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Monday, December 31, 2012

My musical activities

Once in a while I got questions from my students about my musical activities. I told them to look into this blog for updates. But as know, this blog is not only about music but all the things under the sun that as of interest. So what I am going to do is to introduce to you (the students who have been stalking and whispering behind my back) about the other side of me.

I am the founder of the band in 1991 when I was in Form 4 with a friend, Azmaniac. We released a demotape in 1993 entitled Occultus Mysticism which was considered as the pioneer in the subgenre of Eastern Death Metal. Simply put, the music was Death Metal but I injected some nusantara elements in the lyrics. Instead of writing about vampires and zombies, I wrote about Langsuir, Jembalang etc. It was an instance hit! Then came The Eastern Cruelty EP which was a step forward in 1995. I wrote a beautiful lyrics in the song of Tangisan Embun Pagi (which I think was the first Malay-worded Death Metal song although SIL KHANNAZ Pendita Gila could be the first as well since it was released first - but I have strong belief that TEP was written first and SIL KHANNAZ took the idea from me - we are in the same record label actually). Then after graduation (UTM Skudai), I was busy with other things and it took up to 2005 before we released Asyik - a full blown album all written in Malay. You may want to check the videoclip in youtube entitled Sunut (the credit was wrong as I was the lyricist and Azmaniac wrote the music). We were the first Death Metal band to play in Planet Hollywood (also in youtube) and in Rock The World (youtube again).

Then I went to do my PhD in Australia in 2006 but I managed to break away from study to record the second album BULLET. Unfortunately, it was not released up until now. Too bad as I thought I wrote better songs in that album. Then I quit the band since I don't have the time anymore as Langsuyr in the 'underground' is such a big name. It demanded commitment that I cannot offer. So I left the band. But the band is still running. Well, you missed me guys if you ever wanted to see me playing with the band again. Too bad hahaha...

the youtube collection HERE.

In this band, I played the bass. I was with the band for the first two albums, Ocean Myth and Meadow's Yearn. Unlike Langsuyr, VE was more melodic. You can check out the songs in youtube. Good luck in finding the CDs though as they were long gone and considered to be a rarity. Prepare to pay a small fortune for it. VE is still active and on occasion, I felt like playing again but time was so precious that I couldn't afford it when the chance came. 

the youtube collection HERE.

You just can't turn your back with old habits. Die hard. So after quitting Langsuyr and finishing my PhD, the urge came rushing in. I had to play, again. So I contacted a few old friends and we started this band, DIED. Unlike Langsuyr which I had envisioned to strive in originality, with DIED we just play the music that we loved so much, Death Metal, without thinking to be too ambitious. I mean, I was there with Langsuyr, been there done that, so as all my bandmates, they are all, what you call as old-timers. We never released anything serious yet except for a limited quantity rehearsal tape now sold out. But, the good news is that we are in the process of recording an EP hopefully to be released in March 2013. So, if you want to see me playing death metal, you should follow DIED's progress now by liking our facebook or following our blog (link below). If you ever come to our show, please say hi so I know that there are UTP fans of death metal, not myself alone.



Recently, I joined UTP's staff bands. One is HIGH VOLTAGE, a hard classic rock band. We performed in Dr Shark's theater last time. Some enjoyed it, but some don't because of the 'noise'. We are supposed to rock. Rock should be loud, right?

Then I formed YELLOW SUBMARINE, a The Beatles tribute band. No other songs are allowed. We performed in 2012 Raya gathering at Chancellor Hall.

SPACE GAMBUS EXPERIMENT. Total experimental music combining all musical instruments that we can grab. The most famous place that we play was in the Philharmonic Hall, PETT.

TRO-NJO-I another experimental music that I did with Kamal Sabran (the mad doctor of Space Gambus Experiment). We only managed to record two songs. Have a taste of it but please don't lose your mind after that. I hope I can continue soon... or maybe not so soon.

