…The movies are all in English – the subtitles are in Icelandic. So everyone is watching a subtitled film but me. Everywhere in the world. This is not supposed to be something to cheer about but it is a bland American premium. We may not have health insurance but we have made our language the equivalent of free hot dogs everywhere. For us.

– Eileen Myles, The Importance of Being Iceland

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1972 Guinea. retro-optimism.


Bembeya Jazz National – Armée Guinéenne

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1985 Huasteca, Mexico. Sliding folktones as the fiddler fiddles the guitarist plucks and the singer pushes, yodels his voice around this tale of lost love. It opens at the seashore: he’s jealous of the waves which don’t know what love is… why did you give me life if you had to forget me? En la orilla del mar contemplaba las olas dichosas eran las olas no sabian lo que es amar… Porque me diste vida si habias de olvidarme?

[audio:02 El fandanguito.mp3]

Trío Huasteco del Pánuco – El fandanguito

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Next Stop… Soweto, around the same time as Bembeya above, and as beautiful.

[audio:16-Amaqawe Omculo-Jabulani Balaleli (Part 2).mp3]

Amaqawe Omculo – Jabulani Balaleli (Part 2)

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