Wednesday, April 3, 2024

khana chao thung: pen sot thammai

artist: คณะ ชาวทุ่ง (khana chao thung)
album: เป็นโสดทำไม (pen sot thammai)
01. เป็นโสดทำไม (pen sot thammai)
02. 16 ปีแห่งความหลัง (16 pi haeng khwam lang)
03. หนาวจะตายอยู่แล้ว (nao cha tai yu laeo)
04. ดำเนินจ๋า (damnoen cha)
05. เดือนหงายที่ริมโขง (duean ngai thi rim khong)
06. สวยจริงๆ (suai ching ching)
07. สาวสวนแตง (sao suan taeng)
08. เดือนจ๋า (duean cha)
09. รักน้องไม่มีเงินแต่ง (rak nong mai mi ngoen taeng)
10. แน่ข้างเดียว (nae khang diao)

this week, another unusual discovery that my friend chris chanced upon recently in bangkok! there's not much information about this group online, but a little digging reveals that they were a project of prayong chuenyen, the arranger who crafted the sound of many classic funk-styled luk thung singles. while the backing band here shares that feel, with its steady beats, laid-back basslines and groovy electric piano, the vocals are something completely different. more akin to the university chorus-style recordings of the time, the singers are a large mixed choir, singing in close harmony and employing instrumental emulation (despite not being a cappella). as for the songs on this 1989 cassette, the selections are entirely chosen from the oeuvre of suraphon sombatcharoen, the "king of luk thung". the smooth, blended voices are quite a departure from suraphon's own rough and characterful delivery. hope you'll enjoy!

Thursday, March 21, 2024

masae 'sun saengsaeo: chut sun-sur-native 1

artist: มาแซ 'ซุน แซงแซว (masae 'sun saengsaeo)
album: ชุดซุนเซอร์เนทีฟ ๑ (chut sun-sur-native 1)
01. บางนรา (bang nara)
02. มะละกอที่รัก (malako thi rak)
03. วันพรากจาก (wan phrak chak)
04. ชนชั้นคน (chon chan khon)
05. เหมือนบ้าง (muean bang)
06. ดูดดื่ม (dut duem)
07. จะทำอะไรดีก็ไม่รู้เหมือนกัน (cha tham arai di ko mai ru muean kan)
08. ประชาชนผู้มีหนวด (prachachon phu mi nuat)
09. ชายหาดสีขาว (chai hat si khao)
10. มารดาแห่งความมหัศจรรย์ (manda haeng khwam mahasachan)

today, a left-field discovery that my friend chris chanced upon recently in bangkok! masae 'sun saengsaeo a.k.a. surachai songthawonthawi is a wandering poet associated with the phuea chiwit and socially-engaged buddhism circles (see: introductory blurb by none other than sulak sivaraksa!). according to the liner notes, the album's title is a contraction of "surrealist-alternative", a genre designation given by fellow writer wat wanlayangkun. the tracks display a range of influences from psychedelic-/blues-rock to reggae to guitar-&-violin-driven folk tunes (which masae credits to the apache people). the decidedly lo-fi production was handled by aphinan chit-sopha, who got together a band of his students from srinakharinwirot university's songkhla campus (now thaksin university) to back masae. quite an unusual entry, hope you enjoy! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

sonkhiri siprachuap: siang khlui ban na

artist: ศรคีรี ศรีประจวบ (sonkhiri siprachuap)
album: เสียงขลุ่ยบ้านนา (siang khlui ban na)
01. เสียงขลุ่ยบ้านนา (siang khlui ban na)
02. หนาวลมที่เรณู (nao lom thi renu)
03. มนต์รักแม่กลอง (mon rak mae klong)
04. แม่กระท้อนห่อ (mae krathon ho)
05. ทุ่งสานสะเทือน (thung san sathuean)
06. เฝ้าดอกฟ้า (fao dok fa)
07. หนุ่มกระเป๋า (num krapao)
08. เข็ดแล้ว (khet laeo)
09. หนุ่มนา (num na)
10. พระอินทร์เจ้าขา (phra in chao kha)

this week, a second entry of classic luk thung from long-time favorite sonkhiri siprachuap! born and raised in samut songkhram province, sonkhiri left school at a young age to work on his family's coconut palm farm, and later a pineapple plantation down in prachuap khiri khan. between shifts, he would entertain his fellow farmhands by singing the songs of khamron sambunnanon, dreaming of becoming a famous singer. eventually he auditioned for payong mukda's group, but was rejected.. he persisted in his struggle, though, and after many years of performing with a popular local ramwong group, came to the attention of luk thung maestro phaibun butkhan. with the hits of phaibun to propel him, sonkhiri became a huge star throughout the kingdom. sadly, he was killed in a motor accident in 1972, in the middle of a country-wide tour. sonkhiri's sweet, sorrowful voice is remembered fondly still.. his songs feature prominently in pen-ek ratanarueang's 1999 film "rueang talok 69" ("6ixtynin9" or "a funny story about 6 and 9"), wherein his tragic serenades cause the gangsters to break down in tears. enjoy!

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!