tricot @ Home Club (14.03.14)

tricot is a curious case. From the land of crazy fads and music (kawaii metal, anyone?), Japan has once again brought something out of the nary; a surprisingly punishing math-rock band formed by three girls in their mid-twenties and a lone dude.

tricot, fronted by the affable Ikkyu Nakajima (vocals, guitars), kicked off into hard-riffing numbers at Home Club with songs which were melodic, yet had a certain sense of frenetic, unbridled energy to it. This had obvious showing in the crowd, who responded unfalteringly with fervent cheering and applause every time a song went out.

Before that, local experimental/post-rock outfit 7nightsatsea opened for tricot, and performed to a largely stagnant crowd with songs from their new EP. Still fresh off their release of their debut Drift Easy, Heavy Hands EP last year, the band thrilled audiences with numbers such as soft-brimming track ‘Heralds’ and progressive track ‘Quiver (In Turmoil)’. The band was ethereal in their own right, building highly textured layers of guitars over rumbling beats.

tricot rocked hard, and sung mostly in their native Japanese tongue. The band was amiable towards the crowd, and divulged halfway that they’d “had pizza at Riverside Plaza” and “visited Marina Bay Sands” earlier that afternoon. Tricot was a furious amalgamation of styles; jazz, punk, rock, indie and even had an interesting post-rock complex to their music. Performing songs off their latest release, T.H.E, the band showcased complex rhythms and timings in songs such as ‘おもてなし, おちゃんせんすぅす’ and ‘99.974℃’. There was an interesting reminiscent to math-rock bands such as Don Caballero, Fall of Troy, Minus the Bear, and even Foals, who were seen performing here earlier this month.

The girls charmed throughly with their music, as well as with their adorable personality. The band would engage with the audience after every song, using their smattering of English to interact with the crowd. They were surprisingly down-to-earth, and took time to read notes thrown from the crowd and replying to random Japanese words called out. Vocalist Ikkyu took things up a notch when she got the crowd singing Happy Birthday to lead guitarist Motoko Kida. After that, the band kicked into the encore performance of their last song.

tricot’s music was purely transcendental, and it didn’t take a grasp of the Japanese language to understand where these girls (and guy) were coming from. tricot was the epitome of the age-old saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”; if three surburban-looking Japanese girls could rock harder than any seasoned rocker — and give a wildly entertaining show to boot — then so could you.

By Evan Woon

View the full photo gallery here.

Blue Hour Sessions: The burning flair of 7nightsatsea

OS: Many instrumental bands work closely with visual artists for their live shows. What do you think of this? Complementary, or distracting to the music?
7nightsatsea: We think it’s definitely complementary. In a way, our music provides these visuals with energy and feeling, bringing them to life, like a ‘soundtrack’ of some sort. There’s a certain duality to it: these visuals give the story, and our music breathes emotion into it. As an instrumental band, it’s a little harder to connect with the audience because other bands usually have lyrics that people can relate to and sing along with — we don’t. So having things like visuals during our live sets definitely helps stimulate the connection between us, our music and the crowd.

You’ve collaborated with a number of musicians since forming not too long ago. How do you work with them, piecing all the different sounds together?
It’s been awesome to say the least, really. It’s exciting on so many levels, to be able to bring in other musicians and to have their input on things. It’s not the sort of thing where we ask them to come in and play a certain part in a specific way to add on to the song. We really do encourage them to bring whatever they have to the table, and just jam along to our songs. After all, that’s what music’s about — expression. It’s so interesting to see their takes and ideas on our music; it’s just invigorating to have fresh suggestions and to work from completely different angles.

Being strictly instrumental, how do you keep things fresh amongst the many other instrumental bands?
That was something this band sought to strive for since the beginning — having an identity. There are so many great instrumental bands around, so it’s really just a matter of experimenting and working to come up with new ideas.

Musically, we’ve always tried to step out of our comfort zones, not to be scared of taking that leap of faith. We always try to come up with ideas that haven’t been done before, but at the same time we reel everything in with the ‘7nights flair’, as we like to call it, just to make sure that it doesn’t get too confusing.

You put up some pretty energetic shows. Describe the ultimate show of your dreams.
It’s not forced or anything, we just like to let the music take control of us. Honestly, that’s hard to describe. At this point, we’re just humbled that people take interest in our music and actually turn up for our shows! Of course, we’re all dreamers in some way. I guess the ultimate show of our dreams would be in a room full of people letting loose and going as crazy as we do on the stage. Just being free and letting the music take over.

What is the ideal set-up for listening to your music; how would you like people to best enjoy your music?
Keeping an open mind throughout, definitely. We like to think that our music provides the canvas, but our listeners paint their own picture of it.

We’ve always designed our songs in such a way that you can connect to it on an emotional level. Just let loose and let it take you on a ride.

How do you feel about working with Heider of SSYSTM? What can we expect from Saturday’s show?
Heider’s a really good buddy of ours; we’ve worked with him before so we have a lot of trust in him and what he does. He’s massively talented and his creativity just speaks for itself in all his works. We love him and we’ll always be appreciative of what he’s done for this band.

As for this Saturday’s show, I guess you’ll just have to come down and see for yourself now, won’t you?

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By Jared Rezel

Lomography Blue Hour Sessions
with Tiramisu, .gif, and 7nightsatsea
Lomography Gallery Store
Saturday, 23 November
7pm
FREE

Lomography’s Blue Hour Sessions to put spotlight on Singapore music and art scene

Lomography Singapore has just announced the Blue Hour Sessions, a 6-part series featuring collaborations with local bands and graphic artists with an aim to document ground-breaking work in the local music scene.

Drawn from the French expression l’heure bleue, ‘The Blue Hour’ refers to the time before nightfall when the sun slips from sight and the sky falls into a deep blue – traditionally, this hour of day is seen to hold special significance because of the possibilities for unexpected collisions, liaisons and delirium.

From 13 November to 14 April, the Blue Hour Sessions will take place on the last Saturday of the month, with each session turning the spotlight on collaborative efforts between some of the most exciting bands and graphic artists of our generation.

Expect live sets with visual and audio installations, as well as the launch of special edition EPs (limited to a first-run of 36 copies) featuring rough cuts, unreleased demos, analogue prints, and zine artwork by the bands and graphic artists themselves.

Other Sounds is proud to be official online media partner of the the Blue Hour Sessions as it aims to put the spotlight back on local bands and graphic artists.

Blue Hour Sessions schedule

23 November
Tiramisu x fFurious
.gif x M-D-R-N
7nightsatsea x Heider of SSYSTM x Allison Marie Low

21 December
MUON x William Chan of TMRRW
Bani Haykal x Kristal Melson x SUSEJ

18 January
HEIZENBERG x Brandon Tay of Syndicate
Dream State Vision x StudioKALEIDO

22 February
sub:shaman x Marc Gabriel Loh
Space Days x Afiq Omar of Syndicate

29 March
Pleasantry x FROMPAMM
ANECHOIS x Izyanti Asa’ari x Wu Jun Han
Ellipsis x Ban-Fam

3 May
Astreal x MAKE
MONSTER CAT x DO NOT DESIGN x Afiq Omar of Syndicate
Chöd x Philipp Aldrup
Zirconia (feat. X’ho + Yeow of Zircon Lounge) x WHITELABEL x Lasse Marhaug

Update (17/12/13):

The Blue Hour Sessions exhibition and live showcases will now be held at Home Club:

27 December
MUON x William Chan of TMRRW
Dream State Vision x StudioKALEIDO

17 January
HEIZENBERG x Brandon Tay of Syndicate
Bani Haykal x  Kristal Melson

21 February
sub:shaman x Marc Gabriel Loh
Space Days x Afiq Omar of Syndicate

28 March
Pleasantry x FROMPAMM
ANECHOIS x Izyanti Asa’ari x Wu Jun Han
Ellipsis x Ban-Fam

2 May
Astreal x MAKE
MONSTER CAT x DO NOT DESIGN x Afiq Omar of Syndicate
Chöd x Philipp Aldrup

*Dates and line-ups are subject to change

By Katherine Pollock

Identite: 10.3 – Sayonara Superboy

with Amateur Takes Control, I Am David Sparkle, Pleasantry, Silhouette, Cashew Chemists, ANECHOIS,  sub:shaman, Plainsunset, 7nightsatsea, Paris In The Making, [.gif]

Home Club
28 July 2013

Photos by Amali Effendy, Jared Rezel
(ATC photos by Joshua Loh)