Filed under: Ethiopia
Five years ago, I decided to purchase the domain radiodiffusion.net after my old site got mentioned on Boing Boing and crashed from the traffic. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. A good friend of mine even tried to talk me out of it. But here we are, and I still am pretty clueless as to what I am doing or where I am going with this unruly beast of a site. What started out as a little web page for a handful of friends, now gets about 400 to 500 hits a day.
The original intent, or should I say the inspiration, was just that there were practically no web sites out there where you could hear this stuff. And it seemed like the few that did exist, only used RealPlayer – and who wants that headache? I started this because there were, and still are, hundreds of records that I just wanted to hear. I didn’t need to hear the whole thing – just enough to get an idea of whether or not it was worth tracking down.
At the time, there were only a handful of compilations and reissues available. There was nothing from Iran. Since then, there’s a whole label dedicated to music from that time period as well as a few other great compilations. Angola, Burma, Iraq, Pakistan and Vietnam were all completely off the radar. Now those countries’ – as well as many others’ – musical histories have been unearthed and are now readily available to be heard. This – plus the many other amazing music sites that have sprouted up since – has turned many fellow music fiends into collectors, seeking out these records.
But what else is there to say that has not already been written about Ethiopian Jazz or Khmer Pop? And more eloquently than my own ramblings, I might add. Both of those countries have compilation series whose volumes number up into the twenty some odds now. Or how about Thailand? How may compilations have been issued? I can name at least fourteen just off the top of my head. Add in the mind boggling Monrakplengthai, and you pretty much have what seems like the entire recorded history of that country. And Turkey? Nigeria? Indonesia? Benin? It goes on and on.
Unfortunately, one thing has become clear – Radiodiffusion Internasionaal can not continue on as it has. I’ve painted myself into a corner, metaphorically. I mean, there are plenty of records – and cassettes – that are left to post. But the ones that I really want to write about, I have not been able to get my hands on. So, I have been tying to figure out how to take this site in a slightly different direction. I just have not figured out what that direction is… Yet.
In the meantime, got any suggestions?