Tag Archives: Singapore

A Brief Introduction to Southeast Asian Post-Rock and Math Rock

Hauste

In western countries, “post-rock” has been around since the mid ‘90s; according to lore, journalist Simon Reynolds coined the term to describe the U.K. band Bark Psychosis’ 1994 album Hex. Since that time, bands like Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, Caspian, and others have built long-running careers on the subtle mastery of texture and dynamics. Its close cousin “math rock” has been around about as long; though the roots of its knotty sound are in progressive rock, its current incarnation can be traced back to early ‘90s bands like Slint and Don Caballero. But in Southeast Asian countries, the movement is still relatively young; Singapore’s KittyWu Records started to hone in on post-rock bands in 2007; in the Philippines, Encounters With A Yeti’s post-rock masterpiece Pilot was released six years ago via Terno Recordings.

Continue reading

Album of the Day: FAUXE, “Ikhlas”

The Malay word for “sincerity,” ikhlas, is a perfect title for this album by FAUXE, one of Singapore’s most prolific and sought-after producers. Born of eight months spent in the Malaysian city of Kuala Lumpur, Ikhlas is a collection of 16 concise, energetic tracks that samples a range of Malaysian music in various languages (Malay, Tamil, Hokkien) and across time periods with love, care, and just a touch of irreverence. Continue reading

Exploring the Experimental Electronic Sound of Singapore

Octover

Octover

“We often ask ourselves, ‘What is a Singapore sound?’ but that’s such a hard question to answer, because there are so many cultures and influences here,” says Cherry Chan. But if anyone’s come close to answering that question recently, it’s her. Continue reading

Wormrot Take Nothing for Granted

Wormrot

Wormrot

Though they might not think of themselves this way, Wormrot have achieved what many of their fellow Singaporean musicians dream of. The beloved grindcore trio have the backing of an ardent fanbase that clamors for tour dates in every corner of the globe, an undeniable position in a genre they’re helping push the boundaries of, a spot on an international label (Earache Records), and attention and acclaim from the Western music press. As a grindcore band from a small Southeast Asian country in a dismissive, even antagonistic relationship with the noisier underground parts of its music scene, they’re rarely acknowledged by the mainstream. But Wormrot has, paradoxically, become one of Singapore’s most influential and important bands.

Not that Wormrot—vocalist Mohammad Arif bin Suhaimi, guitarist Muhammad Nurrasyid bin Juraimi and drummer Vijesh s/o Ashok Ghariwala—think of their careers in those terms. Voices, their third full-length album released last October, was a hard-won product of trying circumstances. In the five years between albums, Wormrot navigated an uphill road riddled with bumps and potholes, like the difficult departure of longtime drummer Fitri, and a cancelled tour with Illinois powerviolence band Weekend Nachos due to mandatory reservist stints in the Singapore military. Now, they’re staring down tour dates in Europe and the United States after a long time away, an experience Arif pronounced “nerve-wracking.”

We sat down with Wormrot after a four-hour marathon rehearsal session to talk about the expectations and pressures that come with being a grindcore band from Singapore, their place within the genre, touring and more.

Continue reading