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Album Review

Molam: Thai Country Groove From Isan Vol. 2 [coll] – [Sublime Frequencies]

Daryl Licht   8/21/2007   CD, International

???Molam – Thai Country Groove From Isan, Vol. 2??? is the second of two new CDs recently issued by Sublime Frequencies featuring authentic archival sounds from Thailand. It focuses on recordings from the 1970???s and 80???s which feature a unique hybrid of traditional Northeastern Thai (the geographic area known as Isan) folk song structures and instrumentation (like the khaen, a bamboo mouth-organ, and the phin, a Thai lute) and modern Western pop and rock influences and instruments. The resultant sound was (and still is!) something entirely new – a mesmerizing blend of organic Asian folk rhythms, hypnotic, bleeding keyboards, repetitive guitar figures, and amazing, jaunty, freestyle vocals. Although the material on this disc is almost uniformly great, several tracks still deserve special note for their transcendent qualities: ???The Generosity Of Our Fans??? by White Leg Group, Chai Mungpon???s ???Lady With the Big Eyes???, ???Two Brothers Leave Town For Bangkok??? from Doi Intanon And Group Suthep, ???Give Responsibility To the Son-in-Law??? from Soonton Chairoogruen (now there???s one in your face rock and roll statement of counter cultural defiance for you, huh?!?), and ???Finishing My Business In Burma??? by Aungkana Kunchai. Perhaps even better than the first volume, these unique and genre-defying tracks represent another great musical discovery from the fine folks at Sublime Frequencies! DL

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