#40 • August 8, 2015 - TBA
Venue: Slate @ The Row, Jalan Doraisamy, Kuala Lumpur.
#41 • August 29, 2015 - Singapore Night Festival 2015
Venue: The Substation Armenian Street, Singapore.
Slot: 12:30am - 1:30am
Door: Free admission
#42 • August 30, 2015 - TBA
Venue: Studiohive, Kuala Lumpur.
w/ DAM (Japan) & Paranoid Void (Japan).
#43 • November 2015 - NOTHINGNESS: Malaysia Tour
#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.
What is Dirgahayu? And I’m not asking what the word means, because the best I was able to come up with, is that it’s an Indonesian word whose English analogue is closest to “longevity,” likely in reference to the patriotic Malaysian song ‘Dirgahayu Tanahairku’. No, what I mean is, what are these guys?
They seem like they can be all things. For me, they’re something like a retrospective of all the stuff I’ve been into since I started listening to rock and roll in the sixth grade. In no particular order: ambient post-rock space noises, bluesy psychedelic guitar solos à la Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin, that brief period I enjoyed mid-2000’s MTV-wave emo, mathy pedal-junkie-esque guitar fuckery, Russian Circles, The Mars Volta-style insanity, that one year everyone thought Wolfmother was awesome, etc.
The best part is that it never feels disjointed. It all fits together in a weirdly satisfying way, and maybe it’s just because every two minutes I was being surprised by something else from the depths of my musical history being tossed back at me, sounding just as cool as I remember it being on the bus home from school. Only, the things I used to like were not all that cool in reality, but Commemorate! makes them seem that way. There’s even a secret track at the end of the closing song ‘Volumetric’. No one does that anymore and Dirgahayu made me remember how much I missed it.
There’s actually a fun game you can play with this album, too. Don’t watch the tracklist while you listen to it and try to mark down where you think the tracks are cut. Add a point when you’re right and subtract one when you’re wrong. My final score was somewhere in the negatives. Tracks stop dead-silent midway, only to start again with a new idea and others flow seamlessly into one another. If anything, it’s trying to say that this is not a song-by-song experience, that songs are linked by theme, not chord structure.
Or maybe they’re just messing with us.
By Christopher Walker
July 7, 2015. 10:50 am
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 building 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 also 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."
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.