There’s a lot to be said about One Two Jaga, but one of the things that has been painstakingly crafted by its creator is the soundtrack.
One Two Jaga’s OST plays an insanely crucial role towards bringing out the film’s moments, and it leaves a lot of space to pay tribute to local indie music- where the film’s soundtrack is an eclectic mix that celebrates both veterans and newcomers to the scene! “The soundtrack was chosen after filtering through a total of 60 songs”, said producer, Bront Palarae. “The principal song we chose in the end was Prindu by Laila’s Lounge”.
Laila’s Lounge was a band that was very prominent in the 2000s for the Malaysian indie scene before they disbanded in 2017, and their song Prindu was one of their most iconic tracks.
“Looking for a song that suited the theme and tone of our film took us 2 months”, Bront Palarae added. “I was also helped by an old friend, Edd Zahir, who helped me with 4 more songs”.
Although Prindu seems to speak about the illusions and struggles of love, the song captures the tone of the film perfectly – alluding to type of deceptions one would have to be wary of in life, found in the theme of corruption and oppression of One Two Jaga. Coupled with Hadi’s drawling vocals and the song’s brooding composition, Prindu creates this air of total melancholy that ultimately becomes the fitting overtone for the film’s mood.
An alternate version of the song was covered by Megat Fazly two years ago, where extracts of the song would appear sporadically throughout the film, but is most noticeable in Sugiman’s dream sequence . Much like the original version of song, the song has emotions running deep- but, the focus on the keys and Megat’s bravura turns this take of Prindu into a dreamlike ballad.
Tanah Tumpah Darah
As One Two Jaga is a film centered around shedding light on some of the issues we face in Malaysia, such as corruption and oppression of migrant rights, the soundtrack also included tracks that invoked a sense of familiarity and identity to local audiences to bring this issue closer to home, without having to resort to the usage of generic patriotic songs.
The hunt for this came to a close with the pick of DISH’s “Tanah Tumpah Darah”. The flightiness of the strings and light melody is a sharp contrast to the noir Prindu, but it can also symbolize the undying sense of hope we find within each other as united Malaysians when all else fails us. As mentioned before by Bront Palarae, “”Tanah Tumpah Darah IS that feeling, and it’s the kind of emotion we want to bring to the audience when they step out of the cinema”.
Kami Yang Disyaki
One of the few songs that were especially hard to find due to its specificity, was a song that would suit the character Adi- the loud, brash and anarchistic son of Pak Sarip. Adi’s frustration, distrust and fierce loyalty towards his loved ones contributes to his constant fight against injustice, which is where finding a song that depicts his rebellious yet naive soul comes into play.
After much deliberation and the sifting through countless of great bands such as Jidin, Iwan Fals, Butterfingers, and legendary Oi! skinhead rockers A.C.A.B- the team eventually settled for The Suspect’s “Kami Yang Disyaki” to compliment Adi’s essence.
Tembak Tempat (Kenaikan)
Another song that defined Adi’s character is Iqbal M’s “Tembak Tempat (Kenaikan)”. Tembak Tepat is a testament to how the soundtrack often parallels specific moments; for example, Iqbal’s masterful storytelling in his song, that somehow mirrors the way Adi talks to Joko during their car ride conversations. (Takkan gentar jiwa ku ini) .This song was also the producer’s final addition to the One Two Jaga OST.
One Two Jaga’s sourcing independent music to elevate the feeling of their story gives it an edge, not to mention the curation that enables each significant scene to be highlighted. Whatever your opinions about the songs are, there’s definitely a sense of purposefulness when you first hear Prindu play as a deafening conclusion to a gritty tale.