Sunday, February 18, 2024

bang bang

artist: แบง แบง (bang bang)
album: แบง แบง (bang bang)
01. กามเทพ 2002 (kam thep 2002)
02. อิ๊บไว้คนเดียว (ip wai khon diao)
03. เสียดายสตางค์ (sia dai satang)
04. ไม่เจตนา (mai chetana)
05. เลยตามเลย (loei tam loei)
06. ฮอลิเดย์ (holiday)
07. รักไม่รัก (rak mai rak)
08. i love you
09. รักและเสียใจ (rak lae sia chai)
10. สวัสดี (sawatdi)

this week, some forgotten synth-pop from 90's bangkok! the bang bang band comprises models/actors sutthida han-thanom ("jenny"), parichat thawichat ("sai"), sorawit thanathonkit ("matchang"), and rungrat duangkhwan ("pond"). they were assembled in 1994 for the mega music label by producer phoemsak sapmok (who would later found hit boy band the next for r.s. promotion), seemingly inspired by the formula established by frank farian (founder of boney m. and milli vanilli). the songs were drafted by a team of songwriters and crafted by mononymous studio musicians po and prot on guitar and boy on keyboards, with the rest of the programming handled mostly by producer phoemsak. the music itself also bears the influence of aforementioned farian projects, with their signature reggae-disco-pop sound. apparently, mega music lacked the marketing power to promote the group properly, and today there are only a few reminiscences about them online. are they a long-lost bubblegum classic, or a minor thai pop footnote? you decide!

Thursday, February 1, 2024

bualuang chanachai: uai phon isan

artist: บัวหลวง ชนะชัย (bualuang chanachai)
album: อวยพรอิสาน (uai phon isan)
01. อวยพรอิสาน ตอน 1 (uai phon isan, pt. 1)
02. อวยพรอิสาน ตอน 2 (uai phon isan, pt. 2)

this week, an isan blessing from bualuang chanachai! i don't have much info about our reciter other than his role as mokhwan, a specialist in khwan rites. these rituals are performed at important life junctures, such as childbirth, marriage, migration, ordination into the monkhood, and so on. mokhwan are esteemed for their religious knowledge, skilled in both memorization of the chants and improvisation unique to the occasion, and are typically respected, charismatic elders of their community. being that bualuang recorded this album for ratchabut stereo, it seems likely that he was based in the area of ubon ratchathani. if anyone knows more about him, please share!

[please note: there is a bit of distortion to this tape, particularly at the beginning, but most of it is fairly clear]

Monday, January 15, 2024

phuean: thang rak thang kliat

artist: เพื่อน (phuean)
album: ทั้งรักทั้งเกลียด (thang rak thang kliat)
01. ทั้งรักทั้งเกลียด (thang rak thang kliat)
02. สิ่งเดียวสุดท้าย (sing diao sut thai)
03. เหตุใด (het dai)
04. กระดาษใจ (kradat chai)
05. จะจำไว้ (cha cham wai)
06. รู้ทั้งรู้ (ru thang ru)
07. เธอไม่รักทำไมไม่บอก (thoe mai rak thammai mai bok)
08. จริงใจ i love you (ching chai i love you)
09. คน ป.ม. (khon p.m.)
10. เพื่อนฝูง (phuean fung)
11. แบบว่าง่ายๆ (baep wa ngai ngai)
12. รักสักนิด (rak sak nit)

what's better than ringing in the new year with friends?.. the band phuean (friends), that is! phuean were formed in the early '80s at nithithat promotion around an original core of 4 former grand ex' members. these included thanongsak aphonsiri (ed) on piano and sane suppharat (daeng) on trumpet, who stuck around, while a rotating cast of other.. well, friends.. came and went. here those pals include future break-out star vocalist tuangsit riamchinda (kung), plus bunlue opkaeo (pit) on bass, wira chotwichian (tum) on guitar, anuson phatthanakun (daeng) on drums, yongyut phiosuwan (yoi) on saxophone, and udon thapthimto (don) on keyboards. today's 1988 cassette, their fifth album and last before their break-up (although there would be a reunion in 2003), finds them at the top of their game, nailing both the sax-ballads and the pop-rap numbers alike. enjoy!

Saturday, December 30, 2023

phumphuang duangchan: phumphuang lai

artist: พุ่มพวง ดวงจันทร์ (phumphuang duangchan)
album: พุ่มพวงหลาย พ.ศ. (phumphuang lai
01. เงินน่ะมีใหม? (ngoen na mi mai?)
02. ฉันเปล่านา...เขามาเอง (chan plao na... khao ma eng)
03. พี่ไปดู หนูไปด้วย (phi pai du, nu pai duai)
04. หนูไม่เอา (nu mai ao)
05. อะไรจะขนาดนั้น (arai cha khanat nan)
06. สองฝั่งโขง (song fang khong)
07. อีกหน่อยก็ลืม (ik noi ko luem)
08. เท่...ระเบิด (the... raboet)
09. นางสาวยี่ส่าย (nang sao yi sai)
10. พี่จ๋าหนาวไหม (phi cha nao mai)
11. คืนนี้เมื่อปีกลาย (khuen muea pi klai)
12. ขอให้โสดทีเถอะ (kho hai sot thi thoe)
13. ตั๊กแตนผูกโบ (takkataen phuk bow)
14. ทีเด็ดพุ่มพวง (thi det phumphuang)
15. นึกถึงบ้างเน้อ (nuek thueng bang noe)
16. พี่ จ. หลายใจ (phi cho. lai chai)

this week, some later-era hits from the "queen of luk thung": the one-and-only phumphuang duangchan! a native of suphan buri and protégé of waiphot phetsuphan, phumphuang shot to fame with her string of classic albums for azona records throughout the '80s. this 1990 collection, although released under her (then-current) imprint, topline music, actually repackages hits from her "phumphuang '31" and "phumphuang '32" ('88 and '89) albums with musicline. while the production is more computerized than in her earlier days, the arrangements (courtesy of azona holdover anek rungrueang) tie everything together, making for still more iconic luk thung pop.. enjoy!

Sunday, December 3, 2023

fi mue son thong: sabat mai bon sai siang

artist: ฝีมือศรทอง (fi mue son thong)
album: สะบัดไม้บนสายเสียง (sabat mai bon sai siang)
01. แขกมอญบางขุนพรหม (khaek bang khun phrom)
02. ขอมทรงเครื่อง (khom song khrueng)
03. เขมรขาว (khamen khao)
04. ขับไม้-ขับนก (khap mai, khap nok)
05. มอญอ้อยอิ่ง (mon oi ing)
06. มอญดูดาว (mon du dao)
07. มอญรำดาบ (mon ram dap)
08. ปฐมดุสิต (pathom dusit)
09. บังใบ (bang bai)
10. ตลุ่มโปง (talum pong)
11. แขกสาย (khaek sai)
12. ลาวดวงเดือน (lao duang duean)

today, light classical sounds from young winners of the golden arrow prize, sponsored by the luang pradit phairo (son sinlapabanleng) foundation. this 1992 cassette released by hand acme supply co., ltd. features champion players of the khim (hammered dulcimer) from years past, performing together under the name, "the artistry of the golden arrow". the line-up features watsawati ngoenwichit (pim), prasansuk sukphadung (ae), chonticha tocharat (chiap), chalirat tocharat (choi), chalinthon tocharat (june), makhawarat bunyasirot (pao), and mathurin roemrut (klai), along with their teachers chaiyaphon chirachitkoson, atsadawut sakrik, and chaiyaphak phatharachinda accompanying them on percussion (thon, rammana, and ching). enjoy!

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

phongsit khamphi: rao cha klap ma

artist: พงษ์สิทธิ์ คำภีร์ (phongsit khamphi)
album: เราจะกลับมา (rao cha klap ma)
01. แค่นั้น (khae nan)
02. กตัญญู (katanyu)
03. หนุ่มน้อย (num noi)
04. เบื่อ (buea)
05. คนเอย (khon oei)
06. แค่นั้น (khae nan) [backing track]
07. ฝากจดหมาย (fak chotmai)
08. ความเข้มแข็งสุดท้าย (khwam khem khaeng sut thai)
09. เจ้านาย (chao nai)
10. เสือ สิงห์ กระทิง แรด (suea sing krathing raet)
11. เราจะกลับมา (rao cha klap ma)
12. ความเข้มแข็งสุดท้าย (khwam khem khaeng sut thai) [bonus track]

this week, romantic "songs for life" from pu phongsit khamphi! a native of nongkhai, khamphi is a leader of what we might call the 'third wave' of phleng phuea chiwit (if we think of the first wave as comprising the folksy protest groups like caravan, and the second being the more rock-inflected groups like carabao). khamphi combined the harder sounds of the latter with a lighter touch that recalls the former, and moved away from explicitly political lyrics, focusing more on human-interest style storytelling and even somewhat conventional love songs. this album is his sixth, recorded at caravan studios and released on m2 in 1994. enjoy!

[as a side note: i was surprised to see that the liners contain a special dedication to former political prisoner surachai saedan, whom khamphi apparently met while performing in khlong prem central prison. a leader of the communist insurgency and a long-time anti-monarchy activist, surachai disappeared in 2018 and is widely presumed to have been murdered while in exile in neighboring laos, fleeing a lèse-majesté charge]

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

khwanchit siprachan: phleng isaeo

artist: ขวัญจิต ศรีประจันต์ (khwanchit siprachan)
album: เพลงอีแซว (phleng isaeo)
01. อีแซวจะรักใครดี (isaeo cha rak khrai di)
02. อีแซวผัวไทย (isaeo phua thai)
03. อีแซวผัวแขก (isaeo phua khaek)
04. อีแซวผัวนิโกร (isaeo phua negro)
05. อีแซวผัวฝรั่ง (isaeo phua farang)
06. อีแซวผัวเขมร (isaeo phua khmer)
07. อีแซวผัวพม่า (isaeo phua phama)
08. อีแซวผัวจีน (isaeo phua chin)
09. อีแซวรักของพี่ (isaeo rak khong phi)
10. อีแซวขอทานรัก (isaeo kho than rak)
11. อีแซวให้ทานรัก (isaeo hai than rak)
12. อีแซวรักกระปิดรักกระเปิด (isaeo rak krapit rak krapoet)
13. อีแซวความรักไร้เทียมทาน (isaeo khwam rak rai thiam than)
14. อีแซวรักคมเฉือนคม (isaeo rak khom chuean khom)
15. อีแซวรักจริงรักจัง (isaeo rak ching rak chang)
16. อีแซวรักลวงรักหลอก (isaeo rak luang rak lok)

this week, another classic recording of national artist khwanchit siprachan and her troupe preforming phleng isaeo! isaeo, characterized by its swift rhythm and intense wordplay, is a local specialty of central thailand's suphan buri province. the contestants take lighthearted jabs at each other and vie for the most cunning lyrical improvisations over an insistent backbeat. today's cassette includes a long (and quite "politically incorrect") routine detailing khwanchit's experiences with husbands of different ethnicities. i believe she is joined here as usual by her sister khwanchai and their colleagues suchin siprachan and bunchok chanachot. these 4 have trained together since their teens, and their repartee is outstanding.. enjoy! 

Thursday, October 12, 2023

thep thunder: chuea mai la

artist: เทพ ธันเดอร์ (thep thunder)
album: เชื่อไหมล่ะ (chuea mai la)
01. เชื่อไหมล่ะ (chuea mai la)
02. แร๊พแขก (rap khaek)
03. คำโบราณท่านว่า (kham boran than wa)
04. ไอ้เซ่อ...จ๊กมก (ai soe... chok mok)
05. ลาวไม่ธรรมดา (lao mai thammada)
06. ดื่มเบียร์แหย่เมีย (duem beer yae mia)
07. ส้วม (suam)
08. ยาเสพติด (ya sep tit)
09. กินฟรี (kin free)
10. นมโค (nom kho)
11. เสียดายวิชชุดา (sia dai witchuda)
12. นักแม่นรู (nak maen ru)
13. ขี้หิด (khi hit)
14. คนหัวล้าน (khon hua lan)

this week, '90s novelty rap & more from comedian thep pho-ngam! born in roi-et but raised in narathiwat, thep got his start doing live voice-over work for the open-air cinema around hat yai, and later joined the troupe of phloen phromdaen during the luk thung star's comedy-oriented "talking-music" phase. he left the group with fellow comedian den dokpratu to form a duo, before finally founding his own eponymous act with chaeng cho-madan and mum jokmok, with whom he pivoted from live acts to film and television. he also had a music career on the side, under the stage-name "thep thunder", and today's cassette is his 1993 debut with onpa marketing co., ltd. he has by no means left comedy at home, however, with the songs being parodies of international pop hits of the day, including rap/bhangra/dancehall crossovers (mc hammer's "u can't touch this", malkit singh's "gur nalon ishq mitha", dr. alban's "no coke") as well as more established classic rock and new wave tunes (santana, deep purple, the romantics, michael jackson, etc.). does the humour hold up? or the production, for that matter? i'll let you decide.. enjoy!

Monday, September 25, 2023

sonphet sonsuphan: karaoke

artist: ศรเพชร ศรสุพรรณ (sonphet sonsuphan)
album: คาราโอเกะ (karaoke)
01. จดหมายตีกลับ (chot mai ti klap)
02. คอยสาวนา (khoi sao na)
03. รักน้องจังเลย (rak nong chang loei)
04. คนถูกแย่งแฟน (khon thuk yaeng faen)
05. นักโทษรัก (nak thot rak)
06. มนุษย์มนา (manutmana)
07. รอพี่ตีสอง (ro phi ti song)
08. รักน้องเมียเพื่อน (rak nong mia phuean)
09. สอบตกอกหัก (sop tok ok hak)
10. เสียไข่แดง (sia khai daeng)
11. แม่มะลิเลื้อย (mae mali lueai)
12. อดทนคือคนไทย (ot thon khue khon thai)
this week, a technologically notable entry from sonphet sonsuphan (who we sadly lost early this year). sonphet, as you might guess from his stage name, was a native of suphanburi, the central province that gave us so many golden-age luk thung singers. he had a long career, from ramwong dancer in the '60s to an elder statesman of the luk thung revival in the '90s, though since 2010 or so he had been suffering from serious health troubles. this particular cassette features an interesting innovation that i haven't come across before on cassette (though the trick would later show up quite often on vcd): that is, the backing track and vocal/melodic leads are separated out between the left and right channels. so if you want a "minus one" track for your karaoke performance, merely slide the balance knob to one side; if you want a (mostly) a cappella vocal track, slide to the other! as for the music, it has a classic late-'70s/early-'80s full band sound, with synth leads, a nice disco/bump-ramwong feel, and of course sonphet's one-of-a-kind voice sounding as impassioned as ever. enjoy!

Thursday, September 7, 2023

dutduean dara: siang krasip chak kliao khluen

artist: ดุจเดือน ดารา (dutduean dara)
album: เสียงกระซิบจากเกลียวคลื่น (siang krasip chak kliao khluen)
01. บัวแดง (bua daeng)
02. ริมฝั่งน้ำ (rim fang nam)
03. เสียงกระซิบจากเกลียวคลื่น (siang krasip chak kliao khluen)
04. กระซิบสวาท (krasip sawat)
05. ฝนหยาดสุดท้าย (fon yat sut thai)
06. คาวหัวใจ (khao hua chai)
07. รักแรมไกล (rak raem klai)
08. มลทินใจ (monthin chai)
09. ฆ่าฉันให้ตายดีกว่า (kha chan hai tai di kwa)
10. ลุ่มเจ้าพระยา (lum chao phraya)
11. ยากจะหักใจลืม (yak cha hak chai luem)
12. ทะเลร่ำไห้ (thale ram hai)
13. อเวจีแห้งดวงใจ (awechi haeng duang chai)
14. โอ้ทูลกระหม่อม (o thun kramom)

this week, an eclectic outing from star dutduean dara! hailing from khon kaen, dutduean got her start when her uncle, musician prasit chamnanphrai of silver sand, petitioned her parents to let her do a recording with him at azona records. she then moved to bangkok and got a regular spot singing at "papa café" on vibhavadi rangsit road, gaining quite a following. thereafter, she was courted by a number of labels and frequently jumped between them, as well as releasing her own records independently. to me she's one of those artists who straddle the (admittedly often nebulous) boundaries of city and country.. while primarily remembered as a luk thung singer, this record features new takes on classic tunes penned by luk krung (and earlier thai sakon) luminaries like uea sunthonsanan, kaeo atchariyakun and narot thawonbut, sanga aramphi, chali intharawichit, sukhon phonphirun, a. kawi sattakowit, kamon thapkhanlai (as well as the more country-ish phaibun butkhan). also of interest is that the music here has, to my ear, a distinctly "chinese" sound, at least via the instrumentation.. unfortunately, the producer/arranger of the session is not credited. i don't think that any of the melodies are based off chinese originals, but if you know otherwise, please correct me. and most importantly.. enjoy!