Honest Jon's
278 Portobello Road
W10 5TE

+44(0)208 969 9822


Your basket is empty

We ship worldwide. The postage rates for your order are displayed before payment, which is processed using Paypal. You can pay using your Paypal account or any of the following cards:

Pay pal credit cards

Join our mailing list
Open Strings Early Virtuoso Recordings From The Middle East, And New Responses

Open Strings
Early Virtuoso Recordings From The Middle East, And New Responses


Astounding mastering as usual at Abbey Road. Wonderful artwork — linocuts — by Katharina Immekus.

'Superbly stylish in conception and packaging, it shows that small independent labels can still be an inspirational force' (Daily Telegraph); 'definitive and essential' (Brainwashed); 'stunning in its historical interest and musicianship' (Boston Phoenix); 'phenomenal and mesmerizing' (Dusted); 'one of the major phonographic salvage operations of our time' (The Wire).

'The archival finds are, without exception, phenomenal – and mesmerizing. The oud, the santour and spike fiddle dominate. There are other instruments, but without a little more familiarity with the region’s music traditions (of which three – Arabic,Turkish and Persian – are represented here), these are difficult to accurately identify. Honest Jon’s has intentionally foregone providing any notes, instead letting the listener engage directly with the pieces, all of them improvisational performances lasting about three minutes.
'The instrumental command on these performances simply dazzles. Blindingly fast runs through the high register get tempered with stretches of silence and a preternatural understanding of fluctuating tempos. Melodic inventiveness never fails to heighten the drama, making one want to follow each note of each piece, so as not to miss a detail. Nechat Bey, with five tracks here, is notable for his versatility, appearing on oud as well as spike fiddle. Adul Hussein Khan Shanazi, with three tracks, brings shape to even the fastest, densest passages. Starting with a simple passage of chording, his Mavaraounnahr builds into a complex weave of ecstatic chording and intricate rolls.
'At times, especially on the spike fiddle tunes from Sami Chawa as well as Mehmet and Ahmet Balki-Oglu, the nearly 90-year-old recordings predict all sorts of modern musical vocabulary, much of what we might consider experimental now. Chawa posits, in brief flashes, a particularly abrasive take on free improvisation, while the latter duo prefigure the current obsession with scraping, wavering drone.'

All our MP3 downloads are high quality 256Kbps or 320Kbps  
Abdul Hussein Khan Shahnazi - Homayoun MP3 £0.50
Moustapha Bey Rida - Taxim Hugaz Kar Wahda MP3 £0.50
Bahkesirli Fuat Bey - Nigris Taxim MP3 £0.50
Tanbouri Ibrahim Bey Adham - Taxim Hidjaz MP3 £0.50
Sami Chawa - Eerabi Fil Sahra MP3 £0.50
Abdul Hussein Khan Shahnazi - Bidad MP3 £0.50
Haigo - Shushtar MP3 £0.50
Abdul Hussein Khan Shahnazi - Mofhalef Segah MP3 £0.50
Sami Chawa - Taxim Nahawand Wahda MP3 £0.50
Nechat Bey - Adjem Achiran Taxim MP3 £0.50
Nechat Bey - Hidjaz Taxim MP3 £0.50
Nechat Bey - Husseini Taxim MP3 £0.50
Nechat Bey - Yeghia Taxim MP3 £0.50
Kanoni Artaki - Soultanigiah MP3 £0.50
Kementchedi Alecco - Kurduli Hidjazkiar Taxim MP3 £0.50
Nechat Bey - Rast Taxim MP3 £0.50
Oudi Yorgho - Seghiah Taxim MP3 £0.50
Abdul Hussein Khan Shahnazi - Mavaraounnahr MP3 £0.50
Tambouredji Osman Pehlivan - Anadol Kachik Havassi MP3 £0.50
Mehmet And Ahmet Balki-Oglu - Aydin Oyun Havassi MP3 £0.50
Sir Richard Bishop - Olive Oasis MP3 £0.50
Micah Blue Smaldone - Mortissa MP3 £0.50
Michael Flower - Lake Of Fire MP3 £0.50
Charlie Parr - Paul Bunyan's Fall MP3 £0.50
Six Organs Of Admittance - Goat, Thorns And Brick MP3 £0.50
Bruce Licher - Mesopotamia MP3 £0.50
Paul Metzger - Emel MP3 £0.50
Rick Tomlinson - Surfin' UAE MP3 £0.50
Steffen Basho-Junghans - Improvisation 6 MP3 £0.50
MV And EE - You Matter, Sometimes MP3 £0.50
Download all MP3 £7.99