Saturday, 30 July 2016


Today is a special day, it's the 100th record I share through blogs. I started with, trying to get away a few hours per week from my growing addiction to Esan music by sharing records from all around the world... As you can see, it did not work that well. So today I won't share one but 10 records at once, some antic 78' molam recordings  I was religiously keeping for a special occasion.
Today we'll visit the native province of miss Khampun, Ubon Ratchathani, deep in the south east of Esan. We been visiting the province many times recently as it's historically one of most important place for Esan music (just like Khon Khaen/Udon Thani that we'll soon ear about). If the province of Ubon is well known for it's prehistorical sites, we'll stay focused on some very old molam recordings!
YOT MOLAM NAI ADIT "best molam from the past" seems to be a pretty confidential tape compiling some 78' records (originally pressed by Columbia) from the mid 50's. The guy who gave it to me actually had 2 copies of that tape from some old stocks. He told me I would love it and he was more than right). If this band is not much of a mystery among Esan records collectors it's because KHAMPUN FUNGSUK is one of the first of the kind to produce some  recorded molam (while electricity was still not available everywhere in villages).
Khampun, Sunthorn and their band gained a solid reputation with the help of radio diffusion and seems to have been an important source of inspiration for young molam singers of this era who later becames legends. If Khampun Fungsuk started by recording various kind of traditional local forms of lam they then followed the molam evolution but they only switched to lam sing after Sunthorn passed away. As many molam traditionalists, he wasn't really seeing this new form of molam in a positive way (early lam sing was often considered rude, too fast and far from the original lam values). The band later performed under the stage name of Suntarapirom but I'm not sure if they still exist.

The tape we have today feature over 1 hour of some of their early studio recordings. 20 "crispy" traditionally performed molam (lam long, lam toei...). It's brilliantly executed by different singers and off course, only accompanied by a khaen. It's pure, deep, gorgeous. I have a particular crush for the lam toei duo that open the second side.
I spent quite a few hours cleaning each tracks as it sounded like... well, vintage 78' records but I did not spend too much time trying to figure out what was wrong with the hand typed track list (the last song of each side is not on the list and it's possible that some songs have wrong tittles). Some typos has been corrected by my friend Pueng (thanks) but some mistakes can remain... Only music matters anyway and today I'm happy to share those 20 pieces of Esan music history.
It's interesting to note that some shellac is produced in Esan and was often used in the process of dying silk long time before being used for the production of the 78' records we ear today.

KHAMPUN FUNGSUK คำปุ่น ฟุ้งสุข
YOT MOLAM NAI ADIT ยอดหมอลำในอดีต
01 ลำเกี้ยวบ้านโศรก
02 เต้ยแข่งทำนอง
03 ลำสาดหุ่น
04 ลำสองสัญลักษณ์กึ่งพุทธกาล
05 ลำดาราภูมิศาสตร์
06 ลำเต้ยนิทาน
07 ลำล่องคนึงเมื่อจาก
08 ลำหนองบัวลุ่มภู
09 ลำล่องคู่รักแดนเมือง
11 ลำไทยโขงจงประสบ
12 ลำชมอินเดีย
13 ลำทัศนาจรครบดนตรี
14 ลำเดินดง
15 ลำจันทร์ยอแสง
16 ลำชมไม้นานาชนิด
17 ลำเกิดศึกสองเมือง
18 ลำชมดนตรีแดนอิสาน
19 ลำหวัดตาลประสานรัก

Thanks a lot to the people who took the time to put up this tape!
You can see some 78' thai records sleeves here

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