Approach to non-eurocentric music #2: The Scramble for Vinyl (pretty much)
How it analyses the power imbalance in music: Even more explicitly (or possibly just more honestly) than “World Music”, it’s all about going back. A historical injustice has been committed, the thinking goes, in that so much awesome music is hidden because eurocentric records have taken up all consumer space.
How it attempts to empower third world musicians: By reissuing – again through European record companies – recordings from past decades that have been “lost” to a eurocentric public.
What it gets right: Not being as stuck on concepts of roots and authenticity of cultural expression opens up a wider array of “allowed” music. By focusing on already recorded material, less power and influence over the musicians involved is asserted, since no-one is trying to “please western tastes” on 40-year-old records.
Where it fails: Boima mentions a lot of it in the article above, not least the view of music as a resource to be dug up, the use of third world music to only benefit certain eurocentric commercial ventures, and the skewering of the selection process towards certain apparently palatable traits. Add to that the perennial ideological problem of crate digging, so-called “dead black men” syndrome: the idea that working class/black/third-world music is in perennial decline, and that “modern” stuff is sell-out crap, thus marginalising current musicians.