February 17, 2011, 10:11 am
Filed under: Announcements, Thailand

I’m happy to announce Haji Maji’s first official release:
LUK THUNG, Classic & Obscure 78s from the Thai Countryside

UPDATE: This appears to be out of print. There may still be some shops that have copies left or you can try good old Ebay.

I’ve collaborated with Peter Doolan, of the great Thai cassette blog monrakplengthai, on an album of 14 early Luk Thung 78s from Thailand, published by the Grammy Award-winning label Dust-to-Digital on their vinyl imprint Parlortone.

That’s right, VINYL!

No turntable? Don’t worry, it’s available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

It was compiled by me from my collection. Peter researched and wrote the notes while living in Bangkok last year.

The album explores similar ground as Sublime Frequencies’ “Thai Pop Spectacular”, “Thai Beat A Go-Go” from Subliminal Sounds and Soundways’ “Sound of Siam”, but with a focus on the earlier, down-home roots style instead of the rock and pop influenced material found on these other reissues. The garage band/proto-Thai rock stuff is cool, but here at Haji Maji our interest tends toward the raw, rural and traditional sounds.

Here’s a sample track from the album:

Ruedu Haeng Khwam Rak (Season of Love) by Phloen Phromdaen

Included in the album is a 6 page, full-color insert with detailed notes and images of the various record labels.

From the notes:

“Luk Thung is known to many as Thailand’s “Country Music”; it’s a vibrant and syncretic genre of pop song which aims to give voice to a disenfranchised rural population… farmers and migrant workers, as well as gamblers, drug addicts, outlaws and other marginal figures…the strain of Luk Thung captured on this album is one marked by a conscious move away from Western influence and an embrace of traditional musics…”

Special thanks to Jon Ward, Michael Graves, Debbie Berne, Rob Millis and the Dust-to-Digital crew.



15 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Ah ha!!! Thought something like this would be in the pipe line….good work…I prefer these earlier styles also, for the same reasons you mention….hopefully Honest Jons in the UK will get some in stock.

Comment by Mystic Tune

just receipted this precious curation yesterday & it’s pearlesque. many a flavourful collection comin str8 outta thailand these last months & thine is wicked boss. crème de la crème. congrats on the enormity of yer success

Comment by øשlqæda

cheers y’all.

And yes, Honest Jons does seem to be stocking it…


Comment by HAJI MAJI

Congratulations Dave! Can’t wait to get my copy…

Comment by Will Hancock

It’s funny, just got your luk thung compilation earlier today and, though I follow a feed for Haji Maji, I’d no idea it was coming out. Beautiful music, thank you for sharing it. Did you get to meet any of the artists still performing?

Reminds me of my time traveling in Thailand, memories of how serenely haunting parts of the northeast are, its mountains and along the Mekong. I need to listen once again (and soon) to the 45s I later bought at that Chiangmai street market…

Comment by istvan

Thanks again everyone.

Owl, thanks for the promo on your site!

Yes, I guess we did keep it under wraps until it was available, although I’d been dropping hints for the last year.

I have another project in the works that promises to be a real blockbuster. So if we can make some money on this release it will go into the next project, the costs are adding up quickly.


Comment by HAJI MAJI

The songs on “Luk thung” seem to all date to the 1960’s. Can you tell me more specifically which one of the tracks is the earliest recording and when was that recorded? As far as the liner notes go, only two of the songs have dates on them, one was recorded in 1965 and the other in 1966.

Comment by Samuli Koponen

Hi Samuli,
I believe those were the only dates we could confirm.
If any has additional information to share please let me know and I’ll update the LP info here at Haji Maji.


Comment by HAJI MAJI

i already let samuli know in private, but as far as i know the earliest song on the album would be suchat thiangthong’s “nam tok nang loi”. i can’t say with absolute certainty, but i think it was recorded in 1960.

Comment by peter

killer LP, just picked it up @ the LOVE GARDEN in LAWRENCE, KS yesterday and it hasnt left my turntable yet.

Comment by philR

thanks for the feedback…enjoy the record!


Comment by HAJI MAJI

This is ace! Keep up the good work.

Comment by Jaime

is this out of print? it does not show up on the dust to digital site anymore.

Comment by Matthew

[…] The album was compiled by Chris Menist from his collection of Yemeni 45s. A follow-up to the LUK THUNG album that I put together for Parlortone, this is the 2nd release in a loose series of post-war […]

Pingback by New Release – Raw 45s from Yemen « HAJI MAJI

When I originally commented I seem to have clicked
the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and
now whenever a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment.

There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service?

Comment by virgin experience days voucher code

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: