Regular readers may recall that last year we ran a short series of posts featuring the stars of the golden age of Cambodian pop, an age brought to a shuddering and tragic halt by the Khmer Rouge.
Inspired by listening to the likes of Sinn Sisamouth and Ros Sereysothea, one of my late Christmas presents to myself was a copy of "Away From Beloved Lover" by Dee Peyok.
In the book she tracks down some of the survivors of the golden age and tells their stories. In the course of doing so she also provides a history of Cambodian music and insights into what life was like under the Khmer Rouge regime. It was a fascinating read and I would heartily recommend to anyone with an interest in Cambodian music or the country's recent history.
Having bought the book because I enjoyed vintage Cambodian music, after reading it I thought the next obvious step should be to listen to some newer stuff. A bit of searching on Bandcamp uncovered some very good records. Top of the pile was "Cambodian Women Of Song - The Demos".
The album is credited to Julien Poulson and Professor Kinski. The Prof is a German producer based in Phnom Penh while Julien P was a founder member of the late lamented Cambodian Space Project, who knocked the likes of Dengue Fever into a cocked hat.
While they may be the brains behind the project, the real stars of the show are the three featured vocalists - Nang Yeye, Tep Modyka and Sochi (the last of whom co-wrote all the songs with Julien P). Here are two tunes that feature all three of them, but I could have chosen almost any track on the album. Every one's a winner.
"If You Hear This Song (feat. Nang Yeye & Tep Modyka)" - Julien Poulson & Professor Kinski
"Honey In The Jungle (feat. Sochi)" - Julien Poulson & Professor Kinski
Let's round the week off with some fun and frolics from Mr Poulson's old band.