Not the latest Azmyl release – that would be Wilayah – but still, ‘Charity Lane’ off his Tenets EP was definitely one of his best works to date. There’s a reason why he’s often time compared to Bob Dylan beyond his affinity for folky tunes, Azmyl shows his pitch perfect acumen for satire on the track that is almost vintage Dylan.
To commemorate the launch of his retrospective compilation Revenge of the Rabak: Collected Works from the Lo-Fi Years 1997-2005, which is made out of his out-of-print cassette releases and also the aforementioned EP, filmmaker John W. J. Cho shot a Merdeka-appropriate video of the Azmyl classic. Featuring cameos by Liyana Fizi and Ammar Khairi, the video had a leitmotif that wasn’t unlike politically-inclined early music videos of the ‘80s; Azmyl after having held a history book had his face transplanted onto a multitude of figures from historic photographs.
With colonial era-friendly subtitles in Japanese, Arab, and Russian appearing as he sings his lines in feigned disinterest – and his dim-witted jock friend looking lost in the flow of history – the video gives somewhat of a lighthearted approach to Azmyl’s socio-politically intelligent folk songs.