December 14, 2010

The Sound Of Siam

ARTIST:  various artists
TITLE:  The Sound Of Siam: Leftfield Luk Thung, Jazz & Molam In Thailand 1964-1975
LABEL:  Soundway
REVIEW:  Soundway, one of the top indie reissue labels in world music, branches out from Africa and Latin America into Asia with this release.  As usual with this label, the research and documentation is top-notch.  And their angle on Thai music is a bit different from what we usually see – the cheesiness factor is very low, no Western covers and really only one novelty item (it’s a good one, though).  Instead, this is a thoughtful exploration of music from Thailand’s northeast, made in Bangkok by rural people who have moved to the big city as Thailand rapidly modernized in the 60’s and 70’s.  Western influences of rock, funk and jazz are here, but they’re strictly secondary to a uniquely Asian style of music.  A very nicely conceived project that will bring yet another unheralded sound to the attention of adventurous European and American listeners.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
2 (female vocal)    7 (funky)    9 (novelty)    17 (jazzy)    18 (crime jazz)

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