Pop Yeh Yeh

Pop Yeh Yeh
Pop Yeh Yeh
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Back in the 90’s, one of my roommates was Carl Hamm. I had no idea that he would later become madly obsessed with Malaysian and Singaporean pop music, while doing a world music show on Richmond community radio station WRIR. But obsessed he became, gradually shifting over from just an avid, strange record collector to budding musicologist.


He put together a Kickstarter campaign finance to his trip through the Pacific to track down and interview aging indigenous rock stars of a particular ’60’s era. From a time when young people in the South Pacific were transistor radio addicts, while their pluralistic societies were dealing with great political and cultural upheaval.


This point in Malaysian popular music gradually become known as ‘Pop Yeh Yeh,’ which can be traced to the chorus of the Beatles’ “She Loves You.” Indeed, for this jaded Gen Xer, the music on this CD with its jungle-lush, orchestral, romantic lilt, gives me a new screen through which to learn to love what was played ad-nausea by Boomers as “classic rock format” in my youth.


Standouts include songs from M Rahmat, Zaleha Hamid & the Black Cats, Adnan Othman, but honestly, for those of us more familiar with the history of the Rolling Stones and The Kinks, the real selling point may be exhaustive liner notes from Carl, who lovingly brings the music back alive for those who are up for the journey.



Sublime Frequencies

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