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.