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Boomkat Product Review:
More crackling 1950s and '60s slow rock, pop and R&B jammers gathered from the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh as the country reacted to US and UK pop and chanson and bolero from France and South America.
Death Is Not The End does us more solid service here with a second collection of levitational Cambodian pop music that provides a vivid picture of a period many of us are completely unaware of. In the 1960s, the country fully embraced psychedelic and garage rock that was flooding in from the USA - especially in the Vietnam war era - but here we get to witness Cambodia's pop landscape in a more transitional, and more malleable state.
This selection follows on seamlessly from the first volume, centering Cambodian language versions of music that sounds so close to its stylistic forebears that it's almost familiar. There's a localized twang to these compositions, but the root sounds are chirpy and exist in a haze of global nostalgia - they could almost be attached to an aging movie reel or TV show. Yet the vocals, sung by Cambodian performers - often singing through heavy reverb and delay - give slow, romantic tracks like 'Word of Promise' or 'Ivory River' an otherworldly resonance.
It's yet another invigorating listening experience (and history lesson), that gets better with each play - fans of Sublime Frequencies, you know what to do.