Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Leftyfish - You, Fish! EP (Hitam Kelam Records)

The first 30 seconds of this record are deceiving enough : free-jazz like drumming with saxophone on top trying to keep up with the beat with faint high-pitched yell on the background. Once the distorted guitar came in, there's no mistaken that this is not for the faint of heart. The song went through changes almost every few seconds like a manic kid who tries to play as many notes on as many instruments as possible. The band stops real quick, leaving piano on the background, then re-joined. Tremolo picking over double-bass? check. Piano on the background? check. Saxophone? check. 

There's a definite free-jazz influence here, as well as grindcore and hints of progressive (even though none of the songs are longer than 2 minutes). John Zorn and Tzadic comes to mind. And the high-pitched female yell will surely recall Melt Banana as well. The more metal parts reminds me of Circle Takes The Square. This EP is exciting and I applaud Leftyfish for further establishing Jogjakarta as a hotbed for interesting and somewhat 'different' music. 

However, I do feel that they're most effective when the grindy moments are inter-juxtaposed with the 'random' jazz moments. Tracks such as End Up On The Screen and Trees which display a more straight-forward grind structure doesn't really do much for me. Overall though, this is a really good EP and i'm excited about these guys. It's aggressive, manic, and a bit wacky (in the best way). I can see this band having more crossover appeal. Will be waiting for their next releases for sure. 


Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Best of 2014 List (Part 1) : Top 14 Music Albums of 2014 (Locals Excluded)

So this year i've actually managed to not be a lazy fuck and listen to enough number of albums coming out in 2014 to actually compile a proper list. While there wasn't any album that stood out far and beyond from the rest of the pack, these albums showcased the artists' growth, some degree of experimentation and the willingness to break out of their comfort zones or simply because they sound good to my ears heh.

My 14 favorite albums of 2014 (excluding locals; not in order)

1. Creative Adult - Psychic Mess (Run For Cover)

Ex-members of Life Long Tragedy teamed up with Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Efrim Menuck to produce one of the most captivating records I've heard this year. It's basically hardcore channeled through garage/post-punk sound. The songwriting is quite good and there are some nice breaks and unexpected change in tempos throughout the album, accompanied by swirling chorus-y/flangered guitar sound.The production plays a big part on this record as it manages to showcase the tight rhythm section, highlighting the pounding bass drum or those commanding bass lines when necessary. Permeated with reverb and echo without being overbearing, this album simply sounds thick,dense and awesome.

2. Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io (The Flenser)
Known for their experimental/avant-garde rock/metal tendencies, Kayo Dot has never been one to get too comfortable with one particular sound. One of the things that makes them incredible is their aspiration to always approach a new territory on every record. On Coffins On Io, they go for clean, atmospheric 80's progressive rock. The guitar has taken a bit of back seat, mostly providing clean plucking, letting the other instruments to come forward. The synths are pretty prominent, giving the record that darkwave feel at times. Toby Driver's vocals are also quite substantial here, commanding the melodies throughout the album without any trace of the harsh screams.

3. St. Vincent - St.Vincent (Loma Vista)
I don't care for St. Vincent's new stage persona, or the occasional weird choreography she did with her band when performing now, but Annie Clark (or St. Vincent)'s talent in writing and composing off-kilter pop songs is undeniable. She is also a very talented guitarist, equally as good in finger picking as she is with strumming dissonant distorted chords. St. Vincent is an amalgamation of infectious, eccentric pop songs with electro beats and pitch-shiftered-fuzzed-out guitar solos. 'Birth in Reverse' is one of the best pop songs i've heard in a while.   

4. The Hotelier - Home, Like Noplace Is There (Tiny Engines)

There's a clear nod to 90's emo here, as well as pop-punk from the same era. For a genre that has been beaten to death and the unfortunate fact that so many bands sound uninspiringly similar to each other, it is pretty surprising that something this good can still come out of it. While not breaking any new ground here, Hotelier's songwriting chops are pretty strong and the songs are well enough executed to prevent them to sound like their contemporaries. The vocals are quite strong and the band utilizes this strength of theirs in the best way possible (listen to "An Introduction..." or chorus of "Your Deep Rest"). I was sold on this album 30 seconds into the first track. 

5.Blank Realm - Grassed Inn (Fire Records)

This Brisbane noisy-psych-garage rock band has been playing music for sometime now. Grassed In sees these guys and gal attempting to marry pop songwriting with their usual lengthy,jammy instrumental sessions. "Bulldozer Love" is a good example of this; offering plenty of hooks and melodies before slowly ascending to buzzing synth and amazing fuzzy guitar solos that pushes the song to a new height. The lo-fi production and 'imperfection' of their playing (few awkward notes, flat vocals) does nothing but adds more charm to their sound.

6. Killeur Calculateur - Book Of Flags (Tandang Records/Framecode Records)

These guys sure know how to make a comeback. Book Of Flags is a testament of their growth as a band. It's very interesting trying to dissect all the different influences happening on this record. There's a definite My Disco/Off Minor  influence, especially the with the post-punky, start-stop syncopated rhythm section and yelled vocals. Also found here are math-rock, post hardcore, and noise-rock bits; all blends into one, creating a captivating sound. My favorite thing about this record is how catchy and surprisingly groovy it is,while maintaining the punk intensity. This is simply class. South East Asia represents! 

7. Nothing - Guilty Of Everything (Relapse)

There has been a resurgence of shoegaze/dream-pop from the States lately, interestingly enough, made up by dudes who used to be in punk/hardcore bands. This might have something to do with the way Nothing retains their 'heaviness' on this record. The drum is always solidly audible, and the guitar distortion is more on the warm side, with plenty of low-end, making them sound like Smashing Pumpkins' heavier moments. Sometimes I think of this record more as 'dreamy spacey rock' ala Hum/Hopesfall with softer vocals. While this record doesn't really offer anything new, the execution of the music is spot on and it lulls you in with the huge, familiar walls of sound.

8. White Lung - Deep Fantasy (Domino)

Deep Fantasy is While Lung's 3rd album, and just like the last two, this is a blazing, in-your-face, feminist punk record with surprisingly compact musicianship and catchy melodies. The music is as straight forward as it gets; the drum pounds away, constantly carrying the songs with such velocity while the guitars alternate between meaty power chords and those shrilling, knife-like riffs that they're well known for. There are songs where While Lung lets the melodies and hooks to shine through more, and at times one can hear some similarities with the now defunct Pretty Girl Make Graves. Clocking at 22 minutes, Deep Fantasy is short and sweet, never outstaying it's welcome.

9. The Ocean Party - Soft Focus (Spunk)

This album is my introduction to The Ocean Party. Rather shy and perhaps conventional, it takes time to fully get absorbed by the warmth and gentle sound of these guys. There's an obvious influence of 80's jangly pop such as The Smiths and The Go-Betweens as well as similarities with the more current act, Real Estate, but The Ocean Party is way more introverted, and they like to hide behind the gorgeous layers of their instruments, resulting in a bigger and fuller listening experience. Instead of relying on guitars like most bands playing this style, The Ocean Party utilizes a wide array of instruments (horns, saxophone, trumpet,clarinet, harmonica, synths) and carefully arrange their placement for cohesiveness.

10. GIVE - Electric Flower Circus (Moonflower)

Being a big fan of the classic Washington D.C's Revolution Summer sound, i've been following Give and Lion of Judah (both share members) as the frontrunners playing this style, without simply being a tribute-cover band as they inject their own twists to the sound. After a strings of EPs, finally Give put out their first album. Here, Give has demonstrated their ability to touch on new grounds and evolve without sacrificing the essence of their sound. The songs are mostly mid-tempo (think of Hot Water Music) without ever reaching the aggression of the songs on their previous EPs, but the melodies and grooves are still present, and the songs are more diverse than before. Taking a big risk with this half Fugazi-bred hardcore, half rock and roll, Give continues to carry the Revolution Summer torch. 

