August 30, 2004

Cambodian Cassette Archives Vol.1

Another day, another fantastic Sublime Frequencies release... This time its a compilation of Cambodian pop/rock recorded between the 60's and 90's. And like that other great album in the genre, Cambodian Rocks (see this earlier post), its all sourced from "found" audio cassettes. This time, though, the cassettes come not from Cambodia, but from the Asian branch of the Oakland, California public library. As with the earlier classic, this album contains everything that makes "old school" Khmer pop such a pleasure - driving acid-tinged guitars, sinuous 60's organs, lilting Bollywoodesque chanteuses, and suave crooners... But, in addition to that, we get to hear how elements like ska horn sections and cheesy 80's synths have seeped into post-Khmer-Rouge music. (There's even a stomping glam-rock number by an unknown act. Its one of the highlights of the album, so I'm posting it as the mp3 you can download.)
If you've never heard any Cambodian pop before then this is a good starting point, and you can purchase it from Aquarius Records. If you want to go further, you MUST GET Cambodian Rocks, and check out the wide range of compilations available through specialist online label, Khmer Rocks.

Posted by Warren at August 30, 2004 01:28 AM | World