Whitebear is the music of 22 year old Arthur Song, an up and coming producer from Malaysia who is currently residing in Melbourne, Australia. Deep grooves resonate with the slightest of squish and glitch to result in a sound that seems to be very on par with the amazing sounds coming out of Australia. With a number of global appearances under his belt, Whitebear is now putting together a US tour for which he will soon be raising funds for visas. In late January, Whitebear will release a new EP, which will be a donation based album to cover the costs of acquiring the visa. Coming to a festival stage near you…
My music is quite dark, and I am a huge advocate of acknowledging this darkness within you- I intend for my music to be a vehicle that allows the listener to be transported deep into the recesses of their own minds to explore, confront and dance through their shadows.
Tell us about the moniker Whitebear.
The name Whitebear comes from the ‘White bear Experiment’, which was a test conducted on thought suppression. The professor in charge asked participants to verbalize their stream of consciousness for five minutes, while trying not to think of a white bear. Despite explicit instructions to avoid it, the participants thought of a white bear more than once per minute, on average. Next, he asked participants to do the same exercise but to try to think of a white bear. At that point, the participants thought of a white bear even more often than a separate control group, who had been told from the beginning to think of white bears. The results suggested that suppressing the thought causes it to rebound even more prominently into the participants’ minds later. This goes well with what I attempt to instigate with my music, delving into the darkness and dealing with your demons and not suppressing them – Whitebear gon’ getcha.
What is going on in down south that is facilitating the amazing music creation coming out of Australia right now?
We have a shit tonne of fluoride in our water. Just kidding…I reckon it’s got a lot to do with the psychedelic trance scene (aka doofs)- a lot of producers I know either grew up partying to psytrance or have written psytrance and moved on to more broken beat type stuff, and certain flavours/aesthetics from psytrance have trickled down and evolved into a completely different beast. Fucking love it. Deep, dark, groovy- all things good from psytrance with a wonky,broken, glitched out beat.
What one album or musician single handedly inspired you to create music?
Amon Tobin’s ISAM album. The sound design is out of this fucking world.
Say something funny in Aussie slang for us.
You’re a fuckin’ mad cunt aye! Meaning – you’re awesome. Dude.
Who are some other musicians that are really doing it for you right now?
By art I assume you mean visual art…I feel like both are intrinsically linked in the sense that they are both an expression of the artist, and its great how visual and musicians can feed off each other, creating this feedback loop of awesome shit. I am planning on working with a few other producers and visionary artists in the future where the aim and intention of the project is to represent the concepts that the visionary artists convey on the canvas, with sound. I have always been inspired by visual art but never actually sat down and tried to translate the visuals into sound – it’ll be fun.
Art and music is IMPERATIVE to the transformation of culture. Wayne Dyer says: “Do not die with your music still in you”- creativity and being creative IS our purpose as spiritual beings living this human experience, if we stop creating we might as well be dead. Art and music bring people together (as clichéd as that sounds), but its fucking true. I was 18 when I went to my first doof (outdoor festival), and this was at a time when I was listening to shitty fucking electronic music and going to one-day festivals in Melbourne. Going to that first outdoor festival changed my perspective on music and life forever. Everything changed from there, old realities were shattered over the next few years, I was challenged constantly and was scared for a lot of it. I strongly believe that had I stayed in my little bubble of security I would not be doing this interview today. Everyone has had that first stepping-stone festival/experience that has been integral in terms of shaping THEIR realities, and in turn, shaping OUR culture.
“I will be releasing an EP around mid-late January which will be a pay what you want release to raise funds to cover visa/legal/transport costs to the US, and anyone that donates over a certain sum will go into the draw to win a guest pass to one of the festivals that I will be playing at in 2014. ‘Like’ Whitebear on Facebook to stay up to date with the release and the competition.
You can see Whitebear perform at the following events
- Twisted Frequency Festival NZ 30th December- 2nd January
- Birds of Paradise/Quanta/Vaetxh at My Aeon, Melb AU 7th February
- Earth Frequency Festival QLD, AU 13th-17th February
- Envision Festival 20-23rd February