Monday, August 12, 2019

oichai daen-isan: molam brake taek

artist: อ้อยใจ แดนอีสาน (oichai daen-isan)
album: หมอลำเบรคแตก (molam brake taek)
01. เด็กในโอ (dek nai o)
02. สาววันบ่กล้าเสี่ยง (sao wan bo kla siang)
03. อิสานบ้านเฮา (isan ban hao)
04. ผัวสามสไตล์ (phua sam style)
05. น้ำตาปรี่ที่ญี่ปุ่น (nam ta pri thi yipun)
06. ครูบุญธรรมจำบ่ได้ (khru buntham cham bo dai)
07. สาวดำรำพัน (sao dam ramphan)
08. จีบพี่โก๋ (chip phi ko)
09. แฟนหายใจละห้อย (faen hai chai la hoi)
10. โฉนดหัวใจ (chanot hua chai)
11. มอเตอร์ไซค์ทำแสบ (motorsai tham saep)
12. คิดถึงทุ่งลุยลาย (khit thueng thung lui lai)
13. อยู่ก็เสียใจไปดีกว่า (yu ko sia chai pai di kwa)

this week, the first from our batch of recent acquisitions: we've got oichai daen-isan with a set of non-stop molam-luk thung! oichai is from chaiyaphum, the daughter of very poor itinerant peddlers, and had little formal schooling. her love of singing, however, brought her family advantage; as they traveled from town to town selling charcoal, oichai would sing songs to attract customers. after her father's death, she struck off on her own and lived a turbulent young life, sneaking to bangkok with a singing group who cast her out, cutting her hair short to avoid harassment in the slums, further disguising herself as a boy to live on temple grounds, and generally hustling to get by in the city as a dishwasher, street vendor, and finally nightclub singer. at last she met narong rotcharoen, president of topline diamond. although she considered herself a luk thung singer, the label saw potential for her in the modern molam scene, and particularly their brake taek or "brake failure" style, marked by continuous medley-type sets. achan num phuthai was brought in to lead the band, and the album was a best-seller. according to oichai, though, so many people were involved in the recording that no one made much money off it individually, and her follow-ups failed to repeat its success. she lost interest in a musical career as a main income, and went back to food service1. today, you can find her selling yam naem (crispy rice salad) from a street stall in the bangkok suburbs, although she still performs occasionally as a singer. enjoy!


Monday, August 5, 2019

khana samakkhi siang tham: thet lae prayuk rueang "phu hak kin nang, phu sang kin kraduk"

artist(s): คณะ สามัคคีเสียงธรรม (khana samakkhi siang tham)
album: เทศน์แหล่ประยุกต์ เรื่อง ผู้ฮักกินหนัง ผู้ซังกินกระดูก (thet lae prayuk rueang "phu hak kin nang, phu sang kin kraduk")
01. ผู้ฮักกินหนัง ผู้ซังกินกระดูก ม้วน 1 ตอน 1 (phu hak kin nang, phu sang kin kraduk, vol. 1, pt. 1)
02. ผู้ฮักกินหนัง ผู้ซังกินกระดูก ม้วน 1 ตอน 2 (phu hak kin nang, phu sang kin kraduk, vol. 1, pt. 2)
03. ผู้ฮักกินหนัง ผู้ซังกินกระดูก ม้วน 2 ตอน 1 (phu hak kin nang, phu sang kin kraduk, vol. 2, pt. 1)
04. ผู้ฮักกินหนัง ผู้ซังกินกระดูก ม้วน 2 ตอน 2 (phu hak kin nang, phu sang kin kraduk, vol. 2, pt. 2)

last month i was lucky enough to attend the annual candle festival in ubon ratchathani, a spectacular event based around the parading of huge, elaborately decorated candles which takes place at the beginning of buddhist lent (and is depicted on this cassette's cover art). while i got a handful of excellent tapes while i was there, this one was actually a gift of a year or two back from my friend alexandra, who picked it up at the amazing ratchabut stereo in ubon (a site i was also lucky enough to revisit!). the recording (spanning a 2-tape set) is of thet lae isan, a melodic and expressive form of sermonizing that is composed in klon (the same poetic form used by molam). the group samakkhi siang tham is made up of phra khru thongsuk satchawaro, ketkaeo sangwuttho and bunma warathammo, and the content is based on a famous local folktale. i'm not sure whether or not it bears any specific connection to the candle festival, so if you know please comment.. in the meantime, enjoy!