11. Shellac - Dude Incredible (Touch and Go)

Seven years of gap between their last record and this one, and oh it's worth the wait alright. This record is unmistakably Shellac. The unpredictable drums, the thick and punchy bass, and of course Albini's Travis Bean signature sharp, jagged aluminium guitar tone are all present. It seems like Shellac pulled apart their sound, reconfigured it, and present it in a way that it allows itself to sound fresh. There are quieter parts scattered throughout the records, allowing the band to build up on it before finally explodes in their interlocking rhythm groove. This record sounds like an intensely practiced jam if that makes any sense. The production sounds amazing as always, but i need to specifically highlight the bass. It's HUGE. Math-rock, post-hardcore, minimalist noise rock, whatever it is, this record rules.

12.Ritual Mess - Vile Art (Clean Plate)

As good as this record is, if you can't stand screamy, chaotic hardcore punk, then stay away! Let's get the Orchid comparison out of the way first, as this band consists of 3 ex-Orchid members with Ampere's drummer. Do they sound like Orchid? in some parts, yes. When they decide to turn on the aggressiveness, they definitely do, although never quite reaching the level of dizziness that Orchid used to be able to hit. Instead, there are more variation in the songwriting, moments where they hold back, keeping the intensity under check, before unleashing them. The noisy, droney first half of "The Last Shout" is my favorite off the album,  where guitar harmonics would fill in the space for 2 minutes, before the break into their usual hardcore part. There's a definite 90's Gravity/31G Records sounds here as well (Drive Like Jehu, Swing Kids, Antioch Arrow) and it's heaven to my ears.

13. Total Control - Typical System (Iron Lung)

Okay so a band whose members are in a bunch of hardcore/punk bands : Straight Jacket Nation, The UV Race, Eddy Current Suppression Ring release their music via a label owned by power-violence, grindy punk Iron Lung, what do you get? a synth-punk-pop record, that's what. Typical System has this formula : one new-wave dancey snyth pop song, followed by a more aggressive garage-punk, then back to the pop. The smooth opener 'Glass' has that krautrock vibe to it, while the repetitive, motorik-beat fueled, psychedelic jam 'Black Spring' brings Roxy Music to mind. Upon more listens, one would find all these different influences adopted by these guys. This is an excellent record.

14. BabyMetal - BabyMetal (Toy's Factory)
Am I aware of how gimmicky this band is? Yes. Am i aware that this band was put together a big soulless, evil corporate? Yes. Did I know that the girls didn't even know what metal was prior to this project? Yes. J-pop meets metal. Am i aware that this combination shouldn't work? Yes. Should I listen to Baby Metal? Probably not. Do I listen to it? Yes. Is it awesome? yes. Now, being their first album, you can tell there's quite a bit of trial and error here, and the tendency to put as many different genres to the mix as possible to get the widest audience.There's djent-metal (Megitsune, Akunu...), nu-metal (Onedari Daisakusen) to power metal (Ijime, Dame, Zettai) all combined with cutesy girl-vocals and occasionally random metal growls. If this doesn't sound weird enough, there are random hip-hop, EDM, even dubstep parts scattered throughout the album. I personally think some of these don't work. But one fact remains, as confusing as all these amalgamation is, the music is unique and strangely enough, it just works.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Burning In The Undertow : One Last Wish

It was to my surprise, upon my conversations with various fellow Fugazi or even Rites of Spring fan over the years that some of them had never heard of One Last Wish, Guy Picciotto's band post-Rites of Spring and pre-Fugazi. How is this possible? Let's get one thing straight : One Last Wish, by independent scene's scope, is not in anyway obscure. So how do we explain the fact that some people are still oblivious to the existence of this band?

