Mississippi Records is a label and record shop originally founded in Portland by Eric Isaacson back in 2004. Since then, the project has gained an almost legendary status, thanks to their flawless series of reissues of old and rare soul, R&B, blues, punk, and folk. Additionally, their charmingly retrograde approach to managing business has appealed to fans; a sign reading “Fuck Your ‘Progress’” graced the front door of the record shop, which used to be the only place you could find releases from the label. This situation changed in the year leading up to the 2020 pandemic, which saw Mississippi Records moving to Chicago and finally getting an online store, and a change in leadership through the addition of musician Gordon Ashworth and cinematographer Cyrus Moussavi taking the reins.
The latter two are the authors of the new mix from Mississippi Records made exclusively for EastEast, featuring songs from Western Asia and North Africa sent to Cyrus from different loved ones. From the queen of Iranian pop Googoosh and a ballad from the legend of Turkish rock Barış Manço, to “moorish” jazz by Sun Ra and recordings of the Abkhaz National Song & Dance Ensemble of Sukhumi, these and many other vintage findings showcase the diversity of music in the region.