Sonntag, 21. Oktober 2018

Kurt Weill - Bertolt Brecht - Meisterwerke (2 CDs)

This double album is a good Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht overview. It contains excerpts from "Die Dreigroschenoper", "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny", "Die sieben Todsünden", "Der Jasager", Happy End" and "Lady In The Dark". Kurt Weill wrote the music, Bertolt Brecht contributed most of the lyrics (plus some lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Arnold Sundgaard). These are the "classic" 1950s/60s recordings, mostly with Lotte Lenya.


Tracklist:

1.01: Die Moritat von Mackie Messer
1.02: Anstatt-Dass-Song
1.03: Kanonensong
1.04: Die Ballade von der sexuellen Hörigkeit
1.05: Die Seeräuber Jenny
1.06: Die Zuhälterballade
1.07: Die Ballade vom angenehmen Leben
1.08: Ballade über die Frage "Wovon lebt der Mensch"
1.09: Das Lied von der Unzulänglichkeit
1.10: Salomon-Song
1.11: Die Schluss-Strophen der Moritat
1.12: Alabama-Song
1.13: Havanna Song
1.14: Von nun an war der Leitspruch
1.15: Zweitens kommt die Liebe...
1.16: Sieh jene Kraniche
1.17: Meine Herren, meine Mutter prägte
1.18: Erstens, vergesst nicht, kommt das Fressen

2.01: Bilbao-Song
2.02: Matrosen-Tang
2.03: Das Lied vom Branntweinhändler
2.04: Fürchte dich nicht
2.05: Surabaya Johnyy
2.06: In der Jugend goldnem Schimmer
2.07: Die Ballade von der Höllen-Lilli
2.08: Stolz
2.09: Zorn
2.10: Unzucht
2.11: Neid
2.12: Ich bin der Lehrer
2.13: Seit dem Tag, an dem uns dein Vater verließ
2.14: One Life To Live
2.15: Girl Of The Moment
2.16: The Greatest Show On Earth
2.17: The Saga Of Jenny
2.18: My Ship
2.19: Septembre Song
2.20: Lover Man



Kurt Weill - Bertolt Brecht - Meisterwerke (2 CDs)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

John Coltrane - Coltrane Jazz

The first album to hit the shelves after "Giant Steps", "Coltrane Jazz" was largely recorded in late 1959, although one of the eight songs ("Village Blues") was done in late 1960. 

On everything save the aforementioned "Village Blues," Coltrane used the Miles Davis rhythm section of pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb. 

While not the groundbreaker that "Giant Steps" was, "Coltrane Jazz" was a good consolidation of his gains as he prepared to launch into his peak years of the 1960s. 

There are three standards aboard, but the group reaches their peak on Coltrane's original material, particularly "Harmonique" with its melodic leaps and upper-register saxophone strains and the winding, slightly Eastern-flavored principal riffs of "Like Sonny," dedicated to Sonny Rollins. The moody "Village Blues" features the lineup of McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Steve Davis on bass; with the substitution of Jimmy Garrison on bass, that personnel would play on Coltrane's most influential and beloved 1960s albums.

Tracklist:

A1 Little Old Lady
A2 Village Blues
A3 My Shining Hour
A4 Fifth House
B1 Harmonique
B2 Like Sonny
B3 I'll Wait And Pray
B4 Some Other Blues


John Coltrane - Coltrane Jazz
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 18. Oktober 2018

Television Personalities - ...And Don´t The Kids Just Love It (1981)

The first full album by Television Personalities, recorded after a four-year series of often brilliant D.I.Y. singles recorded under a variety of names, including the O-Level and the Teenage Filmstars, is probably the purest expression of Daniel Treacy's sweet-and-sour worldview.

The songs, performed by Treacy, Ed Ball, and Mark Sheppard, predict both the C-86 aesthetic of simple songs played with a minimum of elaboration but a maximum of enthusiasm and earnestness and the later lo-fi aesthetic. The echoey, hissy production makes the songs sound as if the band were playing at the bottom of an empty swimming pool, recorded by a single microphone located two houses away, yet somehow that adds to the homemade charm of the record. 

Treacy's vocals are tremulous and shy, and his lyrics run from the playful "Jackanory Stories" to several rather dark songs that foreshadow the depressive cast of many of his later albums. "Diary of a Young Man," which consists of several spoken diary entries over a haunting, moody twang-guitar melody, is downright scary in its aura of helplessness and inertia. The mood is lightened a bit by some of the peppier songs, like the smashing "World of Pauline Lewis" and the "David Watts" rewrite "Geoffrey Ingram," and the re-recorded version of the earlier single "I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives," complete with deliberately intrusive prerecorded bird sounds, is one of the most charming things Television Personalities ever did. 

