The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band – Planet Lam

planetlamThis is quite unlike anything I’ve heard before. Caveat: This is only the second example of  Thai music I’ve knowingly listened to, the first was an album of traditional music by Pong Lang.

This is apparently a reinvigoration of a traditional style known as Molam. Also, there is quite clearly at least one westerner in this line-up. Look at the dude on the right, who may have at least some reponsibility for the obvious western influence in some of the tunes, The Adventures of Sinsai especially combining a fairly standard rock beat and bassline with a wonderful Thai style melody played on an instrument I cannot guess at to marvellous effect. They also incorporate dub stylings very well indeed at times. My favourite tune, the indescribably wonderful Namtok (Waterfall) is impossible to put into words, really laid back with a sparse backdrop and meandering guitar over the top. Indeed, there’s a passage of tunes in the middle of the album that really, really, float my boat. The narrative of the album seems to get more and more traditional as it continues.

It doesn’t sound a million miles from folk music at times, which might be a silly thing to say because Molam is probably a folk music by definition. In fact, there might be a clue there. I wonder how much similarity there is across the various folk musics across the world? Then perhaps, supposing you’ve already clocked the strange similarities in mythologies across the world, and for the sake of argument may have noticed similarities in certain rituals from different parts too… well, makes y’think. If thinking is your thang, anyway.

 

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The Comet is Coming – Death to the Planet

cometThese are clearly very well known by the standards of who I usually blog about, but I don’t care. I don’t have a prejudice against well-known bands, it’s just that they so rarely do anything which actually interests me, let alone blows me away. This, lady and gentleman, blew me away.

It probably says at least a few words about me in that I had genuinely never heard of them before. I actually discovered them via my hopping from bandcamp fan’s music taste to bandcamp fan’s music taste and clicking on albums where I liked the name of the band/album or the cover or both/all three. This trail started after I’ve been on something of a deep house kick, which I’ll blog a release or two about presently (expectations be damned! it’s the only thing they’re good for).

It starts off not unlike a slighlty jazzier Our Solar System with added cosmic synths. They subsequently head into more of an acid-house territory, though, squelchy basslines and woozy synths a go-go, an increasingly Nortec-with-crazier-saxophones kind of feel. If it isn’t reminiscent of the soundtrack to late night Tijuana, then I’ve never been to Tijuana (sidebar: I’ve never been to Tijuana), though I suppose it could be any large settlement in the tropics (sidebar: I’ve never been to the tropics). I am always really disappointed when it ends.

Their first album is very nearly as good. It was also nominated for some well known (in the UK) prize or other, which might go some way to explaining why music this good actually seems to have an audience. The times they might be a-darkening, but where there’s music this good around, there is always hope.

Maurice Louca – Benhayyi Al​-​Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot)

mauricelouca.jpgWhilst I’m in the midst of not really listening to albums an’ ting, I do nevertheless still check the blog feeder, and every now and again Bandcamp do a post where they collect a bunch of albums together with a theme. They did this one dedicated to Nawa Recordings (who released that Alif album that I’m sure you all went and got) and from that I heard this.

This is a very groovy yet dense sonic maelstrom. It features a myriad of influences that I couldn’t begin to list, and also does the middle east/western rock fusion thing in a way that doesn’t feel forced.

Also, I love the title. Are you saluting the parrot?