April 02, 2008

Black Mirror: Reflections In Global Musics

Black_Mirror.jpgApart from anything else, Black Mirror: Reflections in Global Musics is a testament to the diversity of obscure global music that one can unearth in a modern multicultural city if one takes the time and effort to look. The album, compiled by record store proprietor Ian Nagoski, is an astonishing treasure trove of early twentieth century “world music” sourced from dusty old 78s that he picked up in thrift stores, flea markets and private collection sales; all no more than 30 minutes drive from his home in Baltimore. (In addition, the total sum paid for the 32 recordings on the album amounted to no more than $125.) The tracks come from countries as diverse as Ireland, Poland, Syria, Cameroon, India and Laos, and include some genuinely historical artefacts such as the first commercial recording of Balinese gamelan. Here, for your listening pleasure, are just two. The first is a lively African interpretation of Cuban rhumba by a mid 50's ensemble from Cameroon; and the second is a 1919 recording of the unearthly wailing vocals of Greek rebetika singer Marika Papagika.

Ngo Mebou Melane - Paul Pendja Ensemble
Smyrneiko Minore - Marika Papagika

The album is released on the Dust To Digital label and can be purchased from their website.

Posted by Warren at April 2, 2008 11:16 PM | World