Flying Over the City
This is where it all began.
In 2001 LinDi and SuYong recorded a seven song demo at Huge’s Shanghai studio and Cold Fairyland was born. Famous as a pioneer of MIDI in China, Huge himself was the sound engineer for “Flying Over the City”. This is primal Cold Fairyland. Dark, atmospheric, even gothic - before the traditional instruments and progressive leanings later years would bring. Recorded in two weeks that winter, this underground release is how it all began … newly born, the legend took flight.
Never widely available outside of China, and long out of print, “Flying Over the City” is now available world wide in the same format in which it began - an MP3 download.
A little about the songs, themselves …
After a bright “Morning” comes the twinkling, liquid and dreamy “Sea Rose”.
The lyrics for “Sea Rose” are from a poem by American imagist poet, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle). How exactly it escaped literary circles and washed up on the shores of Shanghai is a mystery.
Rose, harsh rose,
marred and with stint of petals,
meagre flower, thin, (flower)
sparse of leaf,
than a wet rose
single on a stem—
you are caught in the drift.
( you are a sea rose)
Stunted, with small leaf,
you are flung on the sand,
you are lifted
in the crisp sand
that drives in the wind.
can the spice rose
drip such acrid fragrance
hardened in a leaf?
(you are sea flower, sea rose.)
Next is the stylistic “Black Wing”. Even today LinDi refers to unique components of Cold Fairyland’s sound as “Black Wing style”. The intro is a pre-dawn whisper with candy-floss guitar. A blushing synth signals the forthcoming flight. The bass, a moment’s ornament, triggers the takeoff of the sparkling verse. Gathering momentum, the verse climbs till another ripping bass run pitches headlong into the full flight of the dizzying chorus. Here, the drums are kaleidoscopic. Suddenly, it banks and gently glides back into the intro, only to begin anew.
“Who Knows” is a spooky and delicious little tune features Su Yong on lead vocal. Chiming guitar, bubbling synth, syncopated cymbal, the clang of church bells and great washes of reverb set a dark and disturbing tone. At a minute and forty five seconds in, LinDi’s other worldly and wordless vocal puts a knife into the heart and gently twists. The heartbeat of the bass drum ends as the synth’s EKG blip flatlines - “Who Knows” has a fatal conclusion.
After the wistful “Only One” and the dark, minor key sorcery of “Very Much”, “Flying over the City” concludes with a quieter, embryonic version of the anthematic “Waiting for Farewell”. Perhaps the most beloved of all the CFL library, this song has a new generation of hopeful Chinese rockers covering it in their basements and lofts while they wait for their own wind, the wind that will take them ...
Flying Over the City.
Waiting for Farewell
Waiting for the wind to drive me away
I know I got to leave no matter how tight I grasp
Everything ends the same
But the beginning is much better.
Waiting for the wind to drive the sadness away
Nothing would stop in the city
I could no longer hold your hand
And I should be used to the freedom
Without the pale sunset
and the sea waves silently
I would never realize the green trees
and the dreamer in the looking glass
The flowers still blossom in that mid-winter
And bell of death sounds in the air
Along in the deep dark field
I could only watch the future die
All is no longer 'All'
I wait for the final farewell in the wind
Waiting for the end
Waiting for the empty sea
Waiting for the purist night
I come back to this world from the heaven
But they never let me look at your face
that I nearly forgot.