March 2015 National Music Reviews

Review: Dengue Fever – The Deepest Lake

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Dengue Fever 
The Deepest Lake 
Tuk Tuk Records
Street: 01.27
Dengue Fever = Antibalas + Secret Chiefs 3 + Koes Plus 

This is Cambodian pop music played over Afrobeat percussion, under the influence of heavy surf riffs, psych-affected jams and the grittiness of late-’70s L.A. punk. These sprawling six-plus minute tracks are carried by Chhom Nimol’s lilting, ghostly voice over punchy brass, swirling farfisa organ and funk-inspired bass lines. Appropriation of Nimol’s Cambodian rock never feels shoehorned into a Western format—rather, the songs on The Deepest Lake are open wide enough to let the Eastern modes, scales and traditional vocals slide in and out of the laboratory of sounds and styles of Dengue Fever’s ever-expanding palate. Dengue Fever have frequently pointed to the L.A. punk band X as a touchstone for this record. One can hear it in the heavily distorted surf guitars and world-weary excursions into the seedy underbelly of urban life. The Deepest Lake is a dive into world of influences that are challenging as they are rewarding. –Ryan Hall 

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