Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Top 100 of 2002

 Top 100 2001: Anonymous 
street performer in Java
11" x 5", ink and pastel on
wood, 2002 (retouched, 2012)
They say taste evolves, that it is something you acquire over time. While this may be true I would say it also revolves. Looking at the list of my 100 favorite songs for the year I notice it has as much in common with the Top 100s of 2001 and 2002 as it does with last year's pick. I notice, looking at the nine to ten year old lists, a very diverse international selection (more so than last year) with many recordings made in the field by anonymous musicians. The Top 100 of 2002 features recordings made by musicologist Hugh Tracey, a recording of a Siberian shaman, music from the Ethiopiques series, several songs from the CD Street Music of Java, Bulgarian choir music, pygmy polyphonic singing, as well as many other more obvious similarities such as Bob Dylan, or Roland Kirk. In the meantime the out-of-print-cd Street Music of Java has been re-issued as Street Musicians of Yogyakarta. The cd features a joyful bunch of songs that were recorded on the streets of Yogyakarta by Jack Brody in 1978. It was released by John Storm Roberts' Original label in 1990 and now licensed and re-released by Mississippi records. The musicians, even in the new reissue, remain anonymous. 
The following text was written by MaeMaiPleng on the blog End(-)of(-)World Music and I could have written it myself (had I been a better writer):

"The highlight for me is the folksy dangdut track Kuda Lumping. With a lilting bounce in the drums, the loosely-strung twang of a cheap guitar and tambourines offer some rapid rhythmic propulsion. Meanwhile the shrill squawking vocals dance along the line of the songs ridiculously catchy and playful melody. Strangely I'm left with the thought that you could almost hear an Indonesian version of the Slits covering this song plugged-in!"

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