Radiodiffusion Internasionaal Annexe


Kugiran Irama Perindu
March 7, 2010, 3:29 am
Filed under: Brunei

Nasihat Untuk Kawan

I’ve been meaning to update the previous post on Kugiran Irama Perindu for some time now, but I figured I’d just do a whole new post. Over the past year or so, I’ve been corresponding with Merv Espina – my contact for Brunei. Merv has been researching Gema Dari Menara (Voice from the Minaret) – the only motion picture produced in Brunei. In the process, our research has overlapped uncovering Brunei’s lost rock and roll history.

In 1962, A. M. Azahari was the leader of the Parti Rakyat Brunei – or Brunei People’s Party. PRB rejected the proposed federation with Malaysia. This opposition led to the failed Brunei Rebellion, which resulted in a strict curfew period from 1962 to 1965. During that time, many musicians moved to Singapore – which would explain why almost all of the earlier records from Brunei were on the Olympic label. But between lifting of the curfew in 1965 and Pengiran Kamaluddin, who was also responsible for initiating Gema Dari Menara‘s production, stepping down as the head of Department of Religious Affairs in the 1970s, there was a small window. It was during that brief period that rock and roll happened in Brunei.

There were only two bands in Brunei: Dendang Teruna and Kugiran Irama Perindu. There were also a few musicians who recorded with bands from Malaysia and Singapore – like Hussen Hj Tuah. But Dendang Teruna – to the best of anyone’s knowledge – never recorded. They did perform regularly on Brunei Radio and were featured in the film Gema Dari Menara (as seen in this still from the video transfer). But, Kugiran Irama Perindu recorded three singles before Dayangku Aminah left the band to go solo.

The personnel of Kugiran Irama Perindu – as seen on the cover of their first single – is as follows: Standing up, wearing the white jackets is Jafar – whose last name or title is unknown (bass) and Sari Hj Besar (guitar). Seated is Norsiah A. Hamid (vocals), Awangku Tajuddin (vocals), Awangku Yussof (drums) and Dayangku Aminah (vocals). A quick note about Brunei honorific titles: Awangku (Ak), for the men, and Dayangku (Dk), for the women, are titles bestowed on unmarried individuals connected to the royal bloodline. Once married, they adopt the title Pengiran (Pg). All of the members of the band were all single when the first Kugiran Irama Perindu EP came out, but soon after Pg Tajuddin married Norsiah A. Hamid. They both recorded – together and separately – with The Sandpipers, The Sand Blues and Kugiran Irama Perindu. The couple are featured on the cover on this single.

Catalog number T.R.C. 1051 on Olympic Records of Singapore. No release date given.



Dayangku Aminah & The Heavy Machine
September 6, 2009, 4:06 am
Filed under: Brunei

Menunggu Kepulangan Mu

The word Kugiran is abbreviation of “Lively Guitar Group” from the Malay words “Kumpulan Gitar Rancak berirama”.

As early as 1960 the Kugiran bands began to emerge in Malaysia and Singapore. The standard instrumentation for these bands at that time, was three electric guitarslead, bass and rhythm – and a drum set. Normal six stringed guitars were used to play the bass line roughly until 1963, when proper four-stringed bass guitars became available in Malaysia.

These “electrified” guitar bands were much louder than the earlier folk oriented Skiffle groups and the more Lounge type bands as typified by P. Ramlee with accordions and bongos, which quickly fell out of fashion. The Kugirans eventually replaced the jazz trios and quartets in hotels and club circuits across Malaysia. It was P. Ramlee himself who christened these early rock groups with the name kugiran.

The era of the Kugirans was short lived. Around 1969, there was influx of bands and singers – like Ernie Djohan and Lilis Suryani – from neighboring Indonesia who started to get more airplay on radio stations in Malaysia and Singapore. The following year, Radio Television Malaysia unofficially banned Indonesian music and initiated a policy that gave preference to Malaysian artists. But by that time, most of the Kugiran bands had gone out of style and the musicians had either moved on or given up.

But not all of the Kugiran bands were from Malaysia or Singapore. One of these bands was from BruneiKugiran Irama Perindu. The band released three singles on the Olympic label of Singapore. After lead singer Dayangku Aminah left the band, she was featured along with three other singers – or “penyanyi” – on a single with the band The Sand Blues. Later she recorded least on single with The Sandpipers as her baking band, both of these records were also released by Olympic. As for The Heavy Machine or the label United Enterprise, there is no information available.

Catalog number UE 111 on Sharikat United Enterprise of Malaysia. No release date given.



Hussein Hj. Tuah & D’Acrobat’s J. B.
July 20, 2008, 4:08 pm
Filed under: Brunei

Malam Pesta

Hussein J. Tuah was from Brunei.

According to Merv Espina, Brunei was “one happening joint” back in the Sixties, and was very cosmopolitan. Merv has been researching the sole product of Brunei’s film industry, Gema Dari Menara (Voice from the Minaret), which was produced in 1968. Apparently the film features a few bands and exotic dancers. But much like that film, the music scene is Brunei has almost no information…

From what I have been able to find, it appears that all of the musicians from Brunei went to Singapore to record, and there was only one label that issued records by Bruneian artists. I did manage to find a little bit about Hussein J. Tuah & D’Acrobats’ J. B.’s is Management / Label: Times Record Company:

Around 1960’s in Singapore, Times Record was a record company which released Malaysian EP’s and LP’s, on labels such as Olympic, Eagle, Sea Lion, etc. There record labels had competition with international recording companies such as EMI and Philips. In the 1960’s there were many artists and singers and records under Times management, so audience can listen them.

D’Acrobats’ J. B. were from Johor Baharu, Malaysia. They released a handful of other singles as the backing band for other Malaysian singers such as Yusoff Ahmad and H. Anuar for the Universal Label.

If you have any information, please contact me.

Catalog number T.R.C. 1032 on Olympic Records of Singapore. No release date given.

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I recently received some more information from Merv Espina. His name is actually Hj. Tuah, and not J. Tuah. The big H in on the cover was a stylistic graphic design choice. You can see it on his first single, which was released on the SOR Records label of Singapore. Hussein worked as a teacher, and one of the subjects that he taught was English. He continued singing, and became a popular patriotic singer.



Kugiran Irama Perindu
June 24, 2008, 7:16 pm
Filed under: Brunei

Rindu

Kugiran Irama Perindu were from Brunei.

Brunei is a country located on the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, it is completely surrounded by the states of Sarawak and Sabah of East Malaysia. Brunei, the remnant of a very powerful sultanate, restored its independence from the United Kingdom on January 1st 1984.

What little information I have been able to find about Kugiran Irama Perindu is about their Management / Label: Times Record Company.

Around 1960’s in Singapore, Times Record was a record company which released Malaysian EP’s and LP’s, on labels such as Olympic, Eagle, Sea Lion, etc. There record labels had competition with international recording companies such as EMI and Philips. In the 1960’s there were many artists and singers and records under Times management, so audience can listen them.

This song is from their first single. I do know that they released at least two other singles, one of which is pictured here. The liner notes on the back of that record reads:

Only one time when Time Record, which was popular with Olympic label has recorded some new songs with Irama Perindu, it’s also popular in Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, and Malaysia. These songs were playing on radio stations and a night club in Brunei. With a new songs which was playing in our edition will make you had a romantic feeling. Thank you and enjoy our songs!!

Thanks go out to Anton Pulung of Red Chamber for the translation.

Catalog number T.R.C. 1033 on Olympic Records of Singapore. No release date given.




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