Myanmar rocker presents sounds from 'the jungle'
HE’S played in Germany and at Texas’ famed South by Southwest festival, but for Side Effect frontman Darko C, a recent trip to Malaysia’s wilderness provided the setting for his most recent material.
“[It was] all improvised, inspired by the peace of the jungle,” he told The Myanmar Times.
At 7pm tomorrow night in the Goethe Villa, Darko will present a short film about the “Jungle Camp” he attended in January, held about an hour outside Malaysian mega-city Kuala Lumpur. Miles from the high rises and traffic, Darko joined 15 musicians and composers from around the region and as far away as Europe for a collaborative experience that produced more than 20 songs.
In just 10 days, the Soundlab group – organised by the Goethe-Institut in Malaysia – transformed a tiny eco-resort into the “Jungle Studio”, where they mixed elements of analogelectronica with punk, folk, R&B, funk, techno and ambient genres to create an album and short film about their collective intercultural journey.
Darko said one of the more memorable experiences involved a group effort to recast the Side Effect track “Meikhtila”, due to debut on their next album. The song deals with the 2013 interreligious conflict there between Buddhists and Muslims.
“One night we were jamming and I played that song, but in a slower tempo,” he said. “They asked about the song and I explained the meaning of the lyrics and the religious conflect that happened in Meikhtila. I guess they liked the way I expressed myself … They asked if I wanted to make a new version of it.”
He said a Malaysian singer – who practices Islam – joined the song, singing in traditional Malaysian style a phrase that translates to “hear my voice now, feel my pain”. Suddenly, a song that usually sounds indie/punk became a soft, experimentally electronic anthem.
“It was so quick, like the words came into her mind right in the moment and she just followed it,” he said. “It gave me goosebumps.”
Darko C will discuss the collaboration and share additional stories tomorrow at the screening. For more information, visit the Goethe Institut-Myanmar Facebook page.
Myanmar’s favourite punk band Side Effect performs at Mojo in 2014.The band’s front-man Darko C will discuss his recent collaboration with regional artists in Malaysia tomorrow night at the Goethe Villa.