For three years, German DJ Frank Gossner zigzagged across West Africa, obsessively scouring personal collections for rare vinyl.Traversing landscapes he describes as heartbreakingly beautiful, Gossner sweated through civil unrest in Guinea, took a skin-grating spill while on the back of a scooter with schlepped turntables and a power generator to a Conakry bar on Friday nights to spin records and shared beer and bread with local folks harboring his same unchecked enthusiasm for African pop music.
DJ John Peel was notorious for dropping “Talk amongst yourselves” instruction whenever a vinyl-related mishap took place during his BBC Radio 1 shows. For Michael Cumella, on-air casualties are par for the course.
The contemporary classical music performed by eighth blackbird is regularly acknowledged as ideal for the iPod generation: Eclectic, comprehensive, loosely defined, approximating an infinite number of genres. Only flutist Tim Munro prefers to explore an analogy that’s a tad more archaic. “Have you ever been on a road trip and just felt like exploring all the radio stations in that particular area?” he asks. “You go from channel to channel, hearing all these different types of music, one exotic sound giving way to another.That’s what I like to think the compositions we play are like.”