A few months ago CAMA ATK showed the documentary film Yangon Calling, which followed a small, fervent punk scene in Myanmar’s capital city. It was fascinating to learn about a group so dedicated to punk music and culture, and I wanted to hear more about what the scene is like today, four years on from the film’s release.
Eaiddhi was a member of the scene, and in 2012 set up Jam It!, a platform for promoting new underground music in Yangon. He’s been in different bands throughout his career, from punk band No U Turn, hardcore outfit Married For The Pain and recently hit indie rock band Side Effect.
Artist: No U Turn
Track: The Place Where No Hooligans Are
No U Turn is the most active band out of the few punk bands in Myanmar, and has a distinct style compared to others. They’ve been playing and making music in the underground scene for over 10 years and have released three albums. This song is an anthem for the punks at their gigs!
Track: Punk Not Profit
Kultureshock is the first band in Myanmar to play d-beat crustpunk, and are strongly influenced by Swedish hardcore punk bands. This song is about how people live in a city under pressure from their government and with a lack of freedom.
Track: We Hate This System
This rap rock / punk band are from Mandalay, but they’ve also become popular in Yangon as well, playing at JAM IT! underground gigs. This song has an interesting mix of electronic elements with metal riffs and traditional influences.
Track: Rap Crazy Women
Y.A.K is the only female hip-hop group in Myanmar. They rap about women rights and the hard life of the young in our country. Y.A.K have never become mainstream. This song is about their love of hip-hop and their life in the underground hip hop scene for over 10 years.
Artist: Fever 109
Track: Sorry Song
Fever 109 is one of the most well known metal bands from Myanmar: powerful riffs, groovy breakdowns and melodic vocals that make the crowd go crazy at every concert they play!
Artist: Side Effect
Track: The Change
Side Effect is a well-known indie band from Yangon and has been featured in international media as well. This live video was from their 2013 summer tour supporting the German punk rock band Die Ärzte.
CAMA’s Eliza Lomas is on a mission to find a huge array of great Asian music, digging through different times, countries and genres, with a regular monthly selection.