JASON KUI, a Hong Kong-based rock and blues musician and composer, is a session and touring guitarist who has worked for many well-known artists and singers in Hong Kong and China. As a teenager, he was drawn to the playing of Eddie Van Halen, John Petrucci and Andy Timmons and when it came time to put together his own instrumental album, he looked to them for inspiration.
Kui’s debut album, Absence of Words, features diverse sounds – modern metal, hard rock, funk and ballad – while integrating rock lead techniques and compelling melodies throughout. Prosthetic Records made the album available for the first time outside of Hong Kong on October 13th, 2017.
“Fortunately for me, instrumental music is popular again like in the 80’s, and it has no language barriers – an Asian rock or pop singer could never find a large audience in the US or Europe. Prosthetic Records is known for great instrumental artists, like Marty Friedman. Getting signed by Prosthetic is quite unbelievable. It has been my ambition for years to be signed by an American label. I hope this will lead to a tour and performing in the US.”
Absence of Words was mixed and mastered in New York by Matthew Sim at German Studios and Alex Psaroudakis at Sterling Sound and features several other guest musicians, including one of the most in-demand bassists in Hong Kong, Chan Siu Kei, as well as American modern metal drum virtuoso, Anup Sastry.
Sastry played on all the tracks on the album and his unique, modern sound and incredible techniques are recognisable in every song. Kui comments, “Anup is not only a technically skilled drummer, he has great musical taste and groove. He asked me before recording each song how I wanted it to sound. All I had to say was ‘Do your stuff!’”
When Absence of Words originally became available for pre-sale in February, 2017, it sold out in 2 days with only social media marketing and a strong word of mouth in the online guitar world driving things. The album received great reviews and was featured in trade publications throughout Hong Kong and China, and Kui has been interviewed for radio and print media as well.
One of the biggest newspapers in Hong Kong, MING PAO, had this to say about the release: “The whole album is so energetic with good melodies. Drum and bass work so well together. Very high quality production. Hong Kongers should be proud.”
On June 9, Jason presented “Absence of Words Live” to a full house in Hong Kong, with Anup Sastry and Chan Siu Kei as featured musicians. Other locally famous singers and musicians were surprise guests, jamming on stage with Kui and the band, who commented on the night, “It was such a great experience; the show surpassed my expectations. I received so much support from fans and friends, especially Kei and Anup. Definitely a high point of my career.” Kui hopes to tour throughout the rest of the world soon to continue supporting the album.
Jason started his career as a sideman at the age of 23, and has played countless shows at the Coliseum, Hong Kong’s largest venue which seats 12,500. He recently finished a two-year world tour as lead guitarist for Eason Chan, the legendary Hong Kong singer. The 135-show tour included venues in China, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA, including Madison Square Garden. The two finale shows were performed at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium to sellout crowds totalling 100,000 people.