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

Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday the 18th August 2016

12Mé will present his hip-hop Block Party bash at Cloud this Friday. Each month, the Phnom Penh venue brings together live rappers, DJs and graffiti artists for an evening in celebration and promotion of hip-hop culture in Cambodia. At this month's Block Party there will also be a screening of 12Mé's film Scratch documenting the artist's 2013 exploration of the Cambodian scene. Rapper and producer Mehdi '12Mé' Benabdessadok let Leng Pleng know a little bit more about his musical mission in the Kingdom of Wonder:

Making it happen in Cambodia: 12Mé with Papa Dub

Klapyahandz laid the foundations of hip hop culture in Cambodia, I want to build on that and show what I can do... I've been visiting Cambodia to tour, every year since 2011. Seven months ago, I moved here permanently. I wanted to have an album featuring Khmer performers... I started working on it in April... My album should be released in November... I will record and produce everything here then send it to a mixing and mastering studio in France for completion. The artists featuring on my album are mostly Klapyahandz artists: Lisha, Mr Oun, Khmer1jivit, Ouk and Yut, Chomraen and Vanna (tro player and roneat player), Nem Tum...”

12Mé has not wasted any time since moving to Cambodia, having already begun to learn the Khmer language while still living in France. He is now even rapping verses in Khmer – with a little help from Cambodian performer Lisha and his language teacher Tida! See the video below for a recent 12Mé freestyle session on live television. Mehdi has already completed many of the tracks for his album, entitled 'Samai Thmei' ('New Era'). While we eagerly await to hear the results, check out the Block Party at Cloud on Friday to see rappers 12Mé, Ouk and Yut, DJ Kdam and graffiti artist Venk demonstrating hip hop culture in Cambodia. You can also catch 12Mé performing live with Papa Dub at the Jazz Club Phnom Penh next Wednesday night.

Click the link to purchase Nightmare A.D.'s Cambodian-recorded Corruptors via Bandcamp

The members of Nightmare A.D. and Knell will be chomping at the bit to unleash their thrashcore and alternative metal sounds on the crowd at Oscar's On The Corner this Saturday night. With few Phnom Penh venues lending themselves to the heavy and uncompromising style of these bands, each gig is a special event. While some unsuspecting members of the audience might be left wondering: why is everyone at the front slam-dancing into each other?... most will be revelling in the powerful wall-of-sound that these bands produce. Any music night which features in its press release the words 'neck-breaking fury' sounds pretty good to me!

The Alleycat Cafe hosts their third anniversary edition of Sunday Sundowner Sessions this weekend. Three-and-a-half years ago at the fondly-remembered Rubies bar in Phnom Penh, Scott Bywater kicked off a weekly acoustic open mic with a timeslot that allowed maximum potential for lazy Sunday imbibement followed by a respectably early bedtime. The vibe was informal, the venue was 'cosy' and the participants were far more inclined to camaraderie than competition. Beginners and professionals, seasoned expats and fleeting visitors all shared a pew and a brew on the wooden bench-platform that served as a stage. When Rubies closed down in the summer of 2013, it was a natural move to make the Alleycat Cafe its next home. 'Scoddy' is no longer the official host but he can still be found performing there most weeks, along with a loyal bunch of regular performers and visiting musicians. We're not sure exactly how it happens, but a surprising number of great players always seem to find this 'hole-in-the-wall' acoustic session down a Phnom Penh backstreet on a Sunday afternoon.

Scoddy and Linnette reaching for a key change at Rubies – pic: http://www.kenedgar.com/

At time of writing, there are still some tickets left for the Sungha Jung performance scheduled to take place at Dara Airport Hotel in Phnom Penh on Sunday evening. The 'VIP' and 'Gold' tickets for this exclusive event are not cheap, but interested parties should visit the Madison music store on Monivong for more information. Sungha Jung is an incredibly talented guitarist from Korea – an online sensation who shot to fame whilst still in his teens. He is famous for his fingerstyle acoustic covers of popular songs.

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


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