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Album Review

Cambodian Rocks [coll] – [Parallel World]

Mac   3/5/2005   CD, Format, International

In the mid 60’s the American music scene was invaded by the British. By the late 60’s America was invading Cambodia. Surf, psych, pop, rock, and soul found their way into the country and out came the Cambodian flavored songs on this CD. Mad guitar riffs, catchy melodies, and weird vocals (all the singing is in Cambodian) go beyond mere imitation. Though inspired by the American greats, they manage to find their own sound, and it rivals the best garage bands America had to offer. The various rock sounds merge in ways no Americans explored, and the high pitched female vocals on half the tracks and occasional odd instruments add a truly Cambodian sound. None of the artists are named and no liner notes are given. The tracks were collected from old cassettes (see story on back). Highlights include the covers of Fleetwood Mac’s Black Magic Woman (T5) and Them’s Gloria (T13). Burned forever into my mind is the hilarious imitation of James Brown on T8. In a place with war just across the border and a political coup at home, these musicians found in rock music a way to escape and have some fun. The passion with which they play is reflected in their music, and it can blow you away. Sit back and have a rockin’ good time, courtesy of Cambodia.

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Daniele Procida says

BBC Radio's "From Our Own Correspondent" did a peice on Cambodian rock music (and California's Dengue Fever). The item can be played or read at .

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Anonymous says

???Cambodian Rocks??? Song and Artist List

Track 1: (Jeas Cyclo "Riding a Cyclo" by Yol Aularong)
Track 2: (Chnam oun Dop-Pram Muy "I'm 16" by Ros Sereysothea)
English Lyrics -

This year, I'm 16... This year I'm 16
There are no worries
fa la la la
Life is like flowers,
giving off a nice scent
fa la la la la la la la

This year, I'm 16... This year I'm 16
There are no worries
fa la la la
What is love?
Is it bitter, sour, or sweet?
fa la la la la la la la

Track 3: (Tngai Neas Kyom Yam Sra "Today I Drink Wine" by Ros Sereysothea)
Track 4: (Sou Slarp Kroam Kombut Srey "Rather Die Under the Woman's Sword" by Yol Aularong + Tuk)
Track 5: (Srolanh Srey Touch "I Love Petite Girls" by Sinn Sisamouth)
Track 6: (Rom Jongvak Twist "Dance Twist" by Pan Ron)
Track 7: (Knyom Mun Sok Jet Te "I'm Unsatisfied" by Pan Ron )
Track 8: (Liev Tuk - Rom Sue Sue "Dance Soul Soul")
Track 9: (Jam 10 Kai Thiet "Wait 10 More Months" by Ros Sereysothea)
Track 10: (Jah Bong Ju Aim "Old Sour & Sweet" by Ros Sereysothea)
Track 11: ( Maok Pi Naok ???Where Are You From???? by Sinn Sisamouth + Ros Sereysothea + Pan Ron + Dara Jamchan, composer Voy Ho)
Track 12: (Phneit Oun Mean Evey "What Are Your Eyes Made Of?" by Sinn Sisamouth)
Track 13: (Yuvajon Kouge Jet "Broken Hearted Man" by Yol Aularong )
Track 14: (Jol Dondeung Kone Key "Going to Get Engaged" by Meas Samon, composer Mai Bun)
Track 15: (Kerh Snae Kyoum Thai ???Have You Seen My Boyfriend???? by Ros Sereysothea )
Track 16: (Chnang Jas Bai Chgn-ainj "Old Pot, Tasty Rice" by Ros Sereysothea)
Track 17: (Kone Oksok Nas Pa "We're Very Bored, Dad!" by Ros Sereysothea + Dara Jamchan, composer Voy Ho)
Track 18: (Kom Kung Twer Evey "Don't Be Mad" by Ros Sereysothea)
Track 19: (Penh Jet Thai Bong Mouy "I Like Only You" by Ros Sereysothea)
Track 20: (Sralanh Srey Chnas "I Love Mean Girls" by Pan Ron & In Yeng)
Track 21: (Komlos Teng Bey "Three Gentlemen" by Sinn Sisamouth + Meas Samon, composer Voy Ho)
Track 22: (Retrey Yung Joup Knea "The Night We Met" by Ros Sereysothea)

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