Reviews

The Filters, Integers, Lawalah Familia, Emir Hermono and more – here’s Singles Only (19.7.2018)

Hip hop collective, Lawalah Familia – (where rappers like Benzooloo and Sabbala come from) – released an international collaboration EP, Youth Portal has a song for your slumber-filled day dreams, and new bands The Filters and Integers kick up the ante with some fresh sounds. Check it all on this week’s Singles Only! Follow us on Spotify for more updates.

Aint No G – King Clavas


KC On the Beat crafts G-rap vibes in this latest track by King Clavas. King Clavas’s flow also incline towards the early 2000s era, which adds another facet to King Clavas’s rap affinities beyond the more contemporary trap sound of singles like Alamak. It is crazy to think that King Clavas is still very much unrecognized in the general hip hop scene. Although he rides on the creativity of his producers, his lyricism holds up a light of his own with those jaded by the smorgasbord saturations of current hip hop subgenres. As of now, King Clavas is a chameleon, seeming to adopt to the different style the beats serve him. Doesn’t take away from the promise he shows in his competency as a rapper. KC On The Beat in Ain’t No G is jahat to the max though.

RATING:
3 / 5


She (On & On) – Emir Hermono


Emir Hermono is bringing back that smooth vibes in this tripartite collaboration with Ariel Nayaka and Rayi Pura. Truthfully, I miss when there’s a kind of house-EDM craziness to Emir Hermono’s production (re: 3AM in Jakarta with ad libs & abrasive keys), but I guess the art of creating a solid R&B song that is relatable is its own challenge too and is done pretty decently by burgeoning producer Puffietop. That being said, the rapping on She is silky. Props to that.

RATING:
3 / 5


Ingat – Daiyan Trisha


Daiyan Trisha’s acoustic pop appeal is elevated by string sections in Ingat. Although Buskers OST had its flaws, there were some decent pop tracks on there with Atma Jiwa being the most popular. Ingat though, holds a special place in my heart – with that Andra & the Backbone-esque chord progression and wholesome, warm undertones. Daiyan is still Daiyan here. Hoping to see her adopt maybe more of her influences and explore cooler sounds in the future. I just have an attachment to this song even though there’s really nothing special to it – so I’m putting this on the playlist for all of you hopeless romantics out there.

RATING:
3 / 5


Si Pendosa – Sekumpulan Orang Gila


Another gem from their latest album, Dermaga, Si Pendosa is another ‘teaching’ hardcore song – reminding listeners to stay on to the straight path of virtue through hard-ass riffs meant to melt your brains. Love the little speaking parts in some of the lyrics too (Dalam gelap, dalam gelita) and the monologue at the end. Najmie from Des Panik! really fits his composition into this with lyrics that feel so at home with the SOG brand – despite coming from an emo punk band. Hardcore lives and breathes in Si Pendosa. Just when you think the song has reached its climax, there’s that scratching violin-like sounds at the end that just layers on the eerieness. My favourite from Dermaga.

RATING
4.5 / 5


Whatever You Told Her, You Shouldn’t Have Told Her – Youth Portal

Spring 2018 by Youth Portal
Featured in a Bandcamp Spring compilation by Z Tape, Youth Portal’s single captures the soporific sounds of jangly guitar in this ditty of regret but also consolation. There’s something comforting about this track – the warm deep voice of the vocalis set to the simple progressions of the guitars. Definitely a sleepy, cosy, listen.

RATING
4 / 5


Lawalah Vets EP – Lawalah Familia & N.B.S.

This international collaboration between Malaysian hip hop collective Lawalah Familia and Boston rap duo N.B.S. (aka Natural Born Spitters) is so much hip hop goodness stuffed into 5 tracks. From the very first track, Lawalah Vets Cypher, you get the best of both American East Coast boom bap and Malaysian versatility. Most of the tracks manage to cut through all the awkwardness even though they are bilingual and alternate between Malay & English. There’s a certain organic feeling to the EP, – all of these rappers coming together to spit their bars in the pursuit of collaboration. The only clunky spot would probably be the third track Vet Familia, where the flow still leaves a lot for wanting, though there are some nice lines sprinkled here and there (e.g. “Patah balik bukan tanda berakhir”). Shambles is a track that stands out positively on the other hand, honing a slightly darker production than the other songs with Shiv at the helm of the song. Overall Lawalah Vet iss a solid EP that hearkens back to the old school – so for nostalgia lovers who miss those older days of hip hop this EP has got just the right tone for you – but probably not for those seeking to find fresh sounds in a world of constantly evolving and stylistically diverse hip hop. Lawalah Vets was released online on June 15th, 2018 as a joint venture between Goldensound Studios Sdn. Bhd. and Lawalah Familia’s own label Mic Belakang Pintu Records


RATING:
3.8 / 5


Everything – Airliftz

After his critically-acclaimed EP, Bagel, a huge number of the rap community and the music scene in Malaysia started to place their bets on this young rapper & producer from Kajang. Truthfully, Airliftz has been producing R&B beats ever since he was only found exclusively in Soundcloud so it is no surprise that Everything feels tight in its outcome. That being said, despite the unmissable sultry and the smooth vibes that ooze out of this track, Everything is a forgettable standalone single. Still gets us excited for what’s to come in his future projects though – with Airliftz maybe digging deeper into slicker sounds and sensuality.

RATING:
3.5 / 5


Exigency – Integers


Post-punk revival finds a new breath of fresh air in Integers, a new band established last year in Kuala Lumpur by by Firdaus Malek, Azfar Azmi, Nizam Omar, Wan Akmal and Amir Rani. Exigency comes off as an urgent battle song, escalating into, and spiraling out of, these counter-melodies, while riding the machine-esque rhythms of the drums and bass. It’s badass with a tinge of subtle dramatics, as the song hits the climax when the vocals split into a chorus of voices. It’s post-punk with intensity and heart, without scurrying too far from the familiar sounds of the genre.

RATING:
3.9 / 5


John Pine – The Filters

Dancer hearts, melodic sensibilities, fuzzy guitars with a twang unafraid to dive into chaos – The Filters is an exciting relatively unknown band about to break into the stratosphere. John Pine is the quintessence of the alternative fusion rock route they’re taking. It’s belligerent, yet catchy. Wiith the sound of static coming into the song, you know these fellas have got a lot in them when it comes to production creativity and creating a whole freaking ambience that sucks you into their rhythms. This second single from their forthcoming EP is a tribute to “the intimate intricacies of the relationships shared with fair-weather friends”, but goddamn this allegory of friendship is packed with war stories, evident when John Pine breaks apart around the 3-minute-mark into an all-out rock slam almost delving into stoner rock; surely spiralling into a beautiful, wonderful vortex. This is great and we’re all antsy waiting for their upcoming EP.

RATING:
4.7 / 5


Follow our Spotify to get updates on the latest tracks from across Southeast Asia.

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