Saturday, 31 August 2019


peter doolan enters the list of 
the top tourist scammers in Thailand

"Enchanting songs of Thailand"
I met peter doolan a few times when I first came in Thailand. At this time, I was actively reading his blog about Thai music and I believed what that guy was writing...
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... 
No more tapes around after I left this amazing shop. 

With doolan, I attended a few concerts and cultural events, if he never showed up with friends or met anyone he knew at any of the concerts we attended, by the last time I met him I already had quite a few friends among the most hard core molam fans... None of them knew doolan.
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!
Chinese gniew and central Thai Likey performances. In the middle,
a unique photo featuring performers of both genres

The second experience wasn't much nicer. Doolan informed me that there was a gniew performance (the amazing Chinese "popular opera") at a governmental place. No worries about doolan as it was free! It was quite unique as it wasn't performed like usual but as a puppet theatre. As I was sitting at the first row to document the performance, doolan took a sit next to me (right in front of the puppeteers and musicians). He then simply took a nap during almost all the 30mn show... Once again, nobody forced him to come and to show such image of westerners during cultural events!
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!
-A luk thung singer paying respect to the audience in a very polite way (Siang Esan)
-Chinese ngiew puppets
-peter doolan sleeping without any kind of respect right in front of the puppets performance.

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!
Over 5000 vintage Thai tapes... 
At places like this, you can randomly build
a collection of Thai music bigger than doolan's collection
in half a day, for just 300$ and pretend to be an expert... 
(no more Esan music after I left though)

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.
Doolan also often omit to show some parts of the tape covers which are full of precious information and remove "ghost tracks".

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.
60 Pornsak Songsaeng tapes from my collection. Pornsak is the singer
who performed the largest amount of lam genres, including some particularly obscure.
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 following demonstration is in 3 parts: 
-Some examples showing doolan's knowledge and interest for Thai music and culture.
(through his blog monrak pleng Thai).
-Peter doolan and his human zoo project.
(khun narin electric phin band)
- And last but not least: Backstabbing is not a crime!

Sathit Thongchan
This example makes it really obvious that peter doolan never really been searching for music in Thailand.
Here, peter doolan explains that after this tape (Sathit's 2nd album as mentioned on the cover) Sathit started to wear sunglasses on his album cover pictures. Not a very interesting information except  of course if  you compare to other album covers or if you are optician! I own about 35/40 Sathit tapes and show 15 as example here.
If peter doolan never saw any of those covers regularly popping in shops or cases of second hand tapes at markets or either on youtube... He obviously saw only a very very few Thai tapes! (I don't even talk about buying or listening... just seeing).
15 Sathit tapes (including 2 with regular glasses) recorded during a period of over 20 years

Note the usual "name spreading" that leads to basically nowhere (especially when written in phonetic). It's used by doolan to make it even more obvious that he is an expert who not only knows everything but also everybody. Note also the total lack of external links to focus on the fact that only doolan knows. Here, doolan names Jenpop Jobkrabuanwan and describes him as a "luk thung historian". As far as I know doolan never met Jenpop which is incredible as doolan was in Thailand during the time when the house of Jenpop was simply hosting... A (now closed) museum of luk thung! (a very easy to find information that was even in those silly tourist guide books). The house of  Jenpop is also hosting Jenpop's own radio station (Siang Silapin "the artist sound" 105.25FM if you are in Bangkok). Siang Silapin is playing all kinds of retro luk thung which would have also be a reason to pay a visit, especially for someone who pretends to be a foreign expert on the subject! It would have been interesting also not to intentionally avoid such major information for his readers!
-Jenpop showing me his tapes collection. That was during
my first month in Thailand... Lucky that music is a universal language.
-Jenpop live on the radio
--Jenpop guest on stage during a luk thung event

Doolan  also mentions 3 times the name Tongchan (name of the composer and his eponymous record company "Tongchan Promotion") but don't seem to realise that Sathit Tongchan got his name from Khamkoeng Tongchan who was his singing teacher. A precious information as such practice used to be a classic in the "teacher/apprentice" relationship in luk thung culture (maybe doolan did not even know). You can understand how deep is the meaning of using the name of the one who has been your teacher...

If you add the fact that Sathit is known to have been singing one of the top 10 most popular (and most covered) Esan song in history "leave the girl from Nong Khai", you get one of those posts where doolan stands as an expert while he in fact said nothing!.

