Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

31 July 2013

Sri Lanka

Another offering from the great Ocora label. Field recordings of Hindu & Buddhist ceremonies (& two Catholic hymns recorded at the house of Clement Fernando, on the island of Duwa, Sri Lanka…Clement plays Jesus in the Easter Passion Plays)  recorded on the wing, live & unrehearsed, with slowly rising vocal drones, some big-bellied oboe, double-headed drums, chanting Bhikku monks, & phallic cults (the Siva Linga cult on the first side worships the flower adorned lingam or male member – it is a mixture of Brahmin & pre-Hindu fertility cult).

Read the notes from the inside gatefold included with the file for the fascinating story of how these recording came about, their trials & travails...

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Face A –

1 Ritual of Siva Linga at Kovil Kegalla - Part 1 (Rituel Siva Linga au Kovil de Kegalla – Partie 1)
2 Ritual of Siva Linga at Kovil Kegalla - Part 2 (Rituel Siva Linga au Kovil de Kegalla – Partie 2)

Face B –
1 Arrival at the Temple of Nagolia & Praise for Buddha (Arrivee au Temple de Nagolia et Louanges a Boudha)
2 Buddhist Protection Song: Seth Pirith or Greeting to Buddha (Chantes Bouddhiques Pirit: Set Pirit)
3 Buddhist Protection Song: Maha Pirith or the thre Buddhist Sutras (Chantes Bouddhiques Pirit: Maha Pirit)
4 Buddhist Protection Song: Yuga Pirith or all-night Chanting of all Sutras (Chantes Bouddhiques Pirit: Yuga Pirit)
5 Buddhist Protection Song: Yuga Desana or ending Chant (Chantes Bouddhiques Pirit: Yuga Desana(
Catholic Song of Passion (Chant de Passion Catholique Pasam)
Catholic Hymn Kantaru (Hymne Catholique Kantaru)


Raakasha (a phrase that refers to the ancient language of Sinhala, the mother tongue of the Sinhalese people, who make up the largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka) is an Sri Lankan ethno folk/ambient band with black metal undertones. They formed in the early dawn of 2008. Beelzebub - yakbera & drums & Deshapriya - bass got together with a concept for the Raaksha Project. The concept of the project was to create music expressing the beauty & atrocity of ancient Sri Lankan realms & bringing it into modern day society. This unique genre of Pure Hela Metal is characterized by furiously shredded guitar riffs, bowel shaking bass, animalistic-decimated drum lines & inhuman shrieks & growls for vocals.

For centuries Sri Lanka has slowly been turning away from its rich cultural heritage, a heritage soaked in blood, brutality, war & hate as well as being entrenched in peace, honor, & mind warping Spiritualistic rituals. In 2008 the Raakasha Project decided to address this slow fade of ancient knowledge. They incorporate ritual music with raw black metal.

“Sidhapathini” is a song dedicated to the goddess Sri Sidha Paththini. The song starts with a howl of the guitars, a clean electric guitar sound that gives it a dark & ambient atmosphere, bizarre yet trance-like. The second part of the song fades in as a devil chanter begins to chant an ancient spell in the background while a depressive distortion sound fills the entire song. This song couples minimalism on the one hand, with monotonous hypnotic rhythms on the other. Together they create a sort of unity that leaves a strange impression on the listener; especially on those of us from Western countries.

On this demo, Raaksha are: Buddhika Karunasekara – vocals; Dylan Perera – guitars; Deshapriya – bass; & Beelzebub – yakbera & drums.

 Raaksha – Sidhapathini demo, self-released, 2008. 
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Enjoy if you dare,

30 July 2013


The Murung are people living beyond the Chittagong plain in the hills of West Bangladesh, near the Burmese (Myanmar) border. Consisting of a population of around 50,000, they have their own language & have been able to avoid being converted to the neighboring religions.

Their main musical instrument is the plung, a mouth-organ whose origin is from the region of Burma & Cambodia. It is made of a wind-chest made of a calabash gourd, several bamboo pipes between three to five, & a bamboo mouth piece. Each pipe has a hole & contains a free reed which vibrates when the hole is closed by the fingers of the players. The reed will vibrate either when inhaling or exhaling.

