Field Recordings

Not to be confused with recordings of fields, though that could go here too, I guess.

Various Artists – Folk Music USA Vol.1

Another Folkways box along the lines of the excellent “Anthologies” LPs. This double LP box dates from 1959 and focuses on field recordings from all genres of american folk music. The comprehensive liner note booklet (including lyrics) is written by Charles Edward Smith and the songs were compiled by Harold Courlander. One of several Folkways […]

Yves Klein – Conference A La Sorbonne 1959

Edition limitee numero 448/500 no label but marked R.P.M. Paris in tiny print on the inner of the beautiful blue gatefold. Spoken word pressure direct from the sweat lodge of the Sorbonne June ’59. The anthropologists who recorded this go uncredited but no doubt they will have canoed up the Boulevard St. Michel and negotiated […]

Tibet II

Tibet II – a musical anthology of the orient. Another in the great UNESCO collection, nice gatefold with loads of info, they never disappoint. Spoken word, chanting, instrumentials & all together, you are in the temple here is the “Invitation To The Deity Shugden”

Watusi Drums

Exciting – Wild – Orgiastic from the Burundi records label, ten tracks that sound like field recordings of drumming, some chanting. Listen: Mwami

KYC 64 – Know Your Car and Get The Best Out Of It

“This Noise Means Danger!” – a TV tie-in 7″ single from BBC records in 1964. Know Your Car had a signature tune by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, but sadly it’s not to be heard on this peculiar mix of deadpan narration and the sounds of ailing motorcars. The commentary is by John F. Miles, manager […]

BBC Sound Effects Centre – Comedy Sounds

An in-house 7″ BBC sound effects disc from about 1967 by the look of the house style. The ‘handle with great care’ suggestion should have been taken more seriously, as there’s a big chunk out of the edge of the disc, depriving us of “Things Falling and Clanging”. Not very musically inspirational, as you might […]

Music of Machinery : Shrewsbury Pumping Station

Optimistically sub-titled “Volume One”, this 7″ 45 rpm single came out on Big Ben records in the UK in 1968. It is an unedited recording of a 19th century pumping engine, one side recorded “In The Engine Room“, the other “In The Cellar“. Rhythm of Machinery might have been a more apt name for the […]

Various: African Dances

I’m a complete novice when it comes to this type of stuff, but this along with a small handful of other things I’ve been lucky enough to pick up lately has really sparked an interest. This one is simply titled “African Dances” on a (very budget looking) label called “Authentic”. It appears to be an […]

L Cpl Charles E Scott (USMC) – From Vietnam With Love

Still a mystery to me, found a stack of these in Richmond VA (the label’s hometown) almost a decade ago, many years of questions and research has yielded nada. The label is known for some hard 60’s garage rockers, this spoken recitation with folky guitar strumming & humming of the Stone’s “As Tears Go By” […]

El Rodeo / USC 1970-71 Audio Yearbook

Here’s a cool record. Side one consists of an audio collage covering a year in the life at the University of Southern California. Some of it is predictable — marching bands, football games, stuff like that. But then you’ve got clashes between student protesters and administrators, a glee club type song (“we will have these […]

Jim Nollman: Playing Music With Animals

Put aside whatever bias you might have against inter-species communication for a few minutes and give Jim Nollman a try. Sure, I know your cat doesn’t listen when you scream, “Stop clawing the god damn furniture, you horrible fiend!!!” – but, have you ever tried jamming with the little fella on, say, a Viheula? Didn’t […]

Street and Gangland Rhythms

Simply put; this is one of the most amazing and entertaining records I’ve ever heard. It’s a truly fascinating slice of life that does not cease to astonish upon repeated listens, and makes one wish that more things like this had been preserved for the ages. The songs, anecdotes, and a capella gang wars of […]

Paul Ott / A Message to Mankind

“Paul Ott Carruth has captured the sheer music of nature in a blend of song and sound with the simplicity of a single guitar, a soft voice and natural sounds heard only in the great outdoors.” (liner notes, A Message to Mankind, circa 1972) “To thousands of wildlife conservationists in all fifty states, the name […]


This LP was produced for an ‘exhibition of sound sculpture, instrument building, and acoustically tuned spaces’ that took place at the Los Angeles Institute Of Contemporary Art July 14-August 31, 1979. It contains twenty six pieces of music and environmental sound from Yoshi Wada, Bill Fontana, Joan La Barbara, Terry Fox, Christina Kubisch, Tom Recchion […]

Pygmies of the Ituri Forest

I suppose that Pygmies, being so naturally small, have a bit of a head start when it come to “getting down”. Bad jokes aside, this is a pretty amazing record. The ambiance is just awesome and on many tracks the jungle is as much a part of the music as the Pygmies. It is a […]

Mushroom Ceremony of the Mazatec Indians of Mexico

Great record of field recordings that I’m happy to have finally recently acquired. It’s of an Indian woman sitting around eating mushrooms with her friend. Her friend seems much more helpful than mine was the time I ate mushrooms. We put them on cold pizza & sat around drinking tea & listening to a Zombies […]