A song for underprivileged children

Selda Bağcan is a Turkish female folk singer and guitarist; born in 1948 in Muğla, Turkey.  Her career as a professional musician started in 1971, during her final year at the university The six singles she released that year, in which she interpreted traditional Turkish folk songs in a strong, emotional voice, accompanied by a simple acoustic guitar or bağlama, carried her to national fame.
Many of her songs carried strong social criticism and solidarity with the poor and the working class, which made her especially popular among the left-wing activists and sympathisers during the politically polarized 1970s.

She experimented with rock and roll and with synthetic and electronic sounds in her LPs, although her musical style remained firmly rooted in the folk tradition. After the 1980 Turkish Coup d'État, she was persecuted by the military rulers due to her political songs, and was imprisoned three times between 1981 and 1984. Her passport was confiscated and held by the authorities until 1987, which, among other things, prevented her from attending the first WOMAD Reading festival in 1986. Partly thanks to pressure from WOMAD, her passport was returned in 1987 and she immediately started a European tour, giving concerts in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in the same year.

Since then, she has produced several albums and given concerts in many cities in Turkey and all over the world, and remains active in the Turkish musical scene. Bağcan currently lives in Istanbul and runs the music production company Majör Müzik Yapım.

Selda Bağcan - Güvercinleri De Vururlar

In the heat of japanese nights

Maki Asakawa (浅川マキ, 1942 - 2010) was a Japanese jazz and blues singer, lyricist and composer. She was an important voice of the Japanese urban counterculture.
In addition to writing and composing, she also released cover versions of traditional American folk and blues freely rendered into Japanese, such as "Kimyō na kajitsu (奇妙な果実)" (Strange Fruit), "Asahi no ataru ie (朝日のあたる家)" (The House of the Rising Sun) and "Gin House Blues", among others.
She became popular in the 1970s and had more than 30 releases by the end of the 1990s, after which she was mostly known for performing live. Asakawa collaborated with musicians such as Yosuke Yamashita and Ryuichi Sakamoto. She continued performing live until the time of her death. Scheduled to perform in Nagoya January 15-17, 2010, she died before her show on the 17th, at the age of 67, of heart failure, just 10 days before her 68th birthday. 

Surrounded by spring butterflies

Alessandro Alessandroni (1925, Rome, Italy - 2017, Rome, Italy) was an Italian composer, arranger, vocalist, whistler, conductor and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, sitar, keyboards, mandolin, mandocello, accordion, banjo, flute, harmonica, jew's harp, recorder, melodica and ocarina). He was the founder of the vocal ensemble I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni. Husband of Margaret Courtney-Clarke. Previously married to Giulia Alessandroni (Kema) until her death in 1984.
Also collaborated with his childhood friend Ennio Morricone on a number of soundtracks for Spaghetti Westerns. Morricone's orchestration often calls for an unusual combination of instruments, voices, and whistling. Alessandroni's twangy guitar riff is central to the main theme for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Alessandroni can be heard as the whistler on the soundtracks for Sergio Leone's films, including A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, Once Upon a Time in the West, and Pervirella. He also collaborated with Morricone in scoring the 1974 film Around the World with Peynet's Lovers.
He founded the octet vocal group I Cantori Moderni in 1961. The group, which included his wife, Giulia De Mutiis, performed wordless vocals on several Italian movie soundtracks. Most notably, I Cantori Moderni are featured on the song "Mah Nà Mah Nà", written by Piero Umiliani for the 1968 Luigi Scattini mondo film Svezia, inferno e paradiso and popularized on The Muppets Show. 
Alessandro has also composed film scores, including Any Gun Can Play (1967), Johnny Halet (1968), The Reward's Yours... The Man's Mine (1969), Lady Frankenstein (1971), The Devil's Nightmare (1971), The Mad Butcher (1971), Seven Hours of Violence (1973), Sinbad and the Caliph of Baghdad (1973), Poker in Bed (1974), White Fang and the Hunter (1975), Blood and Bullets (1976), L'adolescente (1976), La professoressa di scienze naturali (1976), The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976), Women's Camp 119 (1977), Killer Nun (1978), L'imbranato (1979), and Trinity Goes East (1998).


Voices from wood ancestors

Iluani was a Spanish/Canadian band formed by Felipe Ugarte, Imanol Ugarte, Oliver Schroer and Tanya Tagaq.
The project is a fusion between experimentation with Basque folklore and Inuit overtone throat vocal tradition; the txalapartaris Ugarte anaiak (Imanol and Felipe, the Ugarte brothers), the Inuit singer Tanya Tagaq and the Canadian violinist Oliver Schroer came together to create this unique sound project. 
The Ugarte brothers play the Txalaparta, a musical instrument of Basque origin from the group of percussed idiophones that is played between two people. The composition of the txalaparta has evolved over time; today, the txalaparta is usually made up of four tables placed on trestles, insulated with a sponge to achieve a clean sound. 

Entheogeny facing the rising sun

Planets In Rock Age is a Japanese Jazz/Psych Rock compliation made by Columbia Records label.

Pain reflected in multiple eyes

Ennio Morricone (1928-2020) was an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and former trumpet player, writing in a wide range of musical styles. Since 1961, Morricone composed over 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as over 100 classical works.

Discordant voices against injustice

Ziad Rahbani (1956) is a Lebanese composer, pianist, performer, playwright, and political commentator. He is the eldest son of Fairuz and Assi Rahbani. His compositions are well known throughout the Arab world, especially because he is responsible for Fairuz's musical works from 1980s onwards. Many of his musicals satirize Lebanese politics both during and after the civil war, and are often strongly critical of the traditional political establishment.

Ziad Rahbani - Abu Ali

Swimming in purple snow

Brigitte Fontaine (1939) is a French singer of avant-garde music, and she is also a novelist, playwright, poet and actress. During the course of her career she has employed numerous unusual musical styles, melding rock and roll, folk, free jazz, electronica, spoken word poetry and world rhythms. She has collaborated with such celebrated musicians as Areski Belkacem, Jacques Higelin, Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Michel Colombier, Antoine Duhamel, Georges Moustaki, Jean-Claude Vannier, Gotan Project, Grace Jones, Archie Shepp, Sonic Youth, Stereolab, Matthieu Chedid and Noir Désir.

Going through deep convolutions

Sandro Brugnolini (1931 - 2020) was an Italian composer and saxophone player; he launched his career playing in a band inspired by Miles Davis, Modern Jazz Gang and later developed a very prolific activity as a composer and performer, alone and in collaborations, under his name as well as under pseudonyms (such as Narassa). He would perform personally on jazz albums and/or tracks, being an alto sax player.

Caught in spider webs

Les Baxter (Leslie Thompson Baxter, 1922 - 1996) was an American musician and composer. After working as an arranger and composer for swing bands, he developed his own style of easy listening music, known as exotica; Baxter, alongside Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman, is celebrated as one of the progenitors of exotica music. He offered package tours in sound, selling tickets to sedentary tourists who wanted to stroll around some taboo emotions before lunch, view a pagan ceremony, go wild in the sun or conjure a demon, all without leaving home stereo comforts in the whitebread suburbs.

Les Baxter - The Pit And The Pendulum

Raising prayers to heaven

Yvonne and Yvette McCarther (1950 - 1993) were craniopagus twins, one of the rarest types of Siamese twins. They had separate personalities, brains and other organs but shared a circulatory system.Yvonne & Yvette spent many hard years as sideshow attractions, but were tapped by their church to go into the gospel field. These recordings were private pressings not made for public distribution, and include their raucous 60's pairing plus a sweet childhood chant and an unusual incantation by their mom, set to spook show organ grinding; after that, they became successful gospel singers.

Lost in lust

Gianfranco Reverberi (Genoa, 1934) is an Italian composer, conductor, keyboardist and producer of soundtracks music.

Poems from the dust

Baligh Hamdi (7 October 1931 - 17 September 1993) was an Egyptian composer who created hit songs for many prominent Arabic singers, especially during the 1960s and 1970s; he frequently said that he drew upon musical ideas and aesthetics in Egyptian folk melodies and rhythms in composing his songs. He also drew on ideas that were floating around in the contemporary music of his time. His sound has a classical flavor due to the heavy use of the string orchestra. But he also made some use of electronic keyboards and guitars in harmony with the strings, or alternating with the strings, in many songs. 


The voice of the Andes

Yma Sumac (Zoila Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo, 1922 - 2008) was a Peruvian soprano. She has also been called Queen of Exotica and is considered a pioneer of World music; blessed with a five-octave range, was presented by her composer/arranger Moises Vivanco as an Inca princess when she recorded Voice Of the Xtabay (1950), arranged by Les Baxter.

She had been born in the mountains near Cuzco,was discovered by Vivanco in 1947 (who was already an established composer) and married by him at 15, she debuted in Lima the same year; in 1949 the couple moved to the USA, where he successfully created a myth around the singer.

Yma Sumac - Inca Taqui


Wrapped in swallow whispers

Nahid Akhtar is a Pakistani playback singer. She is tagged as the "Nightingale of Pakistan". She was the top Lollywood playback singer during the second half of 70s and 80s. She won 3 Nigar Awards and a Pride of Performance in 2007.

Akhtar has recorded songs in a range of styles, including Pakistani film music, Pop, Ghazals, Traditional pakistani classical music, Punjabi folk songs, Qawwalis, Naat & Hamds & others.  

Nahid Akhtar was discovered by veteran musician. M. Ashraf as a teenage sensation in the mid 70s; inaugural released film was "Nanha Farishta" in 1974 and in the same year she climb to the top with super hit songs in film "Shama".

Her stylistic mastery and trade marked television appearances continued through the 1970s; increasingly, though, her attention was turned to the cinema. Films became the topmost priority to Nahid while television went down to the next level. Finally, in the mid 80s she left the film scene as a singer. 

Nahid Akhtar - Film Hits

Puking noises into noises

Basil Kirchin (8 August 1927 - 18 June 2005) was an English drummer and composer; he pioneered techniques which are now commonplace but were considered radical at the time. These included recording sounds he came across and then cutting, splicing, slowing down or stretching the tape to create strange, new noises. 

Basil Kirchin - Everyday Madness

Our ancestors trill over the Andes

Luzmila Carpio is a Bolivian singer (Oruro, 1949), who has performed songs in Spanish and Quechua languages. She also served as Bolivian ambassador to France from 2006 to 2010.

Quantum oscillations from hell

Bruce Haack (1931 - 1988) was a Canadian musician, undoubtedly one of the pioneers of electronic music during the 50's and 60's. Prolific composer behind a huge span of wildy creative, from electronic childrens songs to satanic music, as well as being an inventor of weird musical instruments like the Theremin-inspired Magic Wand and the Dermatron, a device that worked off the natural conductivity of the human body.
Bruce Haack robotic songs were a precedent to the work of Synth Pop artists from the 70's such as Kraftwerk and Gary Numan, and his quasy-psychedelic electronic music was a clear influence in the Space Rock music. 

Swallows invoking their gods

Rahul Dev Burman (27 June 1939 Calcutta - 4 January 1994 Mumbai) was an Indian Bollywood film composer; only child of music director S. D. Burman. 
Active from the 1960s to the 1990s Burman composed music for over 330 films. Together with Asha Bhosle, his wife (from 1980) and Kishore Kumar they made many super hit songs, he also provided the vocals for some of these compositions. He also composed music for many songs that were sung by his sister-in-law, Lata Mangeshkar.


A lesson in seduction

Özel Türkbaş (1938 - 2012) was a Turkish-born actress, model, singer and belly dancer, who helped popularize belly dancing in the US and recorded traditional music aimed at a western audience.