A plung ensemble can contain between ten to twenty instruments of different sizes. The music is repetitive & rhythmic. It creates more tone-color melodies than real melodies. It is heard during particular events such as weddings, funerals, or other public celebrations & ceremonies. There is also another version of the plung, called the rina plung. It accompanies litanies, lists of names of ancestors, or love poems, which are half-sung & half-murmured. These songs are accompanied by ecstatic dances.

This record was produced in France during the Festival de l'Imaginaire. This Murung music was heard for the first time outside of their native hills of Bangladesh.

On Bangladesh: Ritual Mouth Organs of the Murung, the performers are: Long Ngan; Man Yam; Mong Poy; Thing Ngook; Reng Ning; Pa Ya; Sak Sing; Chik Tu; Pa Lay; Rang Lai, Pai Ngee, & Tang Poy – all on plung.

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Tracklist –

Piece for Plung Orchestra
Song & Rina Plung
      Part a – Man’s Song: Village Chronicle; Nostalgic Poem
      Part b – Young Women’s Song: Prayer to the Forest Spirits
Dance for the Sacrifice of the Cow, Accompanied by the Plung Orchestra


29 July 2013


In 1970, King Jigme Darje Wangchuck of Bhutan invited English ethnomusicologist John Levy to record & document the music of Bhutan. Levy was a British mystic, artist, & musician best known for translating the works of his guru Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon, Atma Darshan & Atma Niviriti into English. He was born into a wealthy aristocratic family but at one point in his life gave up his entire fortune & went to live in India with only a loincloth & a begging bowl. Levy was an expert in Asian folk music, especially that of India, Nepal, & Bhutan.

These recordings are from the field tapes from Levy’s Nagra-S tape recorder taped in 1971. They have been re-mastered & released as a two CD set entitled, Tibetan Buddhist Rites from the Monasteries of Bhutan. Four schools of thought dominate the religious landscape of Himalayan Buddhism; they are the Gelukpa, Nyingmapa, Kagyu, & Sakhya orders. Each of the schools interact with one another & share similarities, yet they also differ in aspects of practice, certain teachings (philosophical & epistemological), & also musical traditions.

In Bhutan it was the Drukpa Kagyu (or more simply, Drukpa) order, a derivative of the Kagyu order, that took political hold. The religious & musical life of Bhutanese Buddhists is dominated by the traditions of both this Drukpa & also to some extent the Nyingmapa orders.

These recordings do well to present the clarity of Levy’s scholarship as well as the musical forms akin to both the Nyingmapa & Drukpa. The two CDs are divided into three parts, with the first presenting ritual music of the Drukpa. These songs were recorded in the towns of Thimpu & Punashka. They draw upon dominant religious forms found throughout Bhutan as well as folk elements particular to that region. The second section presents music of the ritual dances from both the Nyingmapa & Drukpa orders. Both monastic as well as public ceremonies from two separate annual festivals are presented in the third section.

While the music on the two-disc set is presented as Tibetan Buddhist Rites, it is distinctly Bhutanese. The opening track, a propitiatory rite, serves as an invitation to Genyen, a protector deity specifically associated with an area in Bhutan in the Thimpu Valley. "Chham gi Serkyem gi Yang” (Tune for Offering of Consecrated
Drink) also calls attention to the particulars of Bhutanese Buddhism: calling attention to specific protector deities of Bhutan & of Serkyem, a Bhutanese style on beer.

The recordings also serve to present a majority of the various instruments used in both monastic & non-monastic Bhutanese song. The music of the shawm (a double-reeded long horn), the silayen (cymbals), dramnyen (seven-string long-necked guitar), & zurlim (flute) are all represented. Yet the most spectacular musical element of this comes from the individual voices & polytonal throat chanting of the monks. The most compelling piece, in praise of the Nyingmapa scholar Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), is performed by a manip, or wandering ascetic.

Levy did a remarkable job here of allowing the music to be played & presented in its natural state, not as the project for recording, but as an extension of the performance of everyday life.

Levy died in London in 1976.

Various – Tibetan Buddhist Rites from the Monasteries of Bhutan, Sub Rosa 222, 2005.

CD1 or CD1 or CD1
Part 1: Rituals of the Drukpa Order from Thimphu & Punakha

1 In Praise of Genyen
2 Offering of ‘Golden Drink’
3 Exhortation to the Guardian Goddess of Long Life
4 Long Trumpets – ‘Throat Ornament’
5 Long Trumpets – ‘Two Notes Prolonged’
6 Invitation to Gonpo
7 Petition to Chakchen
8 Invoking Tshetro’s Blessing
9 Supplication to the Buddhas
10 Aspiration to be Reborn in Western Paradise
11 Petition to Dramar
12 Prayer for Lama’s Long Life
13 Large ‘Mani-wheel’ with mantra
14 – 16 Rite to Cure Disease, Chanted by nuns
17 ‘Tibetan Shawm’ Processional Music
18 Processional Music for Shawm & Percussion
19 Long Trumpets – ‘Auspicious Ending’

Part 2: Sacred dances & rituals of the Nyingmapa & Drukpa Orders from Nyimalung & Tongsa-recorded at the Nyingmapa Monestary, Nyimalung

20 Peling Shachham – Deer Dance
21 Dramitse Ngachlam – The Drum Dance of Dramitse
22 - 23 Lama Norbu Guamtscho
24 Ritual Dedicated to Padma Sambhava

CD2 or CD2 or CD2
Part 2 (continued): Sacred dances & rituals of the Nyingmapa & Drukpa Orders (Suite)-recorded in the Tongsa Dzong (from the Seven Supplications of Padma Sambhava)

1 Entreaty to the Three Buddha-bodies
2 Invitation to Padma Sambhava
3 Rise Up, Padma
4 Words of Prayer
5 ‘Tibetan Shawm’

Part 3: Temple Rituals & Public Ceremonies

Annual festival, Drubchen, great tantric attainment, in Nyingmapa Monastery at Kyichu

6 Myule Drelwa – Calling Down of Deities to Subjugate Evil Spirit & Kulwa,
                            its Death, Stabbed by Black Hat
7 Part of Junbeb - the Coming Down of Grace
8 Monks in Procession Playing Portable Instruments Followed by Chanting
                            of the Heart-Drop Teaching (recorded in Thimphu)
9 Dramnyen Choshe – Song of Offering, with Lute (dramnyen), Lute solo, followed
                            by Chorus, in Praise of Sons of Bhutan
10 Dramnyen Choshe – Chorus only, Song in Praise of Chinese Silk

Annual festival of Sacred dance, at Jampai Lhakhang (Temple of the Future Buddha in Bumthang District, East Bhutan)

11 - 13 Monks, a Clown, Crowds, & Instruments
14 End of Festival, with Temple Bell, Drums, & Trumpets
15 Wandering Ascetic (Manip) Chanting a Milarepa Poem
16 Wandering Ascetic (Manip) Chanting a Mantra
17 Cymbals (Silnyen) Played Solo
18 Cross-flute (Zurlim)-Folk-song from East Bhutan
19 Another Manip Chanting Milarepa Poem
20 First Manip as Story-teller


28 July 2013


Nepal has a diversified music. On the one hand, raga music (an influence from India) is considered their national art, while folk music is regional & is related to the many different ethnic people of Nepal. Except for the two excerpts of raga pieces ("Basant" & "Ramkali"), this CD presents a sampling of the folk & sacred music of Nepal. In fact, religious & folk music are closely tied to the music of the Himalayas. 

There are also farming, seasonal, heroic songs, & dances, but with religious characters underlying them. Despite India's influence on their music, they have very few instruments: the Nepalese sarangi, the basuri (the Nepalese version of the Indian bansuri, a bamboo transverse flute), the bai (a straight wooden flute), & the ponga (a long copper horn), plus a good number of percussion instruments (such as drums, cymbals), which will vary, depending on the ethnic people a song or dance comes from.

