Le Guess Who? presents 'The Big Playback', a conversational, in-depth podcast about all things music. Episode 3 is a four-part series entitled For the Record, exploring the role of the archivist from all angles, released in weekly installments.
In this series, host Margaret Munchheimer talks to an independent archival collective in Indonesia; a sound and performance scholar decolonizing sound archives; a journalist turned label founder offering alternative histories of the global South; and a producer/dj using archival material as a springboard for musical collaborations in the here and now.
While it may seem like a coincidence, we must remember that ‘records’ are in fact, just that: records- documents… testimonials. They’re meant to capture a moment, to tell a story. Which if you think about it, makes every record collector an archivist of sorts. The question is just how much the collector shapes the work in how they present it-the story of course is in the hands of the storyteller.
Part 3: Vik Sohonie
Ostinato Records, established by Janto Djassi and Vik Sohonie, has been presenting some of the finest music from the African diaspora since their founding in 2016, with releases focusing on music from Cuba to Cabo Verde, Haiti, Somalia and Sudan. The most noteworthy release perhaps being the Grammy nominated compilation of Somali music, Sweet As Broken Dates, a double Lp with an accompanying booklet detailing the story of the vibrant musical scene of Mogadishu in the 1970’s and ‘80’s. As the entire industry was controlled by the Somali state at the time and therefore never mass produced for private consumption, the music of this collection was itself drawn from the invaluable archives of the Somali state radio, which survived the subsequent civil war thanks only to being buried by operators at the station.
It is the desire to find an impactful way to tell precisely this type of story that led label co-founder Vik Sohonie to turn from a career in news journalism, and he details for us his personal philosophy and mission statement of crate-digging as activism, forging a musical composite of the Global South.
Host of 'The Big Playback' is Margaret Munchheimer, an American visual artist and writer living in the Netherlands, and veteran Le Guess Who? supporter since 2012.
Production: Margaret Munchheimer & Le Guess Who?
Audio Post- Production: Francisco Marujo
Artwork: Marishka Soekarna
Amerigo Brito - Babylon
4 Mars - Na Daadihi (Guide Us)
Asma Omar - Raga Kaan Ke’Egetow
Super Choucoune 70 - Madeleine
Gacaltooyo Band - Ninkan Ogayn
Les Gypsies de Petionville - Francine
Ano Novo Quartet - Elefantes