Derek Ong: Buro 24/7 Singapore Playlist #163

Go fuzz yourself

Text: Derek Ong

Derek Ong — co-founder of Elementary Co. — tells us what he listens to when he's feeling like a glass of whisky, with a side of watching the world burn

We start with a base of fuzzy guitars (which I'm a connoisseur of), add a dose of '90s cynicism, and a few generous scoops of despondency. Topping it off, we have a bit of droning organs to go with your coffee and contemplation, and a good splash of Jim Morrison, who everyone needs. The whole thing is then drenched in rock 'n' roll n reverb... just for taste. 

Play this when you are coming down from a party, a depravity, or a depraved party. When you don't give a damn, or feel damned. Play this when you're ultra bored of the corporate tea dance, when the hip stops hopping, when the YO don't LO no more, when you want to confuse boring or over-stimulated house guests, or more critically — when you find out that there's no actual key to leading opinions. Apart from hype, perhaps. Because that's the one key to modern living, it seems, but I digress. 

'Popular' by Nada Surf is a song that needs a bit of a resurrection in our current impressions-for-sale, fake-it-till-I-make-it-at-all-costs climate. I play this song at least every two weeks... once every two weeks, to keep my bullshit metre sharp and my criticisms fresh. And then we have some Black Sabbath. Okay, a really nice cover of 'War Pigs' to get some of that apocalypse feels on. This rendition by Cake has a really nice contemporary bounce to it. I've gotten away with playing this at family gatherings. 

Then we move along to the venerated movie/television soundtrack classic, 'Red Right Hand' by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. I love this song and its lulling, hypnotic and slightly sinister tonality (that organ though...). It puts me in a nice mood. Moving on, we have a song that defines the sound and attitude of the '90s: 'Pepper' by Butthole Surfers. It just has "that sound": Misanthropic, but anthem-like, which in my opinion, is the exact recipe for all the best songs ever written. 

Lastly, we have 'Y Control' by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which is a song that always brings me back to simpler, wilder, more dance-able times, uncorrupted by online image management and algorithm gaming. But hey, things change, and nostalgia is now streamable anyway! 

Derek Ong is the co-founder of Branding & Marketing Agency, Elementary Co. He also does social good projects on the side, and creates playlists. Ong moonlights as a totally unprofessional and unpublished critic of music, culture and morality — after a few beers. 

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