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

Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday 1st October 2015

pic – Kaztet Dee Facebook
MC Kaztet Dee will be bringing a healthy dose of positive vibes to Cambodia over the next ten days or so, with a series of reggae gigs featuring visiting artists and local talent. The party starts in Phnom Penh at Mini Banana this Friday night, continues over the weekend at Laundry Bar and L'After in Siem Reap, and culminates with the Phnom Penh Reggae Festival on the 10th October. Greg 'Kaztet' Dee has an unassuming, friendly manner which is quite different from his fearsome, imposing on-stage presence with Wat a Gwaan (in French, 'Kaztet' literally means 'break head'!). Over the last year or two, he has quietly instigated a series of very cool gigs in Cambodia featuring international talent - Greg was the man behind the awesome Tippa Irie and Reggae Rajah shows at Slur Bar in Phnom Penh. Macky Banton will be headlining the upcoming Cambodian shows as part of a world tour. Macky is a veteran MC from the UK reggae soundsystem scene – toasting since the age of 14 with Iration Steppas and Jah Tubbys. He also runs a cool radio station called Dubforce Radio.

DubforceRadio - SoundSystem Culture, Roots, New Roots & Dub

All-American entertainer: pic – Richard Pearl website
Friday night also heralds a couple of welcome new arrivals on the Phnom Penh expat gig scene. Kuhl's South 40 is a new quartet of young 'Americans who like to play funk, soul and r'n'b covers', with an emphasis on the eclectic. The band will be making their debut performance at Same Same 2 guest-house on Street 136. Meanwhile, one street north at Sharky Bar, newcomer Richard Pearl will be the opening act for Khmer-rockers Road Twist. This past week, Richard has been making waves around the Phnom Penh open mic scene with his explosive solo act. It is not easy to describe in words what this man can produce with a banjo, a microphone and a few pre-recorded backing tracks. Richard is a musical entertainer with a unique act honed over many years in Las Vegas showrooms, New York City clubs and luxury cruise liner ballrooms. Check out his website to get a flavour of his style.

Leonard Reyes pic – Steve Porte
As delighted as Ted, Timothy and myself are when a great new act comes to town, we also get down in the dumps when a cool music guy leaves Cambodia. I guess we can't have it both ways. Leonard Reyes, the lead guitar player with Vibratone and Moi Tiet, has announced his departure from Cambodia and return to The Philippines. The good news is... there will be a cool music party for Leonard at Sharky Bar on Saturday. He will be performing with Gem Habito as The Chongs, along with assorted other great guest musicians, with a supporting acoustic slot by some guy from the UK called Joe Wrigley. I get the feeling that quite a few folks could show up on Saturday to clink a glass and bid farewell to Lenny.

The guys behind Simone Art Bistro return from their 'low season' break on Saturday with a DJ party. You may remember that the venue was a hub of activity last season, holding many crazy and huge music parties around (what was once ) the lakeside area of Boeng Kak (before somebody filled it with sand). Grooves will be supplied on Saturday by DJ Bree and Cambo Disco Club.

Leng Pleng has received word of a brand-new recording facility being constructed in Battambang. Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS), the arts organisation behind the famous circus based in Battambang, let us know that they are building a facility on their campus 'to be used to record music, film soundtracks, radio pieces and so forth.' PPS are 'now taking applications for trainees who would like to join a free course in audio engineering. The training will take place for one month at our school in Battambang. For students coming from other cities, we can provide a travel allowance.' If Leng Pleng readers know of any Cambodians who might be interested in this fantastic opportunity, please ask them to contact trainingco.ordinator@phareps.org or 092 633 357.

Looking forward to Kaztet Dee's Phnom Penh Reggae Festival, above is a cool video featuring the UK reggae star Macky Banton.

Whatever you're up to over the next few days... stay safe out there and... see you around the traps!

Joe Wrigley

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