Sunday, September 17, 2006
Humour is the great antidote to tyranny and stupidity, and it's perhaps no accident that it is our greatest Malaysian survival tool. Great doses of it helped us survive the assault on recent Malaysian films such as Amir Muhammad's Lelaki Komunis Terakhir. As if anticipating the oncoming brouhaha, Hardesh Singh, with the help of lyrics by Jerome Kugan, has crafted for the film some of the funniest songs our land has ever produced.
It's a boon then that these songs are now available on CD in a compialtion of Hardesh's film music (the title is a mouthful, so henceforth it's EPFTTTNMMHGG). If you didn't get to see the film, you can at least get to enjoy its spirit on five cleverly crafted songs that form the sonic backbone to the 'odd' documentary the whole world got a glimpse of, minus Malaysia.
Off The Edge Sept 2006 is available now. It is one of my favourite magazine's, so go get it and read the full review.
It may be an exaggeration to claim that this collection of tunes by Hardesh Singh runs the gamut of human emotion. Then again, what if it's true...? Hardesh's debut album is a collection of his musical contributions to the cinematic works of Malaysia's most exciting filmmakers - Amir Muhammad (Tokyo Magic Hour and Lelaki Komunis Terakhir), Deepak Menon (Chemman Chaalai) and Yasmin Ahmad (Gubra and the upcoming Mukhsin). Admitedly, it isn't an easy listen. The tunes on offer range from surreal and avant-garde to rustic and romantic, and I can't really see someone listening to the whole album in one sitting, but perhaps that wasn't the intention of the composer in the first place. Perhaps, you're supposed to listen to it in segments depending on your mood. Perhaps then, you'll get a glimpse of the creative force behind these tracks. Me, I look forward to the "proper" debut - an album conceived, conceptualised and performed by Hardesh Singh. But till then, Pomeloes will do.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Tower Records Mid-Valley
F-073B First Floor, Mid Valley Megamall
Mid Valley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra
59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Open 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Tower Records Bandar Utama
Lot S49, 2nd Floor
1 Utama Shopping Centre
1 Lebuh Bandar Utama
47800 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Tower Records Penang
170-02-02 Plaza Gurney
10250 Penang, Malaysia
Tower Records Lot 10
Tower Records c/o Isetan of Japan
Lower Ground Floor,
Lot 10 50,
Jalan Sultan Ismail 50250
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Open 10:00 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Tower Records KLCC
C21C, Concourse Floor,
Kuala Lumpur City Centre,
50088 Kuala Lumpur
46150 Petaling Jaya
Open Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 10:15 p.m.
Tower Records Sri Hartamas
Lot P-5, Plaza Floor
Hartamas Shopping Centre
6, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Open Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Music: Seamless Hardesh
by Dharshana Sivapatham
IN the field of Malaysian indie films, Hardesh Singh has definitely made his mark. Dabbling in the local unsupported music scene is chancy at best, so to find one that has broken the international market, it’s a proud moment for him, and us.
As the 30-year-old tries to seat himself comfortably at the edge of a plush sofa in The Curve’s Laundry, he modestly explains that all his work is done from the comfort of his home, where his studio and life lie.
It was the launch of his debut CD, Eating Pomeloes from Tokyo to Tamil Nadu Makes My Heart Go Gubra, a compilation of all his compositions for films.
While the title may have been wittily worded from all the films the scores can be found, it is a compilation assuredly not for the pop inclined.
Prepare for a four-part journey, each distinct from each other. This very well could be the first of its kind in Malaysia.
At the launch, there were performances by Zalila Lee with her rendition of Malaria among others, and Yasmin Ahmad, augmented by Hardesh on guitar for Keroncong, from her new film, Mukhsin.
What took my fancy were the scores for Gubra, just heart wrenching with composed melodic style and ethereal sonority. Chemman Chaalai, blame my heritage if you like, had string work that was pleasingly poignant.
The best track on this album was Keroncong, so beautifully wrtten by Yasmin’s father, and composed by our man Hardesh, the sound engineer. It just stays with you, a definite tearjerker.
Appropriately the scores from Amir Muhammad’s Lelaki Komunis Terakhir are quirky and funny, the combination of sounds very accurately sending the intended message, with a melancholy look at the economy, and an army theme-inspired take on ICs. Impressive.
Original thought being such a rarity these days, this compilation makes ou giddy with laughter, weepy with forlornness, and it send you reminiscing about the things that were.
Born in Kuching, raised in Port Dickson and hailing from MMU with a degree in communications, Hardesh says running his own business has its “ups and downs but it’s all worth it because I get to do what I love to do, and that’s music”.
His score was favoured at the recent Berlinale, the Berlin Internatio nal Film Festival, for his contribution to Monday Morning Glory and Lelaki Komunis Terakhir, where the film had its world premiere.
While there may be serious talk of Hardesh being involved in a major animation feature in Germany, he has just finished remixing with German band Nude, an electronica band.
More albums are a sure thing from this down-to-earth wunderkin who seems
unawares of his impact on the local scene and is an avid fan of jazz, electronica and world music. Three guesses as to what his new album will be like.
