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Boomkat Product Review:
The first volume in Sublime Frequencies' series of 'Molam' releases took us on a journey through a lesser heard area of Thai music, a kind of country folk music from the rural northeast of Thailand which centres primarily on male and female singers (Molam literally means 'master singer') and the khaen (a bamboo mouth organ) and phin (a lute-like instrument). Here we see the style diversify as it hits the 1970s and 1980s and introduces the sound of synthesizers, drum machines and electric guitars into the mix to create some truly bizarre fusion of styles, but unlike the 'Thai Pop Spectacular' album also released this week, this collection never really falls wholeheartedly into the pop sound. Rather across this disc we get some truly astonishing vocal performances, psychedelic break-led pieces (I'm pretty sure Madlib would have a field day with the sample material on here) and simple but affecting folk music that sticks in your head never to be prized free. We're always going on about how good the Sublime Frequencies series is but honestly this stuff is just about as good (and as diverse) as it gets, with each release put together with love and deep respect for the music while keeping a healthy irreverence and sense of humour for all proceedings. Fans of the crucial Nonesuch Explorer series and even the Finders Keepers releases (Selda especially.) should check this out immediately. Recommended.