Sunday, June 16, 2024

bai mai hin: alternative

artist: ใบไม้หิน (bai mai hin)
album: alternative
01. ณ ราชดำเนิน (na ratchadamnoen)
02. เหงา (ngao)
03. หงิกส์! (ngik!)
04. มนุษย์ (manut)
05. เพื่อนใหม่ (phuean mai)
06. ใบไม้หิน (bai mai hin)
07. ลูกตำรวจ (luk tamruat)
08. สายน้ำ (sai nam)
09. ตำนานร็อคสองฝั่งโข่ง (tamnan rock song fang khong)
10. มือกลอง (mue klong)

this week, protest rock from the bai mai hin band! recorded for mjax entertainment in 1995, the album centers around a retrospective on the events of 1992's "black may", lamenting the brutal crackdown on anti-military protesters and bemoaning the lack of progress since. not a great deal has been written about this group, but the liner notes give us a good start: the lead songwriter and producer was somphot singsuwan, by that point already an old hand, though known best for his contributions to the luk krung genre, rather than phuea chiwit. the performers, overseen by musical director patiphon hemworanan, included chirawat, withaya and wibun of the panphum family (relatives of alt-rock star maeo chirasak panphum), as well as naruephon phanthong (son of luk thung legend chai mueangsing) and anat phutthamat (who has been featured here before as a luk krung singer). none of these individuals, to my knowledge, had a career in the songs for life genre after this, making it something of an interesting footnote to the movement.. enjoy!

Sunday, June 2, 2024

ot & o: rak... wan wan

artist: อ๊อด รณชัย ถมยาปริวัฒน์ + โอ อัจฉรพรรณี หาญณรงค์ (ot ronnachai thomyapariwat & o atcharaphanni hannarong)
album: รัก...หวาน หวาน (rak... wan wan)
01. วนาสวาท (wana sawat)
02. ปาริชาด (parichat)
03. ขวัญ-เรียม (khwan-riam)
04. ธารน้ำรัก (than nam rak)
05. น้ำใจรัก (nam chai rak)
06. เรือรัก (ruea rak)
07. สัญญา (sanya)
08. สองใจเรา (song chai rao)
09. เพื่อน (phuean)
10. ขวัญ-เรียม [บรรเลง] (khwan-riam [instrumental])
this week, some sweet bangkok oldies with ot & o! ronnachai thomyapariwat (ot) was the front-man of khiribun, a star band of the early r.s. sound roster. atcharaphanni hannarong (o), was a label-mate of ot's at r.s., one third of the vocal trio puifai. in 1987, the two came together to try their hand at some luk krung classics on an album called "phlae kao". this cassette from the following year is a second helping of the same: retro city-music selections re-scored by impossibles' alum prachin songphao & co. with lush orchestration and synth backing. enjoy!

Sunday, May 19, 2024

em oradi: luk isan

artist: เอม อรดี (em oradi)
album: ลูกอิสาน (luk isan)
01. ลูกอิสาน (luk isan)
02. หนีความจำเป็น (ni khwam cham pen)
03. เดินไปเดินมา (doen pai doen ma)
04. รักเมืองไทย (rak mueang thai)
05. คนขี่ควาย (khon khi khwai)
06. หลอกเด็ก (lok dek)
07. ก. เอ๋ย ก. ไก่ (k. oei k. kai)
08. คนอิสาน (khon isan)
09. คนเมา (khon mao)
10. ราคาคุย (rakha khui)

a very cool tape today, and a bit of a mystery: i can't find any info about singer em oradi online, and no one i asked was familiar with her at all! i can tell you a few things though, thanks to the liners: this 1989 cassette was produced by phanom nopphon under his nopphon promotion & picture co., ltd. (a precursor to nopphon silver gold co., ltd.) with music by a. num phuthai and songwriting from cho. khamcha-i and prasit nakhonphanom. the sound is classic isan-themed late-'80s luk thung, with some double-tracked vocals that to me recall honey si-isan or early chintara phunlap and a range of interesting synthesizer sounds alongside a live band. if anyone knows more about our singer, please let me know.. in the meantime, enjoy! 
update: the experts at mohlum museum "หมอลำสัมมะปิ" have confirmed that this is in fact an early recording from the singer better known as เอม อภัสรา (em aphatsara)!

Sunday, May 5, 2024

phleng khorat sing prayuk, vol. 2

artists: various
album: เพลงโคราชซิ่งประยุกต์ ชุดที่ 2 (phleng khorat sing prayuk, vol. 2)
01. รักน้องหนู (rak nong nu)
02. เต่ากระดองโต (tao kradong to)
03. นกกำพรักหาคู่ (nok kamphrak ha khu)
04. เฒ่าหัวงู (tao hua ngu)
05. ยาวจ้า (yao cha)
06. กลัวไม่ยาว (klua mai yao)
07. คนเฒ่าชอบสาวกระเทิน (khon tao chop sao krathoen)
08. สาวกระเทินเขินคนเฒ่า (sao krathoen khoen khon tao)
09. รักคนฟัง (rak khon fang)
10. หัวพะไลใต้ดิน (hua phalai tai din)
11. ห่มนางแทนผ้านวม (hom nang thaen phan nuam)
12. เปิดถ้ำคลำเธอ (poet tham khlam thoe)

1, 3, 5, 7 sung by ยาว พวงระย้า (yao phuang-raya)
2, 4. 6, 8, 9, 11 sung by แสงดาว หนองกระทุ่ม (saengdao nongkrathun)
10, 12 sung by สุระพลน้อย ลำปลายมาศ (suraphon-noi lamplaimat)

this week, only the second tape of phleng khorat to be featured here so far! our mo phleng today are yao phuang-raya, saengdao nongkrathum, and suraphon-noi lamplaimat. sadly, i couldn't find info on any of these performers, but their genre, phleng khorat, is local to nakhon ratchasima province. as its geographic origin may suggest, it 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 banthaophit, khrongsak suanpom, and sanong siriwan. enjoy!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

phaichit aksonnarong: khoi phi

artist: ไพจิตร อักษรณรงค์ (phaichit aksonnarong)
album: คอยพี่ (khoi phi)
01. กุหลาบร่วง (kulap ruang)
featuring วินัย พันธุรักษ์ (winai phanthurak)
02. คอยพี่ (khoi phi)
03. แรมพิศวาส (raem phitsawat)
04. คนจะรักกัน (khon cha rak kan)
05. ผิดที่เกินอภัย (phit thi koen aphai)
06. บ้านของเรา (ban khong rao)
07. ชายเดียวในดวงใจ (chai diao nai duang chai)
08. ถ้าฉันจะรัก (tha chan cha rak)
09. ฤทธิ์กามเทพ (rit kam thep)
10. หนี้มาร (ni man)

this week, '80s luk krung throwbacks from phaichit aksonnarong! miss phaichit, from buriram, had a foot in many somewhat disparate modern thai music scenes: her earliest records were internationally-minded disco-pop string, while her later material, particularly duets with kung kittikhun chiansong, charted super-smoothed-out luk thung country sounds. her mid-period saw collaborations with thierry mekwattana of phuea chiwit veterans carabao, not to mention her marriages to other "songs for life" stars: first nick niranam, and later wisa khanthap. then of course, there's today's tape: a 1985 look back at classics from suntharaphon & co.'s catalog of jazzy urban ballads. the arrangements are by anek rungrueang, and recall the sound of his work for azona contemporary phumphuang duangchan at the time. winai phanthurak from the impossibles helps open the album with a turn on vocals, as well. enjoy!

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!