Rentak Tarian Melayu
Orkes Gazal Penembang Rentak Tarian Melayu (Malay Dance Beat) EP (Parlophone, 196?)
I wish I could tell you something about this record or the style of music you are going to hear but this disk is pretty obscure and anything I'm gonna rattle off about Malaysian music would be cribbed from wikipedia and me bullshitting. Instead, I am going to write about what I do when I have no historical or cultural context to place a record or music in and that is think about the things that make the music on this record in common with other culture's music - or babble on about how crazy it is that in this Malaysian EP I hear really raw American Southern dance floor blues, hillbilly fiddle music, Irish jigs, Indian raga beats, West African guitar music, odd lo-fi cumbias, goombay... the list goes on. Perhaps the time period in which it was made explains the variety of sounds I hear touched on. I am assuming this was made in the 1960s, but even if I am wrong, I know it was made post World War II. From the Fifties on, music from all over the world was making it into different cultures. The airliner was making global tourism a reality. Western aid workers and businessmen were making their way into the "Third World" and the elite of the "undeveloped" countries were studying in American and European universities. Music, fashion, cuisine, art - all aspects of culture were bound to be affected by this mass meeting of people. So, perhaps, this record is a product of that. Or it could be that many of the things I hear on this record in other music are certain universalities, stuff that comes from some musical collective unconscious. I really don't know. But such things are fun to ponder.
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