Paying respect to Sathit Thongchan

Monruedi Phromchak
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!
Here peter doolan describes lam Phu Tai:
"a unique style of lam" like pretty much every lam genres...
"associated with the Phu Tai ethnic group" Obviously... still, no information and no explanations on the subject or any link to know more about that ethnic group... THE MOST INFLUENTIAL GROUP IN ESAN CULTURE! (lots of links on the right side of this page).
 Pech Phu Din pong lang ensemble (Kalasin) in traditional Phu Tai clothes
backing lam Phu Tai and traditional dances

"which can be pretty difficult to find in commercial recordings" This is where it gets interesting and once again ignored! The Phu Tai group have a huge cultural influence in molam and Esan cultre as well as some influence in Laos and Northwest Vietnam (this alone should already let you guess that you can sure find some of their music).
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! 
Dancer wearing a sua Phu Tai from Nakhon Phanom province
Lam Phu Tai performer
Dancer wearing a sua Phu Tai from Klasin province
(Silapin Phu Tai)
The name "Phu Tai" is the most commonly used by singers and musicians in ALL THAI MUSIC.
It shows the pride and the particular influence of the Phu Tai people in Esan arts.
Phornphan Phetphutai (performing lam doen), Num Phutai (a pong lang album by the legendary composer), Sao Phutai (performing Lae), Yadtphan Khonphutai (Phu Tai themed album)
and Raphin Phutai (luk thung Thai)

One of the biggest molam troupe in history is named Silapin Phu Tai "the Phu Thai artists". Silapin Phu Tai performs traditional Phu Tai dances, their musicians, mo lam and fans proudly wear the "sua Phu Tai" and they perform some lam Phu Tai at every concerts...
Dancers paying respect to the audience (Silapin Phu Tai)

"which can be pretty difficult to find in commercial recordings". Seriously? Lam Phu Tai is by VERY FAR the most commonly available local form of lam in Thai commercial recordings (of course the opposite of what peter doolan pretends). It includes many albums by Monruedi Phromchak (the most notorious lam Phu Tai performer, I previously posted 2 of her early gorgeous albums) as well as many other Esan and Lao tapes, CD's, VCD's (including full lam Phu Thai albums by legendary singers like Angkhanang Khunchai and Chabaprai Namwai). I also own some less usual "sing Phu Tai" and some "rock Phu Tai". Nothing surprising here if you know how influencial is the Phu Tai group...
Full lam Phu Tai tapes and CD's by Monruedi 
(I have many more of her albums featuring lam Phu Tai and other genres).

1st row: lam Phu Tai Cd (from Laos). lam Phu Tai performed by superstar Chabaprai Namwai,
lam Phu Tai performed by superstar Angkhanang Khunchai,
2 modernized lam Phu Tai tapes from the 90's and late 80's.
2nd row: 2 unusual kinds of "sing Phu Tai" tapes, some rock Phu Tai
and 2 dontri phun muang tapes featuring some music for Phu Tai dances and photos of:
woman in sua Phu Tai Sakhon Nakhon and dancers in sua Phu Tai Kalasin
I can add more if requested...

Waiphot Phetsuphan
Oh, Waiphot. There is a lot to say about the man: The oldest luk thung legend still in activity, most famous lae singer, Probably the (non Esan) Thai singer who recorded the biggest amount of albums in history... The tapes of Waiphot are some of the easiest to find in Thailand and it's not a surprise if he is the most represented singer on peter doolan's blog "monrak pleng thai". Surprisingly it seems like (once again) doolan have very little clue about what he talks about...

If quite a few of the central Thai luk thung legends who performed in the 60's, 70's and 80's often showed respect for Esan people and produced some songs and albums clearly targeting Esan audience (use of Esan language, Esan music instruments, Esan themed lyrics and even some attempts to perform lam!). None of them ever did it on the level of Waiphot. 
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.

Suraphon Sombatcharoen
Esan themed luk thung

Molam attemps by luk thung Thai gods*:
Sayan Sanya (lam toei) and
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).*
-Prayers for the victims.
-Pleng lae trio.
-Oups, I've been spotted.

*As usual, if this flood had been a major event that once again showed the generosity of Thai people and the solidarity of Thai musicians (luk thung, lae, ram wong, likey and of course molam been involved in charity concerts) none of the R.A.T.S and scammers mentioned here showed any kind of interest or support while Esan music is often their main source of income!
any fan of vintage thai music ought to know the word ton chabap... meaning "original". I only met one western luk thung fan during 5 years in Thailand, I doubt he have any interest for vintage thai music and he obviously speaks very little Thai so I have no clue about who doolan talks about here (himself I guess!).
but the biggest surprise of all?  i don't mind in the least.  that's because on this time the new sounds come courtesy of a full isan music combo... that means electric phin shredding, classic northeastern bass & liberal use of cowbell.  as far as i knew waiphot had never performed in this style, so enjoy this rare look into his classic lae tracks, isan-ified!

