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!

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

phirasak baye: liké khiao phet chao sane rueang bap phayabat

artist: พีระศักดิ์ บาเย (phirasak baye)
album: ลิเกเขี้ยวเพชรเจ้าเสน่ห์ เรื่อง บาปพยาบาท (liké khiao phet chao sane rueang bap phayabat)
01. ลิเกเขี้ยวเพชรเจ้าเสน่ห์ เรื่อง บาปพยาบาท ตอน 1 (liké khiao phet chao sane rueang bap phayabat, pt. 1)
02. ลิเกเขี้ยวเพชรเจ้าเสน่ห์ เรื่อง บาปพยาบาท ตอน 2 (liké khiao phet chao sane rueang bap phayabat, pt. 2)

this week, some great street theatre music from liké khana phirasak baye! based, i believe, out of ban pong, ratchaburi, phirasak and his players have been big names in liké for many decades. phirasak himself has appeared on the thai silver screen, and well-known comedian siban super-joke got his start in the troupe. this recording, originally made for silver stereo (though here branded super star), features the play "bap phayabat (sin of vengeance)", and is classic for the style: the acting is flamboyant, and both the singing and piphat backing are on-point. unfortunately this is just tape one of a set, but at least we get to hear the rousing ok khaek intro portion, and nearly an hour of performance. maybe one day i'll track down the rest.. in the meantime, enjoy!

Thursday, July 27, 2023

tonchabap 1

artist: various
album: ต้นฉบับ 1 (tonchabap 1)
01. ยากยิ่งนัก (yak ying nak)
performed by ชาตรี (chatri)
02. ดั่งเม็ดทราย (dang met sai)
performed by สุชาติ ชวางกูร (suchat chawangkun)
03. รักครั้งแรก (rak khrang raek)
performed by ชาตรี (chatri)
04. ใจรัก (chai rak)
performed by สุชาติ ชวางกูร (suchat chawangkun)
05. ลองรัก (long rak)
performed by จันทนีย์ อูนากูล (chanthani unakun)
06. น้ำเซาะทราย (nam so sai)
performed by จำรัส เศวตาภรณ์ (chamrat sewataphon)
07. เหมันต์ที่ผ่านพ้นไป (heman thi phan phon pai)
performed by สุชาติ ชวางกูร (suchat chawangkun)
08. ลมลวง (lom luang)
performed by ธีระศักดิ์ อัจจิมานนท์ (thirasak atchimanon)
09. รักฉันนั้นเพื่อเธอ (rak chan nan phuea thoe)
performed by พิงค์แพนเตอร์ (pink panther)
10. เดือนเพ็ญ (duean phen)
performed by คาราวาน (caravan)

this week, a great label sampler of early 80's bangkok sounds courtesy e.m.i. music (thailand) co., ltd., a local branch of the british transnational conglomerate. this compilation brings together a mix of their offerings from the first half of the decade, with an emphasis on soft-rock and a.o.r. sounds, whether from pop groups like chatri and pink panther, phuea chiwit veterans caravan, or solo artists like singer-actor suchat chawangkun, singer-songwriter chanthani unakun, grand ex' alum chamrat sewataphon and relative-unknown folkie thirasak atchimanon. enjoy!

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

oi atchara: talap thong suntharaphon vol. 37 "kunchae chai"

