In Vietnam the clash
of civilisations has produced some curiously colourful hybrids. When traditional
Asian music mixes with the sounds of the West, Vietpop emerges in a wild
variety of styles. This compilation gathers together music from the streets
of Saigon in its many forms, including buskers with electric guitars, megaphones
and portable amps as well as some idiosyncratic adaptations of country &
western. There are reminders of the colonial past with some extraordinary
brass band music. Nothing is stranger than reality! "The best record I've
heard in the last year!" Mike Gavin, Ray's Jazz Shop, London "One of the
best new releases!"
(Sabah Habas Mustapha, Folkroots)
transglobal crosspollinations used to be a side product of conquests and
crusades, religious pilgrimages and silk and spice trading, aggressive
US foreign policy has industrialised the process, restricting it to one-way
exchanges at PX stores. American wars took rockīnīcola culture into deepest
Indochina, but along with the terror, some good came out of it. Though
the American presence in Saigon was cynical and corrupting, the bacillus
culture forming around military bases developed disease-ridden freezones
where local outsiders were permitted a precarious existence Hó! Roady
Music From Vietnam (Trikont US-0249) is a stunning document, celebration
even, of Saigonīs resilient streetlife 20 years after the USīs defeat.
The appeal of American pop, most likely heard leaking out of squalid girlie
bars, is evident in its impact on these electric guitar wielding grannie
buskers with backpack amps, bar singers, Vietblues players, hustlers,
funeral drumīnībass combos and bizarre US folk-ethnic fusioneers, taped
amid screeching traffic noise, cop whistles, barking hawkers and insect-buzzing
heat. Just as the jungle reclaimed detritus left behind by Gis, so these
musicians have remoulded fading American melodies around Vietnamese templates,
transforming them into vivid, shocking pink Vietpop and street music.
And these slithering brass tunings and clattering percussion of Saigonīs
funeral combos are truly worth dying for.
Roady music from Vietnam