Digital Letter Drop #2: 0636 & Wijay – “Darurat 8×4”

by AldousJun 15, 2021

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Digital Letter Drop is a column that features music releases (songs, playlists, mixtapes, and more), videos, and even artworks submitted to us online. Send your work via the button below to get the chance to be featured on Printscreen. Aldous is always ready to help curate the materials we receive.

0636 have released their EP, RUU: Rave untuk Umat. A friend reinterpreted one of the songs into a piece of artwork. All took place in Cologne, Germany.

Hajar and Bimo (0636) writes:
Dear Studiorama,

0636 had only been formed in January 2020, a few months before Germany went into official lockdown around March – April. We haven’t really done much, except for playing at two house parties, one of our friend’s events and at an event that we held ourselves.

We actually started working on the RUU: Rave untuk Umat EP after the lockdown period ended. We also began making stuff to post on the internet, creating live sets, holding live streams and also contacted several local collectives who were doing the same thing during this period. Through this effort, we were able to create live sets for different platforms.

We also got in contact with a bunch of Indonesian kids living in Berlin, playing at their house parties and holding events together.

Before 0636 was formed, Hajar had already been producing for 2 to 3 years, and one day, he began to develop an interest in analogue hardware. This interest drove him to perform live techno sets mainly using analogue equipment. But doing so required a lot of work, especially with the numerous knobs and buttons he had to control onstage. In a moment of bliss, Hajar asked Bimo to help him out. Both had already known each other for a long time, and Bimo had an interest in techno anyway, so it seemed a natural decision.

One of the things we like to do in our live sets is throw in various sounds/samples of people talking about all kinds of stuff, which we found in different corners of the internet. When listened to without context, those conversations become funnier, and we would pair them up with techno rhythms to complete the composition.

You can say that our EP is a continuation of that concept. Aside from being danceable, the EP invites listeners to have a laugh, while also being exposed to slivers of commentary on social phenomena as well.

On “Darurat 8×4”, we experimented with the talking samples by giving them a little bit of distortion and other kinds of effects, which ends up distorting the conversations altogether. You might think it’s saying one thing, but it could really be saying something entirely different.

We also experimented with the use of Indonesian musical scales, which you can hear in some of our basslines and hooks, as well as eschewing the use of standard techno percussion sounds such as the 808 and 909, in favor of different and more eclectic sounding hits.

The artwork for this track was created by our friend Wijay.

Wijay writes:
Dear Studiorama,

What I’ve created isn’t really the song’s official artwork but is merely a personal visual interpretation of it. In fact, Rebecca Rosandrina Baihaki had already made the EP’s official artwork before I begun to even learn how to use Photoshop. You can say I was a late adopter of the software.

The idea for the artwork first came about from a conversation I had with Hajar. I forgot what we were talking about, but we eventually learned that the Indonesian word ‘darurat’ (English translation: ‘emergency’) came from the Arabic word ‘darurah’. From there, I began to design the artwork using Arabic typography.

I also took inspiration from the sampled anecdotes on that song, which spoke about lizards and their natural evolution into power-hungry reptiles. This influenced my gradation patterns and colour combinations, which I tried to resemble the rough texture of reptile skin.

Lately, I’ve been playing around on different kinds of visual software to satiate my boredom, and I was lucky to be given a used hard disk from a friend which contained a copy of Photoshop. I had already been actively exploring designs and references for my own work, but it was only recently that I had the mood to try out software.

My friends say that my designs have a very punk feel, but I don’t really feel punk myself [laughs]. I just like mixing colours around because it’s fun and full of surprises. I also like the fact that I can do this not only on Photoshop, but also on platforms like Cinema4D, which is being used by more people lately.

About the Author

Decided to pursue his interest in the music world after seeing the promotional video for Blur’s “Coffee and TV” on local TV channel in 2001.
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