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.
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 as 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 on his ongoing 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 of the listeners who are 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, Pandelic, has become a bridge to connect people who were not familiar with this type of music before into the global post-rock scene.
What are some of your influences and how do you think 'Myanmar Post-Rock' different from other post-rock bands?
My influences come from a pretty wide range of music. It can be Classical Indian Traditional Music or some weird Metal influence or even dance music. During the time when we were making the first album, Escapade, we were heavily inspired by some 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?
We were worried that every song in the album had its own unique approach in writing, arrangement and production and that this could feel very unbalanced especially if you listen to the record from end to end. I’m glad that somehow we have overcome 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 the 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 this 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 I guess but Heft is not really associated with the whole act. Last few months, I performed at Live Loop Asia Yangon and there is only a small community that acknowledged the other sides of electronic music beside EDM and I felt pretty happy 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 so do keep a look out for them some time this year!