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8/10 Ant Staff review, 18 June 2010
I'm a firm believer that looking back at music is as interesting as looking into the future. This set is a case in point and you've simply got to take your hat off for the folks at Honest Jon's for putting this together. They've really been digging very deep to unearth these lost gems and it sort of feels like stumbling upon some buried treasure that just would not get the opportunity to hear if it wasn't for people like this. The tracks here are compiled from archives of 78's and have been lovingly and sympathetically restored by the experts at Abbey Road Studios. What I like in particular is that they've not gone overboard with cleaning them up and the vinyl hiss remains intact and so the listening experience feels authentic. I've never really heard this type of music before and certainly am not familiar with any of the artists. This really delves beyond the obscure where you hear instruments that you've never heard before played with immense skill. It all feels so exotic and exciting to me. I love the sounds of the string and wind instruments that I cannot identify. The singers really sing their hearts out, at times sounding very devotional but I'm really unsure as to the cultural significance of the tracks as I've just chosen to take the music at face value and read the sleevenotes later. Probably more of a selection for the connoisseurs out there and it looks and sounds great, so therefore comes with an all round team Norman seal of approval.
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