Monday, July 29, 2019

phleng ha tha cha bong

artist: unknown
album: เพลงฮาท่าจะบองส์ (phleng ha tha cha bong)
01. ดีดไข่ (dit khai)
02. ลูกเวร (luk wen)
03. มหาจวน (maha chuan)
04. เมดอินไทกอ (made in 'thai ko')
05. บัวลอยไข่หวาน (bua loi khai wan)
06. สองเฒ่าสะท้านฟ้า (song thao sathan fa)
07. ราชาเท้าแชร์ (racha thao 'share')
08. นวลนางสกปรก (nuan nang sokkaprok)
09. ขอลาที (kho la thi)
10. หำเหลือน้อย (ham luea noi)

back from thailand with a decent haul of music to share in the coming weeks and months! but first i have a few pending posts to catch up, including this strange entry that arrived by mail from sam of the (now sadly defunct) archive of southeast asian music! no information is given about the artists, though we are informed as to the purpose of the project ("for the public good") and the intended beneficiaries ("for the benefit of the foundation for the welfare of the mentally retarded of thailand"). there's also a special thank you to the members of carabao, which makes sense after a listen.. the cassette is a (rather silly) track-by-track parody of the group's classic 1984 album made in thailand. i'm not familiar enough with the 1980 film the gods must be crazy to know whether this cassette's movie-inspired cover bears any connection to the lyrics, but it doesn't seem to. quite an odd object, hope you enjoy!


Thursday, June 27, 2019

anong sithaiphan & bunchu thongchuea: piphat (rong) lao krathop mai

artist: อนงค์ ศรีไทยพันธุ์ + บุญชู ทองเชื้อ (anong sithaiphan & bunchu thongchuea)
album: ปี่พาทย์ (ร้อง) ลาวกระทบไม้ (piphat (rong) lao krathop mai)
01. ลาวกระทบไม้ (lao krathop mai)
sung by อนงค์ ศรีไทยพันธุ์ (anong sithaiphan)
02. ลาวเสี่ยงเทียน (lao siang thian)
sung by อนงค์ ศรีไทยพันธุ์ (anong sithaiphan)
03. ลาวดวงดอกไม้ (lao duang dok mai)
sung by บุญชู ทองเชื้อ (bunchu thongchuea)
04. แขกสาหร่าย (khaek sarai)
sung by บุญชู ทองเชื้อ (bunchu thongchuea)
05. ฟ้อนม่าน (มุ่ยเซียงตา) (fon man (mui siang ta))
sung by อนงค์ ศรีไทยพันธุ์ (anong sithaiphan)
06. ฟ้อนเงี้ยว (fon ngiao)
sung by บุญชู ทองเชื้อ (bunchu thongchuea)

this week's cassette is part of a generous bequest gifted to us by educator cliff sloane, a former professor of ethnomusicology and founder of, a major influence behind this blog.

this week, some fantastic vocal-piphat music! our singers are two luminaries of the classical music scene in the thai capitol: bunchu, daughter of master krachang thongchuea, has sung with many of the foremost piphat groups of recent times. anong is also the daughter of a famed musician, chamnian sithaiphan, and is known for her work with a great many bangkok-based ensembles including the government public relations department orchestra. with their illustrious, varied careers and lack of attribution on the packaging, i unfortunately can't tell you much about the instrumentalists here today, other than that they are great.. so, enjoy!


Monday, May 13, 2019

phonsak songsaeng: toei sao chan kang kop

artist: พรศักดิ์ ส่องแสง (phonsak songsaeng)
album: เต้ยสาวจันทร์กั้งโกบ (toei sao chan kang kop)
01. เต้ยสาวจันทร์กั้งโกบ (toei sao chan kang kop)
02. เต้ยแล้วแต่วาสนา (toei laeo tae watsana)
03. เต้ยหนาวนี้พี่ตายแน่ (toei nao ni phi tai nae)
04. เต้ยมันสะเด็ดยาด (toei man sadet yat)
05. เต้ยเสียวไส้ (toei siao sai)
06. เต้ยหนุ่มนาลาแฟน (toei num na la faen)
07. เต้ยหัวอกสิบล้อ (toei hua ok sip lo)
08. เต้ยถึงบ้าก็น่ารัก (toei thueng ba ko na rak)
09. เต้ยสวรรค์บ้านนา (toei sawan ban na)
10. เต้ยนัดแต่งปีหน้า (toei nat taeng pi na)
11. เต้ยสาวบางกอก (toei sao bangkok)
12. เต้ยแดงจ๋าพี่มาแล้ว (toei daeng cha phi ma laeo)

a real treat for everyone this week: a classic cassette from one of my personal favorite molam-luk thung stars.. mr. phonsak songsaeng! hailing from a farming family in udon thani, phonsak left school after grade 4 to help his parents in the field. after a short gig as a boxer, he formed his first band, champ isan, in 1981 at age 21. from his first album forward he enjoyed a string of huge hits, the most enduring of which leads off this 1986 album on siang siam's kritsanathep imprint.

note: this album was gifted to me with a mismatched cassette in the case, so i'm offering a compact disc rip in its place.. apologies for any resulting increase in fidelity!


Monday, May 6, 2019

sao-sao-sao: ruam phleng rak yot hit

artist: สาว-สาว-สาว (sao-sao-sao)
album: รวมเพลงรักยอดฮิต (ruam phleng rak yot hit)
01. อยากลืม (yak luem)
02. ไม่มีเธอ (mai mi thoe)
03. คำสัญญา (kham sanya)
04. ยามไกล (yam klai)
05. ภาพฝัน (phap fan)
06. ขอเพียงสัญญา (kho phiang sanya)
07. ด้วยแรงแห่งรัก (duai raeng haeng rak)
08. ฟ้ากว้างทางไกล (fa kwang thang klai)
09. ไม่มีใครร้องไห้กับเรา (mai mi khrai rong hai kap rao)
10. ทุ่งอ้อ (thung o)
11. เพียงเพราะว่า (phiang phro wa)
12. รักต่างแดน (rak tang daen)
13. มิอาจรัก (mi at rak)
14. คลื่นเสน่หา (khluen saneha)
15. เพียงความทรงจำ (phiang khwam song cham)
16. จุดหมายปลายทาง (chut mai plai thang)
17. รักสำคัญที่ใจ (rak samkhan thi chai)

apologies for a long delay! after vacations, hard drives crashes, etc., we're back.. and that trip to seattle happened to yield today's surprise, courtesy of everyday music's 25 cent bin: sao-sao-sao! as their band name implies ("girl-girl-girl"), we'll be hearing from a "girl-group".. in fact, thailand's first! members orawan yenphunsuk (pum), saowalak lilabut (amp), and phatcharida watthana (maem) came together as an act with the rot fai dontri (music train) record label in 1981, under the coordination of prasoet phongthananikon. this cassette is a collection of their love songs (read: tearjerkers), as opposed to their more popular dance-oriented numbers. enjoy!

Monday, March 25, 2019

khamron sambunnanon: khon ba kancha

artist: คำรณ สัมบุญณานนท์ (khamron sambunnanon)
album: คนบ้ากัญชา (khon ba kancha)
01. มนต์การเมือง (mon kan mueang)
02. คนแก่โลก (khon kae lok)
03. ชีวิตคำรณ (chiwit khamron)
04. ขวานทองของไทย (khwan thong khong thai)
05. ไอ้ทุยแถลงการณ์ (ai thui thalaeng kan)
06. คนบ้ากัญชา (khon ba kancha)
07. กระท่อมกัญชา (krathom kancha)
08. ชีวิตครู (chiwit khru)
09. หนุ่มเหนือแอ่วนาง (num nuea aeo nang)
10. น้ำตาเสือตก (nam ta suea tok)

this week's cassette is part of a generous bequest gifted to us by educator cliff sloane, a former professor of ethnomusicology and founder of, a major influence behind this blog.

today, we'll hear from mr. khamron sambunnanon, singing songs of crooked politicians and ganja madmen! hailing from bangkok's chinatown, khamron sang what were called at the time phleng talat ("market songs"), as his lyrics were among the earliest examples of thai pop music to feature tales of common people; farmers, day laborers, and even more marginal figures like gamblers, vagrants, outlaws and drug addicts. because of this, khamron is considered by many to be the very first singer of luk thung, and many of the great luk thung stars of the 60s and 70s fondly recall singing along to khamron's songs during their formative years. this album, from the bangkok cassette co., ltd. (currently existing as maemaiplengthai), contains several songs that i've shared before on various collections over the years, but once again shouldn't hurt.. enjoy!


