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Boomkat Product Review:
**Double vinyl housed in tip on-style gatefold jacket with excellent liner note insert** Little makes these ears happier than a new Sublime Frequencies LP in the new release pile, and this one is a total peach. Compiled by Seb Bassleer, 'Rajasthan Street Music' collects 18 recordings made in the fields and on the streets of Rajasthan, North-Western India, documenting and preserving the rapidly disappearing musical traditions of Rajasthani folk music in the face of all-encompassing digital modernism. As with all SF albums, it grants a privileged and intimate insight to worlds ostensibly far beyond our grasp, yet somehow this one is strangely familiar. Rajasthani folk music is understandably credited by some as "the original heartbeat of Eastern European folk music" while "others claim to hear in it the roots of flamenco." This could be explained in terms of nomadic cultures and the 'out-of-India' theory, or even more simply by comparing the lilting melodic cadence and instrumental timbres of the singers and players in this LP with Greek bits we've heard and even as far as the Gaelic traditions more familiar to these ears, at least (me ma is part of Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann so i'm sorta qualified to comment). The recordings on this LP cover a wide spectrum, ranging from improvisations on percussion and jews harp to religious devotionals, love songs and renditions of traditional standards, all recorded in situ either in the musicians home, on the street or out in the open. Our favourites have to be the stomping, distorted 'spiritual folk rave' recording of Old Men at Pushkar Lake - documenting a session of elderly men playing hypnotic, repetitive devotionals amplified through buzzing, distorted amps - or equally the beautiful bouncing call-and-response song between Bhopal & Kelassi Bhopa, and the flighty instrumental dhun song of Nijam Langa Khan accompanied by a ten year improvising on jews harp in their mud-walled hut, but as you might have gathered, the whole thing's a spellbinding experience.