Malik Abdul-Rahmaan – ‘Field Research Malaysia’ Cassette [Paxico Records]

Straight head-nod territory here, going back to the middle of 2017 when Malik Abdul-Rahmann dropped Field Research: Malaysia on Paxico Records.

There’s cause behind this release. Malik spent three weeks in Malaysia with his partner, dedicating time to record stores as well as picking up field recordings that he would later decide to flip. He’s not wrong in describing Malaysia as “a cultural mix…unlike that which you’d see anywhere else in the world”, and his ability to translate this sonically makes Malaysia a great listen. 

It’s a thirty-two track beat tape of completed instrumentals; loop based recordings that offer less stagnicity then most quick mixes. The fact that Malik could even find that much source material in three weeks is impressive, but the quality of the tracks even more so. The samples are unique which serves as a reminder that digging is not a lost art. And the joints breathe across 2-3 minutes mostly, giving appreciation to the loop crafting and getting lost in the layers.

Malik’s idea was to take you in to Malaysia through rhythm. A mission achieved whilst staying true to the restrictions of boom-bap, lo-fi instrumentality created from records. Absolutely killer.

This is a crate digger’s’ beat tape. And there’s something nice about it coming on cassette that makes it extra special. Malaysia is destined to be the starting chapter in a series of similar international themed releases, from a producer who’s open-mindedness and curiosity of the world is driven by and explored through music.

Head over to Malik’s bandcamp page where, surprisingly, there’s still some physical left.

Peace,

Reflecting on my trip to Malaysia, I am reminded of the late night hunts for food through endless hawker stalls in Penang, the vibrant and thoughtful people greeting me at the turn of every corner, colonial style buildings nestled next to Buddhist temples next mosques, malls filled with electronic gear kiosks and flea markets offering everything under the sun. The intermixing of Malay, Chinese and Indian people and traditions made available for me an amazing array of flavor palettes, tonalities, style and rhythms quite unlike anything I have ever experienced in my travels through the world. You can’t ask for a better case study to get schooled in everything from geopolitics to the various versions of the national dish, nasi lemak……..all of which are telling about the music that I discovered in this magical place. From wandering around in 100 degree humidity with my field recorder picking up street sounds to tracking down the legendary Joe of Joe’s Mac at Amcorp Mall right outside of Kuala Lumpur. It was experiences like these that offered me the first visions for this project that I’ve come to call Field Research.

Field Research: Malaysia chronicles my hunt for record shops, sellers and collections in the country. It’s the haul of over 100 albums that I purchased out there; a cross section of local folk music, Bollywood, and East and South Asian funk, disco and rock. It’s the countless hours of the Islamic call to prayer recorded from my window, street vendors and other built and natural environments that I passed by on foot. I hope you’ll dig the tracks, but more importantly hear the sounds that are complex and unique to the story of this beautiful country. And before I sign off, I invite you to be my travel companion as I bring you elsewhere around the world. Until next time.

Salaams,

Malik Abdul-Rahmaan

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