Tuesday, December 15, 2009

holiday in कम्बोज)


"Kambuja or Kamboja is the ancient Sanskrit name of the Kambojas, an early tribe of North India, named after their founder, Kambu Svayambhuva.

Appearing in long player format on 1970's "Reggae Movement", released through producer Harry Johnson's Harry J Records, I am assuming this rocksteady gem was first issued as a 45 on the same label; circa 19
69. I am by no means certain.That it predates the dark days of the Khmer Rouge is beyond doubt, perhaps even coinciding with the US backed military coup of 1970 - led by Prime Minister General Lon Nol and Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak - which ousted the neutral Prince Sihanouk, formerly Cambodia's sovereign king.

Between 1969 and 1973, US aviation forces repeatedly organized bombing raids in Cambodia in a misguided effort to annihilate Viet Cong factions sheltered by the Khmer Rouge. Reportedly, some two million rural Cambodians were uprooted as a result. They sought refuge in Phnom Penh.

Indirectly, this coup led to Sihanouk forging an alliance with the party in Beijing; escalating recruitment into the Khmer Rouge and facilitating Pol Pot's seizing control in 1975.

Cue Jello Biafra.

BLAKE BOY: CAMBODIA from "Reggae Movement" LP (Harry J Records) 1970 (Jamaica)


Anonymous said...

bLake boy?

ib said...

Yeah, I thought so too. My copy says "Bake Boy", though.

Who the fuck knows. It is probably a misprint, since the "B(L)ake" in the vocal is pretty emphatic...

ib said...

"Blake Boy" it is. No doubt I am simply going senile.

ib said...

Or maybe the effect of too many bLaked beans on toast.

@eloh said...

This leaves me wondering about music exposure in general. I was still stateside in 69 an 70.

I never heard of "Reggae" until the late 80's.

ib said...

The thing to remember is that, geographically, although Jamaica is situated a mere hair from Cuba - and by extension the US - it is only as a result of old colonial ties and the government sponsored migration of countless thousands of West Indians to the UK in the 40's; 50's; and '60's that ska, swing and reggae infiltrated the popular music scene.

The way in which white working class youth adopted ska - and, later, reggae - while brazenly advocating racial segregation is a peculiarly British anomaly.

Blake Boy's identification with Cambodia in 69/70 is an extention of Mohammed Ali's public condemnation of US foreign policy in Vietnam.

It failed to generate a similar degree of controversy only because Reggae had such a low profile in the US that it flew straight under the radar. The UK, of course had no direct role in Vietnam, and white youths would have happily shuffled to Blake Boy in London dance halls with no regard to the lyric.