Second ‘Analog Dimension’ Concert to Showcase Myanmar’s Finest Indie Bands

By Lwin Mar Htun 12 March 2019

A line-up of the best new indie and alternative bands will perform at the second concert in the ongoing “Analog Dimension” series at Yangon’s Basement Bar on March 17.

According to the founder, the series will retain its focus on indie music. “I want to create a music platform for all the local indie bands,” said Ko Thurein, founder of the concert series and frontman of the band Sunrise 18.

“Through this music platform, I want to let people know that artists who create their own music with their own style still exist in Myanmar,” he said.

The second edition of “Analog Dimension” will feature eight acts including local indie bands Sunrise 18, The Peacists and The Reasonabilists.

Ko Thurein organized the first “Analog Dimension” gig in November last year with help from other supporters of local music.

“I wanted to create a music platform similar to the [local underground] ‘Jam It’ concert series. ‘Jam It’ includes hip-hop, metal and punk; it has more music genres. So, I started ‘Analog Dimension’ for indie music,” he said.

“Since 2017, people have started recognizing the indie music style and more bands have been formed, including us [Sunrise 18]. Actually, some old songs by former singers like Soe Lwin Lwin and Zaw Win Htut are indie music mixed with blues, but people don’t think of it as indie,” Ko Thurein said, offering his view that indie music has in fact existed in Myanmar for a long time.

Previously, Ko Thurein was in a band called Sunrise, which was more of an alternative rock band.

“Then, the times changed. We also love independent music. So, we changed the band’s name and started making indie music in 2017,” he said.

“Nowadays, indie music styles are still different from back in the old days. But you still can get the feeling of the ’90s style from some of today’s indie bands,” he added.

The frontman for local indie band The Reasonabilists performs at Union Bar in Yangon in November 2018.

After organizing the first edition of “Analog Dimension”, Ko Thurein realized there were many new indie bands in town.

“That’s what I want. I want to see more indie musicians; some of those bands will be included in this second edition,” he said.

But while the number of bands has increased, it’s hard not to notice that one tends to see the same faces at all the gigs. Ko Thurein acknowledged the truth of this observation.

“That’s true; it’s because we are still at the beginning. Most of the bands haven’t released official albums yet, but they have released songs online. So, only a few people know the bands and songs, mainly in the underground music scene,” he said.

He added, “I love that kind of gig vibe with the same old audiences which include musicians, artists, audiences who truly love our music. But we can’t stop here—we need to release more songs and hope to host bigger concerts in the future.”

Currently, the band Sunrise 18 is writing songs for their first official album, which they hope to release this year.

“We will release our album on ‘Jam It’ records. That’s why we took a lot of time between the first and second edition of this concert series, because we’re recording the songs,” he said.

Regarding his future plans, Ko Thurein said, “We’re hoping to organize a gig once every two months. I’ll try.”

Extending an invitation to indie fans, he added: “Come and chill with our indie music this coming 17th of March. I’m sure you’ll have a great time.”

The concert will start at 7 pm. Admission is 5,000 kyats.