HDYLW? is short for How Do You Like Wednesday?, the midweek session overseen by Akamady label head Gerhan Ferdinal and Belda Farika of the Never Too Disco! nights. The site at which they’ve been unleashing various mildly mutated strains of disco is the indie-cool, fashion-oriented Jakarta nightspot Zodiac Space Bar. With the onset of the pandemic, Zodiac has shifted to an online presence, and worked with the pair for the 10-hour Neverwhere virtual music festival in July. That event is worth mentioning because of its innovative arrangement with local food and drink companies, who delivered special snack packages to attendees across Jakarta – other online music festival organizers, take note! Belly Bandit, Katsu Brothers, Pizzza Dealer, Pò Noodle, Taco Local – they all sound perfectly unhealthy and delicious.
Excuse the digression. The HDYLW? duo have kept busy with streamed sessions and now this third contribution to Akamady’s Edit Series. One thing these two like to fool around with is city pop, the profoundly superficial funk-pop ubiquitous in 1980s Tokyo, and that’s specifically what they dig into with their EPs in this series. City pop is something of an acquired taste – very good bad taste, let’s say – and Ferdinal and Farika do an admirable job of giving it an energy boost. The effervescent “Breakaway” retains a timelessly J-pop character, while “Casual Thrill” adds some Italo seasoning to the sleazy Shinjuku glitz. Kitschy fun, both of them, but it’s the title track that steals the show, turning whatever obscure Japanese filler track it once was into a soundclash suitable for sexy cyborgs in a stroboscopic streetfight. Come to think of it, these three jams are all perfectly unhealthy and delicious too.