Well, for a start, One Last Wish was not even a band for more than a year (8 months to be exact). They played no more than a slew of shows, mostly in D.C area. Though the mixing of their album was completed by January 1987, the album didn't see the light of day until 13 years later. The band's demise in the same month was the reason why Dischord didn't release it back then. However, their song Burning In The Undertow was featured on Dichord benefit sampler "State of The Union" (April 1989).

Also, not long after One Last Wish dissolution, both Canty and Picciotto joined Fugazi which became a powerhouse name in the DIY/hardcore/punk scene as we know it. Fugazi's influence and impact in the underground music scene in the late 80's onwards was huge and undeniable. Whether you agree or not with some of their ethical stances and approaches to business practices is a different matter altogether. It is no surprise that more people would become better acquainted with Fugazi.

I can't really remember my first revelation of One Last Wish. It must have been through some music articles or reviews on the internet. However, I do remember the impact it had on me. Eight years later, as i'm listening to their full-length "1986" while writing this, the magic has not lost on me. It doesn't sound even a second older which is a ridiculous thing to say considering how 80's the production of this album is.

Rites of Spring made a big impression on me when I heard them for the first time. It was also my first introduction with Mr. Picciotto. I didn't know that hardcore punk and melodies could be paired in such a way without sacrificing the intensity. It opened my eyes to this new realm of possibilities in music, leading me to other bands such as The Hated, Gray Matter, Soulside, Current, etc.

One Last Wish took this approach even a step further, introducing more mid-tempo sections and hints of 1970's UK post-punk in their music. Gone are the big blazing guitar riffs, and the aggressive, angry vocals. The bass and the vocals took the centre stage while two overdriven guitars weave in and out with their jangly open chords accompanying Guy's half-singing, half-shouting vocals. The song structures are simpler compared to Rites of Spring's, leaning towards pop format (none of the songs reaches three-minutes mark) with more emphasis in groove, giving the songs more space and dynamic. There's no long, noisy parts to be found ala Rites of Spring's End On End. Everything is concise, 'simple' and just enough. 

Am i biased when it comes to 1986? Yes, absolutely. It's one of my favorite albums of all time, beating Rites of Spring's End On End and Fugazi's Repeater releases by a tiny margin. Rites of Spring was bursting with intensity; Fugazi showed me growth and forward-thinking; while One Last Wish hit me emotionally, viscerally moved me and fill me with feelings. It's not anger nor sadness. It's not nostalgic longing nor glimpses of the future. It's a realization that music at its most basic and simple form may inspire any complicated human being.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Having to read students' essay is a big part of my job. Weekly (or daily even), I need to somehow rate all the elements that supposedly contribute to this thing that we inevitably, subjectively and yet objectively call a great writing. There are the usual, the normal, the obligatory and expected aspects such as conventions,text structure, use of connectors, sentence variation, etc. As boring as they sound, they are the fundamentals, the elementary yet significant; the primitive yet indispensable; the meat and potatoes of one's writing. These things are all introduced to the students gradually from young age with hopes that by the time they have the drive, the ideas and curiosity to write, all the tools would be at their disposal to use.

The next step would be to find one's 'voice'. This should always be pursued only after one has mastered all the basics. Only run once you know how to walk (I can't remember who said this, but credit goes to that person). Being the most difficult and problematic aspect of one's writing to master, more often that not, the process of finding one's voice gets neglected. What makes it so hard? Are the rules too demanding and toilsome? Nope. It's simply because there are no rules when it comes to finding your 'voice'.

Finding your 'voice' requires awareness; awareness of your surrounding and the world, and most importantly, awareness of your really true self. It is about looking
into the deepest part of your soul and ask yourself "What do i desire? Who do i want to be? Why am i aspired to be that person? Where do i fit?" More often than not, you might not like the answers. The answers will not reveal anything you haven't known before but they will reveal things you didn't want to admit of feeling.

Just like everyone else, we need the belief -some people call it delusion, and others call it hope- that there's at least a glimpse of us that is totally unique. That there's something inside of us that we can call it our own. That a possibility of being an individual is not totally out of the window. And at the end of the day, we simply do not have any guarantee. None of us does. Your 'success' and 'passion' have nothing to do with this. Uncertainties is what makes us human. 

If that's the case, how does one find his/her own voice?

I don't know. Like i said, there's no guarantee.What makes you think everybody gets to find his/her own voice at all?

In the big scheme of the universe, we are nothing but a speck of dust; a dot among all the patterns; a drop of water during the endless rain. Our lives are small, and perhaps disposable. As depressing as this all may sounds, accepting one's limitation is the first step to find the voice. Don't forget that those ideas that flows from your brain towards your fingers, resulting in a seemingly random, and yet eloquent moves of the pen is the consequence of you. The paper is you. The pen is you. And what matters the most, the words are you. And most of the time, that's all we need.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Missing Wisdom

Events that happened in our lives is what makes who we are. "Everything happens for a reason." Or so they say. I've used this line more than i'd like to admit. You probably have, too. Emotion-inducing events that occurs at young age, when frequent and/or intense usually leads one to become more aware of his or herself and surroundings. Self-awareness is a quality that i take pride in myself for having. It's the ability to learn and understand oneself to make the best decisions that align with our core as a person.

A lot of things happened this past a year and a half. A lot more than the usual amount I get. Some of these experiences were new at the time. Or maybe just different, i can't tell. Some left me in a quite bad state. I'm no stranger to when it comes to seasonal depression or moodiness, but there had been times when I absolutely felt nothing. Hollow.

I've made bad decisions. Quite a few of them. And they're all related to people. Friends. And acquaintances. It didn't seem bad at the time. After all, I always follow my guts. But as Rob Gordon put it best : "My guts have shit for brains" or in my case, feelings. I might have hurt people. People I care about. People that at one point probably care for me. As I hurt them, it hurts me. Worse. The worst part about it is that I didn't realize why I did it until months after.

My self-awareness has turned to nothing but empty pretentiousness. Sophistication that breeds stupidity. I've made the same mistakes that caused me to swear against these ignorances in the first place. Becoming a person you don't want to be can be quite scary. It messes up with your moral compass and values. It makes you question things. It makes you question yourself.

I've been trying to stay in my den where I can hide in my bubble and not confront the guilt. The world outside will not let you forget. Each handshake reminds me the time I didn't offer my hand to help. Each smile reminds me how beyond all meticulous judgements, we're all just a person. A human.

I've been trying to confront the feelings and tackle it head-on, but it proved to be difficult and traumatizing. Or maybe I'm just weak.

What goes around comes around. Time waits for no one. Live with your mistakes.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lay Down

There were times when I was sure of most things
Confused, desperate and eager to prove
The minutes were amazing and the hours were blazing
Ticking but never blinking

Now I just want to lay down and close my eyes
And not think

What I thought was right might have been false
And the only truth is I know absolutely nothing

I'm scared
For I do things differently

And it's the only way i know how

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Personal Musical Highlights of 2013

These are some of the musical things that happened this year and ones i will remember for years to come. Please note that i hardly ever follow/listen to new albums. I'm a very slow listener. Keeping up with new music with the internet around is just impossible.  I'm old, deal with it. 

1. My Bloody Valentine gig in Melbourne (Feb 2013)  

MBV is one of my favorite bands of all time, so seeing them live earlier this year easily made it the best thing that happened this year. It was one of those live performances that had so much expectation on it and yet delivered and not disappoint. They were probably the loudest band i've ever experienced, along with Dinosaur Jr back in Brisbane a few years ago. The show sold out and I had to spend quite a fair amount of money just to be there in attendance. I still keep the cheap, useless earplugs given right before the show started.

