Musically and lyrically intense, get ready to headbang to Vivenne’s Verdict’s “Depiction”. Originally founded by Dezimon (vocals) and Reuben (bassist) in 2009, local Hard Rock bandOn April 11, 2016 / By Aiden Eng
Musically and lyrically intense, get ready to headbang to Vivenne’s Verdict’s “Depiction”.
Originally founded by Dezimon (vocals) and Reuben (bassist) in 2009, local Hard Rock band Vivenne’s Verdict started out with covers. Back then, they were known as Take It Apart, and after several changes, the current lineup was formed in 2011, with Vincent (guitar), Jay (guitar), and Kenneth (drums), together with the two original founding members. During this same period, the band would shift its focus to originals, and just earlier this year in January, Depiction, the band’s first EP was released.
An Intense Depiction
Monster opens the EP with a clean riff which will later be infused with chugging chords by Vincent and Jay, to the background of the powerful drum and bass combo of Kenneth and Reuben. Noteworthy is Reuben’s playing, with his bass pushing with a relentless energy that helps drive the four minute song. There is a reigned intensity in the verses of Monster; let loose in the build ups to the segments, as well as throughout the choruses, the intro, the outro, and the breakdown towards the end, the song is fueled by raw energy. Similarly, there is rawness of emotion in Dezimon’s vocals. Not so much concerned with the existence of monsters, but with an emphasis on one within all of us, Dezimon sings of having “lost control of the Monster within me”. Asking questions of himself and of the listeners, the intensity in this piece is mirrored by the poignant lyrics sung by Dezimon.
Stripped back, but not shortchanged in intensity, the band is able to continue their energy in slower pieces such as Fly Away and Melodramatic. In Melodramatic, to the backdrop of Kenneth’s relentless rain of cymbals in the chorus, Dezimon sings of the pain of unrequited love, “makes me feel like a fool, wonder if you always feel me too”. He bares his emotion through the lyrics and his vocals, a mournful account, similar to how he sings “your words sink on me, heavy like a stone”. Throughout the EP, Vivenne’s Verdict’s energy is prevalent.
With tasty riffs by Vincent and Jay peppered throughout their songs, Vivienne’s Verdict puts their own spin on the populated Hard Rock genre. In addition to the harmony of Denizon’s vocals, there is a harmony of instruments as well. To the tight combination of bass and drums, the guitar riffs layered on top add a different dimension of melody. Consequently there is versatility in their sound, but with an intensity of energy imbued in all their tracks. Their heavy sound can also float light, as per Fly Away, be driven out in tracks such as Block the Sun, or even something in between as per Breathe Underwater.
One To Look Out For
With intensity in both music and lyrics, Vivenne’s Verdict has poured their energy and emotions into Depiction. Through the five tracks, the band has showcased their versatility as well as gone about defining their own sound and style. As their first release, Depiction impresses.
From Hong Kong to Taipei, New York to Moscow, the Hennessy Artistry series has crossed over 40 countries in the past decade, leaving borderless innovation, the courage toOn March 15, 2016 / By Nookmag
From Hong Kong to Taipei, New York to Moscow, the Hennessy Artistry series has crossed over 40 countries in the past decade, leaving borderless innovation, the courage to dream, and a culture of fun in its wake.
In 2006, Hennessy brought together an intriguing mix of sound, colors, lights, and opportunities encompassing their belief of the “Art of Blending”. With this concept firmly entrenched in their spirit, the Hennessy Artistry series was born. True to its name, this series showcases talents from a rainbow spectrum of musicians to bring us global experiences and exclusive encounters in an ever changing world not limited to hip-hop, pop, or trance.
With a play on words, Hennessy’s philosophy on the art of mixing shows that not only do music and partying seamlessly blend cultural differences from East to West; it also proves to us that mixing doesn’t just end in a shot glass, it flows on to create awesome new experiences on a DJ’s turntable.
Previously held in various countries worldwide, international names such as The Veronicas, EMPTY, Juno Mak, and Rita Ora have joined the stage in pursuing their dreams with the Hennessy Artistry series. While an artistic soul lies in its ability to create and innovate, this series of events provide a platform for budding artistes to colour outside the box, and paint life beyond frames. Encouraging a stretch in the imagination, this campaign shows us life on the other side of the turntable.
Lucky J dares to dream. Do you?
Article sponsored by Hennessy; all thoughts expressed are our own.
Singapore Lyric Opera dedicates its annual Opera Ball to their late Founding Chairman, Mr. Leow Siak Fah The Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) is once again holding itsOn March 8, 2016 / By Nookmag
Singapore Lyric Opera dedicates its annual Opera Ball to their late Founding Chairman, Mr. Leow Siak Fah
The Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) is once again holding its annual Opera Ball, this year on the 11th of March 2016. This exclusive event will be dedicated to the memory and in remembrance of the late Mr. Leow Siak Fah, who passed on last year. The evening will feature excerpts from operas fondly associated with him. Known to many as an unmistakable force in the industry, the late chairman spearheaded SLO to become the institution it is today.
Taking place at the St. Regis Hotel, John Jacob Ballroom, the amount raised from this year’s Opera Ball will be used to fund SLO’s activities in 2016, which include the full-length opera, Puccini’s Turandot in August, the Annual Gala Concert in November, and two children’s choir concerts in July and December respectively.
Part of the proceeds will also contribute to the establishment of “SLO – Leow Siak Fah Young Artists Programme”, with the aim of further developing and improving the artistic and musical talent in Singapore. In addition, this Programme provides opportunities for young singers to hone their craft and gain experience on the professional stage.
This year, the Guest-of-Honour will be none other than SLO’s Patron-in-Chief, Mr. S R Nathan. Appointed the position when he was still president, Mr. Nathan has been very supportive of SLO’s work and his presence has been a great source of encouragement for the institution. Mr. Toh Weng Cheong, Chairman of SLO, mentioned, “Mr. Nathan’s advice and insights as Patron-in-Chief would be invaluable as we chart our course to meet future challenges in an increasingly open and more competitive arts scene. With his patronage we look forward to enhancing SLO’s role to popularize and create wider appreciation of opera and music theatre in Singapore.”
