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Boomkat Product Review:
Death Is Not The End dig up another treasure trove, excavating Thai pop music from the mid 20th-century, a bright fusion of Thai folk sounds, jazz, tango and rumba.
'Phleng Thai Sakon' means "song that is both Thai and universal", and the term was used to refer to the pop music that flooded Thailand after the 1930s cultural revolution. After World War II, the form began to blossom into subgenres like phleng talad (market songs) and phleng chiwit (life songs), but it wasn't until the music took on a more ballideering quality that it was formalized properly. Luk krung was used to describe this urban pop music, while the traditional styles were known as Luk thung; "Begging the Moon" focuses on the Luk krung style, but doesn't shy away from earthier references. And while there's a Western influence from jazz and mid-century romantic pop, it doesn't contort the music's heartbeat.
There's something about these compilations that feels rigorous; while plenty of Luk thung made it to Sublime Frequencies compilations a couple of decades ago, hearing it catalogued in this way provides us a sense of place and purpose - as well as a reading of the era's layered history. It's like a time capsule of an era and a part of the world that's all too often misunderstood, it's a pleasure to interface with on every level. An education.