BENTARA Before DIED was formed and after I left Langsuyr, I thought I have to release all my compositions in Langsuyr that were never recorded before. I have plenty of songs that I intend to release slowly in the future.


So my dear students, there you are. All the musical activities in a short writings. Enjoy the music and see you on tour!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Partial and Full Interaction Behaviour of CFRP Plated Steel Member Due to The Yielding of Steel

The reliability of the strengthening of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) to steel or concrete structures depends on the success of the stress transfer between the FRP plate and steel or concrete element. In order to simulate the stress transfer, a simple numerical approach was developed, employing the partial interaction theory. In this paper, the numerical method applying the partial interaction theory is used to evaluate the debonding of FRP plated steel member due to the yielding of steel. An accurate local bond-slip (-δ) model was adopted in the numerical procedure. A set of pull test specimen was tested to prove the existence of partial and full interaction regions along the bonded length. Comparison with the experimental and published results shows good correlations. 

The above article is the abstract of a paper,

Ibrisam Akbar, Deric John Oehlers, M.S. Mohamed Ali (2012). Partial Interaction Behaviour of FRP Plated Steel Member Due to The Yielding of Steel. 8th Asia Pacific Structural Engineering and Construction Conference and 1st International Conference for Civil Engineering Research. Surabaya, Indonesia. 2-4 October 2012.

A Review of RC Beams Strengthened for Flexure, Shear and Torsion Loading

This paper is intended to review existing literature related to RC beams strengthened for flexure, shear and torsion in order to better understand the behaviour. Review of literature shows that strengthening of RC beams using Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) are the most widely and suitable strengthening technique. Moreover, behaviour of RC beams subjected to under torsion, flexure and shear individually as well as in combination of flexure-shear has been widely studied till date. Strengthening of RC beams exhibiting these behaviours is also discussed in detail which shows that number of CFRP strips improve flexural strength whereas inclined CFRP wraps are best suitable to improve shear and torsion behaviour. However combine effects of all behaviours i.e. torsion, flexural and shear have not been together studied so far. Moreover, there is no suitable strengthening technique for RC beams that exhibit these behaviours. Therefore, it can be concluded that there is an opening for researchers to explore this domain.

The above article is the abstract of a paper,

M. Imran, N. Shafiq, I. Akbar, T. Ayub (2012) “ A Review of RC Beams Strengthened for Flexure, Shear and Torsion Loading” International Conference on Civil, Offshore & Environmental Engineering. Kuala Lumpur.

Partial and Full Interaction Behaviour of FRP Plated Steel Member.

Despite its complexity, partial interaction theory is the most accurate in analysing composite structures. The theory was then adapted into the FRP plated concrete structures and subsequently into the FRP plated steel structures. Previous research indicates that partial interaction and full interaction regions exist in the FRP plated steel member under axial load. In this paper, a numerical method applying the partial interaction theory is used to evaluate the plate end debonding of FRP plated steel member. A set of pull test specimen was tested to prove the existence of a full interaction region along the bonded length. Comparison with the previous research also shows that the result from the numerical method agrees well with the visual inspection from the experimental results.

The above article is the abstract of a paper,

Ibrisam Akbar, Deric John Oehlers, M.S. Mohamed Ali (2010). “Partial and Full Interaction Behaviour of FRP Plated Steel Member.” International Conference on Sustainable Building and Infrastucture. Kuala Lumpur.

The Flexural Behaviour of Tubular Steel Member Strengthened With CFRP

Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) has increasingly become an attractive option for retrofitting steel structures. This paper presents the result of recent study of retrofitting three tubular steel tubes. The tubular steel tubes were cut at the center to represent the loss of steel volume due to corrosion. It was then wrapped with two and four layers of CFRP respectively. The specimens were then tested in a four point loading system and compared to the control specimen. The results show an improved load carrying capacity of the strengthened tubular steel tubes with insignificant reduction of ductility.

The above article is the abstract of a paper,

Ephrem Aragaw and Ibrisam Akbar (2012). The Flexural Behaviour of Tubular Steel Member Strengthened with FRP. 8th Asia Pacific Structural Engineering and Construction Conference and 1st International Conference for Civil Engineering Research. Surabaya, Indonesia. 2-4 October 2012.

Calon Metalcamp 2013

(extended version dari posting FB saya - jadi bahasa/ejaan agak tonggang langgang)

Untuk pengetahuan yang tak berpengetahuan, Metalcamp adalah festival muzik Metal negara yang dimulakan sejak tahun 2008 dan berterusan setiap tahun. Ini adalah event yang dinanti-nantikan oleh semua peminat muzik Metal tempatan. 

Seleksi adalah berdasar atas merit (kalau tak salah saya). Kalau benar, saya ingin mengemukakan pencalonan saya untuk tahun 2013 seperti berikut:

Wynken Delirium -
Superb musicianship dengan suntikan influence nusantara dan pelbagai dalam album terbaru mereka. Band paling kerja keras sambil ahlinya terlibat secara langsung dalam merevolusi agenda malaysian tour. See their track record for year 2012.

Humiliation - tak perlu ulas lanjut. Kalau ini kali ke 2 atau 3 pun dalam Metalcamp, they totally deserved it. Mereka baru pulang dari Eastern Europe dalam siri European Tresspasing Tour menjelajah Germany, Romania dan beberapa negara lain.

Lavatory - even though saya tak pernah tengok depa live tapi based on Pulverised signing dan feedbacks so far, memang calon baik punya.

SKINBASHER - dari jemput rock kangkang yang tak peduli apa dgn kita tetapi kita terhegeh-hegeh ngajak, baik le ajak band crossover punk-metal-rock kangkang ni. Album terbaru depa kali ni memang gila best!

Nekrad - visually strong on stage yang teaterikal dgn composition yang bukan picisan. Sila albil calculator dan kira berapa mereka habis untuk pakaian saja. Kalau stage besar silap-silap pyrotechnic pun depa sanggup keluar modal.

Crown ov Horns - totally blew me away dgn small but lively performance last time kat Ipoh. Superb musical skills as well. Wakil dari seberang yang satu warna passport.


Other worthy mentions - Predicate Not Defined (prog Metal - ratusan gig dates dah main),  Tools Of The Trade (European Tour dah buat),

Saturday, December 29, 2012


*5 JANUARI 2013
*Blackbox Publika@Solaris Dutamas KL

Aku Mat Thrash : Metal Sampai Mati

oleh: Rafi Promaster

Kadang-kadang bila aku sedih aku akan pergi balik ke root aku. Maknanya kalau aku gadoh dengan bini aku, ataupun duit tinggal tiga ragok untuk sapot keluarga, aku akan bukak youtube, cari lagu metal, dan bermulalah muhasabah diri. Lagu yang menjadi pilihan adalah macam Iron Maidin, semestinya Athotorgh, Sodom, Slayer dan Metallica. Aku rasa macam tenang dan beremosional. Emosional bermakna aku akan dibawa mengenal diri aku semula yang kadang-kadamg sudah jauh tersimpang... (TERUSKAN BACAAN)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ulasan: SKINBASHER Punkapak

