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The Leng Pleng Gig Guide comes out on a Thursday or Friday of every week

Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday 8th January 2015

The gloriously unpredictable Phnom Penh music scene shifts into high gear again this week. Highlights include a visit from one of the most important DJs in the history of hip-hop music and the 8th birthday bash of a seminal arts and music centre.

With gigs being thin on the ground last weekend, I left Timothy to man the helm at Leng Pleng Towers and ventured into the countryside for a few days. With Television Ted still off wrestling crocodiles in Australia, I thought I stood a good chance of getting my expenses for the trip written off by the nice lady in the Leng Pleng accounts department. Hopefully she will sign off on the hire bill for the 250cc Honda Degree (and the subsequent repair bill) together with my accommodation costs. It was a work trip, after all. I spent a couple of days and nights researching the music scene in Kirirom National Park, Kampong Speu – 350 square kilometres of beautiful, mountainous woodlands, lakes, rivers and waterfalls.

The author 
...or is it Jack Diamond?
On the second night, I was beginning to worry that the only live music available in Kirirom forest was that provided by the plethora of birds singing night and day. Fortunately, I stumbled quite by chance upon a happy hardcore/techno 'all-nighter' taking place in the very hamlet in which I was staying. As luck would have it, the tall stacks of speakers erected next to the village temple were powerful enough to wake me from my early slumber in a nearby wooden house. In fact, the DJ played so loud that I was able to enjoy the entirety of the seven-hour set from the comfort of my room. I guessed that the other residents of the village were wholly enjoying the set from their houses too – nobody complained or otherwise disturbed the small congregation of hardcore revellers dancing around the speakers. I did drift into a shallow sleep a couple of times when the music went quiet for a few minutes, despite the chilly mountain climate and the unforgiving nature of the hard wooden bench I called a bed. Fortunately the DJ soon woke me up again each time I fell asleep - dropping some huge Khmer anthem or an extremely fast and distorted hardcore beat. Thanks for an epic night, DJ Kirirom

DJ Mix Master Mike will be making a special appearance at D-Club next Wednesday evening. This is something of a coup for the Phnom Penh venue, who have managed to grab the legendary US hip-hop figure as he makes his way to Hong Kong for a gig the following night. Leng Pleng would advise the purchase of an advance ticket from the venue. Mix Master Mike, both as a solo artist and as a member of Invisibl Skratch Piklz and The Beastie Boys, was a pioneering figure in the emergence of 'turntablism' – where DJ decks and mixer are transformed from things that play music into things that create music. In the 1990's, Mike won the DMC World DJ Championships three years in a row before withdrawing to become a judge of the contest. Check out his skills via the video below.

Meta House are throwing a party this Saturday to celebrate eight years in Phnom Penh. As readers of our sister publication www.kumnooh.com will know, the German Cambodian Cultural Center has always been at the heart of the modern arts and film scene in Cambodia as well as being a centre for education, a bar, nightclub, restaurant and a music venue. If you have had anything at all to do with the arts in Cambodia over the last few years, you probably will have met Nico, Johannes, Richard and the rest of the team at Meta. Thanks guys and well done! DJs from Kimchi Collective will be making sure the party is rocking on Saturday.

Rhiannon Johnson always seems to pick the very best musicians around to join her on stage: Phil Javelle on keyboards, Stephane Routtier or Euan Gray on saxophone, Toma Willen on drums. This weekend the Rhiannon Johnson Quintet will be in action on two occasions – catch the band at Doors Phnom Penh on Friday and again at Metro Azura restaurant in Tuol Kork on Saturday for some excellent funky jazz and soul.

Rhiannon Johnson
Kok Thlok are so lively and vibrant on stage they sometimes seem like a rowdy extended family. One never knows how many band members to expect – often finding ten or more players and singers performing their own style of classic Khmer rock'n'roll fusion. Enjoy Kok Thlok in the splendid surroundings of Cabaret on Friday night. Also at Cabaret, Mathias Aspelin and Alan Breen will start the weekend early with an evening of excellent jazz on Thursday.

Take it easy and… see you around the traps!

1 comment:

  1. Yo Bro, Happy birthday. I wish I could have stayed around an extra week to hang with you for your birthday. Enjoy dood! !!


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