artist: อ้อย อัจฉรา (oi atchara)
album: ตลับทองสุนทราภรณ์ ชุดที่ ๓๗ "กุญแจใจ" (talap thong suntharaphon vol. 37 "kunchae chai")
01. กุญแจใจ (kunchae chai)
02. ที่รักขา (thi rak kha)
03. ประมูลใจ (pramun chai)
04. ป่าช้าใจ (pa cha chai)
05. รอดูใจ (ro du chai)
06. นึกฝัน (nuek fan)
07. เวียนตามกรรม (wian tam kam)
08. มิใช่ดอกฟ้า (mi chai dok fa)
09. ดวงฤทัยเป็นบ้า (duang ruethai pen ba)
10. ใครลิขิต (khrai likhit)
11. รักจ๋า (rak cha)
12. น้ำใจเจ้าแต้ม (nam chai chao taem)
13. สวัสดีบางกอก (sawatdi bangkok)
14. อย่าเกลียดบางกอก (ya kliat bangkok)
sung by ม.ร.ว. ถนัดศรี สวัสดิวัตน์ (m.r. thanatsi sawatdiwat)
15. ราตรีสวาท (ratri sawat)
with วินัย จุลละบุษปะ (winai chunlabutsapa)
16. อ้อยใจ (oi chai)
with เอื้อ สุนทรสนาน (uea sunthonsanan)
this week, luk krung classics from oi atchara! oi seems to be one of the more obscure singers in the suntharaphon orbit, despite some very memorable hits; she joined during group's middle period, part of khru kaeo atchariyakun's "stars of tomorrow" project in the late '50s, along with maritsa amatayakun and butsaya rangsi1, but aside from that i couldn't find a lot of biographical information. she has been out of the music industry for a long time, with word online being that she may live with her daughter in las vegas, nevada in the u.s.a. this collection from metro records features most (maybe all?) of her solo recordings with suntharaporn, plus duets with winai chunlabutsapa and bandleader uea sunthonsanan, and a response song to her biggest hit, sung by m.r. thanatsi sawatdiwat. enjoy! 

Saturday, June 24, 2023

fruity: yak bok rak

artist: ฟรุ๊ตตี้ (fruity)
album: อยากบอกรัก (yak bok rak)
01. อยากบอกรัก (yak bok rak)
02. นิยายรักขาดตอน (niyai rak khat ton)
03. สายเกินไป (say koen pai)
04. ขอเพียงเข้าใจ (kho phiang khao chai)
05. ลืมหมดแล้ว (luem mot laeo)
06. พบกันครึ่งทาง (phop kan khrueng thang)
07. ฉันรู้ดี (chan ru di)
08. โปรดรับรู้ (prot rap ru)
09. ทั้งๆ ยังรัก (thang thang yang rak)
10. ใครสักคน (khrai sak khon)
11. เกย์ (gay)
12. นิยายรักขาดตอน [บรรเลง] (niyai rak khat ton [instrumental])

this week, premiere '80s pop-rock duo, fruity! part of the initial roster of r.s. promotion, fruity were initially marketed as an 8-piece combo, but gradually charged configuration, with co-lead vocalists chomphu sutthiphong wattanachang (who also played guitar) and ping somphon pridamanot (who also played bass) becoming the faces of the group. chomphu and ping were notable for their bending of traditional gender roles, with their album art often featuring the two in slightly homo-erotic poses. track 11 describes the ways their "effeminate" behaviour often leads to them being misconstrued as gay (special thanks to my friend jogue for helping me with the context on this!). our cassette today is their 5th, from 1987, with guitar- and synth-driven selections running the gamut from throwback rock'n'roll tracks to ballads and power-pop. enjoy!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

khlai arom kap wong dontri yot niyom tang tang

artist: various
album: คลายอารมณ์ กับ วงดนตรี ยอดนิยมต่างๆ (khlai arom kap wong dontri yot niyom tang tang)
01. รักเอย (rak oei)
02. ตาแสนกลม / เพลิน (ta saeng klom / phloen)
03. กราวกีฬา (krao kila)
04. งามแสงเดือน (ngam saeng duean)
05. นกเขาขะแมร์ (nok khao khmer)
06. สร้อยแสงแดง (soi saeng daeng)
07. ราตรีประดับดาว (ratri pradap dao)
08. สายทิพย์ (sai thip)
09. บุพเพสันนิวาส (bupphesanniwat)
10. หยดหนึ่งของการเวลา (yot nueng khong kan wela)
11. รักเมืองไทย (rak mueang thai)
12. เพียงคำเดียว (phiang kham diao)
13. นางฟ้าจำแลง (nang fa cham laeng)
14. ค่ำแล้ว (kham laeo)
15. ที่รักฉันคอยเธอ (thi rak chan khoi thoe)
16. แม้พี่จะขี้เมา (mae phi cha khi mao)
17. น้ำตาฟ้า (nam ta fa)