This field recordings were recorded by ethnomusicologist Deben Bhattacharya between March 1973 & April 1975. It was released in 1999.

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Tracklist –

Basant (Music for Spring) – Indralal/Pancha Narayan
Pesnja Urozaja (Harvest Song-traditional) – Indralal/Jhalakman
Ramkali – Jhalakman
Lubovnaja Pesnja (Love Song) – Dwarikalal Joshi
Zalobnaja Pesnja (Song of Complaint) – Dwarikalal Joshi
Muzyka Posle Sbora Urozaja (Music after Harvest) – Pancha Narayan Nati
Utrenneja Molitva Bhairave (Morning Praise for Bhairava [in Temple])
Utrenneja Molitva Govinde (Morning Praise for Govinda [in Temple])
Street Singer in Praise of Krishna – Kanchha Gayen
Tanec Demona (Demon’s Dance)
Tanec Krestjanina (Farmer’s Dance)
Sijatelnaja Pesnja Zenchiny (Sowing Song by Women) – Chandra & Krishnakumari Chhetri, Asha & Deoki Rai
Lubov Iz Bambukovoi Fleity (Love from a Bamboo Flute) – Pemba Dong & Benjamin Rai
Draznachija Lubov (Teasing for Love) – Ranbahadur Gurung & Deoki Rai
Lori – Chandra Chhetri, Asha & Deoki Rai


Nepathya (also spelled Nepathaya) is a popular Nepalese band that was formed by three students from Pokhara, Nepal studying in Kathmandu in the early 1990s. Nepathya is best known for its blending of folk melodies into new, youth-friendly pop & rock tune. Since its inception, Nepathya has gained consistent popularity & recognition. They are one of the most talented bands in Nepal. Their songs portray life in contemporary Nepal. They will be the first Nepali band to ever perform in Wembley Arena in the U.K at a show this August 3rd.

The moving force behind this band is the singer Amrit Gurung. He is the only member who has been with Nepathya from the start. Traveling throughout Nepal is one of Gurung’s favorite pastimes. He has been to more than 70 of the 75 districts of Nepal, most of them on foot.

Aaina Jhyal is only Nepathya’s 9th release in 20 years. Nepathya’s usual style is Nepali folk tunes. From their 1st album Nepathya to their 6th Bhedako Oon Jasto, the band had pioneered the sound of Nepali Folk-Rock. On Ghatana & Mero Desh, their 7th & 8th albums respectively, their music focused more on social themes; a reflection of conflict & transition Nepal was going through at the time. With Aaina Jhyal (Glass Window) they have returned to their roots of pure Nepali Folk- Rock.

 Nepathya - Aaina Jhyal, Nepa-Laya Records, 2010.
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Tracklist –

Palla Ghar Ka
Jogele Huncha Bhet
Siran ma Photo Cha
Mero Hajur
Aglene Sur
Aaina Jhyal
Yasto Thauma
Nasai Chyanba


Peter Andersson was born on March 20, 1973 in Boxholm, Sweden. He is a music composer within the ambient, noise, industrial, electronic, & experimental genres.

His projects are Raison D'être, Stratvm Terror, Necrophorus, Atomine Elektrine, Yantra Atmospheres, Panzar, Bocksholm, Cataclyst, Grismannen, & this project, Svasti-ayanam. This is his foray into dark, Nepalese ambience. In this incarnation, his signature Raison D'etre sound has been modified in an incredibly pronounced & effective way. Sanklesa is marked by strong tribal rhythms that draw the listener into distant, foreign, ritual soundscapes.  Beside his music activities & studies, Andersson is mostly interested in film, art, Tibetan Buddhism, & meditation.

Although this is not really Nepalese music, it follows in the footsteps of my previous Muslimgauze postings.

 Svasti-ayanam –Sanklesa, Crowd Control Activities CCA 008, 1998. 
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Bonus tracks – (from Eternal Pride 2007 re-mastered re-issue)

Chenrezig (de-constructed)


27 July 2013


 I'm in the midst of negotiations with my travel agent right now. I didn't really like my itinerary for Asia so I wanted to change it. Too much jumping around, South, West, East, North without any real rhyme or reason. I like my journey to have more flow to it. I've changed the master list to match my new agenda but my agent says I booked this awhile ahead & she might have a hard time re-arranging it at this late date. But what am I paying her for, right? Anyhow, India is my first stop either way, so here we are. Then, no matter what, I heading to Nepal. I'm running out of hash, that block of Afghani black is dwindling fast. But back to the real issue here...the musick.

Ananda Shankar was born in Almora, Uttar Pradesh, India on December 11, 1942. He did not learn sitar from his uncle Ravi Shankar, but from Lalmani Misra at the much respected Benares Hindu University. Probably the most major career decision he took was to move to LA in 1960 where he rejoiced in a life away from the conservative mentality of India of that time. In America, he got to played sitar with Jimi Hendrix.

On his self-titled 1970s release, Shankar creates great covers of the Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” & the Doors’ “Light My Fire” along with many originals of his own.

Ananda Shankar – Ananda Shankar, Reprise Records RS 6398, 1970. 
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Side One –

Jumpin Jack Flash
Snow Flower
Light My Fire
Mamata (Affection)

Side Two –

Sagar (The Ocean)
Dance Indra

Highly sought after for years now, Sa-Re-Ga Machan was released in 1981. It showcases Shankar's unmistakable sound which fuses Western & Eastern music so perfectly. Shankar had a desire to incorporate both the traditional instrumentation of Indian classical music with modern Western instruments such as the electric guitar & synthesizer.  On Sa-Re-Ga Machan the two distinct sounds are conjoined perfectly. The album opens with possibly the most stunning piece, the ten-minute title track which sums up the musician's intent perfectly. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how contemporary so much of this sounds being that it is from 1981.

Ananda Shankar – Sa-Re-Ga Machan, EMI ECSD 2636, 1981. 
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Side One –

Sa-Re-Ga Machan
Romantic Rhino
Charging Tiger
Night in the Forest

Side Two –

Jungle King
Birds in the Sky
Monkeys’ Tea Party
Playful Squirrels
Dancing Peacocks
Jungle Symphony


The Sitar Beat series collected some of the wildest, heaviest, & most psychedelic Indian Funk ever recorded. These volumes are lessons in just how ahead of their time India’s Bollywood composers were in the 60s, 70s, & early 80s. These are Indian deep funk & psycho-psychedelic masterpieces recorded for the Bollywood film industry. There are Bollywood funk classics by acclaimed composers such as Kalanji Ananji & R.D. Burman, with extended breakbeats & re-edits that upped the funk to the boiling point.

How exactly did Bollywood corner the market on awesome. Strange cross-cultural greatness can transpire when musicians from the East hold up a mirror to Western traditions. Similar to what happened with the confounding, weird, & aggressive skewering of punk & hardcore that came out of Japan decades later, music directors from India in the 1970s offered wonderfully twisted compositions rife with Western film score elements exaggerated to extremes, perhaps even beyond Western tastes.

Following the success of the first Sitar Beat compilation CD, a collection of Indian & Indian-inspired European funky selections from the 60s & 70s, here’s Volume 2, with some of the rarest & funkiest tracks recorded between the years of 1970 & 1984. Ironically (Sitar Beat!) only two tracks here feature sitars prominently.

There are sixteen tracks of tasty Indian flavor, blending heavy beats with the sounds of the sitar & the lush vocal sounds of beloved Indian singers. The strange, psychedelic sounds possess their own cultural mish-mash of styles combining traditional Indian instrumentation & melodies with film music’s intensity.

