In need to update your music playlist? We take you around the region in this new series, introducing new bands, new genres and new music not too far away from home. Southeast Asia is such a culturally diverse and musically intriguing area, and we'll take you through it bit by bit. Explore sounds from Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and more - we might even throw in a cheesy pop boyband sometime soon. We're also open to suggestions, so throw us some names if you're in the know of any best-kept secrets. You'll be surprised with what our neighbours have up their sleeves!
When this experimental electronic duo from Philippines performs, it is almost shamanistic. An owl headdress, some theatrics, and ambient sounds that get the crowd going - they've played alongside Washed Out and Baths in Manila. KaapiN also makes use of glockenspiels and the melodica which features quite prominently in their songs, on top of beats and synths.
Kuching natives Love/Comes totally blew us away when we first caught them at Urbanscapes Music Festival 2012 and they did it again when we saw them at Mosaic last year. Loaded with hooks, almost every song we've heard from them bears an unforgettable chorus, soaring fuzz guitars and awesome melodies all around. They make an awful lot of irresistible noise, and we really can't wait for a proper release by the lads.
They've only formed in July of last year, but Malaysia's Dirgahayu are setting stages alight every time they're on. Playing a dark, fiery brand of instrumental rock with a hefty portion of math and progressive elements, their music is something that'd make you sit up and pay very close attention to. After all, you can't expect anything less than epic brilliance when you've got former members of defunct experimental/noise rock outfit Akta Angkasa and screamo veterans Custom Daisy.
Yellow Fang (TH)
This all-girl band from Thailand have been working hard since 2007. After the release of their first EP in 2008, they continued to put out their music single by single. Pretty smart move as the trio of lady rockers have amassed quite a fanbase in their country through the years. They're back with a new full-length album and have opened for the likes of Mac Demarco. You can never go wrong with their breezy tunes that combines vocal harmonies, fuzzy lo-fi garage rock and dream pop.
Dengue Fever (US/KH)
Though technically not a 100% ASEAN band, Dengue Fever has quite an interesting story on its inception. Formed in California by two brothers who were inspired by a trip to Cambodia, they later on set off to find a vocalist for the band to sing in Khmer and English. The short story: they recruited a karaoke singer, already famous in Cambodia and since then they've been going places with their peculiar combination of Cambodian pop music and psychedelic rock. For real. They've even performed on Jools Holland.