Elemental Gaze showcase at Cafe Mondo

I honestly think that Elemental Gaze should not have made the song “God Knows Why These Should Be Kept For All The Time”, because only God knows why they have kept their music from releasing for God knows when.

It has been ages since they released their last EP “Let Me Erase You”, and the last time I saw them performing live was in 2008, where at that time Fuad briefly left the band, leaving only Bilan and Luthfi.

When I wrote this article for Sorge Magazine last year, I highly expected that a new album was soon to be released. But surely “soon” is a very relative term and after one and a half year later the album was still not available. But I guess the highly anticipated album is worth the wait. Their showcase I went to last August featured some of their new songs, and I noticed some rather big changes in their music.

elemental-gaze-showcase-jkt

The use of real drums and bass for example. With additional drummer Asa and bassist Adityo, they gave some fresh touches to the band’s electronic-shoegaze blend. I really think that the nu-gaze band is ready to rose from the studios to the big stages once again.

The showcase was held at Mondo Cafe in Kemang, where it occasionally accommodates “real” DJ-ing, i.e. with records, instead of CD’s. It has the atmosphere of Indonesia in the 70s and 80s, with pictures of 70s film stars, vintage advertisements, and teak wood sofas. The most unique part of the basement – where the music shows took place – was the food vendor cart which had been transformed into a DJ deck.

Supposedly there were three bands performing that night: Elemental Gaze, Damascus, and Maverick. Unfortunately Damascus couldn’t perform that night – but their members like Peter and Hans came later that evening to see Elemental Gaze. Maverick opened the showcase with an experimental electronic noise involving a keyboard, a mixer, and a Macbook (I bet he had already upgraded the OSX, haha). His performance was quite a long one but unfortunately the sound system didn’t really support the noises so there were even more noises.

It was half past nine when Elemental Gaze started to take over the space (not stage, because there were none). They opened their performance with “Slowless”, followed by “To Leave After the Memories Are Full” and their popular single of “Unperfect Sky (Without Your Smile)”. The latter was featured on the “Half Dreaming” released by Xtal Records in 2008.

Their new record will be released by Sorge Records, a new record label based in Bandung initiated by graduates and students of Parahyangan University. Dhito was the one behind this initiative, and he was also the one who organised the showcase alongside Dede of Wasted Rockers. Dhito was also a ‘member’ of Cisitu Asylum, a boarding house in Bandung which was once a centre for indiepop musicians.

Just like their previous songs, one of their new ones has a very long title: “Actually Storm Comes Out From Your Soul”. The other two were shorter but still has the surreal hazy Robin Guthrie-ish atmosphere. And speaking of Guthrie, Elemental Gaze’s upcoming album will be called “Elemental”, like Guthrie’s song in his “Imperial” album.

Apart from Guthrie, they were also inspired by his former band Cocteau Twins, and by Brian Eno, Blur, and My Bloody Valentine. They did a cover of MBV’s “When You Sleep”, which they also performed at last Saturday’s showcase.

Their performance was relatively short, as the crowd actually expected that they would play a much longer set. They wrapped up their performance with “God Knows Why These Should Be Kept For All The Time”, and let’s hope that they will (really) release their album this year, instead of God knows when. We can hardly wait.

  1. Slowless
  2. To Leave After The Memories Are Full
  3. Unperfect Sky (Without Your Smile)
  4. Actually Storm Comes Out From Your Soul
  5. Let Me Erase You
  6. When You Sleep (MBV cover)
  7. God Knows Why These Should Be Kept For All The Time

ps: This morning Dhito gave me this link, an unmastered version of their singles, which will be featured on their upcoming Elemental album. Enjoy!

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