The exciting line-up of this year’s Ball includes SLO’s first Honorary Artistic Director and highly renowned soprano, Nancy Yuen, as well as tenor extraordinaires Peter Ong, Melvin Tan and Reuben Lai, accompanied by distinguished pianist, Rena Phua.
Be enthralled with beautiful duets from Nancy Yuen where she will be performing songs from Carmen and The Merry Widow with Reuben Lai and Melvin Tan respectively, while well-known operas like “O Sole Mio” and “Granada” as well as concert favourite “Mattinata” will be sung by the three talented tenors. In addition, Peter Ong, dubbed as the “Consummate Artiste” by The New Straits Times 2014, will take on a solo performance on the challenging tenor aria “Serenade” from The Student Prince by Romberg. Finally, the singers will come together and close the night with a combined performance of “Brindisi” from La Traviata by Verdi.
11 March 2016, 7pm
St. Regis Hotel, John Jacob Ballroom
Patrons’ Table : SGD30,000
Other Prices : SGD15,000, SGD10,000, SGD8,000, SGD5,000 and SGD3,000
Individual : SGD2,000, SGD1,000, SGD800 and SGD500
Never Never Land from Jule Styne’s Peter Pan (Caitlyn Tan)
My Heart & I by Richard Tauber (Peter Ong)
O Sole Mio by di Capua (Reuben Lai, Peter Ong & Melvin Tan)
Mattinata by Leoncavallo (Reuben Lai, Peter Ong & Melvin Tan)
Granada by Lara (Reuben Lai, Peter Ong & Melvin Tan)
Parle-moi de ma mere from Bizet’s Carmen (Nancy Yuen & Reuben Lai)
Love Unspoken from Lehár’s The Merry Widow (Nancy Yuen & Melvin Tan)
The Loveliest Night of the Year by Aaronson (All Singers)
Dein ist mein ganzes Herz from Lehár’s Das Land des Lächelns (All Singers)
Brindisi from Verdi’s La Traviata (All Singers)
Visit their website for more information on the event.
Join us in an evening of indulgence with the NUS Symphony Orchestra as they present an exciting repertoire under the skilful baton of Maestro Lim Soon Lee. AsOn March 6, 2016 / By Nookmag
Join us in an evening of indulgence with the NUS Symphony Orchestra as they present an exciting repertoire under the skilful baton of Maestro Lim Soon Lee. As part of the NUS Arts Festival 2016, the festival theme this year is ‘Wonder’ and NUSSO’s concert titled ‘Music For Curious Minds’ seeks to bring the audience on a journey of discovery and experimentation.
Featuring works that were at the forefront of progress during their time such as Brahm’s Academic Festive Overture as well as Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, this concert aims to draw the startling parallels of Science and Music. Additionally, this concert will feature 2 local artists: prominent violist Lim Chun and winner of the 2013 National Piano and Violin Competition (NPVC) Junior Category, 15-year old violinist Kimberly Lo in Bruch’s Double Concerto in E Minor.
Tickets are priced at $20 and $25, and are now available for purchase here.
For more information about the orchestra and the event, visit their website now.
“Music is a journey, not a destination. Focus on the labour of love and the pursuit of passion.” Instead of being defined by one clear genre, DennisOn March 1, 2016 / By Nookmag
“Music is a journey, not a destination.
Focus on the labour of love and the pursuit of passion.”
Instead of being defined by one clear genre, Dennis and Jared of Ciao Turtle explore a blend of genres such as funk, folk and pop in their song-writing. Their music is fuss-free – they are inspired by what they love hearing and re-invent where the songs lead them, taking their audience on an emotional journey with an open destination.
Gaining popularity since the release of their first three singles “When The Stars” (Aug 2014), “I’m Out” (Dec 2014) and “Mary Jane” (Jun 2015), this homegrown duo have since played at numerous local and international music festivals such as Music Matters Live 2015, Voidfest 2015, CQ Live Summer Music Festival 2015 and Wondersound Festival 2015. Among other accolades under their belt, their work titled “Being Here” was also selected as one of three finalists out of almost 1,000 entries for SG50 The Gift of Song songwriting competition organised by Mediacorp in November 2014.
As musicians, they believe that music sounds different when it is played live; somehow, without you knowing, you are drawn to become part of the audience. And that’s how they like it. Simple, never taken too seriously, and always to be enjoyed!
Ciao Turtle will launch their self-titled debut EP on 12 March 2016 on all digital platforms including iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, and Rdio. Reflective of their ambition to explore a variety of genres – from pop to funk, this EP comprises 5 original songs written by Dennis Ng and Jared Chan, including their singles ‘When The Stars’ and ‘I’m Out’ which ranked 24th on the iTunes singles chart within the first day of launch.
To celebrate the launch of the EP, the duo will be holding a concert at
Aliwal Arts Centre
Saturday, 12 March, 7pm
The concert will feature all 5 tracks on the EP and a number of unreleased original songs.
On 5 March this year from 1pm to 9pm, one of Asia’s most reputable DJ academies, E-TracX, will be opening its doors to showcase what DJing is allOn February 27, 2016 / By Nookmag
On 5 March this year from 1pm to 9pm, one of Asia’s most reputable DJ academies, E-TracX, will be opening its doors to showcase what DJing is all about. As part of the celebrations leading up to their open house, E-TracX has offered to provide a 25% discount* off all courses from now till 4 March.
During this event, E-TracX will host a variety of activities and special offers, including free DJ workshop sessions and a generous 40% discount off most of their available courses. Participants who sign up for their Music Production (Logic Pro) Course on the day stand a chance to win a DJ Controller and a Midi Keyboard Controller, and everyone gets to try their hand at being a DJ at their Open Decks session from 6pm to 9pm.
The free workshop sessions will be conducted by E-TracX Instructors, Koflow, Perk Pietrek, and Rattle, between 1pm and 6pm. As each workshop session is limited to 10 lucky participants, come early to avoid disappointment!
1pm – 2pm : DJ Creativity & Routine Creation by Koflow
3pm – 4pm : DJ & Turntablism by Rattle
5pm – 6pm : Intro to Music Production by Perk Pietrek
6pm – 9pm : Open Decks
25% Off all Elementary & Intermediate courses
40% Off all other courses
*Discounts will be based on new course fees
Lucky Draw entries for their DJ and Midi Keyboard Controllers start from today. Winners will be announced at the end of the E-TracX Open House at 9pm.
SINGAPORE, 23 February, 2016, Singapore – M83 has confirmed their anticipated return to Singapore on Thursday, 19th May. Since the last Singapore visit in 2012 which sawOn February 26, 2016 / By Nookmag
SINGAPORE, 23 February, 2016, Singapore – M83 has confirmed their anticipated return to Singapore on Thursday, 19th May.
Since the last Singapore visit in 2012 which saw him perform at Laneway Festival Singapore, Anthony Gonzalez – the sonic visionary behind the sublime sound of M83 – has toured the world over, taking his exultant songs to some of the world’s premier live music venues and festival main-stages, from Lollapalooza to Melt! Festival, the Hollywood Bowl to London’s O2 Academy and everything in between.
It was the triumphant release of 2011’s ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’ that gained acclaim as Gonzalez’s opus, placing M83 in the direct current of the mainstream and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album that year. The album topped the Billboard chart and received a rare 9.1 album rating from Pitchfork, who named it as one of the 100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far, while securing Gonzalez praise for his “wide open interplanetary soundscape of reverb-washed guitar, and rocket-fuelled-beats that build and burst behind competing tides of synthesis”.
2016 will bring with it the release of M83’s first studio album in five years, which Gonzalez describes as “more fun and fresh” with “a lot of eclecticism”.
Tickets for the show are priced at SGD99 for purchase through the SISTIC hotline +65 6348 5555, mobile app, online at www.sistic.com.sg, and at all SISTIC authorised agents. Fan Club pre-sale begins today at 10am and limited Early Bird tickets are available from Wednesday, 24 February at SGD79.
M83’s epic return to the international touring circuit will be launched with an extensive North American tour this April, and bookmarked by festival appearances across the world including Sasquatch Music Festival, Bonnaroo, Melt!, Way Out West and Flow Festival. April’s dual Coachella performances will see M83 take the stage alongside the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Calvin Harris, Guns N Roses, Sia and more.
On arrival on our shores in May, Gonzalez and band will be raring to deliver their best ever live show. As one past reviewer notes, “(M83’s) epic stage show (was) driven by the biggest and best drum section I’ve ever heard and synths that make the entire 1980s seem like a warm up”, and another raving that “… if your mind wasn’t already blown, the unbelievable wall of noise was the final knockout blow”. Music lovers, prepare to lose your minds.
Praised by the likes of NME Magazine, Indie Shuffle and Triple J, Leisure Suite’s eponymous debut EP certainly set the bar high. However, it seems the fledgling duoOn February 20, 2016 / By Nookmag
Praised by the likes of NME Magazine, Indie Shuffle and Triple J, Leisure Suite’s eponymous debut EP certainly set the bar high. However, it seems the fledgling duo have already exceeded expectations with sophomore release ‘Lay Low’.
Holding as true to their namesake as ever, Leisure Suite’s latest record is as lush and leisurely as they come. Swirling synth melodies and downtempo beats underpin Bridgette Le’s velvet-smooth vocals, forging dreamy soundscapes redolent of The XX or Snakadaktal.
Serving as the outfit’s first self-produced effort, ‘Lay Low’ exhibits a marked progression from earlier work. It‘s a record full of nuances; exerting equal amounts of both flair and restraint. From the covertly broody ‘Sweet Gin’ to the more uptempo, R&B inspired ‘Shame’, the excellence of ‘Lay Low’ lies in its understatement.
With mastering duties left in the capable hands of Grammy-award nominated guru Andrei Eremin (Chet Faker, Hiatus Kaiyote), it’s safe to say ‘Lay Low’ got the treatment it deserves.
Having shared the stage with the likes of Alpine, Willow Beats, Tora and Oisima, along with a highlight appearance at Paradise Music Festival over the past 12 months, Leisure Suite will be doing anything but laying low in 2016.
After a successful launch of his new record TIME/SPACE with a #1 spot on the Singapore iTunes album charts and a viral reception to his first music videoOn February 17, 2016 / By Nookmag
After a successful launch of his new record TIME/SPACE with a #1 spot on the Singapore iTunes album charts and a viral reception to his first music video for I Only Tell The Truth, singer-songwriter/producer Charlie Lim has released his second official music video for Bitter, one of the album’s more popular tracks.
A collaboration with Australian visual artist Anita Lester, the video for Bitter adopts a gothic but childlike Burton-esque treatment that pairs with the complexity and lyrical depth that Charlie has worked into the song. Having ruminated on this track for over 3 years before its release, Bitter meditates on the paradox of finding the right person at the wrong time, and being perpetually displaced in reality:
“Pull me out of focus, keep me in the queue
I’m a tired lover wilting hours in the waiting room
Embrace the silence when there’s nothing left
You got no room for demons when you’re self-possessed”
“Why am I so bitter about you babe, I don’t understand
Was I trying to cash in the fantasy without the reality check
But I never wanted you to lie to yourself about happiness
When all you were was just a little lonely”
“I’ve been living with this song for some time now, so it’s nice to finally find a home for it in a visual sense,” says Charlie. “It’s quite a dense arrangement and it spans for a little over 6 minutes, so I wanted a simple but strong narrative –as if you were reading a children’s bedtime story.” Anita’s illustrations were perfect for the video; which shows life as both kind and tragic, beautiful and cruel, comical yet dark at the same time.
Over the past few weeks, the inaugural artiste development program, LEVEL UP! Singapore, held its nationwide open calls for young local talents. More than a hundred applicants submittedOn February 15, 2016 / By Nookmag
Over the past few weeks, the inaugural artiste development program, LEVEL UP! Singapore, held its nationwide open calls for young local talents. More than a hundred applicants submitted their work through the program, in hopes of a chance to record their very own single and music video, and be groomed as a professional artiste.
After a thorough selection process, LEVEL UP! Singapore is moving on to its next phase, where 12 upcoming music talents will be announced periodically.
This month, LEVEL UP! Singapore is proud to present the first 3 selected artistes to kick-start the program!
