Sunday, December 31, 2017

Cambodian vocal-only cassette

It was cold today. Not New York cold. Minneapolis cold. It's 11 degrees as I type this, warmed by a hissing radiator and the voice - the virtually naked, unmanipulated voice - of (presumably) the woman pictured on the cover of this cassette I found several hours earlier at Battambang Market II in the Bronx.

It's a remarkable recording. Six of its eight tracks consist of nothing but this woman singing, sans accompaniment of any kind. The other two tracks - each side's last - are traditional Khmer instrumentals. 

There aren't any albums I can think of that feature just a solo voice, unmediated (save, in this instance, for bit of reverb or room echo). I can think of a couple that feature one person's voice multitracked a number of times over itself (e.g., Japanese beatboxer Dokaka's Human Interface).

I love overlay, generally; but this cassette is something entirely different. There's a bit of reverb. Otherwise, it's just this voice. Singing, lamenting, pleading. Breathing. You can hear her breathe in between every. Single. Phrase. 

It's otherworldly. I picked up a number of other things at Battambang today, but this was just so uniquely beautiful, I had to share it with you before anything else.

Happy New Year.

Link to recording in comments.


Gary said...

Hyde said...

sounds promising. thanks!

Anonymous said...