Walaupun Skinbasher bukanlah asing bagi orang lain, tetapi bagi saya ia agak asing. Ini adalah pertama kali saya berpeluang untuk memiliki dan mendengarnya. Ajak (gitar/bass) bukanlah asing bagi saya kerana beliau saya kenali ketika Jorn dan beliau masih bersama dengan Catarrh. Tetapi entah bagaimana Skinbasher boleh terlepas dari radar, saya pun tidak tahu. Yang pasti, saya menyesal atas kejahilan ini kerana saya sebenarnya terlepas pandang sebuah band yang menggabungkan melodi punk, rock dan metal dengan tahap catchiness yang super! Tahap catchiness lagu-lagu di dalam album ini sangat radio-friendly memungkinkan mereka boleh terus ke hadapan dalam arena muzik komersil tanpa melacurkan idea dan prinsip. Selain dari lagu-lagu yang melekat di kepala, lirik-liriknya juga ditulis dengan nada selamba tetapi terhasil dari pemerhatian kepada suasana keliling yang membuka mata. Banyaknya tentang rontaan jiwa tetapi sesekali sinis. Saya yakin lagu Akupunktur dengan bait lirik "Aku bukan silent death/napalm death/megadeth/necrodeath" menjadi sajian sing-out-loud riot dalam persembahan live mereka. Jangan tertinggal juga lagu Natesria yang sungguh Sweet Charity. Sementara lagu Gitar & Conga boleh menjadi batu loncatan Skinbasher untuk menaiki carta muzik tempatan. Sekalung tahniah kepada Skinbasher. Album ini sepatutnya dimartabatkan lebih dari sekadar rilisan CDR tetapi keadaan industri muzik alaf ini seperti jauhari mengenal manikam.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lawatan ke USA Nov-Dec 2012: Princeton University 2

Dalam 3 mesyuarat yang saya hadiri di Princeton, apabila ditanya mengenai Malaysia, mereka tahu dimana letaknya tetapi setakat yang mereka tahu cuma 2-3 orang pelajar mereka yang pernah dihantar ke Malaysia. Cuma mereka tidak pasti samada ke universiti atau ke industri. Summer internship program mereka adalah termasuk kedua-duanya.

Jika dapat pelajar Princeton ke UTP, maka ini adalah satu langkah besar bagi UTP. OK, I said this already. Sebenarnya, saya excited.

DAN MANA  TAHU, kalau ada staf akademik di UTP yang attached di sana sebagai visiting researcher/academic??? Fuh...

Bermula pada tahun 1746, maka tidak hairanlah bangunannya ancient-ancient belaka.

Tak dapat dipastikan statue apa ini.

Saya diberitahu oleh Prof Pessiki, di Cornell University (juga Ivy League) mempunyai bentuk bangunan yang sama. Beliau tahu sebab beliau adalah graduate dari sana.

Kaki dah tak larat sebenarnya nak berjalan. Prof Pessiki ada masalah pinggang. Di tengah perjalanan dia makan pain killer untuk elak kesakitan yang mungkin akan menyerang tak lama lagi.

Di waktu summer, ruang tengah ini akan dipenuhi air. Nota: patung zodiak Cina.

Mode pengangkutan utama adalah jalan kaki. Tetapi ada juga bas transit yang mengelilingi kampus setiap 7 minit.

Rumah fraternity. Kenapa kita tiada?

Lebih kurang masa lunch. Pelajar berpusu-pusu. Mungkin mencari makan.

Saya dapati ramai pelajar yang bukan Caucasian. Adakah antara mereka terselit pelajar Malaysia?

Mesyuarat di PEI. Model T-Rex ditengah-tengah.

Bilik solat di Princeton.

Pintu masuk musolla.

Sudah ada pelajar yang menunggu. Saya jamak dan qasar Zuhur dan Asar.

Islam is alive and breathing. Hopefully makin ramai Muslim scholars keluar dari Princeton.

Arah kiblat.
Pengalaman di Princeton Uni adalah awesome. Walaupun sekadar menagih pelajar mereka untuk ke UTP. Semoga langkah kecil ini akan menjadi sesuatu yang lebih besar untuk UTP dan Malaysia keseluruhannya pada masa akan datang.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Lawatan ke USA Nov-Dec 2012: Princeton University 1

Princeton University, ranking no 6 di dunia, letaknya lebih kurang 1.5jam dari Bethlehem. Saya berterima kasih kepada Prof. Pessiki, kontek saya di Lehigh University telah berbaik hati untuk membawa saya ke sana. Semasa di Malaysia saya menjadi khadam beliau maka ini adalah hubungan dua hala yang sangat baik.

