Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Favorite Archival Albums of 2010

Within the next 10 days or so, I'll make sure to post my Favorite Albums of 2010 list. I don't have it completed, though I have started to make some progress.

Today's list, however, is comprised of music that wasn't released for the first time in 2010. These albums contain recordings from many years or even many decades ago. It is an exciting time to be a fan of music from earlier time periods, as new archival releases on vinyl and CD have been coming out at a remarkable clip.

I spend increasing amounts of time "living in the past" with my musical choices, and in recent years I have explored three main (related) areas of interest [beyond the standard rock/c&w/jazz/bluegrass that I usually listen to]: 1)hard driving U.S. regional funk from the late 1960s and early 1970s; 2)Nigerian and other W. African rock/funk/fusion music from the late 1960s and early 1970s; and 3)traditional/modern psychedelic/fusion music from other corners of the globe--most recently this has concentrated on Peru, Colombia, Turkey, and India, with the music primarily from the late 1960s and the 1970s.

The following 15 archival releases were my favorite of 2010 (in no particular order):

•Various Artists – The Roots of Chicha 2: Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru (available on Roots of Chicha 2)

A truly wondrous second collection of the formative years of chicha in Peru from the late 1960s into the 1970s.
Read an excerpt from the liner notes on the Barbes Records website and stream the album for yourself. A musical cup of coffee--day or night.


•Various Artists – The World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia in 1970s Nigeria (Parts 1 & 2) (available on Soundway Records Presents The World Ends Afro Rock And Psychedelia In 1970s Nigeria)

The Nigerian Civil War lasted from summer of 1967 to the beginning of 1970. How many people eventually died as a result of the conflict? 1 million? 2 million? More? This two-disc collection compiles some of the rock music that was created in the wake of the brutal civil war and the humanitarian emergency that followed. It is 32 tracks of hard-rocking psychedelic mish-mash as traditional forms of Nigerian music were incorporated into Western, late 1960s rock music (or was it the other way around). Simply fantastic. Read a bit more on the album and check out some tracks for yourself on the Soundway website.


•Various Artists – Turkish Freakout! Psych-Folk Singles 1969-1980(available on Turkish Freakout!)

A groovin' compilation of 7" singles originally issued primarily in the 1970s on various labels based out of Istanbul. This is a hypnotic and hard-driving mix of traditional Turkish instrumentation with influences coming from the Western rock and psych scenes of the late 1960s.


•Jimi Hendrix – Valleys of Neptune
(available on Valleys Of Neptune)

Perhaps you remember all of the hype about these "new" Hendrix tunes from back in March. A very fun listen all the way through. RIP Jimi.


•Bob Dylan – The Witmark Demos (The Bootleg Series, Vol. 9, 1962-1964)
(available on The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 9))

While I have had these heavily-bootlegged demos on tape for 15 years and on CDR for nearly a decade, this comprehensive official release in Dylan's bootleg series has cleaner sound than what I had from my Dylan tape trading days. This is must-have for collectors and an interesting listen for even the casual Dylan fan.


•Various Artists – Good God! Born Again Funk
(available on Good God! Born Again Funk)

The second release of funk-tinged gospel music by the small label called Numero Group. I highly recommend putting this on fairly loud early on a Sunday morning, with hot cup of tea in hand. Has the Word ever been this funky?


•Various Artists – Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas
(available on Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas)

Tropicalia and beyond. I talked about this release back in July.


Various Artists – California Funk: Rare Funk 45’s from the Golden State
(available on California Funk)

Another in the incredible regional funk compilations put out by Jazzman/Now-Again. These tunes collected from the original 7" recordings, are from the local early 1970s funk scenes in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. I would also recommend checking out the Texas, Carolina, Florida, and Midwest comps as well, mofos.


•Various Artists -- The Afrosound of Colombia Vol. 1
(available here on The Afrosound of Colombia Vol. 1)

Since travelling to Colombia in the early summer, I have been exploring the country's musical past and present. This has been a gem of a find, as it contains a cornucopia of tracks: Salsa, Descarga, Funk, Boogaloo, Tropical, Chicha, Bomba, Cumbia, and Afro-Beat.


•Various Artists -- Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots in Colombia, 1975-91
(available on Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla & Afro)

More great music and "lost" recordings from Soundway. If music from northern Colombia fails to get you moving, then you have a problem. You can stream a couple of tunes and read a bit more about this release on the label's website here.


•Various Artists -- Afro-Beat Airways: West African Shockwaves, Ghana & Togo, 1972-1979
(available on Afro-Beat Airways)

If you dig the sound of Fela Kuti and the classic Afro-pop vibe, do I have an album for you. This collection from the folks at Analog Africa explores musical nuggets from Ghana and Togo. It is a very fun listen. Read more here.


•Various Artists -- Nigeria Afrobeat Special: The New Explosive Sound in 1970s Nigeria
(available on Nigeria Afrobeat Special: The New Explosive Sound in 1970s Nigeria)

More great 1970s Nigerian music from Soundway. We have had something like 12 Nigerian music collections from this time period and there isn't much overlap. It was a fertile time, mofos. Thankfully it is seeing the light of day outside of Nairobi record stores. More information and some MP3's on the label website here.


•Various Artists -- Nigeria Special 2: Modern Highlife 1970-6
(available on Nigeria Special 2: Modern Highlife 1970-6)

Superb compilation. I am still totally enthralled with this one as I only recently picked it up. Check out more information and some MP3's here. Soundway delivers again (make sure to listen to the original Nigeria Special compilation from a few years back.)


•Various Artists -- Psych Funk Sa-Re-Ga! Psychedelic Funk in India 1970-1983
(available on Psych Funk:Sa- Re Ga !)

This just came out last week and I have only listened to it a few times. Wow, it is a fun listen. The world needs more psych rock compilations from India! More info and some MP3's here.


•Rikki Ililonga & Musi-O-Tunya -- Dark Sunrise (1970s Rock from Zambia)
(available at Dark Sunrise)

I just picked up this compilation of the king of rock music from Zambia. So, so good. Listen to a track for yourself and read more here.


Viva globalization, mofos. We live in an amazing time of abundance with all sorts of dedicated labels that are collecting incredible music from decades past and releasing it. It is a glorious time to be a amateur musicologist. I'll be back with the list of my favorite new music from 2010 by the end of the year...

1 comment:

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