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The grooviest band you don't yet know
It was the LA Times who suggested that you could get an instant handle on Dengue Fever "if you can imagine a band where a Cambodian beauty queen shares the stage with Rasputin, Barry White, Allen Ginsberg, Michael Hutchence and Brian Wilson". Such is the multi-directional pull of these groovy Californians, surely the only band on the planet whose sound is equal parts Cambodian pop, West Coast psychedelia and Ethiopian jazz. Recent signings to Real World Records, the band were formed seven years ago by Ethan and Zac Holzman, brothers who then discovered future lead vocalist Chhom Nimol singing in a Long Beach bar. The circle was complete, the Cambodian dimension dovetailing neatly with the band's preference for snaking guitars, dripping organs and horns that lazily drift in and out proceedings. And Chhom's vocals were never a convenient slice of exotica close to hand; the band have always been intrigued by Cambodia and in 2001 became the first American band to play there since the days of Pol Pot. Closer to home - and with their new record Venus On Earth recently unleashed - the prospects for Dengue Fever look decidedly, er, feverish. The world awaits. And, as anyone who's caught them live before will confirm, once Dengue Fever's in your blood, there's no known antidote.
Venus On Earth is out now on Real World Records.
Biog by Nige Tassell