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Northern Khmer Spirit Music in Thailand

Kantrum Dongman

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  • 1. Serehr Prasehr
    07:52
  • 2. Sreh Satruer
    07:20
  • 3. Ram Pai
    04:57
  • 4. Mongkwuen Chongdai
    05:05
  • 5. Cheung Pir
    05:54
  • 6. Kanjan Jej
    05:10
  • 7. Ajai Waeng
    04:42
  • 8. Phkarlan
    04:26
  • 9. Mohaori Medley
    10:22
  • 10. Kantrum Dongman
    03:35
  • 11. Seven kantrum percussionloops
    03:30

This album provides a rare opportunity to hear a kind of music that has strong cultural significance, but was almost completely erased by the Khmer Rouge regime of 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.

In the ‘90s the Khmer in Cambodia found out that a music that sounded familiair in language, melody, rhythm and instrumentation, but they didn’t know, survived on the other side of the border in Thailand.

Since then the soulful songs with deep grooving rhythms sparked a revival that has been growing steadily ever since.


One of the few surviving groups with knowledge of the original music has been recorded by Olivier Schreuder & Angkanang Pimwankum of Animist Records in the border-province Surin in Northeast-Thailand.
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, now introduce another selection of Southeast Asian music to the world that is rarely heard outside of the region it comes from. 


'A fascinating collection of catchy and mesmerizing songs - ★★★★' - Songlines Magazine

'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

The release is exclusive available on Bandcamp here. As a special treat it also contains a collection of Kantrum drumloops highly useful for producers and DJ’s alike. 

  • Released on May 17, 2022
  • Performed by the musicians of Ban Dong Man, Surin, Thailand on 9 December 2018
  • Recorded in one take by Olivier Schreuder & Angkanang Pimwankum

  • With special thanks to Suyata Canlaya

  • Mixed & mastered by Olivier Schreuder