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MAFT SAI Item related to MAFT SAI

MAFT SAI

April 12, 2019

I think, another side to the merit of convenient digital music is the demerit of loss of story and process to finding the music.

I’m not the type of person to download music and listen to it. I feel that I’m not used to that. One of the merits of convenience of the digital is that it’s toxic. At the same time, you can have easily and abundantly so you may feel not feel the value of the product it itself so much. I think there is a demerit of the loss of the story and the process of finding the music. When it used to be the vinyls, in the process or opportunities of finding it, we would face unique circumstances and encounters along the way.

In Thailand, it was only some of the wealthy people who could afford to buy a vinyl and enjoy music as an entertainment. A normal citizen couldn’t reach to such entertainment. Or, it was sold for a business and the owners of those businesses would provide music to the people in a different form. For example, restaurants and karaoke stores, or we can say that restaurants which has the old jukebox would be the ones who provided it. These restaurants or stores bought the vinyl with Isan music, and had the Isan people listen to it.

Two people who share similar taste for music unexpectedly met. Don’t you have the experience of one day going to a record store and meeting a buyer with the same taste? We are like that too. (laughter)

I first met Chris at a record store. We have brought our own portable player and we were both looking for a record. And 4 hours later we met again at a different place. (laughter) What did you buy? What are you collecting? We asked questions like this to each other. Strangely enough, the things we had bought were very similar and came to know that we had a mutual friend in London. We have many mutual friends and we clicked instantly. One day he visited me at home. We listened to music, and exchanged information such as reggae, funk, and lots of other music. Everything was novel and we spent a really good time. In the midst of that, we ended up with the idea to create a new party with the music we are interested in. We have a strong image of mainly Molam or Luk thung, but we have collected music from Africa to all over the world. We thought that we could make something completely new.

In other words, the event was very small and at that time we did everything just by the two of us.

We started “Paradise Bangkok” in 2009. “ZudRangMa Records” already existed but the label is after the party. “Paradise Bangkok” is for dance floor and it’s focused on DJ like music. Even if it’s not popular, we mainly play heavy songs. At that time we didn’t gather and staff so we did everything by ourselves. Everything, including graphics. Chris Menist was in charge of the sound and I was in charge of the artwork. For the sound source, Chris wrote a song, I did the license and we did the marketing together. We often did the mastering together. In other words the event was very small and at that time we did everything just by the two of us. Now we have more staff, but I still do the booking for Studio Lam.

When translating “ZudRangMa” in English, it means maximum horse engine. The story when I was driving a car in a village to look for a vinyl is the origin of this name, this is the story.

When translating “ZudRangMa” in English it means Maximum Horse Engine. The origin is the idea I got when I went outside of my province long time ago, to look for a vinyl. When I was driving a car on a village road, one truck past by in front of me. On the rear glass it had the “ZudRangMa” sticker on it. I felt that this was good. I felt a strong connect with the concept that I had to spread the music from region more to the outside world. I sensed that this truck on the village road was carrying something out to the central Bangkok from here. I thought to resemble my hope to the truck driver and include the essence in it. With the heart that I will put my heart that I will give my maximum horsepower to make the project I’m working on succeed.

At the time of establishment, it was in Hua Chang* which is around Siam. After that, we relocated to Jaamjant Street which is around Soi 20 in Thong Lo Street. At that time we had only just launched the label, the label was named “Elephant Head” which we just translated the name of the location to English. This is before it functioned as a store. We managed it for about a year. Our style was a small record store with a cafe and DJ space. But the location was bad. The area around the store was an area where there were many kids like thugs and there were people who did drugs or sniffed glue. They would come to the store to beg money from the customers and I was afraid that we would be harmed in this dangerous area so we moved out. At “Elephant Head”, our stock increased but on the other hand there was a problem with the space. Exactly at that time a friend of mine introduced me to an empty property. When I went to see the property, it was a four story building, and I thought that I can store good amount of stock and it can be used in many ways, so I rented it and this is it. It was been about 8 years since I moved here to Sukuhmvit Street 51.

As for amplifiers and sound systems, I go to the market myself, look for it and choose what to buy. The sound system is installed, and we try it until we find a good sound. If we feel stressed about it we buy another material (laughter). There are collectors and groups in each field, so it’s not that very difficult to find it. But for me, of course I pay attention to the sounds system but I regard the quality of the playing sound or the music itself more important.

*Hua Chang:
It means “Elephant Head” in English.

 

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