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Sublime Frequencies

SUBLIME FREQUENCIES is a collective of explorers dedicated to acquiring and exposing obscure sights and sounds from modern and traditional urban and rural frontiers via film and video, field recordings, radio and short wave transmissions, international folk and pop music, sound anomalies, and other forms of human and natural expression not documented sufficiently through all channels of academic research, the modern recording industry, media, or corporate foundations. SF releases sound recordings and video works from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America and is focused on an aesthetic of extra-geography and soulful experience inspired by music and culture, world travel, research, and the pioneering recording labels of the past. With an approach that sidesteps academic protocol and corporate funding, SF present their releases from an aesthetic viewpoint of promoting music, sound, and images that are rich in expressive ideas past and present from ignored areas of the world. Sublime Frequencies is a small, independent record label completely self-financed and motivated to elevate International recognition for artists and styles of music somehow ignored by the world entertainment industry with a major focus on the popular music renaissance that began during the 1960’s and continues to this day. The label has issued 41 titles on CD, LP, and DVD in the 4 years it has been operating. This current catalog is scheduled to grow to over 50 titles in 2008. Geographic locales which are the priority of the label’s coverage are Southeast Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. Sublime Frequencies is owned and operated by Alan Bishop and Hisham Mayet, however the label has many contributors including Mark Gergis, Robert Millis, Laurent Jeanneau, Tucker Martine, Richard Bishop, fm3, and Carlos Casas.

  • Sublime Frequencies Sampler

    If you are new to the world of Sublime Frequencies this is a great place to start. Here we present 31 of the most amazing tunes from the Sublime Frequencies CD and LP releases hand-picked by the label itself and offered at this site exclusively for download.
  • Sublime Frequencies Sampler: Middle-East

    A collection of tracks from the Sublime Frequencies releases from the Middle-East.
  • Sublime Frequencies Sampler: North/West Africa

    A collection of tracks from the Sublime Frequencies releases from North and West Africa.
  • Sublime Frequencies Sampler: Volume 2

    If you are new to the world of Sublime Frequencies this is a great place to start. Here we present the second volume of the most amazing tunes from the Sublime Frequencies CD and LP releases (SF042-SF069) hand-picked by the label itself and offered at this site exclusively for download.
  • SF001 - Folk and Pop Sounds of Sumatra Vol.1

    An essential collection of unique folk and pop music from the Island of Sumatra, including drone beat pop, jungle folk trance, gypsy hybrid songs, haunting vocal chants, and other beautiful, lost styles, which have yet to be discovered.
  • SF002 - Radio Java

    A radio collage of Javanese music featuring dangdut, keroncong, jaipongan, rock, pop, disco, as well as theatre, commercials, DJ’s, news snippets, and other broadcast anomalies sequenced for listening perfection!
  • SF003 - Night Recordings from BALI

    Field recordings from central Bali at night, with mood, magic and all the mystery this great island can supply. Several styles of Gamelan music are present along with sounds of the midnight forests and crossroads. Supernatural sound from the Balinese interior!
  • SF006 - Princess Nicotine: Folk and Pop Music of Myanmar (Burma)

    This is the first TRUE compilation of this phenomenal scene from Yangon to Mandalay and beyond. Here are some of the greatest names from the past 50 years of Burmese musical history from the original recordings featuring Mar Mar Aye, Bo Sein, and the incomparable Tonte Theintan. Listen, and be amazed!
  • SF007 - Radio Morocco

    Arabic music is HIGH ART. At its best, it transcends western music even as it utilizes it as a display of emotion and celebration. The Moroccans are deep contributors to the high art of Arabic music. This is radio collage from Morocco's airwaves circa 1983 when the American entertainment industry was grinding Michael Jackson's THRILLER into world conciousness as superpower export culture. Moroccan radio was broadcasting at a high level. The proof is right here.
  • SF008 - Radio Palestine: Sounds of the Eastern Mediterranean

