January 7, 2015

Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band | 21st Century Molam

ARTIST: Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band
TITLE: 21st Century Molam
LABEL: Studio Lam
Chris Menist and Maft Sai are best known for their Thai pop music compilations The Sound Of Siam and Thai? Dai! Now they’ve put together a band to play north-eastern Thai molam music. The combo is fronted by two local virtuosos: Sawai Kaewsombat is on khaen, a giant bamboo mouth organ, and Kammao Perdtanon plays phin, the traditional Thai lute. Phin sounds like twangy surf guitar on many vintage molam songs (and in the wonderful Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band, my favorite new release of 2014); Paradise Bangkok uses it similarly on the invigorating tracks 4 and 10, which could easily be confused with an early Dengue Fever recording. Khaen takes the lead position on 3, with the phin strummed chicken-scratch style a la Shaft and the rhythm section (which includes Menist on percussion) laying down a disco-like groove. And the two instruments play in counterpoint on the slower, funky track 2. Now that the rest of the world knows the glories of 60s and 70s Thai pop, it’s great to have some new bands updating that sound.
TOP TRACKS:    2    3    4    10
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    1    6    11

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