Gypsy Jazz in Dewan Filharmonik Petronas

Outside the stage

What Is Gypsy Jazz?
Gypsy jazz or sometimes called jazz manouche is amazing because of the sheer emotional intensity. Credited to Belgian-born French Django Reinhardt, this style of music is still thriving now with diverse groups from around the world performing this music including United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, United States and even in Malaysia. In the beginning, I listened to a lot of Django Reinhardt through different compilation albums. Later on, I found out about different players and started exploring their playing.

How Gypsy Began
Gypsy jazz really started as an acoustic style of music. Looking at the guitar style, the core of the sound relies deeply on making a very clear intense acoustic tone. Part of this developed because in the beginning, this music didn’t require the use of amplification. As a result, the guitar players developed a style of playing that allowed them to play very loud and fast. They used thick picks and used specific picking patterns that made each note sound loud and clear.

With my scholarship student Irena Taib of The Impatient Sisters fame after my performance at DFP.

With my student Irena Taib of The Impatient Sisters fame after my performance at DFP.

It’s About Stirring Up Emotions
Putting technical considerations aside, the gypsy music comes from the soul combined with technical virtuosity. Some people feel happy listening to up-tempo pieces like ‘All Of Me’ and others shed tears at the beauty of a ballad like ‘Nuages’.

My Love Affair With Gypsy Jazz
I was lucky to be exposed to this style when I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area playing with a group called Jazz Mine. Performing with them always challenged me and made me feel more excited about early jazz. The most interesting part of the gigs with Jazz Mine was that we often played at a Chinese restaurant on Solano Avenue in North Berkeley. It was an interesting mix playing this high energy jazz an drinking hot chinese tea in between the sets!


With friends after the second Swing Kings performance I did in November 2012!

Moving back to Kuala Lumpur, it was amazing to meet great musicians here that were passionate about the style! I’ve been playing with the Swing Kings, a group led by the Danis brothers – two violinists in the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012. We did two concerts for the evening Happy Hour series in April and November in 2012.

Poster child, at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas circa April 11, 2012

Poster child, at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas circa April 11, 2012

After a long hiatus, we have an upcoming show this Wednesday night on 2 April at 6:30pm!

14 world-class musicians!
The upcoming show is really special as we have many guests this time with a total of 14 musicians from 8 different countries. You’ll get to listen to swing classics like ‘I Found a New Baby’, ‘Dark Eyes’, Antonio Carlos Jobim’s bossa nova masterpiece ‘How Insensitive’, ‘Angel Eyes’ sung by Joe Pruessner and ‘Georgia on my Mind’ with Poova on vocals.

Also, you might even hear a tango!

The amazing musicians include:

Miroslav Danis – Violin
Peter Danis – Violin
Wan Gigi – Guitar
Az Samad – Guitar
Joe Pruessner – Bass and Vocals
Matt Larsen – Clarinet
Patrick Terbrack – Saxophone
Marques Young – Trombone
Poova – Vocals
Adriane Palikat – Drums
Juan Pablo – Guitar
Ivan Torres – Cello
Stig Nilsson – Violin
Akiko Danis – Piano

More more details on Swing Kings and Friends, visit here:

No need to queue or drive out to purchase your tickets, just get them online here:

Swing Kings and Friends

The Internship

As I’m sitting on this big jet plane back to Melbourne city, feeling parched as fsck and reminiscing over our Malaysian experience over these past 90 days, I wish I could signal the boss over and minum Teh Ais satu! This is Kuala Lumpur from our eyes, two Melbourne boys, with no idea what we were getting ourselves into since day one.


Just like jumping into the deep end of the pool, the anticipation leading up to this trip was immense. Not only did we know nobody in Malaysia, we had actually never met or gotten to know any of the team members at Pestle & Mortar. Ohhh how that changed over the past three months, I can now proudly say I have advanced my skill-base on so many different platforms, as well as have extended my family with aspiring individuals, many of whom have been graciously introduced to us by Hugh and the rest of the team!


I remember having so much trouble remembering names during the first few nights. Syafiq (Mr. Lead designer) was the broken leg dude and Syahir (Graphic Designer) the dude with glasses ha! We landed right before the Bangsar shop launch and they weren’t even expecting us!! It was perfect timing for us because we got a great opportunity to really sus out what P&M was all about before we began work!


It was a short and a delicious initiation to the family. We caught on fast. Mispronunciation was a regular habit of ours. Slowly but surely numbers were counted and food ordered. It was really exciting to put our skills to the test and actually taste a meal, which was ordered in full Malay by yours truly.

We were introduced to the secret society of #mamaklife, goddamn we’ll miss em! Cheap eats at anytime of the night, awesome service and all of the variety to choose from. From stray-cats jumping on our tables to the friendly neighborhood mamaks that would remember what we liked and always brought out tissues for us, since we always asked. Shout outs to Bryan Chin aka Tandoori Boyz for introducing us to Teh Tarik. It’s because of these guys I’ve put on some KG’s and look rounder, thanks again for pointing that our Ms. Sharinna & Sir. Joseph.

 So what did we get up to with our time at Pestle & Mortar? Beginning with all the happening events and parties we were invited to! We got to check out the Juice 11th Anniversary party, Tempatan Festival, the DEFINE Fashion show, the White Ribbon Campaign, Hanger AW13 magazine launch as well as some awesome gigs consisting of Raising the Bar and Reach for the Skies (RTFS) @ The Underdog Series #1 and many more! It was an awesome experience meeting so many cool dudes within such progressive scenes and to see everyone communicating and connecting with one another, even I’ll admit that’s pretty inspiring and something to definitely be proud of.

