Esoteric Research Methods #5-#6: The Freedom Map and Youtube Playlists

Very straightforward this one, really, but it's proven productive so far.

I've been using this map of relatively free countries to search around the world, based on the reasoning that if there are lots of good countries that produce great music because they've got good civil liberties, other countries with good civil liberties must have decent music scenes too. Not entirely true, of course, but the very act of going around the map is a great ERM, just sitting with an atlas, Youtube and Wikipedia and randomly punching in countries, cities and regions can yield surprisingly decent resluts.

Just a couple of weeks ago this was a much more tedious task than it has to be, but thank goodness that Youtube has brought back playlists from the dead. These used to be incredibly annoying, stopping whenever they encountered a broken video or seemingly if you just coughed gently, but now they're smooth, plentiful and (with some working around) embeddable. A great way to access a local's selection of the music, as a sort of answer to the dilemma posed in the last post.

Just to take a couple of products of the combined approach of the two above:

Picking Liberia as a relatively free country, looking up Music of Liberia on Wikipedia, searching for "hipco" on Youtube, and getting this playlist:

Cool. Next: picking Namibia, repeating the procedure with "namibia kwaito" and producing this:

And that's pretty much it. I'm off to listen to more stuff...

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