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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Khmer alt-rock band releases first album

Khmer alt-rock band releases first album

Phnom Penh
WITH their thudding alternative rock music, jerky dance moves and fancy hairstyles, it might have been difficult to tell what country the musicians playing at T&C on Monivong Boulevard last weekend were from. Thailand? South Korea? Japan?

None of the above.They were a group of five young Cambodians who one year ago formed their own band called Cartoon eMo with a commitment – rare in this country – to writing their own songs. Their live set at T&C was in celebration of the release of their self-titled debut album.

At the launch event on the weekend, lead guitar player Ny Noly said the band’s name was a play on the “emo” style of music and fashion that the group follows. “We are proud to use our own abilities to create new music, which we hope will help develop the arts scene in Cambodia,” he said. “We also hope young Cambodians will accept our original work.”

The album was produced by Svang Dara film production company with cooperation from Sabay technology company.

“Rock music is not popular in Cambodia nowadays, so our company is introducing this original Khmer-style rock music to the people of the country,” Meng Sok Vireak, the executive director of Svang Dara, said at the album launch.

Chi Seila, the director of Sabay, said he has been interested in Cartoon eMo since they formed a year ago.

“The formation of the band shows that our arts scene is developing, even if a little slowly,” he said, and added that his company plans to help spread the word about the band through its technology service such as websites and mobile phones.

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