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In conversation with Cape Town post-rockers Yndian Mynah ahead of Endless Daze festival 2018

Yndian Mynah are a four piece art-rock band hailing from Cape Town, South Africa. Dabbling between thrilling post-rock sections and shimmering dream-pop, the band are (mostly) instrumental, except for the odd sung or shouted harmony here and there. Yndian Mynah have been a driving force in the underground Cape Town scene for the past few years bringing their hypnotic brand of texture with them wherever the winds may call.

In July 2017, Yndian Mynah released a two-track demo EP, and a highly beloved, groundbreaking live performance simply titled Live at Mercury released via local digital imprint MoonSwing Netlabel, showcasing the band’s raw energy as they plan to release new material around Halloween. Yndian Mynah are set to perform at Cape Town’s picturesque Endless Daze festival on November 2-4, surrounded by exquisite oceanic and lush sceneries and it’s inevitable power to inspire and impress.

We caught up with Yndian Mynah on sub-genres, instrumental music and taking whatever comes their way:

For those foreign to Yndian Mynah’s frenetic serenity, how would you collectively describe the music you create?

As a band who actively searches for and appreciates other music together, it’s hard to describe a sound and attribute it to ourselves, but the purpose is to create something surprising, nostalgic or even just pure fun. At our hardest points we try to explore a washy post-rock feel but always with a softer contrast of ambient dream-pop somewhere in between. 

Your latest release Live at Mercury was released in July by Cape Town-based digital imprint MoonSwing Netlabel. The album is a remarkable representation of your live performance, capturing the same energy and thrill of watching a set. Could you detail this process, and how it compares to being in controlled studio setting?

It’s always the most comfortable playing live for us, and in studio, it was always hard to translate the way we play together without it sounding too separate from itself. After our show at Mercury we realised what we were missing was that live sensation of not trying to perfect something, but actually just to enjoy the music we play together. After experiencing that, I think it’s something we want to try keep, even in a studio setting.

Although there are various shouted, harmonized and sung phrases throughout your music – how do you feel being a ‘mostly’ instrumental band might separate Yndian Mynah from say, a generic, vocally-centered rock’n’roll band?

The decision of becoming an instrumental band came out of time hanging out and playing together, we feel it resonates with things we like as friends and appreciators of the music we share amongst ourselves. We feel that we have less boundaries this way, and love the challenge of trying to communicate something without any sort of vocal narrative.

Post-Rock is a widely debated upon sub-genre, as there are so many forms and tones to what actually defines the term as a genre itself. What does it mean to you? And why do you feel most bands categorized with the term shy away from it?

I think genres specifically force a band to assume a specific style, and especially with instrumental music, the expressive form of it doesn’t really lend itself to being categorised. Having bands like Mogwai and And So I Watch You From Afar in a category away from say, Tycho, even sounds strange. So, I think we write music based on a theme as opposed to a genre, allowing every song its own room. We are not even certain that we are mostly post-rock, it’s fun to be a bunch of things!

What are you most looking forward to about performing at Endless Daze Festival 2018?

The opportunity to play our songs loudly and proudly is what we are most looking forward to. Two years ago at Endless Daze is where we decided as friends that we needed to play at the festival and here we are. We are excited to make some noise!

Is there any specific ingredient to Yndian Mynah’s glittering signature tone? Are there any specific pieces of equipment you feel is integral to your sound?

We are all in love with the tone of Orange amplifiers. Guitar wise, Fenders feel the most comfy. That’s where we are at for now, and with James lending his tone to delays, and Matthew on reverbs, we have realised our band sound naturally leans towards a raw live band sound of guitars, drums and driving bass.

Tell us about Cape Town’s live music scene – is there anything you’d like to change, or even improve about it?

The Cape Town scene is growing through inclusivity at the moment, and that’s amazing. I think there will always be areas to improve, but with a line up like Endless Daze, you can see a mix of everything based on quality of sound and respect for hard work and difference. This kind of exposure from organisers is angled towards people that actively listen and search for music, and for a long time people have been looking overseas for possibilities, but to start putting bands like last year’s Oh Sees, to Witch this year – bands as well as music lovers can learn from that energy first hand. 

Care to mention some of your favourite albums of the year? Possibly a few in which are influential to all members!

Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temples & House in the Tall Grass
Mogwai – Every Country’s Sun
And So I Watch You From Afar – The Endless Shimmering
Khruangbin – The Universe Smiles Upon You

What does the future hold for Yndian Mynah?

We are keen for anything, and will always love the experience of playing live. The more we can do that and connect with new people, the happier we are. Wherever that works, we will be there and ready to play as loud as possible!

Download Live at Mercury by Yndian Mynah 

For more information follow Yndian Mynah on Facebook

Visit Endless Daze festival’s website for more information 

[Image credit: Thomas Pepler]

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