Lymbyc Systym & LITE

Venue: Bentley Music Auditorium, Mutiara Damansara, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 3rd July 2010
Promoter: Soundscape Records
Review by: Liz
Special Thanks: The Soundscape Records team

Every now and then in music, you come across band of brothers that are polar opposites like the two sets of twins from Brooklyn’s The National. Of course you also have brothers that quit on the other after spending more than a decade together in a band (read: Oasis). On the night of 3rd July 2010, KL was graced with a pair of brothers in the shape of Jared & Michael Bell who mirrors and complements each other beautifully.

The crowd was transported to an entirely different place, even when Lymbyc Systym played a not so local sounding Selamat Pagi to the adulation of the crowd. This song alone proved that even with only two people aboard, an assortment of music can be made and patched together to create a quirky yet distinctive tune. It started off with simple jingle bells bundled up, to the sound made by two drumsticks when rubbed together (at least, that was what it sounded like). In the midst of it all, there was also a very memorable sound created through scratching the cymbals. It comes on around 1:11 in the soundcloud below.

Lymbyc Systym Live in KL – Selamat Pagi by guiltybootlegger

Throughout the hour long set, immerse passion and determination could be seen as the two of them requested for camera flashes to be turned off. It was a sight to behold when Lymbyc Systym along with not just the crew but the other artistes performing that night helped each other out to set up and dismantle various instruments up on stage but really the instrument of the night belonged to synthesizers.

Then came the 50 minutes long wait for LITE’s set. It proved a daunting wait for some as World Cup chatter filled the auditorium and one could not but help eavesdrop on news that Germany was all out to send the Argentines home. Other fans during the “intermission” may have ventured to the merchandise booth to find the two brothers of Lymbyc Systym behind the counter all smiles and greeting fans in a gracious manner.

The wait was absolutely worth it, however. After an apologetic note and smile from LITE, the moment LITE hit the first note, it was chaos. Perfectly timed chaos, to be exact. I remain baffled at how they did it, but it was such a delight to listen to Image Game and the attention grabbing pauses that they pull together. Quick finger works on the guitar and attuned bass slapping was aplenty from LITE.

Knowing well and feeding the energy off from the crowd, as it struck past midnight, there was plenty of LITE left that night. They returned for an encore, played two songs and even shared another number from their new mini album Illuminate which sounded very much like a winner. It was clear that the crowd truly enjoyed themselves on a Saturday night out. Albeit a very long night out, given that the doors opened late and the first supporting act walked to the stage around 10 minutes before 9pm.

Citizens of Ice Cream knew they had a tough crowd to please. They stayed perfectly on course to deliver crescendos that were a little messy, but you certainly cannot enjoy ice cream without a little bit of mess, yes? There was a little drone of ennui and pain in the delivery but all in all I can honestly say their effort provided a cause of appreciation towards our local post-rock movement.

The second supporting act, Akta Angkasa, blew my mind away with a very charismatic guitarist and a seemingly established bassist. I confess I was not prepared for what they had to offer but the experience was almost equal to being swallowed by a black hole before being spewed out again in impulsive spasms. Nothing nasty, of course, but it was a journey that took you all the way and back in exactly 30 splendid minutes.

Dimmer lights may have called for a better atmospheric experience but my hats off to Soundscape Records for taking that risk and allowing yet again a place for our concert industry to grow. We turn to Kula Shaker next and perhaps should they keep up the good work, by the end of the year Soundscape would be able to bring Jón “Jónsi” Birgisson himself to these shores. Here’s hoping.