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When most of us think about American music we think of more vernacular and popular styles: the blues, country, rock 'n' roll, hip-hop. Wooley goes much deeper. This country has a rich and dynamic art-music history, much of which forms the backbone of DRAM's holdings, but with a focus on ethnic-music scholar Ian Nagoski—there's an extensive interview with him, a mixtape of titles he's curated, an interview by him with his record-collecting predecessor Dick Spottswood, and a vinyl-only collection
of Lemkos party music for sale called The Widow's Joy: Eastern European Dance Music 1925-1930, coreleased by Sound American and Nagoski's Canary label—this issue considers music made by immigrants here in the U.S. to be part of conversation. With so much of the roots of what's normally considered American music transported here before the advent of recorded music, we rarely examine how other sounds wended their way into our culture. There are also short but good interviews with Josh Rosenthal of Tompkins Square Records, Eric Isaascson of Mississippi Records, and Angela Sawyer of Weirdo Records.
Dean Miller, Platinum (Koch)
Sam Yahel, From Sun to Sun (Origin)
Camerata Kilkenny, J.S. Bach: The Musical Offering (Maya)
Wadada Leo Smith's Mbira, Dark Lady of the Sonnets (TUM)
Taraf de Haidouks & Kocani Orkestar, Band of Gypsies 2 (Crammed Discs)