Roundup time on the Eastern Plains.

Hello.
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 !

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8 thoughts on “Roundup time on the Eastern Plains.

  1. This is a great playlist Mr P ! ! ! I really like all the tracks but I liked Annemarie a lot.

    Indonesia is huge market for Japanese and Korean pop and rock. I think there local scene is a bit inhibited by the religious conservatives and most local Indonesian bands I know are more Brit Indie influenced these days.

    My Little Airport are great as always and I love this track ! ! ! There is a hint of Bad Daughter and Vera Queen in the vocals I think maybe ? ? ?

    Ros Sereysothea was a lovely track. It is the first of hers that I have heard and will definitely check out more ! ! !

    Olmuyor were interesting, but maybe I need to listen them a bit more to get into them.

    Wulantouya is a really great singer and a famous in China where she is known as “草原天籁之音” “cǎoyuán tiānlài zhī yīn” or “Prairie Sounds Of Nature” or something like that, and she does lots of these Praire Ballads about Mongolia and of course she is wonderfully beautiful

    This is my favourite by her:

    Qinghai Lake

      • Hi SR ! ! !

        I am really pleased you liked the track. I do not think she does opera, but her voice is really wonderful ! ! !

        Classical Chinese Opera is a little strange for my taste actually and I find it quite difficult but the lighter Opera and Music Theatre is quite fun ! ! ! There is a lot of really bad rich men trying to seduce pure socialist girls and then they marry a noble worker ! ! ! They also usually have some nice comedy parts and dance routines. But the classical opera is really sometimes very strange indeed – even for me ! ! !

        (SR – what is a Jam ? ? ? I am really confused now ! ! !)

    • That’s a lovely track. Normally I don’t go for “fusion” sounds , I prefer the straight traditional sounds but , for some reason, it works better, I think, with Chinese songs. Maybe the trad instruments aren’t so far away from modern ones in sound ?

      Anyway, lovely song and she is , indeed, very lovely. I much prefer her hair in your clip, most of her photos ( cough, yes I have been checking !) have “western” style haridos which I really think is a shame on such a lovely , Oriental face.

  2. Track 1. Indonesia. Just gorgeous.I should think Indie originated in Indonesia, don’t you? It’s obviously it’s natural home.

    Track 2. Sam Sak Band. Yes. Love, love, love. I’ve grown fond of this group in the last couple of weeks and want this lp (cough!).

    Track 3. Hong Kong. My Little Airport. It’s fuzzy, and the keyboards are delightfully quirky in an “a maniac broke into a funeral home and went berserk on their organ” sort of a way.

    Track 4. Cambodia. Ros Sereysothea. Extraordinary garage rock with lovely wibbly wobbly singing. Adore it.

    Track 5. Turkey. Not so much. Sorry.

    Track 6. Mongolia Wulutoya. Very beautiful song. Love it to bits.

    Thanks Pairubu. You’ve gorn and dun it again. Fab.

    • Glad you liked most of them
      The Mongollar song might repay another listen ( or not). I like the restrained “Velvet Underground” style guitar in the background.

      The Sam Sak Band I have is only an EP ( 4 tracks), You can get it here http://aseam.info/?p=1472

      • Hi Pairubu

        Thank you so much for the link to the EP. Wonderful! Obviously you have been trawling the internet looking for and finding these wonderful gems. If there are a couple more good sites, cough up please (pretty please?)

        Will go back to the song I wasn’t impressed with and have another listen.

        THanks again.

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