Tom Schnabel welcomes Ethan Holzman and Nimol Chhom of LA’s top Cambodian pop band Dengue Fever as they present Electric Cambodia: 14 Gems from Cambodia’s Past. The music on Electric Cambodia is the product of a golden age literally lost in time. This music disappeared when the Khmer Rouge took over in 1975; the murderous regime of Pol Pot killed all the of the musicians who appear on the album in their notorious and gruesome “killing fields”.
It is altogether remarkable that the cassettes used to create this collection ever survived. The music from the 60s until the mid-70s is a mixture of Western pop introduced by the Armed Forces Radio from the Vietnam (or American) War, emulating Hendrix, Santana, and even Cher and Nancy Sinatra, all with a Cambodian twist and flavor.