June 5, 2014
The Sound Of Siam, Volume 2: Molam & Luk Thung From North-East Thailand 1970-1982
TITLE: The Sound Of Siam, Volume 2: Molam & Luk Thung From North-East Thailand 1970-1982
Volume 2 of this series from Soundway Records and compilers Chris Menist and Maft Sai is just as much of a delight as was 2010’s first volume. Molam (“music expert”) and luk thung (“child of the fields”) are the popular musical styles of Thailand’s northeastern Isan region which borders Laos and Cambodia. Part of the pleasure in these styles, which are only lightly influenced by first-world popular music, is in hearing the unique Thai instruments: phin (a three-stringed lute), khaen (a huge bamboo mouth-organ) and sor (a one or two-stringed violin). Track 11 features Thonghuad Faited, a remarkably fluid sor player, improvising over a steady 4/4 beat; 3 spotlights an electrified phin over a similar grooving rhythm – both are totally infectious. 8 has sor and khaen dueting over hand drums, a very primitive drum machine click track, and some spacey Electone organ. The most Western-sounding track here is 5, a funky take on molam that sounds more West African than American. Great stuff, and hopefully more of it will be forthcoming.
TOP TRACKS: 3 5 8 11
ALSO RECOMMENDED: 1 4 6 10 12 15