Monday, November 22

Best of Indies & Hip Hop Malaysia

Best Of Indies and Hip Hop is a compilation of local independent and some used to be independent artist. It is such a nobel idea to put up such compilation as it highlights some of the best bands in the local music community. Even more encouraging looking at the selected tracks. I mean, it is one thing to come out with a compilation, but a compilation combining indie and hip hop? Wow, but why not? It is obvious that the target market is urban youth who listen to multi-genre music. At first look, this looks like a rather brave decision but in retrospect many people, youth mostly, will be excited just by looking at the line up on the CD cover.

I can almost see some kids jumping with excitement looking at the track listing. We have some of the best hip hop acts listed, namely Joe Flizzow of Too Phat and Altimet of The Tarik Crew. That is like two of the biggest name in local hip hop scene. Indie bands are represented with a little bit of a variation. We have experienced senior bands that is well known in the mainstream like Pop Shuvit, Estranged and Disagree. And then some of the most talked about bands in the indie scene that is on their queue to becoming the next big things like Couple, Joanna & Co and Grey Sky Morning. And we also see some of the new emerging talents like Sonar and Nabila Huda. Now you willl see that the compilation is kind of lopsided – a lot more indie than hip hop?

Track listing:

  1. Isabella – Joe Flizzow feat Amy Search
  2. Oh Sizuka – Pop Shuvit
  3. Cinta Gila – Grey Sky Morning
  4. Aurora – Estranged
  5. Mimpi – Altimet feat Ning Baizura
  6. Ayoh Joget – Kraft
  7. Si Murai Penipu – Stonebay
  8. X-Ray – Nabila Huda
  9. Aku Pelangi – Joanna & Co
  10. Gadis Gedung Atasan – Brainhead
  11. Biar Mati Chinta Ini – Maximus
  12. Tentang Kita – Couple
  13. Cuma Dia – Sonar
  14. Osaka – Disagree
  15. Diamonds – Kraft
  16. Do It Duit – Joe Flizzow featuring Phlowtron

The hip hop songs listed are ready strong and they are the highlights in this compilation. Joe Flizzow's remixed of Isabella is surprisingly very nice. I find the intensity of Joe's rapping to be believable even when the base track is taken from the most cheesy song from the rock kangkang era. Joe Flizzow's other track, with a twisted title which is Do It Duit is one tripping track. The other outstanding track is by Altimet of the The Tarik Crew which is "Mimpi". The base track is taken from that superbly famous song "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These)", which has been covered by countless artist including Marylin Manson. Ning Baizura's backing vocals does help the "Mimpi" song a lot. Tracks by Kraft are rather passable, but I am sure kids who are into some level of hip hop would be able to appreciate them. But yes, the hip hop tracks listed in the album stand out.

Indie songs in the compilation, as mentioned are more colorful. Superband Pop Shuvit has "Oh Sizuka" listed, which is one of their lesser known song but one of standard live performance list. The song has all their trademarks. Nice malay rapping and even nice singalong chorus. And then we have "Aurora" by Estranged which is a song that enjoys heavy rotation on the airwaves. Disagree has the song "Osaka" from their latest album listed in the compilation. Disagree, as usual, never fail to amaze me with their songwriting and romantic melodies and the song "Osaka" is one of their finest song although we can hardly listen to it on the mainstream radio. Couple, which is one of the local scene best kept secret, who is also happened to be Rolling Stone's 25 Best band On Myspace, has one song which is "Tentang Kita". A very nice, chill power pop song. We have at least one bands that is no stranger to One is Joanna & Co with their hit "Aku Pelangi". This band has got a lot of potential to be very big. Do watch for them. The other indie song that stands out is "Cuma Dia" by Sonar. A very nice song with strong hooks.

This is an overall a very nice compilation with a specific target mainly multi-genre youth. More importantly it helps highlighting nice songs from local acts that has not getting enough attention and airplay by the mainstream media. The quality of most of the songs are of international standard. They can anytime challenge the dominating foreign music we heard on the radio – that is of course if the listeners are showing sufficient interest and support to the songs. There is no such thing as lack of nice local material as proven by this compilation. We have plenty of local talent with so much passion. Kudos to the people involve in getting this materialized.

Available at Badger Store Malaysia, Petaling Jaya at only RM 27.00

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