Don't let the appeal of "raw 45s" mislead you. While there are obvious rhythmic jams going on here, it's mainly a stringed instrument such as an oud, a basic hand drum, and one vocalist. It's not really for the dance floor, at best, for grooving while sitting on a mat. The booklet has a fab photo of a teenaged boy holding James Brown's Popcorn LP, but this isn't acoustic Godfather in any sense and this CD compilation might have seemed old fashioned to the young man and his mates, for this is folk music. These tracks are not seven-inch groovers with seemingly any Western influence and compiler Chris Menist makes it clear in his booklet notes. The lack of our modern culture in this music is surprising; despite the music being from port cities, the several disc labels reproduced indicate they were pressed in Greece and Bahrain. But that doesn't make these nine numbers less sophisticated. Like, say, Robert Johnson's 1920s rural blues, they're intimate, deep soul music - just of a different sort. So while these aren't for dance clubs, the song structures and time signatures still serve up real emotion and sparky beats.