Monday, 29 August 2016


For the last post about the work of Doi Inthanon we have some amazing late 70's lam phloen. If we already heard the work of mister Inthanon from the early 80's with some lam phaen where he incorporates occidental instruments in a fast trendy way, his 70's molam songs were already exellent...
Today we are in the province of Kalasin with one of the molam superstars of the 70's, miss CHABAPRAI NAMWAI. If there was someone determinated to succeed as a molam singer in Kalasin at this time it was surely the young Chabaprai. In 1972, 18 years old Chabaprai join the Rung Esan Lam Phloen troupe and get her first hit with a sad song called "sao na sahun".  7  years later she toured all around Esan and recorded several records (usually on Tra Phin Khaen for the vinyl edition) and at only 25 years old Chababrai already saved enough money to start her own molam troupe: the Kwan Jai Kalsin. Later, in 1997, Chabaprai became a traditional molam teacher in her home province and passed away in 2009 living behind her some beautiful songs that have been re edited on CDs by Krung Thai.
The tape we'll ear today: LAM PHLOEN KLON KAE KLON, has been recorded in the second part of the 70's, 9 lam phloen and 1 lam long written by Doi inthanon. The voice of miss Chabaprai is superb and shows the wide spectrum of her talent. It's bold, deep, often pretty fast and the whole production behind her is brilliant: A large band featuring all kind of traditional Esan instruments (phin, khaen, saw, percussions...). Some great backing vocals and hand clappings. It's gorgeous and also perfect for full nights of dancing parties during temple festivities...
I'll post a pretty different tape from Chabaprai Namwai later this week if some of you are interested.
LAM PHLOEN KLON KAE KLON ลำเพลินกลอนแก้กลอน
01 ลำเพลินกลอนแก้กลอน
02 ลำเพลินรำวงลักไก่
03 ลำเพลินเหล้าขาว
04 ลำเพลินผู้บ่าวสมัยใหม่
05 ลำล่องชวนให้กลับอีสาน
06 ลำเพลินอย่าอ่งหลาย
07 ลำเพลินคิดถึงแฟนทหาร
08 ลำเพลินเชิญเยี่ยมบ้าน
09 ลำเพลินเกลียดผู้ชายลวง
10 ลำเพลินผู้ชายสมัยนี้

Thursday, 18 August 2016


After the post about Thongmai Malee I recived 2 emails  (1 asking if I could post more lam phaen and one asking if I had more tapes produced by Doi Inthanon). Well, the answer is yes and yes! I planned to stick to monthly series like I used to do with my previous blog so let's follow the lam phaen post from last time till the end of this month (by the way, requests are always welcome).
Doi Inthanon with her majesty Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Noknoi Uraiphon and Chalatnoi Songsoem
Last week, we heard some lam phaen, an early 80's genre of modern molam created by mister Doi Inthanon, it features fast lam vocals, and some occidental instruments mixed with traditional Esan style sound and modern lyrics (using sometimes a few words in english and trendy references such as motorcycles). Perfect for dancing and for a younger audience.
Doi Inthanon ดอย อินทนนท์ and Khwanta Fasawang ขวัญตา ฟ้าสว่าง
Born on the 1st of may 1947 in the province of Surin, Doi Inthanon (who takes his name from a place in northern Thailand) started to write songs at the age of 20,  learning with the Bangkokian songwriter Payom Moogda, a specialist of both luk thung and luk krung who wrote some songs for the legendary Suraphon Sombatcharoen "the king of luk thung". Over the years mister Inthanon composed more than 3000 songs (both luk thung and molam) for many Esan singers (Noknoi Uraiphon, Hongthong Dao'Udon, Suphap Daoduangden, Chalatnoi Songsoem...) as well as some Thai superstars (Phongsi Woranut, Waipod PhetsuphanPhumphuang Duangchan...). He even wrote for Jonas and Christy the most famous "foreign" luk thung singers. Doi Inthanon have been awarded for his work many times. 
Today, we are in Sisaket, the birth place of  Khwanta Fasawang, one of the early practionner of lam phaen. If surprisingly she did not get as much success as most of the singers working with mister Inthanon, Khwanta Fasawang released at least a handfull of really good tapes including one on duo with Chalatnoi Songsoem. The tape we ear today: BAK SONG SAW SEOW is in the same mood as the previous lam pheun tape we heard. Fast delivery and a great mix of Esan and foreign instruments (though this time it's more Esan oriented). The intro voice/khaen is not systematic here and often replaced with some interesting cold synth and sound effects. The voice is great and miss Fasawang is for sure one of the most talented performer of lam pheun with Tongmai Malee, Phonsak Songsaeng and  Salak Silathong (we'll ear about them later for sure)... See you next week for another fantastic tape written by Doi Inthanon.

