Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Roughly ten or fifteen years ago, a friend of mine sent me a mix, without a note or any explanation. She had written "Cambodia Rocks" on it, but there was no song listing. I had no clue why it was sent to me, and although I had more than a passing interest in international music, we were always so damn busy talking about rock 'n' roll and other Western music that I don't think we ever got there. So, having received this tape, I was intrigued. Then, I played it. Holy. Fucking. Shit. What a racket. I was not prepared to hear this wild exotic strain of music. I didn't even know it existed. My mind was sufficiently blown, and still is at the thought that my friend had me so pegged, with a music wholly unfamiliar to me. There are many similar compilations nowadays, but this one was the first I'd heard, and it came from left field. There was something mysterious about it too, the story behind it was nowhere to be found, not even a song listing. Even when it was circulating a second time there was squat in the way of details.It wouldn't be until 2007 that a song listing would appear over at Beware of the Blog. You will dig this: the post is still there with the song listings, the story behind it, mp3s of every song, and other links to further digging. It's fucking Candyland over there.

Tonights distraction began with this trailer for the documentary Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll. There's a link to an article about it below..

Dig that first one below, "Rom Sue Sue" ("Dance Soul Soul") by Liev Tuk, a totally whacked out vocal version of Booker T and the MGs'  "Hip Hug Her". You gotta hear it. Definitely stick around for the guitar solo, followed a drum solo, both of similar skill levels, that is to say, beyond good or bad; weird, particularly with all of the grunting and carrying on. That it ends with canned applause is just the icing on the cake.

Liev Tuk - Rom Sue Sue (Dance Soul Soul) mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Sinn Sisamouth - Srolanh Srey Touch (I Love Petite Girl) mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Ros Sereysothea - Penh Jet Thai Bong Mouy (I Like Only You) mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Cambodia Rocks - 22 individual songs and background info at Beware of the Blog
Long-awaited film tells the tale of Cambodia’s musical ‘golden age’ at The Phnom Penh Post

No comments: