|UserReviews 6Approval 85%Soundoffs 82News Articles 10Band Edits + Tags 91Album Edits 165Album Ratings 79Objectivity 75%Last Active 11-10-16 5:55 pmJoined 11-25-12Forum Posts 97Review Comments 16,853
So sputnik SUCKS when it comes to various artists compilations, that's no secret. Sputnik's way of cataloguing is just far too simple for that sort of thing. Instead of making a pointless list trying (vainly) to get things to change, I decided to instead bring you this list - These are a whole slew of various artists compilations that contain (Good) music from all over the world and most of which serve as strong footing for people who were looking to delve into a particular genre. I was originally going to add a description for each album but that's a project that demands far more spare time than I have (and frankly more motivation also), but I didn't wanna just throw the whole thing and leave everyone in the dark as to what's even in the compilations (although, with some of the names, a lot of them are kind of self-explanatory), so I added rym genre tags and the record labels so you may know exactly where to look if a particular compilation tickles your fancy and you'd like more of that sort of thing (*Genre tags* // *Record label*). I will make a proper description for some but there won't be many. In some cases I'll quote people who I believed summed it up wonderfully and I wouldn't even bother trying to top them (Also because I'm lazy). I was also originally going to make the list 100 items, like my Jazz ones, but since I figured it'd just be overwhelming (And laziness again), I halved the number. I will make another list to continue this one, I don't know when but probably within the next few weeks. Anyway, without further ado, here you go.
An England Story
Note: Full name is 'An England Story: From Dancehall to Grime - 25 Years of the MC in the UK 1983-2008'
Digital Dancehall, UK Hip-Hop, Deejay, Grime, Ragga, Breakbeat, Drum & Bass // Soul Jazz Records
The compilation that inspired me to make this list. Despite the scope of the comp, it's actually not long at all, considering how big soem of these other comps are - But that's a good thing. It uses its time ridiculously efficiently. Like the name implies it covers most of the advances in genres with "MCs" from the 80s to the 2000s, and it does so giving you a hit for nearly every genre and despite the relative obscurity of the artists for people outside the UK (Except maybe for Estelle, but entirely for non-musical reasons), this is pretty much all super accessible stuff that BANGS like shit - There's only like 3 or so songs that I didn't even immediately wanna play back right after it was done and there's not a single dud to be found. Soul Jazz records are the best.
Thai Pop Spectacular: 1960s-1980s
Luk Thung (or Thai Country music), Psychedelic Pop, Disco, Funk // Sublime Frequencies
Mind-bending groovies and microtonal melodies with some absolutely lovely singing. Oh, and this is one of Björk's favorite albums of all time. So there's that. ( http://www.therestisnoise.com/2011/11/my-favorite-records-bj%C3%B6rk.html )
King of Dub
Dub (Obviously) // Clocktower Records
African Scream Contest
Note: Full name is 'African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds from Benin & Togo 70s'
Afro-Funk // Analog Africa
"Goddamned. Benin and Togo? Seriously? Insanely tight funk by a bunch of James Brown idolators with twice the pace and sex appeal of the Godfather's hits. The focus is clearly on "raw", this is actually less psychedelic than most of the Nigerian stuff. Surprisingly, the folk influences also seem lesser; this is simply sexy and sweaty urban afrofunk. From fucking Benin and Togo! Don't let anyone fool ya, Africa is our popular music's spiritual home. Where it comes from and where it will always return. "
Anthology of American Folk Music
Country Blues, Country Gospel, Old-Time, American Folk Music, Jug Band, Cajun, Sacred Harp Music, Appalachian Folk Music // Folkways Records
Absolutely MASSIVE recollection of the early evolution of all that is old timer in America. The lack of production qualities either don't distract from the sheer power of some of these hits or outright add to it, giving it that kind of distant, ethereal air that makes it feel just as endearingly old as it really is. This is worthy of being called one of, if not the, most tresured collection of music in any music library.
Shona Mbira Music
Shona Mbira Music // Nonesuch Records (Nonesuch Explorer Series)
Beauuuuuuuutiful, heartwarming melodies that can easily lift the most jaded spirit.
