Various Artists

The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Cambodia

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The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Cambodia compiles various psychedelic rock sides recorded during the '60s and '70s in Cambodia. Also included are a few cuts by contemporary Cambodian rock revivalists Dengue Fever and the Cambodian Space Project. The vintage recordings made by some of the biggest names in Cambodian pop including Ros Seresyothea, Sinn Sisamouth, Pan Ron, and others. These are electric guitar and organ-heavy songs, featuring a mix of American blues, rock, and R&B influences mixed with more traditional Cambodian styles. In that sense, many of the cuts like Yos Olarang's "Cyclo" and Ros Seresyothea's "Jam 10 Kai Theit" (Wait Ten Months More) have a lot in common with the lo-fi garage rock being made in the United States at the time. Other tracks like Ros Seresyothea's "Komlos Sey Chaom" (Love God) and "Thgnai Kor Chrer" (The Sun Is Setting) were simply inspired reworkings of Shocking Blue's "Venus" and the Animals' "House of the Rising Son," albeit sung with new Khmer lyrics (a common practice in Cambodia at the time). After the Khmer Rouge came to power, there was a cultural ban on Western-style rock music and many of the albums made during that period were destroyed and lost. Furthermore, many of the musicians who made this music were arrested and, in some cases, executed by the Khmer Rouge during the Cambodian genocide. Thankfully, a few of these recordings were preserved and collected here.

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