Dengue Fever is anything but your average indie-rock combo. Based in Los Angeles, the exotic six-piece outfit is fronted by Chhom Nimol, who sings in her native Cambodian dialect, backed by guitarist Zac Holtzman, his brother Ethan (keyboards), Senon Williams (bass), David Ralicke (horns) and Paul Smith (drums). Some photos of the boys in the band from their three previous albums look like they’ve come from Homeland Security’s no-fly list. In reality, Dengue Fever may be the best U.S. cultural ambassadors to Southeast Asia since the glory days of jazz stars Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane 50 years ago. The band’s “new” album, Dengue Fever Presents Electric Cambodia (Minky), spotlights vintage performances by its favorite Cambodian artists from the late ’60s/early ’70s. Dengue Fever will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with them.
Paul Smith: All sexual jokes aside, I love wood. The sight of it makes me feel relaxed. The acoustics of it make me happy. Maybe my mom’s womb had wood paneling, I don’t know. But it has always spoke to me like no other material in nature. (Water being a close second.) When I go to recording studios and they are decked out in nice wood floors and wood-diffusion panels, I immediately feel like moving in. So many beautiful-sounding instruments are made from wood. All of them have that wonderfully resonant quality that seems so intrinsically human.
Video after the jump.