Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Phnom Penh: Re-Mix Culture

I have a quote I would like to share. I don't want to include this on the blog of my cassette archives ( because it is not DIRECTLY related to it, though I draw a large deal of inspiration from it.

In the liner notes of the Sublime Frequencies release "Radio Phnom Penh" Alan Bishop claims says

At its peak in the late 60's/early 70's, the Cambodians were a musical Superpower. Some of the most unique/exciting Pop and Rock songs this planet has ever produced came out of Phnom Penh's studios during this period. But the Khmer Rouge took power, killed many of the middle/upper class citizens including most of the musicians, and shut down the renaissance. Somehow, perhaps by transport to safe havens overseas, most of the original master tapes survived….This diverse, venerable collection of Radio Programming is a combination of AM/FM samples from the airwaves of Phnom Penh. The older, classic Pop/Rock FM cuts are ALL re-mixed as the newer forms/styles of Cambodian music collected here are not. This is Re-Mix Radio, much of it re-mixed music, created by a re-mixed culture.

The reason I don't want to include this on my blog is because I do not want to generalize the views of an entire geographical region. While the music I found is from a similar region, I cannot safely say that these ideas hold true for all of southeast Asia. I am, however, in the process of of finding out whether or not these ideas do extend throughout the region. I am attempting to contact a number of people who have a great deal of experience with the music of this region, on which runs a blog that can be found here: MADROTTER

I also plan to take trips to the region myself and explore the different musics and ideas on music, paying close attention to the origins of the music and how it has permeated through the culture.

While the sea project blog focuses on the Gamelan performance I found while working at the language library, there are a number of equally mystifying cassettes and CDs littering the place. I hope to find out what those tapes are some day, but for now I may revel in the enigma.

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