Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dayangku Aminah & The Heavy Machine

Menunggu Kepulangan Mu

The word Kugiran is abbreviation of “Lively Guitar Group” from the Malay words “Kumpulan Gitar Rancak berirama”.

As early as 1960 the Kugiran bands began to emerge in Malaysia and Singapore. The standard instrumentation for these bands at that time, was three electric guitarslead, bass and rhythm – and a drum set. Normal six stringed guitars were used to play the bass line roughly until 1963, when proper four-stringed bass guitars became available in Malaysia.

These “electrified” guitar bands were much louder than the earlier folk oriented Skiffle groups and the more Lounge type bands as typified by P. Ramlee with accordions and bongos, which quickly fell out of fashion. The Kugirans eventually replaced the jazz trios and quartets in hotels and club circuits across Malaysia. It was P. Ramlee himself who christened these early rock groups with the name kugiran.

The era of the Kugirans was short lived. Around 1969, there was influx of bands and singers – like Ernie Djohan and Lilis Suryani – from neighboring Indonesia who started to get more airplay on radio stations in Malaysia and Singapore. The following year, Radio Television Malaysia unofficially banned Indonesian music and initiated a policy that gave preference to Malaysian artists. But by that time, most of the Kugiran bands had gone out of style and the musicians had either moved on or given up.

But not all of the Kugiran bands were from Malaysia or Singapore. One of these bands was from BruneiKugiran Irama Perindu. The band released three singles on the Olympic label of Singapore. After lead singer Dayangku Aminah left the band, she was featured along with three other singers – or “penyanyi” – on a single with the band The Sand Blues. Later she recorded least on single with The Sandpipers as her baking band, both of these records were also released by Olympic. As for The Heavy Machine or the label United Enterprise, there is no information available.

Catalog number UE 111 on Sharikat United Enterprise of Malaysia. No release date given.

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