Dengue Fever Dengue Fever

While Chhom Nimol is a Cambodian pop star, her band, Dengue Fever, is not destined for a 2003 Cambodian top ten. What we do hear sounds like an astounding ’60s relic completely sung in the Khmer language with obvious American influences including swinging rock rhythms, spring reverb, surf guitars and jumping Farfisa organ. It turns out that this recording is completely contemporary and Nimol is working with a group of indie rock Americans with pedigrees including Beck, Dieselhed and Mr. Bungle. The mix of traditional Asian modalities with American rock and roll meshes brilliantly, transporting the listener to another time and place not unlike the Cambodia Rocks compilation of found tracks from the ’60s and ’70s. Familiar rhythms and emotions in an exotic location make these tracks swoon, swing and groove like the best party music you’ll find anywhere in the world. (Web of Mimicry)