June 28, 2004

Sublime Frequencies I : The Global Radio Collage Revolution
(Originally Aired 16th Feb 2004)

Back in 1983, while holidaying in a Morocco, American musician Alan Bishop found himself captivated by the local music pouring out of his transistor radio. From this scratchy little receiver, he heard not only traditional fare but wildly imaginative hybrids that blended Arabic music with Euro-pop, be-bop and heavy rock. He avidly recorded everything he heard and edited into a series of radio collages that mixed the music with sporadic blasts of news and advertising… It was an activity that he would repeat during his later travels elsewhere in the Middle East and in Indonesia.

Originally, of course, they were designed to be little more than souvenirs of his travels (although they probably had a big influence on the faux-ethnic outsider sound of his band Sun City Girls). Recently, however, they have been re-mastered and released on Bishop's world music label, Sublime Frequencies.

So far, his private collection has been the source of three radio collage CDs, Radio Java, Radio Morocco, and Radio Palestine… The results give you a sense of what its like to actually be in a completely foreign country; bombarded by sounds that flood the senses and – even though they might resemble sounds from home – still seem incomprehensibly alien…

The first of these releases, Radio Java, was originally featured on the show back in February. To give you a taste, here’s the remix we played. And from Radio Morocco, here is a piece from track 5 on the CD which fuses classical Arabic music with the sort of 60’s beat music beloved by the Turks (featured on the show on June 26th)

Posted by Warren at June 28, 2004 08:46 PM | World