Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

07 August 2013

Myanmar (Burma)

Burma is now officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, most commonly shortened to Myanmar. The country was under military control from the coup d'état led by General Ne Win in 1962 until 2011. During this time, the United Nations reported consistent systematic human rights violations in the country, including genocide, the use of child soldiers, systematic rape, child labor, slavery, human trafficking, & suppression of freedom of speech. Since the military began relinquishing control over the government, coupled with its release in 2010 of Burma's most prominent human rights activist, Aung San Suu Kyi. the country's relationships have improved rapidly, especially with the European Union, Japan, & the U.S.  Trade sanctions that had been imposed by the European Union & the U.S. were eased. However, in 2013, human rights groups have reported that Burmese authorities began the ethnic cleansing the Rohingya minority in western Burma. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have been forced to flee across the border to Bangladesh & Thailand.

I try not to post too much music from Sublime Frequencies. They have great music, don’t get me wrong, & most of the older releases are no longer available. But they offer most if not all of their releases as downloads, so I don’t want to be taking away revenue that will help them continue to do what they do so well. However, sometimes their releases are some of the only, or at least some of the best, music available from some of these nations. With that said, here’s some great music from SF. This is one of my favorite examples of music from Thailand. There is little reliable information about these mysterious pioneers and most Burmese have never even heard this material. The cuts on this CD are almost impossible to find in any form or quality. They were transferred directly from old cassette tapes. A few tracks have dropouts, some of them quite severe. Most of the master tapes are thought to have been lost or destroyed many years ago so this may be the only link to a phenomenal lost scene.

Shan State is Myanmar’s largest province. It is larger than the entire state of New York, USA. Most outside this Burmese region have never heard of Shan State. This massive sub-tropic tableland has an average elevation of 3000 feet, perfect for the cultivation of poppies. This area is very well known as the center of the notorious heroin trade ‘Golden Triangle’. This music is rarely heard outside the tiny minority of the Burmese Shan or Pa’o community. It is an unbelievable collection of garage/psychedelic rock, raw folk blues ballads, & country-western music. The songs are mostly the product of music from the early 70s. Here is music by Lashio Thein Aung aka ‘the Burmese Texan’, Khun Paw Yann, a ‘Black Shan’ rocker, & Saing Saing Maw, the original Shan musical legend who wrote & sang garage psyche rock songs, played the hottest electric guitar in Burmese history, usually backed by a tight unit of organ, bass, & drums. There is little reliable information about these mysterious pioneers and most Burmese have never even heard this material.

Sublime Frequencies SF024, 2005.
decryption code in comments

Tracklist –

Saing Saing Maw Than Shin Ley Ye Khan
Lashio Thein Aung You Got What You Got
Saing Saing Maw – Lake They Mah Shoke
Saing Saing Maw – Lah Ley Cham
Khun Kan Chwain – Naung Ywe
Unknown – Unknown
Lashio Thein Aung – Don’t Say Goodbye
Khun Paw Yann – Unknown 1
Khun Kaung Kay Maung Nga Ley
Saing Saing Maw Lam Lah Lo May Shoke
Khun Paw Yann – Unknown 2
Lashio Thein Aung – A Girl among Girls
Khun Kan Chwain – Nan Pohn Sah
Saing Saing Maw – Lam Sai-Tahio
Nan Phin Sar – Mu Nohn Taan
Khun Paw Yann – Hopes & Goals
Saing Saing Maw – Khin Kam
Khun Paw Yann – Unknown 3
Lashio Thein Aung Mistake of a Small Bird
Khun Hla Maung Law – Moon
Saing Saing Maw Unknown


This is not from Sublime Frequencies. This disc is part of a long out-of-print multi-volume set on Shanachie, another purveyor of fine music.

White Elephants & Golden Ducks presents an array of contemporary & traditional music from Burma. Burma is situated alongside China, India, & Thailand, its music contains aspects of each of those cultures but has a unique lovely sweetness that aligns it more with Balinese or even Hawaiian sensibilities. One of the things that sets its music apart from its neighbor’s is the unique instruments. The prevalent instruments, indigenous to Burma, are the pat waing (a circle of 21 tuned drums), the maung zaing (a set of small, knobbed gongs), the hne (an oboe-like double reed), & the saung gauk (a Burmese harp) alongside western instruments such as the piano, mandolin, violin, & Hawaiian acoustic slide guitar, often accompanied by lovely emotive vocals. The songs appear to have been selected not only for their inherent beauty but also to showcase several of these instruments & singers. You've probably never heard music like this. The master Burmese musicians here have taken native & western instruments & done things with them that no Westerner ever imagined. The results are stunningly beautiful & creative.

I have little information as to who the various artists are on this recording: Kyaw Kyaw Naing is master of the pat waing & plays on tracks 1, 7, 10, & 15; U Yee Nwee - piano & Daw Yi Yi Thant - vocals on tracks 2 & 11; Ko Thein Htay - drums on track 5; Ko Myint Sein - mandolin on track 6; U Tin Yi – violin on track 8; U Ba Than – suang gauk on track 9; U Ohn Lwin – guitar on track 12; & Thein Tan – suang gauk on track 16. Well, I guess the only ones I’m really not sure of ar tracks 3, 4, 13, & 14. Whatever. This was recorded at Khin Sabe Oo Studios, Rangoon, Burma, in November 1996.

Shanachie Records 64087, 1997. 
decryption code in comments

Tracklist –

Chit Kyoo Thwe Tog Nyin Hmar Lar (Will You Accept My Love or Not?)            
Mingala Thiri (Prosperous Majesty)   
Sabe (Jasmine Flower)           
Phu Pwae Lat Tin (The Huggenots)  
Chauk Lon Bat Let Swan Pya (Improvisation on Chauk Lon Bat Drums)   
Ar Kar Na Ban (Heavenly Space)     
Shwe Soan Nyo (Golden Brown Hawk)       
De Pya, Ne Pya (One Penny, Two Pennies)  
Hylat Pan Khway Nwe (Powerful King of Thunder & Lightning)   
Shew Kyet Kel Han Chi (Jaunty Air of the Cock)    
Kyar Chi Yan (Waiting for the Beloved King at the Royal Bed)     
Thabyay Ywet Yi (Auspicious Leaves, the Sign of Victory)            
Nan Bhon Thi Har Bway (Distinguished Palace for Royalty)          
Kyay Say Ta Mann (Messenger Dove)          
Seit Kuu Yin Ah Hla (Dreaming of Beauty) 
Kyaw (Palace at Mandalay Hill)



  1. Guitars of the Golden Triangle
    White Elephants & Golden Ducks

  2. Hey NØ

    Blog is very cool, came here on a weird Zamrock trip and started looking around.

    Have you seen any of the stuff on Burmese punk? There's been a bit in the media which I pulled together here: http://subcultatlas.blogspot.com.au/search/label/Burma

    Thanks for the Zamrock and no doubt I'll be grabbing stuff from Rwanda to Lithuania soon, cheers

    1. Thanks for the insight & links to info about the Burmese punk scene. I'm not that familiar with it, but understanding the kind of governmental oppression that goes on there, I know that the punks must be true to the philosophy of rebellion, anarchy, & DIY. Hope anyone that visits here & is interested will check out the links you provided & also check out your blog. I put it in the links (Museum of Radio Sessions, folks, check it out).

    2. would love to check out the post you mention. any chance you could send me an invite?