Groovy Sounds from the Land of Smile
Two years ago, after returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, Chocolate Bobka began. While prepping for my first trip to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, like any good crate digger, I did some research into the lands lost and some what forgotten psych scene of the '60s and '70s. Fortunately for my western ass, over the last few years reissue labels have taken the time to discover and distribute compilations of Pan-Asian psych, funk and all sorts of other Golden Triangle gems. While the Radio Thailand and Cambodia Rocks! compilations are both mind-boggling, it's the Thai Beat A Go-Go series which truly delves into the Land of Smile's profound take on western psych. While visiting Thailand I really didn't come in contact with any of its psych past, as much of it has not been archived and the nation has been overcome with the languid sounds of a million chill-out mixes and Thievery Corporation lounge acts, but when I dream of drinking Beer Chang, puffing the strongest tobacco on earth and eating squid on Ko Bu Bu, I envision the Erawan Band and Suda Chuenbarn playing 30 ft away, rocking wah'd out psych funk and soul. While it may not be representative of the nation now, which seems to be obsessed with bad metal and modern rock acts, the Thai Beat A Go-Go series is truly the sound of Siam.
Erawan Band- Khon Muangkhan
Suda Chuenbarn-Jong Wai Korn