Guitarist and sampler Brendan Teh, bassist Eric Wong, synth player Phang and drummer Rashaad Ali rebelled against their previous bands to come together in a motley assortment simply named Skits. The instrumental ensemble was put together by all four self-proclaimed musical misfits in 2015. Three months ago however, they put out their debut album BUT NO.
BUT NO showcases a diverse range of sounds and styles, and even ends with a cover of “Vio Pipe” by famed Malaysian band Butterfingers. It’s eclectic nature comes through in the band’s live performances.
Their most recent showcase on 30 July 2016 at Minut Init concluded a series of shows around Selangor to promote the album. The band however underwent one major change: drummer Rashaad has left for Singapore, and he has been replaced by former Emperor Obvious member Khairi Iskander.
Shoupihou aka Silent Keat opening the night, delivering his entire set through his Korg Monotribe, exploiting its every function. His engrossment throughout the set was hypnotic.
Then Skits began, veiled behind a screen illuminated with projections courtesy of video jockey Wong Eng Leong.
Each song had its own set of visuals, which added a potent evocative element. After completing one-third of their set, the band finally revealed itself, and projections were cast on each member’s plain white tee shirts instead. The effect hinted of an electronic simulation, as if the band was trapped within a digital realm.
Music-wise, synthesizers feature prominently while a drum and bass section fascinates with irregular rhythms. It’s a mixture of eighties nostalgia and curios from the future, accented with washed out guitar lines, spacey echoes and dirty fuzz tones, noise, and also spoken word vocal samples.
Throughout their set, the band’s music revealed many influences from psychedelic to post-rock to disco and to punk. Child-like melodies and motifs add a humorous spin to proceedings.
By the end of the night, Skits delivered a well-developed and refined set which suggests that the band’s commitment to craft is enough to ensure its fans are rewarded. Featuring uncommon ideas and a playful attitude towards composition, the band’s music felt at home in Minut Init’s vivid gallery space.
Keen to give them a try? Visit the band’s Facebook page where videos from this performance have been made available. Alternatively, head on over to Soundcloud and listen to BUT NO. We’ll be back with an album review soon!