This compilation kills. Unknown and Unknown are both killer tracks, but Anon's Unknown is the real star of the show here!
This is sooooo funky and sooooo fun! The weirdness, psych moments, pure funk jamz, and playfulness makes this thing unstoppable!
A collection of Cambodian music recorded between the 1960s and the 1990s, both in Cambodia and in the United States. A truly Khmer blend of folk and pop stylings - Cha-Cha Psychedelia, Phase-shifting Rock, sultry circle dance standards, pulsing Cambodian new wave, haunted ballads, musical comedy sketches, Easy-Listening numbers and raw instrumental grooves presented in an eclectic variety of production techniques. Male and female vocalists share the spotlight, embellished by roller rink organ solos, raunchy guitar leads and MIDI defying synthesizers. Culled from over 150 ageing cassettes found at the Asian Branch of the Oakland Public Library in California, these recordings showcase a pre and post holocaust Cambodian musical lineage that can’t be ignored. -SF
Mark Gergis, the keyboardist of Mono Pause and Neung Phak as well as the compiler of I Remember Syria for Sublime Frequencies, culled this CD’s 20 tracks from cassettes he found in the Asian branch of Oakland, California’s public library. They sound pretty good, especially considering that the tapes were subject to incremental erasing as they were passed repeatedly over the check-out desk’s magnetic eye.
The majority of the tracks were recorded by the mostly nameless musicians who have catered to exiled Cambodians in the decades since the Khmer Rouge rolled into Phnom Penh and set about killing all the musicians, whom (like teachers, artists, and anyone with a college degree) they deemed to be a subversive element. However, six pieces date from before the fall. It’s all pretty effervescent stuff; the tunes are catchy and the arrangements, done up in a succession of cheap imitations of Western pop music styles, range from fuzzbox ‘n’ Farfisa-fueled garage rockers to skinny tie techno-pop.
Most of the record isn’t quite as rocking as Cambodian Rocks, but on the other hand, it isn’t marred by that collection’s revisionist post-hoc overdubs. It imparts its share of double take-inducing parallel universe moments; one unnamed tune’s upfront bass and hazy production sound like it was laid down at Lee Perry’s Black Ark Studio around 1977, another has a guitar break reminiscent of the Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs.” The constant is the highly ornamented singing, which strays far from the instrumental melody line in order to accommodate Khmer’s nasal vowels and elastic consonants; you can be sure that the Sun City Girls’ Alan Bishop copped some of his more uninhibited vocal stylings from Cambodian pop. -Bill Meyer
1. Unknown Artist - Blue Basket 3:52
2. Unknown Artist - Sat Tee Touy (Look At The Owl) Or (Yea Hua Dam) 2:22
3. Unknown Artist - Untitled 3:12
4. Meas Samon - Untitled 2:35
5. Sinn Sisamouth - Don't Let My Girlfriend Tickle Me 2:50
6. Unknown Artist - Instrumental 2:41
7. Son Thoeung - Untitled 3:16
8. Unknown Artist - Srey No (Lady Named NO) 4:30
9. Unknown Artist - Instrumental 1:20
10. Prum Manh - Two Wives Are Twice The Problem 3:09
11. Unknown Artist - Untitled 3:15
12. Unknown Artist - Untitled 2:38
13. Unknown Artist - Blue Basket (Instrumental) 1:20
14. Unknown Artist - Untitled 0:22
15. Melle Rina - Untitled 3:02
16. Unknown Artist - Untitled 2:52
17. Unknown Artist - She Doesn't Need Your Money 3:51
18. Unknown Artist - Untitled 1:46
19. Unknown Artist - Untitled 2:41
20. Choun Vanna - Tho Thea Youm Chlong (Birds Are Singing But My Love Won't Return) 2:30