This album must have sounded hopelessly amateurish and cheaply ramshackle at the time of its 1981 release, but in retrospect, it's clearly a remarkably influential album that holds up extremely well.

Tracklist:

  1. This Angry Silence
  2. The Glittering Prizes
  3. World Of Pauline Lewis
  4. A Family Affair
  5. Silly Girl
  6. Diary Of A Young Man
  7. Geoffrey Ingram
  8. I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives
  9. Jackanory Stories
  10. Parties In Chelsea
  11. La Grande Illusion
  12. A Picture Of Dorian Gray
  13. The Crying Room
  14. Look Back In Anger

Television Personalities - ...And Don´t The Kids Just Love It (1981)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 17. Oktober 2018

David Crosby & Graham Nash: Whale & Fieldworkers Benefit 1974 (Bootleg, San Francisco, CA, Dec 14, 1974)

The credit for this one goes to bigozine2.com:
Wally Heider who recorded Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at the Fillmore in June, 1970 which became the famous Four Way Street album, was again at the soundboard to record this show in San Francisco. Nothing was released till 1977, when a Crosby & Nash album called Live came out. That album was recorded during the duo’s tours from 1975 to 1977. This show is among the earliest of their professional recordings. It seems to have been edited for a live album but never released.

This was not the country-rock-pop of Loggins & Messina nor the folk-rock-pop of Simon & Garfunkel but soft rock with a conscience. Especially in that vein was Graham Nash’s Prison Song and Chicago. Not to be outdone, David Crosby contributes the angry What Are Their Names?, a song-dirge about accountability that leads into Chicago.

With Stills somewhat distracted and Neil Young tail-spinning into insular projects like On The Beach, these were the years when Crosby & Nash had star power and a real career. But whereas Simon & Garfunkel split over politics [apparently Simon was pissed that Garfunkel was not keen to include Cuba Si Nixon No on Bridge Over Troubled Waters] and Loggins & Messina had too big egos, Crosby & Nash were consumed by their own excesses or at least Crosby’s indulgence with chemicals.

By the end of the ‘70s, the duo or as a trio with Stills could be found at anti-war benefits, anti-nuclear benefits and such shows still holding on to their ideals and those familiar songs. Their solo careers took hiatus as they regrouped to release what can best be said are mediocre albums compared to the first two album as a group or as a duo. When they had stopped listening, they had also stopped creating.

All the happy songs are here in superb hi-fidelity, suitable for entertaining. Play loud. Nothing has been officially released.

- Professor Red

David Crosby & Graham Nash: Whale & Fieldworkers Benefit 1974 (Bootleg, San Francisco, CA, Dec 14, 1974)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 16. Oktober 2018

Ernst Busch - The Moscow Recordings - Four Shellacs (1936, Gramplasttrest)



Originally posted in July 2014:

Today we had a very informative event: Jürgen Schebera, who wrote wonderful biographies about Hanns Eisler and Kurt Weill, gave a lecture about Ernst Busch´s exile in Moscow, his cooperation with Hans Hauska and the German exile music scene in these days. He played these recordings which will be officially released in 2015 together with other Ernst Busch recordings from his exile years.

The following text is from April, 2012:

A few weeks ago a friendly reader of this blog shared some rare Ernst Busch recordings with us. He saved the recordings from some russian sites and put them together in one file. Thanks a lot for your work!!!

Ernst Busch recorded these songs between 1935 and 1936 during his exile in Moscow. They were released on four shellac singles on the Gramplasttrest label.

Tracklist:

1. Einheitsfrontlied - Die Moorsoldaten

2. Kominternlied - Thälmann-Lied (Für den Kameraden Thälmann: Hoch die Faust!) (1934)

3. Bandera roja - UHP

4. Alabama-Song - Ballade von den Säckeschmeißern


Ernst Busch - Four Shellacs (1936, Gramplasttrest)
(320 kbps, scans of the labels included)

Fela Kuti & Africa 70 - Expensive Shit (1975) - Happy Birthday, Fela Kuti!


