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Victrola Favorites: Artifacts from Bygone Days

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Recordings made between the 1920s-'50s compiled by Rob Millis and Jeffrey Taylor of the Seattle-based experimental band Climax Golden Twins from their collections of rare 78rpm records and design ephemera. Deluxe 144-page clothbound, full-color book with two CDs featuring Burmese guitars, Chinese opera, Persian folk songs, fado, hillbilly, jazz, blues and much, much more. Climax Golden Twins have designed gallery and museum installations, composed soundtracks (most notably the film Session Nine), worked on documentary films (Phi Ta Khon: Ghosts Of Isan released on Sublime Frequencies) and contributed soundscapes to NPR radio programs in addition to releasing numerous recordings on CD and LP, including a recent LP on the Sun City Girls' Abduction Records imprint entitled 5 Cents A Piece. Influenced by the Secret Museum of Mankind, Yazoo releases, Harry Smith's Anthology Of American Folk Music, as well as record labels like Sublime Frequencies, Ethnic Folkways and Ocora. Also inspired by art and design books such as those published by Chronicle. Sounds like vintage music from around the globe. Looks like a clothbound book printed on extremely fine museum quality wood-free paper and is meant as a visual manifestation of the sounds contained on the CDs. Hundreds of beautiful images of sleeves, photos, labels, needle tins and more.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Impressions of London (Stanley Roper)
  2. The Crucifixion of Christ (Jessie May Hill)
  3. Torre de Belem (Carlos Ramos)
  4. The Farmer's Dream (Frank Ferera)
  5. Shiokumi Kasatsukashi (Kachikuri Mimasuya)
  6. Mahawin Maita Zad (Po Sein / Maung Sein Maita)
  7. Shan Village (St. Gun Khin May)
  8. Mahour Gazel-Adjir idin beni (Haffouz Jachar Bey)
  9. Little Mo-hee (The Hall Brothers)
  10. Two Liquorice Drops in Jail (Cook and Flemming)
  11. Cockeyed Jenny (Barton Brothers)
  12. Darktown Court Room (Shelton Brooks and Co.)
  13. Story of Tang On (Sa Ma Nang Noi / Ut Sa Win)
  14. Memphis Kick Up (Slim Lamar's Orchestra)
  15. My Wireless Set (John Henry and Blossom)
  16. Yield Not to Temptation (Ernest Thompson)
  17. Chanting the Ten Vows (Chinese Buddhist Nuns)
  18. Mokihana (Kane's Hawaiians)
  19. The Grass Widow (Maria Smyrnea)
  20. Persian Popular Song (Unknown Artist)
  21. Willie Willie Don't Go from Me (Harold Boyce and the Harlem Indians)
  22. The Insect Powder Agent (Golden and Marlowe)
  23. The Thingamajig (Johnnie Lee Wills and his Boys)
  24. Yasukibushi (Komachiyo Okada)
  25. Hamba Na Lo Isoko La Yo ( Mameyigudi and His Dancers)
  26. Tabla-Taranga (Vishnudass Shirali)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Dust To Digital
  • ASIN: B00127ITF8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,087 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
by the description and reviews on this page it seems like it is a great buy but there was no way i was going to shell out $45 w/o hearing what was on it. so i googled it and found a site where you can preview each song. i was sold. i just got it and its perfect. you get what you pay for with this. a very sweet red book with cds and artwork inside. i think its wonderful and it would make a wonderful present to surprise somebody with (IF they appreciate this kind of vintage variety). listening to it now, i feel like im in a ship going around the world, its really nice.
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After exhausting the "Secret Museum of Mankind" The Secret Museum Of Mankind, Vol. 1: Ethnic Music Classics 1925-1948 and other assorted collections, my search for great vintage world music brought me to this double disc set. I was immediately impressed with the variety and quality of music contained herein, and would say that the tracks are easily on a par with the best vintage world collections I've heard. Moreover, the tracks are sequenced in a way which engages the listener and hints at the musical similarities which somehow transcended time and place. The digital transfers are very clean and clear, without feeling devoid of high end liveliness. Each song is a pleasure to listen to, and I don't think anyone with an interest in vintage world music could contest the quality of these tracks.

The packaging raises other issues, namely about what is essential and what is frivolous: The book could easily be considered frivolous, with very little information about the music itself and almost every page filled with the artwork and ephemera that adorned 78's and gramophone products. While these images are interesting and aesthetically pleasing, they do leave me wishing for a little more discographical information. However, the record company states that they were trying to achieve a certain feeling and experience, that of listening to and looking over these old records. Perhaps they should have set their sights a little higher, but they do accomplish their mission. There is also still some information, but it is limited to song and performer names and the year and place each record was made.

So is this collection a worthwhile investment?
Read more ›
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I love vintage music collections and world/ethnic field recordings. This is actualy a great collection of tracks and the book is nice to look at as a photo/montage/collage piece of art, but unfortunately this collection does not give the usual track-by-track breakdown information and in fact doesn't give you a solid track listing. The music is great but, with such excellently-annotated series of the same musical styles (such as the Secret Museum of Mankind and the many great discs from the Airhoolie and Old Hat labels) I can't give this one 5 stars. I wish they'd collect this info and somehow get it to the many folks who have ordered this otherwise excellent collection of music.
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I am fascinated by all music and recorded sounds, from a brand-new recording to the first recorded human voice of 1860. But I do listen with a critical ear, and I do appreciate the quality of the audio, packaging, and background information. Dust-to-Digital is in the forefront of all those aspects. So much for my background.

If you love world music, especially vintage world music, there is no doubt as to your loving this collection. None of the nattering nabobs of negativity speak of any aspect which over-rides the experience of listening to the wonderful music collected by Robert Millis and Jeffery Taylor.

Sure, it would be great if the hardcover book in which the discs are housed contained a well-researched essay and discography about these recordings, but it doesn't--probably because the primary and secondary source material for this information doesn't exist. What data that can be gleaned from the disc's label, or guesses at the data, are presented. The book is a visual collection of the disc labels, sleeves, and paper ephemera.

In reference to the few negative comments here, most all are personal opinions and should be left just as that. The only comment I wish to dispute (however minor) is that the discs are kept in place with a sticky substance (with concerns about the long-term archival effect). The "hub" which holds each disc in place on the inside boards of the hardcover book is not a "sticky substance" but is a piece of silicone. Silicone is a very stable substance that ought to do no damage to the disc in the long-term. In fact, this "hub" is supporting each disc in such as way that it is not touching any surface and is safer and more archival than an acid-free paper sleeve.

Basically, nothing matters but the music--and it is supremely enjoyable.
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