    From the traditional Nubian sounds of Southern Egypt to the cultured Arabic pop of Beirut, its all here in super-sonic collage: Cairo Orchestral/Greek Sartaki/Palestinian Folk/ Jewish and Euro-hybrid music styles/ Jordanian reverb guitar....all placed deep within the mirage of an 18 year-old time capsule of news, commercials, radio plays, UFO signals, Secret agent messages and chainsaw shortwave!
  • SF009 - I Remember Syria (double album)

    A jaw-dropping expose of music, news, interviews and field recordings from one of the least-known quarters of the Arab world. The country of Syria has been politically and culturally exiled for decades by the western media leaving little known of its rich heritage of art, music and culture.
  • SF011 - Cambodian Cassette Archives: Khmer Folk & Pop music Vol. 1

    An unbelievable collection of dynamic Cambodian music recorded between the 1960s and the 1990s, both in Cambodia and in the United States. A truly Khmer blend of folk and pop including Cha-Cha, Psychedelia, Phase-shifting Rock, sultry circle dance standards, pulsing Cambodian new wave, haunted ballads, musical comedy sketches, Easy-Listening numbers and raw instrumental grooves.
  • SF012 - BUSH TAXI MALI: Field Recordings From Mali

    Bush Taxi Mali is an aural tour through the heart of Mali. These field recordings were made by Tucker Martine in 1998 while traveling throughout the West African country. Some of the highlights include Ngoni blues, Fulani flutes, street sounds of radios, Imams, and Dogon chants, and the stunning voice of Jalimusa Amanita Diabate!
  • SF013 - Brokenhearted Dragonflies: Insect Electronica from Southeast Asia

    There is a legend in Burma stating that swarms of male dragonflies gather to join in choruses of high-pitched tones to court their mates. The ones that don’t succeed in mating eventually scream so loud that their chests explode and they drop dead to the ground. These recordings are a tribute to this legend. Droning cicadas, dragonflies and other insects display their charm as masters of the High Frequency Airwaves recorded live and unprocessed by Tucker Martine in the lush settings of Laos, Thailand, and Burma.
  • SF014 - RADIO INDIA: The Eternal Dream of Sound (double album)

    A swan dive into perhaps the most astounding radio treasure chest the world has ever known, this amazing collection of audio art is a testament to India’s Museum of Sound. This two hour listening experience features Radio Collage of music-only edits on disc one, with a more adventurous mix of music, radio commercials, news, DJs, and miscellaneous sound dimensions on disc two.
  • SF016 - Streets of Lhasa

    “Streets of Lhasa” lifts us to the high plateau of Tibet where anonymous street balladeers sell folk songs for a living and ghostly voices drift in an ambience of time forgotten. This ornamental carnival of sound was recorded by Zhang Jian (of the Beijing-based sound collective “fm3”) on the streets of Lhasa, ZhaDa and Shigatse in August 2003. Liner notes written by Steve Barker (ON THE WIRE/BBC)
  • SF017 - Harmika Yab Yum: Folk Sounds From Nepal

    “Harmika Yab Yum” is a divine blend of Radio excerpts and field recordings from Nepal compiled by Robert Millis. This exciting mosaic snares among other oddities, a “King Cobra” snake charmer, the sounds of slaughtering buffaloes and guns firing amidst a Durga Puja festival, dreamy folk music, Sarangi and Harmonium players seeping in from unknown radio signals, pounding drums, praying monks, child choruses, street sermons, loudspeaker promotionals, and quiet footsteps at the top of the world.
  • SF018 - Folk and Pop Sounds of Sumatra Vol. 2

    From the infectious trance beat of Folk "Dangdut" music to the highly-refined "Orkes Gambus" (Orchestral Arabic music) this is an assortment of relics from a forgotten period of Sumatran music when psychedelic organs echoed underneath arabic string sections and rustic violins sawed atop trance beats from poorly-lit night markets.
  • SF019 - MOLAM: THAI Country Groove From ISAN

    A Rotating Pantheon of Freestyle Singers atop the addictive Molam Beat, this is the Soul AND country music of Laos and the predominantly rural Northeastern region of Thailand known as Isan. The Molam sound is like nothing else! The classic recordings featured here are selections from rare vinyl LPs, 45s and cassettes recorded during the 1970s and 1980s when electric bass, effected guitars, electric organs, kit drums and horns played alongside traditional instruments like the khaen and the phin.
  • SF020 - Radio Phnom Penh

