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Friday June 21, 2013

Indie acts, deejays team up with artists and designers for a night of magic

MORE THAN a thousand of Heineken’s loyal music fans were greeted by a radically different layout in KL Live last Saturday when the Green Room returned to the venue that has been home to several Green Room events over the years.

With a music line up that included a mix of indie and dance music from international guests The Drums and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (TEED), and local stars and stars-in-the-making Twilight Actiongirl (TAG), Deer Society and Darren Ashley.

In addition, a group of Malaysian visual artists and designers turned KL Live into a series of conceptually-themed Green Room spaces, with the long list of visual artists and graphic designer collaborators including themancalleduncle, Stephen Lau, Ajim Juxta, the Off-Day and James Ly exploring their passion for music and the influence it has on their work.

The result was a series of collages and graphic pieces that encompassed the timeless quality of music and the connections between music and the natural world that define the lives of artists.

Their display area quickly became one of the busiest areas at KL Live, with fans queuing up to have their photos taken in front of the 8’ by 8’ canvases.

A specially-invited audience was also treated to an early evening edition of Pecha Kucha, the global design networking and social event founded in Tokyo, which was held in the Green Bar, an area created by architectural design collective Kontak! that created an industrial-themed floating park inside KL Live.

Hosted by Twilight Actiongirl’s DJ Bunga, and presented in collaboration with the British Council, this special music-themed edition featured fast-moving presentations from some of Malaysia’s best-known creative talents.

By 9pm, it was time to get the musical part of the session going. Twilight Actiongirl opened the proceedings with a set of floor-shaking indie anthems that set the tone for what turned out to be a night of good-natured, high energy fun.

Celebrating 10 years of indie mayhem, the collective of Bunga, Ribut 10:59, ChaseyLain and XU curated an exhibition of some of the highlights of those years, with a collection of flyers and artefacts as well as photos, testimonials and videos from some of their most memorable nights.

Opening for The Drums with a set of soaring future electro anthems, Heineken Green Room newcomer Darren Ashley wowed the crowd with his vocal range, hitting some incredible high notes along the way.

Taking advantage of the good-natured crowd at Heineken Green Room, the members of The Drums seemed happy to take in the sights and sounds of Heineken Green Room, mingling with the crowd on and off throughout the night.

A bond between the stars and the crowd had already developed as they took to the stage. Live, their tracks gained a power and directness that their records only hint at, propelling Heineken Green Room to a an enormous crescendo as they played hits including Let’s Go Surfing, Money and Days.

With the energy of the pulsing New Yorkers still hanging in the air, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (TEED) pushed the tempo further and faster as they aimed for the dance floor with a set of cosmic disco tunes for its first Heineken Green Room performance. TEED mainman Orlando Higinbottom’s silhouette darted around the console, while his tunes moved the crowd below, mixing up disco, deep house and leftfield tunes to bring Heineken Green Room a taste of the sound that will be dominating this year’s international dance music festivals and destinations like Ibiza.

After his set, it was a relaxed atmosphere that The Deer Society stepped up for their Heineken Green Room debut, pushing the disco envelope even further with some twisted deep tunes that had the floor rocking late into the night.

To round off the night, they brought a cheer with the classic Changes by another Heineken collaborator, the celebrated, now legendary, local producer Haze.

It summed up this Heineken Green Room perfectly: a retro-futurist combination of music and collaborations remixed music and pop culture references for a brand new tomorrow.

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