Thai Pop Spectacular

Sublime Frequencies is a label run by Alan Bishop of Sun City Girls (and filmmaker Hisham Mayet), with help from brother and fellow SCG (Sir) Richard, where they can share little heard or seen musical treasures from Southeast Asia to the Middle East. And with Thai Pop Spectacular, they've managed to compile an eclectic mix of Thai music from the 60's to 80's that I wish would have been a part of my musical language long ago. It's a wild mix of genres held together for English-only ears by not only the foreign, melodic, slightly melancholy longing warble of the singing but by a strange sense of familiarity with the music. The first two tracks below especially gave me the feeling I had heard them somewhere before (especially the second one, I'm almost positive this is a cover but can't find info on it, it's not the "Don't Deceive Me" listed on allmusic.com - anyone?). And in this album the funky grooves, killer guitar/bass/keyboard/horn riffs, surf and disco-wah-wah influences, and a reverence for standards and oldies aren't the generic pastiche or giant mess you might think, but rather like a glorious Thai Nuggets, like what you expect to find in the record collection of a hip Thai kid in the 70's or 80's, who wears the same new-wave sunglasses as his American contemporaries, only with more wistfulness, palm trees, heat, and coconut curries.

Buy it direct from Sublime Frequencies. This is #32 in their collection of unique audio and video, and admittedly the first I've come across, but I look forward to exploring their other releases, too, which are all listed on their main page.

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