In the blink of an eye , we’re welcoming November this year – and our local artists just keep on giving! We’ve got some funny tracks here this week, a mental health awareness PSA by Daiyan Trisha – something deep, some fun bops – we’ve got it all! We also have a song from 2016 that we love and we think is the right time to bring back this Halloween!
The Paraverse (Album) – Capt’n Trips and the Kid
GENRE: PSYCHEDELIC ROCK/PROGRESSIVE ROCK/PSYCHEDELIC SURF/DESERT ROCK
Capt’n Trips and the Kid is desert rock laid out in the sun too long, inviting hallucinations in the wobbly shape of psychedelic monsters. They show that through their album art, but most importantly, they show that through their music. Paraverse starts out anthemic, with El Beasto’s sliding bass intro which transitions into a great coda midway through the song. The lyrics are minimal, signifying a drunken stupor filled with mirages (Up to something/Up to nothing/Going nowhere/Headed Somewhere/Knowing always/Knowing Always/To be the way of the river – that’s the whole thing – saying a lot, by saying a little) as the song carries it substance through its instrumentation like progressively convoluting wah-wah guitars – bringing you into a Mad Max-like universe. El Beasto squeezes into their second track My Meat by exploring a more demented version of surf rock. Lead vocalist Jes Ismael‘s vocal styles in My Meat, oscillating between that deep voice and a higher pitched plea gives this otherwise absurd song about carnivorous dictator personality and quality. Spider Shark continues this surf rock sound from My Meat later on in the album (our favorite track in the album after El Beasto)
Although the first two tracks sound are heavily influenced by bands like King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard in terms of song arrangement and vibe, things take their own personal Capt’n Trips touch throughout the rest of the record. Belly of the Beast slows down the tempo slightly with synthesizers made to symbolize a spiraling into an abyss, apt for a song about tumbling down the figurative belly of the beast. Most of the strong points of this album is shown when instrumentation and storytelling come together as one thematic entity, especially so in the latter half of the album. It’s evident already from the title of the album, that this album is para verse (beyond verse). Another great example of this is when the mood is set for drifting melancholy and psychedelic panic with the eponymous song The Paraverse. A drifting bossanova song about being filled to the brim with overwhelming gratification, you feel that ironic twist of the calming nature of the song, as the protagonist of the story seems to beg for it to stop. Hell Among Us takes this ambience to a fuller level (with my favorite line in the whole album “Time will tell/But not too well“). There is humor and cheekiness (or maybe a metaphor we’re missing) in the writing too, especially with Moss Man. A catchy track with an almost endearing feel to it, as the song celebrates a person who is a product of “sexual intercourse between man and moss” (insert Kate Moss joke here) and ends with a sweet bridge (You’re Moss Man/And we love you). Sacrifive a decent conclusion to the album complete with backtracking (song playing in reverse) adding a demonic layer to this dreamy, while throwing you on a loop into the musically intriguing epilogue that is Mr Sitar
The album enters into a different chapter with Pond, after a long repetition of “I don’t want to wait no more”, with another lengthy immersive jamming. This track treads below sea level slightly for us. Although the spirit of their music is improv and story, this track feels slightly directionless in comparison to the other gripping yet soporific nature of the rest of The Paraverse. Another weak point in the album is the final track Mr Sitar, with sitar licks that are intriguing but not reaching the type of audio-ambient potential that the Paraverse story line already offers.
The Paraverse is a brilliant piece of psychedelic rock, but it’d be lazy journalism to just put it in that small box. More than just a vacuous trip, Capt’n Trips creates a world for listeners to dive in. Don’t just imagine being given a hallucinogenic, imagine given an entire universe – or Paraverse – to live through.
Strawberry Jam – Ze Rebelle
Risque & sexy Ze Rebelle is back with her new single and although we’re not exactly sure whether we’re allowed to discuss the lyrical content of this song we assure you it is hilarious and probably relevant to some of you daring (or really horny) folks out there. Although comical at heart, Strawberry Jam is definitely a banger, using that 80s-like tinge to her pop that makes her stand out above all of those stiff-necked mainstream artists who are just recycling the same old sound loops from Chainsmokers.
The video is not for everyone! Unless you’re a fan of both strawberry jams AND ********
Sampai Bila (ft. Naim Daniel) – Afnan
Auto tune can be used artistically, evident within certain T-Pain songs and some of latter Kanye. It accentuates the voice as an instrument, rather than simply acting as a person speaking to an instrumental. Suffice it to say, our slight distaste for this song is not from the auto tune but the fact that it sounds unnecessarily rough around the edges. Naim Daniel shines in the first half of this song with the monologue and the singing parts. What we do credit Afnan for is the decent mixing of the song, with that sombre piano carrying the song through and highlighting the heartbreaking lyrics – echoing discontent and frustration (Kerana mata, ada juga hujah tuanya). Afnan is a poet who’s still testing the waters of mixing and composition, but has a lot of potential from his penchant for words – especially within that slow R&B genre that is often marked my local artists like alextbh, who only sing in English.
Aku Bukan Dewa (ft. Altimet) – Hazama
What do you combine of the best Malay balladeers out there and the best rapper Malaysia has to offer out in the industry? A humbling yet empowering song about youthful spirits and feeling invincible. Aku Bukan Dewa is Hazama at his most mature, reflecting upon his youth to the lyrics composed by Ad Samad. Hazama already has a great track record with stellar singles in the past with Sampai Mati & Relakan Jiwa, but in this one he waxes beauty through the wonderful verses and guitar riffs. It’s chilled out and laidback, but not empty or cheesy like most songs of this vibe. (Apa Pun Yang Kan Terjadi, Akan Terjadi Hidup Ini Hanya Sebuah Bongkah Permainan). Altimet’s rap verse completes this song by dropping words of wisdom beat after beat (Tiada Tuding Jari Bila Tangan Sibuk Berkiat). Overall one of the best pop songs this year!
Kita Manusia – Daiyan Trisha
Daiyan Trisha is doing a great thing as a celebrity in speaking up about mental health in a society where the issue is underrepresented and even, to an extent, stigmatized. Kita Manusia speaks harmony to that issue, as this beautiful songs reminds us that it’s perfectly fine to feel vulnerable, since we’re only human. The music video captures all the different kinds of bullying and harassment that can ruin more than just a person’s self-esteem. The song comes with a #KitaManusia campaign that we hope would be able to make it nationwide and be a consolation for the many in need of support.
The song itself is wonderfully composed and the orchestral strings in the background add to the volume of the words, which makes Kita Manusia one of those sweet songs you listen to when you need a little pick-me-up.
DBAP (ft. Kidd Santhe) – Harvinth Skin
Another hilarious one on our playlist this week! For starters, the beat to track is really dope, courtesy of the production talent from Monster Sound MY, Kidd Santhe. Since the song itself is about barely making it into a club and keeping ‘punde’ levels to a low, it’s wonderfully ironic that it’s a banger. Harvinth and Thanesh pulls off all of their comedic chops here, from the first scene of the music video being Harvinth wanking off, to Thanesh appearing as very unlucky mother. It’s gut-busting comedy rap that reminds us a little of the likes of Lil Dicky, but definitely something you can listen to for some good jams too.
Also we’re not entirely sure whether to reward or throw tomatoes at whomever wrote “Make my dicky do a dance”
HAMBA (Remix of Kendrick Lamar’s Humble) – Tulangkata
We from the Daily Seni are huge fans of Tulangkata‘s EKA , as he waxes biting poetry inspired from his spoken word days. Tulangkata (inadvertently) brands himself as political, ideological and nationalistic in his criticism to all the deception of established powers and mindsets. He does the same thing here, but focusing his lyrical prowess more on making fun of the “slaves”, spitting fire right from the first line (Ay! Untungku cecah SPM, kau cecah STD). The ‘slaves’ in reference are the pak turut of society, whether it’s the influencers looking for views with paid reviews or the Arabisation phenomenon hitting Malay culture in our desperate quest for identity. It’s classic Tulangkata wit. Although the flow isn’t as smooth as EKA and the fire feels slightly tamer, this remix has a lot of heart in it and makes us crazy excited for his upcoming album Death On Take, where we’ll get to see more of his influence from across his wide spectrum coming to life – from Shahnon to Pak Kassim.
