Radiodiffusion Internasionaal Annexe


สรวง สันติ
March 19, 2012, 2:23 pm
Filed under: Thailand

ผู้ยิ่งใหญ่ ภาค

By now, most of you should know Suang Santi…

In the last few years, he has appeared on a few Thai compilations – most notable being Finders KeepersThai? Dai! The Heavier Sound of The Lukthung Underground, where his name was transliterated as “Sroeng Santi”. The Black Sabbath inspired “Kuen Kuen Lueng Lueng” on that compilation is worth the price of admission alone. You also get “Dub Fai Kui Gun” and “Nam Mun Pang” – both of which had appeared on two of ZudRangMa‘s compilations – which are quite heavy as well. But this track is a bit different…

Whereas Suang Santi’s backing band – “The Suang Santi Band” – borrowed the opening riff from “Iron Man” on “Kuen Kuen Lueng Lueng”, here the intro is sampled directly from Ennio Morricone. The soundtrack music from Sergio Leone‘s “Man with No Name Trilogy” was quite popular throughout Asia, and was released in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. A vast majority of those records were not properly licensed, and some were even credited to Clint Eastwood instead of Ennio Morricone. The soundtrack was also covered by a number of bands, including Hong Kong’s Man Chau Po Orchestra and Singapore’s The Stylers, to name a few.

According to Monrakplengthai, Suang Santi had originally started out as a boxer before getting into the music business. He pioneered a crossover style of luk thung and heavy funk rock which few others attempted, and won success not only with his own recordings but songs he penned for others. Unfortunately, Suang Santi was killed in a car accident in 1982 while on tour at the age of 37.

The first couple verses of the song basically describe the hero, who is compared to Charles Bronson (“Once Upon A Time in The West“), Alain Delon (“Zorro“) and “Ringo” (“A Pistol for Ringo“). As the song continues, Suang asks: “Where does this mystery man come from, does anyone know?” Then you hear the gruff, accented voice ordering laap, khao nieow and lao khao (typical Isaan food and drink), and Suang remarking upon it. That this man is obviously from Isaan is what listeners are meant to take away. Isaan, the northeast part of the country, is often viewed as Thailand’s “Wild West“, and cowboy culture has a notable following there. Bangkok people often derive amusement from Isaan stereotypes.

This song has a “Part Two” that was included on Suang Santi last album 1 2 3 Duan Song Thaeo.

Much thanks to Peter Doolan for the information and translation.

Catalog number MN 146 on ตรากระต่ายคู่ (Tra Kratai Kkhu) or Pair of Rabbits Brand of Thailand. No release date listed.



Tuangchai Boonparaksa
October 9, 2010, 8:52 pm
Filed under: Thailand

Pee Lok

It’s funny. Over the years, I’ve picked up a few random words in various languages that I see over and over. A good example is ‘bintang’, which is Indonesian for ‘star’ – as well as the name of a brewery in Indonesia. ‘Ngozi‘ is Igbo for ‘blessing’ and ‘hob’ is Arabic for ‘love’. But ‘pee’ is the Thai word for ‘ghost‘. And there are a lot of songs from Thailand about ‘pee’…

The title of this song translates as “Ghost Haunting”, and I figured it was a good way to start off October. I have not been able to find any information on Tuangchai Boonparaksa, other than the song “Mahn Kao Lah” – or “What Fun” – on Subliminal SoundsThai Beat A Go-Go Vol. 2 compilation. If you have any further information, please get in touch or leave a comment.

Thanks to Peter Doolan from the always amazing Monrakplenthai for the translation.

Catalog number ST-182 on Star Records of Thailand. No release date listed.



Suphap Daoduangden
April 11, 2010, 5:20 am
Filed under: Thailand

ลำเพลินสลับเต้ย

น้องแดงใจไม่เย็น

Thailand… I was pretty sure that all of the music that I thought I would have be interested in had pretty much been covered by the time Subliminal Sounds had issued their third Thai Beat A Go Go disc. I picked up some Johnny Guitar, Pocket Music / Son of P.M. and Sodsai Chaengkij records, and I figured I was done.

