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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Record Review - The Cambodian Space Project '2011: A Space Odyssey'

2011: A Space Odyssey
Metal Postcard CD

Strictly speaking, there’s nothing overtly cosmic about the sound of The Cambodian Space Project, it’s more about the band’s exotically ear-catching blend of ingredients, singer Srey Thy’s bewitching vocals and the miraculous fact that the album was recorded and produced in Cambodia. Recorded in tribute to the golden age of Cambodian khmer pop and in particular to the “golden voices” of Ros Sereysothea, Sin Sisamouth and Pan Ron who were silenced by Pol Pot’s genocidal Khmer Rouge, CSP’s debut album is, in reality, no less than the sound of free Cambodia.

Backed by an amalgam of Australian, French and Cambodian musicians, CSP blend traditional khmer songs and instrumentation with the trappings of western pop and rock on a repertoire largely made up of reworkings of original songs by Pan Ron and Ros Sereysothea. Most surreal of all has to be the East meets West collision of Sereysothea’s lyrics on the closing ‘Love God’ with the backing track from Shocking Blue’s ‘Venus’.

Grahame Bent

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