Monday, 14 February 2011


Pretty much any kind of music you can think of really so long as it fits roughly into the category of world music. It's an extensive series of 3-CD box sets on the Nascente label (no, I'd never heard of it either), often priced at £3.99 on Amazon though some can be had cheaper from marketplace dealers and others can be more expensive. But at £3.99 they're a steal, averaging around an hour's worth of music per CD. They are all readily identifiable from other CDs with the title Beginner's Guide To... by their cover design: a neat 4*4 grid of small images with 3 squares on the second row given over to the title.
I've just ordered these two along with BGT Celtic which is a kind of companion to the English folk volume and on my Amazon wish list is BGT African Voices and this one-
-which, with its emphasis on the 50's, is basically the successor to Jump Blues. Already in my possession are these-
This one is a kind of groove dance thing which I thought I'd try. I was, however, on more sure ground with the next one which, despite the title, covers a wider range of styles than it suggests.
And on a whim-
I considered-
 but I already have a couple of descent Trojan box sets in these genres, plus other stuff. There's also a very good BGT The Blues but I already have nearly all the tracks so I'm passing.

The packaging is minimal but there are brief notes on each track and each set is authoritatively compiled. I've bought plenty of compilations over the years but when it comes to value for money this series just can't be beaten. The biggest temptation I've found is that it's too easy to buy more than one at a time. I currently have 9 CDs waiting to be listened to, with three on the way, and that isn't counting the 2-CD Rough Guide To Afrobeat Revival, plus that massive Fela box set I'm working my way through. The Rough Guide compilations can be considered a more upmarket (they have booklets, only 2 CDs, and are more expensive) version of the BGTs. The range is very extensive (Country & Western is included, but not -sorry Barry- Film Music) and I've a feeling I'll be buying more. These really are a good and cheap way of dipping your toes in the waters of that musical genre you've always fancied trying.

No comments: