What is that noise? would be most people’s reaction to some of the CDs hidden in my collection. These are raw almost ethnographic recordings from isolated places. The sort you get to by going along a dusty track after getting off at the end of rural bus route in Siberia or Rajasthan. For me such music is most “honest”, true form of wordless human expression with sound. Desert Oasis by Folktribe Records is the purest collection of this type of music I have.
The CD features recordings made in the homes of musicians in deep rural Gujurat. It is annoyingly marketed as “pure tribal trance” – no doubt to sell it to latte hippies in the first world. I feel it cheapens the fact that the music is a genuine expression about a way of life by the people who life that life. Recorded with rawness untouched by the cosmetics of recording studio sound engineers. The music has its hypnotic qualities. Assuming of course that you are willing to “invest” the time to “get” it without the use of external substances.
I don’t deny that most of this CD sounds like unintelligible wails from high pitched flutes which go on and on and on. The very fact that I like this type of sound unsettles people more than the music itself. Consequently I haven’t played it all in the last few years. The CD has remained in the dust of the old CD rack. This situation is helped by the fact that I live a more social life and I refuse to wear headphones of any kind. I also refuse to “inflict” my musical tastes on the unwilling.
The odd part is that I still hear the sounds of the Desert Oasis. The high pitched flutes, the mystery string instruments and the late drum. I play them in my head and I enjoy it as well as I might with an ipod.
I suppose I could make this a claim of some sort of eccentric specialness. Use it as a declaration of some higher esoteric knowledge. Which I know in my heart is new age bovine excrement. I’m just another mediocre human shit like everyone else nothing special ;). Thankfully I don’t need the tattoos and the piercing to say so. A view that is not music to many but I feel is honest.