Marco Ferrarese

Marco  Ferrarese

Marco Ferrarese has covered Malaysia, the rest of Southeast Asia and India from his base in Penang since 2009. He holds a PhD in subcultural anthropology and his debut novel Nazi Goreng, a quirky subcultural thriller set in Penang, was published by Monsoon Books in 2013 and banned by Malaysia's Ministry of Home Affairs in 2016.

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Latest from Marco Ferrarese

Blackpink’s Ice Cream without the sexual overtones? Malaysian bands release Islamic-friendly K-pop covers less likely to upset Muslims

Bands under Malaysian label Tarbiah Sentap Records are producing clean-cut versions of songs by K-pop acts such as Blackpink that are less likely to upset Muslims.

10 Jan 2021 - 1:25PM

Bands under Malaysian label Tarbiah Sentap Records are producing clean-cut versions of songs by K-pop acts such as Blackpink that are less likely to upset Muslims.

Blackpink’s Ice Cream without the sexual overtones? Malaysian bands release Islamic-friendly K-pop covers less likely to upset Muslims
Malaysian-Chinese independent filmmakers lauded abroad but censored at home for movies about their country’s past and present

Independent filmmakers who ‘touch on the wounds and pain of the past’ in Malaysia have a hard time getting their films screened, even as they earn recognition at international festivals.

30 Dec 2020 - 1:22PM

Independent filmmakers who ‘touch on the wounds and pain of the past’ in Malaysia have a hard time getting their films screened, even as they earn recognition at international festivals.

Malaysian-Chinese independent filmmakers lauded abroad but censored at home for movies about their country’s past and present
Conservative Malaysia’s Oscars 2021 hope is Roh, a horror film made on a low budget – so why the unusual choice?

Malaysia wants to increase global awareness of its cinema, and the Oscar submission of a horror film is meant to inspire young filmmakers. Roh tells the story of a blood-soaked girl who appears at a family home in a Malaysian rainforest.

14 Dec 2020 - 5:51PM

Malaysia wants to increase global awareness of its cinema, and the Oscar submission of a horror film is meant to inspire young filmmakers. Roh tells the story of a blood-soaked girl who appears at a family home in a Malaysian rainforest.

Conservative Malaysia’s Oscars 2021 hope is Roh, a horror film made on a low budget – so why the unusual choice?
14 Malaysian music queens you should hear, from Alena Murang to Yuna to the Amy Winehouse-like Dasha Logan

Yuna has worked with Pharrell Williams and Usher, Elite were a Malaysian Spice Girls, and Shh … Diam! are the poster band of the country’s LGBT community. Despite Islam’s proscriptions, female musicians are flourishing there.

12 Dec 2020 - 3:44PM

Yuna has worked with Pharrell Williams and Usher, Elite were a Malaysian Spice Girls, and Shh … Diam! are the poster band of the country’s LGBT community. Despite Islam’s proscriptions, female musicians are flourishing there.

14 Malaysian music queens you should hear, from Alena Murang to Yuna to the Amy Winehouse-like Dasha Logan
Comparisons to K-pop’s Blackpink don’t bother Dolla: Malaysian girl group say ‘we are quite different’ but that it’s a compliment all the same

Malaysian K-pop fans have accused girl group Dolla of being a poor copy of Blackpink, but the girls don’t see themselves that way and say they are very much a Malaysian pop band.

8 Dec 2020 - 9:18AM

Malaysian K-pop fans have accused girl group Dolla of being a poor copy of Blackpink, but the girls don’t see themselves that way and say they are very much a Malaysian pop band.

Comparisons to K-pop’s Blackpink don’t bother Dolla: Malaysian girl group say ‘we are quite different’ but that it’s a compliment all the same
When the gamelan met gabber: Bali-based duo fuse blistering beats with Indonesian folk music

Gabber Modus Operandi are mixing the high tempo Gabber with metal, punk and traditional Indonesian genres. Vocalist Ican Harem and DJ Kasimyn talk about dancing, having fun making a record deal in the toilet.

15 Dec 2019 - 12:00PM

Gabber Modus Operandi are mixing the high tempo Gabber with metal, punk and traditional Indonesian genres. Vocalist Ican Harem and DJ Kasimyn talk about dancing, having fun making a record deal in the toilet.

When the gamelan met gabber: Bali-based duo fuse blistering beats with Indonesian folk music
Punk rock and heavy metal in Pakistan stays defiantly underground, starved of venues and lacking fans

Pakistan’s hardcore punk and heavy metal bands lack places to play in, and fans to hear their music, as big corporations dominate the country’s music scene. ‘The whole idea of independent music is gone,’ says one musician.

12 Nov 2019 - 10:29AM

Pakistan’s hardcore punk and heavy metal bands lack places to play in, and fans to hear their music, as big corporations dominate the country’s music scene. ‘The whole idea of independent music is gone,’ says one musician.

Punk rock and heavy metal in Pakistan stays defiantly underground, starved of venues and lacking fans
How Penang’s art scene was killed by Instagram tourists and gentrification, sparked by a single mural

A street art revolution transformed the Malaysian island into a celebrated artistic hub in the early 2010s. But its art scene became a victim of its own success, now catering to the whims of Instagram tourists and hipsters.

23 Oct 2019 - 10:09AM

A street art revolution transformed the Malaysian island into a celebrated artistic hub in the early 2010s. But its art scene became a victim of its own success, now catering to the whims of Instagram tourists and hipsters.

How Penang’s art scene was killed by Instagram tourists and gentrification, sparked by a single mural
What’s behind ‘Malay power’ music – ethnic-Malay neo-Nazis playing punk and metal with a dark message

Malaysia was an early follower of heavy metal, and some underground bands, apeing a notorious British white-power band, adopted national-socialist icons and preach racial supremacy in their lyrics.

26 Jul 2019 - 10:39AM

Malaysia was an early follower of heavy metal, and some underground bands, apeing a notorious British white-power band, adopted national-socialist icons and preach racial supremacy in their lyrics.

What’s behind ‘Malay power’ music – ethnic-Malay neo-Nazis playing punk and metal with a dark message
The secret world of punk on the Singapore-Johor highway

Singaporeans head to Johor for a more authentic punk music experience, while Malaysians head south for a greater choice of imported merchandise and the self-produced albums of Singapore punk acts, writes Marco Ferrarese 

3 Jun 2016 - 6:52PM

Singaporeans head to Johor for a more authentic punk music experience, while Malaysians head south for a greater choice of imported merchandise and the self-produced albums of Singapore punk acts, writes Marco Ferrarese 

The secret world of punk on the Singapore-Johor highway
On the Tiger's trail in Anthony Burgess' Kuala Kangsar

Sixty years after the Malaysian town of Kuala Kangsar was characterised in Anthony Burgess' first novel, Marco Ferrarese tracks down some old haunts. Pictures by Kit Yeng Chan.

5 Mar 2016 - 10:20PM

Sixty years after the Malaysian town of Kuala Kangsar was characterised in Anthony Burgess' first novel, Marco Ferrarese tracks down some old haunts. Pictures by Kit Yeng Chan.

On the Tiger's trail in Anthony Burgess' Kuala Kangsar