Music Uncategorized

Tracks of the Week (13/7/2017) (Monoloque, Airliftz, Alextbh, Shawn Lee)

Hey everyone! We’ve been gone for a while but now we’re back! This week we’ve got an LP, an EP and two singles that we think are worth discussing. It’s a wonderful musical week for all of us, with Monoloque having released an album last month, and Alextbh‘s new single blaring the airwaves (at least the one in our office). We’ve got an exciting new compilation for you by Airliftz too, where we basically gush over this young man’s new work down below. Check out the playlist and tell us what you think!


 

 

Jangan Puja Sampai Kecewa (LP) – Monoloque

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Album terkini Monoloque menggabungkan lagu-lagu yang pernah kita dengari di corong radio dan juga menampilkan lagu-lagu baru seperti Jangan Puja Sampai Kecewa, Abah dan Selagi Ada Waktu. Monoloque sudah lama tersohor dengan niat seninya untuk menaikkan elemen tradisi Melayu dalam genre muzik alternatif. Jika belum pernah dengar lagu beliau, elemen tersebut terpancar dari tajuk lagu dan seni visual beliau. Album belum sebelum ni, Hikayat Halimunan Abad Ke-21, menampilkan lagu-lagu popular seperti Kekanda Adinda (ft. Atilia)Kupu-Kupu Malam, dan Batu Belah Batu Konkrit. Dalam Jangan Puja Sampai Kecewa, kita dapat lihat Monoloque telah membuat sekuel untuk lagu Batu Belah Batu Konkrit dengan tajuk Ringgit. Dengan adanya sambungan ini, ia menunjukkan bahawa beliau masih lagi mengekalkan stail dan identiti muzik beliau tersendiri.

Walapun stail beliau tidak berubah, Monoloque masih mempunyai magisnya terhadap bait-bait lirik yang telah disampaikan. Senikata yang dramatik dalam lagu-lagu seperti Jika Aku Seorang Robot (“Jika aku seorang robot, nombor-nombor darah ku, jasad ku import export, besi logam daging ku“) menggambarkan bakat Monoloque melakar senario yang puitis- hampir setiap rangkap membawa maksud yang mendalam. Sebagai seorang yang betul-betul mendalami karyanya, sesetengah orang tidak akan dapat menerima pilihan kreatif beliau. Hal ini kerana bagi sesetengah pihak, gabungan muziknya tidak selaras dengan emosi bait lirik nya.

Kami pula berpendapat bahawa gubahan muzik Monoloque yang atmospheric dan bervariasi memberikan warna kepada rangkap-rangkap senikata dalam lagu seperti Selagi Ada Waktu. Beliau sangat kreatif dalam menggabungkan lagu-lagu yang pada dasarnya berbeza dalam satu tema yang boleh dilihat pada seni visual album Jangan Puja Sampai Kecewa.

Variasi emosi dalam album ni sangat gah, dengan lagu seperti Dendam yang power. Lagu kegemaran kami dari album ini ialah Abah; sebuah lagu mendayu yang menceritakan tentang seorang bapa. Berbeza dengan lagu-lagu yang lain, muzik untuk lagu ini sangat melankolik dan emosinya seperti lagu Aku Tahu dari Altimet dan Tomok, tetapi keunikannya sendiri. Lagu ini juga mempunya lirik yang bersahaja kalau nak dibandingkan dengan lagu lain dalam album ini. Selain itu, Ringgit juga merupakan salah satu yang dekat pada kita kerana liriknya memberi makna yang setimpal dengan apa yang masyarakat hadapi sekarang.

Secara keseluruhannya, Monoloque berjaya mengekalkan kesinambungan dalam album ini. Unik, gah dan tersendiri, walaupun tiada banyak beza dari albumnya terdahulu. Hidupnya unsur-unsur Nusantara dalam genre rock alternatif dengan bantuan para pemuzik berbakat yang lain sepeti Falique dari Pastel Lite, Bakri Ismail dan lain-lain.

Album beliau boleh didapati di laman web Monoloque. Wajar didengari!

