August 24, 2011

Foreign Affair II

Cause de SEAIndie, nous sommes maintenant en vedette dans Tweendie: à tous pour votre soutien!! :)

Une traduction google du texte:

"We do not lie by saying that in terms of pop, our references are from the vast majority of North America, the United Kingdom or Scandinavia. But in the era of globalization, it is nice to see the four corners of the world, some very interesting things happen.From Jakarta, Swimming Elephants perfectly embody this breath of fresh air.Remember, in October 2010, we devoted an article to this excellent small label of Southeast Asia: Indie Sea. Today, we provide cover thus offering you to discover their latest release 100% digital and free.Swimming Elephants, the five musicians are beautifully strung Indonesian compositions of astonishing maturity. And once again, the best way you know it is still to discover and Sarah At The Zoo, the two tracks that appear on the above-mentioned EP and we greatly encourage you to download below"

-Jean Luc Gilar

August 23, 2011

Get On The Low Frequency

Among the many delicious things I got on my wish list is this sweet looking electric bass that I saw on a music web some months ago:

It's a Fender Squire bass, and I know there are lots of people who doubt the quality of a Squier, it being budget conscious brand etc, but I am a poor beginner anyway, so I kinda fit.

My crush is a copy of the classic '50s Fender precision bass; the Squier Classic Vibe Presicion Bass '50s done in butterscotch blonde. It has that light look on it, like it will feel so great when you play it.

Now, before I make a complete ass of myself, I need to let you know that I don't know shit about basses. I can only tell the one that Paul McCartney uses and the sweet Rickenbacker 4003, apart from the very familiar Fender standard basses of course. And as far as experience goes, I've picked one once or twice in my whole life, and played like 2 notes.

Based on this video, I'm liking the sound of it, and hopefully if I like the sound and look of it, I'll be more eager to learn.

I used to like the look of the Vintage Modified version of the same series, like this one here:

But when I listened to the sound of it, it's sort of sounded too dark for a first bass. At this point I think I'd need something more wide ranged, even though the combination of that humbucker and the black pickguard is looking super cool.

The reason why I want to own one is because I want to learn how to play it, like I want to learn how to play pretty much everything; the drums, the tuba, the accordion, french horns or even the max/msp thing. Just out of curiosity, you know. And I always get fascinated by the sound of it, like when I see a jazz player playing one, or someone like Paul Simonon. Too bad you can't rent instruments and have them in your home for a month or two.

Anyways, I can always ask Ranggi to tell me if they're actually good for the price or just another piece of wasted wood (he's the real bass player in the band, fyi). And I know I'll have a great teacher to guide me then.

Only one thing left though; I hope I'll wake up someday having the money to buy it, that'll be sweet.

(Up date)

On second thought, this one seems ace!!

- Gilar

August 22, 2011

Quiet Night in Jatiwaringin

I always favor the heart than the mind in making a song
Honesty above everything
A smart song is great when you listen to it once in a while, or when you want you ears to be stimulated
by something other-worldy, something cool.
But when you're down in the mellow lane or running angry
I bet you that you won't find yourself listening to music like Autechre, for example
You'd prefer an honest song, not much of an art piece, but a simple honest song that can pump the poetry in your vein
Whatever it is, it's gonna move mountains when it's made with honesty and raw emotion that comes out of it.
It's like comparing the blowing wind to, say a hair dryer.  
It's the real thing for me
And I've been avoiding to make something "smart" because your mind is always going to deceive your feelings.
Cover it up with pretentiousness, ambition, vanity
It corrupts you to the point that you go blind of your own emotion
Don't get me wrong 
I love to listen to something that most of us regard as cool,
A lot of my favourite bands are all the geniuses of the mind
They know how to treat a simple sound into a very complex art piece
But perhaps it's because they can deal with it, and they're obviously capable of doing so
Looking at it from a maker's point of view
I don't know if I'm the kind of person that can juggle between the mind and the heart
And stay honest throughout the whole process
I don't want to be pretentious
And I have no other place to go to express my emotions undistorted

