Shorthand Phonetics, according to The Other Wiki, is an indie rock and film score outfit from Bandung, Indonesia. As of 2010, it's just one man: Ababil Ashari (vocals, guitars, bass and programming).
The outfit's main body of work of concept albums and extended plays (and occasionally singles) tells the story of Japanese national Hanabishi Hideaki as he goes through high school, med school, troubles with his love life and his budding writing career. The body of work hasn't been officially titled yet and is known onlyas "Lore" in the official Web site.
The releases that are part of the main canon are:
- Fanfiction: From the Seriously Absurd to the Absurdly Serious (2006)
Im in Medicine / Love, or the Illusion of the Beginning Symptoms of It (2007)
- The second one covers Hide's first six months of med school, although later Word of God would Retcon the second album covering the whole first year of Hide's med school experience. Notable for the appearance of Fujioka Tsubasa, the love interest that would dominate the topic of all the songs in the later albums (as well as this one).
- Fire! (I Could Have Died and All I Could Think About Was My Charred Diary) (2008)
- The third one tells the story of Hideaki's second year in med school through the charred remains of his diary that was destroyed in an apartment complex fire. The "experimental" electronic tracks were meant to represent the charred pages that were no longer legible.
- Errors in Calculating Odds, Errors in Calculating Value (2009)
- The fourth album represents the first draft of Hide's debut light novel, "Errors in Calculating Odds, Errors in Calculating Value" (naturally...). The album booklet contains "excerpts" from the "novel" where, among other things, the name of the med school and the town they inhabit is revealed (Eiroku Faculty of Medicine in Jikyoku-to).
- Love in the Time of Information Technology EP (2010)
- This extended play represents a failed attempt to make a short story anthology to follow up Hideaki's debut light novel. The songs here represent the short stories that were completed.
- thirty-four minutes with hide and tsubasa (2010)
- Apparently, the fifth one is described by the outfit as "a representation of Hide and Tsubasa's last conversation just as Hide's plane is about to leave for a foreign land. The music represents the conversation while the lyrics represent Hide's thoughts."
The outfit also does miscellaneous film score work unrelated to the "Lore" (one won an "album of the year" accolade [!]).
Shorthand Phonetics contains examples of:
- A Day in the Limelight: The first Shorthand Phonetics EP has the bass player Alfon sing on "Wildest Day"; a recent single "Goodbye Jikyoku-to (Because Jatinangor is Damn Hard to Sing)" featured a contra-alto and mezzo-soprano singing as Atsuko and Miyuki instead of the usual "Ababil sings as Hide" schtick.
- And Now For Something Completely Different: Half of the third album was...gasp!...electronica!
- Bow Chicka Wow Wow: They literally have a song called "Bow-Wow-Chikka-Wakka-Chikka-Wakka-Chikka-Wakka, Bow-Wow-Chikka-Wakka-Chikka-Wakka-Chikka-Wakka"
- Concept Album: obviously...
- Concept Video: Ababil has never appeared in any of the MVs for Shorthand Phonetics...EVER.
- Emo: Subverted, although the outfit produces music that might be called emo, the lyrics (and song titles) are usually self-aware in nature. A review once called the music as "a parody of emo"
- Emo Kid: Hanabishi Hideaki is a highly self-aware of his "emoness"
- Epic Rocking: Usually the last track of a Shorthand Phonetics album is this, with ""This Might Be the Last Time We Ever Meet, So I Guess Now's Probably the Perfect Moment to Say I'm Sorry...for Everything", an A/U Firefly fanfic by Hanabishi Hideaki, from the fourth album taking the cake with a running time of 14 minutes. The last half of the song is just the same riff over and over and over and over again.
- Face of the Band: Ababil.
- Fan Fic: The entirety of the first album is this...
- I Am the Band: Actually a type 2, the outfit started out as a five-piece.
- Long Title: Unlike most bands, this one never seems to grow out of it...here's one from each album...
- "Lady Hermione's Library Is on Fire Because of the Burning Minds Sparking Each Other to Ignite and It's Consuming My Flammable Ashen Heart",
- "Natalies for Glasses II (Yesterday I Found a Needlessly Long List of All the Obvious Pros and Masochistic Cons of Never Seeing You Girls Again I Made In One of My Old Notebooks, Realised How Stupid Making That List Was, and Gained Confidence to Slow Down. Takk.)"
- "And These Were Some of the Barely Legible Pages That "Survived"... / 18th of August 07: "Flower Image Forever (Dance of the Second Choice)" / 21nd of August 07: "An Anticlimactic End to a Meaningless Non-Relationship"",
- "Natalies for Glasses IV ("Remember when I said, "Yes, joining Castle would be a very bad idea for me but I'm joining anyway," and followed it up with a string of maniacal laughter while playing Mass Effect and I queued up "橙" by チャットモンチー and "One More Sad Song" by the All-American Rejects for you to hear? Look where it got us...look where it got her. I'm wanted to quit, by the way. But I won't, I guess. Cause I love you guys! But I dunno...")", and
- ""You can regret the past and you can be depressed about the present; But you don't know anything about the future and fuck! [...] That's exciting.""
- Leitmotif: the score for Dream:Chase which is naturally called "Score No. 1 (Dream:Chase) in A major, Op. 17 for Three Electric Guitars, One Bass Guitar and One Drum Kit" is MADE OUT of Leitmotifs. No instrumental riff goes unrepeated by album's end. Won the outfit an album of the year accolade!
- Metal Scream: Very rarely.
- Painful Rhyme: Because the lyrics are literal and conversational this happens...A LOT.
- Rhyming with Itself: ditto with above.
- Spoken Word in Music: On the first album, at the end of "All Too Platonic" there is a girl that says "It's just like a dream I've always had..." and a boy that says "It isn't a dream, it's reality" and then it immediately cuts to the next song "Surreal Situation for Sarah-Jean"
- Self-Backing Vocalist: Coz when there's only one dude in the band...
- Shout-Out: close to one a song.
- This Is Your Song: if an interview is to be believed this is more like "These Are Your Albums"...