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LITTLE AXE RECORDS
Mohamed M. Kooshin was one of a rarified group in Somali music, a master of the kaban who followed in the footsteps of the legendary players of the kaban such as Qarshe, Hudeydi, and Omar Dhuule. Kooshin was the youngest member of Somalia's esteemed national music group Waaberi before leaving Somalia in the early 1990’s and moving to Toronto, Canada. In Canada Kooshin produced a string of releases for Waberi Studio and Arts, collaborating with Sahro Ahmed , writing and recorded out of his home studio. Kooshin passed away on December 27th 2018 leaving behind a legacy of beautiful music and loving fans across the global Somali diaspora.
Kooshin played the the kaban which has a special place in Somali music. It was a foreign instrument that, upon its arrival to Somalia in the 1940’s, became the centre of the immensely popular style of music known as qaraami. For many Somali music fans the sound of qaraami — poetic lyrics accompanied by the sparse sounds of the kaban and bongo drums — is the quintessential Somali sound.
A joint release with Wait And See from Toronto, Canada and the first in a series of Somali recordings from Toronto.
Digital copies available on bandcamp here: https://littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/layla
Andaleeb Wasif was born in a well-known family of Hyderabad, India in 1928. A self-taught singer and harmonium player. He gained recognition early in life, performing for the Nizam (ruler) of Hyderabad when he was only six years old.
On this recording Wasif performs six ghazals, a poetic form of couplets focussing on love and longing with mystical and spiritual elements. The lyrics to the ghazals featured on the recording are written by some of the best known Urdu poets of the 20th century including Faiz Ahmad Faiz.Never commercially released, the songs have been sourced from private concerts, home recorded cassettes and radio shows. Andaleeb’s renditions are enigmatic, filled with pathos, timeless and ethereal
Limited edition of 500.Digital copies can be purchased at https://littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/
Andean party music from the central sierra of Peru. Tayta Shanti’s long history of complex syncretism is expressed through its simple song structure. Minimal and raw, or layered with intricate arrangements, its unrelenting rhythm mesmerizes as much as it moves. 16 songs of pure folklore, spanning the late 1960s until the early 1980s. Compilation includes liner notes and photos. Instant mountain rave.
Digital copies are available at our bandcamp page here: https://littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/
Ethiopian artist Sosena Gebre Eyesus sings accompanied by her playing of the Begena, or King David’s Harp, one of the world’s oldest and most beguiling instruments. Since ancient times the Harp of David has been used as an aural balm, a soother of evil and disturbed spirits —it’s low, buzzing tones widely noted for their ability to sweetly refresh one’s soul. Said to have been brought to Ethiopia in biblical times by Menelik I, it has long been the central instrument used to accompany Ethiopian Orthodox hymns, which Eyesus plays here in an absolutely entrancing manner while softly singing songs of devotional reflection. Featuring six beautiful hymns that gently unspool at the measured pace of a lullaby, Sosena Gebre Eyesus magically creates a rarefied atmosphere that feels absolutely necessary and vital for these most turbulent of days.
Originally released on cassette, this is a limited edition lp of 500 copies.
Also available as a digital download: https://littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/sosena-gebre-eyesus
Esther Suarez, also known as La Ocrasina De Oro, is a popular Peruvian Huayno singer. La Bolognesina is one of her earlier albums, featuring reverbed vocals over Andean harps supplemented with light percussion and handclaps. The album was recorded in 1981, with the title referring to her roots near the snow-capped Andean mountains of the Bolognesi province in the Ancash region of Peru. Peru experienced waves of mass rural-to-urban migration in the latter half of the twentieth century due to poverty and political instability, but with it also came an explosion in the popularity of the folkloric Huayno tradition. An urban and modernized studio version of ancient indigenous Quechua folk traditions, Huayno became the soundtrack to the migrant’s experience of both hardship and homesickness. Esther Suarez’s clear and yearning vocals soar over galloping huayno rhythms, evoking the highlands of her youth with heartbreak, regret and melancholy, while simultaneously looking to a place where there is always a will to live and an invitation to dance. Truly some of the most beautiful music ever.
Digital copies can be purchased here:littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/esther-suarez-la-bolognesina
Digital copies of this record can be purchased here: https://littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/wimeanacas-cambodian-band
Digital copies of this record can be purchased here: https://littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/tiare-avatea
During the 1800s, various Western stringed instruments came to Burma by means of traders, explorers, and colonizers. These instruments - the acoustic slide guitar, mandolin, banjo, violin, and zither - were quickly and ingeniously adapted to the intricacies of Burmese music. The music draws from Burma’s rich vocal tradition, and the centuries-old royal repertoire of the Burmese harp and xylophone. Recorded and produced by Rick Heizman.
