Various Artists

Mexico: Indian Music of Mexico

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One of the earlier Folkways ethnic music recordings is also one of the worst-produced. A listener might be able to forgive the tinny, distorted sound or the stingy length of the album, but both are too tall an order. Worse yet, the abrupt fades on some of the tracks indicate that someone in the production process was simply uncaring, or couldn't relate to these recordings as pieces of music that might benefit from a natural ending, or at least the same kind of unobtrusive fade-out a 50's doo wop number might be treated to. The enclosed booklet is pretty good -- in fact it is better than the album itself. Nonetheless, there are a few tracks here that are real head-turners. The Tzotzil "Fiesta Song" is a good example of the native village music involving trumpet, reed flute, and drums, and it is a berserk sound that one wishes had been captured in high fidelity. Several tracks feature the lovely ringing of harps. The Huichol "Peyote Dance" is the track that got the most college radio airplay, but it really doesn't sound that far out. Perhaps you had to be there.

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