Gospel, Blues, Sacred Harp Music, Country, Old-Time, Country Gospel, Spoken Word, Spirituals, Work Songs, Appalachian Folk Music, Bluegrass Gospel, Dixieland // Dust-to-Digital
"This is one of those box sets that is not simply a collection of music but a glimpse into another world. Modern non-denominational Christian pop tends to be so terrible that it's really easy to forget that there was a time when some of the most expressive, fascinating, beautiful and ominous sounding (check "Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb" if you don't think there's some ominous, disturbing, imagery in religious music) music out there was made in Jesus' name. I'm not in the least bit religious but that has nothing to do with enjoying this collection. If you have a soul, or even if you're an atheist that doesn't believe in the concept of a soul but still has ears, there is no reason not to like this."
Ken Burns Jazz
Note: Full name is 'Ken Burns Jazz: The Story of America's Music'
Swing, Vocal Jazz, Big Band, Blues // Columbia/Legacy
Of course, if you knew my other lists you knew that some Jazz had to be around here! However my recommendation of this boxset comes with a big asterisk - This is a very homogenous compilation, skewering the history of Jazz almost completely in favour of more old-timers and earsing the evolution of jazz through out the 60s almost completely. Regardless, this compilation does still possess a ton of quality music that serves for good footing to anyone who wants to get into the often intimidating world of jazz, pre-Ornette Coleman/Albert Ayler days (Though Coleman does show up in one single track).
New Orleans -The Original Sound of Funk 1960-1975
New Orleans R&B, Deep Funk, Soul // Soul Jazz Records
Down South Hustlers
Note: Full Name is 'Down South Hustlers: Bouncin' and Swingin''
Southern Hip-Hop, Gangsta Rap, Mobb Music // No Limit Records
American Primitive Vol. 1 (1926-36)
Note: Full name is 'American Primitive Vol. 1: Raw Pre-War Gospel (1926-36)
Acoustic Gospel, Country Gospel // Revenant Records
Take this as a more religious, rawer take on the "Anthology of American Folk Music" boxset that's also far, far, *far* less ridiculously intimidating, size-wise.
Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh! - A Music War
Powerviolence, Grindcore, Hardcore Punk, Noisecore // Slap-A-Ham
Fiesta Comes Alive!
Powerviolence, Grindcore, Hardcore Punk // Slap-A-Ham
Sacred Guitar & Violin Music of the Modern Aztecs
Native American Music // Folkways Records
|15|| ||Various Artists|
Angola Prison Spirituals
Spirituals, Blues, Work Songs // Folk-Lyric Records
And from happiness we move to gutwrenching sadness.
Scum of the Earth
Garage Rock // (Unknown)
|17||Various Artists (Jazz)|
Long Story Short
European Free Jazz, Free Improvisation // Trost
The exact polar opposite of the Ken Burns Jazz comp. Whereas that focused on the most commercially viable music that Jazz churned out, this instead is the very antithesis - Monstruous compilation of the evolution of Jazz's most notoriously daunting branch curated by maestro himself Peter Brötzmann. Completely essential for any fan of european free jazz.
Minimal Wave, Industrial, Field Recordings, Drone // Vanity Records
Try to find a record with a more non-descript title.
This Comp Kills Fascists, Vol. 1
Powerviolence, Grindcore // Relapse Records
To Scratch Your Heart
Note: Full name is 'To Scratch Your Heart: Early Recordings From Istanbul'
Turkish Classical Music, Turkish Folk Music // Honest Jon's Records
"Rarely has a collection had a more fitting name: these recordings of Ottoman-era Istanbullu divan musicians do not break your heart, but scratch it, indelibly. This is, in essence, a Turkish version of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music or American Primitive Vol. II: Pre-War Revenants (1897-1939), and the ethereal, otherworldly ballads of Fikriye Hanım and Hafız Cemal Bey are as uncanny and mystifying as anything by Geeshie Wiley or Clarence Ashley. ... This compilation is indispensable for anyone who, like myself, is obsessed with the city of Istanbul, and, more generally, for anyone with a penchant for dusty antique stores, flea markets, ruins, yellowing newspapers, and other cues to ambivalent nostalgia."
Note: Full name is 'Oriental Jazz: Ethnic Sessions 1960-1970 in USA'
Jazz Fusion, Arabic Jazz // FM Records
Longing For The Past
Note: Full name is 'Longing For The Past: The 78 RPM Era in Southeast Asia'
Southeast Asian Folk Music, Southeast Asian Classical Music, Gamelan, Vietnamese Folk Music, Austronesian Traditional Music, Thai Classical Music, Burmese Classical Music, Vietnamese Classical Music, Hmong Folk Music // Dust-To-Digital
"The discs weave their way through southeast Asia, and include recordings from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. ... For those with an unflinchingly western/modern/popular aesthetic framework, you will find this abominable. If you are open to learning a very different musical vocabulary and set of aesthetic values, and if you are willing to approach listening to this music as you might approach learning a new language; Longing for the Past is rich with revelations."
Sorrow Come Pass Me Around
Note: Full name is 'Sorrow Come Pass Me Around: A Survey of Rural Black Religious Music'
Gospel, Blues, Spirituals // Advent
The Old New Thing: A Free Jazz Anthology
Free Jazz // Abraxas & ESP-Disk
|25|| ||Various Artists|
Balani Show Super Hits
Note: Full name is 'Balani Show Super Hits: Electronic Street Parties From Mali'
West African Music // Sahelsounds
|26|| ||Various Artists|
Note: Full name is 'Dark Sweets • Soothing Sounds of Shellac for a Long Winter'
Swing, Vocal Jazz, Blues, Keroncong, Big Band // (Unknown)
Trojan Jamaican Hits Box Set
Mento, Deejay, Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady // Trojan Records
Acid House, Techno // Warp Records
Note: Full name is 'Firehouse Revolution: King Tubby's Productions in the Digital Era 1985-89'
Digital Dancehall, Dub // Pressure
Note: Full name is 'Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story of 1970s Funky Lagos'
Afrobeat, Afro-Funk, Highlife, Jújú // Strut
Soul of Angola
Note: Full name is 'Soul of Angola: Anthologie de la musique angolaise 1965/1975'
Semba // Lusafrica
"As unfair as it may be to Angola's musical legacy, I doubt there is an apter way to describe these once-upon-a-time pop hits than as a head-on collision between samba-canção and Congolese rumba, the latter one making a slightly larger impact. This 40-song set of catchy three minuters reveals a rarely spoken of piece of Afropop history: there are lamentations of the cruel Portuguese colonial rule and more conventional pop songs, some quite modern and urban (eg. the songs of Urbano de Castro) and some raw and rural. ... The highlights are many though and this box requires several further listens before I can begin to comprehend the wealth of goodies inside. Glorious."
Marchinha, Choro // Frémeaux & Associés records
The garden of eden, of sorts, for Brazilian music. If you like music from the country at all, do not skip on this. This is where it all began, and it's timeless.
Dub Techno, Ambient Techno, Industrial Techno, Minimal Techno // Chain Reaction
The dudes from Basic Channel don't know how to do something wrong.
A Lethal Dose of Heavy Psych
Heavy Psych // Arf! Arf! Records
Cry Now, Cry Later Vol. 1 & 2
Powerviolence, Grindcore, Sludge Metal, Death Metal // Pessimiser
Music of Indonesia
Gamelan // Folkways Records (Ethnic Folkways series)
Improvised Music from Japan
Free Improvisation, EAI, Onkyo, Tsugaru Shamisen, Gagaku, Lowercase, Turntable Music, Glitch // Improvised Music from Japan (IMJ)
Yiddish Songs: Traditionals (1911-1950)
Jewish Music, Klezmer, Jazz, Vaudeville, Show Tunes, Operetta // Membran Music
I Listen to the Wind That Obliterates My Traces
Note: Full name is 'I Listen to the Wind That Obliterates My Traces: Music in Vernacular Photographs 1880-1955'
Old-Time, Blues, American Folk Music, Field Recordings, Gospel, Hawaiian Music // Dust-to-Digital
Folk Music in America, Vol. 3
Note: Full name is 'Folk Music in America, Vol. 3: Dance Music - Breakdowns & Waltzes'
American Folk Music, Czech Folk Music, Native American Music, Country Blues, Swedish Folk Music // Library of Congress
|41|| ||Various Artists|
Note: Full name is 'Matachines Tarahumares: Tarahumara Matachin Music'
Native American Music // Canyon Records
Grind Madness at the BBC
Note: This is for some reason classified under Napalm Death here but it's NOT A NAPALM DEATH RECORD, this is a various artist compilation and features bands like Carcass and Bolt Thrower.
Grindcore, Death Metal, Goregrind, Crust, Thrashcore // Earache
Disco, Dance-Pop, Hi-NRG, Electro-Disco, Synthpop, Freestyle, Boogie, Euro House, Synth Funk // Sony Music Media
Masters of Flamenco Guitar
Flamenco // Hemispheres
Universal Sounds of America
Spiritual Jazz, Free Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz // Soul Jazz Records
Out of Cuba
Note: Full name is 'Out of Cuba: Latin American Music Takes Africa By Storm'
Son Cubano, Bolero, Bolero son, Rhumba, Guajira, Trova // Topic Records
Colombia! The Golden Age of Discos Fuentes
Note: Full name is 'Colombia! The Golden Age of Discos Fuentes - The Powerhouse of Colombian Music 1960-76'
Cumbia, Porro, Salsa Dura, Vallenato // Soundway Records
The Very Best of Éthiopiques
Note: Full name is 'The Very Best of Éthiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves From the Legendary Series'
Ethio-Jazz, Soul, Funk, Berber Music, Tizita, Afro-Funk, Soul Jazz // Manteca
Highly recommended for somebody who wants to get a taste of the Ethiopiques series, since it can be daunting at first. Here, it's all bite sized and equally delicious.
Music of Tanzania
Field Recordings, Ngoma, East African Music // Sublime Frequencies
Collection of Iranian Music (28)
Note: Full name is 'Collection of Iranian Music (28): Iranian Piano Recorded on 78 RPM During (1909-1934)'
Persian Classical Music // Avaye Mehrabani Institute
|looks so bad with so many cover less albums god damn it why|
and the some of the descrptions got cut off too ughhh fuck
|Ayyy tonnes of my favorites are on here|
Idk if ur into 60s girl group/pop soul but try one kiss can lead to another :)
|I do fancy me some Shangri-Las|
|missing the most important various artists genre tbqh tbh yeah imo tbh flam|
|Songs in the Key of Z|
|th... th thank you all|
"Songs in the Key of Z"
Probably the next list
"missing the most important various artists genre tbqh tbh yeah imo tbh flam"
|Oh hey a feature nice thanks|
|Huge props for 37. I'd personally add No New York but it's more well known than any of these other comps|
|spending much time on bandcamp lately|
|quality list dude|
|Killer list. Will check these out.|
I also rec: Sarah Records VA comps, Emo Diaries series, AM Gold series, Odour of Dust and Rot comp, For Whom the Moon and Nightsong Sings comp
|Nuggets: artyfacts from the first Psychedelic era, is a classic|
|I have that one and will be on the second list|
"I also rec: Sarah Records VA comps, Emo Diaries series, AM Gold series, Odour of Dust and Rot comp, For Whom the Moon and Nightsong Sings comp"
shit wouldn't even exist if it weren't for the various artists tapes floatin around the trading scenes back in the 80s tbqh yeah
|Great fucking list dude. I hate the way soundtracks are cataloged too. It's a cluster fuck. |
|doing god's work|
I hate the way soundtracks are cataloged too. It's a cluster fuck.  hard
|5 is the goat|
17 and 22 are so good too
|Agreed 100%... preach it|
|Esp for world music, makes finding the album literally impossible. I'm afraid to add a ton of world music because it all may very well be somewhere in the database|
|I actually ran into this issue a couple of times but I decided I didn't give a fuck and didn't double check first for a lot of these|
The site takes me to the existing album if it's already in the database though (if I gave it the exact same name) so there weren't as many duplicates as there might've been but yes, bottom line sputnikmusic.com is sucks for va comps yes I'm glad we agree
|awesome list dude.|