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The Berlin Of
SE Asia ?

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Phnom Penh: The Berlin Of SE Asia?


OK we all know Phnom Penh doesn't have Berghain
or for that matter 95% of the world's electronic musicians crawling out of darkened studios and bars at all hours of the day or night.

Not withstanding all those migrating visual artists, writers and filmakers looking for a bit of fun and cheap rent

But now the formally sleepy city of Phnom Penh is waking up from years of terror, Vietnamese rule and a decade or so of
 infrastructure re-development to show a new face to the world.

That.... of ... home to the arts

The backpackers started visiting in the 90's and now it's writers, filmakers
and especially musicians who are finding a new semi-permanent home  
in the city.  

And why not?

There's a new exchange between international artists and locals that's creating and building a bustling arts community 

Overseas artists are working with locals
to help them re-build an artistic past after year zero
and the subsequent years of terror, neglect and the need to simply survive 
More importantly though Cambodian artists and musicians are constantly surprising their international colleagues
with their devotion to re-building an older culture as well as re-inventing a new Cambodian culture for the 21st century

Please Direct Enquiries To

Cambodian Space Project

Cambodian Space Project


The Cambodian Space Project are Kampuchea's musical guardians of the golden pre Khmer Rouge era of rock and pop seen through the prism of the 21st century.


The band only formed 3 years ago initially to safeguard the history of Cambodia' glorious pop age of the late 60's and early 70's.

The band have since become somewhat of a sensation on the international stage.


It all started with the simple idea of releasing the country's first vinyl release since the accession of the Khmer Rouge to power in 1975.


Now a single and two albums later the band are feted around the world by critics and audiences alike.


2012 has been a busy year for the band with  a visit to  Australia where they played the Melbourne Festival's  "Spiegletent"; the closing party at Tasmania's Mona Foma Arts Festival and then onto play Womadelaide.  


Over the summer they undertook a  European tour that included an invitation to play the BT River Festival in London, the Cite De Lausanne Festival and then followed up by dates in Spain, France and Italy.


Then back to Asia in September and hanging out with Nick Cave at the Bali international literary festival! As well as completing a project with one of Australia's leading singer songwriters', Paul Kelly.


2013 looks no less busy for the band. They have for the second  time been invited to play SXSW in Austin Texas and are in discussions to play major arts venues in both Washington DC and New York. This will be followed by a European summer tour  which will take in some major festivals as well as dates in Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. There's also plans to work with  Michael Laub at the HAU theatre in Berlin


But before Christmas it's down to Indonesia for a quick tour with local pop heroes White Shoes


The BBC has also decided to commission German filmmaker, Marc Eberle, a  resident of Phnom Penh to complete his full length documentary on the band to be broadcast on BBC 2 and BBC6 as well as  to be suggested for international film festivals and distribution


There's also a new album in the pipeline !


You Tube  Chnam Oun Dop Pram



Cambodian Space Project Page  Jango Free Streaming Radio





Dub Addiction

   Dub Addiction

Phnom Penh isn't  just about bands looking to Cambodia's previous pop age for  inspiration. 


There's range of newly learnt  influences to draw from and as with most other places on the planet Jamaica's dub sounds of the 1970's and 80's play a big role  on the sounds of  the next wave of younger musicians along with urban and hip hop.


Dub Addiction is the brainchild of European producer Professor Kinski who brings together a disparate set of musicians, toasters and rappers based in Phnom Penh to form a collective that creates the most interesting take on dub in the region. 


With a mix of Khmer, Senagalese, and French toasters this multi-national outfit is setting crowds alight with their live show and now the good professor is about to release their debut onto an unsuspecting world.


You Tube - Catch A Fire

You Tube - Dub Addiction & DJ Khla - Yo Yo Ya Ya live @ Equinox


Krom Monster

Next Wave 

Cambodia and Phnom Penh aren't just about a couple of bands there's a wide range of musical projects underway as well as new venues and even a listings website

Krom Monster
Krom Monster is a project managed by London based, David Gunn, of Incidental records who regularly travels to Phnom Penh. 
His collaboration with local musicians (Sour Vanna, Phon Chamroeun, Lun Sophanit & Pov Punisa) in 2011 created an improvisational quintet that has explored improvised and electro-acoustic approaches to traditional Cambodian music and instruments.
The band emerged from a series of residencies held with young musicians in Phnom Penh, led by David in collaboration with Cambodian Living Arts, the Royal University of Fine Arts and Java Arts.

Learn more, get the CD and see a video at

Also hear the Krom Monster remix of Cambodian Space Project's "Just Like Honey"

Coming Soon 12"  Krom Monster Remixes EP (Metal Postcard Records)

Christopher Minko & Sophea Chamroeun Krom: Songs From The Noir

Phnom Penh based Krom and composer / songwriter / guitarist + vocalist, Christopher Minko are working with vocalist Sophea Chamroeun and sound engineer Sarin Chhuon as well as a range of guest musicians.

Krom songs emanate from many years of life in South East Asia.  Krom have also announced that they've been commissioned to compose the music soundtrack for the soon-to-be-released Australian – Khmer documentary “In search of Camp 32, a journey back to year zero”



You Tube  Mango Madness Monsoon Sadness


Last week, I was reviewing Mondega’s new album when out of the blue I heard a fiery female voice. She was dropping spotless English, Khmer, and Jarai-language rhymes on the club hip hop track “Unity, We Rise.” Naturally, I did a double-take.

Her name’s Lisha. Well, Jessica Lisha Srin. She’s a tiny-framed, elusive MC with a Yolandi Vi$$er voice and a daytime copywriter job in Cambodia. Sans a website or much publicized info, she’s still highly coveted in the hip hop scene in southeast Asia.

Lisha’s a resident rapper of the Khmer collective KlapYaHandz music, which has made her a major go-to for duo throwdowns. You’ll find video after video of Lisha rapping with the likes of local groups Khmer Kid and Los Poporks. Most recently, she flowed for the Swedish hip hop group Maskinen, who specifically sought her out on a trip to Cambodia.

Most of her tracks, produced by KlapYaHandz head Cream, come with a tight, sampled, independent vibe. I couldn’t tell you what she’s saying on her myriad singles, but my favorite track, “Woman,” is themed on feminism. Go girl! MTV Iggy

You Tube Lisha Clip - Woman

Other Things

Leng Pleng - Phnom Penh's Listing Website
Great place to see what bands are new, where to look for live music in Phnom Penh as well as dj's and the odd free download.

Sublime Frequencies - The best compilitions of Cambodia's golden pop years

Far Side Music - More Oldie Cambodia Comps

Top Tracks for Ros Sereysothea (Cambodian Diva) on You Tube

You Know The Score: Friend Us At.............
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