Lewis Loh, otherwise musically known as LEW, is a local singer‐songwriter who is inspired by acoustic and folk tunes. He started singing and playing the guitar when he was thirteen but started songwriting at the age of seventeen. LEW writes about the raw and metaphorical ways that he feels about his experiences, and materialises these ideas using the simplicity of a guitar and his voice. He has recently participated and completed the NOISE Singapore Music Mentorship Program, and was awarded the NOISE Award for 2015.
Last Friday (12 Feb 2016), LEW launched his debut single ‘Two’ under the LEVEL UP! Singapore program. The single has since achieved remarkable result, topping the iTunes charts at #17 since its release. The official Music Video for ‘Two’ is also available on LEW’s Youtube channel and Level Up! Singapore’s official Facebook page. The single is being promoted on 98.7FM.
Jasmine Wong, or commonly known as her stage name JASM!NE, was also a mentee under the NOISE Singapore Music Mentorship Program in 2014. Terming her style as ‘quirk electronic’, the 20-year-old has a soft yet malleable voice that blends so well with her chill electronic track layered beneath. Jasmine stood out from the crowd with her distinct vocal tone and meticulously produced electronic sound.
Mandy Kuah is currently a Year 3 student at Temasek Polytechnic. While enrolling in a film course, she has an equal burning passion for music. Mandy began writing her own songs at the age of eighteen, and believes that perseverance and confidence are the key to achieve her dreams. She is currently penning lyrics for two songs from the upcoming album of local vocal band, MICappella.
With LEW’s debut single, ‘Two’, kicking off the program last week, JASM!NE and Mandy Kuah will also be releasing their individual single and music video shortly.
Ambassadors of 2016 LEVEL UP! Singapore
While given the opportunity to release their own single and music video, the selected artistes will also receive full guidance and mentorship from the program’s ambassadors.
The first 3 ambassadors announced are sassy singer-songwriter Tay Kewei, award-winning music producer and songwriter Tat Tong, and bubbly DJ and singer-songwriter Daphne Khoo.
These ambassadors each bring a wealth of experience and skills and will provide masterclasses and mentorship to the 12 selected artistes to help them find their signature sound, hone their craft and build their audience to be market ready.
More ambassadors will be announced in the coming weeks.
LEVEL UP! Singapore is jointly organised by Cross Ratio Entertainment and Singapore’s renowned producer, Roland Lim. For more updates, visit the official website at: http://www.levelupsingapore.com
This year, E-TracX DJ Skool and Studios turns 13. Powered by passion, the DJ school started off as a DJ store selling records and DJ equipment. One yearOn December 18, 2015 / By Nookmag
This year, E-TracX DJ Skool and Studios turns 13. Powered by passion, the DJ school started off as a DJ store selling records and DJ equipment. One year into the business, founders Edwin and Stephanie established a DJ school that has grown to be one of Asia’s most reputable DJ academies.
E-TracX has since witnessed many of its students become professional DJs respected for their craft and defined music style, win awards and competitions, and set up music businesses.
Accolades atop piling accolades, E-TracX’s heart and soul ultimately lie in its purpose to change people’s lives for the better, with music as its medium. Steering its direction is its mission of creating champions and uniting communities.
“E-TracX students are champions! They’re regarded as champions, not only because they have won awards, competitions, and excelled in the industry, but mainly because they support and inspire others,” expressed Stephanie.
“I can’t say that we have a formula for creating champions, but I do acknowledge that there’s an indefinable quality about E-TracX that is responsible for this. In simple terms, I call it the ‘soul’ of E-TracX. I’m very lucky to have worked with the best. E-TracX instructors are some of the most inspiring, dedicated, genuine, and supportive people I’ve had the privilege of meeting.”
“The E-TracX family and culture have also played a tremendous part as well. It is one where all of us come together to support, motivate, and inspire each other.”
Nookmag dug in to find out more about the E-TracX family and culture with interviews with Stephanie and a few of its DJ instructors (DJ Koflow and DJ Perk Pietrek) and students (Sherman Jin and Anrev).
Nookmag (N): Tell us more about your passion for DJ-ing.
Koflow (K): First and foremost, I’m a turntablist. And because of that, my job scope falls in the category as ‘Performing Artist’. Then I’m a DJ, a selector for a vibe if you are looking for a party. Then, I’m a Beat Maker/Producer. For the rest of my time, I’m an educator. Or a curator who runs my own events like ‘Solid Gold’ or Curating Music Campaign for other companies. DJ-ing has been a life-long passion; it really just started out as a hobby. But now, it has turned into a career and lifestyle. It really puts me in a blank zone working on music as much as drawing. I guess I just enjoy the process of the creativity.
Perk Pietrek (P): I’m mainly teaching at E-TracX while working on my own project under the moniker of ‘Perk Pietrek’, producing dance music with a niche sound of tropical bass. DJ-ing was what got me started in electronic music, and being part of the whole turntablism movement has played a big part in building my identity as an artist too. DJ-ing is definitely something I can do day-in day-out for the rest of my life.
Sherman Jin (SJ): I am working as a DJ and I have been DJ-ing for a few years now. I love editing, experimenting, and coming up with different styles for tracks. Being a DJ has enabled me to do all that.
Anrev (A): I’m classically trained in piano since young, and picked up the craft only last year. Though a new found passion then, it became an art form which feels strangely natural to me.
In this day and age, technological limitations in music are a thing of the past. My instrument of choice naturally became the DJ turntables and mixer, allowing me to freely manipulate whatever instruments I want, just with ONE set of equipment. I quickly got hooked onto DJing, and before long, there was a time I was practicing no less than five hours a day.
It also began to dawn on me that as an artist, just mixing from one song to another didn’t allow me to express my brand of music meaningfully.
I picked up the art of turntablism, a profound art of manipulating sounds with the use of various methods such as scratching and beat juggling. Ever since, it has become more than an addiction, almost meditative. Haha… This allowed me to start using turntables as a full-fledged instrument and opened me up to new horizons of musical possibilities.
Although I am still schooling, that does not stop me from practicing and evolving my brand of music as much as I can. Music Production is also something I am currently picking up, as it remains one of the most effective ways to express myself as a musician. As a DJ, however, I enjoy incorporating advanced elements of turntablism into my mixes, creating an eclectic blend of different genres, in order to express a brand of music I believe in.
