2006/05/14

Folk and Pop Sounds of Sumatra Vol. 1 + 2 [NEW LINK]

I would guess most of these recordings are from the 80s and 90s, but could be wrong. this like other compilations on Sublime Frequencies, have poor, if any, liner notes, and often include many "unknown" artists. probably because the songs are from cassete tapes found on the floor of some dude's car or in a box in the storage room of some restaurant - yet the varying sound quality do not hinder, and maybe even in some cases enhance, the irresistable magical charm of these tunes.

the sound is sweet, strange (to my ears) and satisfying: imagine the stately grandiosity of a Gamelan ensemble in service of catchy 5 minute pop songs rich with flavors including Mid Eastern and what sounds like Egyptian. some times like ballads and sometimes like trip-hop; alternating male, female, and children singers; these songs have that sweet heart-ache of old Reggae, innocence of Hawaiian songs, the alien air of Arabic classical music, with groovy rhythms and hummable melodic lines.

note: even though these recordings are widely available I am sharing them because as much hard work as Sublime Frequencies have done to bring this music to these shores, they did not make it, and most of the musicians who did make it probably are not seeing a dime from these releases.

note 2: a while ago I took the liberty of editing out some songs that were not nearly as pleasing as the others. there may not be convincing enough reasons why you should trust my curatorial agenda or skills, but you should.

Vol.1 Vol.2

22 comments:

marycontrary said...

great post! more sublime frequencies!

m_napper said...

I like these curve balls you keep throwing, Leo!

Anonymous said...

Hey doctor,

Nice stuff up here, though most of it I think I’ve heard before. Nice point on the Sublime Frequencies material. It’s great that so much of this music has been made available for a wider audience, but the CDs are, in the end, glorified bootlegs and don’t directly benefit the artists. (Though I do love that Cambodian Cassette Archives album all the way through.)

Here’s an essential disc of Peter Brotzmann and an all-star cast channeling Albert Ayler using the Die Like A Dog attack formation….

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=QDAL666L

Peace,

j-remy

jpeatt said...

i'm with anonymous about the sublime frequencies being glodified bootlegs, but how glorious! It irks me that it's the enlessly apalling & over rated sun city girls who are behind them, and bathing in the reflected glory of these releases. the 'ethical' status of these releases is totally open to question, but the quality of the music is not, and you're spot on in sharing them here. i have them all myself, and have shamelessly downloaded them all from soulseek :). if you're going to post more, i'd say princess nicotime (folk & pop of myanmar v1) i the killerest of the lot...

zhao said...

jpeat, I don't know the Sun CIty Girls stuff very well, but a few of their members like Jack Rose and Richard Bishop are amazing solo artists... I just got a copy of "Torch of Mystics", and upon first rudimentary listen I seem to be leaning toward your sentiments...

Anonymous said...

jack rose is in pelt, but richard bishop is in sun city girls. 'torch of the mystics' is the only one i've heard so far by them, but it's pretty dope i think

zhao said...

right... I get these solo guitarists mixed up sometimes...

Anonymous said...

Hi, please repost the koriander gems.
I really need some pure sonic sunshine in my workspace.
Kap sha da lay.

Co2Ro

Kelleyzinho said...

The Sun City Girls are "endlessly appalling"? Did one of them look at you funny or something? It's a huge stretch to think that self-aggrandizement (or money) is the motivating force behind their Sublime Frequencies venture. You could say the same thing about the blog on which you are posting. Get a life!

space prophet dogon said...

you should do your research on the motivation behind sublime frequencies here's a recent interview w/ alan bishop from the believer: http://www.believermag.com/issues/200807/?read=interview_bishop

and excerpts here: http://andybetablog.blogspot.com/2008/07/alan-bishop-interview.html

also check out the ennio morricone disc alan curated for ipecac.

kali bless the sun city girls and all who sail with them!

spaced prophet dogon said...

besides, isn't a bit hypocritical to complain about no proceeds getting to artists at a file sharing blog?

Rick said...

Is there any way I can obtain the omitted tracks from you?? This is excellent by the way. Thanks!

maspie said...

hi..thanks for this great stuff..:)

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Anonymous said...

Torch of the Mystics is widely appreciated as an all-time classic masterpiece! If the vocals don't floor you, listen again!
Maybe only 10% of the SCG catalog is great, but it's intense greatness.

Anonymous said...

Wow, umm as much as I appreciate your upload of this great collection and would like to trust your curatorial instincts, how could you edit out 'Bunga Rampai?' This mind-blowing track is one of the reasons I became interested in this comp in the first place. It's also one of the most atypical songs on here.

Maybe it's best to let us make our own decisions.

Anonymous said...

Wow, umm as much as I appreciate your upload of this great collection and would like to trust your curatorial instincts, how could you edit out 'Bunga Rampai?' This mind-blowing track is one of the reasons I became interested in this comp in the first place. It's also one of the most atypical songs on here.

Maybe it's best to let us make our own decisions.

zhao said...

maybe it was a mistake? or maybe that day i was partially mentally impaired for various reasons including the use of illegal narcotic substances? anyhow i don't have that song anymore so can not see if indeed it was a wrong decision :(

dayglowjoe said...

Was very excited to find this here but then read that you've edited out some tracks... WTF?! That's completely ridiculous and unacceptable... If it's your own compilation then fine, put on or leave off whatever you want, but don't screw around with someone else's work. I'll keep looking...

zhao said...

why do you think yours or my taste, judgement or editing skills is inherently inferior to the person at the record label, or even the artist him/herself? i know plenty of good artists who should let someone else pick and choose in the cutting room, from musicians to film makers to visual artists -- and many do exactly that -- and their work and its presentation only becomes stronger.

i delete bad songs from albums and compilations ALL day EVERY day, (in eddie murphy voice) "and if you don't like it, get the fuck out."

Kokkaljós said...

People looking for the complete version should download this instead: https://rs616l35.rapidshare.com/#!download|616tl|417601429|Folk_And_Pop_Sounds_Of_Sumatra_Vol_1__Sublime_Frequencies_2003_.rar|72806|R~4A3D80848D569F40D833953EBAC49624|0|0

entirely unedited version, that doesn't go against the original intention of this release, which was to preserve music close to extinction.

Some of the songs that were cut out I find to be the better and most interesting songs on the compilation, so naturally I have to object to your decision to deprive the compilation of a few songs based on your own subjective opinion of quality (the universally least reliable determiner of anything, ever), which is missing the point yet again of why people download this sort of stuff in the first place.

But yeah, of course you can do whatever you want with your with your blog, and you made this post 5 years ago, so whatever.

Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot!