[image: R. Alkadhi]
Amid loose gravel and stray shoes, stains and rubbish, Action sees a grid parsing an Iraq in miniature. Within that microcosm, people wander around as if in a daze, pointing, staring, contemplating in silent disbelief. Action observes these miniature people, some of whom may in turn bend down to study the atrocities on the ground below them. – Rheim Alkadhi, Contemplation of Action
& memories pried from decades-old shellac give rise to an equally real & mythopoetic Baghdad as the one Rheim documents[audio:Kementchedji_Alecco_Taqsim.mp3]
from Give Me Love: Songs of the Brokenhearted – Baghdad 1925-1929. This article opens a window on this music. In a short time a city can swing from open to closed, from something fluid & made of multiples to occupied, divided, entrenched. What awaits us?
edit: Rheim just directed my attention towards this excellent post, which has more Iraqi shellac and explains why the Honest Jon’s comp sounds so good:
“For those who are wondering, 78rpm masters have shockingly less surface noise than the final product, the mass-produced gramophone record copy of the master, which often contained loads of garbage, or filler, along with the shellac – Paramount Records used sand and cement in their mix, for instance, making virtually all of their records sound like crap. . . Very few companies exist which still have accessible masters or clean file copies of their original 78s, much less are willing to work with a small label for a release.”