12 August 2009

Around the World in…a Handful of Samplers

I don’t know about you, but I love free music.  I’ll listen to pretty much anything at least once, and for the price of free I can afford to find out I don’t like something.  Amazon currently has a plethora of free digital samplers and I have downloaded a handful of them.  Most of them are from lesser-known independent labels trying to gain exposure for their up-and-coming talent, but what interested me were the few international music samplers.  I have no way of knowing just how representative these recordings really are of the music scene in different countries; I may be hearing their All-American Rejects, or I might be hearing their Milli Vanilli.  I just don’t know.
In any event, the samplers vary from about six songs to ten, with eight songs being the common length.  These would be perfect for the commute to and from work; get away from the monotony of commercial radio for thirty minutes and head to a different part of the world entirely.  The international-themed samplers currently available are:
  • Rough Music Guide World Music Sampler
  • VP Recordings Reggae Sampler
  • Music from Croatia
  • Far Out Recordings – Brazilian Music Sampler
  • Celtic Sampler Summer 2009
  • Six Degrees Free Indian Music Sampler
In case you’re not interested in traveling the world, perhaps you’d prefer to travel back in time.  In that case, there are also a handful of other samplers that may be of interest:
  • X5 Golden Voices
  • X5 Jazz
  • Savoy Jazz 1959 Sampler
These samplers contain recordings by Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Edith Piaf and others.  Between the three samplers, there are 13 songs waiting to be heard, perhaps again; perhaps for the first time.
Two other samplers I would currently recommend (the price being right and all) are the Amazon Comedy Sampler and the Romantic Nights Sampler.  As with most contemporary comedy, the sample tracks contain a lot of explicit language and you might not find them all funny; I thought it was very hit-or-miss, but fans of the Comedy Central brand of humor will probably be more satisfied than I was with the represented comics.

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