Every week we get to play two tracks for Tom Robinson on his excellent BBC 6 Music Introducing show... you can listen again here.
The Cambodian Space Project - Broken Flowers
Kak Channthy is the lead singer of Phnom Penh Band The Cambodian Space Project. She's been called the Rock MIA in Asia, with which we wholeheartedly take umbrage. MIA wishes she had an iota of Kak's edge. Not only is she now a rock diva in her homeland, but she's also a women's rights activist, enlisted by the UN to speak in her country. As a young woman Kak was kidnapped from her village and sold into sex slavery in Phnom Penh - but her escape and meeting with now co-pilot Australian guitarist Julien Poulsen, has turned her life around. Julien found his muse and his route into fulfilling his dream of revitalising Cambodia's psychedelic rock days, with echoes of 1960's Cambodian singing legend Ros Seretysothea. Broken Flowers is an original track, but do also check out their covers of Venus and House of the Rising Sun too, as Kak admits she sings rock music better than love songs... we say, rock on...
Mary Ocher - On The Streets Of Hard Labour
We've just spent half an hour watching Mary Ocher videos on youtube, mainly the ones from her War Songs album which is from 2008, but luckily for us who were late to catch on, she re-released in March of this year on Germany's fine Haute Areal Records. Describing her is tough. Born in Moscow and raised in Tel Aviv, now based in Berlin. Mary describes herself as a singer-songwriter, poet, and DJ, with a background in film. Excellent. You might remember her from Mary and The Baby Cheeses who were a 'highly noted band in the Israeli underground circles'. All we know is that On The Streets of Hard Labour is one of tracks of the year, we love her heavily accented singing in English, the sparseness of the music: electronic, contemporary and yet definite shades of a spooky Soviet past.