Excavated Shellac: An Alternate History of the World’s Music

I am proud to announce that my latest compilation has been released by Dust-to-Digital:

Excavated Shellac: An Alternate History of the World’s Music


Six years in the making, this is an online release: 100 tracks, a 186 page illustrated book with an introductory essay, extensive notes on each track, and many translations, from Maltese to Sranantongo.

It is entirely global and an extension of, and companion to, all the work I’ve done with the Excavated Shellac site since 2007. It’s all “new” material, compiled from my collection.

It begins with a song about police brutality. It ends with dreamy innuendo.

It is a labor of love. Like all labors of love, it is eccentric. It is written for those who have been coming to Excavated Shellac for a fix, and those who haven’t yet found that crystalline musical spark, but wish to find one.

It was produced by April Ledbetter, Lance Ledbetter, and me, who wrote the notes and compiled it from my collection. Michael and Joy Graves of Osiris Studios did the restoration and remastering. Barbara Bersche was the designer. Good friends Jed Lackritz, Nathan Salsburg, and Arshia Haq helped with some brutal proofreading. Many people were especially supportive and they are thanked.

As ever,

29 thoughts on “Excavated Shellac: An Alternate History of the World’s Music

  1. All I can say is “wow” and I’ll be purchasing this immediately as I receive my pay tomorrow! And thank you very much!

    1. Is it possible for this collection to be made available on vinyl? Digital takes away much of the “feel” of music. Thank you.

      1. Hi Scott – Doubtful. That would be a 7+ LP set with a 200+ page book. IMO the return on investment would not be particularly enough to warrant the expense. Plus, vinyl distribution would not make it to the places where I am pleased this collection can go, geographically, and has gone. I am ambivalent regarding your assessment on digital music, especially with vinyl releases, which tend to be mastered from digital files anyway (and sometimes not particularly well) – at least we can offer full-resolution files for this release, which we do. I do hope, however, that we can press the book in hard copy! Let’s see what we can do…

      2. I’d love to see the book printed in hard copy. I’d order it in a heartbeat.

  2. Well, now I know what to ask for, for Christmas!

    This looks absolutely magnificent, and I can’t wait to throw myself into it!

  3. nice – and congratulationsPlease also think about releasing it online – and on platforms like internet archive Please also see my little efforts here – posted in last three months using the digital data that I have on my hard drives – and acquired over past 20 years User Account

    | | | | User Account




    All the best and regrads, Dr. Suresh Chandvankar, Mumbai, India

  4. I have now listened through the whole compilation in-depth and I have to say it’s of paramount quality from start to finish! Every single track is a classic on its own merit! I even consider this new work to be a step forward from “Opika pende” which itself is a model of creating an anthology. Just stunning!! Buying this new anthology was like putting money in a bank…

  5. Is there any type of institutional option available? This would be fantastic for my college’s World Music course!

  6. Hi Jonathan, I had a bound hard copy of the pdf booklet made for my personal use and wanted to make sure that it doesn’t violate copyright law, etc.

    I can send you a copy if you want or the details about how this was done. Let me know!

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