The Council Consults: Music

The Council Consults: Hidzir, 10 Years of Music Journalism

By Tessa Mendez

The Council Consults: Hidzir, 10 Years of Music Journalism

Not everyone can put pen to paper and articulate the feelings invoked by a song, or have an ear for details that go over most listeners’ heads - to capture a moment and describe the distinct feeling of immenseness a verse creates - and there’s something to be said (read: admired) about those who possess the skill to verbalise something so intangible.

 For this week’s edition of The Council Consults, we speak to one such person who has managed to document the music scene seemingly effortlessly for the past 10 years, Hidzir, who shares with us 10 of his favourite house & techno tracks.

You might have read and listened to his column for Bandwagon, The Bandwagon Mix (check out one of his personal favourite mixes #69 by husband and wife duo Debbie Chia and Kavan Spruyt of Midnight Shift, AKA Lily's Rose, here), or you might be more familiar with the version of him that’s grooving to the music on the dancefloor.

It may come as a surprise to many, but prior to his music journalism days, Hidzir could be found listening to hip-hop, hardcore punk, and, as he jokingly shares with us, his first encounter with “techno” was really eurodance - all this took a shift as he started unravelling the marvels of house and techno.

House music has always been a staple of nightlife in Singapore, with a dense influx of house and techno culture in recent years, Hidzir shares about the early days of the scene, “Zouk pioneered the movement back in the mid-90s, helping popularize the genre to casuals over here - and although I wasn't old enough to experience those dancefloors firsthand, I recognize how important that era was in Singaporean house music history.”

The nightlife scene moves at a rapid pace in Singapore, with new promoters and event concepts coming up, as well as your long-standing institutions that have remained, Hidzir maintains that house music will never go out of fashion, “It is important to note that nightlife trends will always be cyclical and fleeting. But for as long as I've covering nightlife, house music is the one thing that never goes out fashion. Regardless of what's hip in electronic music at the time, eventually people will always want to go back to its roots, and there's nothing purer than house.”

From his piqued interest, he’s gone on to attend some of the largest dance music festivals, including Sonar Barcelona in 2012 when he was Music Editor at JUICE Singapore where he caught incredible sets by John Talabot, Nina Kraviz, Ritchie Hawtin, Julio Bashmore and many more. He reminisces, “I even caught the late great DJ Rashad, and at the time I wasn't even familiar with footwork.”

An ode to 10 years of his career in music journalism - hit play on Hidzir’s playlist and have a listen to 10 of his favourite house and techno tracks.

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The Council Consults: Sheena, A Techno Adventure

By Tessa Mendez

The Council Consults: Sheena, A Techno Adventure

There’s something intangible about the moments you spend on the dancefloor, where the bassline keeps your feet moving and the melodies send you soaring. Be it at a festival, a club, an unexpected pop-up venue or in your best friends’ living room, irreplaceable memories are forged on the journey that the music takes you on.

This week The Council Consults invites the effervescent Sheena, to share with us her favourite moments and tracks from her recent adventure in Europe.

Having contemplated taking a gap period for a while, she knew that 2017 was the year to get out of Singapore’s bubble and experience a whole different environment. Earlier this year, she took to Europe where she spent 3 months travelling through Berlin, London and Amsterdam, immersing herself in a musical adventure.

“It’s true what they say, you just have to go to Berlin and experience the spirit of Berlin’s nightlife - not just in the clubs, but pop-up spaces, house parties for people to lose themselves in,” Sheena says, “While there are the famous big clubs like Berghain and Sisyphos, I got to experience smaller venues like HEIDEGLÜHEN. Beyond clubs, you could find parties at underused spaces and industrial buildings which made the atmosphere so unique.”

Being on the road and hitting hot spots such as Amsterdam, Sheena was able to catch part of the beating heart of Amsterdam’s electronic music scene, DGTL Amsterdam. The festival is held at NDSM Docklands, and punters get to experience partying in an industrial shipyard surrounded by art installations. Some of the highlights for Sheena were hard hitting techno maestro Maceo Plex’s (cue jealous gasps) three-hour set and Fort Romeau at the Resident Advisor Stage.

Over in London, Sheena attended Junction 2, a festival curated by establishments such as The Hydra and Drumcode, where she got to catch some of her favourite techno acts including Tale of Us and Adam Beyer.

“The playlist is quite a mix to show the variety of new sounds I got to experience during my trip, whether it was in small, underground parties in Berlin to music festival setting in London,” she shares.

Let Sheena share her musical adventure with you, with her playlist spanning minimal techno tracks to deep house tracks and everything in between.

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The Council Consults: Camille, Farewell For Now

By Tessa Mendez

The Council Consults: Camille, Farewell For Now

By now we have learned how transient this little red dot is - people come from all walks of life to study, work and live here - and when comes the time to bid them farewell, it is always bittersweet.

Often spotted at the front of the cage with a drink in hand and not a care in the world, Camille is a familiar face to many on the dancefloor. This week’s edition of The Council Consults sees our poster girl (literally, you would have seen her cameo on several of our event banners), share a farewell playlist that emulates her mood as she prepares to return to Paris.

“I’ve been living in Singapore for about 2 years now on a school exchange programme. In my second year here, one of my friends introduced me to HQ, and the rest was history,” she reminisces, “It’s never easy to leave a place that feels like home, and when I’m back in France I’ll definitely miss this place and all the wonderful people I’ve met here.”

Catch her for one more night of cardio at the frontlines of HQ this week as Finn & HarryC take over the decks to keep you dancing all night long. 

From the team at The Council, we wish you the very best as you go on to take Paris by storm, Camille. Goodbyes are never easy, but we are sure our paths will cross again. Always remember to 'Keep Dancing' and 'Behave Yourself'.

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The Council Consults: Reza, Mystic Island Playlist

By Tessa Mendez

The Council Consults: Reza, Mystic Island Playlist

They say that art is born out of an attempt to bring order out of chaos, and for Reza that is a key concept that is reflected in his works. A motion graphics artist since 2005 with a self-professed penchant for the collage style of “noisy chaotic textured visuals”, you might have seen his quirky illustration printed on The Council’s tote bag, as well as his visual motion graphics at Zouk Singapore, Super0 Festival, CATO and Camp Kilo x Commoner Creatures events.

Having just returned from a quick getaway - first, to the city of love and romance, Paris, where he frolicked through The Peacock Society (“with a God-awful crowd”, he laments), after which he rolled on into the techno-mecca of Berlin, Berghain to catch Ryan Elliot at Panorama Bar - Reza is currently preparing for his first-ever solo showcase titled, 'Mystic Island', where he will be showing a broad range of work across various mediums spanning ink on paper and ceramics, gouache on paper, and digital prints on cotton and silk textiles.

Ever-inspired by sacred geometries, religious symbolisms and structures, 'Mystic Island' will feature his works that were born out of all the spiritual encounters he has had in Asia. Expect to see chaos laced with his depictions of dealings with spiritual individuals & healers, numerologists, "suan ming" (Chinese fortune tellers), as well as old folk tales of myths and legends from our mysterious little red dot.

“I try to illustrate some of the stories I’ve encountered with visuals of how I perceive them, keeping it simple, fun and accessible for people to understand,” he shares. “As this is my first solo show, I would like to take the opportunity to let go of all the stories that I have encountered to allow space for a new chapter to be opened, hence a lot of my works will be available for purchase at this trunk show.

'Mystic Island' will be showcased at the UltraSuperNew exhibition space at 13 Bussorah St from 3 to 12 August, and The Council residents Yadin Moha and Cats On Crack will be putting on the tunes for the debut party on 3 August from 7.00pm to 9.00pm.

This week, Reza digs through his collection of music, pulling out some of his favourite tracks heard at Panorama Bar, as well as some all-time-favourites, to put together a tracklist for The Council Consults.

