Brainticket – Cottonwoolhill

cottonwoolhill

Sometimes, it’s time for the classics.

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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.

 

Earthling Society – England have my Bones

zenbonesWell it isn’t often I post about the same band more than once in the same year , but this Earthling Society outfit are proving to be quite the find.

As is so often the case with music like this, words completely fail me. I’ve come to the conclusion that the easier something is to put into words, the less of an effect it has on you. But that may just be due to incipient stupidity on my part. What am I, a music critic?

As the blurb on the bandcamp page says, the centrepiece is definitely their take on the Alice Coltrane classic, but the accompanying material is also worth the price of admission on its own, which should tell you how highly I’m rating this. This is mighty, mighty music.

And it is also testament to those so many artists who keep plugging away and doing what they gotta do regardless of recognition. With no need to please a fanbase you have the space to grow truly. There’s loads of artists like this around who just keep getting better and better by simply remaining true to themselves, and the internet’s continuing decimation of the mainstream music industry* allows more and more of these to find some appreciative ears. Long may it continue.

*the mainstream music industry is now probably better decribed as the spectacle soundtrack industry. Music always seems to be of secondary concern to the visuals.