It’s been a while since we toddled off Eastwards. My partner in crime has been rather busy of late. So I thought, as I have nothing better to do, that I might seize the chance to gather together a few of my favourite “oddments” from the Far East for your listening pleasure.
Hope you find something here of interest.
We start off today in Indonesia. Not a place one would generally associate, I would think, with “indie” music. Yet here it is ! How pernicious the influence of jangly guitars and slightly fey vocals. This sweet little number comes from a band called Annemarie.I think it’s really cute.
From Indonesia we troll over to Thailand, a favourite musical destination of mine. The Thai language just sounds so “exotic” and strange when put into a musical setting, especially when it’s 60s “twangy pop”. This one is from a really great EP by the Sam Sak Band and is about cats ( dur !). Sorry about the crackly sound. These things often only exist today on well played vinyl. One to treasure, I think
Whither next ? Why ! Honkers ! And an old fave band My Little Airport with “When I listen to the Field Mice”. Who could have imagined, in the dark days of the 1980s , that The Field Mice would be influencing bands as far away as Hong Kong in the 21st Century ? Here is the evidence that they are. I love this band. They epitomise “wonky” They sound quite fluffy but some of their material is pretty “political” in nature, dealing in particular with unemployment, politicians and redundancy.
Not far from Hong Kong to Cambodia ( as the crow flies) and from that country comes Ros Sereysothea with “Wait ten more months” a typical example of 70s Cambodian rock. There’s a sad tale here. Unfortunately many Cambodian artists of the 70s fell victim to the Khmer Rouge and Ros was one of those ( it is thought). Her life may have been full of troubles but her music remains with us as a reminder of her considerable talents.
Turkey ! No, I’m not insulting you ! That’s where we’re off to next. Hardly touched upon and ignored ( pretty much) musically ( to be honest Turkish pop is an acquired taste) there are nevertheless bands who bash away with vigour. There’s even a small “punk” scene. Much of the output is pretty tame by our standards but a lot of it is quite appealing to. None more so, for me, than this one by The Mongallar “Olmuyor” . “Hypnotic” is, perhaps the best description. A kind of budget Velvet Underground sound but still very “Eastern”. According to Google “Olmuyor” means “Not” so we’ll go with that ( sorry my Turkish is limited to ordering coffee, buying Mulberry “Pestil” and befuddling clerks in Post Offices).
Lastly to Mongolia for something a bit more sophisticated. Wulantouya is a well known singer in China. Her songs have a definite “feel of the Steppes” about them but are more modern in style with an up to date backing. As is often the case with the East she sings a lot of “romantic” songs about home, ponies and , in this case Plastic Flowers.
A fine set of pipes she has and it’s interesting ( I think) to hear Mongolian styles in a modern setting.
There ya go then. Something a little different, I hope. Endure !