Various – Sitar Beat! Indian Style Heavy Funk Vol. II, Guerrilla Reissues SBR 202, 2007. 
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Side A –
The Witness (Babla & his Orchestra)
Awara Sadiyon Se (Kalyanji Anandji)
Everybody Dance With Me (S.D. Narang)
Wada Karle Sajna (Kalyanji Anandji)

Side B -
Nigahon Ka Adaon Ka (Kalyanji Anandji)
Freak Out Music (R.D. Burman)
Dushmun Title Music (Laxmikant Pyarelal)
Pyar Zindagi Hai (Kalyanji Anandji)

Side C -
Tera Jasia Pyara Koi Nahin (Usha Khanna)
Phir Teri Yaad (Hemant Bhosle)
Main Akeli Raat Jawan (Ajit Singh)
Bekaraar Bekaraar Bekaraar Kiya (Laxmikant Pyarelal)

Side D -
Aaj Mera Dil (R.D. Burman)
Dard-E-Dil (Laxmikant Pyarelal)
Butterfly Version 2 (Keith Kanga)
Laila O Laila (Kalyanji Anandji)


Charanjit Singh was one of a kind in the Hindi film industry of the 1960s & 70s, a field that already had its share of eccentric individuals. He was a seasoned veteran of countless Bollywood soundtrack orchestras, always turning up at session with the latest new synthesizer acquired at great expense from London or Singapore. He was not, however, widely regarded among his country folk as someone pushing the envelope. His band, the Charanjit Singh Orchestra usually found employment performing for weddings, playing the popular hits of the day. Although he played on many popular Bollywood recordings, Charanjit Singh was never a household name.

In 1982, though, Singh did something unusual. Inspired by the sound of disco imports from the West making waves among Bombay's hipster crowd, he went into the studio with a newly purchased state-of-the-art kit: a Roland Jupiter-8 keyboard (The Jupiter-8 or JP-8 as it was known is an eight-voice polyphonic analog subtractive synthesizer introduced by Roland Corporation in early 1981, Roland's flagship synthesizer for the first half of the 1980s); a Roland TR-808 drum machine; & a Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer. Singh had decided to make a record that combined western dance music with the droning ragas of Indian classical music. Recorded in two days, Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat attracted a small bit of interest (excerpts finding their way on to national radio) but it was basically a commercial flop. It was quickly forgotten.

In 2002, record collector Edo Bouman came across Ten Ragas in a shop in Delhi. "Back at my hotel I played it on my portable player, and I was blown away. It sounded like acid house, or like an ultra-minimal Kraftwerk." But it was the date on the record that shocked Bouman. Released in 1982, it predated the first acid house record, often regarded as Phuture's Acid Trax, by a good five years. Still today there is raging speculation that Ten Ragas is a hoax cooked up by some Aphex Twin-style techno joker as a prank. Much of the debate is fueled by the fact that Singh made at least 10 albums, all of cover tunes.

But in Singh’s own words, “Frankly, this was the best thing I did. Other albums are all film songs I just played. But this was my own composition. Do something all of your own, & you can make something truly different."

The Gramophone Company of India Ltd. ECSD 2912, 1983. 
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Side One –

Raga Bhairavi
Raga Lalit
Raga Bhupali
Raga Todi
Raga Madhuvanti

Side Two –

Raga Meghmalhar
Raga Yaman
Raga Kalavati
Raga Malkauns
Raga Bairagi


24 July 2013

The 'Stans of Central Asia

Thought I’d take a day off from duties. Here’s a compilation of musick from the ‘stans. It starts of with the first song from Ulytau that I posted for Kazakhstan & with the exception of a song each by Davlatmand Kholov (Tajikistan) & Munadjat Yulchieva (Uzbekistan) the rest of the tunes are by artists I may have overlooked or been unable to find sufficient material to present. Caint never git enuff o’ dis stuff.

Here’s a Rough Guide compilation, an album covering the music of Central Asia as defined essentially by the 'stans of the former Soviet Union: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, & Tajikstan. The music on Rough Guide to the Music of Central Asia ranges from the classical traditions of the region, as hailing from Samarkand & Tashkent, to modern hard rock, as well as all points on the spectrum between the extremes. A number of the performers herein are fusionists or revisionists, combining traditional folk music with contemporary sounds. The album starts on such a note with a mix of classical Kazakh tunes pounded over by electric guitars. Pop singers from the last decade of cultural exchange are sprinkled throughout the album, as recorded locally or through international channels (some have some decent fame in Europe). Folk performers & classicists also get their share of playing time, with masters of the various Central Asian lutes prominent, such as Turgun Alimatov. The album carries a little of something for everyone. It may provide a good reference for current world music travelers to find something new, as well.