Tujuan saya ke Princeton Uni adalah untuk mendapatkan pelajar undergraduate mereka ke UTP untuk mengambil bahagian dalam summer internship yang biasa dilakukan oleh universiti di USA pada bulan Jun (summer). Alhamdulillah, selepas menghadiri mesyuarat dengan tiga jabatan saya telah diberitahu bahawa peluang itu ada. Saya membawa berita gembira ini kepada ketua saya dan beliau sangat gembira. Moga Jun 2013 akan menyaksikan sumbangan pelajar Princeton di UTP.

Dan ini juga menandakan peluang saya menjelajah USA akan berulang di tahun hadapan. Mungkin Washington D.C. dan Seattle?

Perjalanan bermula di freeway. Kenderaan dibawa laju tapi kurang kemalangan jalanraya. Kenapa tidak di Malaysia? Masalah sikap.

Menghampiri Princeton Uni, kami masuk jalan kampung.

My ride. Prof Pessiki's Subaru SUV. Dia kata nak tukar dari tahun lepas lagi.

Sambung perjalanan. Pemandangan yang menarik dengan dedahan pohon togel.

Sudah sampai. Princeton Uni sendiri adalah sebuah pekan kecil. Tiada stesen guard sebelum masuk.

Parkir adalah designated. Jadi kami mengambil keputusan untuk parking dan meneruskan agenda dengan berjalan kaki. Bilik-bilik mesyuarat adalah jauh antara satu sama lain. It is going to be a looonnngggg walk.

Agenda menapak bermula dari tempat parkir.

Masih menapak.

Jangan ditanya bangunan apa. Yang pasti, it is awesome!
Saintis dan scholar hebat pernah ada di sini. Saya berfikir adakah ini bangunan tempat diamnya John Nash satu masa dahulu? siapa John Nash? Kena tengok filem A Beautiful Mind.

Princeton Uni adalah universiti swasta. Kata wikipedia, endowment mereka adalah $17billion dengan ratio akademik:pelajar adalah 1172:7582 = 1:6.5. Ini berbeza dengan UTP, ratio adalah 1:18 dengan endowment yang tak banyak pun. It is a long way to go. Princeton pun established pada tahun 1746 jadi pada mereka pun ini bukan jalan mudah.

Berikut adalah alumni Princeton yang terkenal (wiki):
U.S. Presidents James Madison and Woodrow Wilson graduated from Princeton, as did Michelle Obama, the current First Lady of the United States. Former Chief Justice of the United States Oliver Ellsworth was an alumnus, as are current U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. Notable graduates of Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science include Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, Google executive Eric Schmidt and Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Actor Jimmy Stewart graduated from Princeton. Writers F. Scott Fitzgerald and Eugene O'Neill attended but did not graduate; Selden Edwards and Will Stanton graduated with an English degree. Notable graduate alumni include Richard Feynman, John Nash, Alan Mathison Turing and David Petraeus.
Notable faculty members include Paul Krugman, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Singer, and Andrew Wiles. Notable former faculty members include John Witherspoon, Ben Bernanke, Joseph Henry, Toni Morrison, John P. Lewis and Woodrow Wilson, who served as president of the University 1902–1910. Albert Einstein, though on the faculty at the Institute for Advanced Study rather than at Princeton, came to be associated with the university through frequent lectures and visits on the campus.

Alumni saintis/scholar yang terkenal (ramai Nobel Prize) boleh dilihat DI SINI.

Masa tidak mengizinkan untuk saya merayau bebas. Sambil berjalan, sambil ambil gambar mana yang sempat.

Banyak-banyak universiti, memang paling patut bangga bila dapat masuk uni ini untuk ambil bidang kejuruteraan sebab Princeton is one the best in the world.