KHWANTA FASAWANG ขวัญตา ฟ้าสว่าง
BAK SONG SAW SEOW บักสองซาวพาแส่ว
01 บักสองซาวพาแส่ว
02 มอเตอร์ไซค์ทำแสบ
03 เป็นตาเอ๊าะเอ๊าะ
04 สนพงษ์เบอร์ 4 จารุณีเบอร์ 5
05 เจ้าแม่ 8 โอ่ง
06 สาวใต้ต่อนสะออนหนุ่ม 2 ซาว
07 น้ำตาน้องติ๋ม
08 สาวมะลอรอแฟน
09 บุญมีแต่กรรมบัง
10 ฮักผัวขี้เมา
11 น้ำลวกไก่
12 หน่ายคนไม่มีองศา

Thursday, 11 August 2016


Today in Thailand, it's mothers day
and the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
To celebrate, I compiled some traditional ESAN LULLABIES performed by Esan mothers. some home made and professional recordings in villages as well as an old vinyl Ep and a song from a CD by miss Chawiwan Damnoen.
Mostly solo a capella recordings but also 1 mothers ensemble and some phin and khaen on the first track. Different versions of the same lullaby: นอนสาหล่า "none sahla" (please sleep). It's a funny lullaby where the mother promises bad things if the baby don't sleep "if you don't sleep I won't give you bananas.... the cat will scratch your eyes and bite your balls..."
It's full of love and sincerity... We sure need some today.

01 mother with phin and khaen
02 mother solo
03 mother solo
04 mother solo
05 group of mothers
06 Chawiwan Damnoen
07 mother solo
08 mother solo
Chawiwan Damnoen

I would like to dedicate this post to the vitims of the bombings that happened last night and this morning in Thailand.


TONGMAI MALEE / ทองมัย มาลี
Back to normal after a fun week, I hope you enjoyed discovering some pretty different tapes... 
Today, we are in the province of  Nakhon Phanom, once again on the banks of the Mekong, to enjoy some lam phaen with one of the experts of the genre, mister THONGMAI MALEE. I'm quite sure he choosed his name as a reference to one of the masters, mister Thongmee Malai as it was pretty common at this time for young singers to choose a name that already sounded familiar...
I did not know anything About Thongmai Malee when I found this tape 3 years ago but I knew from experience that when it comes to Esan music (well Thai in general) the SKH logo from the nothorious label Saha Kuang Heng Record is a sign of great music coming to your ears, those people don't mess around about quality and there is a very little chance to get disapointed by the tapes they put out back in the days. On top of that, Thongmai Malee had his early records written and produced by the talented Doi Inthanon who wrote quite a few successful songs for many singers you previously heard here: Hongthong Dao'Udon, Onuma Singsiri, Angkhanang Kunchai  and Yenjit Porntawi.
Tongmai Malee recorded several album in the 80's, including a duo record with Bayen Rakkaen that I would love to find. It seems like he was still putting up some new records out not so long ago.
SIANG KHAEN EOW SAO starts in a pretty traditional way with khaen and saw on the first track, it then goes in a great mid 80's heavy molam style, mixing synth, sax, drums and traditional instruments. Some awesome lam phaen with a touch of luk thung, a touch of lam doen and even some lyrics in english (track 5 is titled "I love you"). A long intro featuring voice and khaen for each songs followed by the fast lam of Thongmai Malee... Enjoy!
THONGMAI MALEE ทองมัย มาลี
SIANG KHAEN EOW SAO เสียงแคนแอ่วสาว
01 เสียงแคนแอ่วสาว
02 ฮักสาวรำวง
03 จีบสาวฟังลำ
04 มาลัยน้ำใจ
05 ไอ เลิฟ ยู
06 สั่งแฟน
07 ตามน้องทั่วฝั่งโขง
08 สัญญาต่อหน้าพระธาตุ
09 เสน่ห์แม่ม่าย
10 เจ้าพ่อคอผสม
11 คุยเขื่อง
12 ไอ้หนุ่มมอเตอร์ไซค์
13 bonus track