    Rebel Guitars, Assorted Dialects, Heat-Stroke Synthesizers, and thats just a taste of this diverse assortment of Cambodian musical treasures you’ve NEVER heard before. Flowing from traditional to Modern, from rock and pop to folk and hybrid, all sequenced in the spirit of how it was captured: as radio programming designed to immediately transport you into the heart of Cambodia’s Capital.
  • SF021 - Radio Sumatra: The Indonesian FM Experience

    Whats happening NOW on Indonesian Radio from the FM airwaves of Sumatra? A completely mystifying Universe of Sound swirling in an explosive musical kaleidoscope, thats what! Escape to the world of Dangdut, Melayu, Gambus, punk, rap, psych, and almost everything else with plenty of styles you never knew existed. Recorded/edited in 2004!
  • SF023 - Radio Pyongyang: Commie Funk and Agit Pop from the Hermit Kingdom

    Schmaltzy synthpop, Revolutionary rock, Cheeky child rap, and a healthy dose of hagiography for Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, this is the NOW sound of North Korea! A hermit kingdom with a rich folk history and an even richer tradition in over-the-top praise for the ruling House of Kim. Christiaan Virant has visited this mysterious land and assembled this amazing audio collage.
  • SF024 - Guitars of the Golden Triangle: Folk and Pop Music of Myanmar Vol. 2

    Never before presented outside a tiny minority of the Burmese community, this is previously undiscovered 1970's garage and psychedelic rock, raw folk blues ballads, and country-western styled music from Shan State in Myanmar's Golden Triangle. These recordings are from a phenomenal “lost scene” and we’re thrilled to resurrect it for those interested in folk, rock and pop styles from lesser-known regions of the globe.
  • SF025 - Choubi Choubi! Folk and Pop Sounds from Iraq

    This collection of vintage folk and pop displays a wealth of outstanding music that is exclusive to Iraq and has rarely been showcased abroad. Saddam Era Iraqi music styles from Choubi rhythms, Zanbour drumming (rapid-fire machine gun hand drums), Socialist folk-rock with electric guitar and trumpet, Basta, Bezikh, Hecha, and the gorgeous vocal style of Mawal.
  • SF027 - Ethnic Minority Music of Northeast Cambodia

    For the first time ever, a recording that documents the ceremonial animist music from the mysterious tribal villages of Northeast Cambodia. Mesmerizing vocals, gong ensembles, guitars, flutes, and unique local instruments from Tampoan, Krung, kavet, Brao, Jarai, and Phnong people of Ratanakiri and Mondolkiri Provinces in NE Cambodia. Recorded by Laurent Jeanneau.
  • SF028 - Radio Thailand: Transmissions from the Tropical Kingdom (double album)

    This 2-CD set is an exhaustive collection of Thai Radio transmissions recorded over a 15-year period from 1989 to 2004. The Music presented here is relentlessly mystifying and seductive: Molam, Luk Thung, Kantrum, folk and pop, classic Thai guitar Rock, antique ballads, novelty tunes, traditional ceremonial music and other miscellaneous styles rarely heard outside the Kingdom.
  • SF029 - Radio Algeria

    Radio Algeria is a multi-dimensional assembly of audio culture and perhaps the most diverse collection of the Algerian listening experience ever presented featuring raw Berber folk, modern Arabic pop, sacred Islamic traditional, Andalusian orchestral, Guesba (the origin of Rai), classic early Rai, Khabyle, Tuareg, Saharaui, and hybrid music styles.
  • SF030 - Group Doueh: Guitar Music From The Western Sahara

    The first Sublime Frequencies Vinyl Release! 180 gram vinyl, full-color gatefold jacket, and limited one-time pressing of 1000 copies. Raw & unfiltered electric Guitar Music of an entirely different order, this is Saharawi music from the Western Sahara sung in the Hassania language and Group Doueh’s first official release outside their home base of Dakhla.
  • SF031 - Omar Souleyman: Highway to Hassake (Folk and Pop Sounds of Syria)

    Described by some in the west as “Jihadi Techno”, this is Omar Souleyman’s first release outside the middle east! Compiled, assembled, and edited by Mark Gergis, “Highway to Hassake” is an overview of Omar’s entire career. This is the true folk/pop sound of modern Syria. Instrumentation includes Saz, Oud, vocals and amazing keyboard electronics which play out as forbidden morse code at breakneck speeds…intense and mesmerizing.
  • SF032 - Thai Pop Spectacular (1960's-1980's)

    Thai Pop Music from the 1960’s-1980’s, every single track a winner! Surf guitars, funky organs, tight horn sections, and amazing vocals are assembled here in this compilation of retro-pop grooves from Bangkok and beyond. Featuring the “Queen of Luk Thung”, the “Shadow Music” style of Johnny Guitar, a few Thai trademark comedy songs, and much more. Romping Disco, seductive Thai soul, wah-wah pedals, and crazy arrangements help round out this astounding set.
  • SF033 - Molam: Thai Country Groove From Isan Vol. 2

    The true, raw & electrified, hardcore roots Molam sound from Northeastern Thailand. As psychedelic as Country music could ever be, this is a collection of the most grooving, rocking and droning beats of the Isan countryside from the 1970’s. Perhaps even better than Volume 1, this was the magic period of modern Molam when effected guitars & Phin, crazy organ sounds, and absolutely stunning vocal freestylers ruled the Northeast.
  • SF034 - Group Inerane: Guitars From Agadez (Music of Niger)

    Group Inerane is the now sound of the Tuareg Guitar Revolution sweeping across the Sahara Desert and inspired by the rebel musicians that started this music as a political weapon used to communicate from the Libyan Refugee camps in the 1980s and 1990s. Recorded by Hisham Mayet, this is the second Sublime Frequencies Vinyl Release. 180 gram vinyl, full-color gatefold jacket, and limited one-time pressing of 1000 copies.
  • SF035 Music of Nat Pwe: Folk and Pop Music of Myanmar Vol. 3

    Volume 3 of our Folk & Pop series from Myanmar documents the melodically ornamental and thundering sound of the Nat Pwe orchestra which is perhaps the last great internationally unknown musical juggernaut existing anywhere. Recorded live at various Nat Festivals throughout Myanmar and featuring some of Burma’s most popular musicians, you’ll witness impossible yet flawless execution of composition, wild free-form improvisation, ghost spirit-possessed vocal divas, and the apex of high cultural art blending seamlessly with folkloric-metaphysical ceremony.
  • SF036 - Ethnic Minority Music of Southern Laos

    Ethnic Minority Music of Southern Laos is a collection of landmark recordings by Laurent Jeanneau documenting music created by the Harak and various Brao ethnic groups in Xekong, Champasak and Attapeu provinces . Here you can hear the true historic roots of Molam music, Gong ensembles, various stringed instruments, cymbals, drums, and sung poetry all captured live on location with the ambient sounds of the surrounding villages.
  • SF037 - Ethnic Minority Music of North Vietnam

    This third volume in a series compiled by Laurent Jeanneau from his continual journeys into the more remote tribal areas of Southeast Asia features field recordings of the Giay, Lu, Red Zao, and Black Hmong peoples from North Vietnam. Here, one can discover an unusual vocal style called “Baozoo” which is unlike anything we've heard before.
  • SF038 - PROIBIDÃO C.V: Forbidden Gang Funk From Rio de Janeiro

    PROIBIDÃO is the name given to a certain kind of electronic funk music produced in Brazilian favelas. A raw mix of live funk vocals and Miami bass structures, these anonymous tracks are spread illegally by DJs and gang sponsored parties. CV stands for Comando Vermelho, a criminal organization that was the strongest in all of Rio de Janeiro in the 1990's. Recorded and assembled by filmmaker Carlos Casas in 2003.
  • SF039 - Latinamericarpet: Exploring the Vinyl Warp of Latin American Psychedelia Vol 1

