Midnight Runners: The Funk

source: Midnight Runners

The first time JUICE was introduced to the Midnight Runners, their tunes incited an impromptu dance party across the entire office. Okay, we’re kidding. But the potency of the mixes created by these boys from Bandung definitely has the capability to do that, and sometime in the near future, we believe it’s bound to happen. Harry Septiandry and Yordan Admiral have found a niche in modern music, and are well on their way to becoming Indonesia’s latest (and perhaps soon-to-be greatest?) electronic exports. Well, perhaps not strictly electronic. Harry describes their sound as funk and soul-based, with complex grooves, rhythmic instruments, and a hip hop and electro twist. It’s hard to digest on paper, but it’s sure to give you nothing short of an eargasm when you check out their pieces. Think Indonesian Dâm-Funk.

Listening to the bass heavy stereoscopic productions that the Midnight Runners have come up with is like a breath of fresh air. From modern funk numbers such as the heady ‘Tropical Rain Vibe’ to the more sultry, club-ready recordings such as ‘Heat U Up’, each new track released by these musical whizzes never ceases to surprise and excite. Displaying a different facet of their compositional skills with every release, utilising slapwork reminiscent of ‘80s boogie records in one to native percussive elements in another, there isn’t an exact genre that you can pin these guys down to.

Coming from disparate backgrounds, the guys behind the Midnight Runners met through a shared love of music, sharing their vinyl records with each other. Inspired by some tracks their friends passed to them, they started producing music to emulate the “slowed-down-disco-hip hop-funk” vibe that was present on those songs. Sampling old records, they started to jam together ‘from midnight till dawn’ whenever they could and brainstormed for new ideas, pushing their “right brain to run harder tirelessly to create the music” that they aspired to make. One thing led to another, and these elements combined led to the creation of their band name.

Unlike many of their peers, the Runners have an affinity for using hardware synths in the creation of their tracks. “It’s hard to find spare parts these days for the DX7, but we love using it because the hardware tones can’t lie to us”, Harry remarks. However, as their sound has continually evolved since the inception of this project, they’ve found themselves using more and more VST plugins on their upcoming sophomore EP, slated for release later this month under their label FunkBox Records.

With the relative success of their debut EP Overdive in international waters, released by Singapore-based label Darker Than Wax, the duo has their sights set on some pretty big things in the near future. With plans for some big name collaborations with Indonesian and international artistes in the pipeline, the boys can’t wait to burst onto the global stage with more of their fellow countrymen with a prospective tour on the drawing board. At the end of the day though, both of them are keen to concur that no matter where the music takes them, they’ll continue to do it with a ‘touch of love’ because there’s nothing more important than making sure that the music that they make ‘always has a personal and relatable feel to it’.

We couldn’t wait for their upcoming release, so they enthusiastically agreed to send us a promotional track from their EP entitled ‘Breezin’ Whisper’. Showcasing a more chilled-out vibe in comparison to their previous work, this track builds from a gentle sway before ascending to its groovy ambient peak. Never taking the boat too far out into the seas with this tasteful mix, we can’t help but feel that this mellow original is but a whisper of even better things to come.