Bouy Press

Musical Rough Guides

Regular price £14.99

Musical Rough Guides is the first Buoy Press publication. The first version came out in 2021 under the name of my university arts magazine. My own joy at receiving guides, plus people’s enthusiasm for the first set, mean that I have carried the series on into this independent venture.

The idea is for each contributor to provide an introduction to a genre, artist or place close to their heart. With freaky algorithms able to feed us an incessant stream of music that we reliably like (no-one wants to think of their taste in art as mathematically predictable, but alas!), it can be easy to dip in and out of genres without knowing much about them. I can listen to Ethiopian jazz, for example, without being able to point to the country on the map. Knowing a bit about what you’re listening to, in my opinion, only enhances the experience. 

The people who wrote for this collection hail from around the world: Singapore, Spain, Mexico. Some I know well and have swapped tunes with before; others I have still never met, but they ended up writing a guide because they loved a certain kind of music. That is the driving force behind each piece — the principle is enthusiasm over expertise. Each guide is highly personal, with its own tone, anecdotes and style. Together they cover so much ground and have taught me so much. I had never understood the list-like lyrics to Aguas de março; had been put off listening to certain artists whose music was called IDM; never even heard of mahraganat, cumbia or field recordings before. Above all I have loved listening to the music — each piece is accompanied by a playlist, so you can listen as you read.