The first clue that I was wrong, was Sublime Frequencies‘ second volume of their Molam: Thai Country Groove From Isan compilation. They had also released the first volume of their Thai Pop series around that time as well. Not too long after, I happen to stumble on Peter Doolan’s Monrakplengthai site. Not too much longer, as Angela Sawyer was writing her guest post on Luk Thung, ZudRangMa started their Thai Funk series… By then, it was crystal clear that I had only scratched the surface.

The music of Thailand is reflected its geographic position at the crossroads of China, India, Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia, as well as the country’s long history of trade with The West. Though Thailand was never colonized by colonial powers, pop music was imported from America and Europe, and pressed on local labels. This had a direct influence the indigenous music. Thailand is one of a handful of few countries where the electric guitar was integrated not only into the local popular music of the day, but regional forms of music – like Luk Thung and Molam – as well.

Suphap Daoduangden (สุภาพ ดาวดวงเด่น) was, and as far as I can tell, still is from the town of Selaphum in Roi-Et Province. She started singing Molam at the age of 15, and this may be her first album. But beyond that, I can not tell you anything more.

If you have any further information on the band, please contact me or leave a comment.

Thanks to Peter Doolan for the information and translation.

Release by Orient Records Ltd. Partnership of Thailand. No catalog number or release date listed.



กังวาลไพร ลูกเพชร
October 25, 2009, 5:45 am
Filed under: Thailand

วอนผีพ่อ

When trying to pick a song for the week of Halloween, I noticed that a whole lot of songs from Thailand had to word “Pee” in the title… Come to find out, “Pee” means “Ghost” in Thai. So, I decided to ask Peter Doolan from the awesome Monrakplengthai to do a guest post for this week. Besides being an endless fount of information of Thai music, Peter is pretty knowledgeable of neighboring Burma / Myanmar and Laos, too.

It’s merging of local folk influences and Western pop structures, Pleng Luk Thung, Thai “Country Music“, epitomized the musical lives of many rural Thais throughout the latter half of the Twentieth Century, and continues to be a major force in the popular music of Thailand today.

One singer, Suraphon Sombatcharoen of Suphanburi province, carried this genre into the mainstream and took the position of the (more or less) undisputed “King of Luk Thung”. In his time, he built up an entire collective of musicians, dancers, singers and songwriters; many of the biggest stars of subsequent generations got their start in his group. Suraphon was more than a bandleader, he was something of a father figure to those in his group, many of whom he “adopted” at a very young age, and who basically grew up on the road in his ensemble.

At the height of his fame, Suraphon was gunned down on stage during a show in Nakhon Pathom. The reason for his murder is unknown; some suspect a rival singer (of which there were many) or a jealous lover (of which, apparently, there were also many). After his death, his protégés jockeyed to fill the void, and initially Kangwanphrai Lukphet was the best bet (most likely because of the similarity between he and Suraphon’s voices).

The song presented here proved something of a rallying cry for Suraphon’s disciples; titled “Pleading with Father’s Ghost”, it bemoans the star singer’s violent and untimely death, and calls upon his spirit, asking the ghost to bless his new band and bestow upon it the same fame and talent which Suraphon’s possessed. It features a wonderfully ethereal electric organ-laced introduction, a fiddle-driven folk groove, and of course, Kangwanphrai’s plaintive, tremulous pleas.

Catalog number BKL-703 on Crown Records (แผ่นเสียง “ตรามงกุฎ”) of Thailand. No release date listed.



สุริยา ฟ้าปทุม
June 7, 2009, 5:45 am
Filed under: Thailand

น้องเหมือนชะนี

ลาน้องไปแนวหน้า

The guest post for this week is by Angela Sawyer. If I weren’t spending all my money on the records you see here, I’d be buying up all kinds of great stuff from her Weirdo Records site. Angela is also the person behind the truly bizarre Cantonese Opera blog – Fish Stalls in the Pearl River Delta. When I asked a few folks if they wanted to write for my site, Angela had hers to me lickety split.

Although the post-it which came with this record identifies it as String Band music, Suriya Fapathum was in fact a rather obscure Luk Thung singer. Even if you’re quite familiar with the Thai language (which I’m not), information about this record is extremely scant.

Luk Thung arose after the end of WWII, blending together folk songs, classical music and folk dances, and echoing the emotional concerns of rural Thais. Luk Thung is often compared to the country music of the USA, and Suphanburi is the genre’s Nashville. Early stars include king and queen Suraphon Sombatjalern and Pongsri Woranuch. It’s usually molasses slow, and the focus is meant to be on the singer as he or she stretches vowel sounds like taffy.

As the Vietnam war sped up the urbanization and modernization of Thailand, hordes of people began to move to cities, especially Bangkok. This process both fostered and hampered Luk Thung: creating access to up to date music equipment and distribution, creating a populace with some money who missed the countryside, but also eroding the very community life the songs reflected. During the 60s and 70s the style blended over and over again with Mo Lam and Thai pop. Influences started popping up from the rest of Southeast Asia, as well as American pop like Gene Autry and Hank Williams, and even such far flung stuff as Xavier Cugat. By the 1980s Luk Thung sported an entire techno-ish subgenre meant specifically for danceclubs, and by 2000 ‘real’ 50s Luk Thung began enjoying a wave of retro hep.

Although there are some slow funk burners on this lp, I chose these two songs for their unusual use of sound effects. In one, the singer imitates a monkey, and in the other the sound of gunshots is heard. I’m especially fond of the ‘ptchoo ptchoo’ mouth sounds the singer makes, presumably to beef up the gunfire. Such gunfire would have been heard by folks in rural Thailand due to the increased involvement in the Vietnam War and growing US military presence that military dictator Thanom Kittikachorn allowed in his campaign against communist guerillas during the 1960s. The corruption of this government eventually resulted in a growing peasant’s movement, and then the October 14, 1973 student democracy uprising.

Much thanks to Peter Doolan of Monrak Pleng Thai for tranlisteration help. All helpful ideas were his, and all mistakes mine.

Catalog number T 148 on ห้างแผ่นเสียง ทองกำ จัดจำหน่าย (Haang Phaen Siiang Thaawng Gam Jat Jam Naay – which means something like ‘Grab the Golden Sound and Arrange to Distribute it’) of Thailand. No release date listed.



วงดนตรี มาริเนอร์
December 6, 2008, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Thailand

The Lover Song Of Thailand

Occasionally I will come across a record that produces more questions than it answers. This album definitely falls into that category…

I often wonder who was the intended listener? Who was it that ‘They’ – ‘They’ being the record company or musician or the powers that be – thought would want to buy this record? Was it intended for tourists or the local populous? Was it even available in Thailand, or was it only released somewhere else, in another country? Who knows?

The real puzzle is that one side of the cover is entirely in Thai, while the other side is in English with Chinese subtitles. There were only two phrases that were on the front that are not on the back: สงวนลิขสิทธิ์ , which translates to “copyright reserved” and วงดนตรี มาริอร์, which – to the best of my knowledge – translates to “Orchestra Maaríner”.

I have not been able to find any information available about Orchestra Maaríner – if indeed that is the correct name. When I got this record, I did not know what to call it. So, I opened up the Unicode character pallet, and tried to recreate the Thai text – with full knowledge that it was probably wrong. When I did not hear back from the person who usually translates Thai for me, I figured I would just try and see what the Thai to English translator had to say with the words I had pieced together. And it worked! Well, at least three of the four words that I tried to translate. I am still not too sure about that “Maaríner” bit… The record was most likely recorded by studio musicians and manufactured in Singapore. If you any information about this record, please contact me.

Catalog number LST-121 on Mervels Records, although the other side of the cover says Lily Records Company. No other information available.

◄●►◄●►◄●►◄●►◄●►◄●►◄●►◄●►◄●►◄●►◄●►◄●►

Since this posting, I have been contacted by Peter Doolan, who curates the blog Monrakplengthai. Here’s what he had to say:

… The song you posted (and the title of the album) is “สาวบ้านแต้” (Sao Ban Tae).  It was a very popular Ramwong, or rural folk-style dance which, if I’m not mistaken, is from a 1968 film of the same name. It was originally sung by เลิศ ประสมทรัพย์ (Loet Prasomtarap) and ศรีสุดา รัชตวรรณ (Sisuda Rattawan), two prominent singers of the famed Suntarapon big band. Needless to say, this is not the original, and your hypothesis seems likely to be very close to the mark! The arrangement sounds not-very-Thai (particularly the flute and string), although there is what sounds like a khim (Thai hammered dulcimer) in the background. Overall, this seems to be one of the many “Melodies of _____” sort of instrumental records floating around in that era (Rene Paulo springs to mind…). Very nice band though… Oh! and if you hadn’t figured out, มาริเนอร์ is the Thai transliteration of the English word ‘mariner’. I’ve never heard of this orchestra! You can listen to the original here.”



