19 episodes

A podcast about experimental music scenes and musicians in the Asia-Pacific region.

Porous Borders: Experimental Music in the Southern Hemisphere Andrew Hartwig

    • Arts

A podcast about experimental music scenes and musicians in the Asia-Pacific region.

    #19: Dylan Amirio (Logic Lost)

    #19: Dylan Amirio (Logic Lost)

    Dylan Amirio (Logic Lost) is a young producer, musician, and DJ from Jakarta who has released music on labels such as Orange Cliff, Blank Orb, and DEAD Records. Before the coronavirus hit and everything shut down, he was a regular on the live circuit in Jakarta, as well as playing in Malaysia and Thailand. In 2019 he played a few different sets at Jogja Noise Bombing Festival, which was where I saw him play for the first time. One of those was a collaboration with Dios De Techno from Spain and you can find a link to video of that in the show notes. He also did a live scoring project called Puppetry of Life, which was a tribute to the work of the Czech filmmaker Svankmajer. Dylan's music is very personal and he's very sincere and open about his story and the life events that have influenced his music here.
    Dylan's most recent release is an EP for the excellent Jakarta label Blank Orb. It's called Hero Worship, and it sees him going in a darker direction that emphasises the more experimental aspects of his work. In 2018 he released his second album, which is called Forgive Yourself, and I highly recommend checking that out as well. I've been listening to it a lot this week and it's making me really miss being in Jakarta. This interview was recorded at a coffee shop in South Jakarta way too along ago, back in November of last year. 
    I'm playing a streaming set on Saturday evening at around 10pm AEST for a festival called Sounds of the Underground, which is a festival from Amsterdam. The festival going 24 hours a day from the 15th until midnight on the 19th, and there are a lot of fantastic people doing different things for it. I'll put a link to the festival in show notes. My set is in between two of my favourite noise/experimental guys from Indonesia; Karnivulgar from Surabaya is playing before me and Rama from the amazing Bandung psychedelic band Gaung is playing directly after me, so check that out if you're interested.


    Links
    Logic Lost and Dios De Techno performance from JNB 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud4IsDZfHoE
    Logic Lost bandcamp:  https://logiclost.bandcamp.com/ 


    Sounds of the Underground festival:  https://www.sotufestival.com/
    Anquan bandcamp: http://anquan.bandcamp.com/
    Sonic Vortex Vol. 1 (compilation of South-East Asian noise and experimental music):  https://mindblasting.wordpress.com/2020/01/25/sonic-vortex-volume-1/
    Pancawala split (Coffee Faith, Dissonant, BRRR., DJ Miko, Anquan): https://mindblasting.wordpress.com/2020/01/01/pancawala-split/
    Concrescence Records YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqKkFOv5-FOVTTbl0oojrfw

    • 1 hr 14 min
    #18: Jayni Wong (AETHER Sessions, O Deer)

    #18: Jayni Wong (AETHER Sessions, O Deer)

    Jayni is a drummer and promoter from Singapore but she used to live in Brisbane and while she was there she ran a really great series of gigs called Aether Sessions and played in a few different local bands. Recently she moved back to Singapore and she has started organising Aether Sessions shows there, and she's also started playing drums in a post-rock band called O Deer. When we recorded this interview they were still getting ready to play their first show, but since then I think they've played a couple. 
    I never met Jayni when she was in Brisbane even though I went to a few of her shows, but we did meet for the first time last year when my band Leavings was on tour in Singapore. Then, last December, I was on tour in Singapore again and I thought it would be interesting to talk to her about what it's like to organise DIY gigs in Singapore and how it compares to putting on shows in Australia, and also just what it's like to go from being really active in one music scene and then to move to a completely new scene in a completely different country with a different culture. 

