Dharma is a guitarist who is probably best known for his work in the Singapore art-rock band The Observatory, which has been running for almost 20 years now. They've made a bunch of records, have toured all over the world, and they even have a documentary you can check out called The Obs. You can find that on iTunes, and Dharma appears quite a lot in it, as well a lot of other Singapore musicians, and David Toop even pops up for a bit in there as well. The Observatory is currently a three-piece consisting of Dharma on guitar, Yuen Chee-Wai on guitar, and Cheryl Ong on drums. They're all amazing musicians, and you'll definitely be hearing more about them in future episodes of this podcast.
Back in December, I went to a festival in Singapore called Playfreely which The Observatory had organised and I asked Dharma if we could record an interview. He was super busy at the time because, in addition to making the festival happen, he was doing a recording session with Wukir. If you're not familiar with Wukir, he is best known for being one half of the band Senyawa along with his bandmate Rully Shabara (episode 2 of this podcast) Wukir builds his own instruments for all of his projects and he was also playing at Playfreely in December with a new instrument he had built.
At the end of one of their recording days, I went down to the studio to interview Dharma and since Wukir was there, I ended up talking with him as well. The recording was a little bit chaotic but in the best way; we ended up recording it outside in the fresh air because they'd been couped up in the studio all day, but it was quite windy, so you'll hear that in the mics. Then it started raining and we ended up moving inside. You can also hear a fourth person who helps translate for Wukir at a couple of points. That's my friend Mahamboro who was also in Singapore at the time to play some shows. This was one of my favourite interviews I've done so far for this podcast, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Tracks played: audio from Wukir, Dharma, and PGR's performance at KLEX Festival 2019
Wukir, Dharma, and PGR @ KLEX Festival video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qIKKlFBBWs
Wukir and Dharma's split cassette: https://www.tandangstore.com/products/--wukir---dharma-industrial-mutant---the-resistance-split-cassette
Links for Wukir Suryadi
Wukir Suryadi bandcamp: https://wukirsuryadi.bandcamp.com/
Senyawa's Yes No Wave page: http://yesnowave.com/artists/senyawa/
Senyawa on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0F0QctWhGzgl1Ih560JzWJ
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