Wavelength – Songs of the Brokenhearted

“Give Me Love. Songs of the Brokenhearted – Baghdad, 1925-1929”. In February 1925 the engineer Robert Beckett, travelling from India, recorded 200 titles for a new series on HMV, the label allotted to the region. The sessions were organised by Meir Hakkak, the eldest of 4 brothers running a record, gramophone and musical instruments shop in Baghdad. The following year, Marcus Alexander took another 367 titles. These recordings were reportedly sabotaged by Hakkak. At the close of the decade it was the turn of the engineer Arthur Twine. Unhappily, in 1929, the new compound he used to create the masters made them fragile, and many were shattered or cracked en route to the Company’s manufacturing plant in Hayes, west of London. The music collected on this double LP compiled by Mark Ainley in 2008 (HJRLP35) is diverse; Kurdish improvisations and a Hebrew hymn amidst an array of erotic overtures and expressive distress from Iraq, Bahrain and Kuwait.

One thought on “Wavelength – Songs of the Brokenhearted

  1. Jai

    Really wonderful,evocative music…just reading Paul Bowles travel writing about finding & recording Moroccan musicians,a great soundtrack!Thanks

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