Kia Sao ກ້ຽວສາວ
Between 1964 and 1973, the United States dropped 260 million cluster bombs on the Southeast Asian nation of Laos. Carried out during the Vietnam War as part of a covert effort to back the Royal Lao Government in their suppression of the communist Pathet Lao movement, these attacks would constitute the most bombs dropped on a single country in recorded history, outnumbering all the bombs dropped in the entirety of World War II — all onto a nation the size of Utah. Now, half a century later, less than 1% of the explosives remaining throughout the country have actually been detonated, and dozens (if not hundreds) of casualties still occur from these hidden explosives with each passing year.
David Somphrachanh Vilayleck was born to Laotian immigrants who escaped the country during the tail end of this conflict. His music as AYANKOKO runs the gamut between psychedelic jazz fusion, minimal harsh noise, bass-driven techno, and scattered electronic collage work, mixing it all in with a dedication to preserving the traditional music of his Laotian heritage. Scrolling through his SoundCloud and Bandcamp pages reveals an artist whose style is incredibly hard to pin down, which is where the Chinabot-curated Kia Sao ກ້ຽວສາວ steps in. Gathering some of AYANKOKO’s choicest cuts from over the years (as well as gifting us with a number of new songs), Kia Sao ກ້ຽວສາວ is an exhilarating scramble of bouncing beats and silly-string melodies that does a million things at once, even if its playful facade