Sunday, October 25, 2009

thai modernized music for dancing, vol. 2

this week's post comes to us courtesy of stuart ellis, proprietor of the amazing radiodiffusion internasionaalwherein he chronicles the global spread of electrified pop music from the 1960s & 70s. he also hosts an fm broadcast edition of the site on radio koug, vancouver.

band: เพิ่ม คล้ายบรรเลง + วงดนตรี สากลผสม มโหรี (phoem khlaibanleng & his international mixed mahori orchestra)
album: แชมป์เท้าไฟ ไทยเดิมประยุกต์ ชุด 2 (thai modernized music for dancing, vol. 2)
01. มอญดูดาว (mon du dao)
02. ลาวลำปาง (lao lampang)
03. พม่ารำวง (phama ramwong)
04. อิเหนา (inao)
05. มอญซ่อนผ้า (mon son pha)
06. ตามองตา (ta mong ta)
07. ลาวชมดง (lao chom dong)
08. บังใบ (bangbai)
09. ลาวคำหอม (lao kham hom)
10. ลาวครวญ (lao khruan)

here's what stuart has to say:

"not too long after i had picked up the first two of the "thai beat a go go" discs, i started searching high and low for "shadow music" - although I had no idea at the time that was what it was called. i immediately fell in love with the wild mix of surf guitar and traditional percussion, resulting in a sound unlike any i had heard before.

this record was the first record from thailand that i ever bought. i was hoping that it would sound like johnny guitar or payong mukda (also known as pocket music / son of p.m.)... but what i got was something much more bizarre. more like xavier cugat goes gamelan. it almost sounds like there are two bands in the studio - one your typical latin-esque jazz band, the other some kind of gamelan orchestra - and they are fighting over who plays what. like some kind of battle of the bands gone horribly awry, yet in all of the right ways.

phoem khlaibanleng & his international mixed mahori orchestra were part of the suntaraphon collective - which was a state sponsored group of artists and musicians. during the vietnam war, the u.s.-backed field marshal thanom kittikachorn encouraged westernization throughout every sector of life. one of these sectors was ballroom dancing - with orchestras supplied by the government public relations department. eventually, due to their popularity, these musicians began performing and recording outside of the state sponsored system and to the top of the charts.

if anyone out there has volume 1, please contact me."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

phon phirom: he chimphali

singer: พร ภิรมย์ (phon phirom)
album: เห่ฉิมพลี (he chimphali)
01. เห่ฉิมพลี (he chimphali)
02. ชมดง (chom dong)
03. รจนา (rotchana)
04. พ่อหม้ายตามเมีย (pho mai tam mia)
05. ชาละวัน (cha la wan)
06. ไกรทอง (kraithong)
07. พรหมบุปผา (phrom buppha)
08. เมียจ๋า (mia cha)
09. รักเดียวใจเดียว (rak dieow chai dieow)
10. พ่อกับแม่ (pho kap mae)
11. ลูกเมือ 25 น. (luk muea 25 n.)
12. แหล่ใจโจร (lae chai chon)
13. ลูกโจรกลับใจ (luk chon klap chai)
14. ไฟบาป (fai bap)
15. ไม้หลักปักเลน (mai lak pak len)
16. เมียจาก (mia chak)

a really great tape this week, one from the magnificent singer & songwriter phon phirom. born into a ลิเก (liké) theatre family in phra nakhon si ayutthaya, phon was from a young age fascinated by the world of thai classical music. growing up, he studied numerous genres of artsong, gaining proficiency in piphat instrumentation, chinese opera & thai theatrical vocal forms. after a number of years with a traveling liké troupe, he was persuaded by famed "chularat" band-leader mongkhon amatayakun to apply his talents on the burgeoning luk thung pop stage. following a series of minor releases, both of his own recordings & tunes he penned for others, phon scored his first hit, "บัวตูมบัวบาน (buatum buaban)" in the year 1960 (พ.ศ. 2503). emboldened by this success, phon set about on a vision of integrating the beloved "pleng thai doem" of his past into contemporary popular music. by employing instruments & rhythms from classical dance & piphat ensemble, as well as florid poetic language & lyrical content derived from thai folktales, phon forged a syncretic musical movement, similar in spirit to the javanese jaipong, and one which became much respected throughout the kingdom. now, the great phon phirom can entertain and delight you as well.. enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

khana nak rong prasan siang chula: bat hua chai

band: คณะนักร้องประสานเสียงจุฬาฯ (khana nak rong prasan siang chula)
album: บาดหัวใจ (bat hua chai)
01. บาดหัวใจ (bat hua chai)
02. คน (khon)
03. หากฉันขาดเธอ (hak chan khat thoe)
04. อยากลืมกลับจำ (yak luem klap cham)
05. รักลึกจมใจ (rak luek chom chai)
06. จากดวงใจ (chak duang chai)
07. ยันยินเยา (yan yin yao)
08. ใครหนอ (khrai no)
09. พิษรัก (phit rak)
10. ตาไร้แวว (ta rai waeo)
11. จนกว่าจะถึงวันนั้น (chon kwacha thueng wan nan)
12. ลาแล้วแก้วตา (la laeo kaeo ta)

here is something different... the songs of สุรพล โทณะวณิก (suraphon thonawanik), as presented by the chorus club of bangkok's chulalongkorn university! songwriter suraphon thonawanik, a ศิลปินแห่งชาติ (silapin haeng chat) or "national artist" of thailand, crafted many of the quintessential nostalgic tunes which epitomize the luk krung genre, and on this tape, students at one of thailand's most prestigious institutes of higher learning filter them through a pronouncedly western sense of harmony. the texture here is very light, just piano & chorus; quite high society!