Thursday, May 10, 2007

Find: Revenant Records downloads

Hey, here's a nice little grotto of legit free downloads for the more adventurous among you. The late John Fahey's Revenant Records has long been known for judiciously releasing a very few albums and boxed sets — some so lavishly packaged that they're not just collector's items or fetish objects: they qualify as real estate. The music is similarly for fetishists: deep diggers of the "Old Weird America" of Harry Smith and the darker corners of Nick Tosches. One is tempted to say that Revenant has rescued these tracks from obscurity, but they remain (and will always remain) necessarily obscure; better say they've rescued them from oblivion.

The Revenant website has a generous selection of free downloads, a few from each release, which will give the discerning (read: insane) listener a taste of what the label has to offer: what Revenant describes as "raw music of all stripes." Indeed, the tracks are raw, ranging from the blind punk blues of the Bassholes to the delicate, crackly beauty of Blind Mamie Forehand's sublime "Honey in the Rock." You know when the Captain Beefheart tracks are the most commercial-sounding, you're in deeply strange territory. But every note is worth a listen, if you have the cojones, pachuco.

Catch the trove here.

The Albert Ayler tracks (a must for jazzbos and other fans of the tenor sax) are, rather perversely, housed here.

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