September 26, 2014

Khun Narin | Khun Narin's Electric Phin Band

ARTIST: Khun Narin
TITLE: Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band
LABEL: Innovative Leisure
A few years ago, YouTube videos of a wild, psychedelic Thai marching band went viral among connoisseurs of outrageous global sounds. This band, whose name we didn’t know (all titles and captions were in Thai), sounded like the craziest Dick Dale guitar solo of all time played for 15 minutes straight, accompanied by bass guitar and half a dozen pounding drummers, amplified by a homemade portable PA system. But on closer review, it wasn’t a guitar at all – the guy was playing a phin (a 3-stringed Thai lute), a double-necked one at that, customized with Fender pickups and run through a series of effects boxes. One viewer, L.A. music producer Josh Marcy, tracked the musicians down, met them in their Northern Thailand home town, and made a field recording. Now we know the band’s name, what they call their style of music (phin prayuk), and the name of their astounding phin shredder (Beer Sitthichai). And we also have a proper recording of Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band, two short tracks (4 minutes each) and two long ones (12 and 19 minutes) of some of the most mind-melting music you’ll ever hear. It’s no substitute for actually marching alongside them, but it’ll have to do for now. Unique and brilliant.
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