Weekly Wrap – Commencing Thursday the 30th June 2016

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Another blast of cool
and original music will be firing off around the Kingdom of Wonder
this week. Read on to discover what Chrieng Chapei means,
how you
can join a live electronica leaving party, and
the true meaning of Cambodian shoegaze!
Simoun
is
the latest innovative offering from long-time Phnom Penh live
music
man
Jon Banules.
Jon
is leaving behind the pop-oriented cover song repertoires of The
Fumes

and Soular Eclipse
for
something more experimental. Keyboardist
Banules combines with guitarists
Gem
Habito
and Sonic,
bass-player Genesis
and drummer Mike
Forster
to
produce a wall of epic, spacey sound built
with many
layers
of audio
effects
and driving rhythms.
Simoun
will
play a mixed set of originals and choice alternative-rock covers at
Oscar’s On The
Corner

in
Phnom Penh this Friday night. The
group
is a welcome change from the usual Phnom Penh bar band fare –
requests for ‘Hotel California’ will probably not be met with a
positive response!

Now
do you see why they call it
‘shoegaze’?
Simoun – pic Simoun Facebook
What do you think of
when you hear the term ‘traditional Khmer music’ ? The musical
experience of many visitors to Cambodia may be limited to the hotel
lobby – where a bored-looking guy in a silk tunic is gently
tinkling a rosewood xylophone (‘roneat’). Or perhaps one calls to
mind an elderly gentleman being led around the local market –
scraping out a coarse tune on a steel-stringed cousin of the violin
(‘tro’). Thankfully, there is much more to traditional Cambodian
music and Cambodian folk music than the normal tourist experience.
Catching a show by Cambodian
Living Arts
is
a very good start.
The CLA troupe combine many elements of Cambodian performance art
(dance, music, costume, drama, comedy)
in a slickly choreographed show (three
or four nights per week)
at the National Museum in Phnom Penh.

Carrying the tradition forward: Kong
Boran – pic: Demo
Magazine Flickr
The
sound of the Chapei
Dong Weng
is
a key element of Cambodian traditional music. The
three-stringed,
long-necked guitar is
heard
as part of an ensemble of instruments or
played as solo
accompaniment to a singer (‘chrieng chapei’). In the tradition of
Chrieng Chapei,
a performer such as Master
Kong
Nay
will combine storytelling and comedy with his singing
and Chapei playing.
The experience of a Chrieng
Chapei
performance
is vibrant and entertaining – even
if you cannot understand most of the words! Kong
Boran

(the
son of Kong Nay) will
be giving a solo
Chrieng Chapei
performance
at
Duplex in
Phnom Penh on Saturday night, preceding
a show by the Miss
Sarawan Acoustic Quartet
.
This
gig will be
a
great
chance
to hear some ‘traditional’ Khmer sounds presented in an
up-to-date
context.
Warren
Daly’s Invisble
Agent
record label will
be putting on a party at 3
Mangoes

in Phnom Penh on Saturday night.
The electronica and ambient music-focussed imprint, based in the
Kingdom of Wonder, will be saying goodbye to soon-to-be-relocated
artists
Hal Audio
Mainline
FX and
Lorna Cave.
The
farewell bash will comprise of a live electronica set featuring steel
‘hand-pan’ percussion and electric guitar, a live performance from
Hal and Lorna themselves and a DJ set stretching into the early hours
of the morning. Good times and good music guaranteed.
The Cambodian Space
Project
contacted Leng
Pleng
this
week to let us know about some startling revelations concerning
Kosmic Kows

an
enigmatic, psychedelic rock’n’roll band with links to
global espionage, cryptocurrencies
and mind control techniques.
Read
the full,
incredible, story
here.
The
Kows are also referenced in brand new CSP music video 5
Lady Cows

– the first release
from the band’s recent collaboration with legendary Detroit-based
producer Jim Diamond. Watch this Leng Pleng
space for more tracks from the
Space Project recording sessions at 60 Road Studios in Siem Reap. In
the meantime, enjoy this very Krazy and Kosmic skit from CSP:
For
more essential and original music of Cambodian origin, it is always
worth checking back to the Klapyahandz Youtube
channel
. Producer Sok
Cream
Visal
has uploaded hundreds of
clips of
live footage, original music videos and documentary content.
Klapyahandz is
dedicated to producing and promoting original Cambodian music,
focussing on ‘hip-hop, r’n’b and alternative music’. The latest
Klapyahandz rising
star is Oun
– a funky, reggae-dancehall-influenced
Cambodian vocalist. Oun‘s
forthcoming
track ‘Reatrey Penh Vong Noeuv Chhne Samoth
will soon be available via
Klapyahandz.

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

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