Yesterday was the 80th birthday of the afro-beat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti. It is very difficult to put into words the significance and stature of an individual like Fela Kuti, and his contribution to music, politics and culture across the twentieth century.
A pioneer of afrobeat – a genre of which he was at the forefront – Fela gifted the world with songs such as “Beasts of No Nation”, “Zombie” and “Water No Get Enemy”, and his fighting spirit lives on through his sons Femi and Seun, who continue to carry the torch of his beloved afrobeat with Fela’s band Egypt 80.

This album is an overt response to the consistent harassment afflicting Fela Kuti's Kalakuta Republic in the early '70s under the oppressive Lagos authorities. The title track is a direct reference to an actual incident that occurred in which the cops planted a marijuana cigarette on Kuti - who promptly swallowed it and therefore destroyed any evidence. He was then held until he could pass the drugs from his system - which miraculously did not occur when his fecal sample was then sent for analysis, thanks to some help from his fellow inmates. Because of the costs incurred during this debacle, Kuti proclaimed his excrement as "Expensive Shit".


Musically, the Afro-funk and tribal rhythms that Kuti and his Africa '70 put down can rightfully be compared to that of James Brown or even a George Clinton-esque vibe. The beats are infectious with a hint of Latin influence, making the music nearly impossible to keep from moving to. Although the band is large, it is also remarkably tight and malleable enough to accompany and punctuate Kuti's vehement and indicting lyrics. The nature of what Kuti says, as well as infers, amounts to much more than simply whining or bad-rapping the law. His witty and thoughtful raps not only relate his side of the incident, but do so with tongue-in-cheek humor - such as the statement that his oppressors must really enjoy his feces because they want to examine it so urgently. Yet, he tries to stay away from it, for somewhat obvious reasons.

The album's B-side contains the metaphysical "Water No Get Enemy", one of my all time Fela favourite. This is a comparatively jazzy piece, with Africa '70 again exploring and stretching out its impulsive beats behind Kuti's singing. The track features some of his finest and most inspired keyboard work as well. He weaves hypnotic and ethereal electric piano lines over the earthy-sounding brass section. The laid-back groove works well in contrast to the manic tempo of "Expensive Shit."

Tracklist:
A. Expensive Shit
B. Water No Get Enemy

Fela Kuti & Africa 70 - Expensive Shit (1975)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 13. Oktober 2018

Wolf Biermann - Chausseestraße 131 (1969)

"Singe-Bewegung" and "Oktoberklub" in East Germany, part 11.

A special case: Wolf Biermann

Wolf Biermann, a “government-certified dissident”, was an outlier in the GDR: though barred from performing and publishing his work after mid-1965, he gave private concerts for friends and visitors from East and West in his flat, his records and books were published in the West and circulated illegally in East Germany. He was watched, to be sure, but for fear of international censure the GDR leadership for a long time shrank from taking any further action against him. An artist like Gerhard Schöne, on the other hand, sang at church conventions as well as at the Political Songfest, performing a balancing act between Church and State that former pastor Joachim Gauck likened to “walking a tightrope of dissident thought and conduct just this side of the politically possible”.

In general during the cultural thaw there was an easier access to western pop music and jazz. In this respect the formation of the Hootenanny-Klub in 1966 was the culmination of four years of musical eclecticism in a vibrant scene in East Berlin that also included Wolf Biermann, Eva-Maria Hagen, Manfred Krug and Bettina Wegner.
It was during the political thaw that Biermann made his name with his uniquely critical political songs. His credentials as son of a communist Jew who was murdered in Auschwitz gave him a certain invulnerability that other songwriters did not possess. Moreover, he came from Hamburg in West-Germany, where he had been brought up by his communist mother, and had chosen GDR citizenship at the age of seventeen of his own free will. This, as well as the fact that he was a decade older than many of the other emerging singers, who only had experience of the GDR, gave him a distance and objectivity that the others, again, did not have.

