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Beating Heart Music

Drawing on a precious archive of field recordings, Beating Heart’s mission is to preserve the music of Africa for future generations. Chris Parkin listens in

Old photos often raise more questions than they can ever answer – just ask Chris Pedley, co-founder of Beating Heart Music. “My first encounter with Hugh Tracey was a picture on my then-girlfriend’s bedroom wall that he’d snapped of the Mbuti people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo listening through a massive speaker to a recording he’d just made”, explains Pedley. “They had this look of wonder on their faces.” That tatty old photo, and the story behind it, swallowed Pedley up whole. Tracey, who died in 1977, was in fact Pedley’s wife’s great uncle. He was also a pioneer of African music studies who recorded songs across Africa between the 1920s and 70s during a time of profound change on the continent. “I wanted to find out more”, says Pedley. “So in 2014, I went to Africa for the first time, to Malawi’s Lake Of Stars Festival, and then to South Africa, to the International Library of African Music (ILAM) founded by Tracey in 1954. I met my label partner Olly Wood in Malawi and soon after we came up with the Beating Heart concept.” That idea was to sift through Tracey’s archive, “the world’s largest single collection of vintage African recordings”, Beating Heart proudly declare – at the ILAM in Grahamstown, South Africa, and ask modern-day artists and producers, such as Goldie and Rudimental, to remix, sample and reimagine the music. Since 2018, money raised by Beating Heart releases has gone to the ILAM to help fund their conservation work.

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About Long Live Vinyl

It's Just Rock 'N' Roll! Issue 30 of Long Live Vinyl celebrates the 25th anniversary of Oasis' stellar debut album, Definitely Maybe. Our exclusive collector's covers, shot by Oasis photographer Michael Spencer Jones, allow you to choose between Noel and Liam editions – or buy both! Inside, some of the band's closest allies talk us through the making of an album that sold 7 million copies and changed the face of British guitar music. In our packed interviews section, we sit down with Black Francis to hear why new Pixies album Beneath The Eyrie is among the best records they've ever made, and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard take a rare break from recording to talk us through their new LP, Infest The Rats' Nest. Elsewhere, we meet one of the hottest new bands of 2019, WH Lung, and the founders of Sub Pop, the Seattle label that put grunge on the map. You'll also find an in-depth look at Talking Heads' 1979 classic Fear Of Music as well as 40 Essential Dream Pop albums to add to your collection. If all that's not enough, we bring you the most comprehensive range of new album, reissue, turntable and hi-fi reviews anywhere on the newsstand. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers. Pick up your copy today…

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