If I mentioned  that Waiphot is the Thai singer who recorded the biggest amount of albums clearly targeting Esan audience, it means MANY! It's not the biggest surprise of all As clueless doolan pretends... (While the most represented singer on doolan's blog is Waiphot..).
Obviously Waiphot likes to show his interest for Esan music! 
2 tapes and a mp3 compilation CD

as far as i knew waiphot had never performed in this style. As far as I KNOW doolan once again  affirm things with no links with reality! Waiphot performed quite a few songs clearly influenced by Esan music since the early days of his successful career. During the 70's one of his very first homage to Esan music shows a particularly interesting point of view as his song "sound of the khaen" is an historical document showing the major influence of Esan music in the birth of luk thung (a fact still contested at this time by some central Thai people). It's not innocent if the intro of "sound of the khaen" starts with the musical phrase of lam toei just like the first hybrid Thai / Esan song ever recorded, a ram wong performed by Benjamin named "ram toei" (a play with the names ram wong and lam toei that features the same intro). In the Benjamin song, it starts with "accordion sound"* while on his version, Waiphot replace it by a khaen**. Benjamin has been a major singer and composer of the early luk thung scene. I know I enter here in historical explanations (I guess those are mentioned in Thai major studies) but it helps understanding the deep interest and respect Waiphot have for Esan music.
*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.
One of the very first tape re edition
an early 21th century compilation
an other early re edition featuring the vinyl cover of ram toei
(of course, no Benjamin music on doolan's blog)
If Waiphot performed many other Esan themed songs with various styles of backing bands including some very close to what you ear in the tape doolan posted, he also released lots of full Esan style albums like the tapes I just showed and more collaborations with Esan singers than any other Thai singer ever:
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!
Waiphot albums with Esan friends:
Phimpha Phonsiri, Hongthong Dao'Udon and Oyjai Den Esan
Even if I met him a few times, I start to doubt that peter doolan ever been to Thailand!
so enjoy this rare look into his classic lae tracks, isan-ified! VERY RARE INDEED!
Waiphot Phetsuphan: "sound of the khaen"
one of the early Esan themed song by Waiphot featuring
a full Esan band and an homage to Benjamin

I was going to get deeper into doolan's blog but it's obviously not necessary (but could be funny). So let's go to the zoo... THE HUMAN ZOO!

Peter doolan' very own TOURISTA band!
The concept of human zoo dates back from the 19th century, it can be described as a theatralized simulation of the life of some "exotic" populations to entertain some Occidental audiences looking for a bit of exoticism.
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
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.

Let's see what khun narin electric phin band is and how peter doolan turned those honest amateur musicians into a stupid tourist attraction.
Khun narin electric phin band is an informal group of villagers (amateur musicians) performing dontri hae "parade music". Such groups of musicians are present everywhere in Esan and where large Esan communities are living in other parts of the country.
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!).
3 Esan parade bands similar to khun narin electric phin band
Doolan did not need to go as far as Petchabun*
Those bands are actually from Bangkok!
(*Bangkok/Petchabun: 340km)

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.
Dontri hae groups of modest form can be classified for exemple as "siang phin" (phin sound: small or medium ensemble leaded by a phin), phin prayuk or phin sing (modernized phin: small or medium ensemble leaded by a phin). Such groups generally walk while playing and some speakers are carried on a trolley. Sometimes the musicians are playing at the back of a pick up or a truck named rot hae (parade vehicle).
Another very similar Esan parade band from Ayutthaya (central Thailand)
as a marching band and on a pick up

Bigger and more elaborated ensembles are often run by schools or are of a professional level, they often feature over a dozen musicians: Klong yao Esan (leaded by a group of long drums known as "klong yao") or, during big events, pong lang (the usual neo-traditional Esan instrumental music ensemble) performing on a mobile platform.
Klong yao Esan ensembles sometimes perform on a stage but only during contests, those contest feature choreography made by the musicians and their instruments. 
Pong lang, most of the time, perform on stage as backing bands for traditional dances or singers.
Smaller bands like khun narin electric phin band don't perform on stage as they are not made to back dancers or singers. Their performances happen during religious and traditional ceremonies, they are never the main attraction or the reason why people come.
In Esan, there is stricly no instrumental bands performing concerts where people would pay to access. No instrumental groups are the main attraction of any events and their performances is generally not announced and their names not mentioned on any poster or promotional document (like the majority of the Thai tapes featuring instrumental music have no musicians credited). It's concidered a collective practice and nothing surprising or incredible.
There are hundreds of bands like khun narin electric phin band and nobody exept the people surrounding their village know them.
Klong yao prayuk Thep Phanom

One day, an american guy found by accident a video of the khun narin electric phin band on youtube and posted it on his blog, a random guy in pyjamas saw that video and instantly belived that this "amazing music" sold to tourists could make him rich. Nobody in Esan ever became rich from being in such band as it's a part time activity which any musician could do to earn some extra cash performing what is considered in Esan as very basic kind of music (even some 10 years old kids often play in bands like khun narin electric phin band).
So, the guy run to the first Thai restaurant nearby (hilarious but true) to ask for help to deal for his new business (lucky they were not Chinese like often in Europe). Well, apparently the restaurant staff was not very helpful as free translating servants so the guy look around on google and find... peter doolan! At this time, doolan who spent 5 years in Thailand did not get much fame from his self made status of specialist yet.
Funny that doolan jumped on the opportunity to get into such stupid project and became the guy who turned a local group of amateur parade musicians into a human zoo. (without him it would never have happened).
If in Cambodia dengue fever have it's own cover band named Cambodia space project. In Thailand, doolan copy his friend maft sai and his shitty paradise Bangkok international molam band with his own tourist trap: khun narin electric phin band!
Within minutes doolan changed their name! and removed: 
-The marching band and the trolley that carry the speakers.
-The purpose of such parade band (playing lines of music during parades).
-The intention (being the backing music that entertain villagers on their way to the temple).
-The context (no more religioous or traditional events)
-The environment (no more villagers, no more temples...)