A long time ago I said to a friend of mine that folk musicians have more soul than the actual soul singers
Take Dylan or Sharon Van Etten for example,
They don't need to compose a highly complex arrangement that can only be deciphered by scientists and mad sound engineers
They don't have to blow their veins when they sing
They don't have to reach the 100th octave, and turn it upside down
It's not the olympics
But through simple honesty, they get to you in a very subtle way, 
Catch you off guard and turn you upside down
And you can't underestimate a thing like that
You can't look down on something that can make you go to war
or die in trying to stop one
As uncool as it sounds, but it's the heart that makes us go places.

That, and the bitter reality that is
or a flood or something :)

- Gilar

Foreign Affair

Recently a Thailand-based netlabel called SEAIndie (South East Asia Indie) released 2 of our demo songs through their site;

They also managed a sweet cover art for it, done by a Thailand designer who goes by the name Sugar Chups aka Sudarat Chuphuakphong.

I guess SEAIndie is a project that showcases artists from the region, that is why the cover design was done completely without our interference, so it's not all about the music. And it's the designer's own interpretation of our songs, which in this case are At The Zoo and Sarah.

It's a great concept I think, promoting bands and designers one single at a time. We are very pleased with the outcome, even though I think that it's a bit too sweet for the rest of our music (which are not featured in the single).

Anyways, big thanks to SEAIndie, (Tan) Isarapan Boonyasoo; the person behind it, and Sugar Chups. Hopefully someday we can perform live there and thank you all personally :)

- Gilar

August 20, 2011

Kacrut or: so it seems

it was the end of 2009 and a big part of my life change. i'm starting to look at things differently while at the same time i am being introduced to lots of music i have never listened to before. i guess that triggers it, it was when Kacrut was born.

freely translated Kacrut means shitty. and the song is mostly about dealing with the shittyness (read: kacrut-ness) of being a 20-something with all the hope, uncertainty, dreams, restlessness, the nauseating pressure to conform and the realization that we are powerless to change anything... or so i told people.

but i remember when it was a mere sketch, i emailed the guys about the song and the subject of the mail was 'kacrut lagu' (song shitty) and it reads (translated from bahasa indonesia):
    "a shitty cut from a shitty song made with a shitty feeling and recorded as is in a
     shitty way"

it was the first version of the song recorded with my old cellphone, the quality was bad and it was waaaay different from the current final version.

maybe i will post it here sometime in the future. just for fun.

after that we started referring to the song as Kacrut and then ended up too lazy to change the title. but in some weird way the title fits and it just stick.

and one more thing, even when i finished written this song, i had no idea the drums would be anything like the way it is now. it was all Ninu. partly because i'm too lazy to come up with a drumbeat for a song, but mostly because Ninu is good. (the same goes with Meadows and Pillars of Sand - other songs i wrote)

 - Yogas

August 11, 2011

The Right Stuff

I've been wanting to change my effect pedals for so long now
Don't know if the rest of the guys are planning to change or upgrade their gears as well

Saras got her Q Chord, a subtitute for my old and frail Omnichord
April is pretty happy with her classic Yamaha PSS 590, although lately she's been wanting to buy a real synth
Yogas upgraded his acoustic guitar,
Ranggi is having some kinda noise problem with his bass, the last time I heard

Anyways, if I have some money, and I'm not talking about the amount to buy vintage amps and guitars here, I'd love to simply upgrade my overdrive and distortion pedal.
the ones I have are too safe for the kind of sound that I'm after.
I used to think that, putting aside guitars and amps, the key to a great sound is through modulation.
For some cases it is, but the more I play, the more I realise that- other than being absolutely clueless and unskilled, I also don't really like playing my guitar with too many layers.
I like it oldskool and raw, but with plenty of reverb of course, and not too much wizzies and zappies; modulation and shit.
I used to love the idea of it, but now I'm beginning to think that those stuff are best reserved for synths.I might change my mind again of course, when I need to.

Fuzz pedals are interesting too, especially the wild and uncontrollable ones,
I'm always attracted with things of that nature, I don't know why.

