Gizpel is an exemplar for weird indie pop

Photos by Karen de la Fuente

When Indonesian independent label Kolibri Rekords came over to Mow’s for a show, they brought with them a strong cadre of high-treble acts and pretty much brought the whole house down. It was a bangin’ lineup for sure, but special attention should be given to Gizpel, an eclectic act that brings together disparate influences to form a unique signature sound.

We first met the boys of Gizpel (Fadillah Ananto on vocals and bass, Raka Prayuga on synths, Joshua Damanik on guitar, and Alit Wedhantara on drums) in Caferista. Anxious and excited energy filled the whole cafe but it seemed like Gizpel just kept cool all throughout, more concerned about the set they would play, than anything else. We spoke to the band about beginnings, and the science behind how they got to the sound they wield today.

YOUNG STAR: How did you guys get involved with Kolibri Rekords?

Alit: We are the second band in Kolibri. The first band was Bedchamber. I was friends with Ratta [Bill, art director] in college. Ratta said to me that he wanted to make a record label, and I said, ‘I have a band, you want to listen to my music?’ I just recorded one song. And I told Ratta, this is my band’s music, and Ratta was just like, ‘Yeah c’mon, come to our label.’

 

You guys have a lot of influences, from Kraftwerk to Beach Fossils. How do you guys manage to take all these different inspirations and synthesise them to what your sound is now?

Raka: We all have different kinds of music. Like Joshua plays jazz, Fadillah plays rock ’n’ roll. We just jam together. We want to make the [kind of] music that’s easy to listen to for everybody. Some kind of pop music.

“We just jam together. We want to make the [kind of] music that’s
easy to listen to for everybody.”

You guys have one EP under your belt, Short Distance, which was released in 2015. What was it like recording the EP?

Alit: We were recording in Ratta’s room, with Bedchamber. The most notable record from “Short Distance” is [when we were] using a Gameboy for the drums. We’d record all the stuff in Ratta’s bedroom, and then vocals, we’d go to a more proper studio.

 

Where’d you guys get the idea to put 8-bit sounds and chiptunes into your work?

Alit: Before making the band, I’d make chiptunes. Then I met Fadillah in high school, [and thought] why don’t I make a band like… you know Postal Service? Postal Service is the band that made me want to make my chiptune projects to be more like a band, with the guitar, with the bass, with the vocals.

 

You can find Gizpel’s music on Spotify. Special thanks to Caferista and Almost Crimes.

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