Michael Scholten has certainly covered a lot of ground as a globe-trotting photo-journalist. The Phnom Penh resident and German national has taken photographs in about 40 countries around the world. Scholten has been organizing photo exhibitions at The FCC in Phnom Penh in recent months featuring photos of Cambodia taken by fellow German photographers. For the month of December, Scholten's own photos are on display at The FCC. While most of the 50 photos in Scholten's "Southeast Asian Delights" exhibition are images of Cambodia, he also decided to include pictures he took in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. "It might be nice for people to see some of my photos from the other countries," Scholten said. Scholten's work is on display through December.
For a band that plays Khmer wedding hits from 50 years ago, The Cambodia Space Project makes for a peculiar flag-bearer of avant garde Cambodian rock. But the tripped-out 60s psychedelia that defined the country's golden era of music -- when superstars such as Pan Ron and Ros Sereysothea ruled the air waves -- is proving nearly as popular today as it was during King Sihanouk's Sangkum Reastr Niyum. And to the disbelief of nearly everyone, The Cambodia Space Project appears teetering on the brink of international success. The band recently performed at the 30th anniversary of Peter Gabriel's World of Music, Arts & Dance festival in Adelaide. Front-woman Kak Chanthy is scheduled to work with veteran Australian rocker Paul Kelly later this year. And former Bad Seed Mick Harvey -- who as co-producer helped guide PJ Harvey to two Mercury prizes -- has signed on to produce the band's third album. Come revel in their songs and success. Doors at 8:30 p.m. No cover.
Durian like the word 'dirty', they like it a lot -- so much so that the band named themselves after the world's most passion-inflaming fruit. Inspiring both reverence and revulsion, this 'king of fruits' as it is known in Southeast Asia is described as smelling like almonds or, more commonly, gym socks. Aside from 'dirty', the word 'funky' also seems to cover it – and that's precisely what Durian is aiming for. "The idea was to put together dirtier funk; to get away from the disco, shimmery, synthetic-type stuff in favour of the R&B, soul-of-Detroit, heavy-hitting horn-section funk," says Chris Rompre, the band's bass player. "It's good stuff ... Our sound is a dirty, hit-you-in-the-stomach kind of funk. Sort of like Motown, R&B, soul funk. James Brown, some more modern stuff like D'Angelo. We try to have a real rocking, irresistible, dirty funk sound. Dirty is the adjective I use the most when describing us, which is probably why I picked the name durian. Nasty and disgustingly funky is what we're going for." Doors at 8:30 p.m. No cover.
Inspired by the gypsy rhythms made famous by Django Reinhardt, the jazz trio Balgass is fronted by the vocals of Déborah de Blasi and backed by Seb Adnot on strings and Laurant on bass. Both de Blasi and Abnot have spent years playing authentic gypsy music in France. The trio has played around the world. They are currently in Cambodia until December, when the group is scheduled to return to France for recording. Noon. No cover.
The biggest party of the year with the country's best DJ crew, CP5 Agency, and Special Guest DJ Gang, a team that proved so popular in 2012 that they are back again for another turn. The famous FCC New Years Eve party, an annual ritual with a reputation among Phnom Penh's wildest paties, will be celebrating its 19th year. The drink of the night is champagne. The theme is bubbly. And the night promises to sparkle.