    Latinamericarpet is a non-stop collage of vinyl artifacts culled from stacks of forgotten LPs of the 1960’s and 1970’s from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Isle de Pascua (Easter Island). Although most of the tracks presented here were recorded during the peak of the psychedelic era in the late 60’s and early 70’s, this is not a collection exclusively packed with guitar group psychedelia. There are also pop and folkloric songs, children’s songs, odd instructional record excerpts, and a few other anomalies from our neighbours to the south.
  • SF042 - Shadow Music of Thailand

    Limited Edition Vinyl LP! Welcome to the Thai Shadow sound of the mid-1960's. Shadow records were often marketed as 'Thai Modernized Music' which it was in the truest sense. Traditional Thai melodies were given the Shadow treatment; incorporating rock, surf, a-go-go, exotica, soul, blues, Latin and other worldly styles of the times and the results range from plaintive guitar and organ-driven lullabies to full-blown electric garage folk-psychedelia!
  • SF043 - Bollywood Steel Guitar

    Bollywood Steel Guitar is the most comprehensive collection to date of Steel Guitar pop instrumental music from India. All 21 tracks featured here were Film hits from 1962-1986 and all the masters of the steel guitar sound from the period are represented. This CD was compiled and carefully selected from rare LPs over several years by Stuart Ellis.
  • SF044 - Radio Myanmar (Burma)

    Radio Myanmar features over 40 tracks recorded between 1994-2207 highlighting many wonderfully strange and beautiful pop, folk, and classical music styles as well as commercials, news and weather reports, National songs, and government announcements. Many of the tracks are in English. This is a rare opportunity for listeners to delve behind the headlines and into the airwaves; to hear for themselves the sounds, rhythms, and voices of urban Burma's radio experience, unfiltered by the international press or state-spokesmen.
  • SF045 - 1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground

    Limited Edition 180 gram vinyl LP with full-color gatefold jacket. This is Rai Music from Algeria as you've not heard it before. In the early 1970's, a new group of singers and musicians were operating on the northwest coast and what they pioneered was a sound that eventually reached worldwide status by the end of the decade, however their names are relatively unknown to this day outside Algeria.
  • SF046 - Group Bombino: Guitars From Agadez Vol. 2

    Limited Edition 180 gram vinyl LP with full-color gatefold jacket. Group Bombino are the latest discovery from the outer fringes of the Saharan Guitar scene. Volume 2 of the Guitars from Agadez series is their debut LP. Led by Omara Mochtar, Group Bombino are fast gaining mythic status within the Tuareg community for their legendary performances and incendiary guitar heroics.
  • SF048 - Group Doueh: Treeg Salaam

    Group Doueh's followup to their now legendary debut LP is here. While most would think it damn near impossible to top the former release, in terms of sheer "shock and awe", Treeg Salaam (Streets of Peace), blows hot and dusty from the infernal sand swept dunes of the Western Sahara. Limited Edition 180 gram vinyl LP with full-color gatefold jacket.
  • SF049 - Omar Souleyman: Dabke 2020 (Folk and Pop Sounds of Syria)

    Sublime Frequencies is proud to present the 2nd volume of Northeast Syrian Dabke music from legendary vocalist Omar Souleyman and his group. This CD was compiled by Mark Gergis to coincide with the Sublime Frequencies UK/European tour in May and June of 2009.
  • SF050 - Siamese Soul: Thai Pop Spectacular Vol. 2

    This second volume in the Thai Pop Spectacular series, Siamese Soul features 1970's hard-grooved roots funk, hypnotic Luk Thung tracks from the Northeastern Thai countryside, 1960's rock and roll and 1980's groove anomalies. All cuts come heavily laced with electric organs and guitar, thick horn sections, the traditional khaen, driving bass and stunning vocal performances with a richness that can easily be called Thai soul music of the highest order.
  • SF051 - Singapore A-Go-Go Vol. 1

    A superb collection of Singaporean 60's beat, pop, and "off-beat cha-cha" instrumental classics from orginal vinyl 45's. The vocals are sung in the dialects of Mandarin and Hokkien and they soar with catchy hooks atop groovy, clever beats. There's plenty of electric guitar, organ, and crazy percussion rocking and twisting behind it all, at times reaching quite a mad and freaky state of affairs.
  • SF055 - Omar Souleyman - Jazeera Nights

    Sublime Frequencies is honored to present Omar Souleyman's third Western collection on disc. This retrospective features live recordings spanning 15 years of Omar's tireless repertoire, and is rife with frenzied Syrian dabke (a regional folkloric dance and party music), Iraqi choubi and a host of Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish styles, among others -- an amalgamation that exemplifies the musical essence of Northeastern Syria.
  • SF056 - Ecstatic Music of the Jemaa El Fna

    The Jemaa El Fna is the central square in Marrakesh, one of Morocco's great imperial cities. On a nightly basis for centuries, the Jemaa El Fna (Rendezvous of the Dead) remains the stage for one of the most spectacular social forums on the planet. By day It fosters a kaleidoscope of entertainment for its local inhabitants; storytellers, acrobats, magicians and snake charmers all create intriguing displays of bewitching spectacle.
  • SF061 - Group Inerane - Guitars From Agadez Vol. 3

    Volume 3 of the now legendary Guitars from Agadez series is finally here. Group Inerane’s sophomore LP is the latest missive from the now sound of Niger’s Tuareg guitar scene. Led by guitar hero Bibi Ahmed, this new incarnation introduces another legend on second guitar, one Koudede Maman.
  • SF063 - Group Doueh - Beatte Harab

    Sublime Frequencies is honored to be releasing the third LP by the now legendary Group Doueh. Group Doueh have been playing in and around their native Dakhla, in the Western Sahara for over 27 years.
  • SF065 - Various Artists - Staring into the Sun

    Ethiopia is known to be one of the oldest areas inhabited by humans and presently has over 80 diverse ethnic groups. In 2009, photographer/filmmaker Olivia Wyatt explored 13 different tribes throughout Ethiopia in this stunning collection of field recordings.
  • SF066 - Group Doueh - Zayna Jumma

    From the gorgeously cracked yet all-embracing opening drum roll of Zayna Jumma (the title track), it’s evident this band is hell bent on redefining the sound of its influences and in turn, shape the future sound of its surroundings. It’s musical alchemy in its purest, most remarkable form, pushing at the boundaries of geographical divergence while simultaneously speaking to the shared resonances between Western rock rhythms and the pulse of the Saharan trance tradition.
  • SF067 - Erkin Koray - "Meçhul - Singles and Rarities"

    Erkin Koray and Sublime Frequencies are pleased to present this collection of rare tracks and lesser-heard singles. All tracks were recorded and released in Turkey between 1970 – 1977 and culled from Koray's personal vinyl collection.  Includes remastered audio.
  • SF068 - Omar Souleyman - "Haflat Gharbia - The Western Concerts"

    The recordings on Haflat Gharbia – The Western Concerts, Omar Souleyman's fourth release on Sublime Frequencies, represent an hour of the best moments from the western tours between 2009 and 2011, captured in striking fidelity and intensity. Fans will recognize familiar songs, as well as previously unreleased material presented here for the first time, in what is the biggest sounding Omar record yet.


  • Sublime Frequencies Sampler

    If you are new to the world of Sublime Frequencies this is a great place to start. Here we present 31 of the most amazing tunes from the Sublime Frequencies CD and LP releases hand-picked by the label itself and offered at this site exclusively for download.
  • Sublime Frequencies Sampler: Middle-East

    A collection of tracks from the Sublime Frequencies releases from the Middle-East.
  • Sublime Frequencies Sampler: North/West Africa

    A collection of tracks from the Sublime Frequencies releases from North and West Africa.
  • Sublime Frequencies Sampler: Volume 2

    If you are new to the world of Sublime Frequencies this is a great place to start. Here we present the second volume of the most amazing tunes from the Sublime Frequencies CD and LP releases (SF042-SF069) hand-picked by the label itself and offered at this site exclusively for download.