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Various Artists Broken Hearted Dragonflies: Insect Electronica From Southeast Asia

These compilations may be this year's most remarkable. Cambodian amasses tapes of Cambodian music salvaged from an Oakland, CA, library. The songs, combining traditional Khmer folk with garage-rock, schmaltzy synth-pop and even arena metal, were recorded in and outside Cambodia between the '60s and '90s-during Pol Pot's genocidal reign. While the music celebrates the good life, there is still sadness in knowing that many of these artists were buried in the killing fields. Broken Hearted contains untreated field recordings of Southeast Asian insect populations. The swarms create timbres akin to synthesizer patches, brilliantly dissolving the distinction between the electronic and the organic.

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