Music & Nightlife

Your guide to the best bars and clubs, live music, concerts and DJ gigs in KL

Music

Dirgahayu interview

The four-piece math rock royalty discuss their debut album, the Japanese occupation and beyond

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Music

Out now: Local albums

It’s time to update your playlist with these local albums

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Bars and pubs

Best bars in KL

Get into the spirit of KL’s vibrant nightlife scene as we round up the best bars for every occasion

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Bon Jovi live in KL

The iconic US rock band are back in KL for a full concert

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Bars and pubs

Now open: The Great Beer Bar

The new craft beer joint at Damansara Utama

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The best club nights and parties in KL this week

Nightlife

DORCELSIUS live in KL

Paris meets Phnom Penh in an abstract electronic collaboration between two audio visual artists in DORCELSIUS. Expect tranced-out electro psychedelic sounds on the dance floor for two nights at Live Fact and Findars.

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Nightlife

Ohrwurm presents Marc Marzenit

Spanish DJ/producer Marc Marzenit has been interested in making music since he was nine. By the age of 11, he got himself his first synth and thus began the building blocks of his successful career. Fast forward many years and he now has a loyal following the world over. Fresh off the release of his successful debut record ‘To Love Until We Say Goodbye’, he has always been known as a slightly maverick DJ. His intriguing 'Suite On Clouds’ project springs to mind: A 3D mapping show with violinists, a harp, symphonic percussions and a grand piano, which sought to push the boundaries of club music into the realm of the symphony. Ambitious? That’s Marc Marzenit for you. He is not one to do things small. Epic is what he usually shoots for.

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HO4X

For the Hoax series’ fourth instalment, the local electronic music platform presents the series on a larger scale with more than 20 acts slated to perform including Mushroom Buttons, Menikmati, Orang Malaya, Leo Ari and Pradana. Jin Hackman, Mr Dan and Julia Duclos will be your hosts for the day (and night).

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Nightlife

Retrophilia with DJ Reggie

For music that leans more towards old school, party on at Tujo's Retrophilia nights every Saturday with DJ Reggie. The hungry ones can grab a free nasi lemak supper from 11.30pm, exclusively for Tujo customers. 

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Nightlife

Tease Me Fridays at Hubba Hubba Ceylon

Start the weekend partying at Hubba Hubba Ceylon. While DJ Joker helms the decks with retro remixes and current dance music, you can enjoy promotions on shots and bottles including Gordon's, Bacardi Limon, Glenmorangie, Hendrick's and more. Ladies get a complimentary welcome drink when they step in. 

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Nightlife

Detuned

The Detuned series does away with inhibitive musical theory for unrestrained electronic experimentation, resulting in old- and new-school freeform, disco and acid house music from underground acts Slutski and Kubika.

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Bars and pubs promotions in KL

Nightlife

Happy Hour at Torii

From 5pm-7pm, purchase two drinks to get one free. Take your pick from six beers including Guinness, Kirin Ichiban, Strongbow, Kilkenny, Paulaner München, and Heineken. Available at both Torii Jalan Batai and Torii TTDI.

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Bars and pubs

Perfect 10 at Hubba Hubba

Wait out the rush hour traffic and grab a drink or two at Hubba Hubba. It's RM10 for beer, sangria and house pour liquors by the glass. Available from 12noon to 10pm daily at Hubba Hubba outlets in Bukit Ceylon and KL Sentral.

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Nightlife

Brotzeit 3L Challenge

Finish a three-litre beer within 15 minutes and you’ll get the beer for free, a Brotzeit t-shirt, and your name on the 3lit Hall of Fame. If you fail you’ll have to pay for it, but fret not as all participants get a Hangover Breakfast voucher whether or not they finish the beer in time. Challengers can take part once a month, so if you don’t make it the first time, you can always try again the following month.

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Bars and pubs

Beer o’clock at GRIDiRON

On Fridays at this sports bar, beer goes for a paltry RM4 at 4pm, RM5 at 5pm, you get the idea. A perfect way to end a long and hard week, with a frosty mug of beer and sports on the telly.

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Latest features and album reviews

Music

Ten things you didn’t know about Kyoto Protocol

1. ‘Catch These Men’ was recorded live ‘We found a producer that we loved working with – Faiz Fadzil [of The Wknd] – and he gave us a very interesting challenge: to do all the songs live. Everything, from the dynamics of how we speed up and how we slow down; it’s nothing that a computer or metronome can tell you how to do. Actually, “Dispensable” [lead single] was recorded live at an earlier, different session but with the same setup, same room, same everything – and we were like, “Whoa, actually, we kind of like how this sounds.” Even though there are flaws, it sounds way better than if we had done it in a studio – or at least to us it felt real, it felt raw. That’s what we thought the rest of the album would need.’ 2. ‘Now You’re Gone’ was the first song Fuad ever wrote on the album ‘Maybe it shows that it’s the first song I ever wrote. We played it before in the past and I feel like we owe it to the fans that we include it in the album. I always remember the song to be the first I ever wrote – the demo, with all the layered guitars and the mistakes; it’s just a pure expression. It’s not us trying to have a commercial song in the album – it’s just a piece of Kyoto Protocol.’ 3. But in his opinion, ‘Forever’ is the best song he ever wrote ‘What was really important to me was to finish with “Forever” [album closer]. For me, that’s probably the best song I’ve ever written, in my opinion. I try to make songs as general as possible; I want people to be able to relate to our