Midnight Summer | Malaysian Dream – The Last One Awake
GENRE: AMBIENCE, TRIP FOLK
This second installment of the Midnight series is driven by a semi-inspirational, semi-melancholic piano riff – perfect for a song which yearns for a place that is no more. Our interpretation of this probably too heavily influenced by our cynicism, but The Last One Awake seems to comment on the death of the Malaysian dream, all burnt to a crisp in a ‘city left in smoke from alchemy’.
All of that is forgotten however, as the second verse reminds us that we’re at home and in love, which although might sound like words of comfort, but could also be derived as another cliche attempt at sweeping horrible news under the rug. The meaning of that is punctuated by the piano and the percussion that slowly builds up at the end – like those distracting ‘feel-good’ things that happen in the nation as all hell breaks loose – like how Roman emperors would give bread and circuses to distract the masses from a tragedy.
And even if the song means none of that, Malaysian Dream is still one of Christian Palencia’s more intriguing work, with more layers than his previous song, Midnight Spring. There is still darkness here but not pitch black with emptiness. Leaves us wanting more!
Worst Twist Ending (feat Daryl Baptist of Scarlet Heroes) – Red Panda Parade
GENRE: POP PUNK/EMO PUNK
Red Panda Parade have been around in the open mic scene for a long time, especially when it comes to lead singer Azliyana Azlee, with songs like Nebby and My Favorite Mistake. She’s been wearing her pop punk influences on her sleeve since the beginning (along with her red panda hat), but this is the first time Red Panda Parade has become a full band consisting of Wan Watari on bass, Irwin Lim on guitar, Bizee Ibrahim of Scarlet Heroes on drums, and Nathanael Tan on violin! The violin gives the band a sound reminiscent of 00’s band, Yellowcard, and definitely gives this band a unique edge. Daryl Baptist from fellow pop punk band Scarlet Heroes also gives this song more pizzazz with his vocals, complementing Azliyana’s vocals. The song sounds innocent at first, like your typical premature breakup, but is given a darker edge with the music video, like the sort of breakup that involves (SPOILERS: WATCH THE MUSIC VIDEO) death. It’s a decent pop punk jam, and we’re hoping to see more from this full-fledged Red Panda Parade!
Untok Kita (Hanya Kita) – Satwo
This Halloween, we decide to do a review on this gothic-esque love song by one of our favourite local music duo, Satwo (pronounced ‘sa-too’). The vaudeville piano by Tuan Mazlinna sets the mood of this otherwise endearing love song, as she sings in parallel with Razif M. as if they’re two different characters of a story. Untok Kita vaguely hearkens back to the early ’60s days of eerily harmonious pop groups like Patience and Prudence, but with a more rockier edge added into the mix. The music and the lyrics seems to illustrate a nocturnal dance where the couple is alone, except for the company of the moon (Malam yang tenang disuluhi bintang yang terang/ Dan kau menjelma di jendela memanggil namaku). It’s romantic, ethereal and captures a love so immersive and hypnotizing that the protagonist in the song is left dazed and confused. The guitar section at the end of the song adds a thicker and ominous atmosphere to the sound, as if all that is calm and collected is brought to an unraveling mess (maybe signifying the partner leaving? Aku sedar aku keliru/Setelah kau menghilang?). If you want a different twist to a love song on this blessed scary day, you can’t go wrong with Satwo!
To keep track of our tracks of the week, follow our Spotify playlist!