Brief History Of 20th Century Thai Music

In recent years many may have been introduced to the beautifully intricate and delicate rhythms of Thai music via three-piece band Khruangbin, who take inspiration from the psychedelic sounds of 60s Thai funk. There’s much to be discovered from that period and beyond, not only within the realms of funk but also within the traditional styles of Thailand.

Founder of Zudrangma Records, Studio Lam Bangkok and The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band, Maft Sai, is something of an expert on the subject, growing up with this music around him from an early age before going on to set up Zudrangma in 2007 as a space to share traditional Thai sounds. Here he talks about his relationship to 20th century Thai music and strings together a beautiful selection of traditional styles like Molam and Luk Thung alongside Western-influenced sounds like funk and 60s beats.

“For the mix I have selected various B-Side Thai music production from the late 60’s to mid 80’s, all that have been in my DJ bag for the last month, music across all Thai genres such as Molam, Luk Thung, Lae/Choi, Luk Krung, 60’s Beats and Thai Funk as well as some cassette tape gems that have never been released on vinyl. I recommend this mix for a first time listener of Thai music as well as those Thai music collectors out there… boom!”

Maft Sai plays at Wonderfruit Festival (6th-12th Dec).

01. Disco Lam Plearn – Sodsri Promseksan

Production from Southern Isan in the Northeast part of Thailand but the southern part is where it borders with Cambodia where they have this music style call Kantrum. This track join the dots between the two cultures.
Label: Panda
Year: Late 70s

05. Choi Thailand – Mae Boonchu Na Ayuthaya

A drum machine version of the famous track by Kantai Band. It’s a special 45″ as not many Thai records have this style of production. Mae Boonchu Na Ayuthaya is the mum of one of the band members and a famous lae/choi singer in her own right.
Label: Private press
Year: 1985

06. Lam Plearn Samlor Tee Rak – Angkanang Kunchai

Classic mid-tempo Molam by Angkanang Kunchai with heavy drums.
Label : Private press
Year : Late 70s

16. Chuen Leay – Sririma Soonthorn Na Rangsri

Thai Soul from Bangkok in early 70s – big in the night club scene.
Label: Private press
Year: Early 70s

18. Mister Slowly – The impossible

A famous Thai Band from the 70s that plays Funk, Soul and Disco. This is one of my favourite tracks by them.
Label: Hat Label
Year: Mid 70s

Where does your love for Thai music come from?

I’m Thai, so I grew up with these sounds.

What marks out a Thai record, compared to similar sounds/genres in other South East Asian countries?

There is a musical thread that connects all the regional genres from this part of the world but Molam for example, the bamboo khaen mouth organ, is only heard in the north eastern music and in Laos across the border. This unique sound is instantly recognisable.

Which Thai record has left the biggest impression on you as a DJ, and why?

‘Toey Salap Pamaa’ – Angkanang Kunchai. Showed the dance floor potential of Molam.

Mix Tracklist

01. Disco Lam Plearn – Sodsri Promseksan
02. Lam Plearn Kug Kug – Sodsri Ruengsang
03. Lam Plearn Sao Na Koy Ku – Banyen Rakkaen
04. Lam Plearn Bae Bae Bae – Thongmee Malai
05. Choi Thailand – Mae Boonchu Na Ayuthaya
06. Lam Plearn Samlor Tee Rak – Angkanang Kunchai
07. Sang Nang – Thepporn Petchubon
08. Nao Muen Jai Ja Khad – Sornpetch Pinyo
09. E Prink – Ruengpetch Lamsing
10. Kon Kub Kwai – Kammachon
11. Nang Meaw Pee – The Fox
12. Kon Kub Ling – Laongdao Sangproun
13. Mainaa Tam Pom Loe – Panom Promma
14. Long Tai Kai Fan – Kwanjit Sriprajan
15. Jing Rue Khun – Panadda Chayapak
16. Chuen Leay – Sririma Soonthorn Na Rangsri
17. Yindee Rub Krum – Sroeng Santi
18. Mister Slowly – The impossible

Maft Sai plays at Wonderfruit Festival (6th-12th Dec).


Comments are closed.