Get 'em while they're hot, ladies and gents. Boomkat.com has a promotion on the legendary Nonesuch Explorer series of records, comprising field recordings from the 60s and 70s. Only £6.99 a CD, until March 27th, so what are you waiting for? That's a bargain anywhere (and particularly in the overpriced UK.)
At the time of release, these recordings drew sound from parts of the world that simply hadn't been widely heard, except by locals and ethnomusicologists. As a series, they were hugely influential on western music-making, and still sound both fascinating and beautiful. It's difficult to imagine Byrne and Eno's 'My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts' - and much since - without these records. Lovely covers too:
And perhaps the modern day equivalent is Seattle's Sublime Frequencies series, which also comprises field recordings - yet this time folding radio, TV and other recordings into the mix. Also, purveyors of some of the best album titles around. For example:
- 'Radio Pyongyang : Commie Funk and Agit Pop from the Hermit Kingdom'
- 'Princess Nicotine - Folk and Pop Music of Myanmar (Burma) vol. 1'
- 'Choubi Choubi : Folk & Pop Sounds From Iraq'
- 'Cambodian Cassette Archives : Khmer Folk & Pop Music Vol. 1'
Also available at Boomkat's excellent current promotion.