Weekly Wrap – Commencing Thursday the 30th August 2018

Phnom Penh will be dancing to the beat of superb music again this week with several options to feast your ears on.

French dynamo 12ME will be visiting the FCC – Rooftop on Friday for a session of innovative Khmer-infused hip-hop, performed with Japanese beatmaster DJ Niko Yu. One of the busiest and most productive musical artists currently active in the Kingdom, Mehdi Dooz-me’ Benabdessadok has recorded two studio albums and created a library of Youtube videos since arriving in Phnom Penh in 2016. Check out his channel to hear 12ME rapping in Khmer, English and French and click this Leng Pleng link to learn more about his superb recent album ‘Oh Kampuchea’.

Newcomers Khmeng Somrae will hit Cloud this Friday night. The five-piece hard-rock outfit are going for a muscular take on classic Khmer rock artists of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Cloud,   for its part, is developing a strong reputation for incubating and showcasing emerging arts projects of all descriptions. Khmeng Somrae guitarist/bandleader Jam told Leng Pleng that the band was formed just six months ago… and the name translates into English as ‘Kid is not chic!’

As reported by Jedil Robelo in last week’s wrap, Cuban-born singer/MC/musician Dairon has recently arrived in Phnom Penh to shake up the music scene. Dairon will be launching new Street 308 venue LF Social Club this Saturday night as the frontman of The Havana Kings. The Kings is a new live band comprising Dairon and lauded Phnom Penh musos Aymen Ghali, Metta Legita, Andrey Meshcheryakov and Jedil Robelo. Guitar man Ghali describes the music as a ‘Latin cocktail of son cubano, bolero, guajira and salsa’… sounds like the Latin music scene in Phnom Penh is about to get a real boost!

pic: Metta
Legita Facebook

Metta Legita will be playing the Havana Kings LF Social Club gig hot on the heels of her triumphant appearance at the Jazz Traffic Festival in Surabaya, Indonesia, last weekend. Metta is on a musical roll following the recent launch of her debut album, ‘Scenic Spirit’. Phnom Penh gig-goers who attended her live album launch at Chinese House will surely agree that Metta’s dynamic original compositions and jazz piano skills are sublime. ‘Scenic Spirit’ is available for download via the usual online channels and readers can learn more about the album via our in-depth Leng Pleng track-by-track album preview.

Good Old Days: Packed house at Equinox – pic : tripadvisor

Remember Equinox? Even if you were not in Phnom Penh during the venue’s heyday years of 2010-2015, you have probably heard about the legendary concerts which took place there. Venue manager Anthony Mrugacz has recently made samples of his extensive Equinox audio library available for listening online. When each exciting new band played their rite-of-passage debut concert at Equinox – and each visiting international performer played a knockout show – Mrugacz was there with his tape recorder to capture the moment. Click the link to get a taste of Phnom Penh music scene history!

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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