The convergence between the local modern music scene with cinema is often an interesting occurrence albeit a rare one. We’ve seen the 1986 film ‘Kembara Seniman Jalanan’, directed by Nasir Jani which illustrated the striving lives of aspiring musicians like the band Kembara and their frontman M. Nasir, Ramli Sarip and his band Sweet Charity, and Malaysian rock legends Search, rock proponents of the 80s who now rock arenas filled with thousands of fans.
Then came the 1996 Dari Jemapoh Ke Manchestee, a film directed by Ishammudin Rais, which was perhaps the first film in Malaysia with a soundtrack that was later fitted into a compilation, featuring bands like Republic of Brickfields, Carburetor Dung, Force Vomit (Singapore), Subculture and Koffin Kanser. A coming together of local acts that represented the music scene in all it’s rebellious glory, which made an obvious partner for the angsty themes in the film. Kami The Movie then followed 12 years later, co-directed by Carburetor Dung bassist Fendi and music scene friend Fizi, who also played in the band Sinead O Mine in the 90s. The movie, driven by angsty teen characters, partnered it’s scenes with songs from local acts like the now defunct Laila’s Lounge, Ipoh’s Harmacy and Bittersweet, The Aggrobeats, Telebury and Butterfingers, which were all also fitted into a compilation. The movie, with its youth appeal created a sudden buzz throughout the general tele watching public, getting the local music scene an audience from outside of it’s usual dark and cramped gig venues. A spark similar to the indie music wave created by 2005 Indonesian film Janji Joni directed by Joko Anwar which featured local acts like Sore, Media Distorsi, Sajama Cut and The Adams.
And now in 2013, we’ll be expecting Kolumpo. Colloquial pronounciation of Kuala Lumpur, the film won’t be compiling a set of songs to accompany it’s KL backdropped scenes, but have instead commisioned artistes from the local modern music scene to produce it’s theme songs. “Nadi ku bergetar di sini”, sings Darren Ashley in Nadi Kota, the theme song he’s written together with The Impatient Sisters especially for the upcoming movie, due for release in December.
The second treat the production has got going goes out to fans of Yuna, who also wrote a theme song with then boyfriend and ex OAG drummer Qi. KL Kita is a light and stressless number which we imagine would make an impeccable backdrop to a contemplative walk in the pulsing city of Kuala Lumpur.
Kolumpo marks a new approach to the collaboration between music and film, and have excellently found the right rhythms and lyrics which themselves emit the hopes, the dreams and the challenges living and breathing in Kuala Lumpur. A multilingual film directed by 3 directors, Sheikh Munasar, Rozi Izma and Bront Palarae, the film will perhaps provide a breath of fresh air from the various gangsters and ‘pontianaks’ that have been roaming a little too wildly in portraying Kuala Lumpur in cinemas.
In comparison, Kolumpo will surely capture the hearbeat of Kuala Lumpur as it aims to do, and we expect it to do just that considering how well the two theme songs have done in doing so. The film is set for release in Malaysian cinemas on the 5th of December. More info on the film can be found here.
By Azam Hisham