As I am still 16, I have set myself a long-term goal to introduce the essence of turntablism to the next generation of DJs around the world! I am humbled and proud to have won the 2nd place in the All Beats Cineleisure DJ Championship held recently. It’s only my first competition, and I believe this is just the beginning.
N: Share with us a short summary of your story with E-TracX.
K: Somewhere along 2003, E-TracX opened its door as a record store. And thats where we met and started building from then. The only difference with E-TracX at that time, is that it’s the only record shop, that allows us kids to hang out or scratch on any given day. And with that small gesture, another community started. Along with DJ Rough we taught the Scratch classes, and by 2005, I had a lot more friends to scratch with! Fast forward to 2015, we are all still sticking together as a unit, still educating, still Scratching, still hanging out, still enjoys music, the difference is that we have more friends who are like an extended family bonded by DJ-ing.
P: E-TracX was the spot to hang out at if you wanted to improve because there’s so many other DJs sharing ideas during the monthly Scratch jams. It has always felt like a 2nd home for music (besides my own studio) and that was a feeling very valuable to myself as well as the other DJs around too.
SJ: E-TracX has been like a family to me. It is also a close-knit community where people from all walks of life come together with the same interest, sharing ideas and experiences. We jam together, experiment with different scratches and music styles etc. Not forgetting Koflow, who would pop in on our time together to also share some knowledge (or nonsense humour hahaha).
All in all, I really feel that each visit to E-TracX always brings me a different and new experience in its own way.
A: I joined E-TracX in search for new inspirations in turntablism and music as a whole. The people here are some of the most passionate and helpful communities of DJs I have come across yet. We are not afraid to help one another improve, in any aspect of DJ-ing and music production.
Learning from DJ/Producers Koflow and Perk Pietrek, I have picked up a wide range of new skills in my journey to develop and constantly improve myself as a musical artist. It is also inspiring to get to meet popular local/international artists that sometimes do drop by E-TracX to share and conduct workshops.
Shoutout to Edwin and Stephanie too, the great people behind E-TracX DJ Skool! Their genuine passion and commitment to the craft is of paramount importance that aspiring young DJs like me look up to.
N: How has E-TracX made a difference in your life?
Stephanie (S): E-TracX has given me something to believe in. It has given me hope. It has taught me that, with wonderful friendships comes great success. Most importantly, personal growth and fulfillment.
If I were to die today, I’d go to my grave with my head held high, for I have been part of something great. I have had the privilege of being part of a family of champions! E-TracX has given me much needed strength; and the E-TracX Family has made me a much happier person. I’m truly grateful for this.
A big thank you to our folks, our instructors both old and new – Edwin, Koflow, Perk Pietrek, Felix Hoo, Tom Shellsuit, Rough, Derrick Motif, Raphael, Andrew Tang, and Case Woo, as well as our students, and friends, for all your support and for believing in us all these years. E-TracX wouldn’t be E-TracX without you!
K: They give me an outlet to educate people on what DJ-ing can be. They gave me a sense of support to what I’m believing and doing. With that, I would like to give them a big thank you for jump starting and hanging on to the culture.
P: Being able to teach at E-TracX when I’m only 21 calls for huge shouts to owners Edwin and Steph. The belief they had in me gave me a platform to inspire other amazing DJs. And I have to say, given E-TracX’s history, this isn’t just a platform anymore, but it has become more like THE platform.
SJ: Without E-TracX, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I have learned many things with their guidance. I wouldn’t have understood the music culture or industry more if they didn’t guide me in the right direction or even kick-start my DJ experience.
I also wouldn’t have had the opportunities to play at different venues and gigs from their network of connections to gain more experience and to learn more while I’m at it.
Even till today, through whatever changes I may face or struggle with, they are still always by my side, supporting me sincerely and patiently guiding me. I am honoured and more than grateful to have gotten to know them and to be a part of this E-TracX family.
A: Other than enhancing and picking up new skills, the thing that really makes E-TracX stand out is the community of students and instructors, all coming together for a shared belief. E-TracX consistently organises workshops/jam sessions, in which I have really broadened my imagination and knowledge.
It’s like a family of amazing people, whether it be professional award-winning DJs or world-class music producers or anyone who shares a common belief in the art. The community here is one I am definitely proud to be part of.
N: Stephanie, what has this journey taught you?
There are three main things that I’ve learnt. Number one, despite all the bullpoop going on the world, there’s still a lot of good in it. I’ve had the privilege of meeting and working with some truly inspiring and wonderful people – The E-TracX Family. It is people like them that make the world a better place! They are true champions!
Number two, not to take fear too seriously. I’ve come to realise that the moment you allow fear to consume you, you are already dead. As a born-coward, dealing with fear has been my biggest struggle. Over the last 13 years, I’ve been terrified whenever I’ve had to make difficult decisions, as well as when trying to accomplish other scary business stuff. E-TracX has given me strength, and I’m now better able to act in spite of fear.
Number three, only I can defeat me. If I fail, it’s my fault. I learnt one of the most important lessons from my riding instructor a long time ago – if you fall off the horse, it doesn’t matter how much pain you are in, you dust yourself off, and get back on the damn horse again. If you are broken, take time off to heal, then get back on again.
Running E-TracX has been much like horse riding. Fall, get up, fall, get up, fall, broken, take a break, get up again…. I believe that true failure is when one makes a choice not to get up again, because of weakness – usually fear.
I’m very fortunate to be part of the E-TracX family for it is them that have given me the courage and strength to keep getting back up.
Well, come 7 and 8 November, seventh time Grammy winner, Taylor Swift is returning to Singapore, with The 1989 World Tour at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, in supportOn September 1, 2015 / By Simcik
Well, come 7 and 8 November, seventh time Grammy winner, Taylor Swift is returning to Singapore, with The 1989 World Tour at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, in support of her historic fifth studio album, 1989.
If you have yet to get your hands on the tickets, Keds will be giving away five pairs of the coveted Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour Concert tickets to five winners! All you have to do is follow the below steps and you may just become the lucky winner.
1) Purchase any Keds footwear from a participating authorized retailer* between 1-30 September 2015
2) Take a full body photo of yourself in your new kicks
3) Share your Keds OOTD on instagram with hashtags #KedsOnTour #KedsSG #1989TourSingapore
4) The five most creative entries will win a pair of tickets each, so let your mind run wild. Good luck!
