Posted in music | tour dates on August 7, 2013

by Bill Pearis

cambodian-space-project

Channthy was working at one of these karaoke bars when she met Julien Poulsen, a musician from Tasmania.

Poulsen played Channthy psychedelic rock songs from famous Cambodian singers from the 60s and 70s, like Pan Ron and Ros Sereysothea, Khmer musicians who were influenced by western music introduced by GI's during the Vietnam War.

"She was very, very surprised that she had a met a foreigner, a 'barang,' who had all this stuff," Poulsen said. "She was like, "Oh! Oh!" She was very excited."

Soon after, Poulsen said they decided to put a show together in Phnom Penh, and the Cambodian Space Project formed. That was in 2009. The first release was vinyl, called 'Knyon Mun Sok Jet Te.' It means, 'Unsatisfied.'

The album is a homage to the many Cambodian rock singers who were murdered when the Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia in 1975. Poulsen says even today Cambodia is still trying to recover the art and culture it lost.

"To find a singer like Channthy," said Poulsen, "is like discovering a young Etta James or Nina Simone. She's really the barefoot Cambodian diva of the rice fields." - [The World]

Carried by the otherworldly vocals of singer Srey Channthy, The Cambodian Space Project's cross-pollinated Southeast Asian rock n' roll has gained fans like Nick Cave and former Dirtbombs bassist (and White Stripes producer) Jim Diamond who produced their 2012 album, Not Easy Rock and Roll. It's a pretty cool album and you can stream it via Spotify and Rdio, and check out a few videos below.

The Cambodian Space Project will be playing their first-ever NYC shows this week, with three opportunities (all presented by Cavestomp) to see them: Thursday (8/8) at Pianos with The Electric Sons (tickets); Friday (8/9) at Drom (tickets); and Saturday (8/10) at The Rock Shop with pseudo-French band Les Sans Culottes and Detroit's The Sights (tickets). Jim Diamond will be with them, playing in the band for these NYC shows.

Videos below...

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The Cambodian Space Project - Don't Say You Love Me

The Cambodian Space Project - I-Am-Sixteen

The Cambodian Space Project - Have Visa No Have Rice

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Comments (7)

They rock!!! You may also like to see another artist in this emerging genre of Cambodian music... http://www.vevo.com/watch/bochan/chnam-oun-16/US6X71100060

Posted by arlen | August 7, 2013 10:26 AM

Saw CSP at Pianos tonight. What fun! Everybody was dancing. Not to be missed. And if you do miss them, book a flight to Phnom Penh. Its worth it. Honest.

Posted by sharky | August 9, 2013 1:17 AM

It really like the natural scenario background and her voice.

Posted by Brittney | February 17, 2014 6:56 AM

"The Cambodian Space Project" is a cambodian rock band (as far as I know they are located there.) They make some reprises from cambodian folk and rock stars of the 60/70's (I don't remember exactly)

Posted by Taylor | March 6, 2014 7:29 AM

Love it! Check out their store in Phenom Penh too. 

Posted by Dane | May 14, 2014 4:41 AM

Cambodian try to copy all of art and culture of thailand.

Posted by Diamond | June 2, 2014 12:27 PM

WOW, I remember listening to old Khmer songs and this was one of my favorite. It's nice to see it covered.

Posted by Lizag | October 12, 2014 4:33 PM

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