If the guy was the kind of "been there / done that" who gives very short answers to the most interesting questions, I started to doubt and checked the answers he was giving me about Thai music as most of the time those were simply wrong (At first I though it was intentional)...
As my collection of Esan and Thai tapes was growing pretty fast, I could notice that his blog was seriously filled with wrong information showing that he had very little clue about what he was talking about (copy/pasting random informations from google is not a form of knowledge).
Obviously doolan bought some random tapes in lots a few times and got more when he was going to run out (around 400 albums if the information he gave me were right which is very little for a "specialist" who spent 5 years in Thailand). His goal was just to gain some credibility as a Thai music expert...
All that doolan gave me is the opportunity to discover the experience of feeling particularly ashamed in front of Thai people, he even did that twice:
First, when I invited him to attend a likey performance he simply refused to pay 3$ at the entrance, explaining that he could watch just as well from the outside. The show wasn't started yet and all the audience was staring at the 2 white gatecrashers. As I left him and payed he finally followed (if he did not pay, some people would have come to pay for him and the situation would have been even more embarrassing). I can understand doolan refused to give 3$ to a Buddhist temple but nobody forced him to enter!
I did no repeat such experiences with that guy and never found myself again in such embarrassing situation...
If peter doolan was escaping my questions on Thai culture and if he was giving me many unrequested information about all his little scamming friends, I was still wondering what was wrong with that guy as he was not obviously making profit on Esan (or Thai) musicians... He was in Thailand since 5 years and nobody I know ever mentioned his existence! I never found any traces of doolan in any kind of musical scenes I know in Thailand and honestly, It took me a little time to find out what was going on!
MONRAK PLENG THAI
The style doolan often use in his blog and on the filthy promotion of his tourist scam "khun narin electric phin band" is named by the Christians (who know a lot about lies and manipulation) lying by omission (funny that they consider it a deadly sin). Doolan constantly omit everything that would not serve his purpose. In his blog, doolan is usually affirmative, even if it's right the opposite of the facts. The plan is to never loose his (self made) status of expert. If doolan's clue is quite limited on Thai music, he sure knows that almost nobody able to read English could prove him wrong... ALMOST!
In this post about Onuma Singsiri for example, doolan who don't know the name of the guest singer (it sure can happen as many guest remain non credited) simply removed the track without any mention of it... This post is particularly interesting as once doolan finally got the information he re-posted the same exact tape with the missing track and evidences of his links with fellow scammers.
NOTE: As doolan share music using a very low bit-rate, downloading the same music from youtube is a better source, as most of the music he shares is already available online... He of course never mentioned such thing and avoid any links to youtube but as he post the names in Thai alphabet, you can check by yourself.
Pornsak Songsaeng is also probably the singer (in the whole history of music) who released the largest amount of albums on the same record company (Siang Siam).
Those are major facts people like peter doolan sure have no clue about as they are not written anywhere but here!
This example makes it really obvious that peter doolan never really been searching for music in Thailand.
Here peter doolan shows his total lack of clue on Esan musical culture, he also shows that like ostriches, what he doesn't see right in front of his eyes doesn't exist!
In the molam community, wearing the "sua Phu Tai" (the traditional Phu Tai shirt) is a very popular sign of identity, even for non Phu Tai people... Even for me!
It shows the pride and the particular influence of the Phu Tai people in Esan arts.
and Raphin Phutai (luk thung Thai)
Suraphon Sombatcharoen (the king of luk thung) was already conscious in the 60's that the most passionate music lovers in Thailand were the Esan people, he performed quite a few songs about Esan featuring full Esan music and even some in approximate Esan language.
Esan themed luk thung
Yodrak Salakjai on duo (lam doen prayuk)
(sorry about the defaced picture)
*they both have their statues in temples!
Waiphot comes from Suphanburi (central Thailand), he is married to an Esan woman and seems to have a real interest for Esan culture and music. I wasn't surprised to see him leading a charity concert for the victims of the floods in Esan (2017).*
*Accordion sound (played or simulated on electric organ) and khaen are both diatonic instruments. It's a common "trick" of Esan composers to use an accordion on the intros of some ram wong and early luk thung recordings to replace the khaen used in lam. At this time a khaen (seen as Lao culture) would not have been tolerated by some potential racist audience from Bangkok. Here it's obvious that Benjamin tries to get something as close as possible to a khaen as all the song feature some loops of accordion drone on the background similar to hat a khaen could do.
**It's easy to understand the statement Waiphot made here on the importance of Esan in the origins of luk thung.
(of course, no Benjamin music on doolan's blog)
Some really great lae with my beloved Phimpha Phonsiri, some beautiful and really surprising lam ruang to klon with Hongthong Dao'Udon and Num Phutai and a few collaborations with his good friend Oyjai Den Esan including some heavy and fun ram wong and luk thung Esan albums and some really entertaining and unusual lam toei (all those tapes featuring full Esan music). Doolan is really a clown!