Visit www.royalsportinghouse.com for the full terms & conditions.
Terms & Conditions: *Purchase must be made from DOT, Robinsons, Tangs, BHG, and selected Royal Sporting House stores between 1-30 September 2015 to qualify. Participant’s Instagram account privacy settings must be set to public. Limited to one entry per person. Original purchase receipt must be presented as proof to claim prize. Closing date for the contest is 30 September, 12 midnight. Winners will be notified on 5 October 2015 via comments on their Instagram post through @royalsportinghousesg.
The 15th edition of ZoukOut marks the final instalment that would be organised from Zouk’s famous headquarters at Jiak Kim Street before it shifts to Clarke Quay nextOn August 27, 2015 / By Nookmag
The 15th edition of ZoukOut marks the final instalment that would be organised from Zouk’s famous headquarters at Jiak Kim Street before it shifts to Clarke Quay next year. Driving the iconic music festival along with other club-based activities with a campaign dubbed Seize The Moment, Zouk is set to conclude the year with mind-blowing memories.
Seize The Moment is Zouk’s 2015 prelude to its move from Jiak Kim Street to Clarke Quay next year. In December, Zouk will launch its 2016 global campaign at Jiak Kim Street – the biggest yet as it will also celebrate its silver jubilee at its famed locale – leading to the opening of the new club at Clarke Quay.
Festival-goers will be excited to learn about the newly added six global acts to ZoukOut’s second wave line-up. Day 1 on 11 December 2015 will see Porter Robinson [US], Paul Kalkbrenner [GER], Paul Oakenfold [UK], while Day 2 will feature Armin Van Buuren [NL], Andrew Rayel [MOL] and Claude VonStroke [US].
The new inclusions bring to a total of more than 40 artists for the two-day festival, with a new stage on Day 2, localized in collaboration with radio Lush 99.5FM. This stage will present Vandetta, Kurt, Darren Dubwise, ShiGGa Shay, THELIONCITYBOY, KoFlow, Syafii, ATTAGIRL! Feat. A/K/A, DuriO & Jaydah, and Jean Reiki.
Seize The Moment will also bring the focus to the club-based activities on Jiak Kim Street from September to December 2015. There are more than 20 events coming up in the next four months, which include signature gigs such as Flea & Easy, Mambo Jambo at F1, Steve Aoki, Showtek amongst many others.
Day 1 (11 December)
Early Bird: SGD158
– Entry to festival grounds before 10pm
– All Singapore-issued Citibank Clear & Clear Platinum cards enjoy 15% off
– All other Singapore-issued Citibank cards enjoy 10% off
– All Singapore-issued Citibank cards enjoy 10% off
– On sale till 10 December
Event Day: SGD188
– Available on site from 6pm onwards
– No credit card discounts
Day 2 (12 December)
Early Bird: SGD168
– Entry to festival grounds before 10pm
– All Singapore-issued Citibank Clear & Clear Platinum cards enjoy 15% off
– All other Singapore-issued Citibank cards enjoy 10% off
– All Singapore-issued Citibank cards enjoy 10% off
– On sale till 10 December
Event Day: SGD198
– Available on site from 6pm onwards
– No credit card discounts
Two-Day Festival Pass: SGD258
– No credit card discounts
– On sale till 10 December
In true spirit of musical solidarity, homegrown bands Aquila Vasica and Vessel are fronting a joint EP launch this August. A sequel to the bands’ success in procuringOn August 9, 2015 / By Nookmag
In true spirit of musical solidarity, homegrown bands Aquila Vasica and Vessel are fronting a joint EP launch this August. A sequel to the bands’ success in procuring a spot in this year’s Baybeats Festival, the collaborative effort demonstrates how the local music scene should progress – with an inclusive attitude and mutual support that breaks down unnecessary barriers.
The launch event will feature Heir Of Hounds (rock/alternative) and 7nightsatsea (experimental/post-rock) as opening acts. An arts market will also happen alongside the gig, presenting works from merchants such as Diliya B., Tessellate. Co, Rinniey, Squelch Zines, Lesley Tang, Jaslyn, Jein Eriza, Jakkiwocky, Pierced Buddha and Spellbound.
Aquila Vasica’s debut EP is their finest work, culminated through stringent, bullish attitude towards quality. Titled ‘Immaculate Minds Dressed To The Nines’, the band hopes that the EP is able to relay a positive message through the their music. The lyrical content builds upon objective spirituality, consciousness and positivity while the instruments channel the emotions through.
The band worked with two incredibly talented vocalist, Adam Roger Douglas from an Australian band called Awaken I Am and Egor Erushin, a Czech vocalist from Abyss, Watching Me in Umbra! Spirit! Firmament! (ft. Egor Erushin and Adam Douglas). The result is a long-tail of vocal features that added a wholesome experience for the listeners. Immaculate Minds Dressed To The Nines was recorded and produced by Aeonix, mixed by Thievves and mastered by Kris Crummett (ISSUES, Dance Gavin Dance, Crown The Empire).
Vessel’s debut EP titled ‘Depths’ serves as a prologue of what’s to come while at the same time summarises the exploratory method of song writing the band takes pride in when creating music.
Ensuring that the band doesn’t conform to musical norms, Vessel marches to their own beat in creating emotive and heart felt music as a medium to share their stories. The five track EP features life stories faced by the band members – from songs of friendship to struggles faced during conscription, all of which was written in a way to ensure that every individual from all walks of life can relate to.
Depths was recorded and produced by home grown producer, Marlon Ingle who spared no expenses in ensuring that the tracks sang more than just roaring instruments but also told the stories of five individuals along with the trials and tribulations faced.
Aquila Vasica X Vessel Joint EP Launch
Date: 15 August 2015
Time: 6pm – 10pm
Venue: Aliwal Arts Centre
Tickets: SGD12 (online pre-sale); SGD15 (at the door)
Dubbing its latest work Continuum, The Observatory indulges a deep seated fascination with Southeast Asian music as it continues to power musical exploration in challenging and unexpected ways.On July 20, 2015 / By Nookmag
Dubbing its latest work Continuum, The Observatory indulges a deep seated fascination with Southeast Asian music as it continues to power musical exploration in challenging and unexpected ways. The album features gamelan-inspired bronze instruments custom built on a unique 6- tone scale.