The Son of P.M.
June 24, 2008, 8:31 pm
Filed under: Thailand

Heh Klong Yao

Anyone who picked up the first volume of Subliminal Sound’s Thai Beat A Go Go compilation, was most likely amazed at the wild and crazy sounds coming out of their speakers. The first track entitled “Kratae” by Johnny Guitar is truly unlike anything Western ears had heard before.

Just one problem… That song is not “Kratae”, and the artist who recorded it was not Johnny Guitar. The song is “Klong Yao”, and it was recorded by Payong Mukda, also known as Pocket Music and later known as The Son of P. M.

The music of Payong Mukda, as well as Noparatana Tipayaosot (a. k. a. Johnny Guitar), was known as “Shadow Music”. The term was in reference to the British instrumental band The Shadows, who were quite popular throughout all of Asia. Recordings of this music were often billed as “Thai Modernized Music“, taking classic Thai compositions and mxing in elements of surf guitar, a-go-go music and other styles to create an entirely new form of music. Sublime FrequenciesShadow Music of Thailandcompilation features tunes by P.M. Pocket Music, The Son of P.M., P.M.7, Johnny Guitar and Jupiter.

In 1991, Payong Mukda was honored with the National Artist award which is presented by the Office of the National Culture Commission in Ministry of Culture of Thailand. Here is a brief biography from their website:

Lieutenant Commander Payong Mukda was born in Ratchburi Province. He was an artist who composed more than one thousand country songs, popular songs, and modern-songs as well as influencing a number of new singers. He was awarded Golden Record Awards for his musical compositions for three years in a row. Apart from writing music and lyrics, he was also a singer who sang humorous songs and owned a band called Pocket Music. Regarded as a pillar of musical circles, he was invited to perform for the general public at the Or. Sor. Station, Chitrlada Palace. He was also one of the founders of a number of associations such as the Musicians Association of Thailand under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King. He was a musician who could portray the messages in his music, and he liked to offer consultation and guidance to music lovers. Besides this, his songs were beautifully crafted, both in terms of language and meaning, with valuable ethical and moral messages closely intertwined. As such, he was considered a role model for people who fought through life with perseverance as well as being a master of the Thai music industry.

Catalog number S. T. 021 on Satit Tra Khon Khu Records of Bangkok, Thailand. No release date given.

Enjoy



Pocket Music
June 24, 2008, 7:21 pm
Filed under: Thailand

Klong Yao

Sroi Sang Dang

Anyone who picked up the first volume of Subliminal Sound’s Thai Beat A Go Go compilation, was most likely amazed at the wild and crazy sounds coming out of their speakers. The first track entitled “Kratae” by Johnny Guitar is truly unlike anything Western ears had heard before.

Just one problem… That song is not “Kratae”, and the artist who recorded it was not Johnny Guitar. The song is “Klong Yao”, and it was recorded by Payong Mukda, also known as Pocket Music. In addition, he has recorded under the name Son of P. M.

The music of Payong Mukda, as well as Noparatana Tipayaosot (a. k. a. Johnny Guitar), was known as “Shadow Music”. The term was in reference to the British instrumental band The Shadows, who were quite popular throughout all of Asia. Recordings of this music were often billed as “Thai Modernized Music“, taking classic Thai compositions and mxing in elements of surf guitar, a-go-go music and other styles to create an entirely new form of music. Sublime FrequenciesShadow Music of Thailandcompilation features tunes by P.M. Pocket Music, The Son of P.M., P.M.7, Johnny Guitar and Jupiter.

In 1991, Payong Mukda was honored with the National Artist award which is presented by the Office of the National Culture Commission in Ministry of Culture of Thailand. Here is a brief biography from their website:

Lieutenant Commander Payong Mukda was born in Ratchburi Province. He was an artist who composed more than one thousand country songs, popular songs, and modern-songs as well as influencing a number of new singers. He was awarded Golden Record Awards for his musical compositions for three years in a row. Apart from writing music and lyrics, he was also a singer who sang humorous songs and owned a band called Pocket Music. Regarded as a pillar of musical circles, he was invited to perform for the general public at the Or. Sor. Station, Chitrlada Palace. He was also one of the founders of a number of associations such as the Musicians Association of Thailand under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King. He was a musician who could portray the messages in his music, and he liked to offer consultation and guidance to music lovers. Besides this, his songs were beautifully crafted, both in terms of language and meaning, with valuable ethical and moral messages closely intertwined. As such, he was considered a role model for people who fought through life with perseverance as well as being a master of the Thai music industry.

