Energy is everything to deførmed, the main project of Abdul Hakiim.
A talented multi-instrumentalist in his own right — best displayed in his absurdly fun covers of songs from anime and Animal Crossing on his Instagram page — deførmed’s latest EP, LATE TO THE LOUDNESS WAR (all caps), is a jolt of frenzied breakbeats and engaging sonic detours that leaves an indelible mark just as it ends at 15 minutes.
Although this EP is not wholly representative of the music he makes under this project, it kicks off an ongoing exploration of fury and mayhem that draws from hardcore, gabber, hip-hop, and anything else that vibes with him.
His latest release — a two-track single release with the lead song ‘my crush should confess to me instead’, dropped just in time for Valentine’s Day via Syndicate — is a pleasant and offbeat side-step into heart-swelling indie rock, so there’s no guessing where else he might turn to.
Hakim’s ten tracks run a fascinating gamut from Indonesian jazz fusion to Aphex Twin and sprightly video game music, so listen to our conversation and read through his picks below.
Raw energy. This is my favourite track at the moment — the displaced rhythms, strong driving vocals, and unusual electronic timbres just activate my hormone glands.
Love the quirkiness of this track and this fictional band. It also fits perfectly with the wacky setting of (video game) Splatoon 2.
This is the song from K-On!, my favourite anime. This is the song I’d always play when I pick up my guitar.
I love the organicness and tightness of the band. It screams raw energy and chemistry which I absolutely love.
This one really transports me into an intermediate of another dimension and the current dimension. They blend tradition and modernity really well.
It’s from the soundtrack of the game Xenoblade Chronicles X. I love how Sawano is able to blend acoustic and digital sounds so naturally. It really paints the danger and atmosphere of the area in-game through the music.
The lack of a tonal center — yet still using pitches from the 12 tone equal temperament we are all conditioned to — makes it all the more ambiguous yet danceable with its four-on-the-floor beat.
Reizoko Cj is the mashcore/breakcore guy. Honestly, any of Reizoko’s tracks would do — all of them bang hard.
Another track from Xenoblade Chronicles, my favourite game. The reason I like it is nothing more than it being a calm and melancholic song.
This is the song that got me into the heavy bass style of music and sound design synthesis.