KFJC 89.7FM
Album Review

Sound Storing Machines: The First 78rpm Records [coll] – [Sublime Frequencies]

aarbor   9/28/2022   CD, International

The first commercial recordings from Asia were made in Japan in 1903 by Fred Gaisberg. He was a producer and recording engineer who traveled the world making recordings for the Gramophone Company (later His Masters Voice). The recording industry barely existed at this time. These fragile discs survived: wars with Russia and China, the fire bombings during World War II, modernization, and the onslaught of Western media. They document, through a dreamlike haze of surface noise, a Japan that had just barely begun to open its doors to the rest of the world.

You’ll hear Japanese classic music like gagaku (court music) [1,8], noh drama [6?,10], solo instruments like the shakuhachi (flute) [11], shamisen (plucked stringed instrument) [2,3,4, 12, 13, 14], chikkin (a bamboo xylophone) [9], storytelling [7, 15], and folksong [5]. These recordings are a unique glimpse into an ancient culture and an important document of the beginnings of the recording industry. Sound Storing Machines spans only 9 years of recording—-from 1903 to 1912, the beginning of Japan’s homegrown record industry, and a few sides taken from Japan’s notorious bootleg 78rpm industry. AArbor

you heard it 14 times on kfjc! most recently:
  • 50 days ago, Teachers AIDS played Matsukaze (Wind In The Pines) 1903
  • 55 days ago, Avakhov played Yokyoku (from The Noh Drama Kakitsubata) (c. 1907)
  • 63 days ago, Lucky Jae played Shiokumi Kasatsukashi (Collecting Water) 1906
  • 64 days ago, Teachers AIDS played Hokai-bushi Oiwake-bushi (1903)
  • 65 days ago, Sam Yorko played Neko Ja (c. 1904)
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