Various Artists

The Secret Museum of Mankind, Vol. 2

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Vol. 2 of The Secret Museum of Mankind: Ethnic Music Classics, 1925-48 is a diverse collection of old and rare international musical recordings. Opening with an all male choral bellow from a 1930s New Caledonian group, this CD jumps to a Bulgarian rachinitza, a lyrical Puerto Rican aguinaldo that's usually associated with Christmas festivities, and a Hindustani vocal display by a jamming scholar. The rest of the CD continues along in a similarly adventurous way, presenting early 20th century recordings from Turkish, Sri Lankan, Ukranian, Algerian, and Tibetan cultures, to name but a few. Of particular note is a recording of a Sundanese group. The wailing sounds of the Javanese rebab (a single stringed spiked fiddle) and the suling (bamboo flute) provide a wafting backdrop for the ether-like vocals of the group's singer, Miss Narem. From another island nation, Trinidad, comes the CD's upbeat ninth track, "Old Time Cat-O'-Nine." Backed up by his band the Tiger, Lord Invader attempts to persuade his fellow citizens to send the country's hooligans off to another island, Carrera Prison. In short, Vol. 2 is yet another interesting and great sounding contribution to The Secret Museum's set of old real "world music" recordings.

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