June 30, 2004

Sublime Frequencies II : Syrian Homosexuals and Burmese Pop

Another couple of releases from the very wonderful Sublime Frequencies label… I Remember Syria is a double CD of field recordings from a country that only ever gets international exposure when its being tarred as a terrorist haven by Western media. The recordings were made by Mark Gergis (of Monopause and Neung Phak fame) during visits to Syria in 1998 and 2000. Unlike other releases on the label, it incorporates interviews with locals, including a mujahadeen, a man who riffs on fictitious meetings with Bill Clinton, and a homosexual from the port city of Aleppo.

Princess Nicotine is one of the first wide-release CDs of pop music from Burma. And it’s a true revelation! Burmese pop is one of the most unrestrained, anarchic mélanges of musical influences ever conceived… Songs open with manic fanfares and juxtapose sultry chanteuses with distorted male vocals; mellow ballads are underscored with ear-piercing instrumental arrangements; and the music echoes everything from Bollywood and free-jazz to Appalachian folk and Edith Piaf… Want a sample of these hyperactive aural confections? Check out My Love’s Darling Arrow by Ni Ni Win Shwe.

Posted by Warren at June 30, 2004 07:57 PM | World