Indian Talking Machine: 78 RPM Record and Gramophone Collecting on the Sub-Continent


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Robert Millis's Indian Talking Machine is a 244-page full-color hardcover book with two CDs containing 46 tracks from shellac discs spanning 1903 to 1949, which Millis collected in India and compiled for their first-ever CD release; the book contains over 300 photographs of 78rpm record collections, collectors, and ephemera, as well as detailed track notes and an essay. Limited-edition one-time pressing of 1000 copies. These photos are true "record porn" (that is, shellac 78rpm record porn) -- photographs of shelves groaning under the weight of unimaginable titles, beautiful label- and sleeve-designs from long-gone eras, wind-up talking machines, crammed antique shops, forgotten artists, and more, all of which somehow survived (often barely) India's archival obstacles -- dust, heat, floods, rebellion, partition, and war. Indian Talking Machine is the result of nearly a year in India photographing record collections, interviewing collectors, and visiting archives and record markets; a personal take on the vast worlds of Indian music and the intricacies of collecting sound. One of the earliest non-Western outposts of the "recording industry," India's first recordings were made in 1902. The country's music is as beautiful as it is complex, as subtle as it is profound, and as divine as it is simple; these recordings offer virtuoso instrumental performances, jaw-dropping vocal renditions, folk music, comedy recordings, and even animal impressions. The 78rpm records were transferred by Jonathan Ward (Excavated Shellac) and mastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer Michael Graves (Analog Africa, Dust-to-Digital, Hank Williams: The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 (2014), and more). Robert Millis is a founding member of Climax Golden Twins and AFCGT, a Fulbright Scholar, a solo artist, and a frequent contributor to the Sublime Frequencies label. He compiled and co-produced Victrola Favorites in 2007 (DTD 011CD), and created both the Burmese Crying Princess (2013) and Korean Scattered Melodies (2013) LPs for Sublime Frequencies, as well as the films This World Is Unreal Like a Snake in a Rope (SF 073DVD, 2012) and Phi Ta Khon: Ghosts of Isan (2006). In short, he knows what he is doing. You will not be disappointed. Includes performances by Professor Abdul Aziz Khan, Gauhar Jan, Mysore Chaudiah, Musiri Subramania Iyer, Bangalore Nagaratnam, the Vyas Brothers, Talim Hossein, Babu Aughor Nath Chuckerbutty, L.C. Bural, Veena Shanmuga Vadivoo, Professor Barkatullah Khan, and many more.

This product was added to our catalog on Monday 14 December, 2015.

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