Welcome to ซาวด์เบ้าท์อีสาน (saobao Esan). "Saobao" is a Thai anglicism "sound about" it's also the nickname given to portable tape cassette players in Thailand. This blog is aimed to share and document the amazing Esan culture through it's rich musical heritage. Molam (หมอลำ) and luk thung (ลูกทุ่ง) of course and also all kinds of music from northeastern Thailand in traditional or modern forms, usually from my personal collection of tape cassettes. บักสีดาฟังลำ!
Sunday, 8 May 2016
19 NUM PHUTAI (LAM PHLOEN TEK LUK THUNG)
Some people say "Never juge a book by it's cover", what about tapes? Quite often, thai tapes covers can be full of mystery (especially if you can't read what's on it), I had no clue about what I would get when I bough this tape almost 3 years ago, the seller who knew the kind of music I was looking for just said "this is Esan"...
Num Phutai in his studio
Let's have a look at the cover: A soundboard, some machines and a bunch of happy guys... After a closer look, you could regognize the unique smile of mister Num Phutai (on the left). Born In the province of Kalasin (where lives a large part of the Phu Tai community of Thailand), Num Phutai is well known in the luk thung / molam scene since 40 years: Phin player (he also play guitar, khaen, accordion...), he gained a solid reputation in the 80's and 90's as a composer and producer (we'll ear more about this side of his career later as he his behind many very good tapes). Num Phutai also takes a serious part in the transmission of the Esan musical culture by teaching how to play phin to the younger generations (numerous books, and video methods are available). That's still very few information about what's inside this tape as Num Phutai solo career is quite eclectic...
Phin masters Num Phutai and Thongsai Thabthanon
What do we have here? 10 early "electronically assisted" instrumental loops of modernised phin/khaen "prayuk"lines borowed from luk thung and molam with some outerspace 80's synthetic feel. Electric phin with khaen and some subtle additional instuments. Everything here melts in your ears brilliantly. One sure thing is that the central part of this recording is the production, the sound blending and a particular attention for the stereo rendering. Finally, the cover of this tape was kind of a good description of the music... Good job!