V/A - Azərbaycan Ulduzları (2012)
As we all know by now, the future is looking bleak for blogs like this, and for the internet in general. It looks like some links may be gone due to the whole Megaupload fiasco. I will reupload what I can upon request (just did Aihiyo), and should this blog get closed down (what with the major losses the big labels are no doubt suffering because of me), I may start again somewhere else, I don't know... keep your eyes and ears open and fight the power, or whatever. There's more out there than the crap the majors want to cram down your throat.
Anyway, while I do plan to have some posts of my own in the near future, this one is yet again courtesy of the inimitable Mr. IX - and this time (a Schwebeablaut first!) it's an 80 minute home-made compilation ("mix tape" if you must), and even comes with some very professional-looking artwork you can print, if you want to burn your own CD. Many thanks as ever to Mr. IX!
"This is a very personal mix of music from Azerbaijan, loosely focused on muğam, but much more on personal taste. A bunch of favourite songs, limited to the length of one cd. I could make a four hour compilation but I figured to keep it snappy.
Unesco has something to say about this as well:
The Azerbaijani Mugham is a traditional musical form, characterized by a large degree of improvisation. The Mugham, though a classical and academic art, draws upon popular bard melodies, rhythms and performance techniques and is performed in many venues throughout the country.
Contemporary representations of the Azerbaijani Mugham reflect different periods of Azerbaijan’s history and its contacts with Persians, Armenians, Georgians and with other Turkic peoples. This musical genre shares artistic characteristics with the Iraqi Maqam, the Persian Radif and the Turkish Makams. In the past, Mugham was primarily performed on two secular occasions: the toy, the traditional wedding feast and the majles, a gathering of connoisseurs in private settings. It was also cultivated by members of the Sufi orders and by performers of religious dramas known as ta’zie or shabih. Official competitions and informal contests served to establish the reputation of accomplished musicians.
This modal genre features a male or female singer accompanied by musicians playing traditional instruments, such as the tar (a long-neck lute), the kamancha (a four-string spiked fiddle) and the daf (a type of large tambourine). Since Mugham cannot be transcribed in a fixed form, multiple versions are transmitted by masters who train students in the fine art of interpretation to ensure the variety of this artistic expression.
The Mugham has lost some of its aesthetic and expressive characteristics largely due to European influences, which are particularly apparent in the manner in which contemporary musicians perform and transmit their skills to the younger generations.
There, as much as I appreciate the traditional form I also appreciate the mixing with European influences. For this compilation I kept things fairly but not rigidly traditional. I went for an entertaining listen first and foremost, keeping things diverse but within an esthetic frame, so for instance no jazz/funk, let alone drum computers. Sound quality hasn't been much of an objective either. The songs are put in order and (mildly) segued, so best listen in the order presented, whether you burn to a cdr (small booklet included) or not."
Tracklist (track title - artist):
1. Könlümə düşmüsən - Zeynəb Xanlarova
2. Bir Xumar Baxışla - Şövkət Ələkbərova
3. Sarı Gəlin - Qədir Rüstəmov
4. Mehriban Olaq - İslam Rzayev
5. Mirzə Hüseyn Segahı - Mircavad Cəfərov
6. Şirin Dil - Gülağa Məmmədov
7. Bayatı-Şiraz - Fehruz Məmmədov
8. Daşlı Qala - Əbülfǝt Əliyev
9. Çargyah - Habil Əliyev
10. Anama - Rübabə Muradova
11. Heç Küsməyin Yeridirmi - Natiq Nuriyev
12. Müxalif təsnifi - Bülbül
13. Laylay - Fatma Mehrəliyeva
14. Bakının Ulduzları - Rəşid Behbudov
And don't forget, kids: you got it from Schwebeablaut - where you can download good music in the safety of knowing that you won't have to spend half an hour trying to correct the tags.
[Bitrates are of course lower than usual this time around, but that comes with the territory.]