Since the release of their debut EP Saudade last year, .gif has been stamping their mark all over the other side of the Causeway. The pièce de résistance ‘diatribe’ off the four song record is clearly their magnum opus, a showcase of mastery and technical dexterity with layers upon layers of moody synths and natural soundscapes piled onto each other. The magic isn’t just comprised of the tonalities and melodies present, but also more noticeably, how the spaces in between the multifarious cogs fit perfectly into place; an aural reflection of its creators, Weish and Din.
The dynamic duo first met while studying English Literature at the National University of Singapore. But through mutual interests (and dislikes), and feeling jaded with their own projects, Weish and Din decided to start jamming for fun. Those sessions eventually led up to what has now become.gif. They say that their name encompasses the music that they make, as GIFs are essentially image loops and their songs too are built around musical loops, as well as of recurring and almost cyclical themes and emotions in their lyrics, and we couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly.
With such a rich texture to their brand of electronic music, we’re interested in the influences that supplement the twosome’s creativity. When asked, they respond with a plethora of different inspirations, ranging from intricate, rich, and unconventional musical maestros from Hiatus Kaiyote and Alt-J to artistes like Death Cab for Cutie, Kimbra, and Local Natives, who display “emotional rawness, melodic genius and lyrical nakedness” unparalleled. Stylistically, Din also draws from productions by Thievery Corporation, Boards of Canada, and Frou Frou.
Part of the new wave of experimental artistes coming up and out of Singapore, the duo has their hopes up about what is to come for music in the Lion City. “It seems like we’re having a renaissance period for the Singaporean music scene. There are so many good bands here and we’re starting to hear proper local music on the airwaves”, quips Din when asked about the local scene. Weish spouts similar sentiments, adding that there aren’t “just more collaborations between musicians, but also more multimodal types of art springing up everywhere: more multidisciplinary collaborations between musicians and visual artists, filmmakers, thespians, dancers.”
On a more personal note, the duo has plans for a proper full length release some time later this year. Not having as much time to jam freely as they did back in their university days has shifted their writing process to a more streamlined one, sending each other riffs and pieces to build on individually when they can’t find the time to pick out the best bits of their jams to craft into their aural craft. Despite that, they’re planning, however, to expand on their EP with a larger palate and canvas to flesh out their ideas this time, and we can’t wait for what is sure to be a magnificent literary and sonic work of art from Weish and Din.
One thing is for sure though. Despite the duo’s reservations about what’s going to happen further down the line in their lives, of whether they will be working demanding 9-to-5 jobs and only having time to play music on the weekends, if they keep up what they’ve been doing thus far, they’ll always have a loyal listener up north in JUICE.