Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Even for veteran music-blog spelunkers like your amiable Miner (left), extracting all the riches out of the sonic substrata can be a daunting challenge. Just keeping up with the hundreds of long-sought rarities and brand-new revelations posted each week is virtually impossible. Add to that the steady wave of new sites entering the subterranean soiree on a daily basis and this scavenging for free music obsession can become overwhelming overnight.
But that's really not the half of it. Many dozens of essential blogs have been sharing music for years now, and their copious archived pages are packed with old posts featuring must-have albums—that are still downloadable! So not only do you have to ride each wave of new posts, you've got to plunge down into the murky deep. (Not to mention dodge the mixed metaphors.)
The lead-off item in this week's Motherlode represents an entirely different category of buried pleasure: An ancient post (in this case over three years old) at a dormant blog—Pharaoh's Dance—with still active download links. Crikey! It's like you have to be some time-traveling virtual Jules Verne trawling 20,000 leagues under the Internet. Maybe it really is time to give up.
No worries, though. Part-Ahab, part-Nemo, your faithful Miner will never abandon the pursuit.
Tatsuya Nakamura ~ "Song of Pat"
(Blog: Pharaoh's Dance)
"From the harmonic invention of Big Father to the meditative melodic/textural duet journey of the title track, I cannot stop listening to this one. I am continuously amazed by the stylistic versatility of Richard Davis who is absolutely baffling on this record." (Comment by Downlowsoul, at Pharaoh's Dance )
Obi Wuru Out Dance Band ~ "Nwanyi Ma Obi Diya"
"The vocal stylings of Rose Nzuruike (above) were what made Nwanyi Ma Obi Diya stand out amid a torrent of similar releases during the '80s, and what sends Igbos, and especially Owerri indigenes, into a swoon. Which is not to short-change the talents of the group itself (below) and especially its leader, Madam Maria Anokwuru. Released on an obscure Onitsha record label, it became one of the biggest-selling Igbo records of all time." (This is just the opening paragraph of a longer description by John B. at the magnificent Likembe)
Various ~ "Old Originals, Vols. 1 & 2"
(Blog: Times Ain't Like They Used to Be)
Old Is the New Black
"A great collection of field recordings made by Tom Carter and Blanton Owen in 1976, who went to the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of old-time musicians. The selections are mostly fiddle or banjo (and sometimes the two together) but there's also some fife and drum music, harmonica, autoharp, and some really nice old-time piano (the best I heard since Hobart Smith). Lovers of real and authentic old-time music should enjoy this two records very much." (Gadaya, at Times Ain't Like They Used to Be)
[FYI: Times Ain't Like They Used to Be is no longer active, but its proprietor has started another fantastic blog called Cornbread, Molasses & Sassafras Tea.]
Chatri Sichon ~ "Chom Nang"
"Chatri is crazy! He was a luk thung singer from Chon Buri who, at some point in his career, became enamored with Indian film music, and created this fantastic album, based largely on that sound. Since him there have been several other singers who have developed a penchant for filmi, but at the time Chatri was in a league of his own and his songs have been the backbone of the ลูกทุ่งทำนองอินเดีย (luk thung tham nong india) style. As far as I can tell all these melodies are original (rather than just Indian tunes with Thai lyrics. Please tell me if you know otherwise!)." (Peter, at Monrakplengthai)
Granmoun Lélé ~ "Zelvoula"
"The maloya style originated in the cane fields of Réunion during the slave days. At that time the island was called Île Bourbon. The word “maloya” from the Malagasy maloy aho, which roughly means “say what you gotta say.” It follows then the singing maloya songs was a way for cane harvest slaves to express themselves and speak their story. Maloya music is characterized by its prominent percussion and passionate, repetitive lyrics." (Matt Yanchyshyn, at Benn Loxo du Taccu)
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