This Malaysian quartet’s eccentric and unpredictable sequences keep you on your musical toes, even after you’ve played them on loop enough to memorise every beat. You find yourself gawping at their brilliance while you’re helplessly grooving along (all from personal experiences). These guys have a whole lotta attitude, but not without sheer intellect.

Dirgahayu's music can’t keep still, and you can’t keep still listening to it. Those who caught them at Lithe Paralogue Studio thanks to DUNCE would also have etched in their memories that Dirgahayu is truly a massive beast live.
- Bandwagon Asia

... Dirgahayu’s set was a cluster of chaos just waiting to explode. For one, these math-rockers played really, really loud, and LPS space wasn’t exactly the rolling fields of Glastonbury. It even made us wish we had brought earplugs, and we have ears of steel we tell you! Switching rhythms and time signatures at blistering speeds, the KL quartet combined math- and noise-rock with muddy bass licks, harmonised guitar-fingertaps and cymbals that were smashed as hard as an enemy most hated. We must say we were also astounded how there were no casualties as they pounced around the tiny stage area like deranged madmen, and even when they balanced guitars precariously on speakers and lay lifelessly on the floor (we thought they had passed out; they were tweaking pedals).
-
JUICE Singapore

Local instrumental rock band Dirgahayu has been slowly making a name for themselves the old fashion way — playing gigs. They’ve made a number of appearances at music festivals and shows such as Urbanscapes and Rock The World last year, and Kyoto Protocol’s official album launch in KL just last month. They are now about to embark on a tour in Japan to support their album Commemorate!, but before they leave, the guys just dropped ‘Istinggar’. The experimentation that’s done within six minutes is a feat. The track starts contained til it unravels as the guitar work becomes increasingly intricate, with different rhythms compounding together. Just as it slides into a dip, spasms of guitar give way to an unexpected cry, or as they call it, “jeritan baldu” by director-photographer Carlos Nizam. - JUICE Malaysia (Feb 2015)

From the ashes of prominent rock bands here in Malaysia (Akta Angkasa, Custom Daisy), this 3 piece instrumental rock band has caught our attention since they launched a teaser earlier this year. Weaving through progressive riffs and fluctuating rhythms, their first single ‘Bahawasa-nya’ has not let us down, especially when paired with their videoclip that was directed by Carlos Nizam and Khairul Johari, who are grade-A talents in their respective fields as well.
-
The WKND (Dec 2013)




SHOWCASE
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

FUTURE

#40 • August 29, 2015 - Singapore Night Festival 2015
Venue: The Substation Armenian Street, Singapore.
Slot: 12:30am - 1:30am
Details: www.brasbasahbugis.sg/SNFPortal/

#41 • August 2015 - TBA
Kuala Lumpur.

#42 • October 2015 - TBA
Kuala Lumpur.

#43 • November 2015 - TBA
Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

 

PAST

#39 • June 14, 2015 - C! Album Tour 2015
The Key, Cheng, Malacca.

#38 • June 13, 2015 - ænima Phase_01
PJ Live Arts, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

#37 • June 7, 2015 - C! Album Tour 2015
K Space, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

#36 • June 6, 2015 - C! Album Tour 2015
Karamunsing Room, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

#35 • June 3, 2015 - Tricot "Hip Step 'A N D' Jump" Asia Trip
The Bee, Publika, Kuala Lumpur.


#34 • May 30, 2015 - C! Album Tour 2015
HabitArt Cafe, Alor Setar, Kedah.

#33 • May 28, 2015 - The Rock Show
Laundry Bar, The Curve, Mutiara Damansara, Selangor.

#32 • May 23, 2015 - C! Album Tour 2015
The Roof, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

#31 • May 16, 2015 - C! Album Tour 2015
Insider Satellite Space, Ipoh, Perak.

#30 • May 10, 2015 - C! Album Showcase (Day 2)
No Black Tie, Kuala Lumpur.

