Bassment Syndicate
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Bassment Syndicate

Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Soul

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"Tickling Your Groove Bone"

Standing on a foggy line between jazz, hip hop, neo-soul, R&B, Bassment Syndicate was founded in 2010 featuring four skilled souls – Q’ (vocals/trombone), Hiran (keyboards), Omar (drums) and Fook (bass). Slipping in a slight sense of rock, funk and smooth groove, this band is all good odds and ends. Their debut album ‘Morning’ is of well organized easy tunes that are able to satisfy universal listeners despite the various genres being brought up.

Decades ago, jazz met hip hop like two awkward strangers before they successfully emerged in the industry during the 90s. And look at what we have now! These guys are bringing better improvement to loosen you up with a contemporary boom-bap and jazzy traces. I wouldn’t compare this band because of their originality but there are a few sounds similar to The Roots, Madlib and A Tribe Called Quest. Overall, it’s cool how these blokes got inspired by diverse genres and innovating their music into something pleasant to our ears. This evolutionary music mixing band deserves a spotlight.

You don’t say it’s an independent music journey without a bumpy road. This band took a break for a while after the loss of their original guitarist before realizing that they couldn’t abandon their precious efforts. They finally made an attempt to reform and continue their music invention. Bassment Syndicate has appeared in some well-known music festivals both locally and internationally (also shared the stage with John Mayer!), gaining new experiences and audiences. Other than being featured on Fly FM Stripped, this quadruplet has their own series on their YouTube called The Rats Nest in which they play some covers and songs, sometimes along with other guest artists.

By Farah Azahar - The Wknd


"Bassment Syndicate: Out of the Basement"

They could be playing at a black tie event one minute and be on stage at another gig minutes after that and still have the same amount of enthusiasm. Bassment Syndicate takes every live appearances seriously and with that skill in their resume, it doesn’t surprise us that they‘re often booked to play at prominent music festivals and open for international artistes such as José James. Now slated to perform at Future Music Festival Asia 2014 (FMFA2014), Bassment Syndicate’s inevitable limelight in the world beyond their gigging comfort is closer than ever.

It may look like it’s done for a Benetton ad when you have members from three different continents with distinct individual styles all together in a band, but trust that’s just a coincidence. The opportune brotherhood among a classically trained trombone player, an overbearingly eclectic bass player, a coy but adorable drummer, and the funkafied keyboardist came about circa 2009 and it’s been a smooth ride thus far, quite remarkably.

Fook (Johor) and Hiran (New Zealand) were performing together as sessionists while Omar (Kuala Lumpur, also obviously the youngest one in the band) was Fook’s junior in college. Something happened somewhere, and they crossed path with Q Sound, who flew down from New York as soon as he was offered to be part of their music ensemble. The idea of forming an actual band together never hit them until they realised that they had a bit of a following in the KL jazz scene.

After years of fierce gigging, they released their debut album titled Morning in April last year. The album defied what it meant to be categorised as a single genre and it became one of those rare local albums that spread purely through word of mouth like real life viral media — either from hearing it off a friend’s car speakers or their iTunes playlist.

While the Okayplayer-approved neosoul, funky jazz approach seems to be working fine for the band, Bassment Syndicate still wishes to discover other possibilities to mash things up whenever they can. Fans would know, this quartet goes crazy in sliding things whenever they do covers – be it a Jimi Hendrix track, Whitney Houston ballad, or even James Blake’s eerie ‘Retrograde’.

In preparation for FMFA2014, the band is looking forward to sharing their current musical vision and will be doing more new tracks that are said to be off their second album, which is in the preproduction phase at the moment.

Here’s hoping the sophomore doesn’t take two years to get done like Morning did!

Performing at Future Music Festival Asia 2014 on Saturday 15 March ’14, Bassment Syndicate are Fook (bass), Hiran (keys), Omar (drums), and Q Sound (trombone/vocals). Listen to them at soundcloud.com/bassmentsyndicate and find more info at www.facebook.com/bassmentsyndicate.

Morning is also available on iTunes.

By Naj Frusciante - Juice Malaysia


"Bassment Syndicate"

A shed for another shed, then a gig, an album, tour and so much more. That’s how the guys from Bassment Syndicate move, but they sure didn’t plan things that way. They jammed together in 2009 for a fund raising gig and it all started from there.
The band regard their sound as blurring the lines of jazz, hip hop and rock with a tinge of funk and loads of neo soul. To achieve that sound is not as complex as many people would think of as the four of them come from various musical discipline. Q is more classical and jazzy, Omar is the hip hop kid, Fook is all neo soul and Hiran is funk (and sometimes reggae). Not only they differ musically, they also come from different part of the globe, having Hiran from New Zealand and Q from America, Fook and Omar are from Malaysia.
With years of solidifying their base in the KL jazz scene, their debut album “Morning” came to live April last year. Their second album is in the works and they are steady in marking their territory by performing at glorious events such as KL Jazz Fest, Mosaic, Singapore Jazz Fest and Future Music Festival.
But its best to catch them live as they will show you what they’re made of on stage and you will love them better. “Morning” is also available on iTunes
By Naj - GoodNWS


