Wednesday, 4 September 2019


In this series documenting the MOLAM culture of the Esan people (Northeastern Thailand) and the international scam selling "an fake idea of it" to tourists. I describe how some people from Australia, Japan, France,Thailand and USA... manage their filthy business without any kind of respect and with very little clue about THE MOST IMPORTANT POPULAR MUSIC SCENE IN HISTORY!
Many album covers and photos from my personal archives as well as some fun videos illustrate and document each parts... None of the "self claimed specialists" of course ever showed any photos they took at molam concerts in Esan as they generally DON'T attend any!
Those scammers also never promoted live Esan music and never supported Esan musicians in any way! It's purely a business and there is no time for respect in such business. As you will notice, I don't have much respect for such people while I deeply respect Esan people and their amazing cultural Heritage!
ประเพณี ศิลปะ วัฒนธรรม มรดก อีสาน
Traditions, arts, cultures, Esan heritage!
This introduction feature for the first time a description of the molam scene. Nothing here is anywhere close to anything that spread in western medias during the last 10 years...

How could a simple tourist despoiled the musical culture of the victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide, started a business selling and performing this music... An inspiring business.

PART 3: R.A.T.S IN JAPAN "EM records"
A duo of Japanese tourists offer their very own revisionist point of view on Esan music.

How could a man with no clue about Thai culture and music and no links with Esan people at all created an international scam business... And pretends to be the specialist of Esan music!

From blogger to human zoo promoter... How could some random amateur musicians became a tourist attraction.

PART 6: CTRL C / TRANSLATE / CTRL V: "james leonard mitchell"
A pioneering description of a pioneering university teacher selling a pioneering book...

PART 7: WHAT THE FUNK? "edouard degay delpeuch"
A self claimed "ethnomusicologist" offer "mindblowing" descriptions of his friends scamming business... Partner in crimes or fooled idiot?

R.A.T.S: As there are many respectable westerners who documented music, I avoid any confusions and use the acronym for "Researchers on Asian Traditional Sound" to describe the self claimed specialists I mention here.
TOURISTA: As many surrealist terms such as "INSTRUMENTAL MOLAM" are used by scammers to describe the fake Esan music they produce, I suggest to call the distinctive "music" genre they sell TOURISTA. Tourista is 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 simple minded crap for tourists!

Feel free to message me if you have any questions on the subject.


phatyarnkan said...

hi! i just wanted to say that i appreciate these posts. they really shed light on some of the horrible practices and exploitation that takes place. it's refreshing to see someone so passionate finally freely express themselves and defend the people who need to be defended. i have a lot of the same feelings to how these western labels release music from places in general. im hoping to start a label (with my friend) to ethically release music. music will be shared for free, with direct donations to the artists. people can also donate to the project, if they wish. i visited shan state earlier this year, and met a lot of shan musicians actie in the 1970s and 1980, and im hoping to be able to release their music. again, we want the artists to be compensated directly for their work. people can donate as much as they like. it was important for me to meet with the musicians and get their well wishes. im happy to say that they seem excited for the project. these artists creative work has been exploited and stolen from their entire lives. im really hoping to start something new. thankfully, the internet makes this possible. thanks


Hi Phatyamkan
Well, such label already exist, it's available to all and full of free music... it's named youtube. I haven't been to Shan state but sure they have some great music like everywhere in Myanmar (I'm more into Karen stuff). Lots of new and vintage Burmese music on youtube. I don't consider youtube to be the best option but right now, nothing is easier to use and that's how locals distribute and "consume" music. Most popular Southeast Asian musicians try to get rid of record companies... Burmese people stop to buy music since they can access smartphones. I saw lots of 1$ cd shops closing within 5 years.
If you want to sell music available for free online, you'll have to lie to people like those scammers I described and say "wow. look at what I found" and If you you want to sell it to more than 10 people you'll have to standardize it as much as possible like R.A.T.S do... Burmese music have little to no potential commercial audience outside of Myanmar and youtube already offer options to donate directly or via advertising on videos.