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LISTEN: I Remember Syria Sampler
Laurie Tuffrey , April 24th, 2013 10:02

Wrap your ears round the a few choice cuts from the "audio love letter" to Syria, digitally reissued yesterday

Sublime Frequencies have digitally reissued the excellent I Remember Syria album (artwork above), originally released in 2004, with an expanded downloadable booklet and with all proceeds going to Syrian Arab Red Crescent (IFRC), providing much-needed humanitarian aid in the country - have a listen to a sampler mix below:

The album was put together by composer and sound archivist Mark Gergis, aka Porest, who also runs his own label Sham Palace, putting out the likes of Omar Souleyman and Dabke. It's a collection of music along with field recordings, interviews and radio broadcasts that Gergis compiled between 1997 and 2000, and journeys from Damascus on disc one to 'Greater Syria' on disc two.

Says Gergis in introducing the reissue: "Syria doesn’t sound like it did on I Remember Syria anymore, and it doesn’t look like the photographs in the expanded booklet. As you may already know, Syria is suffering in the midst of unthinkable turmoil, attack and destruction. As a wide-scale humanitarian disaster continues to unfold, Syrians both within the country and in refugee camps beyond its borders are in need of immediate assistance [...]

I Remember Syria was assembled as an audio love letter to the country I grew to know as one of most civilized places on Earth. [...] Across the span of 14 years, I would travel there as frequently as possible. When initially released on Sublime Frequencies as a double-CD in 2004, the aim was to showcase and humanize a land and its people that had been politically and culturally exiled by the west for decades. Hopefully, these recordings can serve again as a testament to the beauty and unity of Syria, and the grace, hospitality and integrity of its people."

It's available via iTunes, Boomkat, eMusic and Amazon, along with Sham Palace's own release of Dabke – Sounds of the Syrian Houran, all sale proceeds of which will also go to the IFRC - get hold of it here.

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