Victrola Favorites: Artifacts From Bygone Days

Performers Various Artists

Dust-To-Digital | February 19, 2008 | Compact Disc

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The Dust-to-Digital label has compiled several exquisitely packaged anthologies of rare early- to mid-20th century roots and ethnic music, the two-CD Victrola Favorites being no exception. What exactly the theme of this compilation is, however, is a little hard to ascertain, other than having been drawn from the collections of Robert Millis and Jeffery Taylor. The 48 songs could hardly be more geographically and stylistically widespread, ranging from early American jazz, blues, and folk to indigenous and ritual music from China, India, Turkey, Korea, Japan, Egypt, and the Republic of Congo. There's chanting from Chinese Buddhist nuns, spoken word, oud and bamboo flute solos, West Indian jazz-calypso, a Thai costume drama, and even an "actual recording of Big Ben and traffic noises" from London. Though the images of Victrolas and ancient recording labels and ads in the liner notes might prep you for tracks originating from the 1920s and 1930s, actually the chronological span it covers is wider than that, running from about 1910 to the early '50s (with some of the dates being estimated). There are occasional cuts of U.S. origin that are clearly ancestors of strains of American pop, and even one fairly well-known performer, Blind Boy Fuller, whose rhythmic 1938 blues "Step It Up and Go" isn't far removed from R&B and rock & roll. But these are considerably outnumbered by less conventionally accessible world music recordings. So you'll need to have wide tastes to get the most out of this, though that's something that can be said of several other Dust-to-Digital releases. If you are an adventurous listener with a general liking for world music and vintage folk/ethnic sounds, it's a thoughtfully assembled banquet of material that provides windows into cultures now vanished or nearly vanished, or at least rarely exposed to most 21st century Western listeners. The handsome book within which the CDs are packaged is actually rather light on traditional liner notes, but the vintage illustrations of record-related memorabilia will entertain many collectors of this sort of music. ~ Richie Unterberger

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: February 19, 2008

Genre: Delta

Style: International

Number of Discs: 2

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Label Name: Dust-To-Digital

UPC: 880226001124

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Victrola Favorites: Artifacts From Bygone Days

Victrola Favorites: Artifacts From Bygone Days

Performers Various Artists

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: February 19, 2008

Genre: Delta

Style: International

Number of Discs: 2

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Label Name: Dust-To-Digital

UPC: 880226001124


Title Track Time
0.DISC 1: --
1.Bololo O Kolilo --
2.Crow Flies Back to the Forest --
3.Mes Tis Polis Ta Stena [Alleyways of Istanbul] --
4.Balada Do Encantamento [Ballad of Enchantment] --
5.Shenai [Instrumental] --
6.Basement Blues --
7.Step It Up and Go --
8.Shin Shin Tankoubushi [Coalminer's Tale] --
9.O! Molly Dear Go Ask Your Mother --
10.Big Idiot Buys a Pig --
11.Laughing Rag --
12.Wipe Em Off --
13.Raks Baladi Hag Ibrahim [Country Dance] --
14.Tora To Vrady Vrady [Now That Evening Has Come] --
15.Fireworks Music --
16.Cowboy's Dizzy Sweetheart --
17.Watching the Knife and Fork Spoon --
18.Courting the Woman From Chiang Mai --
19.Badia's Dance --
20.Preacher Got Drunk and Laid Down His Bible --
21.Karciar Taksim --
22.Daegeum Solo [Peaceful Times] --
0.DISC 2: --
1.Impressions of London [excerpt] --
2.Crucifixion of Christ --
3.Torre de Belem [The Tower of Belem] --
4.Farmer's Dream --
5.Shiokumi Kasatsukashi [Collecting Water] --
6.Mahawin Maita Zad [Royal Love] --
7.Shan Village, Pt. 1 --
8.Mahour Gazel-Adjir idin beni (ghazel in mahour dastag) --
9.Little Mo-hee --
10.Two Liquorice Drops in Jail [excerpt] --
11.Cockeyed Jenny --
12.Darktown Court Room [excerpt] --
13.Story of Tang On, Pt. 2 --
14.Memphis Kick Up --
15.My Wireless Set [excerpt] --
16.Yield Not To Temptation --
17.Chanting the Ten Vows --
18.Mokihana --
19.Grass Widow --
20.Persian popular song --
21.Willie Willie Don't Go From Me --
22.Insect Powder Agent [excerpt] --
23.Thingamajig --
24.Yasukibushi [Tale of Yasuki] --
25.Hamba Na Lo Isoko La Yo --
26.Tabla-Taranga [Raga Adana] --

Editorial Notes

The Dust-to-Digital label has compiled several exquisitely packaged anthologies of rare early- to mid-20th century roots and ethnic music, the two-CD Victrola Favorites being no exception. What exactly the theme of this compilation is, however, is a little hard to ascertain, other than having been drawn from the collections of Robert Millis and Jeffery Taylor. The 48 songs could hardly be more geographically and stylistically widespread, ranging from early American jazz, blues, and folk to indigenous and ritual music from China, India, Turkey, Korea, Japan, Egypt, and the Republic of Congo. There's chanting from Chinese Buddhist nuns, spoken word, oud and bamboo flute solos, West Indian jazz-calypso, a Thai costume drama, and even an "actual recording of Big Ben and traffic noises" from London. Though the images of Victrolas and ancient recording labels and ads in the liner notes might prep you for tracks originating from the 1920s and 1930s, actually the chronological span it covers is wider than that, running from about 1910 to the early '50s (with some of the dates being estimated). There are occasional cuts of U.S. origin that are clearly ancestors of strains of American pop, and even one fairly well-known performer, Blind Boy Fuller, whose rhythmic 1938 blues "Step It Up and Go" isn't far removed from R&B and rock & roll. But these are considerably outnumbered by less conventionally accessible world music recordings. So you'll need to have wide tastes to get the most out of this, though that's something that can be said of several other Dust-to-Digital releases. If you are an adventurous listener with a general liking for world music and vintage folk/ethnic sounds, it's a thoughtfully assembled banquet of material that provides windows into cultures now vanished or nearly vanished, or at least rarely exposed to most 21st century Western listeners. The handsome book within which the CDs are packaged is actually rather light on traditional liner notes, but the vintage illustrations of record-related memorabilia will entertain many collectors of this sort of music. ~ Richie Unterberger
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