Friday, 5 August 2016


If fun takes an important place in molam culture, naughtiness is usually the spicy ingredient added to the comedy parts during concerts... And by the way, this is the last post of this fun week. Next post, back to serious (well not too serious).
 Some phalic objects used as fertility symbols during festivities
Found on the floor at a molam concert...

Thursday, 4 August 2016


Let's continue our fun week with some Esan "rock". It seems like this style was all the rage in the second part of the 90's, especially on the Cambodian border, as most of those rock bands were flavouring their songs with some kantruem influences and the use of Khmer/Esan intruments such as saw kantruem (though it's not always the case). 
ROCK SADAOW ร๊อคสะแด่ว
Esan rock can be seen as a modern form of local styles with pop/rock western influences and instruments. Even if the term "rock" is used as a logo on most of the records of the genre it's still purely 90's Esan music and could hardly being compared with the occidental standards of the genre.

The tape we'll ear today is pretty far from my daily routine TOOB TALAD by the girls band ROCK SADAOW but it's one of my favourite Esan rock album for sure. 6 young women singing a fast modern mix of luk thung and molam in an happy rock mood.
The voices are really great and the musicians play an interesting speed version of their 80' and 90's influences. As the cover promises: it's some fun and well produced Esan "rock" (as the cover tells 7 times!), perfect for your summer holidays party. This tape is the first part of a set of 2 produced in the late 90's. I'll post the second one later if some of you are interested... But for now, Let's dance!
ROCK SADAOW ร๊อคสะแด่ว
TOOB TALAD ทุบตลาด
01 โดะดงโดย
02 ปั้นข้าวจี่
03 คอยพี่ที่อุดร
04 ผิดหวังเพราะดั้งหัก
05 บ่าวล่ำใหญ่
06 ซาวด์ดนตรี ปั้นข้าวจี่
07 เงินหายตัวได้
08 ซิ่งสะแด่ว
09 มันมากับความมึน
10 เมียผู้จัดการ (ห้องน้ำ)
11 อนาคตคือคันไถ
12 ซาวด์ดนตรี คอยพี่ที่อุดร
rock logo


self portrait
If yesterday we heard one of the weirdest tape from my collection, there's something that often seem stranger than that tape in Thailand, Thai people call it "farang". Let's have a fun look at them (us... me!) through "international molam"...

 "Hello phubao farang..."
If some westerners happen to play traditional Esan instruments such as phin or khaen, not many "farang" ended up playing on a molam record!
The first one (released in Laos) feature a western khaen player, the second one is even more surprising as mister Ron Hemmer sings lam phloen and had an LP released in the 80's! (with Suprani Srisuphat sharing the tracklist). Sure not an easy thing for a non Esan and non professional singer, well it's not bad at all even though it sounds pretty weird... You can listen to some of those songs on the ASEAM website.
It's actually hard to belive but appart from eating insects and visiting temples, one of the things tourists especially want to do when they visit Thailand is to get scammed. They can then tell their friends about their exiting adventures... I actually never been scammed and I guess it takes some real efforts to be scammed properly but this tourist did a pretty good job... Let's read some exerpts from his story.

