Weekly Assembly (3.4.2019) - Undercover Dream Club, Zet Legacy, Mac DeMarco, Daiyan Trisha & more
On this Weekly Assembly, former members of Bittersweet released an acoustic demo performance under the moniker Undercover Dream Club. We've also got Mac DeMarco's latest single. Not to mention a funky cut of the famous song Impeach the President by The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble. All of that and more!
Biarlah Mentari (DEMO) - Undercover Dream Club
GENRE: INDIE / DREAM POP / ACOUSTIC RATING: N/A What started out as an acoustic duo project that was meant to play stripped down versions of songs from their band, Bittersweet, Undercover Dream Club is slowly morphing into a separate form entirely. Fizan and Herri move away from the usually britpop-laced sounds of their other band, into a more sentimental and dreamy territory. You can hear this reverberating even from the simple chords of Biarlah Mentari from Fizan, while Herri’s guitar melodies gives off Verve vibes. Since this is a demo, we’re not going to review it, but they deserve a shoutout. Both Herri and Fizan have been in the independent Malaysian scene for quite a while, and it’s exciting to see where they take this new project next. Impeach The President - The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble ft. Kelly Finnigan
GENRE: FUNK / SOUL RATING: 4.5 / 5
This song has been a recurring theme in American politics, first released by The Honey Drippers in 1973 to protest against then president Richard Nixon. Later on, it was played heavily during Bill Clinton’s era. Now, it’s brought to life once more with the increasing dissatisfaction with Donald Trump. Impeach the President is also ubiquitous in the world of hip hop, since it has one of the most heavily sampled drumlines (e.g. Kriss Kross’s “Jump”, Notorious B.I.G.’s “Unbelievable:, J Cole’s “Wet Dreamz” and probably like 800 more examples). The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble lacks the spontaneity of the original (which contains the lead singer telling the band to stop playing during the last chorus), but still contains some insatiable guitar licks and basslines. Mana Lu? - Zet Legacy & Zaf Besar
GENRE: TRAP / RAP / HIP HOP RATING 3.5 / 5 In anticipation of the upcoming Kelawar Records release, “Brown Boys Tape”, labelmates Zet Legacy & Zaf Besar presents Mana Lu?. In this track, you get the signature lethargic of Zet Legacy combined with the rougher bars from Zaf Besar. It’s a decent cut of trap-wrapped boasts with lyrics about chasing that dough and keeping true to the hustle. (“If it ain’t for the moolah, dari mula tak yah start)
No Quit - Michael Nau
GENRE: PSYCHEDELIC SOUL / FOLK / INDIE ROCK RATING: 5 / 5
The phased and fuzzy guitars of No Quit wraps a fuzzy blanket around you, as Michael Nau sings so sincerely about not giving up on love. It’s amazing how much Michael Nau has managed to find a solid sound for himself as a solo artist, in comparison to the folkier sounds of his old bands like Cotton Joe and Page France. It’s also such a novel gem to see him take that dreamy indie sound and give it a more tangible soul.
Good to Know - LUST
GENRE: PSYCHEDELIC POP / POST-PUNK REVIVAL RATING: 4 / 5 Yes, their latest album Tekesima is already out and this single is almost a month old, but Good to Know is here on this list because it’s a good primer to what LUST is going for in their new album (full review coming soon). It’s a song with two distinct chapters, the first a summery passage with tight drumlines, basslines and guitar riffs with vocals that feels declaratory; the second a darker, catatonic sound made ethereal by the voices of Shuhusna & Sasha Ningkan. All of this is demarcated by the “organically” glitched out drums by Omar from Jaggfuzzbeats, like an announcement for an emotional breakdown. The song about “infinite mediocre affection” poetic in its arrangement and is not afraid to be somber and bright, taking turns between oscillating colours. Turn the Light - Karen O & Danger Mouse
GENRE: SOUL / INDIE ROCK / R&B RATING: 3.5 / 5
Karen O & Danger Mouse’s collaborating is not something 14-year-old-me would have expected during my Yeah Yeah Yeahs fan days, but it’s real and their album Lux Prima is already out. What is gratifying about Turn the Light and their previous single Woman is that it also explains how they came together - Karen O and the producer of Gnarls Barkley unified over their love of 90s dance R&B. This track is a cerebral manifestation of that and it has a production that is sleek, but quietly groovy at the same time. Introduction - DeLaFlare
GENRE: RAP / HIP HOP RATING: 3.8 / 5 This is the second time SXPH has produced a beat for DeLaFlare, the first one being a single released earlier this year called Lima Minit. Unlike in that track however, this time SXPH isn’t at the forefront of the rap performance, with DeLaFlare swerving through all the bars. Like the title suggests, this is DeLaFlare showing off his skills on the verse and introducing how flow to the world. It’s a solid track with a gruffy gangsta rap undertone that fits DeLaFlare rap style well. As part of the AMPG Collective, Introduction is the first single off of the upcoming “Flarenergy EP”. All Of Our Yesterdays - Mac DeMarco
GENRE: INDIE FOLK / COUNTRY RATING: 3.5 / 5
Mac DeMarco’s “Here Comes the Cowboy” is the artists’s venture into a grittier, country sound. There is very little in terms of lo-fi indie sensibilities, as Mac DeMarco laments things like ageing and loneliness. All Of Our Yesterday is a sad, wistful cut that feels much less emptier than his first single Nobody. The lyrics speak of clinging to the past for far too long and finally letting go (Holding on/An image of a memory/Another song/All of our yesterdays are gone now,”). The little steel-guitar like solo at the end is Ole Opry, but without any of the pretension country pop has developed in the latter years. Some might say this song is uninspired, but any emptiness you might from All Of Our Yesterdays feels sincere to me.
Brutal - Daiyan Trisha
GENRE: POP RATING: 4 / 5
Definitely Daiyan Trisha’s best single yet. Audi Mok’s production on Brutal is insane. It has an almost warped dancehall beat, with an amazing hook featuring a glitchy, squeaky vocal edit. Daiyan Trisha coasts through this ever-changing beat, with a sultry telling of a past relationship that didn’t end as well as planned. A pop song, through and through, but tightly produced and catchy too. The kick drum samples at the end conclude the song with gusto. Aloha - Charlie Heat & Denzel Curry
GENRE: HIP HOP RATING: 4.5 / 5 It’s nice to know Denzel Curry can serve up some fun stuff, and make it a banger. Charlie Heat’s production on this is incendiary, with mariachi bands and some bouncable beats to complete the vibes.
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