#29 • May 9, 2015 - C! Album Showcase (Day 1)
No Black Tie, Kuala Lumpur.

#28 • March 29, 2015 - Rantai Art Festival 2015
Lanai MaTiC, Kuala Lumpur.

#27 • March 14, 2015 - Commemorate! Japan Tour 2015
下北沢 Club 251, Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, Japan.

#26 • March 12, 2015 - Commemorate! Japan Tour 2015
Club Phase, Takadanobaba, Tokyo, Japan.

#25 • March 11, 2015 - Commemorate! Japan Tour 2015
GATTACA, Kyoto, Japan.

#24 • March 10, 2015 - Commemorate! Japan Tour 2015
Blueport, Kobe, Japan.

#23 • March 9, 2015 - Commemorate! Japan Tour 2015
WWP Sinkagura, Osaka, Japan.

#22 • March 8, 2015 - Commemorate! Japan Tour 2015
CLOVER, Nagoya, Japan.

#21 • March 7, 2015 - Commemorate! Japan Tour 2015
club Lizard, Yokohama, Japan.

 

 


#20 • February 28, 2015 - Dirgahayu: Live in Singapore
MOIM / Lithe Paralogue, Aliwal St, Singapore.

#19 • February 7, 2015 - Catch These Men • Kyoto Protocol's Album Tour
Art Printing Works Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

#18 • January 24, 2015 - A Phantasm; Antithetical - RTZ's Album Release Showcase
Black Box DPAC, Damansara Perdana, Selangor.

#17 • December 13, 2014 - Rock the World 14
Bukit Jalil Stadium Car Park A, Kuala Lumpur.

#16 • December 6, 2014 - Urbanscapes 2014
Horse Ranch, Resorts World Genting, Pahang.

#15 • August 31, 2014 - Commemorate!
No Black Tie, Kuala Lumpur.

#14 • August 24, 2014 - StudioLive Party
Studiohive, Kuala Lumpur.

#13 • May 10, 2014 - Cross Border Showcase
Black Box MAP, Publika, Kuala Lumpur.

#12 • May 9, 2014 - Cross Border Showcase
The Hin Bus Depot, Penang.

#11 • April 12, 2014 - Art of Noise 4
CT Plaza, Johor Bahru, Johor.

#10 • March 22, 2014 - #mindrubdown 02 @ Projek Rabak
Black Box MAP, Publika, Kuala Lumpur.

#09 • March 1, 2014 - ASIWYFA Asia Tour
Black Box MAP, Publika, Kuala Lumpur.

#08 • January 11, 2014 - Kounsel Tetangga #1
Five Arts Centre, TTDI, Kuala Lumpur.

#07 • January 4, 2014 - Rukunegara Tour '13/14
AZAM Youth Central, Kuching, Sarawak.

#06 • December 28, 2013 - Rukunegara Tour '13/14
Embrace Hall, Johor Bahru, Johor.

#05 • December 22, 2013 - Rukunegara Tour '13/14
Shalien Studio, Kuantan, Pahang. 

#04 • December 15, 2013 - Rukunegara Tour '13/14
Rainhouse Music, Ipoh, Perak.

#03 • December 14, 2013 - Rukunegara Tour '13/14
Soundmaker Studio, Penang.

#02 • December 8, 2013 - Rukunegara Tour '13/14
Melaka River Pirate Park, Malacca.

#01 • December 7, 2013 - Rukunegara Tour '13/14
Independent Archive and Resource Centre, Singapore.

 

DIRGAHAYU MALAYSIAN MATH

By the end of Dirgahayu's DUNCE-organised gig at Lithe Paralogue, guitars were perched precariously atop amps,
and bodies were strewn lifelessly on the floor - shades of some topsy-turvy crime scene; death by instrumental math-rock.
But upon scraping themselves off the ground and catching their breath, these Malaysian radicals jokingly had
a candid conversation with us about going to Japan, old rifles and murtabak.

