Text Alfonso Gomez
Image Saufi Nadzri
Perhaps it was only a natural fit that Frangipani-based Indiego & Co. came to be; at the height of the Deer Society parties at Daikanyama and even during the Establishment’s brief stint as a Changkat mainstay, Twilight Actiongirl’s Bunga had been their regular guest DJ. This attraction was a mutual one, Deer Society’s Ruud and Robotron 5000 (also of DANGERDISKO) had been coming to TAG’s nights from its legendary Loft days to the heights and lows of Barsonic for years too. “We’ve always been good friends, I was even colleagues with Ruud for close to five years,” says Bunga.
It also made sense sonically for the three DJs to form a new collective. TAG was the purveyor of indie at one point, and Deer Society was the natural progression of that; delving deeper into the dance side of ‘indie’ (whereas TAG was focused on mostly bringing guitars and drums to the club). One could argue that they were the first to popularise nu disco in Kuala Lumpur at a time when club playlists were limited to ‘credible’ dance genres like techno and house, EDM fares, and indie tunes. Indiego & Co. then, is a culmination of the two legendary nights – a mixture of, to quote their official Facebook page, “indie music, nu disco, and rock’n’roll.”
Two vague genre denominations and one specific label, this preference for catch-all terms is an intentional choice that reflects their targeted demographic. While their Changkat peers might have branched out into more niche nights catering to a specific crowd, Bunga, Ruud, and Robotron 5000 believe in a culture of inclusion:
“We don’t target anyone, our policy has always been to be all inclusive. As long as you love music, you’re welcome to Indiego – doesn’t matter if you’re a banker, a yuppie, hipster, college student, retiree, gay, or straight, everyone is welcome as long as they have an open mind and want to have fun.”
Even then, Indiego & Co. is partial to theme nights that do scream niche – after all they still need to satisfy their own interests and creative whims, things that are closer to home, says Ruud. “Although sometimes we just really want to have front row seats to a ska band playing the soundtrack to Star Wars, or to celebrate the ghost stories of Malaysia, or to play Hindi and Bhangra tracks in a club,” he continues, “… you just have to ask yourself; what would you like to go and see tonight?” There’s a half-joking tone to his question, but JUICE has been to all three of those nights and what Indiego & Co. want to personally see turned out to be exactly what Changkat needed. A panacea to the facile tourist destination the street has become, if you will.
While Bunga is self-effacing when describing what he does as a DJ (“What I do can hardly be called creative”), there is real craft to getting a good crowd rowdy. The Indiego & Co. crowd is much like its predecessors; punters regularly sing along to signature tunes, Bunga still crowdsurfs when given the opportunity, and often time love is either found or lost in the club. “When I see people dancing and singing along till the very last song of the night: that’s about the biggest pay-off or inspiration that you can get as a DJ,” he tells us. Similarly, the biggest pay-off for the audience is to have someone care that much about appeasing them – it shows in their reaction.
Robotron 5000, quoting Bunga, is of the same mind; “’It’s not a job; it’s a privilege to be able to do this,’ it’s true and I never let myself forget that.”
That line may very well be the central culture of Indiego & Co. – this isn’t a bottle service VIP club and it’s not just about the three DJs either; it’s about the audience’s shared experience. Twilight Actiongirl might be momentarily off the grid and Deer Society is no more, but the indie choons and disco revival continue on.