Azzief Khaliq

Freelance Writer and Journalist

Location icon Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based freelance writer and journalist with 6+ years of experience writing about technology and music. Currently contributing to NME Asia, Taiwan Asean Music Action, and Voltcave.

Previous roles include editor at The Wknd (2016 - 2017), a regionally recognised Southeast Asian music portal. Also a former news writer at now-defunct technology website Jon the Boy (2015 - 2016) and tech writer at (2013).


Features and Lists

20 years of Soundscape Records: How the label shaped post-rock and live music in Malaysia

T wenty years is a long time to be doing anything, but 20 years spent heading a record label and concert promotion business in Malaysia is something else. Just ask Mak Wai Hoo. From relatively humble beginnings in the Chinese independent scene, Mak, as he is better known, and his label Soundscape Records have become one of Malaysia's most well-known label-promoters.

The 11 Best White PC Cases in 2021 (All Sizes) - Voltcave

Are you bored of black PC cases? You're not alone. Case manufacturers have realized this, too, with many offering white versions of their PC cases over the past few years. They're still relatively uncommon, so it can be a bit of a pain to track down the right one for your rig.

SSD vs. HDD: The Hard Drive Decision - Voltcave

Expanding your computer's storage or picking parts for a new PC? Then you'll be interested in what we have to say about SSD vs. HDD. Choosing between a solid-state drive (SSD) and a traditional hard drive (HDD) is a fundamental choice to make when it comes to storage.

How to Pick PC Parts in 7 Simple Steps - Voltcave

So you've decided to build a rig yourself instead of going with a prebuilt. That's great! We think building a computer is one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences a PC user and gamer can have. Before embarking on the journey, though, you need to know how to pick PC parts.

Prebuilt vs. Custom PC: Should You Build or Buy in 2021? - Voltcave

There are many choices to make when getting a new PC. The first one for most people will be choosing between a prebuilt or custom PC. The prebuilt vs. custom PC decision isn't straightforward. Factors such as price, warranties, and convenience all come into play.

How to Choose a PC Case: All Considerations Explained - Voltcave

When you're picking parts for your new computer, it's easy to forget how important choosing a PC case is. Sure, a case isn't going to improve your FPS, nor will it make your renders run faster. But the right case will make for an effortless build, look great, and have all the expansion that you need.

How to Choose a CPU: Clocks, Cores, and More Explained - Voltcave

One of the most essential skills every PC enthusiast should know is how to choose a CPU. Your CPU, along with your motherboard, is the beating heart of your system. The choices you make here will directly affect what your rig will be good and, unfortunately, not so good at.

Mechanical vs. Membrane Keyboards: Why Mechanicals Are Better - Voltcave

The mechanical vs. membrane keyboard decision used to be simple. Have $100 or more laying around to spend on one peripheral? Get a mechanical keyboard. On a budget? Stick with membranes. The price premium and limited availability meant that mechanical boards were strictly for the dedicated.

Mid Tower vs. Full Tower: Which Is Right for You? - Voltcave

The motherboard is the heart of your system. The one you choose determines what you can connect, how you can expand, and even the stability and the overclocking potential of your components. To find the motherboard that best fits your priorities, you need to know what...

The Best Motherboard CPU Combos (For All Budgets) - Voltcave

Choosing the right motherboard CPU combo might be the most crucial part of building your brand new gaming rig. A poor CPU choice can cripple even the best GPU and an inadequate motherboard can limit the possibilities of nearly every other component. A lot goes into picking the right parts: budget, use case, price-to-performance, and more.

NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM
The Observatory: "We've been looking to Asian sounds as opposed to looking to the West" | NME

Many things have changed in The Observatory's camp since the long-running Singaporean band's last album, a split with Japanese psych rockers Acid Mothers Temple in 2018. Now a three-piece of Yuen Chee Wai, Dharma and Cheryl Ong, and with a greater focus on improvisation, this isn't quite the same group that released albums such as the monumental 'Oscilla'.

Music As a Weapon: A Quick Chat With Tinariwen

Tinariwen are one of the few bona fide crossover stars of "world" music of the past decade. From their beginnings in the Alegrian refugee camps in 1979 to representing Algeria at the opening of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and winning a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 2012, Ibrahim Ag Alhabib and his group of Touareg musicians have seen, heard, experienced, and said a lot.

Songs From The Fringe That Will Impress Absolutely Nobody by Azzief Khaliq

"That's some weird stuff, bro." One of the best things about music is simply the fact that there's so much out there. There's always something to listen to, and something else to discover. It goes without saying, of course, that there's a lot of left-of-centre stuff out there beyond your indie rock and Spotify Fresh Finds playlists.

Teens, Facebook And The Future Of Social Media - Hongkiat

"Teens leaving Facebook" has been a favourite topic of the tech media for a while now. In fact, back in 2010, Mashable ran an article about teens and "Facebook fatigue" and the topic's not been far from the tech media's lips ever since.

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Bitcoin Security - Hongkiat

It's probably safe to assume that Bitcoin is here to stay. Yes, it's a bit volatile and yes, other cryptocurrencies are a lot easier to mine and a lot cheaper to buy, but the ever-growing number of ways to spend bitcoins - plus the fact that it's still around after being proclaimed dead numerous times over the past few years - is a testimony of the resilience of the world's most popular, and polarizing, cryptocurrency.

Android Fragmentation: The Story So Far - Hongkiat

Android fragmentation is often brought up as the Achilles' heel of the OS. Critics often point to fragmentation as being the key factor in why Apple's iOS is the better mobile operating system, despite the fact that 81 percent of the world's smartphones run on one version of Android or another.


JUU4E - 'Crazy World' review: gleeful, 420-fuelled trap hopscotches through genre

Thai rapper JUU4E likes marijuana. That is obvious from the very beginning of 'Crazy World', his second offering for Japanese label EM Records: it opens with a distorted percussion loop and the sound of a righteous bong rip. As JUU4E piles on the reverb, another thing becomes clear: 'Crazy World' is going to be a bit of a trip.

NME | Music, Film, TV, Gaming & Pop Culture News
Senyawa - 'Alkisah' review: Indonesian avant-garde titans continue to evolve | NME

Rully Shabra Herman and Wukir Suryadi, better known as Senyawa, have been together for a decade. By the 10-year mark, most avant-garde bands would have settled into a groove, churning out by-the-numbers albums designed to meet expectations instead of subverting them. Fortunately, there's no such stasis for the Yogyakarta duo.

NME | Music, Film, TV, Gaming & Pop Culture News
Blue Ocean Project - 'Lunar' review: Ambitious, jazzy delights undermined by immature concept | NME

To say that 'Lunar' is a surprise would be an understatement. Released to little fanfare and barely any promotion, it's the debut of Bandung-based quintet Blue Ocean Project. Formed in 2014 by pianist Ditra Prasista and drummer Rio Abror - and operating under the radar since then - Blue Ocean Project have debuted with a surprisingly confident and ambitious set of songs that's unfortunately hobbled by an underdeveloped narrative framework.

The 25 best Asian albums of 2020

A s the curtain blessedly falls on a painful and interminable year, we're looking back on the music that got us through it all - and honing in on the best records that came out of Asia in 2020.

NME | Music, Film, TV, Gaming & Pop Culture News
LUST - 'Vantablack' review: Kuala Lumpur indie darlings bring the hooks and embrace the jam | NME

While it wasn't exactly a perfect album, LUST's debut full-length from last year, 'Tekesima', was something of a high-water mark for contemporary Malaysian "indie". After an enjoyable, if shaky, debut EP, the band found their footing on 'Tekesima', turning in a confident, catchy, and intelligently crafted set of songs that cemented their place as a band to take seriously.

NME | Music, Film, TV, Gaming & Pop Culture News
Keiji Haino & The Observatory - 'Authority Is Alive' review: thrilling and vital

Recorded live at Singapore's Playfreely Festival in 2019, 'Authority Is Alive' is something of a pairing made in avant-garde heaven. For any fan of experimental rock, "The Observatory meet Keiji Haino" almost sells itself. Sure, there's always the risk of improv groupings being lesser than the sum of their parts, but that's not the case here.

NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM
Rollfast - 'Garatuba' review: barnstorming, eclectic psych rock from the Island of the Gods | NME

While there isn't always a direct link between a band's sound and their place of origin, it's often hard to avoid lapsing into cliched notions of how bands "should" sound depending on where they're from. Initially, it's hard to square Rollfast's second album 'Garatuba' with the fact that they hail from Bali.

Review: LUST - Tekesima

Listen: Bandcamp | Spotify Format reviewed: Digital The high point of the 30-ish years I've been alive was somewhere during my early teens, when a bearded bloke with a D. Boon avatar on a forum called me a "martyr for musical understanding".

Viet Cong: Self-Titled

Text Azzief Khaliq WARMTH AND ROMANTICISM IN THE UGLY The self-titled debut album from Viet Cong - featuring two former members of Women - is often ugly, sometimes oppressively so, and is littered with rough, noisy edges that other bands would have smoothed off.

Killeur Calculateur: Book of Flags

Text Azzief Khaliq NOT KILLING IT The first time you drop the needle on Killeur Calculateur's new LP, Book of Flags, you might be forgiven for doing a double take; most of the running time of the three-and-a-half minute opener 'Red Marquee' consists of noodly clean guitar, run through delay and reverb, with the distortion only kicking in for the final 20 seconds or so of the track.

News and Press

Other Writing/Editing Work


Mix for 100.000

Contributed an hour-long mix of experimental and noise music to Indonesian label 100.000's ongoing mix series.

BFM 89.9
Very Noise #62: 23 December 2016

Guested on BFM 89.9's Very Noise show to play and discuss some of my favourite albums from 2016. In Malay and English.

BFM 89.9
Very Noise #56: 16 September 2016

Popped in to BFM 89.9's Very Noise show to celebrate Malaysia Day 2016 by playing and talking about heavy music from 14 Malaysian states (13 states + Kuala Lumpur). In Malay and English.

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