People on their way to the temple:
parades and processions in Esan

Doolan is behind the production of an album and puts the musicians in a new environment, a stage to entertain some tourists who pay an expensive ticket and who actually believe that what they see is:
-Being performed in it's original form
-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
-The kind of  real local music people like to go to see in concert
-Musicians recognized for their talent.
-Musicians known outside of their village
-"the unique Isan sound" and "contemporary interpretation of traditional Isan music"(advertisement for one of their "concerts").

Parade music on wheels:
A band similar to khun narin (here with phin tuned guitar)
A pong lang studdents ensemble on a truck
Loudspeakers on a parade vehicle (musicians here are replaced by a mp3 player).

In fact nobody in Esan (or related parts of Thailand) ever payed to go to see such "concerts" and I never heard any of my friends who attend molam concert listening to instrumental music at any moment. It's not badly considered or anything wrong, parade music just serves a purpose in a traditional and religious context. (I have seen and documented such bands during parades and processions many times). If you tell any of my friends that you payed 20$ to see such concerts, they might laugh at you for half an hour!
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".

It's hilarious to note that during some "concerts" of khun narin electric phin band organized for tourists in Thailand, people had to pay a lot more to see amateur musicians playing 1h than what Esan people actually pay to see the world's biggest bands performing amazing shows during up to 9h30mn!

If peter doolan could try to defend himself pretending he was just "helping" such philanthropic project, that human zoo would never have been possible without his involvement and if you wonder why I take so much efforts talking about peter doolan it's not just because this guy tried to back stab his fellow zookeepers as well as the khun narin electric phin band musicians but because peter doolan actually tried to get my help to backstab those people!
doolan backstabbing his new friends
(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!).
I remembered that facebook conversation when I stared to work on this document about R.A.T.S and other tourists scammers so I saved a screen shot of it and checked the date to see if it happened before or after khun narin electric phin ban...
As a matter of facts the khun narin electric phin band first album came out on "Innovative Leisure" (which is a funny name for an "innovative" human zoo project) just 1 month before doolan tried to destroy the project for his own profit!
Basically, with my help, doolan could have done his filthy trick within a week and 1 month later, a CD's would have been for sale... If you watch that video I posted here a while ago, you can understand that in front of those kids named "khana Rung Thawi" and their fun automated skeletons the khun narin electric phin band had strictly no chance to survive at an "international" level!
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.
As it says in the conversation, doolan's plan was not to produce a new CD but just to buy the rights (probably around 100$ as doolan knew already). Such tiny investment for doolan who just started to learn to promote a CD as he was answering interviews** about khun narin electric phin band just had to contact the people who commented the  khun narin* CD with a copy of his own product and a video of those dancing skeletons and no more khun narin!
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!
No more cages or chains
at modern human zoos...

*khun narin electric phin band musicians did not ask to get involved in such thing but sure could not refuse some cash even is most of the profit is of course not for them.
**Indeed, doolan who has never been playing any music answered interviews for the promotion of the CD's of khun narin electric phin band just like if the guy who carry the guitars of the rolling stones would explain how they made their new album!
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!
An event where tourista bands are  described as "the unique Isan sound" and "contemporary interpretation of traditional Isan music" which is totally surrealist! Still this event is historical as it's the very first (and only) tourista music festival ever!

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!

-All the photos signed "Saobao Esan" are all taken by myself. Those only show regular events in their most usual forms. Nothing unique or exceptional, nothing tricky. What you see here happen very often.
-All the tapes and other formats cover pictures signed "Saobao Esan" are from my personal collection.
-Everything you read here is part of my personal researches and not some copy/pasted unverified information. If you want to quote anything from my work, you should contact me first. 
-The documents I quote are not information and can't be seen as "work", those are fraudulent propaganda I compare to facts. Such propaganda not only discredit Esan culture but it also fools YOU. The people paying those frauds are either victims or "partners in crime", Their reaction (or absence of reaction) following my publications will show their positions.
All the people mentioned in this serie of documents are welcome to express their point of view here (I can add more document showing they are clueless liars upon request).

Friday, 30 August 2019


records collection
“You can fool some people some times 
but you can't fool all the people all the time” 
Bob Marley...
If there is a filthy scammer that really makes me want to vomit it's with no doubt mister maft sai (zudrangma records, the paradise Bangkok molam international band, studio lam”, “toomturn molam group”). Mythomaniac liar, megalomaniac, pretentious idiot, clueless specialist... mini cymbals player and DJ...
In Esan music, the only DJ's are the people who run a radio shows, nobody into molam would ever go to watch a guy putting records on a turntable, they would find it miserable and ridiculous! When Esan people want to party, they expect a nice place with some great LIVE  Esan music!

Dj's from the popular radios ESAN 98fm and LUK THUNG RAK THAI
Introducing a free luk thung concert they organized
with the Esan anthem "people from the same village"

If there is one interesting thing about that maft sai guy, it's his talent to make reputed international medias such as Agence France Presse (France) Arte Television (France/ Germany), The BBC (England) and quite a few others medias of lower importance not only listen to him but also pay him as “molam specialist” and spread advertisement for his products... Even if he knows almost nothing on the subject.
Today, I'll take a look at some documents such as ads for his products on facebook and an (highlighted) interview for a book named “A geek in Thailand” from 2016 (all maft sai interviews pretty much all tell like the same story where, of course, he is the hero!).
"molam" sign on a concert stage
Obviously maft sai have a very blur idea of molam...
If I attended a few hundred musical performances of all kinds during over 5 years in Thailand, I also spent a lot of time buying lots of music from Esan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia... I made lots of friends and talked to some of the most involved people in the molam scene. Eating together, visiting them in there villages, sharing points of view, talking about music... During that time I strictly never talked to maft sai, never met him, never saw him at any molam concert or cultural events of any kind (I saw his incredible Dj's talents and his shitty band during a silly teenagers event as I like to know what I talk about...).
I NEVER heard or read his name or his crap businesses mentioned by anyone in the molam scene. It's not such a surprise as what this guy talk about have very very little to do with molam.
Molam fans in Bangkok. Thousands as usual.
If you read or listen to what that maft sai guy pretends he is the super hero who discovered some lost molam and share it to the Bangkok population and the world (pretty much like those dengue fever guys... without the genocide). If in an early interview maft sai explains that he first heard of molam (understand the potential profit) through some Japanese friends he met in Australia, in another interview, he explained being totally clueless about Thai music but later he opted for a more epic version of his the one we enjoy today!
 "inexplicably linked areas":
CD's and tapes from the legendary 
RACHABUTE STEREO music shop and record company
that produced a huge amount of all kinds of live recordings
and some studio albums.
(Ubon Rtachathani)

MR MOLAM dj Maft Sai spends most of his time promoting old Thai music, in particular molam, through three inexplicably linked areas: a music label that reissues molam hits, his experimental molam band, The Paradise International molam Band and Studio Lam, a bar that plays and host regular molam events.
Wow MR MOLAM! That's surrealist! As I just mentioned, I have never heard or seen that jerk anywhere close to a molam concert. I don't say he never attended any, it's actually possible that he did long time ago, once or twice, if he did, he obviously did not like it!
On stage or in the audience, molam kids are really passionate!
I invite maft sai to prove me wrong if he wants, I offer him to answer 10 simple questions that anyone attending molam concerts could answer. As I am fair, I'll ask the same questions to a 10 years old kid into molam. If maft sai wins, I give him 1000$, if he fails he will have to give 1000$ that will go to support educational projects related to molam in Esan... In front of a little kid, and even if he loves money, maft sai for sure knows he have ZERO chances but you can contact him if you want...
dj Maft Sai spends most of his time promoting old Thai music, in particular molam
I have never seen maft sai promoting molam or any kind of Thai music while concerts happen everyday in Bangkok and while what he sells is available at many places for a tiny fraction of his crazy prices. Maft sai only promote himself and his products. It's easy to check on his facebook pages for exemple...
In  another interview published by "kaosod English" maft sai confessed: "Back then second hand vinyl was really cheap. So I bought as much of it"... To sell those as "super rare music" to tourists (who can't read Thai) sometimes over 150$ for an Lp he got for 10$, the kind you can buy on Cd for 3$ in Bangkok or 6$ online. I don't call it "promoting old Thai music"...
Dao Bandon and Angkhanang Khunchai with P.Chalatnoi:100 songs compilations on MP3 CD's
sold in 2018 at BIG C supermarkets in Bangkok for +/- 1.66$ each (49฿)
his experimental* molam band, the paradise Bangkok international molam band**
If I never heard of experimental molam, I also never heard of any "molam band" without any mo lam in it as molam is a form of "vocal tradition"! If dengue fever indeed covered "Khmer rock",  the paradise Bangkok international molam Band in fact covers kids practicing Esan instruments, well, a very basic version of it. Advanced kids usually join more elaborated musical ensembles such as pong lang or klong yao Esan. 

*I particularly like maft sai's naive teenager expressions such as "the more commercial luk thung and mor lam artists" (kaosod English interview)  to describe the 99% of the Esan music he have no clue about (which can be seen for free in concert and available at very decent price or just free online).
I also like his usual "more experimental molam" that describe the silly cover band where he plays... MINI CYMBALS like a 5 years old kid!
** As the paradise Bangkok international molam band have no kind of links with molam and as instrumental molam doesn't exist, I suggest to call this distinctive "music" genre TOURISTA, the french word for "Traveler's diarrhea". As it basically smells like it, looks like it and sounds like it. As it's the kind of troubles tourists easily get in Thailand it's a perfect description and a good way to avoid confusion between molam and some crap for tourists!

Young Esan musicians from pong lang ensembles playing phin, khaen, pong lang...
It's interesting to note that maft sai plays "ching" which is basically the most simple instrument played in Southeast Asia, an instrument that any 5 years old kids could play. He is the only "band leader" in the world playing such simple instrument.
5 years old? maybe less!
When I moved back to Thailand I started listening properly, and was more open-minded. I had no expectations but when I found it, it was wow, especially he 1970s experimental music, when each band was trying to get its signature sound and rhythm. 
As mentioned in the previous post the short form of lam phloen played during the 70's was relatively standardised (compared to the many lam later performed) but it sure can sound pretty incredible for someone having reggae and house music as only cultural references (I still never heard of experimental molam). During the 70's the 2 dominant kinds of molam troupes were performing "storytelling lam": "lam phloen ruang" and "lam ruang to klon" all the singers re-edited by maft sai or scamming colleges performed such storytelling lam as main activity (it's of course never mentioned by any scammers while it's the dominant historical forms).
molam legends wearing stage costumes:
P.Chalatnoi (lam ruang to klon)
Thongmee Malai (lam phloen)
late 70's / early 80's

People were generally negative about it and asked me why I was into taxi driver music
What kind of people are you talking about maft sai (your family? your friends? Not random people in the street I guess... It's nice to be surrounded by fellow racist people).
Bangkok have about 1/3 of Esan people in it's population, obviously maft sai did not meet any of them at that time!
If maft sai never had a positive word about Esan people I could notice, he use the same style to look down on Esan people as some racists politicians would to talk about migrants. There is nothing innocent in this sentence about "taxi driver music". Maft sai use a 3rd person to show a point of view "people" here is a figure of style that is used in many of his interviews it's similar to some populists and neo-nazi propaganda found for example in France during the 90's. Repeated often, it becomes a "fact" while maft sai keeps a distance "people say". Marine Le Pen (french national front) often used "the honest french citizens" of "the people who give us their trust". In a famous racist incident J.Chirac who was the french president  at the time use "the french worker" complains "the noise and the smell" from African migrants, (it even became a famous anti racist song).
Such technique of propaganda works smoothly and many press articles and web pages end up describing molam as "music for taxi drivers", "music for poor people"or even “music for prostitutes”. Such propaganda also put maft sai in a superior position of "the man able to find some good thing in uncivilised culture and able to give a civilised experimental version of it". At no moment maft sai gave a counter point or mentioned anything nice about the people listening to molam or performing it (while he makes all his money on the retarded crap he pretends to be molam). 
We should do a party that showcased all this great music. wasn't a business plan...
Ha ha ha, not a business plan, seriously?

First party was in 2009. It had very title promotion. About 200 people turned up...
200 people? WOW that guy is a genius!
Thousands of molam fans in Bangkok for a regular concert.
Molam concerts needs very little promotion to bring
large amount of fans as the community share the information of
most concerts pretty well by itself, there are only a few posters in the streets.

I started wanting to see these artists play live, so I went to Isan to knock on some doors and ask them to come to the capital to play. Some of the artists were difficult
to get hold of. Many had retired or gone back to the rice fields, Some thought I was joking: "You're going to pay me to come down to Bangkok?”.

How did molam veterans take to performing in Bangkok? After I booked one of the artists, Angkanang Kunchai, a huge star from the 1970s, and showed her at the venue...

Banyen Rakkaen, Dao Bandon, Chawiwan Damnoen, Angkhanang Khunchai, P.chalatnoi
and Yenjit Porntawi. All performing free concerts in Bangkok!
Here, I must admit that "Mr MOLAM" (as this crap interview says) really did something incredible! Bringing to Bangkok "molam veterans" who could not even believe someone would pay them to sing in Bangkok... If he forget to mention that tickets were sold for more than a day of  the salary of a worker, he also obviously forget to mention that every singers (plus or less) in activity can be booked by phone within minutes and could sing at your home or any other place if you want (but this hero was brave enough to go to the rice fields!).
Ex members of the Phet Phin Thong band: Noppadorn Duangporn (R.I.P), 
Noknoi Uraiporn, Tonsai Taptanon and Wisset Waynika.
Also seen in Bangkok for FREE (exept for N.Duangporn met in his hometown)

Well, I was kidding saying he did something incredible... The truth is radically different as usual. Many veteran molam are national artists, it mean they have been honored by the Royal Family of Thailand and receive an income from the government as they are important parts of the Thai cultural heritage. In return they teach younger generations and often perform during cultural events and festivities. They can of course be seen on stage in Bangkok... Not for a day of salary: FOR FREE and performing like they want! As you an see on my photos I could see all of them and many more (everybody can) without the help of the heroic maft sai! Banyen Rakkaen, Dao Bandon, Chawiwan Damnoen... All of them (featured in tourist scam CD's)...
Non Esan lukthung legends:
Waipod Pethsuphan and Kwanjit Sriprajan
who often perform free concerts in Bangkok.