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We were even lucky enough to have roughly ten mates from Melbourne come and visit us whilst our stay in Malaysia and we got to show them how cool this city really was!

IMG_0890 Jason Taing & George Do visiting Bangsar

IMG_1310@Monica & Aaron decorating the Bangsar Shop

@The boys enjoying #mamaklife

We have probably eaten a portion of Kuala Lumpur’s food supply including the infamous Durian.


Not only did we party a lot, we did a heap of work as well… Aaron was busy designing clothes, artwork and other necessary graphics for P&M. You’ll spot some of his amazing work on the wall of our Parkson Pavilion counter, our independent storefronts and on some stickers and t-shirts coming soon! Berombak!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset@Parkson Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Mural by Aaron


Meanwhile I was working on the Deck magazine, assisting with the operations team, the online store, helping build our latest storefronts (Tangs Empire & Parkson Pavilion) and getting to know all of you loyal customers! I think I can speak on behalf of Aaron and I that we truly enjoyed working with each and every one on the team, the vibe was great and we really did get shit done, I promise!


Our final days were exciting yet heartbreaking, we made the most of the time we could with loved ones. Luckily enough at the Holiday 2013 collection launch, everyone that we had met over the months were all under one roof for one last turnt up party! Just like a perfect circle, it was where our farewells had to be had.


I could go on forever about all the mischief we got up to in the great KL city, but I’ll end it short and simple. Pestle & Mortar has been an inspiration, the team we’ve grown to love have pushed us to become better individuals, Malaysia is a beautiful and cultured city and you’ll be seeing us around hopefully in the near future.


Once again a big thank you to Hugh Koh, Eddie Samad, Mark Koh, Arnold Loh and Arthur Loh for this great experience and for showing us what KL is all about. We’ll be keepin it cool and pushing the Pestle & Mortar movement down-under.

Signing out

Tim & Aaron from Burn City.





Duration: Minimum 2 months

We are seeking full time assistance for our HQ at Damansara Heights over the holiday period. If you are a university/college student and simply want to make use of your spare time over holiday period within a fun, fast-pace and skill-building environment, this is the role for you.

You will be assisting our various departments including:

  • Admin
  • Operations
  • Warehousing
  • Quality Control

You must possess the following skills:

  • Excellent spoken and written English
  • Good numeracy skills
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational skills, planning skills and the ability to multi-task
  • A strong team player
  • Self-motivated, pro-active and “can do” working attitude

* Please send your resume to

Whats the BIG idea?!?

In April we were invited to give a talk to some students at Taylors University as part of a collaboration with the Big Idea Malaysia by Tandemic. As part of the collaboration, the students in said class were to do an assignment based on Pestle & Mortar Clothing - analyzing the micro and macro environments that affect the company.

I won’t bore you with technical jargon – it was a fun experience for us all and we hope it was for them too.


There were, in its entirety, 10 consolation prizes given out and 3 winners that received a pretty cool goodie bag that came with cash vouchers as well as a no strings attached internship offer. As you can tell from the above, not that many turned up this time (We heard it was peak assignment season).

And the winners areeee…..




Arnold Loh graced us with an appearance and announced the winners.



The top two winners gave a short speech about their experience toiling through this assignment.


Even Susan’s got fans!


The winners of The Big Idea!

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We Want You: Graphic Designer

graphic designer1



We are seeking a full time Graphic Designer for our HQ at Damansara Heights. If you have a Graphic Design/Fashion Design/Design background with 2 years previous experience in a similar role and have a passion for street fashion, this is the role for you.

Job Description :

  • Designing Marketing Materials
  • Assisting with design of products (Apparel)
  • Producing documents, briefing papers, reports and presentations
  • Carrying out other projects when they come about
  • Plans concept by studying information and materials
  • Illustrates concept by designing rough layout of art and copy regarding arrangement, size, type size and style, and related aesthetic concepts
  • Obtains approval of concept by submitting rough layout for approval
  • Prepares final layout by marking and pasting up finished copy and art
  • Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed

You must possess the following skills :

  • Relevant previous experience
  • High level of proficiency in Adobe – Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign
  • Excellent spoken and written English
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organisational skills, planning skills and the ability to multitask
  • An excellent eye for detail
  • Self-motivated, pro-active and “can do” working attitude

* Please submit your resume and portfolio to

We want you : Graphic Design Intern

graphic intern


Duration : Minimum 3 Months

We are seeking a full time Graphic Design intern for our HQ at Damansara Heights. If you are currently undertaking or undertaken a Graphic Design/Fashion Design/Design course and have a passion for street fashion, this is the role for you.

You will be assisting the Design Department in the following tasks :

  • Assisting the Head of Design in creating designs (Apparel)
  • Create new visuals and graphics for our new product range
  • Research and development
  • Other tasks stipulated by management when necessary

You must possess the following skills :

  • Proficiency in Adobe – Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign
  • Excellent spoken and written English
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organisational skills, planning skills and the ability to multitask
  • An excellent eye for detail
  • In the know of street fashion
  • Self-motivated, pro-active and “can do” working attitude

*Please submit your resume and portfolio to