Botanic Records

March 9, 2020


There’s a crispness to the Botanic Records sound. Every element is distinct, and even songs with aggressive noise and distortion come through clearly. A healthy dose of bass keeps everything grounded, while up in the higher registers, tiny percussive elements ricochet around in intricate patterns. Melodies resolve themselves in satisfying waves.

Botanic’s sound is optimistic, even as it ranges from pummeling noise to relaxing downtempo beats to soaring heights. They’re not in denial or afraid to acknowledge the depths of rock bottom, they just don’t dwell long in those pits. And unlike other labels, they don’t fetishize audio quality; they just care enough to ensure everything is heard properly. Sometimes they even welcome mistakes as flaws that make the tracks more human.

Botanic Records 所发行的音乐都有一种清脆的质感。歌曲的每一种元素都清晰鲜明,即便夹杂了强烈的噪声和失真也显得清楚俐落。丰满的贝斯低音掷地有声;高音部分的细碎节拍,弹跳在歌曲精妙的结构。所有旋律恰到好处,自然地融汇成舒服的乐曲。

从连续掷出的噪音、令人放松的慢拍律动 (downtempo) 再到飙升的高潮,Botanic 的音乐囊括了各种音乐元素,透露出面朝乐观的氛围和情绪。他们并不否认音乐的深度,但不会在当中沉迷太久。不同于其他音乐厂牌,Botanic 并不在乎音频质量,只要声音对了就行。有时他们甚至故意保留一些瑕疵,让音乐听起来更人性化。

Listen to some of our favorite tracks from Botanic Records below:

点击即可试听 Botanic Records 的几首精选歌曲:

Botanic Records is the brainchild of Tim Sharp and Zulamran Hilmi. Sharp, who’s originally from Auckland and now lives in Singapore, has worked across the Asia Pacific, DJing radio shows along the way on weekends. Hilmi is a former punk guitarist and club DJ turned creative director from the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. The pair originally teamed up when Sharp was seeking visual artwork for a radio show. They got along so well that the project eventually unfurled into a record label.

Botanic Records 由 Tim Sharp 和 Zulamran Hilmi 共同创立。Tim 来自奥克兰,现在在新加坡生活,他曾在亚太各有过工作经历,也在周末时担任电台节目的 DJ。吉隆坡郊区的 Zulamran 曾以朋克乐手和 DJ 的身份混迹于地下音乐圈,后来转为创意总监。在一次电台节目中,Tim 找到了 Zulamran 制作节目视觉,那是两人首次合作。随后,他们一拍即合,最终决定一起创立音乐厂牌。

Zulamran Hilmi

Tim Sharp

The label deals exclusively in electronic music, but they define it broadly and release records from across the spectrum. “There’s amazing depth, and the amount of sounds to be explored in electronic music is vast to say the least,” Hilmi says. “I’m discovering new things on a daily basis.”

Some tracks touch on established styles, while others fit loosely in the miscellaneous category known as leftfield or experimental, with no clear bin to put them in. Botanic cares more about whether an artist or a release is bringing to their surroundings at that point in time. “Does this push the envelope stylistically? Are we contributing to the zeitgeist, rather than simply adding noise?” Sharp asks himself. “All important questions.”

Botanic Records 音乐厂牌专注于电子音乐,他们对电子音乐的定义非常包容,厂牌下发行的唱片也会涉及不同的领域。 Zulamran 说:“电子音乐拥有非常惊人的深度和分门别类值得挖掘,我几乎每天都会有新的发现。”

有些曲目沿用既定的流派风格,而另一些难以归类的,则大致可归为“实验类别”(leftfield 或 experimental)。Botanic 更关注的是艺术家否能为音乐带来自身文化环境的特点。“在风格上有突破性吗?是否对时代的文化有所裨益,而不是单纯增加嗨点?这些都是很重要的问题。” Tim 这样反问自己。

The artists they work with are as varied as their sounds, coming from across Southeast Asia. Often they can only be found on Botanic Records, and no further information is available anywhere. The label is happy to provide a platform for artists trying out something new under a pseudonym. Mysterious aliases abound in the Botanic catalog.

Rooted in Southeast Asia, Botanic shines a light on musicians from the region, cultivating a space for them to grow alongside listeners and amplifying connections. But the label mainly lives in the digital ether, adrift on seas of data. They rarely throw parties, and their physical releases are limited. With the region scattered across islands and languages, bringing everyone together under a single roof can be difficult.

厂牌合作的艺术家来自东南亚各地,和他们的音乐一样拥有丰富多元的背景。关于这些艺术家的资料,通常除了 Botanic Records 网页,在其他平台上几乎很难再找到更多信息。其中有很多艺术家更换佚名,不断在音乐上进行新的尝试,这些正是 Botanic Records 乐意去做的事。

扎根于东南亚,Botanic Records 为不同地区的艺术家们创造了一个共同的空间,吸引来更多听众根基,并彼此发生联系。但是,音乐厂牌主要活跃于数字世界,沉浸在数据的海洋中,很少举办线下的活动,发行的实体唱片也数量有限。毕竟他们合作的艺术家分布在各个岛国,有着不同的语言背景,要将每个人聚集在一起并非易事。

Despite their digital-first mentality, they do produce limited-edition cassettes for each release. There’s a logic to bringing them to life, Sharp believes. Cassettes are “relatively easy to produce in Malaysia and a great way to make a release feel more real.” But he acknowledges it can be wasteful fodder for the landfill. “We’re doing as much as possible to keep the physical footprint low. Artifacts like records and tapes are to be treasured and spark a lot of joy, but to what end, if we end up with a pile of unwanted jewel cases? It’s a tough equation to balance.” On cassette or online, Botanic is making its sound heard across Southeast Asia.

虽然专注于数字世界,但每次音乐发行时他们都会推出限量磁带。Tim 认为,让音乐以实体的形式呈现很有必要,“在马来西亚制作音像制品相对容易,同时也可以让音乐更具有实体性。”但他承认,从环保的角度考虑,这种做法也会增加物料的负担。“我们一直在努力减少对环境的破坏。黑胶唱片和录音带可以为人们带来欢乐,甚至也有收藏价值。但是,如果最后变成了一堆没人要塑料盒,那还有什么意义呢?这是很难平衡的问题。” 而无论是录音带还是数字形式,Botanic 的声音正在东南亚各地传递。

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Contributor: Mike Steyels
Photographer: Amani Azlin

Chinese Translation: Olivia Li

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供稿人: Mike Steyels
摄影师: Amani Azlin

英译中: Olivia Li

时间: 2020年07月24日下午23:52  |