From the tastefully crafted presentation to the captivating experimental crossover rock rhythms of their orchestration, the new LP from Petaling Jaya, Malaysia based instrumental math rock band MUTESITE positions itself as a classy and refined treat. Today, we have teamed up with Malaysian label Soundscape Records and Manila, Philippines’ A Spur of the Moment Project label to give you the exclusive first listen of “re:“, an adventurous full length that keeps the sound fresh and pushes toward new ground. The album features 10 intricate tracks, carefully woven into a journey where you re:interpret what you want to re:live, re:minisce, re:play, or re:anything imaginable.
The basis behind the album was to incorporate memories. We hope to inspire our listeners to look back and reinterpret their life experiences. Remember the good times, the bad times, the challenging times — all the little memories that made you the person you are today.
re: will be released in all major digital platforms on 22nd Feb 2020. Simultaneously, physical copies (CDs and Cassettes) will be released under exclusive license to Soundscape Records.
The 10-track record will feature familiar tunes like ‘pre-ten’ (a remake of ‘pre-tend from their first effort) and ‘esiotrot’ and guest musicians Adieu, Farid Izwan and Frances Tsen. The quartet’s hope is to inspire its listeners to look back and reinterpret their life experiences. “Remember the good times, the bad times, the challenging times — all the little memories that made you the person you are today.” guitarist Anthony Lee shares.
“The approach to writing the album was completely different as we had a shuffle of members. Karim (drummer on the first record) played percussion, Purnama (current drummer) contributed heavily to the songwriting and Teoh (current bassist) contributed to the bass parts. The band had skeletons of songs that we jammed out in the studio. We did pre-production at home which gave us a lot more time to work our parts out. It feels a lot more complex compared to the first release,” Lee adds. “As a band, we’ve evolved as members, leveled up personal skills and incorporated composition styles that stay true to who we are — further emphasizing how mutesite sounds like.”
‘re:’ may be pre-ordered digitally via Bandcamp and on CD and cassette via Soundscape Records. mutesite are Anthony Lee (guitars), Lee Jolynn (keys and synth), Teoh Eng Hooi (bass) and Purnama Maqasuci (drums). This album features Muhammad Abdul Karim on percussions in all tracks, Frances Tsen on main vocals in broken clouds, Adieu on guitar solo in tabula rasa, and Farid Izwan on alto sax solo in pre-ten. All drums and featured musicians (except Adieu) were recorded by Adam Lewis and assisted by Chan Ngan Hong at Pulse Soundworks. All tracks were co-produced and mixed by Adam Lewis, and mastered by Pete Maher.
‘re:’ is set to be released digitally on February 22, 2020. It will be followed by a launch party at Live Fact the following day. A Malaysian tour shall be announced in the near future. And hopefully an Asian tour.
TRACK 1: hearts and flowers
This opener was the last track we wrote for the album. We want to pay homage to the sweeter things in life, reminding everyone to look at the bright side of things when the going gets tough.
TRACK 2: tabula rasa
It means a fresh start. We re:shuffled our band members and the beginning of mutesite 2.0 but no matter what happens, we remain true to our sound. Just to spice things up, Karim (percussionist) recorded as many instruments that were misidentified as a ‘tabla’.
TRACK 3: hooey
Workplace conflicts, family drama, money problems; they are all just a bunch of hooey. This is how we re:interpret conflicts. It’s just unnecessary.
TRACK 4: cacophony
The hardest song we’ve composed to date, sparked by Purnama’s (drummer) desire to incorporate Kecak as a homage to his Indonesian roots. Over the span of 5 months, this song was re:arranged multiple times to reach the same emotional chaos we endured while trying to better ourselves as musicians, and as individuals.
TRACK 5: pre-ten
This track was reprised from our EP, giving it a sax-y flare you just can’t resist. Okay, not sure about you, but to us, it’s about to get sensual.
TRACK 6: giselle
Shattered by Jie Er’s (ex-bassist) departure from the band, we needed to fill the void with a song named after her daughter. It isn’t a sad song. This represents a journey of how one thing leads to another, priorities changed, and the most important thing in your life changes.
TRACK 7: broken clouds
SURPRISE!!! It has lyrics! Jolynn kept this song for many years, and yes, it’s a song about heartbreaks. We tried it, we liked it, and it made it into the album.
TRACK 8: maruko poro
Have you ever noticed, when you make a phone call, the ringing beeps are in 5/4 time signature? This tune is inspired by that discovery, hence the title maruko poro (marco polo) — mimicking a call-and-answer motive.
TRACK 9: p.o.v.
Messages can be so easily misinterpreted just by reading it in different tones. Similarly, the song can be heard from different perspectives. The next time you’re angry, just look at it from a different point of view. (if you’re still angry, breathe)
TRACK 10: esiotrot
We jammed out the intro riff when we were working as extras for a commercial. It slowly developed into a story of our growth—slow but steady (if you get the Roald Dahl reference). It’s our way of saying, ‘you don’t always have to win races, as long as you enjoy the endeavours.’
Asked about the Malaysian alt and independent scene, Mak Wai Hoo of Soundscape Records commented:
Malaysian indie and DIY scene has a very unique ecology system – The 10-Year Cycle. From 80s punk movement to the glorious 90s alt-music era and the indie music break out since mid 2000s. It is this cycle that sees the downside and creates the major lift thereafter. The implication behind this pattern is that a healthy and sustainable music development is slowly taking place, in its own unique way.
It’s an ongoing progression with ups and down. In reality, there’s always gigs and shows every single week, throughout the country. There are more choices of event spaces for gigs and more promoters are organizing shows in and outside of KL. Young generation is craving for shows, that’s the utmost importance—to keep the independent music scene alive. In addition, more local bands are touring abroad, making their presence at international level, which eventually will bring more focus and attention back to the local scene.
Over the years, the local scene has gone from strength to strength, perhaps it’s time we build a stronger foundation and infrastructure behind-the-scenes so that our bands can make music their career and sustain it for a longer period.”
To sum up our persona, the scene is definitely progressing and it’s very encouraging to constantly see new faces at shows. Young talents also keep astonishing us with fresh new ideas and impeccable techniques. We believe that the internet has enabled us and many others to connect with the world, bringing out the best in what we have to offer.
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Press about MUTESITE:
“Focusing more on the atmosphere and memorability of their tracks, mutesite forgoes the technicality aspect to a certain extent, but never do they sacrifice the quality that they possess. Each track in re:start is carefully woven, paying attention to the finest of details across all the instruments. Every single band member was given ample space to shine individually without overshadowing the rest, producing a really balanced sound across the record. This provides an opportunity to give their listeners a pleasant surprise with their tenacity and cohesiveness in terms of their song writing.” – Atmos Singapore
“They are another one of those bands that you have to watch live to get the full experience. Atmospheric, emotive and full of vibrant energy – their music really sucks you in. At once grandiose and down-to-earth, Mutesite exudes effortless charisma on stage that takes shoegazing postrock and turns it on its toes.” – The Wknd Sessions
“The five-track EP entitled re:start is rife with crystalline emotional compositions as a result of the perfect marriage between the keyboard – an element not too often seen in math rock, though the band also identifies themselves as post-rock – and guitar, bass, and drums.” – JUICE Malaysia
“Their debut EP, re:start, is a five-track showcase of their effervescent and tenacious skills at performing post-rock songs that possess a grace that is enabled by an elegant prominent piano element.” – RedBull.My