Honestly, the main purpose of this page, always been to put together information to:
Help people to access Esan music at decent price (some of those recordings being the cheapest music you can imagine).
Help people who visit Thailand to enjoy live Esan music at real Esan places in safe and convenient conditions.
Help people to discover the rich musical traditions and mind blowing cultural heritage from Esan which are perfectly integrated to modern life.
And, most of all, to give a point of view on molam and Esan people with no kind of relationship with anything surrealist you can read pretty much everywhere else!
My priority is to counterattack the 90% of the fake information that discredit the traditions and culture of Esan people as I consider those of an extremely valuable intangible heritage which needs to be honestly documented to be preserved correctly.
Since the development of foreign "cultural" scams, it became an emergency!
Filthy retards spreading fake information for the only purpose of profit clearly denigrate Esan people and their cultures at an international level while most non Esan people can't access a divergent and honest point of view.
|looks like I've been spotted...|
*known in Thailand as "kratoye".
Another version of "Esan our home" performed at a TV show
After the song, Banyen Rakkhaen salute the beauty and the talent of the singers.
-Molam is one of the main traits of the culture and identity of people from various groups known as “Lao”. Those people migrated during the last 3 millenniums from the actual northern parts of Vietnam and neighboring southern China to the mainlands of Laos, Northeastern Thailand (Esan), Bangkok, central Thailand... Some of their traditions and cultural practices (food, music...) have been well preserved since prehistoric ages!
-The term "molam" refers to the "lam" performed by Esan people while in Lao it's the terms “lam” or “lam Lao” refers to the lam performed in Laos.
|detail from a Laotian T.shirt|
As mentioned before, molam have no kind of hostility for anyone but very little interest for western cultures as Esan people already have their own fascinating cultures.
“Radio formats” (this term is a personal classification made to keep things simple): I regroup here all the forms created or modified to fit a +/-3mn "radio format" as well as all the hybrid forms (ex: lam doen Kon Khaen prayuk, lam phaen, lam toei prayuk). Such “formatted” formats (in matter of length) are proper to Esan recordings and doesn't often apply to lam Lao (probably because the production of 7' records has been minimal in Laos). It's the starting point of many distinctive new forms of lam from Esan that will appear later with the development of tape cassettes.
-There is of course no existing forms of instrumental molam.
|A group of young mo khaen on parade|
|A dancing farang (westerner)|
-Nobody in the molam scene ever mentioned the existence of "foreign experts" or the “products” they sell. They of course have no kind of accurate clue on the subject... Peter doolan (monrak pleng thai / Khun Narin electric phin band) is the only tourist scammer I actually met and the only one I saw attending a concert...
-I have never met any white neo-colonialists living in Thailand who had any kind of interests for Thai culture*. It probably exist, I just never met any in 5 years. The example of the Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre is particularly interesting as it's pretty much the only easy access tourists can have on classical Thai performing arts. Even if Bangkok is the most visited city in the world (20 millions visitors each year and many “expats”) the khon masked performance at Sala Chalermkrung is only performed twice a week!** It looks like around 0,1% of the foreigners visiting Bangkok access such beautiful cultural performance (in it's normal form, note the "sample").
*It of course include those people from NGO's, the Unesco, journalists and foreign embassy representatives.
|The golden days of colonialism...|
(view from a sky train station)
Molam have known a constant evolution and an incredible development during the last 150 years, growing from little community performances to huge popular shows attended by thousands. It's important to note that one of the main reason of this constant growing is it's clear opposition to western cultural pollution. Most of the places that welcomed the American “cultural”invasion pretty much lost their musical identity while the molam scene was getting really impressive. Such opposition often took some surprising forms showing the ability of Esan people to react and protect their culture with a certain sense of humor .
|molam dancers in traditional clothes|
|6am, some of the survivors of a long night of molam|
|60's photos of early lam ruang to klon troupes on stage|
|contemporary lam ruang to klon costumes|
|they call it popular music...|
-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).