    Links
    AETHER Sessions on Instagram: instagram.com/aethersessions
    AETHER Sessions Facebook: facebook.com/aethersessions
    O Deer on Instagram: instagram.com/odeereedo
    Through Forest and Field: https://throughforestandfield.bandcamp.com



    I have a new Anquan record out now, it's called Fragrant Harbour and it's available everywhere now. It's on all the streaming services and bandcamp, and if you go and get it from Bandcamp there's a live set included with the download, which was recorded last year when I played in Hong Kong. 
    Anquan bandcamp: http://anquan.bandcamp.com/
    Sonic Vortex Vol. 1 (compilation of South-East Asian noise and experimental music):  https://mindblasting.wordpress.com/2020/01/25/sonic-vortex-volume-1/
    Pancawala split (Coffee Faith, Dissonant, BRRR., DJ Miko, Anquan): https://mindblasting.wordpress.com/2020/01/01/pancawala-split/
    Concrescence Records YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqKkFOv5-FOVTTbl0oojrfw

    • 33 min
    #17: Josten Myburgh (Tchake, Tone List, Audible Edge Festival, Mahagonny)

    #17: Josten Myburgh (Tchake, Tone List, Audible Edge Festival, Mahagonny)

    Today on Porous Borders is Josten Myburgh, a composer, musician, improviser, and curator from Perth in Western Australia. I met Josten last December at KLEX festival in Kuala Lumpur, and in the interview, we talk a lot about Josten's performance from the festival. Video of that performance is available in full at the link below.

    Josten performs on saxophone and electronics as a solo improviser and with the groups Tchake, Mahagonny, and Breaking Waves, and he's part of organising the record label Tone List, which is a label focused on experimental music and sound from Western Australia. As part of his work with Tone List, Josten also organises the Audible Edge Festival every year. This year's festival was set to run in April and obviously it has been postponed, so if you have any cash to spare, head over to the Tone List bandcamp and grab something from there. If you want something that Josten's involved with, check out the record called Berlin Split; you can get it as a CD or a download.

    I've been working on this podcast for about 6 months now, and I've really loved all the conversations I've had for it. This conversation in particular is one of my absolute favourites, and if I had to pick one that represents what the podcast is about and what I want to achieve with it, it would be this one. Josten talks a lot about why he's stayed in Perth instead of moving to a bigger city, and also why he's made a point of making strong connections with South-East Asia.

    To give you a bit of context, this interview was recorded the day after KLEX, which is why we spend a lot of time talking about the festival and some of our favourite performances there. Again, check out my YouTube channel because there's video of a bunch of those performances on there, and whatever isn't there already is coming in the future. At the time of recording, I was in the middle of a tour with some friends from Indonesia and Malaysia and I don't think I'd gone to sleep before 3am for the three or four nights prior, so I was really struggling to form sentences. Josten was about to head back to Perth after many months of traveling and performing all over the world, and he still managed to be incredibly articulate.


    Later this week, I have a new Anquan record coming out, so please follow me on Bandcamp or Spotify or whatever you use. If anyone's stuck at home and want to talk, please reach out over email or Instagram. I'd love to hear from you. I'm in day 7 of self-isolation at the moment and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the sun again next week. Thanks for listening and I'll talk to you again next week.

    Links
    Josten's website: http://www.jostenmyburgh.com/
    Tone List bandcamp: https://tonelist.bandcamp.com/
    Tone List website: https://www.tonelist.com.au/
    Josten's performance from KLEX 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqkQZohX7IY


    Anquan bandcamp page: https://anquan.bandcamp.com/
    Sonic Vortex Vol. 1 (compilation of South-East Asian noise and experimental music):  https://mindblasting.wordpress.com/2020/01/25/sonic-vortex-volume-1/
    Pancawala split (Coffee Faith, Dissonant, BRRR., DJ Miko, Anquan): https://mindblasting.wordpress.com/2020/01/01/pancawala-split/
    Concrescence Records YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqKkFOv5-FOVTTbl0oojrfw

    • 1 hr 2 min
    #16: Duto Hardono (Hasana Editions)

