The most mysterious song I've heard all year is by a Londoner named Ben Simmons. Appropriately, the track shows up on iTunes as "[Blank]," as if technology itself couldn't figure out just how to classify this inscrutable sound: He starts off seemingly emulating Dada sound poetry, huffing and puffing like a pregnant man going into labor. Originally recorded as a 78-rpm single for the Zonophone label (which, incidentally, recorded the Reverend J. J. Ransome-Kuti—Fela's grandfather), this big-bad-wolf incant from 1929 was concurrent with the recording sessions of blues daddy Charley Patton, not to mention Marcus Garvey's appearance before the League of Nations. In the heart of the British Empire, Mr. Simmons, a native of Ghana, was recording Yoruba chants. But his work was deemed... More >>>