Dengue Fever: Venus on Earth LP
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Los Angeles based Cambodian and American band Dengue Fever released their first album (2003's self-titled) with no idea how it would be received. Was Khmer-rock, or the very idea of covering lost classic Cambodian songs, even something that would resonate with music fans? Would anyone in the indie community want to hear songs in Khmer? Would anyone in the world music community want to hear psych or garage rock? More than a decade and many releases later, the answer to all those questions is an emphatic yes. In fact, the reaction to Dengue Fever's music was so strong in the early 2000s that the band's sophomore album, 2005's Escape from Dragon House was an attempt to steady the waves their debut caused by expanding their boundaries writing original material. All the while, they still needed to keep the key elements of their debut intact. Oh, and could you dance to it? Again, an emphatic and resounding "Yes!" from the sweaty bodies and revelry at shows from Europe to Asia, Russia to Brazil, and from the United Arab Emirates to Australia and New Zealand. Today, partly because of those first two albums, Dengue Fever are recognized for their trademark blend of sixties Cambodian pop and psychedelic rock. Later, albums like Venus on Earth (2008), Cannibal Courtship (2011) and the lesser known In The Ley Lines (2009), cemented the band as true global pioneers who are constantly evolving their sound forward.