The Cambodian Space Project is a wonderful bitter sweet story about Tasmanian guitarist and producer Julian Poulson meeting a beautiful young Cambodian waitress Channthy Kak who was singing in a Phnom Penh karaoke bar.
The couple formed a band, married, and for six years toured bars, rock festivals and theatres across Asia, Europe and Australia as The Cambodian Space Project, one of the few truly Aussie Asian hybrids in contemporary music who recorded and released 5 albums and 4 singles.
To understand the importance of the live shows, and their context, we have to go back to April 17th 1975: the day Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia. As Poulson says, they “ripped out the heart and soul of Cambodian culture. Their very ill-conceived manifesto was a kind of fucked-up Maoist thing, to return society to agrarian utopia, which meant destroying and dismantling culture. The Khmer Rouge very successfully destroyed everything, along with almost two million Cambodian lives.”
The band was the subject of a feature length film Not Easy Rock’n’Roll, which premiered at Sydney Film Festival 2015 and screened to a massive television audience.
Sadly Channthy died on March 18 2018 at the age of 38 when the auto rickshaw she was traveling in was hit by a car. Tune in on Thursday night 12th May at 11.30 for "And This One's Introduced By..." presented by Dr Gonzo in conversation with Julian Poulson Who'll introduce the tracks from The Cambodian Space Project album Electric Blue Boogaloo. LISTEN BACK: 3cr.org.au/planetx or via your fav podcast app
Simon Strong, Michael Helms & Paul Elliott