Comes with insert with title translations. Limited edition of 500, now sold out!
Digital copies of this record can still be purchased here: https://littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-sigh-of-silver-strings-from-suvannabhumi-the-western-stringed-instruments-of-burma
Su Wai is a modern virtuoso of the ancient Saung Gauk, a Burmese harp instrument of both royal and religious significance (fashioned to resemble a leaf of the bo tree which the Buddha attained enlightenment beneath) with roots as far back as the 6th century. In this collection of 8 traditional poem-songs, Wai unfurls clusters of melodic lines alongside a cyclical bell chime-pulse to accompany texts drawn from the Mahagita, a collection of 500 court songs not unlike the British Isle's Child Ballads. Recorded in masterful fidelity by Burmese ethnomusicologist Rick Heizman (White Elephants and Golden Ducks, Green Tea Leaf Salad) and presented here for the first time on vinyl, Gita Pon Yeik offers a small window into a tragically under-documented royal tradition that sits comfortably next to both ethnomusicological documents and abstract avant-garde folk forms.
Comes with insert with title translations. Limited edition of 500, now sold out!
Digital copies of this record can still be purchased here: https://littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/gita-pon-yeik
Sticker cover edition!A fascinating and unique collection of music by a Czech immigrant to Canada who wishes to remain anonymous. Side A contains tracks from 3 singles originally released on her own Scarab label in the early ‘80s, two under the name One of You and one credited to The Triffids. The One of You tracks are mournful and quietly intense, really something special. Mostly just organ and voice, they resemble a mix of outsider minimal Goth and a Czech-accented Nico, maybe. The instrumental Triffids tracks are slightly less spare, adding a touch of synth and percussion to the mix, and ending up a bit like low-key basement prog. Side B consists of Czech-language guitar-based demos recorded in the late ‘70s, and shows a bit more of an Eastern European folk-music influence, with occasional subtle folk-psych tinges and some spooky reverb. Amazing stuff. - Tony Coulter (WFMU)
Comes with insert with lyric translations.
Digital copies of this record can now be purchased here: http://littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/one-of-you-s-t
***** PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU WANT THIS OUTSIDE THE US, YOU MUST EMAIL FIRST - IT WILL BE $85-100 ADDITIONAL SHIPPING COST*****
12.5 × 12.5-inch Hardcover 300 page full color art book weighing around 7 pounds or 3 kilograms. The covers has die cuts embedded and holds 2 LP’s.
Dead Moon were a DIY band, active for 19 years. Singer and guitarist Fred Cole was playing music since the early 1960’s – beginning his career as “Deep Soul Cole – the white Stevie Wonder”, then joining the psychedelic garage rock band the Lollipop Shoppe / The Weeds. In the 70’s and early 80’s Fred and Toody Cole played in various punk, country and hard rock bands. In the late 1980’s, they formed Dead Moon with Andrew Loomis. This band went on to become mythic and legendary. They lived by a DIY code built around superstitions and avoidance of conventional music industry pitfalls. Their story is completely unique amongst the pantheon on rock bands – a group who never sold out, never gave in and built a legacy of art and community piece by piece in a sustainable way almost unheard of. The book is a tribute to their unique aesthetic, unbelievable twisted path of a story, and roll as pioneers of the Portland music scene.
The book tells the entire Dead Moon saga in the words of the band itself. Just the voices of Fred, Toody and Andrew. It includes a complete illustrated discography of everything Fred, Toody and Andrew have released, song lyrics, and TONS of band photos, flyers, and weird ephemeral stuff. Lots of it has never been seen by the greater public. The package also includes 2 LP’s of the “best of” Dead Moon – lovingly remastered from the original tapes. 2nd Edition.
Recorded in 1986, this is Fred & Toody Cole's (Weeds, Lollipop Shoppe, Zipper, Torpedoes, Rats, Western Front, Desperate Edge, Dead Moon, Pierced Arrows, & so on) great lost country LP! All original compositions...some sad lilting ballads & some punk as hell. Two songs feature Fred & Toddy playing with "Rollie", a janky Roland drum machine that didn't keep a consistent meter very well. The rest of the songs were recorded with a lean mean band.