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Dengue Fever Presents: Sleepwalking Through The Mekong

Dengue Fever Presents: Sleepwalking Through The Mekong

April 14, 2009
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Dengue Fever: Sleepwalking Through the Mekong has two DVDs. One is the entertaining documentary of the group playing their great music in Cambodia. They play with some Cambodian artists too. It was fun to watch and see images and people of Cambodia.

The music DVD has 17 songs including the following: sleepwalking through the mekong, Dondung Goan Gay (Cambodian artist), March of the balloon animals, tip my canoe, master Tep Mary, hummingbird, New Year's Eve, Ethanopium, psychologically healing (someone talking briefly), The orphan, Master Kong Nai, Hold my hips, Seeing hands, Mou pei Na, Today I learnt to drink, One thousand tears of a tarantula.

Most of these songs are sung in Khmer; but there is some English sung in at least one song. I like their sound. The singing vocals of Chhom Nimol is great in such a big range and beautiful sounds. There are a couple instrumentals (March of the balloon animals and Ethanopium); both I like.
I like "hold my hips", "tip my canoe" and "sleepwalking through the Mekong" the most.

I heard of Dengue Fever this Winter 2015 on the BBC radio. I liked how the music sounded that they played. Then I read some articles about them in the UK Guardian newspaper and NPR (which has songs you can hear.) The are a LA based group.

The cost of the DVDs for me was about the cost of going to a live concert of Dengue Fever. They happened to be playing in a near by town; but I could not make it.

From a later album I like the song Uku (Canibal Courtship.)
Each song is different with a really different sound. I'm glad that I bought these DVDs. I put the music on my ipods.
I read in NPR that Dengue Fever combines psychedelic rock with Cambodian pop from the 1960's-1970's .
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In his unfinished manuscript The Cultural Apparatus, "plain marxist" C. Wright Mills discussed how culture in corporate capitalist society is sublimated to market demands. No longer able to maintain a critical distance, cultural expressions are largely controlled and commodified by institutions whose singular drive is that of profit. Such is the case with the vast bulk of contemporary music, theater, and fine art -- largely shallow, vacuous mind candy that deadens the spirit.

But such is decidedly not the case with Dengue Fever and their film, "Sleepwalking...", which as with all art of substance, has many levels. On the surface, it's an American alt rock band centered on 1960s-70s Khmer music, which in and of itself is fascinating to see their travels in Cambodia. They ain't in Kansas anymore. It's remarkable to see the joy on the faces of Cambodians as they hear their music played back to them -- it's 'psychologically healing,' and there is a scene in which the band visits a school and the kids are so remarkable that they all but steal the show.

Dengue Fever's music is stunning. To borrow a phrase from the bassist, when Chhom Nimol "starts wailin'," a couple of things are likely to happen to a first-time listener -- the hair on one's neck will stand up, goose flesh will cover the body, and their mouth will fall open in amazement. It happened to me. I've watched the film twice and have listened to the soundtrack three times and it still does. She's that great. She has a vocal range, piercing clarity, and flawless enunciation such that every note rings true. And it doesn't hurt at all that she's as beautiful as she is talented.
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California guys go Cambodia, pick up a singer....what could go wrong? Little. A great intro to Khmer styles that'll flip your toup. Rockin....but different. The accompanying DVD should bridge gaps somewhat...would be nice to hear a little more about the great lost Khmer rockers butchered by the communists. Their story deserves more of a hearing...
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I am excited to get this DVD, I have seen it so many times and it still is just amazing.. THE MUSIC IN THE MOVIE IS GREAT, I am getting the soundtrack too! my son saw this movie once with me also and loves it. if you do not know about cambodia, look it up, it is amazing , part of my family is cambodian/Laos and when I got older and realized the things they went through it shocked me. Dengue Fever is a respect to this culture and bringing back some songs from the past and doing it with much respect, go see them live!!! they are such nice people also and I have been photographing them since maybe 4 years or more and I am honored each time (and don't get me started about how beautiful the singer is)! I hope they make many more albums, so buy them to keep them making them :) an amazing book to read (sold on amazon) :Survival in the Killing Fields (Paperback)
by Haing S. Ngor (Author) crazy thing is, he survived all that and then came to the USA to get killed. this book will grab you and you will not put it down. the movie is not the same really, same tittle and the author acted in it also. the movie should of been a different tittle.
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By Tina S on January 7, 2012
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Great CD/DVD combo. The DVD details how the band got together, which is very interesting. The band shows how they found their lead singer in Cambodia and documents their first trip there. Great!
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