Myan­mar rocker presents sounds from 'the jun­gle'

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - RJ. VOGT rj.vogt@mm­times.com

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.

Photo: Zarni Phyo

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.

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