. issue XV : i .

by barathron

. artist : various artists .
. album : pop yeh yeh: psychedelic rock from singapore and malaysia 1964-1970 .
. year : 2013 .
. label : sublime frequencies .
. grade : a .


First we heard the awesome, tragic psychedelic and garage-rock influenced sounds of Cambodia before the Khmer Rouge. Next came Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. Now Malaysia and Indonesia get their turn in the spotlight, in this first-ever Western compilation of 60’s rock from those two countries. The compiler is WRIR’s own Carl Hamm, host of “If Music Could Talk.” Carl has been working on this project for years, and it shows – everything about Pop Yeh Yeh is first-class, from the mastering to the incredible photos to the English translations of all songs to (especially) the copiously detailed liner notes. And then there’s the music – every track here is worth a listen and many are right up there with the best we’ve heard from Southeast Asia. I particularly dug “Budi Bahasa” with its Sam The Sham vibe, the Beatles-y “Oh Ya Ya,” “Temasah Ria” (a thick slice of garage proto-punk), “Bersiar Siar” (pure pop), “Bimban” (could be right out of the Nuggets box set), and the fully-psych “Kembali Lagi.” Pop Yeh Yeh is a great project, well worth the wait and more than worth the money.

by Bill Lupoletti