* Keronchong, which is actually called Hujan btw, was composed by Ahmad Hashim, Yasmin's father, with lyrics by Inom Yon, Yasmin's mother. I did not compose Hujan. I produced it for Yasmin's upcoming film Mukhsin, and included it in the compilation as a bonus feature - hardesh
Friday, July 28, 2006
The man behind the music of some of Malaysia's coolest indie flicks passed us this CD of tunes featured in works by Amir Muhammad, Deepak Kumaran Menon and Yasmin Ahmad. A varied and cunningly bizarre compilation that moves from melancholic pianos and sweeping strings to glitch criss-crossed with Malay poetry. Ace!
Friday, July 14, 2006
Victoria Music Centre outlets are located at:
LG 029-031, Sungei Wang Plaza, Jln Sultan Ismail (03-2148 7208)
Platform "A", Level One, Kota Raya Complex, Jalan Cheng Lock (03 2031 8895)
Lot 1.18, 1st Floor, The Atria Shopping Centre, Jln SS22/23, D'sara Jaya (03 7729 7561)
G26, Ground Floor, Amcorp Mall, Off Jalan Timur (03 7956 0592)
Lot S9, 2nd Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Jalan Maarof (03 2093 1093)
and, Silverfish Books is located at:
67-1, Jalan Telawi Tiga, Bangsar Baru (03 2284 4837)
if you go to Silverfish Books, don't just buy the CD, buy the t-shirt too!
Friday, July 07, 2006
Hopefully there's a Rock Corner outlet near you:
One Utama, S205, 2nd Floor (03-7725 5667)
Bangsar Village, Lot F15, 1st Floor (03-2284 6062)
Mid Valley Megamall, T.028 & T.053, 3rd Floor (03-2284 1423)
Subang Parade, LG 20 C & D (03-5636 9520)
The Curve, Lot 207, 2nd Floor (03-7729 6313)
Great Eastern Mall, Lot 18, Level 1 (03-4256 9749)
Giant - Subang USJ, No. 672 & 673, USJ 1 (03-5638 5699)
Giant - Tmn Permata, Lot 3, 2nd Floor (03-4105 3146)
Kota Raya - G17, Kota Raya Complex (03-2034 1781)
Rhythm Music - Lot 1.110, Pertama Complex (03-2692 7046)
Music Magic - M.26, Central Market (03-2274 6649)
Trend - 4th Floor, Sogo KL (03-2699 6183)
Now here's the problem. After sending the CD master and artwork off for duplication, I realised that I forgot to put my name on the cover. Duh! So if you walk into the store and ask for "that hardesh singh CD", you'd probably get some blank stares.
Also, save your breath, don't bother calling out the entire title. Just ask for that Gubra soundtrack. That should do it.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Eating Pomeloes from Tokyo to Tamil Nadu Makes My Heart Go Gubra
Artist: HARDESH SINGH(SoundWorks Productions)
Reviewer: HARI RAJ
The songs for Amir Muhammad’s still-banned Lelaki Komunis Terakhir are an intriguing lot, with all the ironic heft of a raised eyebrow lent by virtue of an almost RTM-esque delivery.
The music for Yasmin Ahmad’s Gubra and the Deepak Menon-helmed Chemman Chaalai continues in the same vein, spanning idyll and ambition, headache and heartbreak, with the latter set showcasing the composer’s Indian classical roots.
The album finishes with an edgy flourish, with the ambient score to Amir’s Tokyo Magic Hour veering into territory that is experimental as the film itself.
Rather than inundating the listener with variations on a theme, Pomeloes presents a veritable chocolate box of choices. It is an outstanding showcase to the versatility and talent of a man who (as only revealed by the briefest of liner notes) either composed, produced, performed, programmed, recorded or mixed every song on this album ... our very own Hardesh Singh.
Incidentally, if you are rushing out to get this, bear in mind that the album is really hot off the factory floor and might not be widely available until next weekend.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Hardesh Singh's first soundtrack compilation, featuring original music scored for the following movies; Lelaki Komunis Terakhir, Gubra, Chemman Chaalai and Tokyo Magic Hour. Also includes a bonus cut of Hujan from Yasmin Ahmad's upcoming feature, Mukhsin.
Album out first week of July. Retail outlets to be updated here. Check back soon, or contact us for more info.
Some early comments:
It may be an exaggeration to claim that this collection of tunes by Hardesh Singh runs the gamut of human emotion. Then again, what if it's true …?
- Edward Gomez, Galaxie
Malaysian cinema gets it's much-needed sonic shot in the arm
- Suffian Rahman, FHM
Hardesh Singh's music refreshes the parts that other composers can't reach
- Amir Muhammad, filmmaker
One afternoon in January 2005, I went to the press screening of Deepak's film "Chemman Chaalai". The first thing that struck me was the haunting music of the film. It gave an impalpable sense of emotional urgency to this languid film. A year and a half later, Hardesh writes the arrangement for "Hujan", a keroncong song my father composed which i decided to use for my own film "Mukhsin". It was a song I had heard my father play a hundred times on our old piano. But when I heard Hardesh's arrangement of it, something i never expected happened. I wept.
- Yasmin Ahmad, filmmaker
Hardesh Singh is more than just a talented composer, he is a breath of fresh air in a relatively stale environment. His passion for, and skill in creating, this series of vastly contrasting soundscapes, is laudable
- Martin Vengadesan, The Star
The music is as disparate as the films they were meant for, but Hardesh's talent has always gone beyond the confines of any one genre
- Brian Yap, KLue