Two of Biermann´s songs abouth the military, one before the building of the Wall and the other after, document his political transformation toward the stance of state critic during this period. The first one, "Soldaten-Lied" from 1960, was already a controversial soldier´s song by GDR standards in that it was by no menas propagandistic in a pro-military sense. As Holger Böning states, the very presentation of the theme of war in the form of a discussion met with resistance from the authorities: "Zu so heiklen Problemen wie diesem war Agitation erwünscht, nicht aber ernsthafte Diskussion."
In the final verse, however, Biermann concludes that war is justifiable if it is necessary to defend the socialist states: "Mein Junge, es gibt Herrn, / die rüsten für den Krieg / gegen den Arbeiterstaat / drum kann ich dir nur raten: / Geh zu unseren Soldaten."
In "Soldat, Soldat" from 1963, on the other hand, there is a marked shift. Here he says there can never be any sense to war: "Soldat, Soldat, wo geht das hin / Soldat, Soldat, wo ist der Sinn / Soldat, Soldat, im nächsten Krieg / Soldat, Soldat, gibt es kein Sieg." The song is reminiscent of Brecht´s "Legende des toten Soldaten" in referring to the facelessness of soldiers in life and in death: "Soldaten sehn sich alle gleich / lebendig und als Leich."
In the same year, 1963, Biermann incurred his first performance ban. He was also controversially thrown out of the Party. The performance ban was lifted, however, and in 1964 he played at the famous "Die Distel" cabaret and also did a tour of West Germany, where he performed with the famous cabarettist Wolfgang Neuss. His subsequent celebrity in the West meant that after his performance and publication ban in the GDR he continued to support himself from his sales of books and records in the West.

In the year 1969, Wolf Biermann recorded the album "Chausseestraße 131" in his home in East Berlin. It was only published in the West. Possessing home-recording charm, one can hear the noises from the streets. The German texts are very sarcastic, ironic, and to the point.
This LP was recorded with a recorder smuggled in from West Germany and the title of the album was his address at the time, letting the political police know exactly who and where he was at the time.

Wolf Biermann - Chausseestraße 131 (1969)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Allen Ginsberg - Howl And Other Poems (1959)


Allen Ginsberg wrote his epic poem “Howl” in mid-‘50s San Francisco and Berkeley, and the rest is literary history. The work, first read in public in 1955 and published in 1956 before emerging victorious in a 1957 court ruling that it was not obscene, has been hailed as one of the most important poems of the 20th century, and it inspired a wave of Beat poetry.

Fantasy Records became the unofficial audio home of the movement, documenting not only Ginsberg but several other poets of the day.

Allen Ginsberg´s poetry broke so many social taboos that copies were impounded as obscene, and the publisher, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, was arrested. The court case that followed found for Ginsberg and his publisher, and the publicity made both the poet and the book famous. Ginsberg went on from this beginning to become a cultural icon of sixties radicalism. This works seminal place in the culture is indicated in Czeslaw Milosz's poetic tribute to Ginsberg: "Your blasphemous howl still resounds in a neon desert where the human tribe wanders, sentenced to unreality".

The "Howl and Other Poems" vinyl LP was first released in 1959, repackaged for the burgeoning hippie generation in 1969, and remained in print until 1985, when the company ran out of vinyl LPs. In 1998 there was a cd reissue.


Tracks:
1. Howl
2. Footnote to Howl
3. A Supermarket in California
4. Transcription of Organ Music
5. America
6. In the Back of the Real
7. Strange New Cottage in Berkeley
8. Europe! Europe!
9. Kaddish (part 1)
10. The Sunflower Sutra

Allen Ginsberg - Howl And Other Poems (1959)
(128 kbps, small front cover included)

The Edgar Broughton Band ‎– Live Hits Harder!

By 1976, the Edgar Broughton Band had had enough. Their earlier successes had slipped away, and the band now had two albums behind them which had failed to chart. Simmering problems with their management slowly began boiling over, eventually reaching such proportions the group took them to court. By the time the case was resolved, in EBB's favor, the band were worn down and worn out.

Still, they wanted to go out on a high, and thus the group undertook a final farewell tour, recording three of the shows along the way. It was from those tapes that "Live Hits Harder!" emerged, albeit three years later, and only in Switzerland. Thus this CD reissue is particularly welcome, not merely for making a crucial set available again, but for its sympathetic remastering.

The sound is grand; and with recently recruited guitarist Terry Cottram in tow, the entire band were obviously on a musical high, enjoying every minute of every song they reel out.

There's nine in all here, spanning the group's recording career, from the storming "Love in the Rain", pulled from their first album, through the rocking "One to Seven" and the raucous roadhouse blues of "Signal Injector", both taken from their final "Bandages" set.

EBB positively luxuriate over "Evening Over Rooftops", as if they too never want the song or show to end. "Poppy" we get in two versions, presumably from two different gigs, the first has somehow hilariously slipped from cheery sing-along into ersatz reggae, the second in its truer poppy form. And then there's the phenomenal "Smokestack Lightning", here in all it's swampy, delta glory, which takes the band out in stellar style. Every number is a revelation, the band determined to give each song its due, as if for the last time, because in truth it was.

