Of Nasi Lemak & Alam

21 Years of DJing from Australia to Malaysia, festivals and clubs, disco to techno and now forced to perform online. We caught up with our local favourite to see what he has planned for us this year.
Amirul Rahman

Amirul Rahman

A storyteller

Alam, a household name in Kuala Lumpur for DJs and clubbers alike has been a leading figure in not only performing but more importantly promoting our local music scene and culture in the international clubbing and festival circuit. After two years back-to-back representing Malaysia at Vietnam’s Epizode Festival, he was then selected as one of the supporting acts for Circoloco Kuala Lumpur 2019 playing alongside distinguished artists such as Dixon and Peggy Gou. 

Not only a talented and versatile player behind the decks, Alam is also partner and co-founder of Ohrwurm after touching home base from seven years in Australia. Ohrwurm forms as a collective that has been pushing our local scene by bringing down iconic names like John Digweed, Gerd Janson, Robag Wruhme, Amelie Lens, DJ T., Radioslave, Guti, KiNK and Stimming. But even more impactful to our scene is their efforts in promoting and creating a platform for new and upcoming DJs. 

With a pandemic and Movement Control Order (MCO) seemingly ending or more appropriately “put on pause” in our regular nightlife and array of musical events from Alam and Ohwurm, we checked in with him to see how he has been holding up and also what he has been up to.

Hi Alam, how are you doing? What have you been doing these days?

I’ve been great. Thanks for featuring me and giving me the opportunity to create this fresh exclusive mix for you. Lately, I’ve been focused on finishing a couple of mixtapes for other promoters/radio shows that I’ve put on hold for quite some time. I’ve also been busy spending time in the studio and completing some unfinished work. 

How long have you been DJing & tell us about your best experience as a DJ?

This year is my 21 years of DJing. There are too many experiences really, for example like playing at the KL Tower back in 2004 or representing Malaysia for 2 years in a row at Vietnam’s Epizode festival. But I’d say my best experience as a DJ was playing a 9hr marathon set for The Sweatbox Long Play at Elysium.

Which is your favourite booking as a promoter?

Every show of what we promote are our favourites actually. Each booking is booked according to what we want to promote and how we want to introduce them to KL.

We have seen your Weekly Livestream. What’re the challenges when you curate the Livestream? 

The live-streams keep progressing each time. You learn from experience. Last year it was all totally new for me. I noticed that each session improved each week, from camera configurations, placement, setup, and also basic things around like internet connection, pulling a line across the room to get a more stable wired connection. 

Tell us more about your next Livestream project for 2021?

This year we are doing the live-stream under Ohrwurm. The project is called Micasa Sucasa, and is kind of a continuation of where I left off last year, where I feature a few locals with an opening set and a headline, very similar concept. But this time we will have a regional session as well, where we feature a regional act who will film from their country, as well as a local warmup, who will also film from the setup of their own home.

Do you think of good food when you perform a long hour set? If yes what is it?

I get very hungry “After” a long hour set, but I never think of food while I’m performing haha! If the long set was at the club, when I leave I would usually crave for Nasi Lemak on the way back home.

What do you think of the electronic music scene in KL moving forward?

With no signs of clubs or events happening this year, no doubt the scene is halted on the front. But from what I can see, many are not wasting their time doing nothing. Keep an ear out on your favourite DJs. So whenever we reopen, I strongly believe everyone will be ready to revitalise the scene and push it forward.

For now, our local music scene and nightlife has been dented abruptly with any hopes of it going back to its glory day still a big question mark for us all. However, thanks to Alam and Ohrwurm’s Micasa Sucasa we now have a venue and channel to watch and dance to as we all wait and hope for this pandemic to be over so that we can all reunite and get back to celebrating life on the dancefloor.