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MOLAM: THAI Country Groove From ISAN CD SF019

CD SF019
A Rotating Pantheon of Freestyle Singers atop the addictive Molam Beat, this is the Soul AND country music of Laos and the predominantly rural Northeastern region of Thailand known as Isan. The Molam sound is like nothing else! The classic recordings featured here are selections from rare vinyl LPs, 45s and cassettes recorded during the 1970s and 1980s when electric bass, effected guitars, electric organs, kit drums and horns played alongside traditional instruments like the khaen and the phin.

Molam is a multi-faceted folk music native to Laos and the predominantly rural Northeastern region of Thailand known as Isan - home to myriad ethnic groups and provinces, and once a part of present-day Laos. Mo meaning "master" and lam meaning "song", molam literally translates into "master singer", but it remains more of an umbrella term covering over a dozen types of lam styles in which male and female singers can be backed by a free-reed bamboo mouth organ called a khaen, indigenous lute-like instruments (the phin or the soong), a bowed fiddle called a sor and a percussion ensemble featuring finger cymbals and hand drums. Lam phun and lam sing are the two molam styles featured most prominently in this collection. Also in the musical family is look thoong, a slower, more tragic style, usually lamenting lost love and perpetual poverty. Examples are heard on tracks 10, 15 and 20. Costumed Isan comedy troupes called Talok incorporate hyper-eccentric molam and look thoong renditions with low, vaudevillian comedy and high social satire on stages and TVs throughout the country. Maniacal examples are heard on tracks 2, 8 and 11. The classic recordings featured here are selections from rare vinyl LPs, 45s and cassettes recorded in Isan and beyond between the 1970s and 1980s. This was a pivotal time when music of the region began to be electrified and integrated with Western instruments. When electric bass, effected guitars, electric organs, kit drums and horns played alongside the khaen and the phin. Molam had never sounded this way before -and due to the typically ephemeral nature of the music industry and the introduction of the modern keyboard workstation, molam will never sound like this again.

MOLAM: THAI Country Groove From ISAN
CD SF019 
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SUBLIME FREQUENCIES is a collective of explorers dedicated to acquiring and exposing obscure sights and sounds from modern and traditional urban and rural frontiers via film and video, field recordings, radio and short wave transmissions, international folk and pop music, sound anomalies, and other forms of human and natural expression not documented sufficiently through all channels of academic research, the modern recording industry, media, or corporate foundations. SUBLIME FREQUENCIES is focused on an aesthetic of extra-geography and soulful experience inspired by music and culture, world travel, research, and the pioneering recording labels of the past including OCORA, SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS, ETHNIC FOLKWAYS, LYRICHORD, NONESUCH EXPLORER, MUSICAPHONE, BARONREITER, UNESCO, PLAYASOUND, MUSICAL ATLAS, CHANT DU MONDE, B.A.M., TANGENT, and TOPIC. SUBLIME FREQUENCIES PO BOX 17971 SEATTLE WA 98127 USA
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