By the time of the album's release, EBB was no more, but its successor group, The Broughton Band took the opportunity to step out in the same year. And, with this reissue, they've done it again, although it's now the newly reformed EBB who are back, and setting off to tour with a vengeance.
Tracklist:

1.1 Get Out Of Bed 3:08
1.2 There's Nobody There 0:30
1.3 Side By Side 2:45
1.4 Sister Angela 1:30
2 Love In The Rain 6:06
3 One To Seven 3:52
4 Hotel Room 3:36
5 Evening Over Rooftops 6:32
6 Freedom 3:14
7 Poppy 1:37
8 Signal Injector 5:25
9 Smokestack Lightning 5:48

The Edgar Broughton Band ‎– Live Hits Harder!
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Classic Labor Songs from Smithsonian Folkways

PhotobucketIn the era of the sound bite, when songs are used to hawk everything from shampoo, soap, and cars to wine coolers, dating services, and Viagra, it is easy to lose sight of the more noble utilitarian use songs can have, and this haunting collection of 20th century labor songs calling for fairness, dignity, and a just wage is a compelling document of the power of songs to unite and enable.

Drawn from Smithsonian Folkways' vast collection and from Joe Glazer's Collector Records, which in 2006 became a part of the Smithsonian Folkways catalog, "Classic Labor Songs" from Smithsonian Folkways is by turns spirited, uplifting, wry, and ironic, and if some of these songs seem quaint in the light of today's complicated global economic landscape, the issues they raise for the fair and just treatment of labor continue to be extremely vital ones.

If one were to walk into a factory today and play Classic Labor Songs, the music probably wouldn’t rouse the employees to a frenzied state of uprising. But if performances like John Handcox’s “Roll the Union On” or Hazel Dickens’s “Black Lung” at first sound like quaint relics - poverty’s so cute when it’s in sepia - the album bristles with the passion of decades past, when standing up to the boss seemed like a realistic proposition.

Among the highlights here are Paul Robeson's stately "Joe Hill," which opens the sequence, John Handcox's unaccompanied field recording of his own "Roll the Union On" (based on the gospel song "Roll the Chariot On") from 1937, Woody Guthrie's heart-breaking "1913 Massacre" (based on a true incident during a miner's strike in Calumet, MI where 73 children lost their lives), and a shaky yet riveting version of Florence Reece singing her "Which Side Are You On" from a 1971 archival tape (she actually wrote the song during a miners' strike in Harlan County, KY in 1931) that dovetails seamlessly into the Almanac Singers' 1955 version of the same song.

But not everything here deals with miners and mill workers. Some of the songs have a distinct contemporary feel, like Tom Juravich's "VDT," which pleads the case of cubicle workers who spend all day entering data on a video display terminal, and John O'Connor's unaccompanied "Carpal Tunnel," which explores the health issues that stem from workplace tasks that require continual repetitive movement.

In an era when label-created hipsters rap on about getting personal respect all day over the airwaves, these songs seem unadorned and out of touch by comparison. But there is a quiet strength to them, and a deep understanding of what respect really means, and long after today's flavor of the week drops from sight (utility isn't always measured by chart position), these songs will still be sung.


Classic Labor Songs (Smithsonian Folkways)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Harry Mudie Meet King Tubby's - Dub Conference Volume 1 (1976)

Harry Mudie combined the sweetness and the heaviness that have always been integral to Jamaican music, even on occasion successfully integrating lush string arrangements. Tubby mostly made obvious the sheer weight of Mudie´s rhythms, but wisely maintained snatches of strings on some tracks.

"Produced by living legendary reggae producer Harry Mudie and mixed in conference at King Tubbys Studio, Kingston, Jamaica, W.I., with the late, great dub inventor, sound system and recording engineer Osbourne Ruddock a.k.a King Tubbys. King Tubbys, the creator of dub music in the late '60s, mixed reggae musical tracks that the drum and bass predominated in the mix and at irregular intervals introduced echo reverbs and delay with other sound effects he conjured up at his will. Dub Conference Volume 1, mixed in 1976, is making history for the second time with producer Harry Mudie's introduction of strings to dub music as he did in reggae music with strings and flute in a classical form."