- Gilar

August 6, 2011


Lately, everytime I play the guitar, I'd play it with this certain style, like somehow someone switched on a default button, it's quite annoying.

Give these inexperienced fingers their freedom back!


August 4, 2011


Moonsa is about that point in your life where you had enough, and you want to start over, and you want to fight for all of the times you've wasted, and at the same time you're taking a positive approach towards it, so it's not all clouded with rage, not at all actually.

I was beginning to think that the big joke was getting a bit too far. It was getting sad and pathetic.
At the time I found myself being part of the cattle herd; getting stuck in traffic jams, day in day out, wasting my time at the office, doing something that means nothing to me and to the bigger part of the society.
At first it was okay, cause I was saving up to buy instruments anyway, but then it started to dawn on me; what if I'm gonna be stuck with this bullshit until the day I die?

It always intrigued me you know, I mean, isn't it enough already that 900 billion people are doing the same thing since the beginning of time? Just to survive this life; get a degree, work in a bank, get married, have children, and then see your children doing the same thing all over again? While at the same time, you know that no one can ever escape death, not even your children. Is there such thing as total security?

I don't know if we're just looking for distractions or if our happiness really depend on material things. Not that I give a shit, but this country is seriously turning into a nation of consumers. Do we feel secure the day we have that dream car? that dream house? that dream paycheck? are we sure that we're not chasing after another nation's dream?

- Gilar

August 3, 2011

Act Local, Be Indonesian!

That's just the same as having a major label producer telling you to "wear leather jacket!, act tough!, like a bunch of misogynists...missing their bus ride home!".

Not speaking on behalf of the group here, but what does it take to be Indonesian?
To write your lyrics in Bahasa?
To talk about politics? Corruption?
To talk about the poor?
How you love banana trees and hate the traffic jams?
I'm way pass of being critical
Tired of complaining about the situation
I just wanna escape all that.
Can I have, at least this music as a mean to escape all that?

To be pretentious is the last thing I wanna be.
And I don't even walk this city.

- Gilar

August 2, 2011

Tracking Beam

Aloha people,

3rd times in a row now, I'm gonna make this blog as healthy as a cow on a death row.
Anyways, I had a conversation a few weeks ago with a friend of mine, he asked me, where are you in the world of the local music scene?

I laughed cause it sounded like an interview, but then I said I have no idea, I think I said, that even if we belong to anything, I want us to be on the good side of it of course, the side where they make music because they need to, as opposed to use it to justify anything about themselves. I hope, that we have nothing to proof to anyone.

But then again, everything about this whole thing is somewhat borderline ridiculous and unbelievably serious. I personally, don't know where we are at the moment, or if we ever need to know.

- Gilar

August 1, 2011

No Signs of The Pianist

Recently I re-listened to our old demos that we did like a year or so ago, and I realised that we have grown musically since then, and I'm talking about our progress since '08 or around that time.

Some of the people- and there aren't many of them, who have listened to our demos would usually think that we're somekinda flowery-pop-powdered-candy-in-your-eyes band, especially if they only listen to Sarah and At The Zoo. The truth is, even though we do play pop music, but if you expect that the rest of our songs are going to be Sarah-like, well, I think you're gonna be disappointed.

We're not musicians- except for Ranggi our bass player, and what I mean by us not being musicians is that we don't have the ability to create similar things in successions, in sound and also perhaps in spirit, you know, the thread that connects all of the songs; somekinda aural unification of the patterned / chaotic noises, whatever that means.

I guess that's because we like to keep things natural, we never pre-meditate our sound or talk about it (with the exception of now) and our sound, our style, take form as we go along, I guess, as we improved musically and mentally.

We don't have any control of the things that we're going to create, well at least I know I don't. The songs are going to reflect on how we felt at the time. There's no formula, no blueprint, no genre restraint, all there is just emotion and limited musical skill.

I guess with us, is that we're dictated by the songs, and not the other way round, and that means we'll be suprised too.

- Gilar