KASSIDAT: Raw 45s from Morocco
March 13, 2013, 8:55 am
Filed under: Announcements

Heads up! Dust-toDigital has just released an LP of old Moroccan music I produced.
Read more here: http://shellachead.com/2013/03/13/new-release-kassidat-raw-45s-from-morocco/



Haji Maji vs. Excavated Shellac – no holds barred!
September 12, 2012, 10:11 am
Filed under: Announcements

Ok, so it turned out to be more of a lovefest than a brawl.

Jon Ward of Excavated Shellac was in town, so we took up DJ McSchmormac on his offer to spin some rare 78s on his internet radio show, Gramophoney Baloney.

In the first part, Jon and I do some role reversal – he plays Asian 78s from his collection and I play African 78s from mine. But we soon got bored with that format and thew in some other genres and regional musics from far flung places such as India, Curacao, Iraqi Kurdistan, Crete, and Azerbaijan.
We ended the show with nearly 30 minutes worth of rare and unusual North African tracks. We also discuss some upcoming projects and other less riveting subjects.

Although this program was assembled quickly, with little time to work on the sound, title translations and such, I think you’ll find it makes for a good couple hours of rare music listening. enjoy!

The podcast is available here:

May 3, 2012, 12:10 pm
Filed under: Announcements

I’ve been having a bit of fun posting some of my non-Asian 78s from around the world over at ShellacHead.com.
ShellacHead was previously used as my 78 emporium, but I’m just too busy these days to deal with selling records.

Check it out and enjoy.

New Release – Raw 45s from Yemen
February 23, 2012, 11:38 am
Filed under: Announcements

I had the pleasure to design the new lp from Dust-to-Digital’s vinyl imprint Parlortone. The album was compiled by Chris Menist from his collection of Yemeni 45s. A follow-up to the LUK THUNG album that I put together for Parlortone, this is the 2nd release in a loose series of post-war traditional and traditional-oriented pop music from around the world, an often overlooked era that falls between the earlier 78s and the later (or in some cases, simultaneous) rock influenced recordings of the 60s and 70s. You can expect a few more cool projects along these lines in the not-too-distant future.

Qat, Coffee & Qambus is full of fantastic Yemeni oud music, get your copy HERE before it sells out!

Hear a sample right HERE.

New Albanian lp
November 23, 2011, 11:51 am
Filed under: Announcements

I’ll be working up some new posts in January as time allows. In the meantime, I want to give a shout out to Hinter records and collector/sound engineer Chris King for the great work on their new lp of Albanian 78s called Don’t Trust Your Neighbors. It’s been awhile since the fantastic Albanian Village Music cd was issued, and the selections on this record are just as amazing, with excellent sound quality. It’s nicely designed and you can’t argue with a cover by Crumb. I’m sure Haji Maji fans will love this record, and since there were only 1000 pressed you should grab it now!


October 24, 2011, 12:34 pm
Filed under: Announcements

***UPDATE – the show is no longer available online, but I will be posting some of the records from the radio show at ShellacHead.com***

I’ve always thought of Haji Maji as a sort of (extremely) slow motion radio show. Well, next sunday afternoon Haji Maji will hit the airwaves for real. My pal Tom Diamant, host of KPFA’s venerable Panhandle Country, has invited me to stop by and play some 78s from my collection. “String bands of the world” was mandated to me as a general theme and I’ve more or less stuck to it. We’ll leave the usual Haji Maji territory of the Far East and explore some recordings from the rest of the world; Greece, India, Turkey, Syria, Ukraine, Albania, Japan, Kenya, Bahrain, Persia, Afghanistan, Morocco, Egypt, Norway and probably more. As far as I know, none of these records have been reissued on cd. Yakking will be interspersed, facts dispensed, speculations proffered and one or two upcoming projects might be revealed.

You can listen via old fashioned radio waves or online at the url below. The archive of the show should be available for a limited time about a week after broadcast.

***UPDATE – the archive of the show is no longer available online.***

Sunday, October 30th
3-5pm (Pacific Time)
KPFA (94.1 FM, Berkeley)

Opika Pende has arrived!
October 5, 2011, 9:48 am
Filed under: Announcements

I’m happy to report that Jonathan Ward’s new compilation of African 78s is shipping!
I’m sure most Haji Maji readers are  familiar with Ward’s kick ass blog, Excavated Shellac, and this release cranks his blog up to “11”.
Published by Dust-to-Digital, Opika Pende features 100 tracks on 4 cds with a 100+ page hardcover book, plus the detailed research for which Ward is known.
Not only that, my wife designed the entire thing and it looks awesome.

Check it out here.

February 17, 2011, 10:11 am
Filed under: Announcements, Thailand

I’m happy to announce Haji Maji’s first official release:
LUK THUNG, Classic & Obscure 78s from the Thai Countryside

UPDATE: This appears to be out of print. There may still be some shops that have copies left or you can try good old Ebay.

I’ve collaborated with Peter Doolan, of the great Thai cassette blog monrakplengthai, on an album of 14 early Luk Thung 78s from Thailand, published by the Grammy Award-winning label Dust-to-Digital on their vinyl imprint Parlortone.

That’s right, VINYL!

No turntable? Don’t worry, it’s available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

It was compiled by me from my collection. Peter researched and wrote the notes while living in Bangkok last year.

The album explores similar ground as Sublime Frequencies’ “Thai Pop Spectacular”, “Thai Beat A Go-Go” from Subliminal Sounds and Soundways’ “Sound of Siam”, but with a focus on the earlier, down-home roots style instead of the rock and pop influenced material found on these other reissues. The garage band/proto-Thai rock stuff is cool, but here at Haji Maji our interest tends toward the raw, rural and traditional sounds.

Here’s a sample track from the album:

Ruedu Haeng Khwam Rak (Season of Love) by Phloen Phromdaen

Included in the album is a 6 page, full-color insert with detailed notes and images of the various record labels.

From the notes:

“Luk Thung is known to many as Thailand’s “Country Music”; it’s a vibrant and syncretic genre of pop song which aims to give voice to a disenfranchised rural population… farmers and migrant workers, as well as gamblers, drug addicts, outlaws and other marginal figures…the strain of Luk Thung captured on this album is one marked by a conscious move away from Western influence and an embrace of traditional musics…”

Special thanks to Jon Ward, Michael Graves, Debbie Berne, Rob Millis and the Dust-to-Digital crew.


Tip Jar
January 13, 2011, 1:24 pm
Filed under: Announcements

Dear Haji Maji Readers,

The new year began with the death of my computer. fun.
As we move into year four of Haji Maji, I’ve decided to do a little blog fundraising. If you’ve been enjoying the rare, un-reissued recordings over the last few years, please consider supporting Haji Maji by throwing five bucks into the tip jar via the “donate” button on the left. You can rest assured that it will go back into the blog, in the form of records, bandwidth, images, etc.

There’s plenty more good stuff lined up, so stay tuned!


April 5, 2010, 2:11 pm
Filed under: Announcements

Yes, Dear Reader, it IS finally available! Fourteen rare 78s of string music from all over the globe on the excellent Dust to Digital label (well, ok, it’s really on Parlortone, D2D’s vinyl imprint.)

Our pal Jonathan Ward, the man behind the famous Excavated Shellac blog, really knows how to bring these records back to life with his inimitable brand of phono-ethnomusicology.

Order it up while supplies last!

more info at Excavated Shellac.