Sonthaya Kalasin was the male lead singer in the molam section of legendary producer/impresario Surin Paksiri’s beloved musical troupe Tidso Lam Phloen; his female counterpart was Phairin Phonphibun (EM1147CD/LP). These recordings, the very best of Kalasin’s work with Paksiri, cover the period from the mid-70s to the early 80s and showcase Kalasin’s mastery of the traditional male molam lower vocal range. Also highlighted here are Paksiri’s production skills and his penchant for pushing the boundaries of standard molam arrangements and instrumentation, always trying to fuse new ideas with tradition. An uncredited Phairin Phonphibun makes an appearance on a few tracks here, giving lucky listeners a glimpse of the singers’ Tidso Lam Phloen dynamism: Paksiri’s genius, a long-standing backing band, and simpatico vocal styles honed in the crucible of performance. Also on CD, the first of any music from Sonthaya’s years with Surin Paksiri and as such represents a valuable document, with accompanying English lyric translations; but more than a document, “Grade A Guy” is grade A music. Compiled by Tokyo Thai authorities, Soi48.
We Are Harmony / Lam Phu Tai of Sorrow / Lam Phloen Girl with Pigtails / Lam Phloen Hard / Factory Girl / Lam Phloen Grade ‘A’ Guy / Lam Phloen Dao Dao / Lam Phloen Paean to Bangkok / Lam Tanwai Promise of Love / Lam Phloen Khanmak / Lam Doen I Am Here