 

Rating:
4 CF

 

 


Bagel (EP) – Airlitz

Airliftz Bagel

In the midst of all the young upstarts in hip hop with their chains and booty-shaking trap rap, Airliftz  deserves way more limelight than he’s getting now. Although he loves to groove to trap rap, evident in one of his more popular tracks, GwalosAirliftz has always been keen on exploring beyond that sound. Always slightly more influenced by soul and the sleeker side of R&B in his audio production (present in his SoundCloud tracks like I’m Lovin You), Bagel is a testament to that, as he struts through and pretty much ownes that sound. From the very first track, you know that Airliftz influence is as diverse as can be. Know It samples a dreampop track, Warned You by Good Morning, a definite far cry from the R&B, soul and jazz tracks that make up the sample pool of most rap artists. Even then he still  somehow wraps it into a coherent bop. In fact, the whole album transitions so seamlessly, it leaves you wanting more.

Airliftz keeps it in that light humourous side of trap rap, but always dropping sick flow, especially in their song Bagel (which is literally about a bagel). There’s always a hint of mid-2000s, 808s and Heartbreaks hip hop; with a more feel-good, atmospheric vibe that pokes through all the bass and the autotunes  (think Chance the Rapper but less Jesus and more Lil Yachty ). This album is also refreshingly positive and bright too, with very self-affirming and motivational songs like 19 and AppreciateBagel EP, being the banger that it is, feels grounded and humble with little moments in the album such as in the monologue clip in the beginning of Appreciate. Airliftz talks about proving to people that doubts he could use his music to put food on the table and fights against all odds – and you can’t have a better conclusion to this hopeful EP than that.

The EP does dip a bit at I Don’t Wanna Go Out, mainly because it sticks out too much by being noticeably despondent, beat-wise. Nowhere are we implying that it’s a bad track however, and Bagel EP still stands strong as a compilation of what Airliftz can dish out. In a rap world where swagger is defined by hard beats and trap rap sentiments of ‘badness and bougieness’, this young artist gives a fresher taste to the modern hip hop genre. And at only  19, there’s going to be a whole lot more to celebrate in the future. Hopefully a whole buffet table filled with bagels.

Look out for more Airliftz with an Asia Tour coming up and Good Vibes!

Rating:

4 CF

 

 

 


 

Mornings (See You Again) (Single) – Alextbh

alextbh Mornings See You Again

This new twin-track by Alextbh is his most unabashed plea for love and romance. Songs like Mornings are open declarations of desire, and seem to follow the same trajectory he’s taken recently, with happier songs like Like That and You. The wonderful thing about this EP is the story it tells, from expressing his fears of loneliness while asking for his lover to stay in Mornings to finally falling into an apparently steadier serenade in Lead the Way (although still tinged with some semblance of fear) (“but tomorrow is another day and I don’t know if you would stay”). The growth is definitely there, and the submission that Alex espouses in Lead the Way reflects how many of us would feel when we’re immersing ourselves in his tracks. Despite the positivity and the toning down on the sass  that we knew him for in the beginning (re: Stoop So Low), Mornings (EP) still manages to be sensual and soothing. How many EPs out there  that are both good for some romantic awkward slow-dancing AND ecstatic sex?

Rating:
3.5 CF

 

 


bRinggit – Shawn Lee

 

Beatboxer extraordinaire and vlogger debutant Shawn Lee has dabbled here and there in rapping such as in Madlife and Fav Suband every single time he falls short. He’s got a knack for production value and some of his tracks have very intense drops, but Shawn Lee’s flow leaves a lot for wanting. Although, it can be argued that he gets better in bRinggit, with the effort in wordplay and the crazy catchy hook (“PEOPLE DOING TALK TALK, NOT EVEN THE WALK WALK”), there were sometimes  cringeworthy moments – like when he tries to squeeze in “apocalypse games” into the rhyme scheme in the beginning of the song. All of the haters telling him to stop rapping and keep beatboxing are being totally unfair though. Shawn Lee might have his awkward flow now, but he is marginally improving track-by-track. Hence, if his flow quality just keeps going on upwards from here, I say “bRinggit on”

Rating:
2.5 CF

 

 


This article is co-written by Iezahdiyana. To keep up with all the songs we’ve reviewed this year, follow our playlist on Spotify!

 

 

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