And that’s that, Southeast Asian modern music fans, we’ve come to the final episode of our season in great ol’ Indonesia. In pinning down what it is (modern music culture in our region), we call upon the White Shoes And The Couples Company, the sensational sextet who encapsulates, like a time capsule, the pop culture of Southeast Asia.
In the context of a nation that juxtaposes it’s rich and rigid traditional culture with the modern rock love ballads of the mainstream, the band fits itself in current times timelessly. The band is neither retrospective, nor are they outwardly revolutionary. Sensational in style and performance, the White Shoes And The Couples Company is perhaps best described as emblematic of everything cool that the cats and the kids would be raving about in a non linear world of culture, where cool cats and cool kids share the same tastes, time and space.
Loaded with the love for society’s flourished and forgotten pop culture roots that dates as far back as the 1930s, White Shoes And The Couples Company’s respect for the cool and timeless things happening around them and things that have happened before them is professed into a combination of radiant style, performance and records. They’ve paid homage to old Indonesian films in Skenario Masa Muda, and reinhabited the Lokananta Studio in Solo, the very first recording studio in Indonesia, to record songs that are even older for their ode to folk songs “Menyanyikan Lagu-lagu Daerah”. And whilst deeply rooted, the band has played festivals globally, from Europe to India, America to Africa. Perhaps that’s the edge of knowing where you come from so well, “innit?”.
Written by Azam Hisham