Princeton Uni termasuk dalam senarai 8 uni Ivy League. The term Ivy League also has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism. 
Ivy League schools are viewed as some of the most prestigious, and are ranked amongst the best universities in the United States and worldwide. All eight Ivy League institutions place within the top sixteen of the U.S. News & World Report college and university rankings, including the top four schools and five of the top nine. A member of the Ivy League has been the U.S. News number-one-ranked university in each of the past twelve years: Princeton University five times, Harvard University twice, and the two schools tied for first five times.

Sekarang baru saya faham kenapa Princeton University adalah penting.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Lawatan ke USA Nov-Dec 2012: Bethlehem

Selepas Jacksonville, FL saya ke Bethlehem, PA. Tahun lepas saya menghabiskan masa selama 3 bulan di sini (Lehigh University) sebagai visiting researcher. Saya kembali sebagai memenuhi tanggungjawab sebagai custodian hubungan UTP-Lehigh. Custodian ada bajet dari UTP untuk travel setahun sekali.

Oleh kerana MoU UTP-Lehigh tamat 2015, maka saya ada dua lagi peluang untuk ke Lehigh (2014 dan 2015) jika panjang umur.

Nota: Kali ini Bethlehem dalam musim sejuk. Sebelum ini musim panas. Ada beza pemandangan sekeliling.

Pekan kecil Bethlehem. Sesuai untuk suasana universiti.

Berapa banyak saya borong dari kedai rekod ini? Cuba teka.

Malang sekali saya terlepas salji yang turun beberapa hari sebelumnya. AArrgghhh...

Walaupun tiada salji tapi sejuk sampai kebas muka.

Pandangan dari bilik hotel.

Sudah ada restoran Malaysia di sini. Syabas!

Dingin dan melankoli.

Fritz Lab. Meeting bersama teman sekerja di sini.

Ya, ada cathedral di sini.

ATLSS Lab. Tempat saya bekerja dahulu. Sangat lain pemandangannya di musim sejuk.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Lawatan ke USA Nov-Dec 2012: University of North Florida

Selepas Houston, Texas, saya berlepas ke Jacksonville, Florida. Perjalanan flight lebih kurang 3 jam. Tujuan saya ke sana ialah untuk melawat student UTP yang menjalankan latihan praktikal beliau di sebuah makmal di University of North Florida.

Berbeza dari Houston, Jacksonville lebih rilek keadaannya. Oleh kerana tiada kenderaan dan pengangkutan awam, saya tiada peluang merayau-rayau melainkan mengharapkan belas dari pelajar tadi yang meminjam kereta pakciknya.

Humble university.

Kenderaan akan memberi laluan kepada pejalan kaki. Not happening in Malaysia.

Cantik. Dikelilingi tasik dan saliran.

Bangunan yang simple tetapi menarik.

Paling tinggi saya kira dalam 5 tingkat saja bangunan di dalam UNF ini.

Mana student?

Siapa ada anak yang layak, boleh le hantar ke sini.


Bahan ujikaji pelajar tersebut. Dalam masa 6 bulan praktikal beliau berjaya menulis sebuah artikel untuk persidangan dan sebuah artikel untuk jurnal. Syabas!
Makmal struktur dan bahan yang humble. Kecil je.

Di Malaysia, kita ada frame yang 3-4 kali ganda lagi besar dari ini.

Ada rasa macam dalam filem apa ye?

Florida agak warm. Jadi tiada salji di musim sejuk.

Saya dalam perjalanan ke cafe untuk makan tengahari.

Saya rasa bangunan universiti memang patut elegan dan mudah seperti di UNF tanpa binaan yang melampau.

Binaan Marthin Luther King, Jr.

Pada hari itu juga, ada tetamu lain selain dari saya. Mereka dari Jepun.

Pokok palma adalah sinonim dengan Florida.

Hampir sampai ke cafe.
Cafe di tingkat pertama.

Saya rasa ini adalah bangunan serbaguna.

Pandangan dari cafe.

Selesai! Juga berjaya menjejak kaki ke negeri tanah tumpah Death Metal. I am now a certified Floridian Death Metaller!