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Vintage Music Compilation 'Saigon Supersound' Releases 3rd and Final Volume

Since Saigon Supersound presented its first volume back in 2017, the anthology of vintage Vietnamese music has become a household name for fans, both in and out of Vietnam, with a penchant for tunes from the country’s storied past. Earlier this month, Saigon Supersound’s third and final volume was officially released by Germany-based INFRACom.

The trilogy is curated and produced by German DJ and music producer Jan Hagenkoetter, whose connection to Vietnam began when he married his wife, a Vietnamese immigrant. During the family’s time living in Saigon, Hagenkoetter discovered a wealth of old vinyl records from past decades of Vietnam. Given his professional background, he decided to try his hand at restoring them with his friend, fellow DJ Antoine ‘Datodeo’ Toussaint.

The front and back covers of the album.

The results of the journey of discovery turned out to be Saigon Supersound, whose first and second volumes were published in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Apart from digital and on CD releases, all three volumes are available on vinyl, a fitting callback to their tracks’ roots in retro records. While a typical album often sticks to one guiding concept, be it a musical style or narrative, how does one cover several years of Vietnamese music history in one record, or even three? Saigon Supersound serves as a colorful platter of styles from across the years, from cải lương in ‘7 Câu Vọng Cổ Chúc Tết’ (Vol. 1) to the all-time icon ‘Sài Gòn’ (Vol. 2).

Volume 3 is available on vinyl.

In Volume 3, those fond of the first two installations will find the same catholic taste, one that has made the experience of listening through Saigon Supersound exciting for the past years. A twang of blues jazz in ‘Điệu Ru Nước Mắt’ and ‘Mưa Bay Trong Đời,’ arrives alongside the comforting familiarity of modern-day bolero in ‘Hàn Mặc Tử’ and ‘Nắng Chiều,’ and of course the feverish kích động nhạc energy of ‘Trách Yêu.’

The liner notes.

The cover for the new album features Kiều Chinh, Saigon’s film star extraordinaire who found her fame in various movie projects in the 1960s and 1970s. Since her relocation to the US, she’s been in the Joy Luck Club and other Hollywood projects. “Although she may not have had any direct relations related to music, more than 50 years ago, Kiều Chinh's image appeared many times on the covers of various music sheets,” the liner note for the third volume reads. “The image of Kiều Chinh was chosen for the mix of Eastern and Western cultures present in her life and career that mirrored the music of that era. These songs, with melodies originating from Europe, the Americas and Africa have been an integral part of Vietnamese music since the 1960s.”

Listen to Saigon Supersound Vol. 3 on streaming platforms and find out more information about the physical release here.

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