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To What Strange Place : Music Of The Ottoman-American Diaspora [Box set]

Various Artists Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 31.26 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

To What Strange Place : Music Of The Ottoman-American Diaspora + Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard : Hard Time, Good Time & End Time Music 1923-1937 + The Return Of The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Jun 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Tompkins Square
  • ASIN: B0050I2OF6
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,975 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Product Description

(1916-1929) Before the Golden Age of Americana on Record, immigrants from the dissolving Ottoman Empire were singing their joys and sorrows to disc in New York City. The virtuosic musicians from Anatolia, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Levant livingin the U.S. who recorded between WWI and the Depression are presented here across two discs along with a third disc of masterpieces they imported as memories on shellac-and-stone. The intermingled lives and musics of Christians, Jews, and Muslims represent Middle Eastern culture as it existed within the U.S. a century ago. A fascinating, new view of American Folk Music. Compiled by IAN NAGOSKI.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 3 Feb 2012
Format:Audio CD
Awesome, odd, compulsive, fascinating. A few gripes and groans, but more the start of a conversation than a real criticism. Surprisingly well-reproduced. Necessary and needful, wonderfully illuminating, the start of more to come, one only hopes
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly epochal masterpiece 21 Oct 2011
By Rose Hobart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A superb collection of the music of immigrants from the Ottoman world: Armenians, Turks, Jews, Greeks, Kurds, Assyrians, Roma... New York was home to this vigorous diaspora and their music clung to the walls of cafes in places like Little Syria (Now Tribeca), sold on 78 rpm, and played live with great power. The music ranges from primitive (in the sense of `first', `original', not incompetent) folk recordings to famous hits such as `Miserlou' (later done electric by surf master Dick Dale, himself of Levantine heritage). Some tracks are utterly fierce, blistering hollers, raucous dance music for late-night hashish and wine parties (such as M. Douzjian). Other cuts (like those by the peerless Marika Papagika) are haunting, lilting, mournful.
The set is divided into three disks: the earliest known recordings (1916 and on), the bustling middle period which ended at the Great Depression, and finally the records and songs that these great artists and their audiences brought with them from Anatolia, the Balkans, and the Middle East. The compiler provides a fascinating and beautiful short commentary at the end, closing with an analogy to a scene to another art masterpiece: Hitchcock's `Vertigo.'
In collecting these glittering sides, Nagoski does not nostalgically return to a romanticized past, but rather makes these old records erupt into the present, a method similar to that of Walter Benjamin in literature or Chris Marker in film. Ordinary history would have us believe that life is divided into an unreachable past, an impossible-to-grasp present, and a vague and dark future. These records shatter this simplistic picture. It is as if they have waited in their own present to be present again. In a way, they were never lost: the influence of Ottoman-American music is apparent in blues, jazz, and pop music. This collection salutes the well known and the anonymous: several of the greatest cuts were recorded nameless or under nom de plume, such as the incredible `Pehlivan Havasi' on disc 3. These masters have contributed to our music sometimes silently, sometimes collaboratively, moving at all angles around the audible tone.
Mr. Nagoski has made a great thing here. He does not collect records, in the sense of a horde, but gathers them in order that their music may play off of each other, completing a little-known map ignored by the listless mainstream. Or better, a rhizome where songs and voices criss-cross, pollinate, and echo each to each, alone and apart, with racket, perfection, chaos, sublime order.
Order this immediately. Order three and give them to friends. If you have no friends, order four and make some.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice compilation with a few flaws 27 Oct 2011
By M. Ekinci - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
First, this is a very nice compilation and a must-listen for those interested in the musical culture of the late Ottoman era. But there are still a few flaws with the album: The information presented in the booklet is not always reliable, and the translations include many errors. A number of tracks in Disc 2 are misplaced, and do not match the names in track list. Furthermore, the tracks 3 and 13 of Disc 2 are exactly the same, the latter labeled incorrectly. All these could have been averted easily with some more care and attention. Another thing is that I would prefer if Disk 3 also included recordings made in the US --instead of a bunch of already released ones and the rather unnecessary tracks where the compiler is speaking. Nevertheless, I still recommend the album and look forward for its sequels.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balkan music of the Diaspora. 14 Nov 2013
By morty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Wonderful music! The production of this album was a labor of love, obviously. It has fabulous Balkan rhythms, incredible players and singers, an informative booklet about the material, and a recorded interview with the producer about the project.
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