African & Middle Eastern Studies on eMusic

These are much more likely to be considered “world” music, though in many cases they might be just as poppy where they’re made for all I know.  This list would likely be twice as long a year ago, unfortunately.  The best world music labels covering these regions, like Crammed Discs, Strut, World Circuit, Shanachie, Luaka Bop, Narada, and others (Sub Pop and !K7 were just opening up to the wide world of world music) are but a fond memory.

The impression I get from the forum is that the African music remaining on the site is basically this Tom Wardle album:   Fortunately, that’s not the case, though I could listen to that second track again and again.  Really brings a tear to the eye.

Many of these don’t show up until about the 17th page of browsing for Africa, after the site has pushed a zillion Afrobreakers compilations at you.  Some don’t appear at all.  Sorting for Middle East yields a whopping two titles on the same, non-Middle Eastern label.  We can do better. 

Central Asia and Pakistan might creep in a couple times.  These are not easy places to travel and buy CDs, so let’s all bow down and pray to eMusic, shall we?

Aamizeh (Iranian hip-hop); Africantunz Records & Promotions (bottom of the barrel pop); Africha Entertainment (Afriug) Limited (world); Afriug (pop singles); Agadir Vision (Middle-East world pop); Ahmed Almusawi (Omani pop); Amashinga (African world); Amimoun (Middle-East pop); Arab Nights (pop singles); Arsivplak (very odd Turkish vintage); Assay, Assay Records (Promind) (Mid-East Pop); Attay (Middle-East world); Ayouz Vision (Middle-East world); Byrd Out Limited (electronic); AvAie Entezar (Middle-East devotional); Bani Musique (Middle-East world pop); C.P (Iranian pop singles); Cho Cho (world, Christian); Chtouka Vision (Moroccan world pop); Clermont (world); CM Records (old MId-East Pop); Cumbancha (world); Destiny Records Nigeria (world); Disco Shahrazad (cheesy electronic pop); Disco Vision (old Mid-East pop); (Gospel, African world, pop); Dvarim e crew (Israeli hip-hop); Gentle Soul (house);  Gimac Music Prod (African world); Gwo Bout Mizik Group (pop); iaZawan (Moroccan world pop); Íllegal Records (Turkish? hip-hop); Imim Vision (Ethiopian? world); Israel Music (oldies); Jungle (pop); JTV Digital (French African pop); Kingdoz Studio (Turkish hip-hop);  Labaco Productions Link (African world); Lahocin El Baz & Salh El Bacha (moustachioed world); Lamlan Digital Limited (new African pop R&B singles); Made in Turkey (electronic singles); Maestro Production (Central Asian pop, hip-hop); Mbwana (long African tracks with sketchy recording quality); Mox Flex Entertainment (hip-hop); Nesma (Egyptian?); Nile Valley Entertainment (reggae); NPRS (African synth-pop); Nulu (house); OLDshqip (Turkish pop, rock, hip-hop); OUKA MEDIA (Middle-East pop); Parisienne Plus (Middle-East pop); Pelak (Iranian hip-hop); Premier Records Africa (world); Rebeldigital (general pop); RivaNovaUZ (Uzbek pop singles); Saada Music (world & cheesy electronic pop); Several (mixed with Spanish, world); Shango (house); Sierra Connect Entertainment (African pop); Silent Roar (Pakistani, world, folk, rock, pop); Sisonke (hip-hop, soul); SonStyLa Official (Turkish hip-hop); Soulful Horizons (house); Sounds of Asia (vintage Middle Eastern pop); Studio 31 (home-produced Middle East pop singles); Sublime Frequencies (call & response African); TehRap (Iranian hip-hop); Uganda Performing Right (Kandogo Kamu) Society (world); UPRS (African pop, world, Christian); Vinzomusic Ltd. (traditional Mid-East); Vizeeble Entertainment (African house, pop); We Are Young (deep house & “Nu Disco” from Turkey); Woofits (electronica from Turkey); WPM Co. (very serious traditional Persian music); X.Protocol (Middle-East pop); XGD (pop with African elements); YEARNING (pop); YMR NIG (African hip-hop, pop).

My personal top five from above for exploration are Cumbancha, Mbwana, Gentle Soul, Premier Records Africa, and Arsivplak.  Most labels in the list I would not consider downloading anything for more than 99 cents per LP.  Like other regions, there is no shortage of music from 2019 here.

More detailed but still brief label descriptions and evaluations are here:

Individual favorites:  The Touré-Raichel Collective; Mashrou Leila; Baba Commandant & The Mandingo Band; Ajate (Afrobeat on Japanese percussion); AFRIK & Smiling Orchestra; Afrokil O Di Go; Mohama Saz; Soweto Kinch; Fatima Al Qadiri; Gigi; Timasniwen; Waleed Ahmed; Olariche and His Guitar Band; Abstract Afro Vibes (Nite Grooves); Mohammad Abdu (acoustic folk); Bahardirhan Koçer (Turkish composer with huge body of work in new classical, world, electronic); 

In sum, if Dvarim e crew could just have a rap battle with TehRap to settle things, Middle East peace might well be possible, now that Trump kicked John Bolton to the curb.  Ding-dong, the warlock’s dead!


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