Sublime Frequencies

V/A - Choubi Choubi! Folk & Pop Sounds from Iraq

Meticulously selected from Iraqi cassettes and LPs found in Syria, Europe and the Iraqi neighborhoods of Detroit, Michigan, this unique collection of folk and pop styles displays a wealth of outstanding music that is exclusive to Iraq and has rarely been showcased abroad. There are many reasons why Iraqi music stands alone in the dynamic world of Arabic music: one example is the unbelievable rapid fire machine-gun rhythms fluttering atop the main tempo. This is the work of a unique nomadic hand drum called the khishba -- also known as the zanbour (Arabic for wasp"). A style prominently featured here is the infamous Iraqi choubi -- a driving rhythmic style that can include fiddles, double reeded instruments, percussion, bass, keyboards and oud over its signature beat. Other styles featured are the basta (an urban Baghdadi style), the bezikh , and the pulsating hecha . Also heard is the mawal -- a vocal improv that sets the tone of a song, regardless of the style. Additionally there are three cuts from Jaafar Hassan s 1970s record, Lets Sing Together . Being a folk-rock record, its a true anomaly for Iraq. Hassan was a mouthpiece for the Iraqi Socialist movement just a few years before Saddam Hussein . But most of the music in this collection was produced during the Saddam period between the 1980s and 2002. Since the 2003 invasion and the wholesale disassembly of the country, classic tracks like these may already be part of a disappeared past." - Sublime Frequencies.

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After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.
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