Monday, March 4, 2019

khon dan kwian: ai khong

artist: คนด่านเกวียน (khon dan kwian)
album: ไอ้โข่ง (ai khong)
01. ล้างลิ้นคอยเลีย (lang lin khoi lia)
02. ไอ้โข่ง (ai khong)
03. มะหน่อ (mano)
04. นางแบบ (nang baep)
05. ถังแตก (thang taek)
06. ลอยลมบน (loi lom bon)
07. หำน้อย (ham noi)
08. ข่าวเก่า (khao kao)
09. คนขายไข่ (khon khai khai)
10. คนด่านเกวียน (khon dan kwian)

this week, some classic thai rock music, courtesy of the khon dan kwian band! fronted by "siphueak" isara anantathat, a native of bueng kan, khon dan kwian were among the first wave of prominent phuea chiwit groups. phuea chiwit or "songs for life" is a genre of (usually) politically engaged popular music, with roots in thailand's 70s protest movement and a musical grounding in anglo/american folk-rock from bob dylan to traffic. siphueak, a veteran of the 14 october 1973 popular uprising and the communist party of thailand, founded the band in 1983 and together with the legendary carabao helped bring phuea chiwit music to the mainstream, blending their international folk-rock origins with luk thung's latin dance rhythms and indigenous melodies. this cassette features their fourth album from 1987. enjoy!


Monday, February 11, 2019

a. thonghuat faithet: diao.. so chut... lam san lam sing maha man

artist: อ. ทองฮวด ฝ่ายเทศ (a. thonghuat faithet)
album: เดี่ยว.. ซอ ชุด... ลำสั้นลำซิ่งมหามันส์ (diao.. so chut... lam san lam sing maha man)
01. ลำสั้นลำซิ่งมหามันส์ (lam san lam sing maha man)
02. บักสองสาว (bak song sao)
03. ผีแถน (phi thaen)
04. สาวขอนแก่น (sao khon kaen)
05. ลมพัดพร้าวสาวภูพาน (lom phat phrao sao phu phan)
06. รำแคน (ram khaen)
07. ซอเขมร (so khmer)
08. แห่ปราสาทผึ้ง (hae prasat phueng)
09. งิ้วต่องต้อน (ngio tong ton)
10. ไทยเดิมผสม (thai doem phasom)
11. ซอ..ลาอาลัย (so.. la alai)

this week, the famous northeast fiddle sound of thonghuat faithet! hailing from mahasarakham province, thonghuat left school at the age of 14 to train under somphon naksiso, or "mo so", a master of the northeastern so fiddle in the employ of the pathumrat mahori orchestra of roi-et. thonghuat developed a uniquely expressive style, imparting a voice-like quality to his playing that was said to make the intrument "laugh" or "cry". he became a sought-after studio musician (particularly for the label uea ari) appearing on tracks with luk thung singers and molam alike and recording many of the most iconic fiddle lines in thai popular music1.

for more information on achan thonghuat, check out the compilation diew sor isan from zudrangma and em records, with liner notes by chris menist!


Thursday, January 17, 2019

prathuam sukhothai: lae rueang phra chao achattasattru

artist: ประทวน สุโขทัย (prathuam sukhothai)
album: แหล่ เรื่อง พระเจ้าอชาตศัตรู (lae rueang phra chao achattasattru)
01. แหล่ เรื่อง พระเจ้าอชาตศัตรู ตอน 1 (lae rueang phra chao achattasattru, vol. 1)
02. แหล่ เรื่อง พระเจ้าอชาตศัตรู ตอน 2 (lae rueang phra chao achattasattru, vol. 2)

in the hopes that everyone will pardon a long holiday break, we're back today with a personal favorite of mine: fantastic lae from prathuam sukhothai! this one is a bit unique in my collection: i've heard plenty of completely unadorned lae, and plenty of pop-lae (à la waiphot phetsuphan), but i haven't heard much of this particular style; with a half-sung/half-chanted vocal line and piphat backing. the text, written by achan khaemthong, concerns the story from the samaññaphala sutta of king achattasattru (ajatashatru), an early buddhist convert. no biographical info about mr. prathuam was forthcoming, so if you have any please share! in the meantime.. enjoy!