Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday The 13th July 2017

Original ‘Phnom Penh Reggae’ band Vibratone have not been active on the live scene for quite a while (since lead singer Maia Dionko left town) – but that has not stopped them from finally releasing their debut album! Check out the bandcamp page to listen to and download the 14-track collection of roots-reggae and dub-reggae originals. While bandleader Gorimaa has provided a clean and classic reggae production job, the songs have been given a distinctly Cambodian lyrical context thanks to the words of singer Maia – spinning various tales of heartbreak, skullduggery and cathartic hedonism ‘in the Penh’.

Krom will make their first live appearance in more than four months at Jazz Club Phnom Penh this Friday. The band endeavour to make every gig something special and there is a reason why they play exclusively at the Jazz Club – the only purpose-built, dedicated live music club in the city. The delicate and dark songs of Krom are not intended for ‘background’ music! Seats are limited to eighty, and we advise contacting the venue directly for tickets and reservations. Bandleader Chris Minko let us know that ‘Friday’s gig will have a special focus on the Kromsongs sung by Sophea Chamroeun’ (now returned after three months performing in the U.S.A.) and that work on Krom’s fourth album ‘Hunger’ is currently proceeding very well, with a music video release of a new single expected within the next two weeks.

Krom ‘Hunger’ album cover artwork by Leang Seckon. Leng Pleng Q&A with Chris Minko of Krom.

Preparations for Bastille Day on the 14th July have prompted an outbreak of Paris-style swing at Alchemy. A French-themed night of music in Phnom Penh could have no better steward than Phil Javelle, who has recently formed an exquisite musical partnership with Anthony Armenti. This pair of over-achieving multi-instrumentalists (between them they can play the entire jazz orchestra!) have prepared a clarinet/saxophone/guitar/vocal duo to steer their way through various jazz and latin-jazz standards. Bonne fête!

Over on Bassac Lane, a strong squad of largely non-French musicians has been assembled behind Mirasol Aguila. Larry Martinez (piano), Euan Gray (sax), Toma Willen (drums) and Andrey Meschcheryakov (bass guitar) are well-known cohorts in the field of Cambodian-based live jazz but Friday will mark their first expedition with Mirasol. The instantly lovable Filipina soul singer has a spectacular voice that belies her diminutive frame. The ensemble’s mixed repertoire of soul and funky jazz should prove a delight. Mirasol Aguila and Larry Martinez will reprise their excellent vocal-and-piano duo at Valentino’s Garden Terrace Bistro on Saturday.

‘Live at Five’ is the name of the new weekly Saturday live music slot at The Box Office in Phnom Penh. This week, the wonderful Jamie Tan will light up the small venue with a selection of pop-tastic piano renditions. Her skills on the keyboard and her vocal range are matched by a truly genuine, smiling stage presence. Later on Saturday, at Botanico, singer-songwriter Kyle Orten will step out for an evening of finely-crafted acoustic originals. Check out Kyle’s well-stocked library of YouTube videos for a preview of his extremely mellow and heart-melting style.

Cambodian Space Project mainman Julien Poulson this week contacted Leng Pleng to let us know some news about their latest venture:

CSP and partners are working on developing a Cambodian musical. It will be the group’s third venture into music theatre following on from shows Galaxy Khmer toured to Berlin and Cosmic Cambodia premiered at Sydney Festival 2016.

To develop this new project we’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indie Go Go. The project and campaign is supported by Creative Partnerships Australia who will match dollar for dollar our campaign should we reach our target of 8k. More info on Yesterday, Once More here at Indie Go Go” – JULIEN POULSON

Cheers Julien, sounds like another very exciting mission for the Space Project!

Whatever you’re up to over the next few days, stay safe out there and… see you around the traps!

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JOE WRIGLEY

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