Filed under: Sudan
While many people debate the superiority of vinyl over compact disc – or vice versa, the true format in many corners of the globe is the cassette. Thought to be extinct, banished like it’s elder cousin the 8 track and replaced by the CD-R, cassettes still remain popular to this day.
Since some countries did not have record industries or pressing plants, the primary way to distribute music was by cassettes that were copied. Only recently has copying CDs has become inexpensive, but dubbing cassettes has always been easy. Also, in many other countries there was a gap between when vinyl was popular and CDs became affordable. And during that time, there is a vast amount of music that was released – some of which you can find on other sites like Awesome Tapes from Africa, Fish Stalls in the Pear River Delta and Monrakplengthai.
Another reason for the continued popularity of cassettes, is that unlike turntables and CD players, tape decks can usually take more abuse – especially while in use. They also tend to be more affordable than the other machines. And while cassettes themselves can be temperamental, they do hold up to the elements fairly well compared against other formats.
Cassettes are still available online and in shops around the world. Recently while in Singapore and Indonesia, every music shop that I visited had cassette racks – many of which were copies on blank 60 minute tapes. And online, you can find many releases, including Omar Khorshid’s first album, which has never been issued on disc.
If you have any information about Sedeek Metwaly (also seen transliterated as Sadek Metwaly) or the Munsphone label, please contact me. You can find another track (as well a couple of Alèmayehu Eshété tunes) over at Yawning and Balafon.
Catalog number MUNS 602-86075 on Munsphone of Sudan, no other information available.