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21 février 2009

Dengue Fever's Cambodian Pop Is Perfect Soundtrack for Lost World

By Scott Thill, February 19, 2009

Los Angeles hybrid groove band Dengue Fever has combined Cambodian pop with surf, ska, psychedelia and funk, winning crossover success and critical acclaim. The group's next move? Playing a live soundtrack for The Lost World, the 1925 film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's dino-sci classic, when it screens this May at the San Francisco Film Festival.

The score will drop in what's shaping up to be a busy season for the sextet, which is led by siren Chhom Nimol. She was already a reputable Khmer singer in Cambodia before she was discovered by brothers Ethan and Zac Holtzman, who founded Dengue Fever in 2001.

For more on the band and its Cambodian musical influences, check out the biopic, Sleepwalking Through the Mekong (trailer below). The movie, which will be released on DVD in April, follows Dengue Fever as its members tour Phnom Penh and explores the roots of Cambodian rock from the '60s and '70s. The band will embark on a lengthy American and European tour in support of the DVD release.

Dengue Fever's third effort, Venus on Earth, was picked up last year by Peter Gabriel's Real World Records for distribution outside of the United States and Canada. As a band out of time and genre, the group seems a perfect fit for the San Francisco Film Festival's screening of a Library of Congress lifer.

"The Lost World is a classic exploration of man's fascination with his own prehistory," explained Film Society programming associate Sean Uyehara. "Like the territory depicted in the film, Dengue Fever's music comes from a time and place that no longer exists. The band and film both evoke the same kind of nostalgia."

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