Spread across the garden of W Hotel, Bali, there stood rectangular screens displaying what seemed to be a black and white, spacey visual work. Horizontal stripes, dots pirouetting, that kind of stuff.
People – hotel guests that you can tell this whole shindig was for, kids either holding a cigarette butt or the green glass of Bintang beer – took photos in front of it, making good of the shades that the screens generated. Minutes later, the words Double Deer ran in those screens, their colors unfaded.
Formed in 2012, Double Deer Records is a Jakarta-based record label whose pursuit of electronic music began and will, for now, continue in earnest. That wasn’t the PR talking, that was me; its first label showcase, on August 26, looked and sounded like a new label game for anything in the way. It’s way too early to be setting up roundtables to determine how long Double Deer can last, but from what I saw, they’re here to stay.
A lot of that had to do with its attention to detail in marrying music and visual arts. The showcase could have been as simple as a new, fresh label bringing you the kind of underground stuff while forgetting what Bandcamp is for, but Double Deer went ahead and did a double by bringing Jakarta-based arts collective, Vulture Studio.
These photos do them justice a lot better than my words, so you’d do yourself a favor by pouring over them, but I’ll tell you this: it would look sublime at a krautrock show.
Anyway, so all of Double Deer’s roster on that show – producer Arrio, band Kimokal and solo act Artificial – performed behind one of those screens. As I wrote earlier, their music is steeped in techno and pop-leaning electronic music.
As a music show, it wasn’t always a sure-fire banger, but Arrio, whose set was scheduled last, had an enthralling quality to them in mixing repetitive synth motifs and used vocals to a good effect.
Thing is, it’s not hypnotic music that would involuntarily mess up your nerves, all three of them. It’s too convoluted and heady to be considered background music, but if there’s a word to help you wrap your head around the music that I heard, it’s ‘polite.’
Get this, though: Whether it’s good or bad, it’s only a matter of taste (I still think it’s good, although I wouldn’t put it on when I feel like it).
Double Deer Records (formed by four people, two of which – Kimo Rizky from Kimokal and Adhe Arrio from Arrio – played a set that night) isn’t a label that doubles as an excuse for your friends to release some music. Double Deer Records’ confidence was displayed in full swing that night.
Hey, they managed to nab W Hotel (who opened a new recording studio in Bali called W Sound Suite) to help them out. Double Deer isn’t a rudimentary, "let’s-see-how-it-goes" label, and that showcase was just proof — one of many to come.