A music insider’s peek into the history and cool of Kampong Glam
Music producer David Siow has transformed the everyday sounds of Kampong Glam into a modern composition, City Fringe. (Photo: Aliwal Tracks)

A music insider’s peek into the history and cool of Kampong Glam

Kampong Glam is known for its cool cafes and hip retail shops, but what about sounds from the neighbourhood? Music producer David Siow hopes his new song, City Fringe, based on ambient sounds in Kampong Glam, will make an impression.

The song stars singer Jean Goh who performs as Jean Seizure, on vocals. It is part of Aliwal Tracks, a web-based video series by Aliwal Arts Centre located at 28 Aliwal Street that invites viewers to experience the neighbourhood anew, and through sound.

Siow says: “I often think of Kampong Glam as being on the outskirts of the city, where it is modern but yet retains its cultural heritage. Once I had that concept in mind for the song, the rest was up to chance – the sounds I would find in the area.

He spent two days walking around Kampong Glam with a microphone, recording sounds in the area. The soothing sounds of wind chimes in front of a restaurant in Haji Lane was especially evocative. It was used extensively throughout the song, and synthesised as a percussive beat.

The song is available online on YouTube as a music video directed by Russell Goh. The video, which is just under three minutes, features locations in Kampong Glam where the sounds were recorded.

Siow says: “City Fringe is a groovy track for anyone. You can decide to look deeper into the cultural significance of each Easter egg in the song, or you can just enjoy it as a standalone video or track.”

Listen to City Fringe here.

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