Juu & G. Jee
New Luk Thung
Label: Em Records
Never colonized, Thailand has remained purely itself across the years even while developing, evolving and selectively adopting international influences; the same can be said of Thai popular music, and can be clearly heard in previous releases of Thai music on EM Records. Perhaps the exception to this instinct of “pattana” (Thai for development or evolution) has been the luk thung genre, which, despite great forward leaps in the 1960s and 1970s, has been stagnant since the 1990s. New Luk Thung is here, however, as Juu and his friends update the luk thung genre with keyboards, drum machines, and samples from luk thung classics.
Contemporary hip hop and trap are fused with luk thung and ramwong elements, as well as the traditional Isan/Lao instruments khaen and phin. Ex-biker Juu has been musically active since the 1990s as a respected rapper, musician and producer, relocating from Bangkok to the musically rich Isan region. His lyrics, in Thai, English, Khmer and Japanese, deal predominantly, humorously and punningly with ganja. New Luk Thung features 10 new tunes, recorded 2017-2019, produced by Juu and Young G (stillichimiya). Vocal guests include G. Jee, Chinza DOPENESS, Dengaryu, MMM, Big Ben, Mr. Maro and Young-G. Songs here include a tribute to Dao Bandon’ s 70s luk thung classic “Man on a Water Buffalo”, a theme song for the mystery group OMK (One Mekong), a cover of a hit from a 1977 film, and other new treats. Available on vinyl and CD with English translations of the lyrics and Soi48’ s liner notes. Cover art by Shinsuke Takagi (Soi48).