With a pair of jegogan and pemade, one cengceng, and a reyong set with acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, synths, drums and vocals, the band brews up a musical storm interlocking Balinese-African rhythms, prog rock, early electronic music, and trance, marked by the use of repetitive figures and tuning variations to create cyclical vibrations known as ‘beats’. The music remains dark and hypnotic.
Continuum is the result of the band’s journey of fascination, discovery and engagement with gamelan that spanned over four to five years. After all, the heart and soul of The Observatory is in its constant reinvention.
To celebrate the release of Continuum, The Observatory will be holding a concert on 23 and 24 July 2015 at The Substation. It will be performed in full for the first time by an ensemble of 10 musicians.
The Observatory Presents Continuum
Date: 23 & 24 July 2015
Time: 7.30pm (Doors open at 7pm)
Venue: The Substation
Ticket Price: SGD18, free seating
Tickets are available online at continuum.peatix.com.
Follow The Observatory on Facebook for more details.
Swedish indie-pop group Wilderness is making their way to our sunny shores! Their first gig in Singapore will be held at Blu Jaz, 20 June 2015. The band,On June 9, 2015 / By Nookmag
Swedish indie-pop group Wilderness is making their way to our sunny shores! Their first gig in Singapore will be held at Blu Jaz, 20 June 2015.
The band, whose music is influenced from UK’s 80’s and artist and art associated with Factory Records like New Order and Joy Divison, prefers to see themselves as an open group of creative people instead of a band in the classic meaning; anyone who is collaborating with Wilderness is a part of Wilderness – we like!
And while we may complain about the heat June has to offer, our Swedish friends will be glad for it. In an interview with Rock Philosopher, a music blog in Bangkok, the band expressed their disappointment in a previously cancelled tour to Thailand.
“Three of us use to play in a indie pop band called Penny Century a few years ago, we were actually supposed to play at Bangkok 100 Rock 2008 at the same bill as Manic Street Preachers and Ash but the festival was cancelled due to the political situation Thailand had at that time. We went to Gran Canaria to party instead. It was the ultimate antiklimax. It was awful. It wasn’t even warm,” they said.
Well, we hope their gig at Blu Jaz will have them singing about the warmth of our people and weather – wrapped up in the instrumental and rhythmic style of the Wilderness. But first, we’ll dance to songs from their second EP, This World Is Not Ours. It’s dreamy and colourful, and will be available digitally from 24 April 2015.
Joining the band is our very own The Analog Girl, who’ll give us a potent does of laptop rock. Armed with her trusty laptop and ever-evolving array of instruments, The Analog Girl has showcased at New York City’s CMJ Music Festival, the Cirque Electrique in Paris, and Superdeluxe in Tokyo. The Analog Girl’s newest studio album Tonight Your Love is downright her most hypnotic offering to date, and is mastered by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering in Brooklyn, New York.
Tickets are SGD30 (pre-sale) and SGD 40 (at the door) at PEATIX. Doors open at 8pm.
Local bands SA and Take Two will be doing Singapore proud at the SGMUSO Live Showcase in Beijing. SGMUSO Live Showcase is a collaboration between The Music SocietyOn April 26, 2015 / By Nookmag
Local bands SA and Take Two will be doing Singapore proud at the SGMUSO Live Showcase in Beijing. SGMUSO Live Showcase is a collaboration between The Music Society and Singapore Tourism Board, put together to celebrate Singapore’s creative talents and widen the international community’s perception of our very misunderstood country.
Running in parallel with Singapore: Inside Out, this exposure propels the bands into a wider sonic circle, and will open up greater opportunities to build overseas connection and spread the word about the music scene in Singapore.
Take Two and SA will perform at various SGMUSO Live Showcases, including the Locomotive Square (Beijing) from 22 to 26 April 2015. Onwards, SA will be travelling for a tour in China. The bands were chosen from a pool of 70 and two rounds of selections.
SGMUSO has been conducting a series of open calls for Singaporean musicians to be a part of SG:IO. The first two of three bands to travel to London, and first of two bands to travel to New York will be announced in mid- April 2015. The second Open Call, specific to London will run from 13th to 26th April 2015, while the third Open Call, specific to New York will run from 13th to 19th July 2015.
Application forms and full information on the selection criteria and process will be detailed at SGMUSO’s website.
Bringing in soap opera-style and gif-like music videos into the business is Australian artist Kirin J Callinan. His debut album Embracism is a collection of innovating song-writing, jaggedOn April 22, 2015 / By Nookmag
Bringing in soap opera-style and gif-like music videos into the business is Australian artist Kirin J Callinan. His debut album Embracism is a collection of innovating song-writing, jagged guitars, and snarling vocals.
Performing in Singapore for one night only, Kirin J Callinan’s live shows have often been described as intense. Its genre-bending and theatrical. It’s apt then that he will be supported by Moscow-based musician Mary Ocher – another artist currently pushing the scene’s limits with her avant-pop and garage works.
Boy Kulisap, a Filipino whose mastery lies in experimental beats and circuit bending work, is completing the trio.
Kirin J Callinan feat. Mary Ocher and Boy Kulisap is happening at BluJaz (11 Bali Lane), Friday, 1 May 2015. Doors open at 8pm and tickets go for SGD28 for one ticket, SGD50 for two and SGD35 on the door.
One thing that stuck with us during our encounter with Irish electronic music icon John O’Callaghan at the Vibe Beach Sports and Music Festival, was how adamant heOn April 19, 2015 / By Nookmag
One thing that stuck with us during our encounter with Irish electronic music icon John O’Callaghan at the Vibe Beach Sports and Music Festival, was how adamant he was about staying true to his sound through the evolution of electronic music.
Throughout his musical journey, John O’Callaghan has been pushing the boundaries of musical genres, earning him a stellar reputation across the dance music industry. From the dreamy progressive vibes of the ‘Deep Dream’ mixes to the edgy techno grooves of his ‘Joint Operations Centre’ productions, John O’Callaghan always showcases true diversity in his sound, and has emerged as a leader of the trance movement.
