The Supernatural Sound of the Khun Narin Electric Phin Band


The video is immediately seductive: Seven red-vested musicians surround a homemade tower of amplifiers and PA horns. Slumping in his red plastic chair, a bassist on the verge of a nap lays down a deep, dreamy groove while a five-man percussion section strikes cymbals, toms and bass drums. Above it all, one player weaves sinuous distorted melodies through a double-necked, pear-shaped lute — or phin — augmented by a small array of effects pedals.

The combo’s thrilling transgenerational clamor sounds old and new at once; familiar Thai and Laotian melodies receive a vinegary electric kick somewhere between garage, psych-rock and a New Orleans parade band. In the background are whiskey and beer bottles, a line for food and a row of motorbikes lined up alongside a verdant field, creating the atmosphere of a casual and uncannily cool country hoedown. Read more at Wondering Sound…

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