1-3 performed by วงดนตรี คีตะวัฒน์ (wong dontri khitawat)
4-7 performed by วงดนตรี วราห์ วรเวช (wong dontri wara worawet)
8-10, 15 performed by วงดนตรี ศรีกรุง (wong dontri si krung)
11-13 performed by วงดนตรี กังวาล ชลกุล (wong dontri kangwan chonlakun)
14 performed by วงดนตรี สง่า ทองธัช (wong dontri sa-nga thongthat)
16-17 performed by วงดนตรี รวมมิตร (wong dontri ruam mit)

this week, easy listening from mid-century bangkok's best orchestras! featuring a roster of groups in the mold of the government public relations department band (suntharaphon) who had cut their teeth backing the star singers of luk krung, these recordings are later efforts greatly influenced by american ensembles such as stan kenton's "artistry in rhythm" and "progressive jazz"1, and likewise reflect the afro-cuban influence behind those works. some selections are instrumental versions of luk krung hits, some are prayuk-style thai classical compositions, and others are original pieces. expect "wall of sound"-style production, big brass, and dense latin percussion.. enjoy!

[i must warn you, also, the compilers of this collection have gotten over-ambitious again, and the first side tails out before track 7 is finished]

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

hongthong dao-udon: hongthong khanong lam

artist: หงษ์ทอง ดาวอุดร (hongthong dao-udon)
album: หงษ์ทองคนองลำ (hongthong khanong lam)
01. หงษ์ทองคนองลำ (hongthong khanong lam)
02. หงษ์ทองตามแฟน (hongthong tam faen)
03. หงษ์ทองลำเพลิน (hongthong lam phloen)
04. หงษ์ทองรอคู่ (hongthong ro khu)
05. ลำรอรักจากซาอุดีฯ (lam ro rak chak saudi)
06. ตีกลองน้ำลำเพลิน (ti klong nam lam phloen)
07. ซึ้งเสียงแคน (sueng siang khaen)
08. ผู้ชายหลายบ้าน (phu chai lai ban)
09. บ่มีพี่ที่อีสาน (bo mi phi thi isan)
10. รักติ๋มแน่หรือ (rak tim nae rue)
11. กลัวใจไม่จริง (klua chai mai ching)
12. น้องนางบ้านนา (nong nang ban na)
13. อยู่ที่ความพอใจ (yu thi khwam pho chai)
14. ขวัญใจคนเลว (khwan chai khon leo)
15. บั๊มพ์ลำเพลิน (bump lam phloen)
16. เร่รักลำเพลิน (re rak lam phloen)

this week, an upgrade (in lieu of a re-upload request) for a molam-luk thung classic! hongthong dao-udon, as her stage-name suggests, hails from isan's udon thani province. a star of local temple fairs since childhood, she was picked up by luk thung star siphrai chaiphra to join his troupe in bangkok at age 10. she had a number of hits penned by songwriter doi inthanon, toured extensively throughout the country, and even landed some film roles. in the 90's, however, she tragically lost her voice after a thyroid operation. since then, she had been working steadily at regaining it, hosting a popular radio show in her home town meanwhile. unfortunately, following the red shirt protests in 2010, hongthong spent time in prison after being found guilty of incitement to riot through her radio platform. she's long since out, but has effectively retired from the music industry. this cassette features her biggest hits from the late 70s, in lam phloen and luk thung style, with heavy funk and disco influences and brilliant vocal performances. enjoy!

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

wara worawet: khrueng sai thai banleng, vol. 2

artist: วราห์ วรเวช / วงเครื่องสาย คณะ วัชรบรรเลง (wara worawet & wong khrueang sai khana watcharabanleng)
album: เครื่องสายไทย บรรเลง ชุดที่ ๒ (khrueng sai thai banleng, vol. 2)
01. ลาวดวงดอกไม้ ; แม่แล้ลำปาง (lao duang dok mai ; mae lae lampang)
02 . ตับ วิวาห์พระสมุทร (คลื่นกระทบฝั่ง ; บังใบ ; แขกสาหร่าย) (tap wiwa phra samut (klueng krathop fang ; bang bai ; khaek sarai))
03. ตับ ขอมดำดิน (เขมรพระประทุม ; เขมรเขาเขียว ; เขมรเป่าใบไม้ ; เขมรเอวบาง) (tap khom dam din (khmer phra prathum ; khmer khao khiao ; khmer pao pai mai ; khmer aeo bang))
04. เพลงประจำคณะวัชรบรรเลง (phleng pracham khana watcharabanleng)
05. น้ำลอดใต้ทราย เถา (nam lot tai sai, thao)
06. ลาวสวยรวย เถา (lao suai ruai, thao)
07. เพลงประจำคณะวัชรบรรเลง (phleng pracham khana watcharabanleng)

5, 6 sung by ยุพา วัชรนาค (yupha watcharanak)

this week, we'll hear our third entry from wara worawet! a physician by profession (graduating from the university of pennsylvania in 1961), mr. wara was also a prolific songwriter (having a number of luk krung and thai sakon-style hits to his name), as well as a leader of the musical association of thailand under patronage of his majesty the king. on this cassette, he tries his hand at the prayuk movement, a trend of "modernizing" thai classical music to appeal to an increasingly globally-minded local audience. in particular, this recording features a khrueang sai phasom or "combined string" ensemble, conducted by suwit bowonwatthana, which i believe features so u and so duang (fiddles), khlui (flute), and percussion plus the cosmopolitan additions of harmonium, khim (chinese-style dulcimer), and violins. the repertoire is mostly popular classical pieces, with a few original compositions. the first side features a pair of interesting medley-style suites on the themes of the ocean (2) and cambodia (3), respectively. the second side includes 2 vocal pieces in thao form featuring singer yupha watcharanak. enjoy!

Monday, April 24, 2023

arisman: khwam mai khong phu chai khon nueng

artist: อริสมันต์ (arisman)
album: ความหมายของผู้ชายคนหนึ่ง (khwam mai khong phu chai khon nueng)
01. ไม่เจียม (mai chiam)
02. เธอลำเอียง (thoe lam iang)
03. จริงใจ (ching chai)
04. หัวงใจเด็กเด็ก (huang chai dek dek)
05. ครึ่งทางใจ (khrueng thang chai)
06. เชื่อซิ (chuea si)
07. จากกันด้วยดี (chak kan duai di)
08. รอยยิ้มและเสียงเพลง (roi yim lae siang phleng)
09. ของใหม่ (khong mai)
10. อย่าทนง (ya thanong)

this week, bangkok-style soft-rock from arisman phongrueangrong! born in ratchaburi to parents of chinese and indian descent who were involved in the local liké theatre scene, arisman first moved to bangkok for higher education. he recorded this, his 1989 debut, while working as a vendor at discount clothing stalls around the capitol. produced for r.s. promotion and with music by guitar-ballad maestro itthi phalangkun, the album was a huge hit. his style was considered very unique at the time for his hazy vocals and moody, romantic lyrics. the two made a series of successful records together, before arisman made a move first towards acting and later into politics. in the latter field, he's perhaps best remembered for his participation in the united front for democracy against dictatorship (the red shirts), during which he was arrested several times. he was accused of being one of the movement's "hard-core" leaders, advocating violent means of protest, and was speculated to have fled to neighbouring cambodia. but back to the music: let's enjoy the sweet, late-80s city sounds of arisman!

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

naowarat phongphaibun & suchit wongthet: karaket, vol. 1: phong khao ta

artist: เนาวรัตน์ พงษ์ไพบูลย์ + สุจิตต์ วงษ์เทศ (naowarat phongphaibun & suchit wongthet)
album: การะเกด ชุดที่ ๑ ผงเข้าตา (karaket, vol. 1: phong khao ta)
01. การะเกด (karaket)
02. ชาวนาฮาเฮ (chao na ha he)
03. คนทำนา (khon tham na)
04. ตากับยาย (ta kap yai)
05. วัวควายที่ไม่ได้ไถนา (wua khwai thi mai dai thai na)
06. จันทร์เจ้าขา (chan chao kha)
07. หนทางแห่งหอยทาก (hon thang haeng haeng hoi thak)
08. เจ้านกกางเขน (chao nok kangkhen)
09. ใครคือครู (khrai khue khru)
10. กัณหาชาลี (kanha chali)
11. ผงเข้าตา (phong khao ta)
12. เจ้าขุนทอง (chao khun thong)
13. คนทำทาง (khon tham ngan)