While researching information about Payong Mukda, I came across this strange news article from June 1st, 1999:

On World No-Smoking Day, anti-smoking advocates proved that cigarettes can be hazardous to your health. Their huge mock cigarette stuffed with hydrogen-filled balloons accidentally caught fire and exploded in a sheet of flame. No one among the two dozen or so celebrities and activists standing next to the cigarette was seriously hurt — although there were were several singed eyebrows and hair. Payong Mukda touched off the three-second inferno. The popular singer was supposed to cut the 10-metre cigarette with a sword. As he hacked at the stubborn smoke, flames suddenly shot five metres into the air.

Catalog number 3 on Rosana Records of Bangkok, Thailand. No release date given.



Sodsai Chaengkij
June 20, 2008, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Thailand

โอษิปอด

ลนแศดีฺคฮา

Sodsai Chaengkij was from Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit, which most people know simply as Bangkok, Thailand.

I have not been able to find any other information about Sodsai other than what was printed in the liner notes of the first two volumes of the Thai Beat A Go Go compilations that she was featured on:

The cute Sodsai Chaengkij had a prolific record output during the 60s and was the most popular singer in Bangkok where she frequently appeared at the famous Lolita Night Club on Rajdamnoen Avenue.

Thanks to Mr. Sompong Houdjung for translating the titles for me.

If you have any information, please contact me.

Catalog number SPC-3016… I think that the name of the record label is Metro, but all of the information is in Thai except that it was recorded at the Somchai Studio.



Johnny Guitar
June 19, 2008, 2:05 pm
Filed under: Thailand

Mon Kla

Sri Nuon

Johnny Guitar was from Thailand. The band was featured on the first Thai Beat A Go-Go compilation released by Subliminal Sounds and the Shadow Music of Thailand compilation released by Sublime Frequencies. Here are the liner notes for this album:

FACTS ABOUT FABULOUS JOHNNY GUITAR.

T. NOPARATANA (NOPARATANA TIPAYAOSOT) is the leader of Johnny Guitar. He’s 29 years old and almost six feet tall. He composes, listens politely to what the others have to say about his compositions and arrangement, and then insists that they Record Exactly what he wrote and arranged in the first place. He has very definite ideas of his own about almost everything. He plays Electric Organ more than 12 years. He used to be playing with “Bangkok Blue Band” his hobbies include all sports and art. He was born in Bangkok.

S. PRASERT (PRASERT SANGKLA) is 19 years old. He plays Lead Guitar. He was born in Surin.

P. KUA (KUA PHAN-NGARM) is 21 years old. He plays Rhythm Guitar. He was born in Surin.

M. MONGKOL (MONGKOL MOUNGVIROTE) is 20 years old. He plays Bass Guitar. He was born in Bangkok.

A. ANUN (ANUN AMARANONT) is 20 years old. He plays Drums. He was born in Bangkok.

Johnny Guitar is “A KING OF STRING BAND” in THAILAND.

He started to play string music in 1963.

Johnny Guitar is the first band who gets wonderful and new ideas in string music. They arranged THAI CLASSICAL to be THAI POPULAR ( A GO-GO for dancing and listen) Johnny Guitar got twice EXHIBIT in exhibition string band of THAILAND. In 1965 Johnny Guitar got a big succeed in string music. They can get “Golden Shield” From H.R.H. Prince BHANUBANDH YOKUL ( HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRICE OF THAILAND) In 1966 Johnny Guitar get a big hits from their first record “SUPHAN-NAHONG” after their first hits. They’re going to have the second Record “LAO CHA REON SRI” which is a biggest sell and biggest demand.

Now! Here is the first longplay which is very best, greatest sound for stereo phonic, and best souvenirs.

Catalog number LBS.999 on Thai Phonograph Record Company, manufactured and distributed by Lucky Bamboo Records. No release date listed.




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