2. White Walls

Finding out about these guys was a gift. White Walls play this guitar-tone obsessed indie rock with doom metal leaning. It's like a bunch of metalheads playing Dinosaur Jr songs. One drummer, two guitars, no bass, lots of fuzz and open chords. Their songwriting and musical chops are astounding and they will only get bigger for sure. They are easily one of my favorite current bands now. I was lucky enough to see them in Melbourne when catching MBV and bought their record at Poison City. 

3. Vague (Shows and Recording)

Vague has played more shows this year more than ever. Some of them were the coolest shows i've ever played at. 
  • Playing with screamo outfit Sjanse (SG), Terapiurine, Ssslothhh Spiritualized Mammals and their naked singer in Safe House bistro Bandung. 
  • Sharing the stage with Barefood twice, one at the last POP UP! at Demajors old location (with Individual Distortion as well :D) and the other one at the legendary Superbad at Jaya Pub. 
  • Playing at At America with Marche La Void. No one saw it coming, not even us haha. It was a strange but awesome experience.
  • Participating in the very 1st Thursday Noise at Borneo Beerhouse with Mellon Yellow, Skandal (Jogja) and Morfem. 
  • And of course playing at Waiting Room reunion at Rolling Stone Cafe. Even though the show was a flop (sandwiched between RRRecfest and Joyland), watching Waiting Room playing Fugazi's songs was pretty cool. 
Vague is also recording at the moment for a full-album and 7", coming out next year. If you had told me four years ago that the shitty punk band Jan and I started would even make it this far, I would've called you a liar. But things are going well for us at the moment and I am very very proud of Jan, Gary and myself. Shout out also to our old bassist, Adit.

4. Discovering Amazing Local Talents

Indonesia has always had amazing local talents for sure, but due to the lack of infrastructure, a lot of bands/artists stay obscure and often undeservedly so. Thanks to the internet and social media, words get around very fast these days. Here are some bands/artists that I wanted to highlight this year (they might not release anything in 2013) : 
  • The Kuda is still underrated it's not even funny. I found out about them when randomly browsing YesNoWave catalogue (can't remember if it was in 2012 or 2013). These Bogor quartet plays early (late 70's) midwest style of American hardcore punk and they do it right. They were also featured on Rocket Rain soundtrack compilation this year. 
  • Cotswold from Surabaya, also happen to be our label mate on Tseulfa/Tsefula recordsreleased their EP earlier this year. It showcases their ability to mix post punk with melodic delayed guitar lines. These guys are still very young (early 20's) and already on the path of something good. 
  • Woodcabin, also our label mate on T/T record is consisted of Prabu of Saturday Night Karaoke and the drummer of Cotswold as well. They've demonstrated their unique, raw, no distortion approach on twinkly midwest emo. 
  • WeThePeople from Bandung caught my eye when Vague played with them at Safe House Bistro, Bandung. While their old EP still leaned towards more straight-forward hardcore punk, their newer material has post-hardcore leaning while still retaining the intensity of hardcore. Don't sleep on them! Their full-length is coming out soon through Grimloc Records!  
Worthy mentions : Spiritualized Mammals (Bandung), Sex Sux (Bogor), Moiss (Semarang), Negative Lovers (Jakarta), Cathuspatha (Bandung), Vallendusk (Jakarta), Somnyfera (Bandung), Rabu (Jogjakarta)

5. Independent Record Labels

The record labels that i will mention mostly have been around longer than a year, but they have put out releases this year that are worth mentioning. 
  • Anoa Records has probably been the most talked about record label this year. Their first release was Barefood's Sullen EP who did really well, sales-wise that it got them to Rolling Stone's top 10 list. Their second release, Seaside's Undone came out just a while ago and it will probably be a top seller as well. 
  • Sonic Funeral Records is a Jogjakarta-based label (even though the owner works in Jakarta now) and has been responsible for these releases : Wicked Suffer 7", Asangata tapes, Avhath 7", and Southern Beach Terror LP that just came out. Komunal 12", Rabu tapes and Vague's first full length will be out next year!
  • Elevation Records put out Semak Belukar 7" which has gotten rave reviews; Aurette and The Polska Seeking Carnival (Jogja) in 12" and tapes format; Roman Catholic Skulls; the legendary Sajama Cut's Osaka Journal re-issue in 12" format.
Others worth mentioning : Bronze Medal Records for Marcel Thee's solo album debut, Sigmun's single and Roman Catholic Skulls. Orange Cliff Records (Bandung) for Sigmun's lathe cut series, and upcoming Jirapah 7" and Polka Wars 7". Grimloc Records (Bandung) is the label that responsible for Homicide's Godzkilla Necronometry Reissue 12" that basically sold out 300 copies in a few hours. It was unheard of for a local release. They also put out the phenomenon (sorry :p) Ssslothhh's first album. 

6. Cafe Mondo (Kemang, Jakarta)

A three-floor cafe partly owned by Shun, a Japanese who's quite fluent in Indonesian and happens to love music. Cafe Mondo utilizes the top floor as a record store called High Fidelity. The vibe there is warmer and more friendly compared to say Monka Magic (I still go there); in my opinion a record store should be ran this way.

The basement area was often used for noise/vinyl release party/DJ gig and i always had a blast there due to its home-like environment. It's basically like hanging out with your buddies at a friend's basement.

 It wasn't until a few weeks ago that the space started to be utilized for full-band music gigs. The last two weeks of December proved to be busy for Cafe Mondo as bands blasted loud music downstairs and music lovers going up and down the stairs, alternating between watching the bands and hanging out outside by the parking lot. 

Cafe Mondo is an amazing place for music and hopefully it will be around for years to come.

7. Clatter 

Clatter is a side project that I started with a bunch of friends back in 2012. Poetra was no longer active with his solo project, Aksi dan Reaksi. Sarin has been inactive and Dilla wasn't doing anything musically. Arka was only playing occasionally for his band Arcasenal (now DRNKS) so I thought why not get everyone together and just play music.

Clatter played two shows in 2012 and that was it. Practices were far and far in-between due to lack of shows, musical goals and personal commitments. It was a miracle when Studiorama contacted us and asked us to play on the first day of RRRecfest, curated by them. We didn't (and still don't) have any recordings whatsoever nor internet presence. I will be forever grateful to Studiorama gang for this gig. It turned out to be one of the best gigs we've played so far. 

It will take a lot of hard work and commitment to really keep this project up and running but things are looking bright. We might finally record something in 2014. Wait for it!

8. Jirapah 
Like Vague, Jirapah also has played a lot of shows this year. I wish i could remember them all to pick out favorites. There were also other cool things happened for us this year. The ones on the top of my head :
  • Keuken food festival in Bandung. It was out first venture playing outside of Jakarta. Bandung was a bit cold (weather and crowd-wise) but the experience of playing in a unused train station hall was something else. 
  • Opening for Ruins Alone at Rossi Musik. It was our loudest/noisiest set yet. 
  • RRRecfest #3. Between the rain, technical hiccups and amazing line-up, we managed to have fun. 
  • Studiorama! The video for Sol is probably one of my favorite things Jirapah did this year. The actual showcase of the show was amazing also as we got to share the stage with the unbelievable Space System and Kracoon. Massive thanks and love for the hard-working and talented crews of Studiorama. 
  • The song Crowns got featured in Rocket Rain soundtrack. The music video, done by the movie director, Anggun Priambodo himself shows bits and parts of a traditional Sundanese wedding and it's just beautiful to watch. 
  • Being featured on Malaysian based website, The Wknd among with other great Indonesian bands such as White Shoes and The Couples Company, Sigmun, Morfem, etc. Jirapah played 3 songs : Summer, Foxes and Apes. The audio is just amazing and crisp. Everything sounded good.  Big props to The Wknd crew! 
I could on and on about music but i think i should stop here. 2013 has been an amazing year and i feel truly blessed.