Malaysian math rock trio Dirgahayu have come out of a two-year hiatus with their latest single ‘ILHAK’.
The Kuala Lumpur-based band dropped the 5-minute track on YouTube on Wednesday (September 16). ‘ILHAK’ comes ahead of their yet-to-be-named album, which is tipped for release next year.
The band told NME that ILHAK showed an evident change in their overall sound with “darker, heavier soundscapes, and more intense genre-bending progression”.
‘Ilhak’ or ‘Pengilhakan’ means ‘Annexation’ in Malay, Dirgahayu explained.
“The theme is to create awareness that the Muslim world is under attack in every possible angle through war, culture, ideology, morality, socio-economics, media brainwashing, and misleading media coverage to instigate Islamophobia,” the band told NME.
Listen to ‘ILHAK’ here:
The track was recorded and mixed by Mokhtar Rizal at Iseekmusic Studio in Kuala Lumpur, and mastered by El Paso-based Chris Common.
Dirgahayu first came to prominence in 2013 with the release of single ‘Bahawasa-nya’, an intense four-minute track of technical guitar lines, drum attacks and abrupt transitions.
Emerging as an instrumental trio, Dirgahayu’s initial line-up consisted Wan Azry on bass, Afifi Rahim on guitar, and Zulhezan on drums. The band roped in drummer Seikan Sawaki in April 2014, with Zulhezan switching instruments to play guitar, turning Dirgahayu into a quartet.
Their debut album ‘Commemorate!’ was released in 2015, followed by a split release with Osaka-based band Nothingness.
Dirgahayu have extensively toured Malaysia and several Asian countries, including Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines.
In mid-2016, Seikan departed the band and Zulhezan followed suit in 2018, putting the band on hiatus.
Last year, Dirgahayu began rehearsing as a trio with Tiong (of Tools of the Trade and Playburst) as their new drummer.