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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dark folk band earn BBC album of the year nod

Dark folk band earn BBC album of the year nod

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Krom frontman Christopher Minko pictured with dancers from Cambodia Living Arts, who form the cast of his new video, Tango Traffic Tango. Photo Supplied

AFTER a year and a half of determination and dogged rehearsal, the folk band Krom has broken ground abroad, after one of the BBC’s international music shows last week nominated their new record as one of the top 20 albums of the year.

Award-winning radio broadcaster Mark Coles selected Songs From the Noir, an album of folk songs with dark undertones, and played the track Don’t Go Away on his weekly BBC show, The Shed.

“It is a delightful surprise. We are getting so much exposure and visibility. It will open doors,” said frontman Christopher Minko, the Australian vocalist and guitarist who fronts the band alongside Cambodian singer Sophea Chamroeum.

Last week's broadcast was a first for Krom, who formed in June 2011 and debuted live at the Foreign Correspondent's Club in Phnom Penh at the end of November but had previously never been played on international radio until Mark Coles discovered the music.

Coles has worked for the BBC for 25 years and broadcasts weekly show The Shed, which specialises in airing new music from around the world, from a hideaway at the bottom of his garden.

Last week Australia's ABC radio aired segments of interviews with Minko. The band have recently recorded a new video for single Tango Traffic Tango and are also working on a soundtrack to the Australian-Khmer documentary In Search of Camp 32, the story of death camps in Northeastern Cambodia.

Voting to select the best album from the year's top 20 has begun on Mark Coles'website.

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