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SCHED* SXSW 2011 has ended
Saturday, March 19 • 9:00pm - 10:00pm
The Cambodian Space Project

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Artist Information Biography The stratospheric rise of The Cambodian Space Project has caught those witnessing the spectacle of this cosmic cross-culture rock band (CSP) as it blasts across the dusty highways of Cambodia by surprise. In Cambodia, The CSP has landed like an unexpected meteor and has made an immediate impact on enthusiastic local audiences with its festival-like live shows. To date, the CSP has performed in venues ranging from chic city clubs to rural villages, schools and orphanages, even an elephant’s 50th birthday party! For the musicians, The Cambodian Space Project is a troupe bonded not only by the diversity of its members’ backgrounds but by an artistic vision to bridge cultures while exploring new musical frontiers. _______________________________________________________ The Cambodian Space Project I’m Unsatisfied Metal Postcard Records 7” Article written by Ged M - Aug 8, 2010 The Cambodian Space Project: I’m Unsatisfied The label claims this is the first single by a Cambodian band since 1975, when the Khmer Rouge killed all the singers (and the teachers, and the doctors and…) in the Killing Fields. There are diaspora bands like Dengue Fever but this is a Phnom Penh-based outfit put together by an ex-pat Australian and including Cambodians and French players, and fronted by the incredible voice of Srey Thy. It’s a culture clash of sorts – they play like the 5,6,7,8s but their sound is faithful to the spirit of the 60s/ 70s music that itself was a fusion of traditional Khmer songs and the rock’n’roll imported by GIs. ‘Knyom Mun Sok Jet Te (I’m Unsatisfied)’ is staggering, from its warped psych-rock to the unearthly vocals of Srey Thy, who stays true to the spirit of singers like Ros Sereysothea and Pan Ron (who originally wrote this). ‘I’m Still Waiting For You’ is another mindfuck, with lyrics by another dead Khmer pop legend Sin Sisamouth played over the tune to ‘House of the Rising Sun’. The incredible picture disc imagery just rounds it off nicely. If you’ve ever heard any of the Cambodia Rocks compilations, or just want an out-of-body experience, you’ll find this perfect. _______________________________________________________ HITTING THE HIGH NOTES - Thai Airways Magazine story Srey Thy’s journey from the rice fields of Cambodia to lead singer of one of the hottest bands in the kingdom – The Cambodian Space Project – is truly an inspirational success story TEXT BY CHARLOTTE LANCASTER Srey Thy cried for the duration of her flight from Phnom Penh to Hong Kong in March this year (2010). As she sat with a brand new passport in hand, she allowed herself tears of fear and joy. Fear because she was flying into the unknown. Joy because her life had, finally, taken off in a new direction. A departure from a life of difficulty, to one filled with hope and new possibilities. She was leaving her country for the first time to perform with her band at an international gig. Born into a poor family in Cambodia’s poverty-stricken province of Prey Veng, nearly forced into the sex trade, and trapped in a violent relationship for a year, life had been tough on Thy. Yet, with some good luck and natural talent on her side, she has successfully moved on to become the lead singer of the Cambodian Space Project, a band that has managed to cause quite an impact with its music in the region in just one year. While the band covers Cambodian hits from the 1960s as part of its cross- over Khmer rock Western psychedelic jungle sound, Thy’s own lyrics comment on modern and traditional Cambodian society as well as reflect on her own past. “Music – both the act of singing and performing – allows me to express my emotions, confront the demons of my past and convey the happiness I feel now,” admits Thy. The articulate 31-year-old talks candidly of her past and of the dishonesty, desperation and poverty that have until recently defined her life. Thy was first introduced to music listening to her mother sing when she was a child. As a teenager she sang in restaurants in her home town, where audiences claimed she reminded them of the iconic Ros Sereysothea and Pan Ron, two stars of the short-lived pre- Khmer Rouge Cambodian rock’n’roll scene. In search of a better future, Thy left home to work as a maid in Phnom Penh, and while there was kidnapped and nearly forced into a sex trafficking ring. She was only 18 at the time. With deliberation and care she points to a small discolouration on her right wrist that is the only physical reminder of the hours she spent tied to a bed by electrical cables in a small room until an unknown woman freed her and gave her US$2.50 to run away. It was one of the defining moments in her life and she now uses her recently found fame to raise awareness of human trafficking in Cambodia through workshops and public talks. After that, at the age of 24, Thy was in a tough and violent relationship with a man that resulted in their son. “We lived together for over a year, and separated after seven months of my delivery,” she reveals. Finding herself working in the capital once again, she was desperate to send money home to her ageing parents and young child, and felt forced to take up odd jobs around the city earning whatever she could manage. From working as a labourer on a construction site to an employee in a garment factory, Thy has done it all – and has the scars to prove it. But things were meant to soon change, and in late 2009 Julien Poulson, an Australian musician and film producer, was in Phnom Penh looking for Cambodian music talent to work with when he stumbled across Thy singing in a karaoke bar, and was immediately taken by her. A couple of months later she was part of a band, and within a year of its forming The Cambodian Space Project has played more than 20 gigs – including, rather bizarrely, playing at an elephant’s 50th birthday party – and has garnered fans on home soil and overseas. Its participation in a Hong Kong music festival earlier in the year laid the foundations for two international tours set to take them around Australia and France by the end of 2010. “A lot has happened in the last 12 months, but we still have a way to go,” says the lead singer confident of the band’s future success. Her ambitions for her own future, however, betray her difficult past and speak of a desire for stability and security. “As for me, I only hope for financial wellbeing and happiness for my family.” With a career just taking off, these ambitions may materialise sooner than expected for the rising starlet, whose melodic voice, determined ambition and playful personality have taken her from rice fields to regional rock star in a short period of time. Who knows what’s next in store? For more information on The Cambodian Space Project check outwww.myspace.com/thecambodianspaceproject Instrumentation Srey Thy - vocals, percussion Gaetan Crespel - accordion Bong Sak - drums Gildas Maronoud - bass guitar Irene Choun - electric guitar Julien Poulson - electric guitar Scott Bywater - various Discography I'm Unsatisfied is The CSP's first vinyl ep and is out now through www.metalpostcard.com Deja Voodoo is the title of the debut album of The Cambodian Space Project and this will be ready for release December 1st this year. Sample tracks can be heard at www.myspace.com/thecambodianspaceproject
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The Cambodian Space Project

"they're a great band I thought it sounded great, and it was a great night and the singer was beautiful and sang beautifully... and it was very affecting and the band was great and raw, the guitar sounded... great, the solo stuff leapt out!... good...but ah...great band!" Nick Cave... Read More →



Saturday March 19, 2011 9:00pm - 10:00pm
Habana Bar 708 E 6th St

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