Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever

Web of Mimicry

Definitely not for the Putumayo set, Dengue Fever is one of the most unique world music experiences one could possibly ever have. It blows away any preconceived notions of smooth, Third World sounds that ever crabbed your brain. Dengue Fever is more a deconstructionist commentary on the globalization of cultural commerce than it is a nice, tidy museum piece on disc. A hundred years from now, cultural anthropologists will listen to this CD, and go, “What the fuck?” You may, too, because this is one album you will not know how to handle.

Dengue Fever is what happens when a spider takes a bite out of your ass or when a Cambodian pop star (in this case, Chhom Nimol) moves to LA and joins up with refugee musicians from the Radar Brothers, Dieselhed and Beck. The end result is a mind-boggling Cambodian psychedelica that puts you through some changes. The more conservative will go directly into shock and may never recover. The more adventurous may shutter a minute but will sooner or later fall under Nimol’s spell.

Dengue Fever is freaky, jazzy and fun. There’s a bit of kitsch that’s infectious despite itself. Sometimes, you feel like you’re in the middle of a Roger Moore Bond bar scene with this Cambodian siren singing through beaded curtains and lava lamps. At other times you get the feeling that if George Harrison would’ve said “Peace” to Ravi Shankar and kept going east, he would’ve produced this album, and songs like “New Year’s Eve” and “Pow Pow” would’ve become anthems if he’d have brought along Dick Dale.

There’s a certain delirium that emanates from your speakers and fills your head with glee when listening to this CD. It is utterly inexplicable how this album can be as much fun as it is. It really shouldn’t be. But it is. This is definitely an unbelievably unique experience to be treasured. It is the future of all our music as the world keeps colliding with its different parts.

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