M80; January 2008

Los Angeles-based Cambodian psychedelic pop rockers Dengue Fever continue their sound exploration/cultural mash-up on their third CD, Venus on Earth. Fronted by gorgeously cadenced Cambodian chanteuse Chhom Nimol, and backed by brothers Zac and Ethan Holtzman, Dengue Fever manage to fluidly blend aspects of the genre known as Khmer rockall the rage in late-’60s/early-’70s Cambodiawith elements of funk, surf-rock, and tinges of Euro-spaghetti western/ Ye-ye Fran§oise Hardy-isms. The result is a tasty melange of Khmer and English language songs that invigorate the body while soothing the soul. “Tiger Phone Card,” an English-language duet between Chhom and Zac, chronicles the wistful longing of a long-distance, cross-cultural relationship, while “Seeing Hands” mixes Bollywood and funkadelic influences with Chhom’s delicious vocals. On the whole, Venus on Earth is a listening pleasure.


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