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September 4th, 2008

Guitars of the Golden Triangle: Khun Paw Yann

The Guitars of the Golden Triangle compilation is achingly gorgeous and energetically ratty at the same time. The title grabs your attention but is misleading, since this is voice-and-song music even more than it’s guitar music. The album was compiled by the Sublime Frequencies label from tracks recorded throughout the ’70s in Shan state, a remote and reputedly lawless region in northeast Myanmar. Although the music draws on American rock, none of the artists seem to have heard much recorded later than 1970: no power chords, little sustain, a bit of wah-wah, the occasional fuzz tone, some exploratory guitar work reminiscent of San Francisco bands like Big Brother and the Great Society.

Compiler Alan Bishop could find no information about Khun Paw Yann other than that his surname identifies his ethnic group as the Pa’o: “Why no one else from outside the Burmese community has spoken about this music for the past 35 years is unbelievable.”

[ stream ] Khun Paw Yann – “Hopes and Goals”

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  1. This is by far one of the coolest things I’ve heard in a long time. Posting this instantly makes this my favorite music blog. Where can I find this collection?

    P.S. The download isn’t working. It’s only 8 seconds of the song.

    Comment by Ashley — September 7, 2008 @ 11:54 pm
  2. so good!

    Comment by Christine Suehyun — December 16, 2008 @ 11:13 pm

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