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Tracklist –

Adai – Ulytau (Kazakhstan)
Fergana Tanovar – Turgun & Alisher Alimatov (Uzbekistan)
Adolatingman – Sevara Nazarkhan (Uzbekistan)
From the Station to the Mill – Ashkabad (Turkmenistan)
Devonah Shaw – Davlatmand Kholov (Tajikistan)
Aktamak Koktamak – Abdorahman Nurak (Kyrgyzstan)
Schoch Va Gado – Yulduz Usmanova (Uzbekistan)
Yod Kardom – Farzin (Tajikistan)
Sary-Arqa – Abdulkhamit Rayimbergenov (Kazakhstan)
Akku – Raushan Orazbaeva (Kazakhstan)
Az Ghami Tu – Nobovar & Shams Group (Tajikistan)
Jygach Ooz Komuz – Kambarkan Folk Ensemble (Kyrgyzstan)
Gongurbash Mukamy – Yagmyr Nurgeldyev (Turkmenistan)
Song of Karkara – Ayjemal Ilyasova (Terkmenistan)
Zhez-Kiik – National Ensemble of the Presidential Orchestra (Kazakhstan)
Oz’begim – Sherali Juraev (Uzbekistan)
Garduni Dugagh – Ali Babakhanov & Ensemble (Uzbekistan)
Untitled – Munadjat Yulchieva (Uzbekistan)
Bul Bul Zaman – Edil Husainov (Kazakhstan)

Enjoy & see you in India,


Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (نصرت فتح علی خان ) was born in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad), Punjab, Pakistan on October 13, 1948. He was a world-renowned Pakistani musician, primarily a singer of Qawwali, the devotional music of the Sufis. Considered one of the greatest singers ever recorded, he possessed extraordinary vocal abilities. He could perform at a high level of intensity for several hours. Extending the 600-year old Qawwali tradition of his family, Khan is widely credited with introducing Qawwali music to international audiences. He is popularly known as ‘Shahenshah-e-Qawwali’, meaning ‘The King of Kings of Qawwali’.

He was the fifth child & first son of Fateh Ali Khan, a musicologist, vocalist, instrumentalist, & Qawwal. Khan's family, which included four older sisters & a younger brother, Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan, all grew up in central Faisalabad. Initially, his father did not want Khan to follow the family's vocation. He had his heart set on Khan choosing a much more respectable career path, & becoming a doctor, because he felt Qawwali artists had low social status. However, Khan showed such an aptitude for & interest in Qawwali that his father finally relented. Khan began by learning to play tabla alongside his father before progressing to learn Raag Vidya & Bol Bandish. He then went on to learn to sing within the classical framework of khayal (khayal is musical form with a single melodic line & no harmonic parts…the forms are called raag, & each raag is a complicated framework of melodic rules). Khan had his first public performance in 1964 at age of 16, at his father's chelum (a traditional graveside ceremony for his father that took place forty days after his father's death). Khan's training with his father was cut short by his father’s death, leaving Khan's paternal uncles, Mubarak Ali Khan & Salamat Ali Khan, to complete his training.

In 1971, after the death of Mubarak Ali Khan, Khan became the official leader of the family Qawwali party (Qawwal musical group). The party became known as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mujahid Mubarak Ali Khan & Party. Khan has released 60+ albums, cassettes, & CDs. I am not sure of the exact number. I have never seen a complete discography, although many claim to be.

Khan was on his way to Los Angeles,CA to receive a kidney transplant when on August 11, 1997 he was admitted to Cromwell Hospital, London with kidney & liver failure. He died of a sudden cardiac arrest on Saturday, August 16, 1997 at age 48. His body was repatriated to Faisalabad, Pakistan where his funeral was a public affair.

