Gabber Modus Operandi

Photo by Oktavian Adhiek Putra.

Gabber Modus Operandi is an accidental project founded by Kasimyn and Ican Harem. Born out of a shared obsession for all sorts of high-octane, fast-paced sounds, they explode an extensive range of influences into vibrant, outrageous productions.

Together, the duo fuse the challenging sounds of gabber, footwork, grindcore, and noise with a number of uniquely Indonesian sounds such as jathilan (a trance dance in which an animal spirit possesses the body), dangdut koplo (a subgenre of a popular folk music), and funkot (reminiscent of both European happy hardcore as well as dangdut).

The duo formed by chance, when Kasimyn filled in for one of Ican’s collaborators at a punk gig in Denpasar, Bali. Kasimyn now produces tracks that Ican Harem provides vocals and humorous, improvised musings over—which first appeared in their debut release, PUXXXIMAXXX (October 2018 via Yes No Wave Music). PUXXXIMAXXX makes use of rapidfire tempos; stuttering, angular percussion; and high-octane vocal delivery.

More recently, they contributed to SVBKVLT's acclaimed Cache 1 compilation, with the exuberant "Sangkakala II.” Their sophomore album, HOXXXYA, released via SVBKVLT in August 2019 was picked up by the likes of Boomkat, and Fact Magazine who have spoken with Kas and Ican ahead of the release: “For this album, we owe a lot to the metal/noise scene and to the small rapidly growing rave crew in Denpasar”, explain the duo, “while at the same time a ton of influence strongly came from all the sounds blasting out of our banjar (neighbourhood) community.” The 8-track release includes artwork by Tianzhuo Chen.

Their love for energetic, intense sounds forms the foundation of their hyper-active, unprecedented output. Using samples of traditional Indonesian music (especially of the Balinese gamelan), and borrowing from the pentatonic scale, Gabber Modus Operandi attempt to bridge the gaps between humour, dark contemporary music, and Indonesian tradition. With exuberant digital sarcasm, they straddle the line between the sacred and the banal.

GMO ft Wahono x Nakibembe Xylophone Troupe

Rehearsal photo by Udo Siegfriedt.

CTM 2020 welcomed the premiere of a unique commission with Uganda’s Nyege Nyege Festival, in which Gabber Modus Operandi were joined by Wahono and Uganda's Nakibembe Xylophone Troupe, filling Berghain with a particular raucous, joyous energy.

Wahono is an artist from Jakarta, Indonesia, whose practice involves physical and nonphysical audiovisual forms. He is the founder and creative director of DIVISI62, a sound and visual arts label that explores identity issues, Indonesian history, and the cross-pollination of world heritage. He performs and produces with Uwalmassa, exploring connections between contemporary electronics and traditional Indonesian sounds.

The Nakibembe Xylophone Troupe is one of the few remaining groups that perform on the embaire—an extremely rare and gigantic indigenous wooden xylophone simultaneously played by eight musicians. They lock into a hypnotic, relentless polyphonic onslaught that transcends time and place, coalescing into one of the most complex and intriguing sonic forms in East Africa. They perform both as part of this lively collaboration, as well as a standalone act, showcasing their own repertoire. Watch an excerpt of Nakibembe Xylophone Troupe's recent CTM 2020 performance via FACT.

This commission was supported by the Goethe-Institut and Nusasonic.

Audio and Video

What the Press Has to Say...

“winking yet perfectly executed gabber grammars”
– Adam Harper, The Wire

"barely-marshalled chaos”
– Gabriel Szatan, Crack 

“I dragged my limp body to Berghain yet again and was instantly shocked to life by Indonesian duo
 Gabber Modus Operandi. Backed by a gigantic screen playing distorted YouTube clips, producer Kasimyn played a selection of truly eccentric tracks fusing noise, grindcore, gabber, jathilan and footwork...This set the pace for the entire night and Berghain throbbed with a genuinely rebellious energy.”
– John Twells, FACT Magazine

“What Atari Teenage Riot were for my generation in the ‘90s, Gabber Modus Operandi will be for this generation from February 1 onwards. Hailing from Bali, this duo combines a punk aesthetic with the DIY spirit of the Indonesian experimental music community to express the friction caused by postcolonial resonances and growing religious conservatism. I had the (dis)pleasure of DJing after one of their performances—they are the kind of live act that you can’t top in any way no matter what you do.” 
– Michail Stangl, Electronic Beats

"In eight hooligan alloys of heavy metal, militant Dutch kick drums and native styles of gamelan and Dangdut Koplo - local folk-pop - Hoxxxya is a unique proposition no matter what angle you’re coming from. It’s a seethingly up-for-it and puckishly immediate sound, lending a thrilling new spin to well-trampled tropes in a way symptomatic of the current wave of rave goods." – Boomkat