Not a fan of mainstream, I really loathe hearing commercial pop abroad, especially in some far off places. I guess it cannot be avoided – we all wear something Nike, have Facebook accounts and iPods.
But it is the uniqueness of distant places which makes us want to explore, not ‘globalization’. Trekking 5 days down the length of the Amazon river, then a few hours by bus into the jungle and hear Rihanna, or whoever else is dominating the US charts and downloads, is really dispiriting.
midnight sun! full moon en route East to the mouth of the Amazon
But discovering new sounds can really give a great twist to a journey. I gather and sample suggestions, hunt down the tunes that I heard somewhere, some that have given a soundtrack to a passing but important moment, or an experience, some that have inspired me. I don’t let it pass usually, and sometimes I do it a bit fanatically, especially if I think that it’s a thread that could lead me to discovering a new genre, a new sub-culture, or something different or unique. Continue reading