Oh! Nullah

Oh! Nullah: Hong Kong punks’ digital-only 2015 release will now be physically released via Sweaty & Cramped

Oh! Nullah

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Our good friends over at Sweaty & Cramped are physically re-releasing two Oh! Nullah tracks from its 2015 digital-only album ‘Jaded Summer.’ Fans of S&C’s Asian Emo compilation will also dig this Hong Kong band’s melodic guitars and driving drums.

From band member Ben Tse:

“’Jaded Summer’” is a song I wrote for a friend whose mother passed away, and ‘Last of My Mistakes’ is about accepting that no one is ever immune to failure or disappointment. ‘Restitution’ is the restoration of something lost to its original owner and a concept that these two songs attempt to grasp and convey.”

Oh! Nullah: Bandcamp Facebook

lightcraft

lightcraft: “an antidote for rainy days, sleepless nights, mournful moments, lovelorn phases and sleepy mornings”

lightcraft

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Jakarta’s beautifully moody lightcraft has released a new EP ‘Another Life’ ahead of its upcoming third LP. As someone who’s more familiar with Indonesia’s hardcore scene, finding a dreamy indie band that reminds me of the ‘Your Name’ soundtrack caught me off guard in the best way possible.

From the Bandcamp bio:

“a band that thrive under sadness and melancholia, inspiring them to craft their trademark anthemic melancholic sound, crafting atmospheric songs out of sadness and joy.”

lightcraft: Website Bandcamp Facebook Twitter YouTube

Krom Monster

Krom Monster: combining traditional Cambodian Khmer with modern electronica.

krom monster

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Phnom Penh electronic collective Krom Monster recently released two instrumental demos as a preview for its upcoming second LP.

From the Bandcamp bio:

“Bringing together ancient Cambodian traditions and the right-here-right-now. Khmer instruments, ragged beats, digital noise and lush soundscapes.”

And from Incidental:

“A quintet combining traditional Cambodian instruments with improvisation and experimental electronics.

In May 2010, Incidental initiated a series of cultural collaborations with khmer artists and cultural organisations. During this work, David Gunn led a six week residency with young musicians from Cambodian Living Arts, exploring the ground between traditional Khmer instruments and modern electronics.

The work resulted in the formation of Krom Monster, a new experimental quintet, and the first of its kind in Cambodia – resampling traditional instruments, reworking traditional themes and blending Khmer themes with contemporary electronics, urban musics and free improvisation.

The residencies culminated with a sold-out live event at the Centre Cultural Francais Phnom Penh, and the subsequent release of Krom Monster’s debut album in 2010. To quote from the original liner notes:

“Beisach”. Or in english, something like “demon”, or “monster”. That’s what the music we were playing made our Roneat player, Nisa, think about. Cthonic gods from older times, isolated, wandering out in the forests and floodplains, sometimes crying, and sometimes laughing. I guess it takes all kinds of monsters. 

In the years since [the opening up of Cambodia in the 1990s], massive efforts have been made to conserve and recover what was left behind. Vital work to be sure, but in the rush to conserve, contemporary forms have often been lost in the shuffle. When so much is lost so brutally, it is maybe difficult to remember that culture is always losing something, always changing – that culture is perhaps best understood as a continual process of strange forgetting.

… this project is not about “authentic” Khmer music, or authentic anything, at least for me. Authenticity is a dangerous word. And particularly in a context such as this – where music industries only seem able to hear music from some parts of the world when it is seen as something rooted in place and history, as something “authentically” local. Volk Vultures, John Fahey might have called these forces, and they don’t help anything.” 

Krom Monster: Bandcamp SoundCloud

Takara Digital Records

Takara Digital Records: Japanese hip-hop label that releases rare and unreleased music

takara digital records

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Takara Digital Records is a Japanese hip-hop label that releases rare and unreleased music, founded last year by Yuzuru Kishi. The next release is ‘More Donuts’:

“‘More Donuts’ is a compilation of even more rare, remixed and unreleased instrumentals by the king of beats J Dilla. The release is seperated in two parts. Part 1 was recorded around 1998 and Part 2 around 1996, now digitally available.”

Takara Digital Records: Bandcamp

Peter Cat Recording Co.

Peter Cat Recording Co.: for fans of Broken Social Scene and Yo La Tengo.

peter cat recording co.

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You know that heady feeling you get when you listen to Broken Social Scene and Yo La Tengo? New Delhi’s Peter Cat Recording Co. specializes in this frizzy ghostly sound, which they refer to as “postmodern jazz.” And they’re wedding specialists?

All their releases, especially their latest ‘Transmissions,’ are worth listening to from start to finish. Stick around after “Bebe da Vyah” for “Connection (?)” and the BSS comparison will make more sense.

Peter Cat Recording Co.: Website Bandcamp SoundCloud

Piri Reis

Piri Reis: emoviolence has never sounded so loud and so good

piri reis

While screamo was born in North America and later developed in Europe, in the past ten years it has reached almost every corner of the planet. South East Asia is one of the liveliest areas for screamo, with several respectable bands reaching out from the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. Piri Reis come from the latter, from the middle-sized city of Shah Alam, and they’re one of the most interesting young acts in Asia.

Piri Reis’ name originates from the Ottoman admiral who drew what is known to be the oldest world map in 1513. To get all the information necessary to its creation, the admiral Pīrī Reʾīs used ten Arab sources, four Portuguese maps and one that belonged to Columbus that was stolen from a Spanish caravel. Similarly, the Malaysian band seems to have learned the lesson of several screamo scenes from all over the world but is not content with plain imitation.

The band’s main influences include classic groups such as Orchid or Pg.99 mixed with European emoviolence while making their music personal. Violence is the most important component of their sound, but it somehow feels justified and never messy or confusing. Every guitar riff is relevant to the song’s structure as it explodes in its uproarious melody before burning out into softer nervous parts. These riffs end up being the most tense thanks to the powerful and heartbreaking vocals of singer Mira.

Piri Reis have recorded a demo and a split with Coma Regalia from Michigan, both in 2015. The latter has been released by three labels in three different continents, emphasizing the band’s international mindset. After a lot of shows in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, they managed to embark on a tour in Japan this year. Sooner or later the band will certainly manage to take their intense live sets even outside of Asia, and it would be more than deserved.

Piri Reis: Bandcamp Facebook

Gravity Project

Gravity Project photo: Natali Burduli

gravity project

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Gravity Project is a Tbilisi trip-hop quintet featuring Tato Rusia of MokuMoku. From its sound, a “project” is a good description; each musician, an experienced player in his and her own right, brings something different to the table. There isn’t much on record yet, so I’m excited to see where this project goes and hopefully catch them live in the states one day.

Gravity Project: Facebook

Berkay Özideş

Berkay Özideş

Photo: Beehype

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There’s a lot going on in “FSU” – a dark smokey room, a cryptic piano, tight Nine Inch Nails-like percussion, ’80s New Wave sound bits, a dancer, and a dude (Istanbul’s Berkay Özideş) in a robe singing while trying out for the next Assassin’s Creed movie. This is one of those cases where you need to watch while also listening.

Berkay Özideş: SoundCloud Facebook Twitter