The 7 Types Of Scenesters You'd Meet In Kuala Lumpur
Text Alfonso Gomez
Animation Carey Chok
Text Alfonso Gomez
Animation Carey Chok
The Basic B. still thinks JUICE is an EDM magazine – possibly because the sole reason she bothered with picking up a copy is just to check whether she made it into the Scene pages. If not a blogger who mysteriously gets invited to all the standard fare parties and EDM events (thanks to alcohol brands, of course), she’s probably an active Instagram user with an abundance of cleavage shots (expect local EDM DJs to follow her). Can’t speak much Malay, or at least pretend to. If actually Malay – her halted English wouldn’t stop her from insisting on maintaining the facade. A real life Wunderground parody – nudge her enough and she’d claim to be a huge fan of house.
The Alpha Boi isn’t just part of the scene – he’s a goddamned tastemaker. Thanks to his middleclass upbringing and early exposure to the Western world (could be because he’s a third culture kid), the Alpha Boi is always a step ahead pop culture-wise. He’s over your Rick Owens-derivative shit, son. He’s been into Flying Lotus since the early years of Low End Theory. Nu disco is the most annoying thing in the world, and he’s tired of the house and garage renaissance even before Disclosure made it big. Don’t get him started on trap… Either an active organiser of parties/gigs, or he’s aspiring to start his own online/print ‘zine. Unfortunately dude doesn’t actually know anything about the local scene, so JUICE doubles as his KL equivalent of Pitchfork and trendy music blogs a la Potholes in my Blog, Pigeons & Planes, et al. The Alpha Boi also DJs for fucks, oftentimes at his own party.
The older generation would remember the annoying band guy who insisted that real music is only played with guitars and drums. That archetype is obsolete, instead now you have the HxC Dude, who despite having two semi-active hardcore punk bands, is a fan of some music that doesn’t necessarily include live instruments. The HxC Dude can be found at Changkat’s infamous Bottle Houz before heading to Frangipani for Indiego & Co. (RIP), because he’s diverse and Bunga plays rock music, y’all. Talk to him and he’d tell you he’s a big fan of the Odd Future crew (“Those guys are punk as fuck!”), but Tyler the Creator is the only member he is genuinely familiar with – homie never really grew out of hardcore.
Graduated from art course with average grades, the Instaguy decided his adult life is best suited as a photographer. Not a commercial photographer, mind you, he aspires to eventually hold his own exhibition. A cursory look at his Instagram would reveal an unfortunate penchant for the Kinfolk aesthetic (expect top down shots of a cuppa joe), but fret not, the Instaguy is also an armchair artist. When not making art, he runs a small business selling vintage-y knickknacks and bespoke items made by him and his clique. Failing to do so, he’d pursue his one true passion; coffee. Yes, he might be that barista serving you at the latest neighbourhood hip café. Credentials? Fuck you, his photos were featured on VSCO Grid, dammit.
That Music Guy sure loves his music; check out his sludge/doom metal band (wow, Malaysia’s got one of those?!), and his vinyl collection, and his band t-shirt of an act you probably haven’t heard of. Having frequented Rumah Api, hung out with local skins, and dabbled in freeganism despite being a middleclasser, he fancies himself more cultured than the scenesters he’d glibly label as hipsters. If forced to have a conversation with That Music Guy, prepare yourself with a list of venerable musicians, because he is going to ask you “What’s your top 10 favourite bands?” like high school never ended, and he will judge your taste. Highly likely that That Music Guy reacted to our reviews of Killeur Calculateur’s and Kyoto Protocol’s respective LPs with a dismissive, “Eh, it’s JUICE,” but he’s only a fan of the former.
Not quite the female version of Instaguy; Minah Art might not have graduated from art school, and she doesn’t necessarily have to make art – liking and taking photos of them would suffice. Sometimes tattooed (other times just into tattoos), she can be seen hanging around town looking for anything that’s worthy of Instagram likes. If confident enough, Minah Art might finally graduate to opening up a Flickr account. Also a Rumah Api frequenter like That Music Guy, she’s keen on supporting social causes (or at least be seen at events in support of real world issues). Not a fan of electronic music, but Adam Kasturi’s Protopunk got her exploring his music.
The confluence of Future Classic, Tumblr aesthetics, seapunk, hipster irony, hip hop, Hypebeast, and the internet, Neo Hip Hoppers are the new bedroom producers and streetwear upstarts. They don’t actually associate themselves with hip hop, as entry level hip hoppers think Chief Keef and drill music are garbage while these guys embrace the sound of supposed ‘ig’nant’ rap. Only discovering glitch art, Windows nostalgia, ‘90s polygons, and ASCII art in the last year, these guys are destined to ruin them for everyone – hell, they might not even have a love-hate relationship with technology to be doing vaporwave. Still though, music fans who aren’t self-serious and stubbornly only listen to ‘real’ bass music and hip hop? Ideal JUICE readers right here.