"Bassment Syndicate's Morning"

and its understandable because the band was exploring all kinds of nuances to bite on. In April, it was released under extreme pressure.
Largely an instrumental album, Bassment Syndicate has “introdusyndicate” to help set the tone for all the following tracks. The energy on this tune can be heard not only in the rhythm but also in the lyrics as Marques (the trombone player) tries to convince listeners that he knows his band members well by rapping about them.
When ideas envisage itself in such embryonic form, you cant help but wonder how a rhythmic equation can flow into your body and stay in your mind, comes in handy when it has an abundance of sexy ethos.
Stylistically, 3.70 am come off as a cheeky yet groovy happy piece that somehow gets your head nodding. Correspondingly, this is one of the very early Bassment Syndicate songs.
Next on the list we have “Powder Monkies”, something the band wrote that is reminiscent of their childhood.
BS’n is one of the tracks that have gone through many changes, especially when it comes to the title. Basically an abbreviation of “Bassment Syndicating” the song was formerly
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known as “Cheeseburger” and at one time “C Crust” , in this song also, you get to hear Hiran (keyboardist) shine.
Moving on is Saladin, a track which is made for the belly dancer in you, Fook, the bass player of the band wrote this in slumber and conveniently named it after the ancient historical figure after reading about him online.
If you’ve been to any Bassment Syndicate’s live shows, you can tell that they are pretty proud of the track “Mother”, its not only appropriate for sentimental situations, but its also a smooth lullaby that everyone can relate to.
Then comes the dreamy “Diao” which is sort of a warm up to the refreshing ‘Omar’s interlude’.
No doubt they’ll be many out there who are happy to discover that Bassment also chipped in a sing along song in this album. It is called “Confusions” (a collaboration with Najwa), it tells a story of yes, you guessed it! Because if you’ve not been confused in life, my dear, you have not lived. - Raising The Bar


"Bassment Syndicate - Morning"

If you come to KL, the capital of Malaysia, you will find a dynamic, cosmopolitan megacity that’s never sleep. The Bassment Syndicate knows the best way to snapshot that scene with their music. Comprises of Marques ‘Q Sound’ Young (vox/trombone/synth), Fook (bass), Omar Ibrahim (drums), and Hiran Benton (keys), this cool syndicate brought the multi-faceted urban sound that blurred the lines of Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, Pop, Rock and Jazz.

This album’s titled “Morning”, intended to capture the morning feeling in its broadest sense: from the late-night-party-effect to the intimate encounter-associations, as well as the early morning light that accompany us into days’ emerging.

Deep, deep, deep rhythmic feel, with modern sound and groovious approach in cooking up their music, the Bassment Syndicate is picturize the sense of modern city through music. Available in our store only in limited amount and time. Go grab it now and ride into the cross-stylistic, groovy urban sound with these dudes!

For the preview of the songs, log on to http://bassmentsyndicate.bandcamp.com/album/morning - Jazzuality


"5 Regional Bands To Check Out"

Having recently played in Singapore for the Mosaic Music Festival 2014, Bassment Syndicate dazzled audiences with their versatility, playing a full set outdoors and a stripped down one in the living room setting of the Concourse. What started out as an instrumental jazz outfit, they have tackled other genres such as soul, hip-hop and R&B. - Bandwagon


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Bio

Theirs is a story that began in 2010, in the vibrant capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. With ties from Johor Bahru, New York, Chicago, and extending as far as New Zealand, this self-described multi-genre band is set to entertain audiences world-wide with their versatile and eclectic brand of music. 

While Bassment Syndicate started off as an instrumental jazz outfit, who they are today is represented by a bold, new sound that arose from their time in the stylistic wilderness.  Refusing to root themselves in any one genre has made their journey a fulfilling one, albeit not without detours: staking out new territory in music is hardly ever without its challenges, and when the band lost their original guitarist, Yehuda Manusama, a vital player in the creation of the band’s sound, they took a break.  Knowing what they had was too good to abandon, they reformed after a brief respite in order to press forward, grow, and reinvent themselves. 

And reinvent they did. 

Fast-forward to 2013 and Bassment Syndicate now features Hiran Benton on keyboards, Q Sound on trombone and vocals, Fook on bass, and Omar Ibrahim on the drums, resulting in a wondrous mixture of diverse sounds and influences that merge into a singular collective that is sure to groove.  Listening to them, one hears a little Meshell Ndegeocello, some Soul Live, a bit of RH Factor, maybe some Robert Glasper Experiment, The Roots or Morris Day and the Time, but ultimately, a unique musical gumbo that is solely Bassment Syndicate’s own.

While their feet are planted firmly in a distinctive instrumental production, there are elements of hip-hop, soul, neo-soul, R&B, and jazz, resulting in a fresh, sound distillation that embodies the romance, the soul, the funk, and the nostalgia of living and creating, with the vibrancy of Kuala Lumpur as a fitting backdrop. 

Having appeared in multiple memorable performances both locally and internationally, the band is well-travelled and constantly seeking new experiences to grow their music and their audiences.  They have made appearances at music festivals such as the International Jazz Day Festival, the Ambon Jazz Festival, One Thousand Bands United, Malaysia’s first Hip-Hop Music Festival, Raising the Bar, Mosiac Festival, Singapore Jazz Festival and the Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival. They have also opened for the internationally acclaimed Jose James, and in a special command performance for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during the recent royal couple’s visit to Malaysia. Bassment Syndicate has also been fortunate enough to perform for audiences at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. 

A live set with Bassment Syndicate, sets the stage for musical expression at its best: evidenced by soulful lyrics, melodious harmonies and instrumental arrangements performed with distinctive grace, groove, and originality. Their prodigious means with their instruments embodies a passion to express themselves in brave new ways, bridging gaps and creating musical journeys of sound through their unique blend of styles.  One may not fully grasp the eclectic richness at first listening, but the moment you will surely be moved, is the moment that will keep bringing you back for deeper exploration in the Syndicate’s rich, musical Bassment. 

Band Members