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by World Music Network May 22, 2014


Two New Rough Guides: Psychedelic Cambodia & Indian Classical Music

On 26 May, two brand new compilation albums will be released on the Rough Guide label. The Rough Guide To Indian Classical Musicand The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Cambodiacan be ordered for a one-of purchase or as part of your World Music Network Subscription, and both come with a bonus album!

 The Rough Guide To Indian Classical Music

RGNET1318India's classical music is deeply bound to the country's ancient mystical traditions. This unique Rough Guide brings together the greatest names in Indian Classical music, performing some of the most beautiful ragas of India’s classical legacy. Enjoy the musical artistry of legendary performers such as Shivkumar Sharma, Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Zakir Hussain and Ravi Shankar. 

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Some of the legends included on the album are the Indian Classical artists Shivkumar Sharma, Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Brij Bhushan Kabra, which are heard delicately delivering a Hindustani bhairav raga on ‘Ahir Bhairav’. This raga is related to Sikh tradition from northern India and appears in the Guru Granth Sahib (the central religious text of Sikhism). Ravi Shankar’s radiant sitar shines bright on the fast-paced track ‘Devgiri Bilawal Dhun’. Shankar’s name and ascendant international career is now synonymous with Indian classical music. Widely regarded as a musical sage or pandit, his definition of raga touched upon its vast and complex nature, describing it as a ‘scientific, precise, subtle and aesthetic melodic form’. Another sitar scholar, Vilayat Khan is heard on ‘Dhun Punjabi Ang’. The Khan musical lineage traces all the way back to the court musicians of the Mughal Empire.

Uncover the mystery and beauty of India’s verdant classical tradition on this excellent introduction to one of the world’s most valuable musical repertoires. 

Includes bonus album by Debashish Bhattacharya

The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Cambodia

RGNET1319Almost eradicated during the time of the Khmer Rouge, the psychedelic sounds of Cambodia live on in the memory of survivors and exiles as cherished treasures of a lost past. This Rough Guide celebrates the mind bending music from the 1960s and 1970s, with some of the best known artists of the day including Sin Sisamouth, Ros Sereysothea, Pan Ron alongside dynamic revival bands Dengue Fever and The Cambodian Space Project.

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'engaging' - Muzikifan

'fascinating collection' - WRUV

'great fun and kicks some major ass' - World Music Central

Enjoy the golden age revival of 1960s and early 1970s Cambodian pop and rock, a movement led by two contemporary bands, the Southern California's Dengue Fever and Phnom Penh-based, The Cambodian Space Project. Both acts entrance their fans with an exotic but strangely familiar take on beat and psychedelic music of the period. The story of this music's genocide and subsequent re-birth in the twenty-first century – like that of the people and the country – has to be told to a wider world.

This introductory compilation includes songs by the likes of Sinn Sisamouth, Ros Sereysothea, Pan Ron and others – many of whom perished at the hands of Pol Pot's genocide regime. It aims at documenting a music that blends elements of traditional Khmer music with the sounds of rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll and illustrates the confidence of that brief age between the Khmer independence from the French and the arrival of the Khmer Rouge. 

Whom do we have to thank for the survival of this music almost entirely eradicated by the Khmer Rouge? The Khmer people themselves who hid records or took them overseas and kept them as treasures of a lost past. When the country began to open up in the 1990s the vinyl recordings found their way back into the local markets and expatriate communities via cassette releases and, slowly but surely, this music has begun to seep into the consciousness of a wider world.

For more information on the history and music of Cambodia, check out our Guide to Cambodia here.

Includes Bonus album by Cambodian Space Project