Võ Thiện Thanh & Trung Nguyên Lounge Music

With a double-set clocking in at 95 minutes of electronic music, Võ Thiện Thanh really wants you to chill the fuck out. The first album, Hòa Âm Của Đại Ngàn, is not only perfect for Trung Nguyên’s coffee shops, but also fantastic for high-end shopping malls. The exotic instrumental music, which includes drum loops, saxophone, trumpet, Fender Rhodes, electric bass, and several traditional instrumentations, will make the shoppers relax and forget about the price tag. Just shop until they drop. Through sound effects (“Chuông Gió” and “Mưa rừng”), fusion experimentations (“Bình Minh Trên Cao Nguyên”), vocal samplings (“Đêm Hội Cồng Chiêng”), Võ Thiện Thanh proved that he has mastered the art of lounging music. Whether in shopping malls or coffee shops, this album will calm your nerves and melt your soul.

The second album, Rừng Xưa Đã Khép, is much more intriguing. Võ Thiện Thanh takes Trịnh Công Sơn songs out of the intimate settings (thính phòng) and put them into the bars. It’s the impeccable vibe for happy hours, preferably with glasses of Martini. Highlights are the collaboration with Nguyên Thảo. Her sensational alto, accompanied by Võ Thiện Thanh’s serene arrangements, breathes soothing air to familiar songs like “Em Hãy Ngủ Đi,” “Phôi Pha,” “Hạ Trắng,” “Rồi Như Đá Ngây Ngô,” “Hành Hương Trên Đồi Cao,” “Cỏ Xót Xa Đưa,” “Rừng Xưa Đã Khép” and “Tình Xót Xa Vừa.” Although Trịnh’s compositions have been covered to death, Võ Thiện Thanh and Nguyên Thảo have managed to resuscitate them. This album might not be the most inventive reinterpretation of Trinh’s music, but it is definitely the most tranquilizing experimentation of his work yet.