Tracklist:
A1Full Dose Of Dub3:17
A2Madhouse Dub3:02
A3Dub For The Dread3:11
A4Dub With A Difference2:54
A5Caught You Dubbing3:43
B1Roman Dub3:02
B2Dub Conference3:09
B3Heavy Duty Dub3:09
B4Strip Tease Dub3:19
B5String Dub In Rema2:59

Harry Mudie Meet King Tubby's - Dub Conference Volume 1 (1976)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 12. Oktober 2018

Pete Seeger - At the Schaubuehne, West Berlin, Germany, 1967-01-02

For nearly 70 years as a performer, Pete Seeger has embodied the ideals of folk music – communication, entertainment, social comment, historical continuity, inclusiveness.

The songs he has written, and those he has discovered and shared, have helped preserve our cultural heritage, imprinting adults and children with the sounds, traditions and values of our global past and present.

A fearless warrior for social justice and the environment, Pete’s political activism – from the Civil Rights movement and anti-McCarthyism to resistance to fascism and the wars in Vietnam and the Middle East – has become the template for subsequent generations of musicians and ordinary citizens with something to say about the world.

This album was recorded live in Berlin West, January 2nd, 1967 at the Schaubühne. It was digitally remastered from an old tape.


Tracklist:

CD 1:
01) Old Joe Clark
02) I wished I were a little swallow
03) We were fourty miles from Albany
04) When I first came to this land
05) Kumbaya
06) Blues (instr.)
07) Rock Island Line
08) Good night, Irene
09) The Bourgeois Blues
10) Suliram
11) Bayeza
12) Tzena, Tzena
13) Schtill, di Nacht.
14) Instrumental (12string guitar)
15) Where have all the flowers gone
16) Turn, turn, turn!
17) Ballad of the Fort Hood Three
18) If I had a hammer

CD 2:
01) I was born in East Virginia
02) I am a union woman
03) There once was a union maid
04) Little boxes
05) Guantanamera
06) Whirling Beethoven (instr.)
07) Die Moorsoldaten
08) Liza Kalvelage
09) We shall overcome
10) How did I know my youth is all spent

Pete Seeger - At the Schaubuehne, West Berlin, Germany, 1967-01-02
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 11. Oktober 2018

VA - Songs of the Spanish Civil War, Vol. 2 (1962)

Written in July 2011:
July 18 marks the 75th anniversary
of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.

Time Magazinze, Monday, Aug. 04, 1941, writes about "We Behind the Barbed Wire":

"World War II has yet to produce a great song, but last week some of its saddest were heard in the U.S. The League of American Writers produced an album of records ($2.75) called "Behind the Barbed Wire" - six songs of the French, Spanish, Italian and German anti-fascists who now rot in the French concentration camps of Gurs, Vernet d'Ariège, Argelès-sur-Mer.
The six songs were recorded in Manhattan by a Netherlands-born fighter in the Spanish Civil War, Bart van der Schelling. He wears his chin in a brace, is called "official singer" for the U.S. survivors of the International Brigades of the Loyalists. Singer van der Schelling is backed by an "Exiles Chorus" directed by Earl Robinson (Ballad for Americans). Some of the songs - the Spanish "Joven Guardia", the Italian "Guardia Rossa", the German "Thaelmann-Bataillon", the French "Au Devant de la Vie" (music by Soviet Composer Dmitri Shostakovich) - were composed during the Spanish War. Most of them are in rough, plodding march time. The one which gives the album its name was composed by a German, Eberhard Schmitt, in the camp at Gurs. Its chorus, translated (not quite so lame in the original):

Behind the wire, our courage is unbroken
We yield to no one! We're not broken reeds!
Jail or internment, we're masters of our lives,
Nothing counts with us but deeds!
For where Germany's and Austria's sons may be,
One goal they cling to: Liberty! . . ."




Tracks:

Woody Guthrie and Ernst Busch accompanied by Chorus and Orchestra01- Jarama 2:55
02- On the Jarama Front 2:46
03- Ballad of the XI Brigade 3:10
04- Hans Beimler, Comrade 2:55
05- The Thaelmann-Column (German) 2:45
Songs We Remember
06- Santa Espina 2:21
07- Sevilllanos 2:24
08- The Road to Aviles 2:41
Behind the Barbed Wire, by Bart Van Der Schelling and the Exiles Chorus directed by Earl Robinson
09- La Guardia Rossa (Italian) 2:24
10- Wie Hinterm Draht (Behind the Barbed Wire)  (Composed in French internment Camp of Gurs by Eberhard Schmitt) 2:49
11- La Joven Guardia (Spanish) 2:20
12- Au Devant de la Vie (French) Music by Dmitri Shostakovich 2:48

VA - Songs Of The Spanish Civil War, Vol. 2 (1962)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 10. Oktober 2018

Asian Dub Foundation - Black White EP (1998)

With influences from locales as disparate as Jamaica and India, aural activists Asian Dub Foundation, have ensured their lyrics aren’t the only thing worth listening too. These self-described ‘MIDI warriors’ weave a rich tapestry of sounds infused with everything from dhol, drum machines and strings to indo-dub, Bengali folk, jumped-up punk, UK jungle and roughneck ragga.


While celebrated at festivals and revered in France, it wasn’t until 1999's Mercury Prize-nominated '‘Rafi’s Revenge'’ that the then 6-piece saw their status elevated from underground urbanistas to an in-everybody’s-face force to be reckoned with. As well as offering an alternate sound to a UK market saturated by boys with guitars, ADF exploded Asian stereotypes with their radically political and powerfully poetical compositions. Even after lead vocalist Deeder ‘Master D’ Zaman left in 2001, newcomers Aktarvator and Spex continued to sing from the same song-sheet; more than ‘just’ Asian-activists, ADF represent the globally disaffected that stridently seek change.

Tracklist:

01. Black White (Brendan Lynch Mix)
02. Naxalite (Underdog Mix)
03. Naxalite (Underdog Instrumental)
04. Black White (Maximum Roach Mix)

Asian Dub Foundation - Black White EP (1998)
(320 kbps, cover art incuded)

Dienstag, 9. Oktober 2018

VA - Help Rwanda! African Artists For Africa (1995)

"Help Rwanda! African Artists For Africa" is a charity album supporting "Ärzte ohne Grenzen" ("Doctors Without Borders") and UNHCR.

In 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebel group composed of nearly 500,000 Tutsi refugees, invaded northern Rwanda from their base in Uganda, initiating the Rwandan Civil War. The group condemned the Hutu-dominated government for failing to democratize and confront the problems facing these refugees. Neither side was able to gain a decisive advantage in the war, but by 1992 it had weakened Habyarimana's authority; mass demonstrations forced him into a coalition with the domestic opposition and eventually to sign the 1993 Arusha Accords with the RPF. The cease-fire ended on 6 April 1994 when Habyarimana's plane was shot down near Kigali Airport, killing him. The shooting down of the plane served as the catalyst for the Rwandan genocide, which began within a few hours. Over the course of approximately 100 days, around 800,000[ Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu were killed in well-planned attacks on the orders of the interim government. Many Twa were also killed, despite not being directly targeted.

The Tutsi RPF restarted their offensive, and took control of the country methodically, gaining control of the whole country by mid-July.[ The international response to the genocide was limited, with major powers reluctant to strengthen the already overstretched UN peacekeeping force. When the RPF took over, approximately two million Hutu fled to neighbouring countries, in particular Zaïre, fearing reprisals;[ additionally, the RPF-led army was a key belligerent in the First and Second Congo Wars. Within Rwanda, a period of reconciliation and justice began, with the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the reintroduction of Gacaca, a traditional village court system. Since 2000 Rwanda's economy, tourist numbers, and Human Development Index have grown rapidly; between 2006 and 2011 the poverty rate reduced from 57% to 45%, while life expectancy rose from 46.6 years in 2000 to 59.7 years in 2015.


Tracklist:
1 –Bundhu Boys * Radio Africa 4:05
2 –Four Brothers * Uchandifunga 4:33
3 –Real Sounds * Wende Zako 8:23
4 –Biggie Tembo * Out Of Africa 5:40
5 –Machanic Manyeruke * Kana Vatsvene Vopinda 3:44
6 –Bundhu Boys * Pombi 5:08
7 –Four Brothers * Rudo Chete 4:57
8 –S. E. Rogie * My Lovely Elizabeth 2:59
9 –Machanic Manyeruke * Cain Na Abel 3:32
10 –Biggie Tembo * Punza 5:33
11 –S. E. Rogie * I Wish I Was A Cowboy 3:14
12 –Real Sounds * Dynamos vs. Tornados 13:21


VA - Help Rwanda! African Artists For Africa (1995)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Montag, 8. Oktober 2018

Henry Cow - Western Culture (1978)