If the first examples of the genre were showing caged humans later they replaced the fences by a little salary (as some anarchists were claiming for human rights). In those zoos were performed cultural practices such as ritual dances, funeral songs or anything the zookeeper would find entertaining (performed out of the original context and purpose... Just for money). It's interesting to note that human zoos have inspired the modern zoos where cages are now bigger and somehow simulate the natural environment of the animals.
If mister doolan strangely NEVER mentioned it on his blog (he actually never told me about it either, even if at this time I was still talking to him online), peter doolan is clearly behind a modern human zoo project called khun narin electric phin band!
It's obvious that peter doolan is not very proud of that product he created. If he oftem mentioned in a friendly way his fellow scammer friends, doolan never said word about khun narin electric phin band on his blog monrakplengthai.blogspot.com
khun narin electric phin band is not even in the links list while you can find the fellow scammers I mentioned previously!
NOTE: doolan can't affort to show he sells amateur music on his blog as he may know some Thai people who would find it really weird and stupid.
Quite a few hundred Esan style dontri hae bands exist in Thailand, their purpose is to perform "background music" during processions and parades (monk ordination, merit making, cultural events...). Such groups exist in different forms, the most basic like khun narin electric phin band perform lines borrowed from various popular songs. Sometimes just 4 or 5 lines played again and again in loops. Such music is made to inform the people that the procession is passing by and to entertain the people on their way to the temple (to walk 2 hours under an heavy sun you need some music!).
More elaborated dontri hae bands perform some dontri phun muang "local music" (traditional music or musical themes from various forms of lam and popular luk thung). Such bands are backing bands for groups of dancers that can be pretty big (up to 100 dancers, sometimes more). Those trained dancers wear traditional clothes and perform traditional and modernized dances.
-The environment (no more villagers, no more temples...)
-Some kind of traditional music
-The kind of music locals value as being important in their culture
-The kind of music locals actually listen at home
-Musicians known outside of their village
-"the unique Isan sound" and "contemporary interpretation of traditional Isan music"(advertisement for one of their "concerts").
It's because it serves a purpose in a traditional context that the transformation of such practice into a product sold as being representative of Esan culture* and of a particularly important musical interest... in fact for the only purpose of producing some ca$h that the product sold by peter doolan and his colleagues have all the characteristics of a modern human zoo! Such zoos are not something from the past or some fantasies , they still exist in many "poor countries" (I ever read some scary hilltribe sex tourism stories happening at some of those places).
*doolan himself never described such music as being from Esan which is really weird as khun narin electric phin band have all the characteristics of Esan style parade bands and hile it's been sold as "the unique Isan sound".
(I could have send this screenshot to those khun narin folks...
Not sure doolan would still fool people nowadays!).
On the 24th of september 2014 doolan contacted me via facebook to ask for my help to contact the manager of what he called "a crazy parade band" as he wanted start his own business of Esan parade music for tourists!
If at this time doolan never mentioned me the existence (or his involvement) in the khun narin electric phin band. I was for sure not going to give him any kind of help to get some profit on Esan musicians and I was very surprised that doolan did not even had any friends in Khon Kaen (which is THE major music province in Esan!).
NOTE; as previously mentioned, the video I posted starts with the theme from a song from the Esan band Rock Salaeng (one of the most famous "rock" Esan song). Like I mentioned before, such parade bands usually plays line borrowed from popular tunes.
Doolan have been welcomed by those people at their houses, he's been eating the rice they grow, he gained their trust! The first thing he did after that was trying to fool them and trying to take advantage of what he learned next to them to kill the hope he gave them. For that, he tried to use me and, as I wasen't going to help him he had no other options and his plans miserably failed!
Funny that I could get in touch with any Esan musicians (including some I don't even know) within a few hours like anybody involved in the scene could! (If that clueless maft sai guy could, anyone can!).
As doolan's plans failed, he kept talking to those khun narin guys, he toured with them, made profit on their work (same goes to his human zoo colleagues who could have been also very surprised if doolan opened his business)... R.A.T.S LIKE DOOLAN DESERVE NO RESPECT!
In such interviews where the music of khun narin electric phin band is often described as a "Psychedelic Rock Band" doolan never mention the fact such music is Esan (even if the band is not technically located in Esan) or that this music such band play is purely covers of lines borrowed from famous songs... Unlike that maft sai idiot, doolan never call his product "instrumental molam" and avoid to mention his beloved mentor. It's interesting that if doolan was clearly involved in the production of a human zoo, he also let some pretty weird description of his amateur musicians band spread online like for this silly event promoting the tourista music scene in Bangkok!
Peter doolan* also forget to mention that such music gets very little interest outside of it's context and that nobody in Thailand would ever pay to see such band on a stage! A very little interest shared by doolan who did not show much love for "parade music" on his blog, even if he could have collected some CD's in Thailand for just 1$!
*Funny to note that Thai people usually call the first crockroach they see in a house Peter... END OF THE STORY!