According to mister gossip, maft sai got in troubles with the highly respected Kwanjit Sriprajan as he tried to make her sing Pleng Lae against her will (I have never seen a concert promoter doing such thing anywhere else in the world). Kwanjit could confirm if necessary (I never asked her but I can).
What I know is that this disrespectful clash signed the end of the "lucrative veteran mini concerts tourist trap" which as been replaced by "The Paradise International molam Band"... Less troubles, more cash and maft sai and his cymbals IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STAGE!

The logo of the "studio lame" is an obvious symbol of the megalomaniac 
personality of maft sai as it shows the "ching" cymbals he plays
(I have more little kids at play videos if requested...)

Maft Sai spends most of his time promoting old Thai music
Maft sai only promote what brings him DIRECT PROFIT. When I saw 15mn of one of his lame concerts and his ridiculous "Dj set" he did not even promote the free event (where he got payed to "perform"), instead he promoted some crap Dj at his bar at the same moment. I did not notice maft sai ever promoting any "old thai music" concerts I attended in any way. Of course I never saw him at any of those concerts of singers he pretends to "likes a lot"...

Puy Roungtiwa... Homage to maft sai
and his legendary "ching" cymbals?
sing along:
"ching chab ching chab ching ching"

About the beginning of his "kids at practice" cover band: and the older isan guys, a 75-year-old khaen player and a mid-60s phin player. There's also Chris on percussion.
If I mentioned the total lack or respect maft sai have for Esan people, this example is particularly dehumanised as the 2 musicians from Esan (who bring a large part of his income) are simply described here like slaves used to be described in cotton fields in USA! State, age, ethnicity and function... Giving them a name seems totally unnecessary while his idiot English friend playing "poum poum" is named! (I of course have never seen that "chris menist" guy at any molam concert ever).
when we first started, it was very hard and there were arguments. They had the same kind of troubles in cotton fields I guess...
What's next? We want to do 21st century molam, so we're focusing on more reinterpretation projects and remixes, We want to do dub and reggae versions and also some electronic remixes. A lot of the time we're working with molam musicians and they're poor. When they're struggling to find food for the family, they're not thinking creatively. They get a gig and they have to do what is asked of them to get paid. This is a platform for them. All entrance fees for the nights go to the musicians, so at least they have a platform to be creative and they get to keep all the sales of the vinyl records.

SON OF A B... this part is extremely RUDE! maft sai seems totally uninhibited and free to express himself at the end of this interview.

We want to do 21st century molam so, how should it looks like? Not sure maft sai even knows? 

Let's try to understand what
 21st century molam
looks like:
FIG1: A notorious liar and his cymbals (toy version)
FIG2: A notorious liar and his cymbals pretending to be the leader of a "21st century molam band" standing in the middle of a stage dressed like a beggar.
FIG3: Wirapong Wongsin, leader of a contemporary molam troupe (founded in 2004). He is standing in the middle of a stage surrounded by his dancers. You don't see his 12 musicians as they stand behind the decorative elements on the back just like in other molam troupes.
Any questions?

more reinterpretation projects and remixes More covers of kids practicing, right? From which school? Maybe I know them?

Or maybe some more "American influenced" superman style phin...
Sure that kids could teach maft sai a things or two... About respect first...
By the way there are many kids like him in Esan!
 (I can post 100 videos like that if requested!) 

Next time, a BABY if you want!

I always Dreamt of forming a more experimental molam band. 
REALLY? Why not doing it then? Weird idea from someone who obviously have no respect for Esan people and no clue about molam.

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael,
but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
Pablo Picasso 
It took 15 minutes of the precious time of maft sai to learn to play mini cymbals, his musical experiments never got any deeper... 

In the "kaosod English" interview maft sai clearly confessed:  
"I didn’t know anything about Thai music
when I moved back to Bangkok"
At least now there is something maft sai said which I agree about! What about now? Still, nothing, right?
How can you dream of things you have no clue about?

Actually playing "ching" in a molam band can be real fun...
Even if it's nothing incredible

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child. Pablo Picasso
It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child. Pablo Picasso
We want to do dub and reggae versions and also some electronic remixes When I say maft sai only have very limited cultural references...

Some beloved mo lam (like there are many), receiving over a year of the salary of a Thai teacher
given by fans during a concert!

When they're struggling to find food for the family, they're not thinking creatively ARE YOU SERIOUS OR UNDER THE EFFECT OF DRUGS? It really sounds creepy. How could someone publish such humiliating propaganda in a book? Esan people are very serious about food, I have always seen many dishes on the table for each meals shared with friends in their villages: Various kinds of  vegetable salads (som tam, soup normai...), soup (gaeng saep...) Grilled fish or meat (or both), other meats, fish or insects based salads (laarb, koi...), some fish or insects based dippings (nam prick) some preserved and fermented fish or pork (pla som, nehm...), fresh herbs and leaves, fresh vegetables sticky rice... Delicious, strong well balanced flavours and extremely spicy! In Esan villages, most people are farmers and of course self sufficient for most of the ingredients they use...
7am, breakfast with 6 friends in Bueng Khan

They get a gig and they have to do what is asked of them to get paid.  BACK TO THE COTTON FIELDS AGAIN BOSS?

