Thanks to Hawgblawg (which is one of three blogs in my blogroll that are run by an anthropologist and expert on Middle Eastern music named Ted Swedenburg), I discovered a blog where you can find a lot of very nice downloads of very old music, called Magic of JuJu. There isn’t much here that I would directly connect with the term “JuJu” (which I would associate with African music(?) or, as some definitions point out, Nigerian), but there are some interesting African drum downloads as well as a whole lot of other stuff.
There’s a lot of very nice classical Indian music (and I especially appreciate the Carnatic pieces, which you don’t hear so often) as well as a lot of old Arabic music and ancient Persian music. Somewhat surprisingly, I also saw a lot of reggae and dub here, but most of it’s very old music within that area too, much of it going back nearly or completely to ska days. There’s some old folk too and there seems to be a bunch of old psychedelic-era rock in the archives (which is not as much to my tastes these days but might be appreciated by some).
I’m calling this a blog for “very old music” because even in the modern genres, there seems to be an emphasis on mining stuff relatively far back in the past. Personally, if I were to add contemporary forms of music to a blog full of classical Indian music and ancient Arabic music, I would make sure to include some of the more recent DJ work and electronic music that delves into these roots, such as Cheb i Sabbah. Or in the area loosely marketed as “rock,” I would make sure to throw in a bunch of Dead Can Dance. (There is an accompanying blog – or spinoff blog or sub-blog – of videos called Visions of JuJu (which is also pretty good, by the way), where I found some slightly newer old rock, but strangely enough, it was a video of that infamous hardcore punk rock band known as The Germs!) Yet, the blogger here (“ZUBZUB’) doesn’t seem interested in contemporary stuff. I’m not sure if it’s because the idea is to have only items that might be considered old treasures of one kind or another in any genre, or if ZUBZUB just doesn’t know much about (or care about) contempoary music after 1980. (Or at least I haven’t spotted or noticed such contemporary music after a bunch of surfing here.)
But that’s a minor quibble. Overall, for anyone who really does have some appreciation of old material from any of the areas that I mentioned, this is a fine place to go. And it’s even full of nice explanations, usually in reproductions of old/original liner notes, for you to read while digging (up) this stuff.
P.S. I’m not exactly sure I get the picture that I’ve copied here (what does it say, exactly? etc.), but that’s the picture that comes with the blog.