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Arts & Culture

Zwel Mun Wint Brings New Sounds to Myanmar

Introducing Myanmar to a new realm of music

Words by
b-side staff
Location
Myanmar

Post-rock and downtempo electronic music have been making rounds internationally for decades now. Think bands like Mogwai, Russian Circles and Sigur Rós. However, it remains a new kind of sound and genre in Myanmar.

How come?

Zwel Mun Wint fell in love with these sounds while exploring music genres on the internet, starting from metal and diving into little pockets of musical genius.

Now a professional music producer, he has been trying to bring these genres into Myanmar’s music canon with his post-rock band, Pandelic, and his downtempo electronic music project, Heft. He shares with us the anxieties and wins during his continuing journey to groom a new music genre in his country.‍

You have been described as Myanmar’s first post-rock band in 2017. How did it feel introducing a new genre to the country?‍

I think there were already some listeners who were in love with post-rock music before we started. But you know, it’s a mixed feeling. Sometimes, it is really exciting to have our own unique voice and on the other hand, the band can sometimes feel quite isolated here.

Still, based on the feedback we have gotten so far, we are happy that our band has become a bridge to connect people who were not familiar with this type of music with the global post-rock scene.‍

What are some of your influences and how do you think ‘Myanmar Post-Rock’ is different from other post-rock bands?‍

My influences come from a pretty wide range of music. It can be classical Indian traditional music, some weird metal influence or even dance music. While we were making Escapade, we were heavily inspired by the works of Tycho, Hammock and the sort.‍

It must not be easy pushing for a new sound on the scene. What were some fears you had about the release of Escapade?‍

Every song on the album has its own unique approach in writing, arrangement and production, and this could feel very unbalanced, especially, if you listen to the record from beginning to end. I’m glad that, somehow, we overcame this.

How have people been responding to Pandelic’s music so far?

One thing that stood out was a YouTube comment saying it’s music for reading books. I guess it’s not wrong. Well, we are really happy with the positive feedback we have been getting, and it’s coming from all around the world. There has also been tremendous demand for a second album, so we are really excited and motivated by that.‍

You have started another project, Heft, that plays moody electronic music. What inspired it and how has it been coming along?‍

I have always wanted to do dance music that includes aspects of a cinematic approach injected with post-rock personality. Before the project, I was exploring the boundaries of music I found in post-rock and came across some electronic bands such as Moderat and Jon Hopkins. After listening to them, I knew right away that this is exactly what I wanted to do.

I have since released the debut EP, Solicit, on music platforms and I am looking forward to releasing the second album this mid-year.‍

Electronic dance music seems popular in Myanmar, but what about Heft’s mellow electronic style?‍

EDM is indeed in huge demand here, but Heft is not really associated with the whole act. A few months ago, I performed at Live Loop Asia Yangon and there was only a small community that acknowledged the other sides of electronic music besides EDM. I felt pretty happy with how my music resonated with the people there.‍

What project are you working on next?‍

Right now I’m working towards the second album for both Pandelic and Heft. Do look out for them some time this year!

Give Pandelic and Heft a listen here:

https://pandelicmusic.bandcamp.com/album/escapade/

https://heftambient.bandcamp.com/album/solicit

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