15 July, 2008

More reasons to like Damon Albarn

This article in the Village Voice is really excellent: Damon Albarn and his Adventurous Honest Jon's Label

It's all about this great hole in the wall record store in Notting Hill (Honest Jon's) which has specialized in selling "possession music" since 1974. "Possession music" is loosely translated as the music of the former British colonies, and historically it has a similar background to that of blues and soul music which grew out of the working songs and protest songs of African slaves in the United States. Many of the musicians were repressed and functionally silenced outside of their home countries by the British government, but some of the recordings were saved and are now being released on treasure chest compilations by Honest Jon's record label.

The story is great, and the music is even better. I would recommend picking up a compilation like Lagos Shake - A Tony Allen Chop-Up or Living Is Hard: West African Music in Britain, 1927-1929 to add to your music library.

No comments: