September 25, 2014

Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band’s “Sut Sanaen 2” Arrives



Innovative Leisure is proud to share, “Sut Sanaen 2,” the first stream off of Khun Narin Electric Phin Band’s self-titled album. Khun Narin Electric Phin Band is a recording of a group of musicians from Northern Thailand which was executed by Josh Marcy, a US music supervisor who discovered their music via a Youtube clip. Josh dropped everything to journey to Thailand in hopes of making contact with these mysterious players. He came back with more than anyone could have hoped for, an entire album of psychedelia rooted both in the traditional music of the region as well as in Western music brought over by soldiers and tourists during the 60’s and 70’s. Recorded in open air through homemade sound-systems, the album was released via Innovative Leisure on August 26th and is currently available for purchase here.

A Must Have!”

“Best Music Ever”

“mind-melting, heavy psychedelic music”

“One of the most eccentric psychedelic records of the year.”

“Like Ry Cooder did Buena Vista in Havana…but less moody adult contempo, more gonzo psychedelic punk style… The result is unlike anything else you’ll have come across this year. And possibly ever.”

About Khun Narin Electric Phin Band:

It all started over a year ago with the caption “MINDBLOWING PSYCHEDELIA FROM THAILAND” – the Youtube video that accompanied this headline on the Dangerous Minds blog was exactly that. Here was a group of Thai musicians being filmed parading through a remote village hundreds of miles away from Bangkok playing some of the heaviest Psych known to mankind out of a crazy homemade soundsystem. Who were these men and how on earth was this not some unearthed archived footage from the ’60s or ’70s?! The Youtube clip quickly made its rounds amongst music enthusiasts leaving many in the Western hemisphere to question who this group of contemporary Thai villagers (loosely named Khun Narin Electric Phin Band) was.

Six months after that first encounter with Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band, a Los Angeles music producer named Josh Marcy used Facebook and some unlikely interpreters at his local Thai restaurant to get in contact with the band and inquire whether they’d be interested in having him travel to their town to record their music for a global audience. At first the band was naturally suspicious, but through subsequent interactions the group’s leader and namesake Khun Narin (also known as simply “Rin”) warmed to the idea of having Marcy come visit. And so began the journey of uncovering who these mysterious men from an obscure blog post actually were. Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band’s membership is always in rotation and spans several generations, from high school kids to men well into their 60s. A standard engagement has the band setting up at the hosting household during the morning rituals, playing several low-key sets from the comfort of plastic lawn chairs occasionally working in a cover version of a foreign classic (The Cranberries ‘Zombie’ is a recent favorite) while the beer and whiskey flow freely. After a mid-day banquet, they start up the generator and lead a parade through the community to the local temple, picking up more and more partiers along the way.

The music they play is called phin prayuk. The first word refers to the lead instrument, a 3-stringed lute known as the phin, Beer, the phin player, uses a string of Boss effects pedals, including a phaser, distortion and digital delay to get his sound. He also builds his own instruments, installing Fender pickups into hand-carved hardwood bodies, with elaborate mythical serpents adorning the headstock. The band takes pride in their custom PA system, as well as an imposing tower of 8 loudspeaker horns atop a huge bass cabinet.

To capture the essence of the group and their sound, Marcy recorded them in their natural environment by doing a proper field recording, literally in a field outside the city of Lom Sak, in the valley of mountains that form a rough border between Thailand’s North and Northeast. The result was 40 minutes of hypnotizing psychedelia filled with heavy drum breaks that sounds like something RZA would sample for a Quentin Tarantino film.

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