A series of classic reissues from the Real World archives

Real World Records has released almost 200 albums by artists from all over the globe. An eagerness to surprise and enlighten has always been paramount - creating new connections, new channels of communication. From Pakistani sufi music to Ethiopian dub, Cambodian indie-rock to Mexican ska, Real World Records has always thrown open the door to a musical world you never knew existed.

The Real World Gold series peels back the years to revisit and re-evaluate some most inspirational and beautiful music from the archives. As the name suggests, it's a programme of reissues that brings some of the key Real World releases back into the sunlight as many titles have been unavailable for a number of years.

The idea of music as some kind of museum piece was never the agenda for Real World Records. From the first release in June 1989 (Passion), Real World has always sought out music that is very much alive and vibrant, the approach driven by enthusiasm and love of the music.

The brainchild of Peter Gabriel and the stylistically similar younger sibling of the WOMAD Festival, the Wiltshire-based label has led the way in exposing the lesser-heard music from across the globe - everything from contemporary African pop to the sounds of the Xinjiang province of western China. And, as such, the organisation not only bolstered the growing ‘world music' scene, but brought with it a set of high-end artistic and production values. Most of the releases were recorded at Gabriel's state-of-the-art Real World Studios, where the spirit of collaboration ran high between artists from different continents. Indeed, Gabriel describes Real World as a "dating agency" for mutually curious musicians.

The quality of the music hasn't dimmed over the intervening years. With such great performances, extraordinary composition and fantastic arrangements, the albums still sound as fresh today as when they were recorded and released all those years ago.

article submitted by:Jon Berry, Real World Records / WOMAD