this week, thanks to a fantastic gift from artist jesse paul miller, we've got a musical-literary crossover! this album sees writers naowarat phongphaibun (s.e.a. write award winner and national artist in the field of literature) and suchit wongthet (matichon columnist, founder of sinlapa-watthanatham (arts & culture) magazine, and national artist in the field of poetry) continuing a musical collaboration which dates back to their university days in the '70s. while often grouped within the typically folk/rock-oriented phleng phuea chiwit (songs for life) scene, the mahori-esque karaket ensemble is instead composed of local instruments, in keeping with the rejection of western influence that naowarat and suchit championed from the height of thailand's "american era". the melodies in turn are inspired by rural folk-song, in a manner somewhat similar to luk thung. i believe this album dates from the early '80s, but information about it (including the other players) is somewhat scarce. if anyone knows more, please comment. otherwise, enjoy!

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

wong manao wan: rock kantruem chut pho nong phon

artist: วง มะนาวหวาน (wong manao wan)
album: ร๊อกกันตรึม ชุด พ่อน้องพร (rock kantruem chut pho nong phon)
01. ไปตายที่ม่ายหญ้า (pai tai thi mai ya)
02. หัวใจบู้บี้ (hua chai bu bi)
03. จะไปก็เชิญ (cha pai ko choen)
04. สัญญาเดือนหก (sanya duean hok)
05. ตบให้หูหัน (top hai hu han)
06. รำวงกลองยาว (ramwong klong yao)
07. พ่อน้องพร (pho nong phon)
08. รักน้องเพ็ญ (rak nong phen)
09. อัดโต้ยสวยจ้าน (atoi suai chan)
10. รักสาวเสิร์ฟ (rak sao serve)
11. แหล่นิทานชาวบ้าน (lae nithan chao ban)
12. ไม่ลืมโนห์รา (mai luem nora)

this week: southern thai kantruem!? given the music's inextricable connection to the khmer people in the thai-cambodian border region of south isan, perhaps you can understand my surprise at finding a kantruem tape bearing a number of cultural hallmarks tied to a completely different border zone hundreds of miles away: that of southern thailand/northern malaysia. however, i ran it by my friend banja, and he was not surprised in the slightest; apparently, following the success of darkie, khong khoi, and other kantruem-rock acts, a trend for the style hit hard across the nation, including the deep south (banja even sent me some examples of melayu-language krantruem). with that knowledge in hand and a little more digging, i found that this same group was later known as "rock sators '41" and is actually lead by tong thammarat suwanmongkhon from the famed phuea chiwit band khon dan kwian, alongside southern thai luk thung singers khom mueangnakhon, phonthip phunphon, and surat suksamran. after leading off with a few phasa tai rewrites of rock khong khoi's kantruem hits, side b of this 1995 cassette veers into southern luk thung in the style of ekachai siwichai, and even some lae, all with a rock-oriented phuea chiwit bent to the production. quite a blend.. enjoy!

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

chittima chueachai: tha hua chai chan mi pik

artist: จิตติมา เจือใจ (chittima chueachai)
album: ถ้าหัวใจฉันมีปีก (tha hua chai chan mi pik)
01. ถ้าหัวใจฉันมีปีก (tha hua chai chan mi pik)
02. หลักไม้เลื้อย (lak mai lueai)
03. คำพรสะท้อนใจ (khamphon sathon chai)
04. คำแถลงการณ์ของหัวใจ (kham thalaeng kan khong hua chai)
05. พระจันทร์ตับในดวงใจ (phra chan tap nai duang chai)
06. เพชรบุรีตัดใหม่ (phetburi tat mai)
07. เพียงเห็นหน้า (phiang hen na)
08. อิทธิพลรัก (itthiphon rak)
09. กาลเวลา (kan wela)
10. ขาดเธอฉันไม่รู้สึก (khat thoe chan mai ru suek)
11. แล้ววันนั้นเธอจะซึ้ง (laeo wan nan thoe cha sueng)
12. รักยามจน (rak yam chon)
13. ตัวสำรอง (tua samrong)
14. คำพรก่อนจาก (khamphon kon chak)
15. ฝนซาฟ้าใส (fon sa fa sai)
16. โชคดี...ยอดรัก (chok di... yot rak)
17. โถ...ช่างกระไร (tho... chang krarai)
18. ฝันดี...โชคดี (fan di... chok di)

