Saturday, September 23, 2017


Back in 2006 there wasn't much music from Belize that was widely available, compilation or otherwise. It probably didn't occur to most people to go looking for it, and Belize was such a tiny country (current population 387,389) most people didn't even know it existed. I had only heard of it because a family friend had moved there (it's in Central America) . When I read a glowing review of a compilation of music from Belize, my predilection for international jams made it a no brainer.

The compilation Cult Cargo: Belize City Boil Up was my first foray into the catalog of reissue label the Numero Group, a label that basically rescues music more than anything else. Every record company, even reissue labels, aims to make a profit, but few do it without regard for how familiar the names will be. The Numero Group's M.O. seems to be rescuing the music of overlooked or forgotten regions or particular studios or labels, annotating the shit out of them, and releasing them before the music disappears for good. They do a good job of it. I tried to keep up with their releases and had to give up after a dozen. They were coming too fast for a wallet the size of mine.

Here's four songs from the Belize compilation, all completely different. A reggae song, a couple covers and a slow burning soul number. The rest of the collection is just as varied but it's all good stuff, and all the other releases I've sampled are as good or better. Unfortunately, after looking at their current discography, it's apparent that the wallet to release ratio is now even more lopsided.

Lord Rhaburn – More Love Reggae mp3 at Roots and Culture
The Professionals – The Backstabbers mp3
at Roots and Culture
Web - The Same Old Me mp3
at Roots and Culture
The Harmonettes – Shame, Shame, Shame mp3
at Roots and Culture
The Numero Group

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