What Nobody Asked For

Altoduo is a Singapore-based instrumental math-rock band. Their unique musical expressions fuses melodic bass lines, complex drumming & jazzy new-age elements. Their debut album ‘What Nobody Asked For’, features melodic, chilled and aggressive instrumental tunes depicting life’s optimisms, setbacks, and what our generation longs for. The album’s shapeshifting disposition sees a transition from the aesthetics of a summer breeze to an urban nocturne depicting a vulnerable side of the band members, while revealing Altoduo’s unflinching, yet conceptual nature found in their songwriting forays.

The album opens strongly with previously released single, ‘unwind’, a collaboration with local ethnic percussionist Ridz Razali, showcasing Singapore’s multi-ethnicity.

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an adventurous number that’s hot in its switcheroos while keeping a cool head. The complexities of math are inherent in the erratic yet locked drumwork that toys with time signatures and rhythms. Filling in the melodic space are energised bass trails that cruise suavely in the centre of the mix, together with spacey synths and ethnic percussion from guest artist, Ridz Razali. This tune takes you through the inner turmoil of our generation: the desire to unwind and find peace, somehow, someday.


This song takes listeners on a different journey, beginning with more new-age soundscapes to give a glimpse of what it feels like to be peaceful, grounded and be ourselves everyday. It then develops into a more aggressive upbeat ending signifying the disturbance that rocks our usual peaceful ride.


Following the aggression in the ending of “peace”, “descent” brings us to a darker, vulnerable, confused side of us – a side that we all possess but sometimes do not want to acknowledge. Everyone comes with their set of problems in life and this tune shows us where the problems and toxicities of life start to surface.


“orbit” subsequently brings us to a stripped-down, reflection phase, where we try to remain neutral yet we still experience a plethora of feelings – confusion, disappointment, sadness, anger…


is a blend of soothing bass-driven melodies with odd-time syncopated rhythmic structures. “insomnia” takes you through the inner turmoil of almost anyone in the world who has a list of problems and struggles, but feels helpless about it, and yet, is bothered by it day and night.


Somehow or rather, we manage to “spiral” back to a neutral point – whether we want it or not. This tune, slightly different from the others in the album, presents a more jazzy ambient mood while not forgetting the math behind it. The drums bring in the Fibonacci sequence – a natural phenomenon in science & math – that reminds us of the inherent ups and downs in life.


brings the album to a closure, with bass arpeggios that cruise smoothly in the mix. We want to be grounded, we want to hope for the better. This tune sums up the 7 other songs in our album concept – starting from peaceful bass-and-drums with soothing vocals, to complex mathy aggressive rhythms, and coming back to our present. The emotions and message of the song were further exemplified by talented vocal collaborator Daniel Lim 林峻民 who’ve touched the hearts of many.

“longing” is an emotive and touching tune from emerging Singaporean math-rock act Altoduo. The soothing vocals of guest collaborator Daniel Lim (林峻民) match perfectly with smooth bass rhythms and flowing drums of JP and Wini, making this song a treat from start to finish.


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