Rare 78's Heaven Part 1: Black Mirror Music

I first heard this heart-stopping song from 1919 by Greek singer Marika Papagika on Ian Nagoski's Black Mirror: Reflections in Global Music (a compilation released on the Dust-to-Digital label a few years ago). I have since tried to track down everything else the woman ever sang. Thankfully, Ian is already on the trail for us all, and will be releasing a new compilation of her music on his Canary Records label, an imprint of Portland Oregon's phenomenal Mississippi Records. You'll be able to get it here sometime in May.

Here are a few more tastes from Black Mirror, courtesy of Ian:

Nam Nhi-Tu, by M. Nguyen Van Minh-Con (Vietnam)

Aayega Aanewaala, by Lata Mangeshkar (India)

Tjimploengan, by Nji R. Hadji Djoeaehn (Sunda-Java)

Listen to more outstanding recordings on his new blog and on-line radio show, fonotopia.


  1. Ms. Papajika’s singing has so many echoes of the singing style of Bulgarian folk singing. This style of singing, found all over that region, feels so very ancient.

    See here, from Bulgarian National Radio, at about the 7:00 mark:

    or from the Mystère des voix Bulgares:

    A friend, member of a Polish chorale at the time, was at a folk music festival some decades ago. A little after they finished their concert, the then-unknown Myst̬re came on to perform Рholding hands, in a semi-circle.

    They blew everyone out of the water.

    She told me that their music was the talk of festival for the whole weekend.

  2. Awesome! Awesome! In Albany last year a room of us sat on the floor around Ian Nagoski while he held salon and talked about some of his favorite 78’s that were nearly lost forever to the dust bin. Playing a track in its entirety and then speaking at length about strange specifics that caught his ear and made the track important to him. He had a great bit about how at one time 78’s were composed of ground stone and lacquer from a insects, and from these almost alchemical ingredients came recorded sound, and that this was the first time a moment could be captured and replayed. I am not doing it justice, it was one of the highlights of my year. If ever there was a guest blogger that you should have talking about his take on weird 78’s, Ian Nagoski is the man. He should do a Ted talk for Pete’s sake. Look into it!

    1. I never met him, but I’m up for ANY guest blogger who will talk at length about how 78s used to be made, etc… I’m seconding this nomination.

  3. I read this post last night and had to come back this morning to comment.. thanks so much for the video and for pointing out all this music.

    In the same vein, I strongly suggest more songs from Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd Rafi – you can probably google these up:
    1 – Raat aur Din Diya jale
    2 – Tum Jo Mil gaye ho

    I’ll post a link after office if I can.


    One of the best pieces of archeophonogrammy I’ve heard in a long time.
    I always felt bad about the hundreds of orphaned 78s in the thrift stores that noone seemed to want – and how they were being ‘recycled’. It’s fantastic that, now, rare gems can find their way to their intended audience.

  5. P.S. Good information on Rembetika music at this website:


    “Rembetika music is the music of the Greek Underground. It originated in the hashish dens of Pireaus and Thessaloniki with the forced immigration of 2 million Greek refugees from Asia Minor. It evolved into Greek Popular Music. This guide will give you a brief introduction to Rembetika music….”

    More here:

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