January 2nd, 2016

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Cambodian Band

Cambodian Space Project




I first became aware of the group Cambodian Space Project when I got a telephone call from Sean Hocking, the owner of Metal Postcard Records in Hong Kong. Sean and I met when I played on a festival for him in Portland, Oregon. He told me he had a Cambodian group he wanted to record and thought I could take them to the next level musically. I sent Sean a proposal and he agreed to pay my price and wire transferred the funds to my bank account in the US. We then recorded an album on his group called “The Cambodian Space Project” co-produced by me and their guitarist Julien Poulson. The album was recorded and mixed by Al Sutton at Rust Belt Studio in Royal Oak, Michigan.

The group was formed when Julien Poulson walked into a karaoke bar in Phnom Penh and heard a lone female voice singing Peggy Lee’s ‘Johnny Guitar’. Poulson invited the singer, Srey Thy, to start a band with him and together they formed the nucleus of what has become The Cambodian Space Project, a remarkable group who not only cover and preserve songs from the ‘golden age’ of 60s Cambodian pop but also write their own dazzlingly original Khmer psychedelic rock. They’ve now toured all over the world, from Texas to the End of the Road, but the shows they talk of with most pride are the ones they play in remote villages across Cambodia.

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Dennis Coffey