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RAC5 Born Again

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Author Comments

The opening for the song is my sanshin interpretation of Northeastern Thailand's Issan folk music. My interpretation is more akin to the music that is played on a phin that is usually accompanied by a drum kit than the 'mor lam' music that revolves around the singer/s. Phin (pronounced like 'pin') is a three stringed lute (tuned A-E-A, which is how my sanshin is tuned in the opening) that always features a decorative dragon's head on the peg head. I've heard people wonder if their phin was poorly made because all of the strings are of the same gauge but no, they are supposed to be the same gauge.

Before I get too caught up in talking about the specifics of the music that inspired the opening, I'd like to move on to the rest of the song. I have here a fun combo of instruments: sanshin, drums, electric bass, keyboard and a resonator guitar tuned to G (using a slide). Originally I was inspired by this song here (http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=GjV0YSaQHg4) which is a VERY GOOD mor lam song (I listened to it over and over). Before I did my research, I was confused by how different the language in this song was from Thai but then I learned that this man is most likely singing in the Issan language that is derived from Lao and that Thailand's different regions speak with different accents and even different languages but it's all written in the Thai alphabet (kind of like China eh?).

But wtf is up with that guitar? Well that was inspired by this pop-country song from Thailand (http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=mUV6xQY0TMM&featur e=related). In the video you can even see some other traditional Thai instruments! I didn't realize it until now but the drums in this song remind me of the drums in my song, maybe this song had more impact on me than I thought? I don't play that clean style (muting the strings behind the slide) like the guy in the video on purpose because I felt this gave it a more... 'Dirty' or 'bluesy' feel. I've heard other Thai songs with country influence and even some that were played with Thai instruments (like China and bluegrass eh?).

The part where you hear me yelling "Keid-xik-khrang!" is Thai for "Born again" and in the end I chose Born Again for the title. Now, I'm no expert on Thai language but I took what I hear from the country video and what I know about Chinese pronunciation and applied it to it.

Additional research was done at a site that is much like this one (http://www.infoplease.co m/ipa/A0108034.html) but I can't find it (my wife found the original site) and this site (www.bangkokpost.com). At bankokpost I found this article (http://www.bangkokpost.c om/opinion/opinion/208468 /the-politics-of-being-po lite) which struck me as extremely interesting and insightful on a Thai social tradition.

EDIT: I'd like to add that for all you bass heads, you should turn up the bass on this one! I put some catchy bass riffs in this song!

EDIT 2: This won 8th place in the contest.


this is awesome

it's like an Isan (?) mashup of explosions in the sky and modest mouse. A peculiar kind of perty, good listen man

Rahmemhotep responds:

I think it's Issam, Issan... or something, but English is ridiculous, so forget it, lol. Thanks for the review. I actually have a fully remastered version that will be featured on my next album. I want to keep the original up here, so people hear what I originally made.

Chilled out to this.

The way you blended the musical structure of Thailand with the drums made this a pretty fun track to listen to.

Additionally, that part at the middle of the song gave it a bit of a grunge-y vibe, and that gave it some extra character.

I enjoyed listening to this.

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Rahmemhotep responds:

Thanks, I didn't think about it that way. Grungey, eh? Now I'll be thinking about that for a while...

Eastern temperament...

The Sanshi intro was pretty deacent playing, thought maybe playing a bit more rubato (playing with a free tempo) would've helped making it more expressive.

My main problem with this song is the pitch. Now listen here, I'm well aware that eastern music uses a different temperament, wich for a country as far east as Thailand would be so off that it would make western men bleed their ears out, but even there I'm still sure the segment at 1:30 is still terribly off pitch. It really hurts the song since the rest is really great (tought I didn't really like the druming at 0:42, but that's just my point of view, no points taken there.)

Anyways, great submition, and GL!

Samuel H├ębert

Rahmemhotep responds:

Off pitch? No, nothing's off pitch, what you're hearing is either the bass line clashing with the guitar riff or the weakness of the guitar showing through at that spot (both are done intentionally).

The bass riff at that part clashes harmonically with the guitar a little bit. This is my artistic expression to represent the modern turbulence with Communism in Thailand (they think it's god-awful and don't even allow communist parties to participate in elections) as well as just a musical preference of mine that some things are meant to sound wrong.

Edit: Also, most of the music that I'm interpreting in that part stays at one quick tempo.


The banjo at the start is very interesting to say the least and reminds e of the desert levels from Super Mario Bros. 3. The main beat is quite amazing though and I really like it a lot as well. The drums sound nice as well, kind of reminds me of Dobeck from Step Brothers playing his drums at the end with a simple start to them.

The vocals are cool and enjoyable when they do appear in the song which is cool. The banjo just sounds incredible with the beat overall though, really amazes me since it seems you put a lot of heart and effort into this beat. The keyboard wind instrument sound is like the cherry on top. It makes it even better.

Overall, this is a very good beat, nice work on it. Looking forward to more in the future as well.

Review Request Club

Rahmemhotep responds:

Lol at "banjo". It's an Okinawan Sanshin, but people often thought it was some sort of primitive banjo when they saw me play it. Then again, people also thought my mandolin was a banjo or a ukulele (both of which are nothing like mandolin so it was rather funny).

I've never seen Step Brothers so I'll have to look for this scene.

Thanks for your review!


Well it's not hard to see that you were passionate about making this song and put a lot of effort and research into it. It shows and I think it pays off quite well. The guitar part at the beginning is interesting, and very foreign sounding, but interesting nonetheless.

When the actual song starts it sounds much fuller and complete obviously. I think maybe a small transition from these two stages would have been nice...

The vocal was interesting for sure, that's you? Great job, sounds very well mixed in.

The piece was well mixed and well planned, and certainly does sound very foreign. A few things I can't quite explain keep me from giving this a 10, mainly probably because it's strange and foreign to me, but I do think it was very well done.

Keep up the great work.


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Rahmemhotep responds:

About a transition from the sanshin opening to the rest of the song: I had not thought of that at all. Woah... That just made me think of several things I could do with this once the contest is over, but I doubt I will do them.

Oh shit, I thought that the way I mixed the vox was a little off myself, but I'm glad to hear that someone likes it.

About the strangeness: Ah, nahh. Generally, all my songs have something strange about them. Thanks for the review!

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Credits & Info


4.12 / 5.00

Dec 20, 2010
3:45 PM EST
File Info
2.9 MB
3 min 13 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.