About The Project
This is Around the World in 200 Albums, a self-imposed challenge by two music fans to listen to and review albums from 200 countries/territories across the planet.
Whilst cooped up at home during the Coronavirus lockdown, we decided, as a way to keep our mental health in check, that twice a week we would recommend each other an album that we liked, the idea being to plug the gaps in our collective music knowledge, as well as staying connected during a time of isolation. After a while, we noticed the British and US dominance of the albums we were listening to, and we decided to look into listening to albums from a broader selection of countries, as an attempt to test Stevie Wonder's statement that 'music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand'. It began to spiral wildly out of control, and this blog is the result. After a while we began to get more engrossed in our findings, and we came up with the idea of going on a quest to find the best album from each country.
Through this process we are learning about the nuances in music between cultures, and also about the context in which some magnificent traditions have grown and developed around the world. Every album, even the bad ones, paints a vivid and often beautiful picture about a society and its people. We have come to the conclusion those of us who are accustomed to music from the UK and USA do, in fact, have the capacity to take off our ‘Western-tinted spectacles’ and still get fulfilment out of music from every corner of the world. Thanks to the internet we are connected to an endless library of global music that can be profoundly enjoyable, provocative and inspiring, even when we are unable to understand the lyrics of an album.
We started this process as music novices, and in no way do we expect to exit this experiment as aficionados of every genre, rather the aim is to appreciate music from across all genres and places. We will be listening to at least one album from every country, and at the end of the process we'll be choosing our favourite album from each country and territory. We want to share our most interesting findings and take you on a journey as we explore everything from Bolivian Blues to Fijian Folk, Hungarian Hip-Hop to Japanese Jazz, or even Rwandan R&B and Pakistani Pop - we promise we’ve got you covered.
If this has piqued your curiosity, please join us on our musical odyssey as we go Around the World in 200 Albums!
I'm Danny Wiser and I am a freelance journalist currently based in Lisbon, Portugal. When it comes to describing my music taste I'd say that I have an unashamed adoration of funk, disco and soul. My obsession with that distinctive 70s beat earned me the affectionate nickname 'Disco Danny' in my late teenage years.
I'm Joel Dwek and I'm a languages graduate living in London. I'm a fan of rock in all its forms, especially classic rock, with my favourite bands being The Beatles, The Who and Fleetwood Mac, along side artists such as Prince, David Bowie, and Madonna. I also review films for fun on my Letterboxd page.