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Music

VMPRMYTH interview

Once a part of powerhouse hip hop duo Muscle Machine, Mustaqim Arifin has been making some serious waves in the electronic music circuit as VMPRMYTH (pronounced ‘vampire myth’). He recently had a hand in producing critically acclaimed duo 2dB’s single ‘Run’ and gets featured in high-profile electronica shows frequently. His debut record, ‘HEROINe’, may just turn out to be one of the sleeper gems of 2014. ‘You are a product of your own environment, and that is often unique,’ says Mustaqim, when asked if it’s still possible to create original-sounding music in this day and age. What he says makes sense, and it explains why Mustaqim – himself the product of several different environments – has been able to make such profoundly unique music. Much of Mustaqim’s formative musical experiences happened abroad – he fondly remembers an experience he had in high school in Saudi Arabia where students stacked tables together to make a makeshift stage for a punk rock concert. As a kid, he moved around a lot because of his dad’s work. ‘My dad was always into buying records from local artistes wherever we went,’ he says, ‘so I was more familiar with some artistes from some far corner of the world than I was with what was happening on MTV.’ He attributes his eclectic taste to his experiences adapting to different cultures constantly. ‘That played a huge part.’ In the last few years since his return to Malaysia, he’s noticed that in our musical culture, there’s a pervasive tendency to box ou

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Music

Damon Albarn interview

It’s 10am at a rehearsal studio in north London and Damon Albarn is hanging on for dear life. This stadium-rousing frontman and generational poster boy is a gibbering rag doll of a man when I approach him, standing awkwardly in a long corridor like a naughty child sent out of class. The only thing sharp about him is his suit, matched by sunglasses to cover bloodshot eyes. ‘I’m going to be a nightmare today’ is his early forecast. It’s hardly a scoop to find a rock star with a debilitating hangover. What is surprising, however, is the honesty that follows. After two decades as a guarded British cultural icon, Damon Albarn may finally be opening up.It wasn’t always like this. Blur’s ‘Parklife’ (released 20 years ago this week) made Albarn a huge star. Yet his brashness, his conflicting bookish v blokish persona and the hubris of ‘the battle of Britpop’ with Oasis had turned many against him by the end of the ’90s. A more humble and earnest musician has since emerged. Albarn thrived behind the cartoon façade of Gorillaz, becoming a global player and showing how his remarkable songwriting could transfer across seemingly endless genres. When Blur roused Hyde Park to celebrate the end of the 2012 Olympics, it felt like national hero status had finally been conferred on their frontman. Today, though, he’s a hero who looks like he might cry into his canteen breakfast. I suspect he’s prone to teary hangovers? ‘Oh absolutely,’ he replies, with a stare and a moist gob of egg on his shir

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Music

Alex G - ‘DSU’ album review

Don’t you dare call Alex Giannascoli a slacker. He may have long hair, a battered electric guitar and the requisite set of grainy press shots, but at the age of 21 this kid from Philadelphia has already used the Bandcamp website to self-release four albums of beautifully twisted lo-fi guitar pop. ‘DSU’ is the fifth, but the first to get a full physical issue, and it could turn him from a cult hero into a proper rising star.Alex G is the most exciting heir in ages to the Troubled White Dude tradition: a line of introverted US singer-songwriters that leads via Elliott Smith, Kurt Cobain and Daniel Johnston all the way back to Big Star’s Alex Chilton. But that makes ‘DSU’ sound navel-gazingly bleak, which it decidedly isn’t. Giannascoli occasionally shakes things up with injections of psych-pop and dreamy funk, while ‘Boy’ and ‘Rejoyce’ possess the same lo-fi drive as the first two Pavement albums. Most importantly, the songs are there: ‘DSU’ is crammed with strong but subtle melodies and gently brilliant turns of phrase.But there is something dark and weird that sometimes cracks the surface of this LP. The blissy groove of ‘Black Hair’ masks some less-than-sunny lyrics, while ‘Axesteel’ is punctured exactly 52 seconds in by a blood-chilling screaming noise. Haunting little fragments of piano and guitar litter the tracks like nightmares leaking into daydreams.Incredibly, ‘DSU’ was put together in Alex G’s bedroom using a MacBook and a single microphone duct-taped to the desk. Bu

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KL's best music and nightlife

Music

Best live music venues in KL

Indie rock, acoustic folk, jazz – think you can’t find them in KL? These top ten live music venues play all that and more.

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Bars and pubs

Best bars in KL

Get into the spirit of KL’s vibrant nightlife scene as we round up the best bars for every occasion

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Music

Best free live music nights in KL

Forget cover charge. Here's where to go in KL for free live music gigs.

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Nightlife

Best bars and clubs in KL

Rooftop bars, speakeasies and the best places to party. Here are the best bars and clubs in KL to blow off some steam

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Bars and pubs

Best cocktails in KL

From the classic cocktails to the modern upgrades, here are the 10 best cocktails in KL

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Music

Best record stores in KL

Ditch your mp3s for an analogue music experience at these indie record stores.

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