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 group of musicians in the city of Khon Kaen, Thailand while studying the local traditional music & instruments.
Apichat Pakwan is in essence an artistic platform for revitalisation of Esan music.
The Thai musicians of the group are therefore an alternating group of the most talented molam musicians of the new generation in Thailand.
On this album they consist of 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 releases their first 10” vinyl single Angkanang in december 2016 on Animist Records. This recordlabel which name is inspired by the animism worldview focusses on releasing innovative records in the field of electronic & global traditional music genres.
Apichat Pakwan makes immediate impact with their first liveshows in Thailand. Their debut is performing at the Khon Kaen Filmfestival for around 1000 people, followed by shows at the famous local folkmusic club Kittasin.
They also present their Esantronics-sound in Bangkok during the Thai New Year at the Siam Paragon Songkran Wonderland Festival 2017.
Following this succes the group tours in the Netherlands in June/July 2017. They present their first EP in Amsterdam at their European debut liveshow in OT301. Their shows on several festivals in the Netherlands are enthusiastically received by the audience and gain them many new fans – both Western & Thai.
The band continues to tour after this in both Asia & Europe.
They already got picked up by BBC Radio, and get raving reviews by DJ's worldwide:
“Really like the way they make Thai traditional instrumentals sound so new! The phin and the kaen sound are soooo dope. Really like it!” – DJ Panna (BEAM, Bangkok, Thailand)
"Good sound" - MJ Cole (UK)
"Feeling that dub" - Jacques Renault (Brooklyn DJ)
"Top quality" - DJ Paul T (Potato Head, Bali)
"This is fucking excellent" - Tim 'Love' Lee (USA)
“Beautiful warm, deep transcedental sounds” – DJ Sebcat (Rebel Up! Soundclash, NL)
"Very enticing on the ears" - Aimee Lawrence (Barcelona/Ibiza)
"In love from the first second" - Kito Jempere (St. Petersburg, Russia)
"Love this.." - Tom Psychemagic (Cosmic Forest)
“Oh my, right in feelings. I love it! Straight into my collection. Thank you” - Ponty Mython (Vilnius)
“5 out of 5” - The Cyclist (UK)
"This is dope" - Daniel Drumz (Poland)
“Interesting, like the drum sounds and groove, and it has loads of personality.” - James Fox (London, UK)
“The musicians of Apichat Pakwan know the traditional Thai music so well they are capable like no one else to give it a modern twist. The intoxicating groove they create sounds equally logical and exotic.” – Job De Wit (We Are Public, Oor, DJ Broadcast - NL)