Kalab Mixed Myanmar #1

07/12/2021A Global Cast Of Electronic Producers Reinterprets Traditional Burmese Music To Reveal New Horizons

Not to sound haughty, but if you didn't know, Myanmar (formerly Burma) is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia and home to over 100 ethnic groups. Since gaining its independence from British rule in 1948, the country has witnessed "rampant ethnic strife", while "its myriad ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world's longest-running ongoing civil wars." More recently, Myanmar has been in the news following a military coup d'état earlier this year and subsequent protests. On a lighter note, however, we just chanced upon a new various artists compilation on Tokyo-based Rollers Recordings, presenting eight tracks by artists from Japan and beyond, remixing Myanmar's traditional music, thus reinterpreting "music that has been accumulated over hundreds of years" and revealing "new horizons" as well as contemporary electronic perspectives. 

The forward-thinking cast features Argentine composer, producer and luthier Agustin Rivaldo, alias Barrio Lindo, the English-born and Paris-based producer extraordinaire Robin Perkins, alias El Búho, Hamburg-based sound artist and cellist Andi Otto, Buenos Aires-based DJ and producer Barda – all from the international Shika Shika collective – Indonesian/New York-based trio Asa Tone and Prabumi – a project by fellow Indonesian producer Muktito Adhitya – as well as Japanese producer OORUTAICHI, vocalist KOM_I (pronounced 'Komu Ai') and Okinawa-based experimental outfit Churasima Navigator. Incorporating ancient Burmese sound bites into modern, ambient soundscapes, the newly assembled downtempo productions combine yearning, plaintive vocals and traditional instrumentation with pensive, melancholy hues to inspire reflection, but also put the mind at ease.

"Kalab Mixed Myanmar #1" is just what we needed in these tumultuous times. Providing a meditative, soothing musical experience that is less esoteric, more explorative in nature, these deeply melodic compositions radiate warmth, energy and promise, as we continue to hope for a better tomorrow and a follow-up release.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom