoying not having a clock staring at me when I struggle through the fogginess of the morning. I trust my internal clock as it’s never really failed me before. Except for that time in… ah well that’s another story isn’t it. Isn’t it? Yes it is. It was a day of fog on the mountain. So thick I could see it move from out the window. I wondered what it tasted like. I mean, on my trek up the mountain a few days ago I could taste the salt from the ocean in the air. Makes sense though, as the laws of humidity state. It was another day online and in front of the TV. I’d rather not think of it as time wasted, myspace has ensnared my lately and reaching out to people on email seems a daily routine when you’ve got internet access at home. Something that in a few days wont be the case. So my logic is to take advantage of it as much as I can before it’s too late! It’s crossed the line into Friday and in 3 more days it will be too late. I think I’m looking forward to the liberation, as there’s really only so much you can do to fight getting caught up in all the distractions of the online world. No more MSN conversations with people, no more checking my email every 2 hours, no more waiting for the wire transfer… oh yeah, I forgot, it still hasn’t arrived in my bank… But anyways, you get the idea right? So what am I to do with all this new found time on my hands? Music. That’s the mission. Writing, it will be the guiding force behind it all, there is no doubt about it. I thought about it today as I was chatting with my boy Skavenjah on MSN. He asked me how much money I was going out to Asia with. I scratched my head in disbelief when the answer came, only about $100. And I intend to be gone for how long? You know, nothing is impossible. My life is proof that you can pretty much do anything you want. At least almost all the time, and at a price of course.

So I thought about what the first month is going to be like out there in KL. I’m going to be back at Yi Kin’s place, more than an hour from the city, making music while he goes to work. I’ve got it all planned out. I’m gonna get some food to cook, stay in the house and make music. What more can you do when you don’t want to be flat broke one week into a life long journey? It’s only a matter of time before some money rolls through and I can make the next move towards financial freedom! I am the purest of optimists. That’s what people like about me I think. That and I’m a risk taker with faith in his abilities. Ladies, is that what you like? Hmmm…

So yeah, the back up plan. Every great escape artist always has one. I picked a few books out from downstairs. My mom, Christa, used to teach ESL back in the day and she probably didn’t think her resource books would ever come in handy again, unless one of the dogs suddenly became adept at another form of communication other than bark bark. You probably guessed it already. It’s something that most people think I’ve been doing all this time I’ve been traveling to Asia. Little do they really know I’ve mastered the art of being a nomad and living off the skills I’ve finely crafted. Music. So the back up plan… I got word from a friend that a university degree is not compulsory, but I would need to brush up on my grammar. 2 books, that’s my limit. I’ve done my packing list and that’s where it’s at. See, it is just a back up, I don’t want to be lugging around a complete English library when I might not even be teaching. I think I’ve found my book. We’ll see if it ever gets used. I have other back up plans you know!

Wow, I actually just went to check one of my 5 email accounts… nothing new to report yet… So as the new day begins I’m again thinking about distractions. I think I’ll take advantage of the internet before I fall asleep and watch a movie. Yup, you can do that these days… it’s called peekvid.com people, youtube is just for those with short attention spans. It’s good night from the mountain, 2 more nights to go! And tomorrow will probably be my last hockey game I’ll catch this season too… Montreal VS Toronto, classic original 6 match up!

Dr. Tangent is not an alias he’s my reality
- Vandal

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A New Beginning

There’s never really a good way to start a book other than to start it. Whether it even makes the cut and into print is another story completely. I’ve had this idea to write a book for ages now, but new things seem to always pop up and make life more distracting to the process. I’ve figured out a new way to make it happen now… through writing a travel journal of sorts. Through the eyes of a nomadic addict, an urban camper… but what’s the back-story? How did all of this come about? I mean, it’s my life right? It started when I was born, and that would a pretty lengthy back-story there wouldn’t it? So we move on with the present and into the future leaving the history of how we got here something that will emerge as the story unfolds.

I’m about to make the journey to Asia, a journey I have made many times before. Being in relative solitude, apart for a pack of dogs and my parents, I’ve appreciated the quiet respite here on salt spring island. Since my parents moved out here a few years ago I’ve been all over the map, both physically and in life and haven’t had a great deal of time to spend here. It’s been escaping Toronto during winter holidays only to get snowed in or during the summer being put to work on the land, a new and invigorating life for the urban camper. Key word urban. So here we are, only 4 days before I’m packed and ready, on the ferry and off across the sea. Finally settling down to write this up, trying to make a habit of it all as to get it into your hands. So what makes my life so interesting? I guess you’re about to find out aren’t you?

