NOT that anyone’s disparaging the long-standing coolness of the ongoing 33 1/3 book series, but…if you take a look at the list of albums covered since the series was started by David Barker in 2003, it might be difficult (depending on how sensitive you are to cultural origin) not to notice thedecidedly…Western bent.
It’s a trap many of us naturally fall into as listeners (due to proximity and the objective sizes of the music industries in the US and the UK), and it frequently takes a conscious effort to discover obscure releases that don’t come flanked by a barrage of English-language promos. Think of how many albums we’ve all likely unwittingly ignored because their marketing either hasn’t reached our shores or shows up through characters that appear blasphemous to our alphabetic cult! Maybe someone should really start breaking the spell by inserting umlauts in our alphabet soup?
Or…failing that, I guess 33 1/3 could do exactly what they’ve just announced: the launching of 33 1/3 Global, “a new series that will run parallel to 33 1/3” and which will cover music from regions thus far somewhat neglected by the series — including Japan, Brazil, Australia/Oceania, Europe outside of the UK, Africa, the Middle East, and more. The format/style is the same as the non-global 33 1/3 series, so expect a new company of international editors to give their expert take on albums deemed classic or especially influential.
Speaking of which, the first two volumes of 33 1/3 Global are already a foregone conclusion. Supercell Featuring Hatsune Miku is out now courtesy of 33 1/3 Japan (order it here), while Caetano Veloso’s A Foreign Sound is scheduled for release September 7 via 33 1/3 Brazil.
Ah, such international unity gets me in a mood…