This is how the good people at Boomkat describe Choubi Choubi, a compilation of pop and folk music from Iraq of the Saddam era. Its on the Sublime Frequencies imprint and I got it on the strength of the quality of their Radio India compilation. Paroxysms of delight.
Back in stock. Given the amount of Iraq we all see daily on our TV screens, it seems almost abhorrent as to how ignorant the West (and by West, read 'me') are in respect to their cultural output. Bar the odd mention of Mesopotamia on the History Channel, or the fleeting insights afforded by blogs such as Salam Pax, I know fuck all about Iraq's art or music; a situation that is thankfully rectified (in part at least) by Sublime Frequencies franky indispensible collection of 'Folk and Pop Sounds From Iraq'. Ignoring for now the somewhat naove political statements that clutter up the sleeve, 'Choubi Choubi...' is entirely comprised of recordings from the Sadaam-era (1980-2003) and displays a spectrum of sounds that range from the yearning affluence of 'Front My Hope' through to the complex rhythms, squalled strings and prissy vocals of 'Oh Mother The Handsome Man Tortures Me'. A genuinely intriguing album - possibly my favourite in this amazing series so far (bar the magnificent "Radio India") - Buy!...
My personal fave is Ashhad Biannak Hilou by Sadun Jabir. Needless to say it is one of the tracks on my current playlist which you can hear on Radio.TiffinBox. Don't say I never give you nuffin'.