Detail ...
Chansons Laotiennes
SOTHY
AKUPHONE / MAXI
Cat. No. : AKUMS1001
Rare cosmic Lao synth pop recorded in Paris 1980. Original remaster and edited versions by SHELTER

Slow paced drums with offbeats softly phased with the guitar, misty takeoffs from the synthesizer: a hazy idyll is starting off on the road to the rocket festival (bun bang fai). Answering each other on the responsive mode of the lam soeng, Sothipong engages in a flirt but Oulay Vanh is not ready to trifle with just anybody.

As a stylistic variation of a popular Lao musical genre, the lam soeng was the source of several themes among which the "bang fai" – which is part of the Lao conciliatory festivities preceding the rainy season – remains one of the most renowned.

However, the producer and composer of these songs, Sothy, created an unusual arrangement: the instrumental introduction separates from the sang canon, the synthetic mix is stripped down of the traditional organology – everything here becomes unsettling for a listener familiar with the genre.

Everything comes with a reason: the record was edited in 1981 under the title Sothy Productions yet produced in France by the Parisian label Oxygène (famously known for its unforgettable first French punk compilation 125 grammes de 33 1/3 tours). Chansons Laotiennes still remains hard to classify.

The second track is just as enigmatic: a beat box, a lightly reverberated voice as well as a guitar solo and a small synthesizer break, "Tuei" or "Tawai" [offering] (as the writing on the record suggests) makes way to dancing step and a truly joyful melody. Twisted and lively steps on a romantic background tune turn this second track into a genuine paslop – a program recommended by therapists to relieve muscular pains due to seated positions: you will unlock your pelvis with some synchronized Laotian choreographies.

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