The first thing that I’ll do is throw my arms around you

I’ve neglected you, I know. It’s not that you haven’t been on my mind. (and if I made you feel second best…)

Actually, I have sat down a few times in the last fortnight to bring you some new stuff but, to be honest, I haven’t really come across anything all that good…

The best thing I have heard this month is actually rather poignant, but I’ve drawn an absolute and complete blank when it comes to finding out more about the artist.

Last month, I wrote about the wonderful Dengue Fever, who’ve since then played Glastonbury and I get a feeling are going to be something special, and since then I’ve tried to hear some of the original Cambodian music that so attracted the Holtzman brothers. I came across a wonderful Blog called Horse Drawn Zeppelin, which is pretty eclectic (to say the least) and which had this post, from which I was able to download a magnificent mix tape of Cambodian Sixties pop, called “Cambodian Swing Machine”.

Really, I can’t recommend it enough.

Cambodian Swing Machine

And, waddyaknow, the second track on it turns out to be what is presumably the original version of Dengue Fever’s “Tiger Phone Card”.

It’s great, easily as strong as the Holtzmans’ version, with a guitar break that is probably even better. But that’s as much as I can tell you about it, taken as it was from an original cassette, whose liner notes were all written in Khmer, so I don’t even have a name for you.

The only other thing I can say about it with any degree of certainty is that the writers and performers are almost certainly dead, having disappeared along with the whole Cambodian Swing scene into the whole, awful Cambodian black hole of the seventies. A genuine tragedy or what?

So, anyway, snag this, if you liked the Dengue Fever stuff, and then go along to Horse Drawn Zeppelin and download the whole album, even if it’s only to pay your respects to a small piece of pop history, tragically caught up in one of modern times’ most brutal episodes….

Track 2 – Cambodian Swing Machine (Tiger Phone Card)

And never let go…

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