[Music] The Edwin Hawkins Singers – O, Happy Day

People today are rightfully grieving the loss of Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries, who died far too early at the age of 46, but we lost another luminary as well.  Edwin Hawkins passed away today due to complications from pancreatic cancer.  He was 74, and he left one of the most joyous songs to ever get radio airplay.

[Film] Remembering The Man Who Fell to Earth, Two Years After David Bowie Returned to the Stars — Consequence of Sound

The Sunday Matinee takes a look at a classic or beloved film each weekend. This week, Clint Worthington revisits David Bowie’s debut role two years after his tragic passing. It’s been two years since David Bowie left us for his home planet, and we haven’t been the same since. Like Thomas Jerome Newton, the protagonist he portrays…

via Remembering The Man Who Fell to Earth, Two Years After David Bowie Returned to the Stars — Consequence of Sound

[Music] Mol Kamach and Baksey Cham Krong – Ne Penser Qu’à Toi

Cambodia’ first guitar rock band was one which could have held its own in France or even the United States during the early 1960s. There’s quite an amazing story to go along with this release, courtesy of the Mol Kamach and Baksey Cham Krong Bandcamp page here:

For the first time two single records of Baksey Cham Krong – the first Cambodian guitar band – are officially being reissued in an identical version. Between surf music and ballad, these two records released in 1963 and 1964 are an invitation to rediscover the effervescent Khmer musical scene of the 1960s.

The early 1960s are often described as the “golden age” of Cambodia, with a flourishing economy and a strong cultural development. As the country had just won its independence, the King Norodom Sihanouk – who had been a singer himself (see below) – encouraged dynamism and creativity in all aspects of cultural life.

In 1959, in the midst of this artistic turmoil, Mol Kamach and his brothers created a band: the Baksey Cham Krong (also spelled Bakseis Cham Krung) named after a temple of the Angkor site. The teenagers were influenced by the latest hits they had listened on the radio. For the music, Kagnol got his inspiration from the rock n’ roll of the Ventures and the Shadows while Kamach took over the vocal techniques of crooners such as Paul Anka. The lyrics were either in French (as for the song Ne penser qu’à toi) or in Khmer. The song Pleine Lune became a hit and revealed Kagnol’s musical genius at playing guitar and Kamach’s delicate voice. From their beginnings on the capital’s high school stages to their first broadcasts on national radio, the success of the Baksey Cham Krong was very quick. At the end of the decade the band already split, the brothers getting back to activities that conformed more with their parents’ expectations.

A few years later, in April 1975, the arrival of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh put an end to this musical development and started the darkest era of Cambodia’s contemporary history. A quarter of the population was killed in the Khmer Rouge genocide and the majority of artists and intellectuals were exterminated in a sordid will to wipe out any form of culture in the country. Films and music were banned, movie tapes and vinyls were destroyed. Mol Kamach and Mol Kagnol luckily managed to flee the country: one now lives in France, the other in the USA. Both still continue to make music nowadays.

Bearing witness to the past history, the reissue of these two single records of Baksey Cham Krong brings back to us the Cambodian musical scene of the 1960s.

Akuphone, the French label responsible for this release, is definitely in possession of a catalog worth exploring.

[Music] The Rich History—and Present—of Latin American Prog

Pervuian psych-rockers Laghonia.

Noah Berlatsky of Bandcamp Daily gives a decent retrospective on some of the great progressive and psychedelic bands which came out of South America during the 1970s, though, sadly, the Mellow Records contributions seem to be permanently deleted, which is a shame.

[Music] Inside the Home of Pierre Henry

French electroacoustic composer and experimental music pioneer Pierre Henry left the world on July 5, 2017. Thanks to the Olivier Lamm and Sarah Bastin from Red Bull Music Academy Daily for reporting the potentially tragic loss of Henry’s massive archive if funding isn’t found to preserve his home.