Archive for September 2011
Change is always difficult, and moving is possibly one of my least favorite things. Thus, much as it’s good to be back in the country of my birth, it’s slightly odd also, be it readjusting to climate, food or body language. One constant however, and one that always assists my mental health when faced with life changes (as far as I’m concerned at least) is music, and more specifically, vinyl records! As I write this, I’m taking a break from unpacking the various Luk Thung, Molam and other South-East Asian discs, which recently arrived after their sea voyage from Thailand.
In addition to this, it’s also nice to have been reunited with my not small collection of discs I stored in my parents’ garage once we departed this sceptered isle back in 2006. You might think it odd, but bringing the two collections under one roof and finally linking up the last five years I’ve spent abroad with my previous existence in the UK, has been an important moment. Speak to anyone who is serious about collecting music, and they will, on balance, be able to place their hands on an LP or single and give the background to where it was purchased, maybe some specific attached memory, as well as some info about the band/artist.
Thus, coming across a small forgotten pile of Ethiopian records took me back to a brief trip to Addis, where I interviewed Mulatu and Mahmoud Ahmed, and was assisted in my vinyl search by a guy called Mengistu, who continued to post me records via DHL, even after I’d returned home.
Similarly, as I go through my Thai shipment, so many of those discs tell the story of ‘Paradise Bangkok’, all the numerous tales surrounding hunting down the elusive tracks, running the parties with Maft Sai, and the many happy memories associated with mine and my family’s time in Thailand.
However, this is not about mere nostalgia. It’s about what happens next. Myself and Maft Sai will be playing our first European gig on September 10th, at a warehouse in East London at the Soundway event ‘Dancing Time’, alongside Cambodian Space Project, Miles Cleret, Vamanos and AJ Holmes, as well as DJs from The Quietus.
After this, we’ll be playing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland during September and October, seeing if the Paradise Bangkok formula can adapt to the chilly climes of Europe. Hence the time I’m spending going through the vinyl archives, drawing from tunes I used to play out in London, and how they will slot into the music that has provided the soundtrack abroad for the past few years. Drawing from, and blending, these past experiences, will most likely determine how this ongoing project unfolds in Europe, and, God-willing, back in Asia in the coming months. Hope to see some of you over the next month. Dates and venues can be found below:
16th September Walden Duplex, Geneva
17th Le Bourg, Lausanne
18th Kab/L’usine, Geneva
23rd Import/Export, Munich
24th Hemdendienst, Nuremberg
1st October The Roxy, Vienna
8th Golden Pudel, Hamburg
9th Peacetanbul, Hamburg