    #16: Duto Hardono (Hasana Editions)

    This week on Porous Borders I'm speaking to Duto Hardono, who is a sound artist based in Bandung, Indonesia. If you're in Australia, particularly in Melbourne, you might recognise his name because he just in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago playing some shows for the AsiaTOPA festival. If you're in Canberra you might also recognise Duto's name from the Contemporary Worlds exhibition last year, where one of his pieces was performed. If you're not in Australia, you might know Duto as the owner of the fantastic cassette label Hasana Editions, which has been getting some pretty good press lately. In the past couple of years they've released work from people like such as Kate Carr and Will Guthrie, along with a number of Indonesian artists. It's an amazing label; I've listened to everything on it and I absolutely recommend that you do as well, especially if you're stuck inside at the moment. Duto also teaches at the Bandung Institute of Technology and he's a very interesting modular synth performer. We talk about all of that in the interview and a lot more, so please enjoy,

    A couple of other notes: I'll be inside for the next two weeks (mandatory self-isolation after overseas travel), but the podcast will continue as normal. I also have a new Anquan release coming out in the next week or so, so keep an eye out for that. 

    Links
    Hasana Editions Bandcamp: https://hasanaeditions.bandcamp.com/
    Ata Ratu, Anton Toba Lenda & Duto Hardono performance at Goethe Institute, Jakarta:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4isYtaRcDNY&t=2s 
    Duto Hardono website: http://dutohardono.art/

    Audio excerpts taken from the above performance with Ata Ratu and Anton Toba Lendra. The whole performance is very much worth your time. 

    Sonic Vortex Vol. 1 (compilation of South-East Asian noise and experimental music):  https://mindblasting.wordpress.com/2020/01/25/sonic-vortex-volume-1/ 
    Pancawala split (Coffee Faith, Dissonant, BRRR., DJ Miko, Anquan): https://mindblasting.wordpress.com/2020/01/01/pancawala-split/ 
    Concrescence Records YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqKkFOv5-FOVTTbl0oojrfw 

    • 1 hr 11 min
    #15: Kok Siew-Wai

    #15: Kok Siew-Wai

    Kok Siew-Wai is a vocalist, festival director, and video artist from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For the past 10 years, Siew-Wai has been the organiser of KLEX, an independent Kuala Lumpur experimental film and music festival. As a musician, Siew-Wai frequently performs as a vocalist in the free improv scene in KL and she's performed and curated film programs all over the world. Siew-Wai is a fantastic performer who brings a really strong presence to group she plays with. I've been lucky to see her play many times on my trips to KL. I last saw Siew-Wai perform at KLEX 2019 as a trio with Burkhard Beins on percussion and Yuen-Chee Wai on guitar, and you can find a link to a video of that performance in the show notes. Siew-Wai went to university in Buffalo, New York, and by chance found herself studying with Tony Conrad. Buffalo's arts community and Conrad's teaching had a significant influence on Siew-Wai's work, so that's where we start our conversation. 
    Quick reminder to share, rate, review, and subscribe if you're enjoying the show. Also to check out Sonic Vortex, which is a big compilation of noise and experimental music from South-East Asia released by the Mindblasting label. You can find one of my tracks on there, as well as a music by previous podcast guests ASU (USA), Indra Menus, and SIN. Final plug for the Pancawala split, which is one of my tracks along with DJ Miko, Coffee Faith, Dissonant, and BRRR. I also have a new Anquan release on the way, so I'll talk about that a bit more next week.
    Links for Kok Siew-Wai
    Siew-Wai's Wordpress site: https://koksiewwai.wordpress.com/
    Siew-Wai's performance with Burkhard Beins and Yuen Chee-Wai at KLEX 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCoKCIe2d68
    Kok Siew-Wai, Nadya Hatta, Cheryl Ong, Riska Farasonalia at Nusasonic 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzKJC0yvQEc
    KLEX festival official website: http://www.klexfilmfest.com/
    KLEX Facebook group: https://web.facebook.com/groups/klexfest/ 


