Beautifully packaged in a hand-stitched soft cloth sleeve (patterns and colors may vary), and limited to 1300 copies worldwide, this first collection compiled by Maft Sai for Bangkok‘s Zudrangma Record label brings 18 forgotten seventies Thai pop, garage, and funk tracks by 16 artists into the spotlight. As with a lot of music culled from the bins of little shops and markets of Southeast Asia, where original master recordings are virtually impossible to track down, the recordings were transferred from their old vinyl source, giving each song a slight crackling quality, as though you just dropped the needle down on a record that no one in the western world has ever heard of before (and likely hasn‘t).
From Meesak Makaratch’s “Luk Ron” to the superbly funky “Kun Rod Fai, Pai Rod Bus, Kee Chang, Kang Tent” by The Hot Pepper, the album gets sprayed with horns, wah wah riffs, bass-y hip-swaggers, and pre-disco funk numbers like Royal Sprite‘s “Yang Hai Mun Hong.” There are no details about the artists themselves or when the song was recorded, which gives a sense of mystery to the whole CD. But there is some familiarity: Kana TNT’s “Kod Hang Kam” borrows completely from Pink Floyd‘s “Another Brick In the Wall Part 2,” and Pranee Thanasri’s “Chown Thur Ten Rum (Ask You For a Dance)” is the “Funkytown” you’d hear at some seedy Bangkok discotheque in 1979. Very diverse and weird. Impress your cultured friends with this, a no doubt about it ethnomusicologist’s wet dream!