Flashback Friday: Intercontinental Vol. 1

kala bandar intercontinental vol. 1

There are a surprising number of record labels around the world now who specialize purely in reissuing rare, out-of-print music.  There’s the Twin Cities own Secret Stash, Sublime Frequencies, Numero Group, Light in the Attic, and probably countless others. Kala Bandar Records definitely isn’t the most established of these.  The fledgling label has only released a single record: Intercontinental Transmissions Vol. 1.  The labels one record however just happens to be a doozy.

Vol. 1 is a collection of 11 songs – loosely grouped together under the theme of cross-cultural musical exchange. Whereas most comps like this you see are tightly grouped by region/genre/etc (i.e. Guitar Music From The Western Sahara) Kala Bandar has subjected itself to no such strict boundaries.  This has freed label founder Jesse Kaminsky to assemble an impressive mixtape of great songs from all over the world.

Random though these songs are not – each selection in Vol. 1 has been selected because of the degree the music borrows from other cultures.  In a general sense this is the timeless melding of East-meets-West, the result of Western Pop’s influence on the traditional music of the rest of the world. You’ve got psychedelic rock influenced Cumbia, Middle Eastern Big Band, Eastern European Chanson, and many other mashups generally lost to time. And rather than the padding you will sometimes see to fill out a genre compilation, Kala Bandar had no hand tied in the selecting high quality songs from far-flung corners of the earth.

As a study of any single particular musical movement in any single particular part of the world, it doesn’t really do much. However as a great mixtape of quality esoteric tunes, it’s hard to beat.

— Jon

You can stream all of Intercontinental Transmissions Vol. 1 below as well as purchase the record here.

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