MRT stands for Mass Rapid Transit. It refers to Singapore’s train system, though the same or similar initials are used in a number of countries. The MRT, the pride of Singapore’s progress, was mostly built by diligent and hardworking Indian labourers. This tune is dedicated to those who do real work, but never take credit.
The social or political side of Jamit’s creative work has been making more of an active appearance in his recent releases, this latest track being far from an exception. His thought process as a citizen of the world naturally ties in with his actions as a musician and producer, particularly when issues or ideas seem so big that they become all-encompassing or embedded in the subconscious. The way Jamit, as an artist, expresses such issues that run through his mind, is where his unique approach to expression really starts to shine.
MRT is a piece of music that in some ways seems like a classic Jamit release – the dance-like backdrop, the retro instrumentation, the simplicity of the riffs. In other ways though, it seems to have a lot more to it – so much so that it in fact detaches itself from the artist and becomes far more a representation of the story-line behind it than anything singular or overly personal. This gives it a definite sense of power – you consider the issue of the forgotten laborers where you perhaps wouldn’t have before. The purely instrumental nature of the music – free from any use of language or lyrical arrows to direct you – lets your mind wander into the limitless depths of the concept and to even potentially put yourself in the position of those at the centre of it.
The rhythm of the track feels like a racing heart, and the bass-notes and the minimalist layers around it feel like delicacy and darkness intertwined. The piece starts off with beauty and softness, which soon descends into something of a heavy pit of movement – an industrial throbbing – and then these tribal flickers of noise and consistent kinetic energy fill up the outer layers. You can sort of visualize this conveyor belt of processes – the systems being the thing that’s valued, not the people who operate them.
I enjoyed this track a lot, it’s worth listening two or three times – the whole thing surrounds you in a classically nostalgic yet mysterious way, and there’s meaning to it, and thoughtfulness, and emotion.