The Fumes started out as a group of teachers from International School Phnom Penh with a shared taste for the rock of ages. Currently in its third incarnation, the band hopes to provide Phnom Penh with an eclectic education in the history of rock music. Influences range from the ‘60s to now, including The White Stripes, Green Day, Violent Femmes, Garbage, The Killers, Talking Heads, The Pixies, and The Kinks.
Phnom Penh Hippie Orchestra formed about a year and a half ago, coming into contact with each other by meeting at gigs, mutual acquaintance and word of mouth, they were drawn together by a shared love of world music. They make a compelling melange of folk musical styles from around the globe. They are a loose agglomeration of like minded musicians, coming and going, providing their own musical flavours to the mix.
Founded in May 2011, Dub Addiction are Cambodia’s first ragamuffin dub soundsystem, a blend of low down and dirty sub-bass lines, spacey delays and a fusion of classic Reggae Dub riddims with Cambodian vocals sung by MC Curly and Dj Kla Responsible for the typical Dub remix sounds is Professor Kinski aka Jan Mueller, a German music producer who has been working with MC Curly for 5 years on his own Khmer Hip Hop music.
On the inspiration for the band Professor Kinski says:
totallyrandomman talks to energised bluegrass combo Grass Snake Union about the Phnom Penh music scene, recording an EP and their upcoming show at Sharky’s Bar.
Grass Snake Union grew organically from a jam session after a Kheltica gig in early 2011 and have been honing their high energy acoustic mix of bluegrass, americana and lo-fi ever since. They have slowly accrued members as TJ (the bands ringleader and only US member) ‘lured them into the fold’. They now comprise:
'We've been playing together long enough for resentment to set in, but not long enough for full blown hatred yet.'
So says bluesman Paul Janovskis of his relationship with on/off musical collaborator Matt Dwyer. They've been performing together occasionally around the swamps and bayous of their native Elwood (Australia) for a good while now, and are about to arrive in Cambodia on their second tour of South East Asia.
The roots of blues music start deep in the fertile soil around New Orleans, Louisiana, where the muddy Mississippi River pours into the Gulf of Mexico. From there they follow the river north to Natchez, along the back roads into Clarksdale, and then across the Mississippi state line into Memphis, Tennessee.
By most accounts, the blues evolved from work songs and field "hollers" sung by rural black labourers in the early 20th century. Singing helped alleviate the anguish of being poor and oppressed.