SUBLIME FREQUENCIES

WRITTEN BY
Andy Beta

A world music record imprint the tradition of Occora, Nonesuch Explorer, and Smithsonian Folkways founded by Sun City Girls members Alan and Rick Bishop alongside Hisham Mayet. Save that, Sublime Frequencies is a world music label in the sense that John Wayne Gacy is a clown. Rather than serve as American ethnomusicologists dryly examining indigenous musics, the label instead waterboards listeners into random radio transmissions, cassette bootlegs and field recordings from foreign soundworlds: Syria, Iraq, Laos, Algeria, North Korea, Myanmar, etc. Or as President Bush would deem its discography: "The Axis of Evil Awesomeness."

Deakin: There's just a duality to Sublime Frequencies titles. They're lo-fi recordings but the duality of the instruments they were using was clearly their version of pop music, theatrical music, but at the same time recorded in a lo-fi way.

Geologist: I remember Scott Colburn recording 20 or 30 reels of Sun City Girls for like a month, really hi-fi, sounded good. And almost none of it came out. When I asked him about it, he was like, "Alan just likes shit that sounds like it was record on a boombox."

Avey Tare: That style of that music is kind of alien to us — Southeast Asia. It always comes up when we're making certain things. Lets do these bursts here like they do…

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SPIN is a member of SPIN Music Group, a division of BUZZMEDIA