Listening to these discs gives me momentary flashbacks to the first time I heard 'Monster A Go-Go'. Naturally, I have only good things to say about the Thai Beat compilations after discovering the first one last year -- up to three volumes now! Granted, these sounds are definitely not for everyone, but they are for me. I can even go in for the Neil Diamond cover, and that's way under-par for my tastes.
Likewise, I'll offer no apology for referring to any of these selections as 'buffet music', for this is precisely the sort of stuff that made me fall in love with the whole ethos of Thai music of that glorious, psychotronic era. And trust me, I've picked up my fair share of "Thai Techno" cassettes from the mid-1990s onwards, and for the most part that stuff lacks the passion and creativity of the music you'll find here. There's at least one track on Volume One and perhaps the last half-dozen or so tracks on Volume Two where i really want to crank this one, even if it drives my significant other nuts! In fact, a couple of these tracks are pretty far out there -- the liner notes on Volume Two reads: "Warning: you will need some time to adjust to reality after listening to this one". This is specifically in reference to T. Zchien & the Johnny's "Let Your Life Be Free", and indeed I am now hunting for the EP from which this track was taken -- if the whole release is like this I might have to find a very comfortable room and just veg-out for an entire weekend with the blacklights blazin'.
The Dengue Fever-compiled compilation "Electric Cambodia" is very much an appropriate companion to Subliminal's Thai comps, especially considering the historical differences between the respective countries of origin. And the fact that Electric Cambodia can be purchased on vinyl makes my heart beat a little faster.
While my significant other doesn't "get" my robot fixation, I'd say it's instructive to realize that I grew up in an era in which black and white newsprint ads were more common than full-color print catalogs and Wish-books.
"The space cadets’ other hope, China, might pick up the baton. Certainly it claims it wishes, like President John Kennedy 50 years ago, to send people to the surface of the moon and return them safely to Earth. But the date for doing so seems elastic. There is none of Kennedy’s “by the end of the decade” bravura about the announcements from Beijing. Moreover, even if China succeeds in matching America’s distant triumph, it still faces the question, “what next?” The chances are that the Chinese government, like Richard Nixon’s in 1972, will say “job done” and pull the plug on the whole shebang."