It’s currently day 36 of the movement control order here in Malaysia. To be honest, I’ve been way more productive with work than I was at the office. Some people find it difficult to work from home due to distractions or family commitments (parents with kids, for example – I can imagine how difficult it is to video call your boss while you’re trying to calm a screaming toddler). Thankfully, I don’t have that problem, so the only issue is discipline.
To make sure I don’t roll around on the bed when I’m really supposed to be working (my workspace is in my bedroom, I’ve set a schedule which I follow strictly: work from 9 to 5 on weekdays, and unplug on weekends. And because I don’t have to be stuck in traffic for three hours everyday, there’s much more time to relax and unwind – which in turn keeps me refreshed and more productive overall.
The other good thing is that I’ve had plenty of time to catch up on books, movies and music. One of my favourite websites for entertainment is openculture: you can find everything from virtual tours of famous museums and art galleries, to book readings, podcasts, language lessons, and of course, music.
My Analog Journal is a Youtube channel dedicated to exploring rare grooves around the world on vinyl. The music selection is eclectic, and covers everything from Brazilian grooves and Japanese jazz from the 70s, to UK 80s and 90s Soundsystem and even Turkish Anatolian Rock. Rather than put up a generic album cover or illustration, you get a video of the channel’s founder, London-based music producer, DJ and filmmaker Zag Erlat (aka Zagor), playing the records on his setup. Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Zagor’s love for analog film can be seen in the sepia-toned aesthetics of his videos, which give off a chill retro/vintage vibe. Perfect with a mug of coffee and a nice book.
I stumbled across Skinshape while listening to music on Youtube (thanks, Youtube recommendations!). A project by British musician William Dorey, the music is inspired by many genres but in particular 1960s – 70s funk, soul, reggae, psych, folk and African music.
Been a fan of Khruangbin‘s music for a long time now. (Khruangbin is Thai for ‘flying thing’, or aeroplane). This Texas trio is a true testament to the saying that ‘music is universal’ – their first album, The Universe Smiles Upon You, draws inspiration from the psychedelic sound of Thai surfrock from the 1960s, while 2018’s Con Todo El Mundo has influences from Spain (a tribute to the lead singer’s Spanish roots) and the Middle East.
British musician Hope Tala‘s music is characterised by its mix of R&B and bossa nova, to produce a uniquely chill yet groovy beat. She writes and produces her own music, and has a mature, soulful voice that is way beyond her 22 years.
Remember when he was ‘Pink Guy’? How far you’ve come, Joji.
What’s on your playlist? Share them with me in the comments so I can check them out! 🙂