An Experimental Odyssey: Ciplak

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Since its inception around the mid-20th century, experimental music has been about starting something without knowing the outcome, and this still holds true today. Keeping to tradition, JUICE sets out on an intergalactic space adventure (how else do you get in touch with a bunch of people who are truly out of this world?) to learn more about our local experimental musicians. You’re not gonna believe what we discovered…

Text: June Low

“You’re sh!t out of luck, we’re not an experimental music band,” says Azmyl as soon as we arrive at the home of the fire-breathing, cross-dressing trio.

“Not an experimental music band… Not an experimental music band,” echoes Aziz in a robotic tone.

Ron promptly blames Aziz’s speech impediment on years of living on the new planet, but insists that it doesn’t happen all the time and that the change has been good for their music.

Caught off-guard with time to kill, JUICE decides to kick back and hang out with the guys for a little while before our next stop.

Azmyl explains that, contrary to popular belief, Ciplak is actually a “no wave” band. He describes their music as intense and smoky, with a slightly peaty aftertaste. We guess 3 guys dressed in baju kurung making a lot of noise onstage is kinda like good whiskey…albeit with questionable maturity.

“Boundaries are for wimps with monthly instalments to pay; they’re only meaningful once crossed. Also, if you don’t need a passport, it doesn’t qualify as a boundary.”

A moment later, Ron walks in with a bunch of girls.

“Don’t mind them; the female form is our inspiration. You know, an experiment is done to test the validity of a theory. We’ve never had any theories that needed testing and we’re musicians, not scientists. So we really shouldn’t discredit real science by appropriating the term ‘experimental’ to describe rocking out in women’s clothing.”

Chewing on a Mars bar, Azmyl recalls a fond memory. “Once Aziz burnt my hair while spraying lighter fluid on my back. We were supporting Ruins Alone (aka Tatsuya Yoshida of Japanese avant-punk legends The Ruins). We were at the Annexe Gallery and I was playing the drums during our last song. Another notable performance was New Year’s 2006/2007, I think, at the MCPA Hall in KL, where I don’t remember anything at all…”

Sooner than expected, it’s time to go. Waving goodbye, Aziz says, “If I had Logan’s healing factor, I’d probably chop off my d!ck at every show. I want to learn how to be bulimic, and Gadaffi should join our band.”

More on Ciplak at Stay tuned for the next installment of An Experimental Odyssey with avant garde jazzers, Think! Tadpole! Think!

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