    Sonic Vortex Vol. 1 (compilation of South-East Asian noise and experimental music):  https://mindblasting.wordpress.com/2020/01/25/sonic-vortex-volume-1/
    Pancawala split (Coffee Faith, Dissonant, BRRR., DJ Miko, Anquan): https://mindblasting.wordpress.com/2020/01/01/pancawala-split/
    Concrescence Records YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqKkFOv5-FOVTTbl0oojrfw

    • 58 min
    #14: Yudhistira Agato (Vague, Jirapah, journalist and translator for VICE Indonesia)

    #14: Yudhistira Agato (Vague, Jirapah, journalist and translator for VICE Indonesia)

    Today on the show I'm speaking to Yudhistira Agato, vocalist and guitarist for the band Vague, guitarist for the band Jirapah, music journalist and translator for Vice Indonesia, and one of my oldest friends. I first met Yudhis back in 2007 at a Converge show in Brisbane when he was in Australia studying and we used to hang out at shows all the time. In 2010, he moved back to Jakarta where he started to get involved in the underground music scene, playing in bands and organising shows. In 2016, Yudhis started working as a translator and writer for VICE Indonesia when they opened their Jakarta office. He's since written a lot about experimental and underground music in Indonesia, and he's interviewed Rich Brian, Kamasi Washington, Khruangbin, My Disco, and many others. You can find links to Yudhis's writing in the show notes; not all of it is translated into English, but a good chunk of it is.

    Yudhis's main project is a Revolution Summer-inspired post-hardcore band called Vague. He plays guitar and sings in that project and they're quite active in the Jakarta underground scene; they play shows pretty regularly and in the last few years they've been releasing a lot of splits with other underground bands from Southeast Asia. Their newest release is a split with the band Wreck, which is out on HEMA records as a digital release and a 7". They also have splits out with Killeur Calculateur (Kuala Lumpur) and The Kuda (Bogor). All of them are amazing bands and well worth your time. Besides those split releases, Vague has one full-length called Footsteps, which you can find on all the streaming platforms.

    Yudhis also plays guitar in the band Jirapah, which is a Jakarta-based project that has played in all kinds of different formats. Their most recent release is an LP called Planetarium, and it's available a pay- what-you-want download from Bandcamp, and it's on all the streaming services as well.

    This interview covers quite a lot of ground. We start by talking about Yudhis's projects and move into talking about the differences between VICE Indonesia and VICE in Western countries like Australia or the United States, the politics around choosing what language to use when writing lyrics, the unique relationship Indonesia's underground scene has with corporate sponsorship, and what's new in Jakarta's experimental music scene.

    NOTE: A bit of background noise in this one - sorry!  

    Tracks played: "Menapak" by Jirapah, "Sajak Pucat Pasi" by Vague.

    Links
    Vague bandcamp:  https://vaguejkt.bandcamp.com/
    Jirapah bandcamp:  https://jirapahmusic.bandcamp.com/
    Sajak Pucat Pasi video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YepfXCpTEI
    VICE's Top 20 Indonesian albums of the 2010s (in Bahasa Indonesia):  https://www.vice.com/id_id/article/v74mva/lagu-lagu-indonesia-terbaik-satu-dekade-terakhir
    Yudhis' VICE Indonesia contributor page (in English): https://www.vice.com/en_asia/contributor/yudhistira-agato

    Sonic Vortex Vol. 1 (compilation of South-East Asian noise and experimental music):  https://mindblasting.wordpress.com/2020/01/25/sonic-vortex-volume-1/
    Pancawala split (Coffee Faith, Dissonant, BRRR., DJ Miko, Anquan): https://mindblasting.wordpress.com/2020/01/01/pancawala-split/
    Concrescence Records YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqKkFOv5-FOVTTbl0oojrfw

    • 1 hr 5 min

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