The Sound of Siam 2 – Molam and Luk Thung Isan from North-East Thailand 1970-82 (4 stars)

The Sound of Siam 2 – Molam and Luk Thung Isan from North-East Thailand 1970-82

Compilation charting the evolution of local Thai acoustic forms to modern electrified hybrids

Focussing on North-East Thailand, or Isan, this remarkable set documents a period in which Molam and Luk Thung evolved from local acoustic forms to modern electrified hybrids. Reverbed slide guitar quoting 'Summertime' and a driving cha-cha beat usher in the gloriously decadent nicotine-stained vibrato of Panom Promma on 'Mainaa Tan Pom Loey'. American R&B hits the airwaves and Thepporn Petchubon spices up his tunes with James Brown vamps and punchy Stax horns, while Thonghuad Faited and Petch Asia Band cook up heady psychedelic funk grooves for their saw fiddle players to skirl and sweep over. Electric phin (three-string lute) buzzes and drones over glassy organ and hand drums in Petch Phin Thong Band's 'Bump Lan Plearn' while traditional tuned percussion brings a lucent rainforest atmosphere to Rome Sithammarat's exquisite 'Sao New Look'. Dazzlingly strange yet curiously familiar, this is essential listening for fans of leftfield world pop.

Released on Mon 26 May via Soundway.

The Sound of Siam

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