Globally, he is no stranger to playing for massive crowds at major festivals such as Ultra Music Festival, Cream, A State Of Trance, Stereosonic and Godskitchen.
Nookmag (N): What’s your favourite thing about being on tour?
John (J): It changes every year. The more that I DJ and travel, I learn to appreciate it more. It’s just really cool to connect with people. I was a clubber too, so I know what it’s like to go and see DJs. I feel very honoured to be in this job and to meet the people who come to support me and actually get to talk to them is the nicest thing.
N: Which gig was your most unforgettable to perform on?
J: At the start of my career, one of the best gigs was in Argentina. That was a real eye-opener for me because I didn’t realise how my music was like around the world as I was really new. When I was in Argentina, it was the most people I played for and the passion there for every track was very very strong and they sang every track. It was really emotional. That night was the first time I felt like a DJ.
N: How long ago was that?
J: 2007. It has stuck to my head till this day.
N: If we looked into your iPod, what song would be the most played?
J: Probably a pianist called Ludovico Einaudi. He’s an Italian piano player and I listen to his music all the time when I’m travelling as it’s super relaxing. It’s also like trance with piano because there’s so many amazing melodies inside it for classical music. I think if people look inside classical music, they can see a lot of trance elements, really melodic and relaxing because one thing about DJ-ing is that your ears get really sore every night. It’s nice to listen to something calm after the gig.
N: Does it inspire you in producing new materials?
J: Yes, all the time. I watch his concerts on YouTube and I have a lot of respect for him because the only thing he uses is a piano, nothing else. It’s really pure.
N: You’ve collaborated with a lot of great artistes over the years. Who’s the one artiste that you really had fun producing music with?
J: Probably if we were to rewind the clock and go back to the start when I was making tracks with Bryan Kearney and Neal Scarborough, when we were really young and living in my parents’ house and very innocent. We used to get 12 cans of beer and just sit there, drink beer and make music for fun, not for any purpose or release, just what we love. At that time, we were still learning and discovering new software, so it was very inspiring back then. I think we would eventually get into the studio soon. It’s so tough to find time with all the travelling we do these days but we’ll be sure to make time. I think I’ll need to get that feeling back because I have the most fun making tracks when I was younger. I was free and I didn’t have any pressure. I got to try to rediscover that.
N: Is that your goal for this year?
J: Yeah. I think what the whole EDM thing of the last three years has caused is a lot of confusion in people’s minds and pressure on certain DJs to think that they have to conform to a sound. I never did, I was always stuck to my own sound. I think this year I’m enjoying the fact that people really do love Trance music regardless of the commercial aspects. To come to Singapore and see people ask for 100% Trance is the best feeling for me because it’s like a reward – finally, we’re back.
It’s really worldwide too. You can tell that people are sick of that kind of music. I can understand that because it’s not music for the soul, it’s music for the cash register. I always make music for the soul and the mind. That’s my aim.
N: What can fans expect from you in 2015?
J: I just finished my new vocal track. It’s called Stay With Me, with Deirdre McLaughlin from Ireland. It’s coming out in about a month and I’m really happy with that. It’s nice to work with an Irish artist and do everything ourselves and have a nice Irish feel to the track. I hope that’s going to do well.
After that, I have a lot of things that are kind of 50% finished that I’m just doing bit by bit. Throughout the year, it’s going to be unpredictable because I don’t have a plan and that’s the beautiful thing. I can just make music – doing it when I’m inspired, not because I have to. That’s what I like to do.
Notorious for his melodic anthems that have earned him a legacy, Globetrotting Swedish House visionary AN21 boasts an amplitude of creative credentials in his production – both soloOn April 17, 2015 / By Nookmag
Notorious for his melodic anthems that have earned him a legacy, Globetrotting Swedish House visionary AN21 boasts an amplitude of creative credentials in his production – both solo and collaborative. Being part of building up the formidable Size Records has also been a noteworthy aspect of his musical journey.
We caught up with AN21 when he dropped by Singapore to spin at the Vibe Beach Sports and Music Festival.
Nookmag (N): What kind of music inspired you when you were growing up?
AN21 (A): It was a lot of electronic stuff. I’m doing different from my brother’s stuff. I was more into Trance like Tiesto and all of those guys and obviously, Daft Punk created everything for me. I was into the Headbanger’s Crew too. Other than that, my brother.
N: Being brothers with Swedish House Mafia member Steve Angello, is there a healthy (or otherwise) sibling rivalry between the two of you?
A: I don’t think it’s a rivalry at all. We just want to work together and have as much fun as possible, do what we love. And to grow Size [Records] – we’ve been working on Size for 11 years, we would love to do another 11 years.
N: Do you guys learn from each other?
A: I hope so.
N: What about sharing tips?
A: Both of us have been producing for such a long time now. When it comes to tips, it’s more of general ideas, pushing each other into the right direction.
N: 2014 was a year full of milestones for you. Any particular ones that you like?
A: I think personally, 2014 was about reinventing myself, finding myself musically. I’ve been working on a lot of solo materials for this summer. I had a great time. I took a little break from touring because I’ve been doing it for five to six years, and just relax for two months. I thought it was great for me because I got a different perspective of what I want to create and do musically. I think that was the biggest achievement for me, personally.
N: Out of all the tracks you’ve produced, do you have one that you’re personally very proud of?
A: I don’t think any producer can be really proud of a song because we’re so self-critical. I can work a song forever – for years and years and never going to release it. But sometimes, I need to tell myself that it’s done and that’s the hardest part. I love creating People of the Night album with Max Vangeli because we’re at an early stage in our career and we were travelling to different places. We were able to create such a big album when we were actually never together.
One minute I may love whatever I’m working on and the next, I’d hate it and I’d change it until I think it’s perfect and that takes time.
N: What can fans expect from you in 2015?
A: A lot of solo materials. I’ve been doing a lot of collaborations the past couple of years with Max Vangeli or Sebjak or my brother or other friends. But this year, I’m going to focus on a lot of solo materials. I’m going to keep on touring like I have been. Summer is coming up soon which means I’ll be going back to Europe to do all the festivals in UK, Holland, and obviously Ibiza.