April 10, 2014

The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Cambodia

ARTIST: various artists
TITLE: The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Cambodia
LABEL: World Music Network
The success of Khmer-American rock band Dengue Fever put a spotlight on the amazing, tragic story of Cambodian rock music – amazing for its natural, fully-formed psychedelic sound, tragic because essentially all of the music’s protagonists were executed as part of the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror. Here’s an excellent new compilation of this not-necessarily-easy-to-find music, curated by Sean Hocking of the excellent Hong Kong-based Metal Postcard record label. The set’s greatest strength is its selection from Ros Sereysothea, hands down the best singer of the era: 1, 5 (a Shocking Blue cover), 7 and 9 are four of her finest sides. There’s also a killer cover of “Bang Bang” by Pan Ron (6), an amazing slice of psychedelia by Yos Olarang (3), and one of Dengue Fever’s best originals (4). Some of the song-ending edits are a bit abrupt (no doubt owning to the dodgy source material – no master tapes here folks, we’re just fortunate that a few 45s survived), but otherwise the mastering is pretty good. If you haven’t heard this repertoire yet, listen ASAP: it really is stunning. And if you have, you’ll join me in welcoming this compilation to the marketplace.
TOP TRACKS:    1    3    4    5    6    7    9
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    2    8    10    11    15

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