Saturday, 7 May 2016


After the post about records shopping in Bangkok let's see today how to buy Thai and especially Esan music online without supporting the neocolonialist music business that grows well enough already. If it exists it's only because some people believe their "advertising stories", trust their usual way of seeing luk thung and molam as "interesting mostly when it's Americanized" and buy their "branded music", the only ones to blame here are actually those who buy those products (without thinking about those who made it!)... Everybody is free to consider cultural identity as merchandise or exotic tourist attraction, it's only a matter of moral values. This well organized scammer's market is actually not related to the molam scene at all and it sadly doesn't only happen in Thailand...
Anyway, I'm not here to make moralist advises or to tell you where and how you should spend your money but I support the local scene (just like all the molam fans) and there is nothing wrong about giving alternative fair options...
Molam is a culture, not a business! The contemporary molam concerts are probably the cheapest concerts in the world, all the bands supports the live music recordings to spread freely and most of the singers actually make a living from their hard work with a large part including donations from members of the community, private support or sponsoring... (it's part of the Esan culture where solidarity and community values are not just words!).
Today I made a little list of records available on EthaiCD. From what I heard, shopping there is pretty smooth and the target of this shop is mostly Thai people living outside of Thailand.
There used to be more online shopping options a few years ago when I was buying this way but it seems like this website is now the only (normally priced) place to buy luk thung and molam online. If I find other options I'll sure link those too.
NOTE: I don't know the people from this shop, and I don't buy any music from them (still I buy about 50 Thai records of all kinds every months from many local shops and sellers).
Let's get started: There are a few kinds of different supports used to sell music in Thailand (I'll detail those in another post). Today, just a few links about singers that are interesting to start a collection of luk thung and molam CDs (from different styles and different eras). Every time it links you to one album but you can see many more CDs from the same singer if you copy/paste the name in the search option (you can listen to them too if you copy the thai alphabet name on youtube). Some are on CDs, some on Mp3 CDs (those Mp3 CDs are actually a good deal as they can contain up to 10 albums for the price of a thai CD). I did not link any traditional music, instrumental albums such as phin or khaen but if you look around there are some available for those who like it.

Thepporn Phetubon  (70's/80's luk thung and molam)
Phet Phin Thong  (70's/80's luk thung and molam)
Dueanphen Amnuaiporn (80's/90's molam luk thung)
Chawiwan Damnoen  (traditional molam)
Moddaeng Jiraporn (contemporary luk thung)
Buaphan and Srijan (contemporary luk thung and molam sing)
Phimpa Pornsiri (80's/90's molam and luk thung)
Kaifa Daduang (mid 80's/90 molam prayuk) 
Angkhanang Khunchai (70's/90's luk thung and molam)
Dao Bandon (70's/90's luk thung and molam)
Hongthong Dao'Udon (80's luk thung and molam)
Suphap Daoduangden (70's/80's molam)
Monruedi Phromchak (traditional and modernised molam)
Siriporn Ampaiphong (80's/90's molam prayuk and luk thung)   
P.Chalatnoi (70's/90's molam)
Chabaprai Namwai (70's/80's molam) 
There is maybe 500 CDs of all kinds worth buying on this website. Most of the time those CDs are 2 or 3 times cheaper than what you can find in your country. The money you'll spend there goes to the Thai shop owners and then to Thai records labels, Thai musicians, singers and producers, Thai CD factories, Thai post office workers... UP TO YOU!
Of course not everything is "black or white" and there are quite a few very interesting albums that have been produced for the occidental market that are worth buying. I will soon make list of some of those records made by professional ethno-musicologists and passionate people involved in the preservation of the musical traditions. Those albums are available at your local record store, they are very nice and usually have a pedagogical point of view. If the local scene deserve support, those people deserve respect too!
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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