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The Council Consults: Juls, A Home Away from Home Playlist

By Tessa Mendez

The Council Consults: Juls, A Home Away from Home Playlist

If you haven’t seen her markings on the walls back at HQ, you probably would have seen them on a bigger scale (we’re talking murals) elsewhere such as at Gallery & Co., Zouk & Camp Kilo x Commoner Creatures Art Club. Born-and-bred Singaporean artist and self-professed ‘mark-maker’ Juls takes the spotlight for this week’s edition of The Council Consults.

For the past three months, Juls was holed up in Taiwan, where she had been working on her largest mural to date. Titled “Eh Vlly ’n The Uunevrs”, the mural features her signature "semi-automatic" drawing style, marked by repetitive strokes which create patterns that might seem like recognisable letters and numbers, but are in fact wonderful gibberish. Each stroke is hand-drawn using a paint-marker, creating mapping a fictional labyrinth, something that is a recurring theme in her art. Juls spent a total of 143 hours spanning over 31 days to create the masterpiece that currently stands at 駁二藝術特區 The Pier-2 Art Center, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
"The markings are intentionally abstract, and their patterns form organic shapes resembling mountains surrounding a valley—a very apparent place," she explains, "For the artist, it is about the process—the act of drawing to discover, through the different stages of mental and physical challenges of the dull action of repetitive marking. Through my works I intend to promulgate the multiplicity of abstract conception as I crave for the beauty of ambiguity and awe of decipherment. This is a valley in this Universe, but where…"
During her artist residency in Taiwan, she would reminisce over her weekly romps on the dancefloor, leading her to seek out new music through her Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify; in this playlist, Juls shares her top tracks that kept her company while working on the mural.
Some tracks are reminiscent of the shenanigans with her crew back in Singapore; others are more easy-listening and catchier, keeping her singing along through the repetitive marking of walls. She highlights “Sleep Talk” by Einmusik, saying "This track stands out as I shared it with someone important to me when we were in Taipei; this memory linked to this track has a special meaning now."
Always looking for a new challenge, Juls is open to possible collaborations in any discipline of Art and Design, and hopes to be able to leave her mark on more walls here in Singapore.
Check out Juls' website for more of her artwork here.

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The Council Consults: Cindy, The Perfect Night in Berlin Playlist

By Tessa Mendez

The Council Consults: Cindy, The Perfect Night in Berlin Playlist
A familiar face to many, Cindy has been listening to electronic music since she was 18, during the era of French electro/bloghaus. Her keen interest in discovering new music, varying across a diverse range of genres such as French Electro, served as her gateway to the subversive world of house & techno music.
When she's not waiting on the next beat at HQ, Cindy can usually be found attending live band shows, or hopping from one electronic gig to the next music festival around the world. She counts Primavera in Barcelona as one of the best festivals she has ever attended.
“It had the perfect balance of bands and djs/electronic acts, but if you’re just there for the electronic music, check out Sonar or Off Week - they're incredible," she shares, "For the entire week, the best producers and djs play there and there are 10 parties a day around Barcelona! People there are warm and friendly and super fun to party with.”
This August, she’ll be taking a trip in to Europe, hitting the beating heart of the underground sound, Berlin, before heading over to Morocco for Oasis Festival and then to Portugal for BPM Festival.
In the debut edition of The Council Consults series, Cindy shares with us her playlist for the perfect night in Europe, starting off with an ethereal, atmospheric track, and building the pace up to a steady thumping beat to take her deeper in to the night.
 

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The Council Consults: An Introduction

By Eileen Chan

The Council Consults: An Introduction
You've heard enough from us, now we want to hear from you. The Council Consults is a fortnightly series where familiar faces from the dance floor share what they're listening to – so step forward and tell us what tracks have been making you move, because we're listening.
In the debut edition coming up on 27 June, we speak to resident sweetheart, Cindy, who shares her idea of the perfect night in Berlin as she gears up to head over there for the summer. Keep your ears peeled for more x

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