August 2018, While all kinds of Thai singers and bands organised concerts in Bangkok and all around the country to help the victims of an historical tragedy in Laos, no traces of the involvement of maft sai or his band... If the molam scene always been generous and involved in philanthropic actions, maft sai never showed any kind of compassion for anything bringing no direct profit.

All entrance fees for the nights go to the musicians*, so at least they have a platform to be creative and they get to keep all the sales of the vinyl records. I don't know who he talks about but as they seem to always get some "vinyl records pressed" by maft sai the messiah, they should not be hard to be found, please check and tell me as I did not see any of those records on maft sai's website.
I guess those vinyls are not "sold out" as this "sold out" 9$ pirate CDr Of "early molam" is still on the "zudrangma" website...
I posted real early commercial molam recordings HERE and obviously maft sai have no clue at all about how such "early recordings"sounds like as it have nothing to do with this CDr (9$ is 2/3 of a worker's daily salary in Thailand).

A tourist complaining being scammed by maft sai
*As I never saw any live molam promoted as "performing at studio lam" I guess he talks about his other employees "toomturn molam group" and as usual, nothing about molam at all.
30 or 40 meters away from "studio lame" (2017)
During his incredible philanthropic activities, maft sai did not find any time to give any attention to that musician and his gorgeous double neck electric phin who was often playing for spare coins at the sky train station entrance (a platform to be creative), about 30 or 40m from the entrance of the "studio lame"... Impossible that maft sai did not notice him... That guy was not bad at all (an amateur would not carry such instrument).
the full interview 
"a geek in Thailand"

toomturn molam group
Last but not least the second "instrumental molam band" of maft sai. That product has been fully created by maft sai, he is credited here as EXCLUSIVE PRODUCER...  A producer who apparently never found the time to produce any records for his prodigious musicians!
Those are just here have cheap musicians employed at his bar. and of course have no kind of link with molam. It's interesting to see that the promotion of that product pushes the limits of absurdity to another step...
If the description is very stupid it's still quite entertaining: We got some acoustic instrumental early molam...
Well, well, well pretending to be an experimental super hero of molam to foreign people who have no clue on the subject seems easy but pretending that this music is acoustic is very stupid or the guy don't know the meaning of "acoustic".
Once again we got the "instrumental molam joke" but this time it's "early molam". you can search on youtube and see if that joke have anything to do with early molam recordings
A space that allow them to develop their musical future... That maft sai is such a generous guy! Sadly the development seems very very slow as nothing came out yet except over priced mini concerts for tourists at his shitty place. NO TRACE OF ANY ALBUM RELEASE...
Moddaeng Jiraporn in concert

I really wonder how could some professional journalists from well known medias such as Agence France Presse (France) Arte Television (France/ Germany), The BBC (England) can get fooled by any clowns without any difficulties and how they can spend the money they often get from citizen's taxes to sponsor their holidays in Thailand. Where did those journalists spent their nights... not at concerts for sure! They did not even check the local tv channels at their hotels, they would have see lots of molam there! They obviously did not even take 1mn to do some basic researches on the subject like copy/paste the word "หมอลำ" (molam in Thai) that you can find on wikipedia into simple search engines like google images or youtube... Within 1 minute, you get thousands of videos and photos not relating at all to maft sai... But all about molam! Such medias covers culture and also wars, politics, human rights... SERIOUSLY???
You are free to google those names to see their interviews of maft sai and they are free to give their point of view here if they have any kind of answers to give about how they could believe, pay and promote such fraud! 

Note: A ticket for "contemporary molam" concert in Bangkok cost +/- 4.33$ (140฿) for a 5h concert performed by a band of 200 to 300 members. Comparing it to the "The Paradise Bangkok international molam band" would make such concert ticket price around 0.014$. If you payed more... YOU GOT SCAMMED!
For example, on the advertising for the "toomturn" product, the price is 200฿ (6$) so I guess for this price they should have played around 14285h to have a price you could compare to a molam concert!

-All the photos signed "Saobao Esan" are all taken by myself. Those only show regular events in their most usual forms. Nothing unique or exceptional, nothing tricky. What you see here happen very often.
-All the tapes and other formats cover pictures signed "Saobao Esan" are from my personal collection.
-Everything you read here is part of my personal researches and not some copy/pasted unverified information. If you want to quote anything from my work, you should contact me first. 
-The documents I quote are not information and can't be seen as "work", those are fraudulent propaganda I compare to facts. Such propaganda not only discredit Esan culture but it also fools YOU. The people paying those frauds are either victims or "partners in crime", Their reaction (or absence of reaction) following my publications will show their positions.
All the people mentioned in this serie of documents are welcome to express their point of view here (I can add more document showing they are clueless liars upon request).