Best of 2013: Top 10 Essays

We've been very hardworking this year, covering almost all of the most coveted music events, picking out and discovering new music, and also keeping up to date with music happenings around town, the region and the world. 

With a vault of music stories, we picked out the memorable ones, the best of the best, and the ones that had highlighted the events of 2013. Enjoy!

(Click on the titles to read the article)

1. Bandwagon Guest List: Kevin Lester 

That's every rappers most unique weapon, his or her flow. I think my flow has changed up a lot but it's like an evolution. With the right amount of work and care into it, we find that voice. That's why it really hurts me when people treat rap like it's a the latest trend or a half time show. This is my life, so please don't disrespect the art by rapping today, playing bass tomorrow then saying you want learn the keys the next. Then you tell people "Hey I rap too." There's an art to it like any instrument.

2. Valentine's Day Mega Playlist 

The history of Valentine's Day has more to do with hate, political advances, secrets and killing than candy hearts and overpriced dinners. But that's okay, we're glad Hallmark fixed that (thanks!) and now we can wear our hearts on our sleeves, the dying teddy bear making industry is saved and now there is a day where power ballads and Celine Dion is acceptable. Like a horse and carriage, romance and song is most synonymous so overcome by the power of love, we have collated the ultimate playlist for all sorts of music lovers out there. Love songs for everyone, even you metalheads!

3. Future Music Festival Asia: The Report


As if watching PSY bust his moves out for ‘Gangnam style’ once wasn’t painful to the eyes, he gave the crowd a deservingly encore of the hit that we all love to hate. It was definitely a sight to behold watching the field turn into a stable full of horses gone wild. “Ah don’t even like ehm Ah’m jus going over for pure stupidness,” said a drunk Irish chick. His rise to fame is questionable, but ride away kids!

*Overheard backstage: I hear PSY was actually roped in to tie in good relations with the Malaysian and Korean government.

4. In Defense of a Genre: Post-Rock

I realized the significance of post-rock in music mythos - it’s a representation of our desire to move past conventions and staying true to our own creative judgement. If music is a personal experience, post-rock brings out the fundamentals of music itself where you listen, let it envelop, pass through your psyche and for a brief ecstatic moment, become part of it.

5. Haze Soul Sister: An #sghaze Playlist

Aside new friendships in real life, and as with any notable event or happening in Singapore, there'll be a flurry of social media activation: with #sgHaze trending, various pictures of fogged up skylines, people in masks posing, PSI Index updates, my mom telling me to remember to bring my inhaler, FB statuses calling for a non-work day, and other things. Sense of community in real life and on social media, well done everyone!

6. The Systemic Numbing To Music and The Meaning of Giving Back 

“Haiya, they’re always talking about the same things one. Stuff like, I love you but you don’t love me, or you love someone else, or you died. Same shit lah! Better I watch a Korean drama!” While there is plenty flawed in that statement, I have to admit: the man has a point.

7. Crafting An Identite: An Interview with Razi Razak

“It has always been about giving back. I recognize the struggles that I had when I started out as a musician, being in the scene.” he said. “Identite was created as a silver lining for me to actually give back to the community.”

8. Music Ownership in The Digital Age (Or Why Formats Still Matter)

So if you're digging an album on Spotify or Deezer or AMPed, lend some support to the hardworking labels out there (especially the independent ones) and buy it if its within your own means. Digitally? Sure if that floats your boat. But if you can, get a physical copy. Savour it. It's yours to keep. Put it aside other albums you adore, it'll be in good company. You may just end up realizing that the beauty of an album lies not only in the music, but in the entire package itself. Artists deserve that respect. Music deserves that respect.

9. Of Four Tet, A Cultural Exchange and The Strange Evolution of Genres

It becomes tiring how people refer to some music styles as ‘retro’ or ‘dated’. In the end, many genres may define the zeitgeist for certain musical decades but that doesn’t mean they should be confined to that. And it certainly doesn’t mean they die just because their mainstream presence diminishes. It was with these two nights that I learned just how genres could manifest themselves in totally different ways. In this case, jazz. The two nights had the acts embracing the genre but in their own manner, in completely different environments. The first night proved how the genre could live on as music keeps progressing forward. The second night was a celebration of the genre’s traditional charm but the composers never shied away from engaging fresh creativity; in this case, working with an entire orchestra.

10. Space-Time Continuums: An Interview with Charlie Lim 

As ‘CONTINUE?’ flashed spitefully on the screen, I asked Charlie about his interest and curiosity in electronic music, given that we all had him pegged as a blues/soul crooner.

He credits it to necessity. Interning at recording studios during his moonlighting days while in National Service, he developed a curiosity in the art of mixing and a penchant for recording on his own.The whole DIY aesthetic also appealed to him, being a self-admitted ‘control freak’.

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