JUICE Singapore • May 2015. Text by Kevin Ho.

 

A BROTHERHOOD TO BEDLAM
Not one to be privy to a heart attack or hyperventilation incident, we made sure the Dirgahayu dudes were in pink of health before chatting with us, considering their chaotic routines of stage-leaping and floor-crawling. "We're actually pretty careful whenever we jump; believe it or not, they're planned steps!" they simultaneously reassured us while chuckling goofily. "We've had thrown guitars in the past, but we generally don't... 'cos they're so expensive [laughs]. This pretty much set the tone of our interview - an unpretentious quartet of guys sharing the same amount of readiness and enthusiasmm, all in this together for the long haul. "We believe in democracy," they say while trying to keep straight faces, "Everyone has their own voices; everyone leads each other. Even our name, Dirgahayu, directly translates to 'Long live' in Malay. It means that we want to play as long as we can, and be bandmates forever".

SCENE THERE, DONE THAT
"We plan to play loud", they reiterate, despite fans in the audience wincing at how deafening their live performance was. "We've tried toning it down in the past, but we don't think it reaches the emotion we wanna achieve," they continue. As ear-splitting as they were, perceptive listeners could catch the plethora of detail they were channelling beneath the cacophony - finger-tapped arpeggios, bass-led melodies and fickle time signatures that pandered to the ethos of math-rock. "But to be honest, we're not even sure if KL has a math-rock scene!" they confess. Prior to Dirgahayu's formation, its members were bulding the Malaysian scene in bands like Akta Angkasa and Custom Daisy, plugging experimental rock and mathcore respectively for over 10 years. Turns out, some had even swung by here to play shows in the past, which is why they even knew about Zam Zam's glorious murtabak. "Yeah man! We don't have that kinda murtabak in Malaysia; Zam zam is very generous with their mutton," they reminisce on their pre-gig snack, "For murtabak mutton, Singapore wins. But for other food, we win lah!".

 

ONWARD TO JAPAN
A pit-stop preluding their plans for world domination, Singapore was actually a warm-up for their intensive, two-week tour in Japan, where they were flying off to just two days later. "We're going to Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe; seven shows altogether. And it's our first time travelling outside Southeast Asia as a band," briefs drummer, Seikan Sawaki. His name being a blatant giveaway, the half-Japanese percussionist was appropriately appointed as the band's tour manager, ridding the inconvenience of venue bookings and language barriers. "We're quite lucky to have him!" the rest chime in, "We even wrote a 'welcome song' for him called 'Kyu / Ju Roku', which means '9/16' in Japanese; the time signature of the song". Count and listen; they're right!

LOCKED AND LOADED
Beside being a lifetime opportunity to broaden their fanbase, Dirgahayu's Japan tour also signified the launch of their debut album titled Commemorate! - a title we were curious about. "Aiyo, can we tell you the truth about its meaning?" they pause for effect, "We just couldn't find a name! [synchronised a laughter]". After composing themselves, they eventually came up with a more serious reply. "Actually, the title commemorates all the efforts that previous generations of musicians have fought for. We also happen to love digging through history," they reveal. Carrying on, they als explained that their incendiary single, "Istinggar", was a reference to a matchlock rifle with roots in Portugal, in line with the track's tension-and-release nature. "Well, the title just suits the song's mood," they conclude, "And we can't make our moods softer."

drghy.org

5 QUESTIONS w/ THE WKND: DIRGAHAYU
Interviewed by Izyan Liyana • May 5, 2014

1) It is believed that Dirgahayu is a band derived from former members of Akta Angkasa and Custom Daisy. How did Dirgahayu start as a band and what inspired you to make music together? Musical backgrounds etc.,

Yie: Yes we were. On the other hand, Efy was from Susur Masa and a recent addition to the band, Seikan was from Silent Scenery. We used to do something that we really love which is creating music and having good time on stage. We ceased somewhere but after awhile, we realised that we missed it and always feels like to have something more to offer.