Mustt Mustt is the first Qawwali fusion album, a collaboration between Khan & guitarist & producer Michael Brook. It was rock musician Peter Gabriel who suggested that Brook & Khan work together. The album was released in 1990 on Gabriel's Real World Records label. The song "Mustt Mustt" was remixed by British trip hop group Massive Attack. It was a club hit in the United Kingdom, being the first song in Urdu to reach the British charts. It is included on this release.

From the enclosed booklet:
When the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomehni banned all music in Iran & declared it to be sacrilegious, his views by no means reflected the outlook of all Muslims. In fact, Islam's Sufi sect believes music to be a sacred & necessary element of spiritual life. Like Hindus, the Sufis passionately encourage meditation, dancing, & chanting. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is a master of traditional Qawwali, the music of the Sufis. Soulful & hypnotic, Khan's passionate singing on these songs of praise underscores the richness & vitality of Sufi culture. While Qawwali music goes back centuries, the use of synthesizers adds a modern edge to the highly absorbing Mustt Mustt.”

Front cover detail from 'Chant' by Russell Mills © 1990. This has been re-issued by Real Wprld in 2012 so the link may not last. Just letting you know.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Mustt Mustt, Real World Records RW LP 15, 1990.
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Side A –
Mustt Mustt (Lost in His Work)
Nothing Without You (Tery Bina)
The Game
Taa Deem

Side B -
Sea of Vapours
Fault Lines
Tana Dery Na
Mustt Mustt (Massive Attack remix)


Faiz Ali Faiz was born in 1962 in Sharaqpur, between Lahore & Faisalabad, Pakistan. He comes from a family of Qawwals going back seven generations. Faiz Ali started his professional career in 1978, creating at the same time his own Qawwali ensemble. Though Faiz is from Lahore, he practices the doaba style from eastern Pakistan. He admits he has been influenced by Sham-Chaurasi, a famous Khayal singing school to which Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s uncle Salamat Ali Khan belonged.

Faiz Ali learned classical music with Ghulam Shabbir Khan & Jafar Khan. He received Qawwali training with Masters Muhammad Ali Faridi & Abdur Rahim Faridi Qawwal. Faiz's voice is characterized by its large range & a specially rich tone that reminds many of the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who has been his revered inspiration, whose compositions he enjoys singing. Faiz is today regarded as one of the preeminent Qawwali singers of the world.

 Faiz Ali Faiz – Lanouvelle voix du Qawwali (The new Qawwali voice), World Village 479011, 2002. 
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Tracklist –

Aj Rang Hai
Allah Hu
Dil Jis Se Zinda Hai
Mera Piya Ghar Aya


The Kominas are a Pakistani-American Desi punk rock band formed in Lowell, Massachusetts. The band currently includes Hassan Ali Malik - guitar, Basim Usmani - bass,  & Abdullah Saeed - drums.

The first Kominas' song ever released was "Rumi was a Homo (but Wahhaj is a Fag)" on the website Muslim Wake Up! in response to the then recent homophobic comments made by the Imam Siraj Wahhaj. In 2007, The Kominas pressed 2000 copies of their first album, Wild Nights in Guantanamo Bay which is now out of print.

Since the beginning, The Kominas have piqued the attention of mainstream media. The Guardian called their music "irreverent and un-PC". As the L.A. Times put it, "The recognition that The Kominas have gotten is a Catch-22 for them: while they welcome the attention from both the mainstream media and the blogosphere, they resent that the focus has been more on the Muslim angle than on their music." CNN wrote "Many conservative Muslims may peg The Kominas as heretics for their suggestive & irreverent lyrics. But the musicians say they are just trying to show both cultures how broad the spectrum of belief can be." The band has expressed frustration with the lack of quality music journalists covering their work.

 The Kominas – Wild Night in Guantanamo Bay, Poco Party (self-released), 2007. 
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Tracklist –

Sharia Law in the U.S.A.
Dishoom Bebe
Par Desi
9000 Miles
WalQaeda Superstore
Blow Shit Up
I Want a Handjob
Suicide Bomb the Gap
Rumi was a Homo (but Wahhaj is a Fag)

Enjoy or die,