The Fire Fight “Henri”

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After two years of hard work, The Fire Fight will be releasing their debut full-length album “Henri”. The Fire Fight blazed onto the local music scene three years ago by earning a coveted performance slot at Baybeats 2007. Since then, they have opened for American indie-rock darlings Anberlin & Copeland, Grammy-nominated alternative rock band Switchfoot and most recently became ambassadors for Youth.SG’s national “Feed Me” campaign.

Working with local illustrator and musician Jon Chan (Plainsunset), the band has produced a visual story of Henri the bear on his journey: fourteen watercolour paintings accompany fourteen songs in a manner reminiscent of a children’s book, drawing you into the whimsical city of Elemenopee to bring you a more eclectic side of the album. The band elected to work with Jon Chan due to his ability to produce art that communicated an understated form of elegance to compliment the band’s indie outlook.

With the impassioned melodies of Joshua Tan (vocals, guitars), the modest innovative tunes of Jonathan Leong (guitars), the dynamic-compelling rhythms of Iain Tham (drums) and Jbarks (Bass), The Fire Fight combines diverse influences ranging from The Promise Ring and Maritime to Death Cab for Cutie and Jamiroquai to bring you music with a raw, early 90s indie-rock sound with a hint of modern expression.

The Fire Fight will guide you through the story of Henri the Bear -told through both album artwork and song- on 31 July, 9:30pm at the Esplanade Recital Studio. Tickets: $25 from SISTIC.

Louder Than Light

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Louder Than Light is the first independent full length album release for Wicked Aura Batucada, and features a collection of tracks that fuse Afro-Brazilian rhythms with rock, funk and pop sensibilities with much crossover appeal.

Wicked Aura is a motley crew of drummers/friends who formed pretty much to play a one-off gig at Zoukout 2003. But they stayed on and kept making more noise on the streets of Singapore.  2005 onwards saw the band incorporating vocal tracks as part of their growing repertoire of originals to diversify and expand their sound.

The track “Fight” was shortlisted for the BBC’s Top 20′s Next Big Thing in late 2007. Since that time the song – the second single released in Singapore  -  has been perfected, re-recorded and filmed, and is now gaining much attention.

Visit these stores to get your hands on this wicked release.

Post-

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Post- is a final year project by Derrick Koh and Shaun Khiu, two mass comm undergraduates from the NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communication.

Conceived between December 2008 and May 2009, Post- is a mix of genres, from post-rock to conventional rock songs, and includes elements of sound design and sampling.

“As a two-man team, we took on all duties, from conceptualization, writing, recording to production, mixing and mastering. It was insane,” Derrick adds. “Having two people to write and perform all the parts for post-rock songs is pretty much asking for pain. But we stuck with it since we were such control freaks. And the process sure as hell beat doing a PR campaign. Shaun’s brother, Leon was later enlisted to play bass on most of the tracks.”

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The EP is free for download from myspace. Nice!

Spotted! mux

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mux is a collective formed by Bani Haykal, Luqman Hakim and Siraaj Anwar; out to experiment and device new performances weaving sound design, music and text.

mux’s approach to performance deals greatly with the coexistence of lateral storytelling and layered, yet minimal, sound and music compositions. The stories they tell incorporate streams of consciousness, almost always resulting the text to become more of an ambient than a direction leading towards an end.

The collective works extensively with guitar pedals, phrase recorders, microphones and various appliances and props to generate live sound samples. Aside from sound ambient, their music works are written and arranged to allow the trio room to intensify the songs, complimenting the nature of the text and its delivery.

Within the collective, Bani Haykal writes and experiments with prose, monologues, poetry and screenplays, often exploring the bleak nature of existence intertwined with fictitious backstories and characters. Luqman Hakim performs the main musical compositions, arranging the pieces to offer fluctuating temperament accordingly. Siraaj Anwar is a sound effects manipulator whose array of props includes an electric shaver, a glockenspiel and wind chimes, creating textures of the performance.

mux has just completed a short story performance -Wally The Watchmaker- for The new Substation website. Watch their facebook page for updates.

Miso Flamingo Girl DJ Bootcamp

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Miso Flamingo’s Girl DJ Bootcamp is back by popular demand for a second time this August. Held at the creative social House on Dempsey Hill, the Bootcamp returns with its mission to train aspiring girl DJs, providing support, exposure and education.

Guest lecturers include Pop My Cherry!, Analog Girl, Pushin’ On and ex-Zouk DJ Brendon P among others to be confirmed.

Twelve girls, selected through an application process, will be schooled in the roots of electronic music and learn basic practical mixing tips and tricks – from selecting their first equipment to landing their first gig.

Interested? Contact Jon Ramsay.

Wordwide Festival: Ticket Giveaway!

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Worldwide Festival will be back on 7, 8, 9 and 10 May, with an explosive weekend of pure musical bliss featuring the cream of international live acts and DJs. The event will be staged around various venues, clubs and settings to celebrate the return of one massive week end to remember with DJ Kentaro, Gilles Peterson, Jose James, Jack Beats, J.A.M (Soil & “Pimp” Sessions trio), Taylor McFerrin, Mr.V, Oveous Maximus, Christian Prommer, Todd Terje, Dorian Concept, Alex From Tokyo aka Tokyo Black Star, Toshio Matsuura, Al Haca, Harmonic 313 aka Mark Pritchard, The Nextmen, Stereotyp, Lexie lee, Ku Bo, LeftO, Simbad, Garfld, Lil Monsta, Aldrin, NovoBloco + Bloco Singapura, Cosa Nostra, Miss Sangeetha, Vinnie, Dubwise and many more …  Click here for full program and ticketing info.

The good folks at WF are giving away one pair of festival tickets. Interested? Email me before April 30. [Update: We have a winner].

* Contest is open to Singapore residents only!

Worldwide Festival Asia-Pacific: Talent Search

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Blasting off on 7 May is Singapore’s second edition of Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival. To celebrate the launch, a season of activities has been lined up. Kicking off the calendar will be the WF Asia Pacific Talent Search, launching on 23 February.

Open to both solo artists and bands -signed or unsigned- from around Asia Pacific, the WF Talent Search is unique in its purpose to discover original and ground-breaking artists. Staying true in the spirit of the WF music policy and Gilles’ passion for eclectic music, this search spans across many genres; Progressive Rock, Folk, Samba, Soul, Jazz, Funk, Latin, Afro Beat, Electronica, Techno, House, Electro, Hip Hop, Dub, Reggae, Drum & Bass, R&B, Breaks, Neo Soul, New Jazz, Dubstep and everything else in between the lines of quality music.

Artists and or bands can enter the competition by signing up online via the Worldwide Festival Singapore website. They will then obtain a voting widget that can be put up on their artist profile pages for the public to click and vote. A shortlist of the top twenty most highly rated acts by the public will be presented to a panel of top music industry experts led by Gilles Peterson. The winner will then be selected to perform at Worldwide Festival Singapore, which takes place between 7 and 10 May.

Joanna Dong’s Lullaby Nomad

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‘Lullaby Nomad’ is the opener from Joanna Dong‘s finely crafted debut released last September. The album is a collection of humble luxuries, with hopes to pacify each childlike soul, and comprises songs with lyrics both in English and Mandarin. “Lullaby Nomad is the story of a mother who travels in search for songs to sing to her baby. One for every day of the week,” Joanna adds. “The music is the only luxury she can afford for her child, and her voice, the infant’s only comfort. Translating and rewriting the lyrics to popular bossa nova standard So Nice, as well as afro-cuban jazz instrumental Afro Blue, I hope to refresh existing notions of Mandarin jazz music that equate the “Old Shanghai” style.”

Joanna has been into music for quite some time; flitting between styles, spheres and contexts, soaking up everything from opera to folk songs, she now concentrates on jazz. “I used to mimic my father as he bellowed Pavarotti and Domingo around the house. My father’s love for European operatic singing, coupled with the karaoke-fever of that era -it was in the 80s- favoring mandarin oldies and folk songs, certainly laid the foundations for the diversity of singing styles I was eventually to experiment with.”

Lullaby Nomad can be purchased from Sembawang Music Centre, The Asylum and Casual Poet.

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