Zul: We got the three of us together in July 2013 (well that was only 9 months ago), rehearsed for the first time and never looked back. I’ve personally been knowing Yie and Efy for many years, so the chemistry between us is effortless. By exhanging riffs and ideas to push the envelope a bit, Dirgahayu was in shape and we’re just keep going ever since.

2) The instrumentation for ‘Bahawasa-nya’ was mind-blowingly intense, and high-energy. What bands or artists have primarily influenced your sound and the direction you’ve taken for this single? Who do you take inspiration from?

Zul
: Ironically, I have always going back to basics and relied on (some of) the solid emotionally-charged punk rock classics, says Shellac and Fugazi – how these guys influenced us to endeavour new things and do it differently in writing music, composing sounds and live performing. Even though newer modern bands did a good job redefining math / noise rock in all possible way, we always felt there’s peculiar sonic signatures and distinctive quality behind this earlier sound work. Well, you just need to get a little creative, diligent, fosters mutual understanding between respectable members and you could go a long way.

 

3) Dirgahayu has caught a lot of attention since ‘Bahawasa-nya’ was released last year. The track has been aired on a local radio, BFM, and you guys managed to play on a nationwide tour to promote the single. How would you best describe how much the band has grown musically and do you see that growth mainly coming from touring, recording or something else that helped you evolve?

Yie
: We’re still in the early stage of evolving as a band and still finding our feet in terms of musical direction. We never play the same exact live set as far as we can remember. Other than Bahawasa-nya, the rest of the songs are pretty much ‘work in progress’ as we add up bit by bit, here and there before every each show. And as now we have Seikan on drums and Zul switched to guitar/synth role, we were surprised how much the dynamic of the band have changed, electrified with the potential and endless possibilities we could explore with more instrumentation in the house. I’m eager to see the final outcome of our EP release soon (to be expected later this year).

4) We were taken by your lovely instrumental ‘Bahawasa-nya’ not forgetting its accompanying video that gives visual shape to the transient moods in the song under the record label, Senipekik. The synergy was indeed outstanding! How did you become involved with the directors, Carlos Nizam and Khairul Johari?

Zul
: First knowing Carlos and KJ (Khairul Johari) when we met up at my now-defunct studio a few years back. These guys were incredibly talented, I remembered some of their creative works that blew my mind. When Dirgahayu started out about a week or two, we literally had this piece of mind, “How about we do something that haven’t been done before, and let’s put it over a music video or so?”. Thus I got Carlos over the phone, talked about the idea, KJ instantly joined in and things just fell into place like skee ball’s perfect shots. Everything was DIY, critically from day one to the final rendering. It was a great team effort, we simply can’t thank enough.

 

5) Can you tell us what have your experiences been like previously touring nationwide and what states most stood out to you in terms of fostering a good musical environment, and why?

Zul
: The tour was a great introduction and musical exposure for us, especially in our case, as a new band. Local bands should do their own tour like a lot, it’s really helpful to promote your music elsewhere, apart from own hometown. Touring showed us different perspectives to appreciate life and do better both as a person and a band. The truth is, when our last tour was over, we can’t stop thinking when the next one would be.

Yie: It depends on how you define ‘good musical environment’. We had different experiences in each states we went to, in terms of the audience, venue and of course how well we performed that day. To choose one, I’d possibly pick on our second stop of the tour. It was held at River Pirate Park where we performed on the banks of Sungai Melaka impeccably under a bright moon and stars. Astonishing view, nice chilly weather and good vibes – perfect combo. However we played a very short set that evening; something we’ll surely make up for, one day. There are hundreds of ways you can always discover from band travelling e.g. meeting new friends, performing to a new crowd, checking out other cool bands, scoring good (authentic) food, show organiser went MIA, etc. The list seems endless.