In his post, he also talk about this LP record  "A rare 1980s Thai molam record by Yupin Saaijai priced at $59.00" It's soooo rare that I payed my mint copy 100฿! And by the way, the price of brand new legit molam CDs is usually around 100/120฿... 
Ok, this photo is not from Thailand, even if this pirate CD was not worth buying, it was sure worth a picture.

If this sign I found in Bangkok is kind of ironic, the next story is quite funny too... 
Some western "musicians" branded some Thai culture under the name "the sound of siam"... Ironically some Thai musicians are playing some westernized jazzy thai music under the same name... (their version of Sao Esan ro rak is here). What a great long distance copyright ping pong game!

Talking about copy and westerners playing Esan instruments, that "siamese temple ball" record wrapped in mystery is quite messy but also kind of entertaining. Though nobody in Esan would belive 1 second that it could be thai it's quite well played marketing.

This "farang" seems to have fun but his version of traditional Esan dance is not very academic...
After the "Esan style fun" videos posted 2 days ago I recived a "tourist style fun" video from one follower of this blog... It's a bit different.

Monday, 1 August 2016


บานเย็น • อังคนางค์ • ปฤษณา
We continue this fun week with one of the weirdest tape from my collection. When I found it in a little shop, I was quite thrilled by the worn out cover: BANYEN RAKKAEN, ANGKHANANG KHUNCHAI and PRITSANA WONGSIRI, what a great team of molam superstars! The tittle sounded somehow strange though: "molam international". Even if  since the mid 70's modern molam often incorporate some influences from western music this title sounded like there would be something surprising...
Those 3 singers are really famous, we heard of Angkhanang a few times already and Banyen and Pritsnana recorded many songs together. It's the first time I see them as a trio. I could have expected anything but not really that... 
Half an hour of a medley featuring some luk thung, some Bollywood "thai style" covers and some molam including one of my favourite form: lam phu tai. Here comes, the "international" touch, some heavy 90's electro "euro dance" and some western songs covers such as Lambada... If the voices are really nice, the mix with the music is particulary strange (even if sometimes it works). It's surprising to find those superstars involved in such project. Luckily this tape did not become the standard in molam and could be seen as a strange experiment from the past... Weird isn't it?
บานเย็น รากแก่น • อังคนางค์ คุณไชย • ปฤษณา วงศ์ศิริ
MOLAM INTER หมอลำอินเตอร์


We continue our week of celebrations. If every important moments in Esan are always related to buddhism they also include food, music and of course FUN! Better than talking about it, let's just watch a bunch of videos...

See you tomorow with one of the weirdest tape from my collection


MAYURA FAHSITHONG / มยุรา ฟ้าสีทอง
Yesterday, I started to celebrate my 100th shared record with an homage to early molam records, for the rest of the week, it's PARTY TIME! We'll have some fun posts everyday including some fun photos, videos and off course a bunch of fun tapes (quite far from my usual posts for sure). Those who are in the middle of  summer holidays will have a good oportunity to dance with friends I guess... Let's start the party with some mid 90's fun and fast luk thung with 20 PLENG MAN JANG WA SAM CHA. 
MAYURA FAHSITHONG was born in the province of Sisaket. When she was still young, her familly moved to the eastern province of Sa Kaeo, on the Cambodian border. At the age of 12, she turns her passion for singing into a part time job while she was on grade 6 at school. At 16 she joins the army before starting a carreer as luk thung singer.
stage costumes drying in the backyard
The tape we have today is a fun medley, over 50mn of non stop music (including quite a few  covers, you should be abble to easilly regognise some of those). The tape cover clearly states that it's luk thung but it also feature some influences from Khmer/Esan kantruem and some furious molam...  Miss Mayura still sings and as far as I can see she did not loose her energy at all. For now, call some friends, it's party time!

MAYURA FAHSITHONG / มยุรา ฟ้าสีทอง
20 PLENG MAN JANG WA SAM CHA / 20 เพลงมันส์จังหวะสามช่า
You'll probably need a few cases
of luk thung energy drink...