So jump right into my life, start now, there’s no turning back. The ticket has been paid for, not in the manner I’d expected it to be done, more like asking a favour while waiting for the promoter to wire the cash on over so you can pay off your parents visa in time for the due date… tomorrow… such is life that things don’t always go as planned, even if you’re plans are on point and the stuff dreams are made of. Is this an easy read so far? So the shows in KL have been pushed back, but Carol sent the wire to my bank just a few days back, after my urgent request and miscommunication it seems to have sorted itself out in the end, as it always does. This thing called faith is a driving force in my life. I’ve ridden it long and hard, it’s always treated me as I’ve treated it and if I spend another day waiting I may never get to do what I’ve been waiting for. But in this case I am and I am happy to say that by Monday morning I will be on a flight bound for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

But for now, I lay here in bed staring at a computer screen as the words spread across the page. I went for a walk with my mom today, actually it was the dogs who walked us. A pack of jack russel’s with the lone French mastiff. Names huh? Is that what you want? My mom fought hard to keep Maggie from getting preggo but the suit Maxyne made her got lost in the bushes one night and Bob managed to get up in there resulting in yet another litter, of which two puppies remain. Gerty and Harriet. So the 8 of us sauntered down the driveway downhill from the house and out the gate. My parents live on 48 acres of forest just off mount Maxwell nation park, a beautiful and scenic home, a paradise indeed. The driveway is just over a click long so it’s not quite like going to the corner and back. The snow has finally melted, water’s flowing down the side of the road and I can see green again. For a while there we were snowed in, but this time at least the power stayed on and it hasn’t been cold enough to start a fire in the last 3 days. It’s been quite pleasant actually.

I love to walk. Been doing it all my life almost and I hope I’ll be doing it for a while to come still, in fact it’s one of my preferred methods of transportation. I like bikes too. Anything that makes you feel like you’ve put some effort into getting to your destination is the type of reward I’m looking for. The puppies we’re cute to watch, playing as they went, hesitant of the flowing water, but adventurous none the less. Yes, I’m an animal lover, but to a certain degree. There are some things about owning a pet that conflict with the way I live my life. I’m on the road way too much, I’m usually broke and I might expect a little too much out it. Let a dog be a dog, that’s all I have to say.

Television has been a muse lately. I’m not a big fan of it, but it does serve a purpose. The opiate of the masses indeed, as I watched yet another episode of American idol in between playing with the puppies. It’s amazing isn’t it? I predict within the next 10 years, the one of the next American presidents will be elected through reality TV. Mark my words. I’ve been right on the iPhone, which will be reaching Canada soon no doubt. Educational? I think not. It’s all a big waste of time for the artist in me, but sometimes you need to escape yourself to find yourself again don’t you? That’s why god invented the internet! I’ve been getting my fill of online activities lately. I know once I get to Malaysia I wont have regular access and that I wont be able to check my 4 email accounts, 3 myspace accounts, facebook and the dreaded bank account as I wait for the wire transfer to magically appear in my savings account. Yes, I’ve gone overboard this time. What will I do if I cant see who sent me a message for like 2 to 3 days?

Have you ever spent almost the whole day in front of your computer tapping and clicking away? Sure, those of you who use it for work everyday can relate, but what about the artists out there? Networking baby, that’s what it’s all about. If it wasn’t for the internet I wouldn’t even be going to Malaysia right now. For better or for worse who really knows, that’s why my life is what it is right now and I’m headed to the far east. You’d think I’d be excited, I’m not. Well, ok I lied, I am pretty excited to be embarking on this new adventure. This trip is very symbolic. It’s a new beginning. It’s like shedding an old skin that has been slowly peeling away, not quick enough, but now you know when the last follicle will fall. Refreshing. So it’s like 1:52 am now, I’m feeling drowsy, the puppies will be up in about 5 hrs whining to be released from their cage and me the light sleeper will be tossing about the bed thinking of the dream I had but not remembering it when I get up because of a lack of focus or care. The preparation continues tomorrow. So let’s end this with a little quote I will make up for my own amusement. The joy!!!

Life is life because we believe it is, and this belief makes it whatever we want
- Vandal