My taste in music

I have a simple musical taste. I only listen to English songs made in the 60s and 70s, and Malay songs made in the 80s and early 90s. That’s pretty much my whole mp3 playlist of 7,000 songs.

Why 60s and 70s? I guess my father is to blame. When I was a teenager, developing my musical taste, the only things I heard from the home mini-compo are Led Zeppelin and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Kids nowadays might wonder what is a “mini-compo”. I pretty much lived on classic rock in boarding school. I took with me a cassette, on which I had recorded songs that played on “Nostalgia” (on the FM station formerly known as Radio Muzik). I played the cassette endlessly on my Walkman during study hours in boarding school, knowing that other students would not want to borrow the cassette. Kids nowadays might wonder what is a “cassette” or a “Walkman”. Then, when I studied abroad in the US, I lived on a steady diet of VH1 and classic rock AM radio. So my whole knowledge of English language music is limited to classic rock, and anything peripherally related to the classic rock era.

How about Malay music of the 80s and 90s? I guess that is also nostalgic in origin. I listened to these songs a lot on the schoolbus, on my father’s car radio, on TV (there were only 3 channels back then), and on radio (there were only Radio Muzik and Radio Tiga worth listening to back then). I guess the songs grew up on me. The songs have a unique feel to them, the word is “layan”. I cannot explain what “layan” is. If you’re not there, you won’t understand it. It’s a Malay thing. Also, some songs are “berhantu”. Not hantu as in ghosts, but the songs stick with you after a while, even after decades have passed. Simple chords, “meleleh” lyrics, “layan” melody, ridiculous sense of fashion: all contribute to the charm of the ’80 and ’90s Malay music scene. Unfortunately in the late 90s, the music got a bit too different for my taste.

Sufi by Damasutra (very deep lyric!):

My taste in music is totally a product of my own experience and upbringing, so I don’t judge other people’s taste in music. I don’t listen to newer songs not because I consider it uncool to be mainstream (I am too old for this hipster bullshit); they are just not my taste.


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