23/02/2008

Dengue Fever - Escape from Dragon House (2005)

«Even when you consider the cultural cross-pollination that goes on in large metropolitan areas, L.A.'s Dengue Fever had perhaps the strangest genesis of any band in recent memory. It's left-field enough for a group of white musicians to cover psychedelic rock oldies from Cambodia, but finding a bona fide Cambodian pop star to front the band – and sing in Khmer, no less – is the kind of providence that could only touch a select few places on earth. Formed in L.A.'s hipster-friendly Silver Lake area in 2001, Dengue Fever traced its roots to organist Ethan Holtzman's 1997 trip to Cambodia with a friend. That friend contracted the tropical disease (transmitted via mosquito) that later gave the band its name, and it also introduced Holtzman to the sound of '60s-era Cambodian rock, which still dominated radios and jukeboxes around the country. The standard sound bore a strong resemblance to Nuggets-style garage rock and psychedelia, heavy on the organ and fuzztone guitar, and with the danceable beat of classic rock & roll. It also bore the unmistakable stamp of Bollywood film musicals, and often employed the heavily reverbed guitar lines of surf and spy-soundtrack music. Yet the eerie Khmer-language vocals and Eastern melodies easily distinguished it from its overseas counterpart. When Holtzman returned to the States, he introduced his brother Zac – a core member of alt-country eccentrics Dieselhed – to the cheap cassettes he'd brought back. They started hunting for as much Cambodian rock as they could find, and eventually decided to form a band to spotlight their favourite material – much of which was included on a compilation from Parallel World, Cambodian Rocks. In addition to Ethan Holtzman on Farfisa and Optigan, and Zac on vocals and guitar, the charter membership of Dengue Fever included bassist Senon Williams, drummer Paul Smith, and saxophonist David Ralicke. Ralicke shared Zac Holtzman's interest in Ethiopian jazz, further broadening the group's global mindset. Thus constituted, the band went combing the clubs in the Little Phnom Penh area of Long Beach, searching for a female singer who could replicate the style and language of the recordings they had. After striking out a few times, the Holtzmans discovered Chhom Nimol, a onetime pop star in Cambodia who came from a highly successful musical family. According to the band, Nimol had performed several times for the Cambodian royal family before emigrating to Los Angeles. Initially not understanding the band's motives, she was suspicious at first, but after several rehearsals, everything clicked. (AMG, read full bio & album review)

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13 comments:

Radu said...

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Anonymous said...

radu, bellissima musica, davvero, complimenti per l'ecletticità. un blog corposo e saporito. totem63

waldo jeffers said...

thank you very much for posting this record.

i like your blog very much and i think i will continue visiting you.

Anonymous said...

thanks, radu! been wanting this one...

Anonymous said...

Je pensais ne jamais trouver cet album et puis grâce à vous, si. MERCI BEAUCOUP!

Anonymous said...

Great selection. I thank you very much.
funkytradition

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this very much. I had purchased on iTunes but lost the files in a hard drive crash in between backups. Great record!

alan said...

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eglobal fun said...

Although no specific treatment for Dengue, appropriate medical care by physicians and nurses experienced with the effects and progression of hemorrhagic fever complication, often saves the lives of patients with more serious dengue haemorrhagic fever and mainly involves the maintenance of the patient's circulating volume - such action has seen a decline in mortality of more than 20% to less than 1%.

Read Complete articles of dengue treatment
http://eGlobalfun.com

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Elliott Broidy said...

what an excellent collection.

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