Memories from the land of epics

Marika Papagika (Μαρίκα Παπαγκίκα, 1890 - 1943) was a popular Greek singer in the early 20th century and one of the first female Greek singers to be heard on sound recordings. She was born on the island of Kos on September 1, 1890. In late 1913 or early 1914, she recorded for the Gramophone Company in Alexandria, Egypt. Only one of these recordings has been found so far.

She emigrated to USA through Ellis Island in 1915 with her husband, Constantinos Papagika, a cymbalom player who was also her accompanist. In December 1918, she made her first recording in the States for Victor Records. In July 1919, she also began recording for Columbia Records. By the mid-20s, Marika and her husband Kostas opened a café aman called "Marika's" on W. 34th St near 8th Ave. in New York, likely the first café aman established in the States. Over the next ten years, she recorded more than two hundred performances of café-aman styled songs, including kleftiko demotikο (Greek traditional songs about Klephts, heroic brigands), rebetiko, and light classical pieces, many of them overlapping with her chief rival in Greek music sales in the United States, Koula Antonopoulos (known on her recordings as "Κα Κούλα" or Mme. Coula).

At her club and at recording sessions during the 1920's, Marika was often accompanied by her husband Kostas "Gus" Papagika, cellist Markos Sifnios, violinist Athanasiou Makedonas, and the Epirot violinist Alexis Zoumbas. Marika was a noted exponent of the Smyrnaic style of the rebetiko tragoudi, including old songs about hashish, prison, and street-life. Located on 8th Avenue, "Marika's" wasn't just a café aman, but a speakeasy for Greek people as well as for other Mediterranean immigrants. Marika Papagika recorded her first commercial song, "Smirneiko Minore" for Victor. Along with her rival Κα Κούλα, she introduced Greek music to the Western community. Her early recordings have constantly appeared on compilations and been revived by contemporary singers.

Marika Papagika - The Further The Flame, The Worse It Burns Me

Poems for enchanted forests

Galwad Y Mynydd (The Call of the Mountain) was a Welsh group formed by Alwyn Daniels, Eifion Daniels, Derek Brown and Mike Harries; great vocal harmonies, totally perfect home-recorded vibe on the drums and jangly psychedelic guitars make for a really engaging listen.

Conjunction between past and future

Dariush Dolat-Shahi (1947, Tehran) is an Iranian-American composer and instrumentalist on the Tar, the traditional Persian lute. His compositions include electronic and instrumental music as well as music for traditional Persian instruments.

Rhythms to live forever

Serge Gainsbourg (born Lucien Ginsburg 2 April 1928 - 2 March 1991) was a French singer, songwriter, pianist, film composer, poet, painter, screenwriter, writer, actor and director. Regarded as the most important figure in French pop whilst alive, he was renowned for often provocative and scandalous releases which caused uproar in France, dividing its public opinion; as well as his diverse artistic output, which ranged from his early work in jazz, chanson, and yé-yé to later efforts in rock, funk, reggae, and electronica. Gainsbourg's varied musical style and individuality make him difficult to categorize, although his legacy has been firmly established and he is often regarded as one of the world's most influential popular musicians.
His lyrical works incorporated wordplay, with humorous, bizarre, provocative, sexual, satirical or subversive overtones, including sophisticated rhymes, mondegreen, onomatopoeia, spoonerism, dysphemism, paraprosdokian and pun. Gainsbourg wrote over 550 songs, which have been covered more than 1,000 times by a range of artists.
Since his death from a second heart attack in 1991, Gainsbourg's music has reached legendary stature in France, and he is regarded as France's greatest ever musician and one of the country's most popular and endeared public figures.

Dancing under hot sun

Da'asa - The Haunting Sounds of Yemenite-Israeli Funk 1973-1984 is a Mizrahi/Yemenite Jewish,/Funk/World compilation made by Israeli label Fortuna Records.