Kantrum Dongman is a group of musicians from the village of Dongman in the Northeast-Thai province Surin.
They are one of the few surviving groups with knowledge of the a music style called kantrum, that was almost erased by the horrific Khmer Rouge regime of dictator Pol Pot in the Cambodia of the ‘70s.
Kantrum is not only of great value to the surviving Khmer people as part of their heritage, but is a powerful healing method in the first place.
In Khmer animism the people belief their happiness depends on the spirits that live around them. When a person becomes ill they believe the spirits are angry, and therefore need to be consoled by shaman-lead rituals with music and dance.
The group consists of new and old generation musicians who perform top level kantrum boran on traditional instruments.
In 2018 Olivier Schreuder & Angkanang Pimwankum of Animist Records recorded one of their performances, played in the group's village, in one take.
The duo that is also behind the esantronics of Thai-Dutch collective Apichat Pakwan, in which they present both obscure Lao & Thai songs as well as their own new compositions, introduce with this album another selection of Southeast Asian music to the world that is rarely heard outside of the region it comes from.
The release is exclusive available on Bandcamp as digital download in highquality audio, and includes a booklet with extensive liner notes and photos of the fieldrecording session.
The press about Kantrum Dongman:
'An excellent snapshot of one of Isan's lesser-known traditional musical genres, and for those who enjoy traditional music from Isan but only know molam, this one will be of great interest' - Bangkok Post
'A fascinating collection of catchy and mesmerizing songs - ★★★★' - Songlines Magazine