The Sound of Siam: Leftfield Luk Thung, Jazz & Molam In Thailand 1964-1975

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Soundway Records had a busy year in 2010; issuing a slew of great world music comps. It appears however, that they saved the best for last in that calendar year with The Sound of Siam: Leftfield Luk Thung, Jazz & Molam in Thailand 1964-1975. This set offers a stellar aural portrait of the biggest shakeup in Thailand's musical history, as the country moved from its early 20th century percussive, instrumental, classical style (thai ka son) to the more vocal lak thung and molam, both of which centered on vocals, were shorter in song length, and were easily pressed on vinyl records and sold in shops. The latter music was played using traditional Thai instruments and ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Soundway Records had a busy year in 2010; issuing a slew of great world music comps. It appears however, that they saved the best for last in that calendar year with The Sound of Siam: Leftfield Luk Thung, Jazz & Molam in Thailand 1964-1975. This set offers a stellar aural portrait of the biggest shakeup in Thailand's musical history, as the country moved from its early 20th century percussive, instrumental, classical style (thai ka son) to the more vocal lak thung and molam, both of which centered on vocals, were shorter in song length, and were easily pressed on vinyl records and sold in shops. The latter music was played using traditional Thai instruments and originated in the northeastern region of the country; the phin (a stringed, lute-like instrument, the khaen, a pipe instrument made of bamboo, and the sor, a kind of bowed violin were all centerpieces. The lyrics were mostly sung in the Isan dialect that had much in common with the Laotian language. The former (lak thung) was an assembled hybrid whose sources could come from inside or outside, and did. When Thais began to move from rural eras to Bangkok, both styles exploded in a period of innovation and hybridization that swept the land and still rever berates today: rock, funk, Latin, Caribbean, African, blues, and jazz all played a role in the emerging popular styles of lak thung and molam. This set compiles 19 essential tracks that offer Western listeners an absolutely invigorating experience in encountering sounds that might be familiar individually, but when assembled together are something wholly other. While virtually everything here is worthwhile, there are some clear standouts. The psychedelic, Afro-influenced reggae of "Nom Samai Mai" by Saknatee Srichiangmai, with its chantlike vocals, wah-wah guitars, and Afro-beat horns is one. Likewise the hypnotic Ethiopian-styled piano and electric guitars in "Islabb Kam Tin" by Thapporn Petchubon, Noknoi Uraiporn, Thongtai Tin Isan with a molam, uses conversational and call-and-response vocals in a dreamy dialogue of goals, intentions, and dreams. "Soul Lam Plearn," by the the Petch Phin Thong Band begins as a near-Malian desert blues, but is extended by a smattering of polyrhythms and and a butt-kicking bassline that makes it a nasty dance tune. The drinking song lak thung "Kai Tom Yum" by Kawaw Siang Thong resembles funky vanguard jazz, with its distorted upright bassline and vibes, clattering cymbals, and near-modal horns. Add to this incredible music Chris Menist's accessible yet scholarly liner essay and track annotations, and this is one of the finest compilations of any stripe in 2010.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/7/2010
  • Label: Soundway
  • UPC: 846833000264
  • Catalog Number: 27

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Lam Tung Wai - Chaweewan Dumnern (3:43)
  2. 2 Lam Toey Chaweewan - Chaweewan Dumnern (3:55)
  3. 3 Mae Kha Som Tam - Onuma Singsiri (2:39)
  4. 4 Isan Klab Tin - Thongthai Tin Isan (2:30)
  5. 5 Fai Yen - Ream Daranoi (4:36)
  6. 6 Sao Ban Pok Pab - Panom Nopporn (3:20)
  7. 7 Wan Maha Sanook - Plearn Promdan (2:52)
  8. 8 Soul Lam Plearn - The Petch Phin Thong Band (3:02)
  9. 9 Ding Ding Dong - Waipod Phetsuphan (2:33)
  10. 10 Nom Samai Mai - Saknatee Srichiangmai (4:05)
  11. 11 Lam Plearn Toh Lom Nhao - Yenjit Porntawi (4:09)
  12. 12 Sao Lam Plearn - Chaweewan Dumnern (4:11)
  13. 13 Mae Jom Ka Lon - Dao Bandon (3:08)
  14. 14 Pen Jung Dai - Sanae Petchaboon (2:30)
  15. 15 Diew Sor Diew Caan - Kunp'an (3:31)
  16. 16 Uay Porn Tahan Chaydan - Sodsri Rungsang (5:02)
  17. 17 Kai Tom Yum - Kawaw Siang Thong (3:36)
  18. 18 Pleng Yuk Owakard - The Viking Combo Band (3:08)
  19. 19 Tang Ngarn Si Nong - Dao Bandon (3:53)
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Album Credits

Technical Credits
Nick Robbins Mastering
Chris Menist Liner Notes
Lewis Heriz Cover Design
Meurig Rees Layout
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