August 27, 2004

Ho! Roady Music From Vietnam

Rummage's love affair with South East Asian pop music continues with this awesome collection of field recordings of street musicians in Ho Chi Minh City, which was released a couple of years ago on Trikont. The recordings were made in 1997 by Nuoc Nam Dirndl, a group of bored Austrian architects whose love of Vietnamese fish sauce inspired them to embark on a guerilla "cultural exchange" programme. The music ranges from schmatzy pop; to bellowed Viet-blues song performed by buskers who carry defects resulting from Agent Orange; to raucous, percussion-heavy funeral bands who sound like "some New-Orleans-Trash-Punk-Free Jazz"; to Shadows and John Lee Hooker-style tracks played on a traditional one-stringed instrument called a Dan Bhu which produces a gloriously other-worldy, theremin-like tremelo. (As diverse as it is, the one thing that all this music has in common is that its dismissed by Vietnamese yuppies as "shit music"... So you know it must be worth a listen!)
The album can be heard in its entirety on the Nuoc Nam Dirndl website (the audio though is in low bit rate Real Audio streams) and can be purchased through Fuse Music Group.

(FOOTNOTE: The yuppies prefer Sting...)

Posted by Warren at August 27, 2004 01:09 AM | World