this week, old bangkok ballads from chittima chueachai, courtesy of a tape sent over by our pal gary from bodega pop! after losing her day job as an accountant, ms. chittima supported herself by performing at clubs around new phetburi road, the major entertainment district for u.s. soldiers on r&r from vietnam and other well-heeled nightlife denizens of the late-60s/early-70s. her subsequent recording career was supported by her husband, songwriter thawiphong maninin, and despite his apparently notorious philandering, the two remained together until his mysterious murder in a drive-by shooting outside of metro records in 19831. chittima still performs with some regularity today, having been a longtime wednesday-night staple at the niran grand hotel on sukhumvit 103. this cassette features a collection of early recordings, including her signature 1976 song, "tha hua chai chan mi pik (if my heart had wings)", which was nominated for the royal golden record award but was disqualified for being adapted from a japanese melody. the selections are mainly the sort of torch songs and latin-inspired dance numbers common to luk krung, with occasional nods to the more au courant disco sounds of the 70s. enjoy!

[note: the folks at amigo seem to have overbooked themselves on this production, as the tracks ending both sides tail-out before finishing]

Sunday, February 19, 2023

chaliphon buengthai: khorat sing prayuk, vol. 1

artist: ชลีพร บึงไทย (chaliphon buengthai)
album: โคราชซิ่งประยุกต์ ชุดที่ 1 (khorat sing prayuk, vol. 1)
01. ชมบึง (chom bueng)
02. ชมนก (chom nok)
03. ชมไม้ (chom mai)
04. แหล่ลา (lae la)
05. บรรเลง (banleng)
06. สาวหมอเพลงรักหนุ่มหมอลำ (sao mo phleng rak num molam)
07. หมอเพลงกล่อมลูก (mo phleng klom luk)
08. กลอนเล่นอักษร (klon len akson)
09. ชีวิตหมอเพลง (chiwit mo phleng)
10. บรรเลง (banleng)

this week, our first tape of phleng khorat! our mo phleng today is chaliphon buengthai, someone who i had never heard of, and who returns 0 results on the web. her genre, phleng khorat, is local to nakhon ratchasima province and as its geographic origin may suggest, sounds somewhere between the northeastern/lao molam and central thai lam tat, choi, or other traditional repartee styles. while often performed without instrumental accompaniment in its boran form, this tape features the sing prayuk style, and so is replete with 1997-era country-style production hallmarks, handled by chaloemchai phet-udon and khrongsak suanpom. the songs selections are actually a mix of phleng khorat (of course), along with a couple lae and luk thung numbers, all penned by chaliphon, plus a few isan-style instrumentals for good measure. enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2023

somphon phetsayam & phatsara mabuntham: khon khi lang khwai

artist: สมพร เพชรสยาม + ภัสรา มาบุญธรรม (somphon phetsayam & phatsara mabuntham)
album: คนขี่หลังควาย (khon khi lang khwai)
01. คนขี่หลังควาย (khon khi lang khwai)
02. ทหารเกณฑ์ผลัดสอง (thahan ken phlat song)
03. รักจางที่บางประกง (rak chang thi bang prakong)
04. อ.ส. รอรัก (o.s. ro rak)
05. ทุ่งกุลาร้องไห้ (thung kula rong hai)
06. ด่วนจากพรากรัก (duan chak phrak rak)
07. หนุ่มปั้มน้ำมัน (num pump nam man)
08. เมียเขาคือแฟนเรา (mia khao khue faen rao)
09. แห่ชาวนา (hae chao na)
10. สั่งสาวชายแดน (sang sao chai daen)
11. ช่างหัวมันเถ๊าะ (chang hua man thoe)
12. เมษาอาลัย (mesa alai)
13. คอยรักที่ต้นกระโดน (khoi rak thi ton kradon)
14. แปรจ๋า (prae cha)

this week, by special request, another classic isan duo! miss phatsara mabuntham of roi-et is better known by the name em aphatsara and has enjoyed a long career in luk thung and molam, mostly with topline music. i don't know much about mr. somphon phetsayam, unfortunately; the only other work i have of his is with phatsara as well. this 1992 cassette is a bit of an oddity in that while most luk thung duet albums i'm familiar with feature the two stars trading verses, this tape finds phatsara and somphon singing in unison throughout. as part of krung thai records' kueng satawat (half-century) series, the selections are an assortment of genre favorites from decades past, penned by songwriters such as surin phaksiri, dao bandon, phongsak chantharukkha and sotsai rungphot-thong and like in our last post, the music is handled by a. num phuthai. enjoy!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

phimchai phetphalanchai & dao bandon: 16 klon yot hit

artist: พิมพ์ใจ เพชรพลาญชัย + ดาว บ้านดอน (phimchai phetphalanchai & dao bandon)
album: 16 กลอนยอดฮิต (16 klon yot hit)
01. หนุ่มยาวสาวสั้น 1 (num yao sao san 1)
02. หนุ่มยาวสาวสั้น 2 (num yao sao san 2)
03. จีบสาวเลี้ยงเป็ด (chip sao liang pet)
04. จีบสาวขายไข่ (chip sai khai khai)
05. หนุ่มลำชีสาวลำโขง (num lam chi sao lam khong)
06. พาต้อยลอยกระทง (pha toi loi krathong)
07. เฮือนน้อยนางเมิน (huean noi nang moen)
08. คน ป. 4 (khon p. 4)
09. อีหวึ่งตายแน่ (i wueng tai nae)
10. น้ำตาสาวหวึ่ง (nam ta sao wueng)
11. รักจริงอย่าหลอก (rak ching ya lok)
12. เต็มใจให้หลอก (tem chai hai lok)
13. พาน้องล่องแหย่ง (pha nong long yaeng)
14. พาน้องดิสโก้ (pha nong disco)
15. คนบ่มีเก๋ง (khon bo mi keng)
16. ขอดังเบาๆ (kho dang bao bao)

this week, two major molam unite! legendary luk thung crossover star dao bandon and sam phalang sao leader phimchai phetphalanchai come together on this 1988 duets collection from ocean sound. dao himself handles the songwriting, and the late, great a. num phuthai leads the band. the music is classic late-80's isan-style, with prominent electric bass and live drums under the alternating phin, sax, and synth leads, plus an occasional extended khaen-backed kroen intro. extra flourishes adorn one themed number, "taking my girl to the disco" (track 14), where a hi-nrg beat and hard rock guitar solo added to the mix. excellent stuff.. enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

kickapoo: mai rueang mak

artist: คิกคาปู้ (kickapoo)
album: ไม่เรื่องมาก (mai rueang mak)
01. หนูหนีเที่ยว (nu ni thiao)
02. ยังไม่ตาย (yang mai tai)
03. ลองกันไหม (long kan mai)
04. อกหัก 5 นาที (ok hak 5 nathi)
05. ซึม (suem)
06. หนูหนีเที่ยว (nu ni thiao)
07. เทใจ (the chai)
08. อีกครั้ง (ik krang)
09. ลุย (lui)
10. เพลงเต่า (phleng tao)
11. มันไม่เกี่ยว (man mai kiao)

happy 2023 and 2566! let's start the year off with a real obscurity: the only album (to my knowledge) from '90s bangkok rockers kickapoo. operating under the auspices of a purported indie label known as tham kan eng ["d.i.y."] music factory, and with a name presumably derived from an american soft drink once popular in thailand (the idea for which is attributed in the liners to "hia nok from khao kha mu kong phrap on chokchai soi 4"), there's little reference to the group on the internet. their line-up includes a list of unusual names (some of which, at least, are certainly pseudonyms) including maseda iochi and mustafa hummingbird on guitar, billy he-foot on bass, and detduang chimkamnoet on drums, as well as a number of different singers trading vocal duties, such as julie cheng, sharkie boy, nong kung & nong mai, banluesak, anurak, and bunthueng. released in 1997, this album features some songwriting and arrangement by akira wong, and was produced by (the only name i'm at all familiar with) sukit narin, who is mostly known as a film director. the music is a bit hard to classify, being a slightly erratic mix of blues-inflected classic rock (see: interpolation of badfinger, led zeppelin, and the electric light orchestra), synth-driven sentimental ballads (see: interpolation of mariko takahashi), and '80s-style hard rock (see: interpolation of pat benatar). they also include a shout-out in the dedications section to "the major tape labels, for their lack of interest".. here's hoping you don't feel the same. enjoy!