Apichat Pakwan is a group of musicians from Thailand & The Netherlands. They make what they call Esantronics - a hybrid mix of molam (folkmusic of the ethnic Lao, of whom the largest population is living in Esan, another name for Northeast-Thailand), dub, hiphop & electro.
Unique about Apichat Pakwan is their mix of very traditional instruments with innovative live electronics, consisting of both digital and analog synthesis and signal processing, and fieldrecordings.
They play original Esan repertory as well as their own new interpretations and compositions, all on a bass-heavy dub foundation - a combination which seems to blend very organically.
The group was formed in Thailand by Olivier Schreuder (Amsterdam, 1980), who has been making new forms of electronic & Asian music for many years. He met the other musicians in the city of Khon Kaen, Thailand while studying the local traditional music & instruments.
The Thai musicians of the group are known as the most talented molam musicians of the new generation in Thailand: Pongsapon Upani (1991) & Artit Krajangsree (1989).
They are not only considered experts of the traditional repertory, but are also well-respected innovators of the genre who mix new technologies with the original acoustic instruments of Lao folkmusic. Furthermore, Pongsapon is the regular kaen-player (mouthorgan that is the main instrument in molam) of legendary artists Chaweewan Dumnern & Angkanang Khunchai, and a gifted molam-singer himself.
Named after last-mentioned molam-diva, Apichat Pakwan is completed by Thai percussion-player Angkanang Pimwankum (1992), with her 25 years the youngest member of the group.
Apichat Pakwan made immediate impact with their first liveshows in Thailand. Their debut was performing at the Khon Kaen Filmfestival for around 1000 people, followed by shows at the famous local folkmusic club Kittasin. They also presented their Esantronics sound in Bangkok during the Thai New Year at the Siam Paragon Songkran Wonderland Festival 2017.
Angkanang by Apichat Pakwan is the first release of the new Amsterdam-based label Animist Records. The dubversion on the B-side is exclusive for this release.
A new EP (CD / digital) is released in June 2017 and is celebrated with the first liveshow outside of Thailand on 15 June 2017 in OT301, Amsterdam. The group tours in Europe for 1 month.
The second 10” single E-Ong Muan Sun is scheduled for 14 July and will also be presented on the same day with a releaseparty on a still secret location.
The release of the full album Esantronics is planned later in 2017.