Image Romeo Shagba
The tantalising temptation of a fatter wallet can sometimes convince even the hardest men to do the most outrageous of things. Thankfully, in the case of Teoh and Adlin, succumbing to that itch didn’t turn out to be something that they’d regret. “There was a gig when we started where the organiser wanted to pay four figures for an electronic music act (back in 2008). So, we hastily put together Like Silver for the cash grab. We sold out early, rarely seen cash like that again, but we’ve stuck together anyway because we like what we’re doing.”
While the both of them have been in and about the scene for a while, electronic music definitely wasn’t their first love; “We both were in a lot of different types of rock bands. Heavy, shoegaze, twee, funk – whatever kind of combination of guitar, drums, and bass there is, we’ve done something along those lines.” We’ve found so far that producers with an analogue-heavy background generally tend to fabricate tunes with a little more dynamic complexity than those who don’t, and Like Silver isn’t an exception.
Transient soundscapes and aggressive synths interlock with flowery push and pulls of the percussive beats make for what Adlin describes as “melancholic electronic songs about our observations on life and relationships.” To our ears though, the duo’s music isn’t exactly your run-of-the-mill chillwave matter either. It hits harder and at a sprightlier cadence than you’d expect, despite Adlin’s insistence that they’re “big fans of moody electronic music, the kind of stuff you want to play at night while you chill… stuff that sounds a little dark.”
And of course, they get by with a little help from their friends. “Bouncing ideas with +2db, Ryota, Halfway Kings, Ching Ching of accessory label L.A.R.K, Sulyn Ooi and Eu Gene helps to create a spark,” and thus it’s no surprise that their EP was littered with vocal contributions from their musician pals – and they’ve helped out in similar ways with their friends’ projects. With Teoh being an adept videography buff (in fact, he does that and photography on a full-time basis), many other acts have worked with him to develop a visual representation of their aural discourses – which does indeed lend a helping hand towards bringing the small, albeit growing scene closer together.
Unlike the majority of their electronic brethren though, Like Silver doesn’t seem to suffer from the much-maligned gear acquisition syndrome. “Electronic music people are supposed to be real gear whores. Unfortunately, we’re not. We use whatever we can get our hands on to make music. We used to be hugely into gear, but after a while it felt like owning gear was a crutch. If we can’t get a song idea we like on our tablet, we probably can’t do better on anything more expensive.” Preach! We haven’t seen much of the duo’s original work lately though – not since 2012 at least. They’ve promised us that we’ll be seeing a new set of songs later on towards the end of the year, and if it’s anything like their wistful take on Arcade Fire’s ‘My Body Is A Cage’ with Adeline Chua last year, we’re positive that the duo is going to explode.
So, what’s going to happen to Like Silver further down the line?
“We want to be using wearable tech to compose songs with sounds from the friction between our clothes, and sending each other working song files with drones we pilot with our smart watches.”