We are heading back to Cambodia today, more specifically to Mondulkiri Province, home of the indigenous Bunong people.
In 2017 Les Cartes Postales Sonores, a label that specialises in field recordings of indigenous music, issued a compilation titled "Bunong Pop Songs". It is available on Bandcamp on a "name your price" basis.
Like many field recordings, none of the performers are identified. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it is great that their music is being brought to a wider audience. On the other, not crediting any of the artists by name has a whiff of exploitation about it. Let's hope they were at least paid.
The album is dedicated to Lok Ta, evidently one of the leading lights of the Bunong music scene who died in 2016. It is not mentioned whether Lok Ta features on the album but the musicians provide a fine tribute, as these snappily titled tracks show:
"▲ 1" - Groovy Bunong Man
"▲ 5" - Groovy Bunong Woman
Here's a video featuring the mbuat, a traditonal Bunong instrument that resembles bamboo bagpipes. Go on, you know you want to.