Song of the Day: TZECHAR - Bot

Song of the Day
12/27/2016
Geran Landen

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Bot” by TZECHAR, from the 2016 EP, Ancestor, on Hush Hush.

TZECHAR - Bot (MP3) TZECHAR first emerged in a cloud of secrecy, distributing amazing remixes of popular K-Pop (Korean pop) songs to the internet. The remixes may have been tongue-in cheek, but they were equally mesmerizing due to both the abstract visuals that accompanied them and the ability for TZECHAR to drastically cut and alter the pop-songs into something unique without severing the emotional and audio ties of the originals. As TZECHAR began to release original music and signed to Seattle label Hush Hush, it was revealed that TZECHAR was actually a Singaporean duo consisting of Lam Suet (producer) and Self-Obsessed (vocals and visuals). The Melbourne based project continued the hype by dismantling and re-constructing pop through their original music. Lam Suet has explained that the remixes were a result of the duo questioning what K-Pop (and eastern popular music in general) would sound like without the western influence. And while the remixes certainly reflected that, their first EP, Ancestor, answers the question in full.

Contained are tracks of shimmering synths, static bass and 808s dueling with traditional eastern drums. Self-Obsessed's floaty voice weaves melody into madness, triggering crescendoes and spreading ear worms across diverse soundscapes. It is just as reminiscent of traditional Eastern opera music as it is The Weeknd, and if that sounds too outlandish to be feasible, look no further than song of the day "Bot." On it, TZECHAR pairs hollow percussion with an elevating synth, building a distorted atmosphere that Self-Obsessed's voice rises and soars over in a unique cadence. Bursts of electric bass rattle any remaining risk of monotony in the song, which demands to be heard over and over again. It's a track that not only shows TZECHAR's skills at cultural curating, but also their mastery of music and melody.

TZECHAR does not have any announced tour dates but keep an eye on their Tumblr and bandcamp in case that changes. In the meantime, check out the video for "Bot" below:

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