Archive for January, 2012

Killeur Calculateur & Orbitcinta Benjamin Split Release Party @ Grafa Bike Cafe, Subang Jaya – 29/1/2012

Just saying, flyers for gigs are a little bit annoying when they just have something as ambiguous as “SS15” as the address of the venue. To put it into Sydney terms, it’s like writing “Petersham” on a flyer. So after walking around SS15, taking unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar directions, I finally found Grafa Bike Cafe. Basically, a “bike cafe” seems to be a cafe that is also a fixie shop, or a fixie shop that is also a cafe, and a place where many fixie-riding people come and hang out. It kind of felt like I’d walk through a portal into Melbourne, except all the people were Asian, not white. The gig was held in the backyard area, which was a very nice place for a gig and many workers from nearby restaurants seemed to come around the back and have a look, or a laugh, at what was going on.

Jin Hackman
18 min 27 sec / 25.3 MB / 192kbps MP3
Its pretty cool getting to see hip hop at a “punk” (or if you wanna get specific “screamo/skramz”) gig. I didn’t think it was that great but there was enough humour and dissing on Reza Salleh to make it worth it. And Arabyrd rapping in one of the verses was a nice surprise too.

Killeur Calculateur
12 min 53 sec / 17.7 MB / 192kbps MP3
For some reason Killeur Calculateur only played for twelve minutes. I hadn’t seen them since almost three years earlier, so maybe that’s just the normal thing for them. Anyway, they were good twelve minutes and I think it would still be good, if not better, if they played for another twelve.

Epaulard
16 min 16 sec / 22.3 MB / 192kbps MP3
This is the band whose name Jin Hackman didn’t know how to pronounce. That’s ok, because I don’t really know either but apparently its what French people call Free Willy. I’ve recorded Epaulard once before but this time they had a new drummer and a keyboard player, which was a pretty cool addition and something I haven’t seen much of in that skramz muzik.

Orbitcinta Benjamin
16 min 21 sec / 22.4 MB / 192kbps MP3
I first heard Orbitcinta Benjamin many years ago on some skramz compilation, I think it was called “Emo Apocalypse”, in which each band had to submit a song that was less than 30 seconds. I enjoyed the Orbitcinta Benjamin song and after figuring out they were from Malaysia I always wanted to see them, even though I wasn’t sure they still existed. Well, they do still exist and I finally got to see them just before saying goodbye to this country. They do that fast, chaotic style skramz.

Frinjan Edisi 26 @ Kompleks Belia dan Kebudayaan Selangor, Shah Alam – 27/1/2012

Frinjan events are usually lots of fun. Even if the bands playing aren’t that great, its still a nice environment to hang out it and have a look around at all the tables of things people are selling. Lots of books, CDs and clothes. At this month’s Frinjan I had a little “free table” with all the stuff I want to get rid of before I leave Malaysia. Thanks to the pak cik who picked up the two books to learn English.

Dum Dum Tak
25 min 6 sec / 34.4 MB / 192kbps MP3
Dum Dum Tak are awesome and I can’t believe it took me this long to realise it. In terms of sound, Dum Dum Tak are just a punk band, but that’s not really the point. The message, is the point (as well as the language its delivered in – Dum Dum Tak being one of the only punk bands I’ve seen to use Malay for the majority, if not all, of their lyrics). I guess in a way Dum Dum Tak feels like they’re Malaysia’s Marjinal, but of course it’s not fair to put so much weight on trying to make comparisons. There’s a cover of The Internationale in Malay, a cover of Nyanyi Budaya Pembebasan and two Marjinal covers – Negri Ngeri and Marsinah. As well as a few of their own songs about politics and life in Malaysia and, of course, the recording includes the sound of all the people around me yelling along to the parts they know.

Members of Dum Dum Tak also recently published a book about punk in Malaysia called Punk Rock: Disebalik Fesyen dan Muzik Bising, which as the title suggests, is written in Malay. When I get around to reading it I might even do a few translations of the good parts. But that might not be for a while. Until then, at least there’s this little recording.

Seruling at A Famosa

Seruling at A Famosa
1 min 15 sec / 1.73 MB / 192 kbps

During a day trip to Melaka, I visited A Famosa, the ruins of a Portuguese fortress built in the early 1500s after Portuguese imperialists defeated the Melaka Sultanate. After entering through the Porta de Santiago entrance gate, I walked up the hill toward the ruins of St Paul’s Church. As I climbed the hill I could hear music being played but couldn’t work out where it was coming from.

When I entered the church ruins I found a man standing in the corner playing a flute-like instrument. The reverb provided by the ruins was really nice and I made a quick recording. After the man stopped playing I asked the man what the instrument was. He called it a seruling and told me that he made it himself. He explained that a seruling is usually made with only five holes (for five notes), but he added two extra holes so he could play seven notes. He also said he could make one for me (for RM 70, if I remember correctly) but I didn’t take him up on the offer.

Shh…Diam! @ Doppel Cafe, KL – 5/1/2012

Just a quiet night out at a new venue in the Central Market Annexe.

Shh…Diam!
36 min 14 sec / 49.7MB / 192kbps MP3
Shh…Diam! playing acoustic (but still plugged in, obviously). A few covers of other people’s songs, a few covers of their own songs, lots of talking and general silliness. Just a bit of fun shared between the band and about 15 friends.