That's really what you can call a journey through Thailand: Molam pop, reggae from the Isan region, traditional sounds and country metal. This highly varied list was compiled by blogger Peter Doolan and musician and researcher Chaiwat Kopolrat.
Artist: Goo Khaen School
Track: Phua molam (Demo)
Video: Toep Nueng Studio
Goo Khaen School is a group of young artists from Isan who came together to embrace the Lao heritage of the region. Their goal is to mix traditional aspects of molam with the best of international pop music, creating something that sounds great and isn’t strictly «local». (Full disclosure: one of our curators has played khaen for this group on occasion.)
The Lamai Ska Band is one of the leaders in the new wave of Isan Reggae. Are Zudrangma‘s DJ Maft Sai and his Isan Dancehall parties to thank for this surge of interest in Jamaican style sweeping the Thai countryside? Don’t miss the nod to Paradise Bangkok hero Dao Bandon at 1:40.
Artist: Narongdet Chueamueangphan
Track: Kantruem kanchanchek
kantruem is a folk music played by the Khmer people of south Isan. The tune Narongdet is playing on the so fiddle serves as the basis for lyrical improvisation that lets him show off his wit, often in quite a flirtatious way. Filmed by the Kotavaree project, who produce beautiful videos of traditional music from throughout Thailand and beyond.
Artist: Sam Sai Sin
Track: Prasat wai
«Prasat wai» is a famous Northern song, heard at parades and festivals of all kinds, from merit-making ceremonies to funeral processions. This group, well-known in the Chiang Mai-Lamphun area, features a phinphat ensemble (a mix of instruments common throughout Southeast Asia) blended with Western instrumentation, with the aim of making traditional music more accessible to the current generation.
Artist: Maithai Huachaisin
Track:Five lang ta
Video: E-SAN INDY
Video not available anymore.
One of Thailand’s longest-reigning country music stars, Maithai is known to take cues in dress & dance moves from Michael Jackson (and cues in shredding from Dream Theater) all while maintaining a conspicuously Thai-Lao flair. One of the bigger names to work with E-SAN INDY, a local film studio who had a runaway hit this year with their debut feature film Phu bao thai ban.