Various Artists Kassidat: Raw 45s from Morocco

Various Artists Kassidat: Raw 45s from Morocco
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Grammy Award-winning archival imprint Dust-to-Digital has unearthed countless gems from the United States and around the globe since issuing the gospel-based Goodbye, Babylon set back in 2004. The label's expertly remastered and packaged CDs and boxed sets show an attention to detail often lacking in the reissue market, where crackly vinyl and shellac discs are sometimes hastily reproduced in digital form without any attempt at cleaning up the artwork or source material. Kassidat (Arabic for 'poetry') is curator David Murray's second release for Dust-to-Digital; the ultra-crisp sound and extremely detailed liner notes reveal this compilation of tracks from the golden age of Morocco's record industry to be a labour of love.

After the country gained independence from France in the 1950s, a flurry of 45rpm singles was produced, documenting Morocco's many indigenous musical styles. Featuring six extended pieces, each arising from a unique genre, Kassidat is a reasonably diverse survey of the cultural activities present in the country during this fertile period. Furthermore, it's a pleasantly ear-bending listen that begs repeated listening. (Dust-to-Digital)