Until very recently, I thought that 'E.D.M.' was an acronym for some kind of shady sado-masochistic sexual pursuit. Now, apparently, 'Electronic Dance Music' is the term used to describe what I used to know as simply 'Dance Music' – or what a friend of mine from a different generation still calls 'Disco'. I was born just two or three years too late to be involved in the first rush of warehouse parties, outdoor events and club nights that swept through the UK in the late 1980's and early 1990's – driven by DJ's spinning new, hard-edged, electronically-produced music that could definitely not be found in the Top 40 Chart Hits section of the local record store. Youth culture changed radically in a short space of time. The British Establishment became scared, laws were passed, the new youth culture was attacked relentlessly by mainstream media. Eventually dance music was absorbed by the global music industry, which repackaged it in a shiny box and sold it back to the masses.
In the late 1990's I spent my entire student loan on vinyl records. Mainly hip-hop, soul and break-beat. It was hard to mix records on my dodgy pair of belt-drive turntables and I never really learned how to 'scratch'. My DJ career did not take off. Since then my proverbial finger has become further and further removed from the proverbial pulse. I grasp clumsily at the names of dance music sub-genres like a drunken barang attempting to order a meal in a Khmer-speaking restaurant: electro-clash, dub-step, dark psy-trance? I pretend to know what I'm talking about, but it's painfully obvious to everyone around me that I don't have a clue. That is pretty much where I'm at with EDM. But I do like this mix from DJ Simon C Vent of Drop Dead Disco:
Simon will be joining DJ Sequence and the guys from Phnom Penh Underground for a big party at Code Red this Saturday night. Unlike me, this cabal of disc jockeys know their stuff. Check out their website. Expect a cracking atmosphere and some huge dance-floor tunes.
|Dakta Dub - pic courtesy of artist|
Wat a Gwaan and Yatra Productions continue to blaze a trail for international artists coming to tour Cambodia for the first time. Following successful recent gigs for Tippa Irie and Reggae Rajahs, this week the team bring the self-proclaimed 'Reggae Ambassador of Indonesia' - Ras Muhamad – to the Kingdom. Ras is a superb roots-reggae singer and MC with five studio albums under his belt. He is joined at Slur Bar on Friday by dub-reggae DJ Dakta Dub of Hyderabad, India. The pair travel to Kampot for a gig at Naga House on Saturday night, followed by a trip to Otres Beach, Sihanoukville for a Tuesday gig at The Barn. Each show should be a great event. Check out the video below for Ras Muhamad's track 'Lion Roar':
Another interesting party is in store at The Rock on Friday night when excellent live roots-reggae band Vibratone join fellow Phnom Penh-based artists Sinville Roadshow, Dirty Jacks and Kosal Khiev for the event Wazobia. Headlining singers Walexy and ConCCoins are visiting from Australia while Trap God RFM Nation hail from Nigeria. The night is billed as 'a night of music, comedy and talent show'. I'm not sure exactly what to expect from this party ('The Voice'-style talent show?) and the live music line-up seems like a random selection of different styles... but I sure as hell want to go and find out.
|Vibratone - pic courtesy of artist|
Miss Sarawan rounds off the week with an appearance at Doors Phnom Penh on Wednesday. Miss Sarawan Band is an expanded iteration of the group featuring celebrated Cambodian saxophonist Cheak Bunhong together with acoustic guitar, bass and percussion. The band perform understated versions of classic Cambodian 'Golden Era' tunes of the 1960's and 1970's, sung by twin sisters Lay Mealea and Mealai.
Whatever you're up to over the next few days, stay safe out there and... see you around the traps!