When the music festival released its full line-up for 2019, we decided that it was time to take things into our own hands. As the line-up became overwhelmingly sophisticated each year, we knew that backup was needed.
Good Vibes has been the epicentre of the festival scene in Malaysia over a number of years. And as many Malaysians were about to debut their very first performance at Good Vibes, Music Press Asia concluded that it was an opportunity too grand to miss, quickly formed a judging panel consisting of six reviewers that would select ten of their very personal ‘live’ favourites.
We knew it’d be tough, but a challenge nonetheless. The reviewers have decided that they will remain anonymous. Personal creative culture and environment may affect their choices, nonetheless, and believe that valuable criticism are heroic archetypes that benefits the receiver.
We’ve left out the ‘big boys’ of Good Vibes in this piece not because they are no good. But because we believe in the underdogs; that the under-represented deserve a louder voice within an already overcrowded music & entertainment industry.
If we’re to only choose ten acts, who would they be?
1. DATO’ MAW (HOAX VISION)
Insanely impressive! Having only released five songs, Dato’ Maw is shooting an explicit message dedicated to its Chinese counterpart and culture (Malaysia, especially) tackling the decreasing interest in advocating its very own cultural identity in the world today.
The insignificant beat running in the rear, while Maw rapped on, strikes a critical support element that makes each track rarely original. He’d bound Chinese Malaysian’s identity home to roost, underlining prevalent issues of morality and social charisma adversely plaguing our culture.
Beautifully dark, the lyrics — in three Chinese dialects, Bahasa and English — gives a renewing sense of hope for a growing creative culture among Malaysian artists today, looking to express deep frustration, animosity and social destitution. What a wake up call!
2. ALLESTER SHAUN
Malaysian heartthrob reminisces bygone loves with his stripling love tunes. We can’t help but to be nostalgically swayed back to the 80s led by his dreamy voice. The notion of the ‘good old days’ forged a renewing spirit of sentimentality that doesn’t seem to fade.
You can’t make SonaOne hate you, even if you want to. This R&B artist resonates awe and had us chained (and charmed) to his every R&B groove. Being the only performer at the festival we’d expected the most from, SonaOne amiably discerns the lack in our imperfect world and strives precisely in his undertakings to express determination for love and courage in relationships. There’s never a dull moment with this boy. And ‘Gaya’ (or style) is what we’d like him to be recognized for. He tackled the stage with an air of savvy cool. Irresistible.
The duo outperformed the set with persistence and classic suave we could only imagine from any international acts out there. Couldn’t ask for more from the smooth dance move I was imagining — a version I remembered from ‘Saturday Night Fever’. Absorbed and truly enduring to the rudimental elements of disco, I could only wished that a little more of heightened eccentricity may do us even better.
And hey, who doesn’t want disco DJs? I do.
5. LOST SPACES
I used to abhor any musical genre that others would rallied ‘easy listening’. And though “boxset.girlfriend” wouldn’t be something I’d listen to just so that my weekday evenings would be less blissful, it was rather the expectation of hearing it live for the first time. I knew that if I’d allow myself a chance to change this perspective, it had to be accommodated with great company and indubitable mood.
Good Vibes seem to know exactly just how indie pop Lost Spaces can set the musical stratosphere opening the festival. Smelling the new buds of green grass on the lawn, I closed my eyes only to hear a youth’s serenade of love’s naivete, second chances and high-spirited adolescence backed with unequivocal retro tunes trendy among newer indie pop artists. Refreshingly indulgent for a dazed sunny afternoon.
6. MIDNIGHT FUSIC
I felt that it has been a bumpy enlightening since the release of “Lovesick”. As much as we’d like to expect more from “Caramel Cream” and though there were moments when I felt that as if their creativity has been forcibly paved over, I was melodically entranced by the four-man’s sanguine live moments on stage. Pure dream of nostalgia.
7. HOAX VISION
A voice for change. Malaysia’s very own music collective made up of twenty seven creative rappers, singers, DJs, producers, photographers, videographers, artists and designers, represented by Orang Malaya, Ichu, Dato’ Maw, Confucius, Shelhiel and ZSYIA at Good Vibes, got every Malaysian audience brimming with pride.
Defining a rising tide of young expressionists, this collective takes on an unprecedented enthusiasm embracing an era of perpetual change. Individually authoritative and awe-aspiring!
8. RYÖT JONES
The funk soul band came in loud and strutted their charm equivalent to Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” sort of fling. An inexorably powerful set arranged precisely to get the good vibes going at Gohtong Jaya.
Making an appeareance as part of her latest release “Rouge”, the hip hop queen bee, stylishly belted some of her most mature creative output to date. Emblazoned in red, it wasn’t difficult to tell that she is rightfully unmatched to anything we know, resonating amiable charm throughout her performance on stage. Astoundingly classic!
10. The Impatient Sisters
This indie-folk triumvirate serenaded firm harmonized melody that resonated the genteel affirmation we see missing from young creatives today. Brimming with solid sisterhood brawn, this sweet trio takes on a courageous feat writing some of today’s most underrated musical styles. A long shot to mainstream, but irresistibly charismatic and appealing, nonetheless.