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  • LIFESTYLE

    Suphanburi Soul

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 30/04/2019

    » It's been a while since Bangkok-based Zudrangma Records has released any new compilations. Last week, the label put out two compilations that will be of great interest to fans of Thai (Central Plains) traditional music and molam from Isan.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Infectious grooves, taste sensations and shadow puppets

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 08/01/2019

    » World Beat was in the field in Pak Thong Chai, Nakhon Ratchasima, this past weekend for the annual Jim Thompson Farm party, bringing to a close the six-week farm tour which is open to the public.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Across generations, across Thailand

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 22/01/2019

    » Thai PBS held a fun event to celebrate Teacher's Day "Saraphan Lan Thung" or The Sonic Luk Thung Variety Show at the TV station's main compound last Wednesday. World Beat was there to enjoy the mini-festival.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Verbal duels and bawdy lyrics

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 18/04/2018

    » World Beat was at the Korat Festival recently to check out the activities based around paying homage to the Thao Suranari Monument, or Ya Mo, as it is known locally. Korat, or Nakhon Ratchasima, is often thought of as the gateway to Isan, the northeastern region of the country.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Mesmerising molam

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 09/05/2017

    » Twenty-five years ago I joined a team from the Japan Foundation on a tour of Isan to meet and talk to molam artists, as part of a project on Lao music in the region. We met up with the then-president of the Molam Association, National Artist Kane Dalao, and his two female molam partners, Boonpeng Faiphewchai and Chaweewan Damnoen (both later awarded national artist status), and joined the trio as they performed concerts in villages for social ceremonies like weddings in and around Khon Kaen.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Honouring a legend

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 26/06/2018

    » The annual temple fair at Wat Thap Kradan in Suphan Buri province was held recently. Every year, around the second week of June, thousands of luk thung fans, hundreds of vendors and a galaxy of luk thung singers descend on the temple to celebrate the life and music of Rajini Pleng Luk Thung (Queen of Thai Country), Pumpuang Duangjan.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Hucky Eichelmann's Asean adventure

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 21/04/2015

    » Long-time Bangkok resident and master classical guitarist Hucky Eichelmann's latest adventure, Asean Guitar — Fusion Of South East Asian Music (AMI, Thailand), is a musical journey across the 10 Asean countries. The album's release is timed to coincide with the launch of the Asian Economic Community, which is set to commence later this year.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Farewelling the prince of luk thung

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 16/01/2014

    » Hundreds of country music fans turned out to celebrate the life and music of luk thung star Sayan Sanya at his funeral on Dec 19, at Wat Pa Lay Lie in Suphan Buri. The singer _ one of Thailand's most respected and popular _ had passed away on Sept 11 aged 60 and had lain at rest in Chonburi at Wat Rai King for a mourning period of 100 days.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Journey to the heart of Kawachi-Ondo

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 03/12/2013

    » A recent business trip to Japan left me with a few days in Osaka to find out more about the lively summer-festival music kawachi-ondo, one of my favourite Japanese roots styles. My mission was simple: pay a visit to the recently opened Kawachi-ondo Museum in Yao City and find some vinyl.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Get into the groove

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 13/08/2013

    » Many Asian countries celebrate the ancient bon festival around the seventh lunar month, although in Japan the festivities are usually held in the middle of August. The festival is ancient and dates back to one of Buddha's disciples, Mokuren, who wanted to ameliorate the suffering of his deceased mother. To do this he danced what Japanese people call bon odori (bon dance), which is performed by everyone in the community to welcome the spirits of the dead, to celebrate their ancestors.

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