The group's fourth and final studio LP, "Western Culture" remained for a long time Henry Cow's hidden treasure. Two factors were instrumental to its occultation (and one more than the other): first, it was not released by Virgin like the other ones; second, it did not have the "sock" artwork common to its brothers. Obscurity aside, "Western Culture" remains one of the group's strongest efforts in the lines of composition, especially since the unit was literally torn apart at the time. Side one consists of a suite in three parts, "History & Prospects," written by Tim Hodgkinson. The opener, "Industry," stands as one of Henry Cow's finest achievements, the angular melody played on a cheap electric organ hitting you in the face so hard it makes an imprint in your brains. Side two features another suite, this one in four parts and by Lindsay Cooper. While Hodgkinson's music leans toward rock, energy, and deconstruction, her writing embraced more contemporary classical idioms. Filled with contrasting textures and delicate complicated melodies, these pieces showcased another aspect of the group's sound while foretelling her later works. Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer performed a cadenza of sorts in "Gretel's Tale." 

While most 70s progressive rockers had their noses stuck deep in the works of Herman Hesse or Tolkien and spent their time copping licks from Ravel or Mussorgsky, the members of Henry Cow were reading Marx, Mao and Walter Benjamin and preferred Varese, Cage or Sun Ra for inspiration. One of the first signings to Virgin records in 1973, the Cow were responsible for some of the most dazzlingly complex rock ever recorded, merging British psychedelia, free improvisation and modern classical with a healthy dose of revolutionary polemic. The band gained a reputation for immense seriousness depite their occasional sly Dadaist humour, though to be fair there pobably weren't many fart jokes in the Henry Cow tour bus.

"Western Culture" was recorded in 1978 some time after their difficult split with Virgin, and was made in the knowledge that the group was to fold afterwards (a previous attempt at recording had failed a few months earlier). Though these were obviously tricky times for all concerned, you wouldn't know it from the music on this CD, which is some of their finest and dispatched with awesome precision and economy.

Compositional duties are split between saxophonist/keyboardist Tim Hodgkinson and bassoonist Lindsay Cooper (possibly the only ever fulltime bassoonist in a rock band). Their dense, cerebral compositions are restless, angular affairs with nervy, timeshifting rhythmic dexterity from drummer Chris Cutler (who has to be one of the finest, most inventive drummers this country has ever produced) and guitarist Fred Frith (doubling on bass). Frith is superb, switching from fuzzed out, oblique rockisms to querulous Derek Bailey acoustic scrabble ("The Decay of Cities") and occupying a few thousand points inbetween. There are no pointless displays of prog virtuosity though; despite the sometimes bewildering complexity of the music, not a note is wasted throughout.
Guest pianist Irene Schweizer provides a spot of free jazz fire on Coopers doleful "Gretel's Tale", while Anne Marie Roeloffs's trombone and violin add extra textural grit. The most affecting track is "Half the Sky", where lush chords underpin Friths Frippish glides and Hodgkinsons chattering alto sax, eventually breaking out into an almost klezmer-esque melody over Cutler's tumbling percussives. "Western Culture" is a fitting testament to possibly the most progressive of all English rock bands. Bless 'em.

Tracklist:

History & Prospects
Industry 6:58
The Decay Of Cities 6:55
On The Raft 4:01
Day By Day
Falling Away 7:38
Gretels Tale 3:58
Look Back 1:19
1/2 The Sky 5:14


Henry Cow - Western Culture (1978)
(256 kbps, cover art included)         

Sonntag, 7. Oktober 2018

Malaria! - Weißes Wasser (1982)

Malaria was a German all female new-wave band, formed in Berlin January 1981 and together until 1983. 

The EP "Weißes Wasser" was recorded in Brussels and released in 1982 on the the label "Les Disques Du Crépuscule" and contains the classic "Kaltes klares Wasser". 

Tracklist:



01. Kaltes Klares Wasser  3:45
02. Weisser Himmel, Weisses Meer / White Sky, White Sea
8:32


Malaria! - Weißes Wasser (1981)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mikey Dread - Beyond World War III (1981)

Mikey Dread has long stood among reggae's most multi-faceted artists, and this album shows him in all his guises: DJ, mixer, producer, and toaster. Like many fellow producers from his home country of Jamaica, Dread is equally comfortable behind the board or in front of it, which further blurs the line between artist and producer. That's not a problem for someone boasting such nimble talents.

The assertive opener "Break Down the Walls" gets the proceedings off to an authoritative start. Although Dread's famed sing-scat is an acquired taste, it suits the mood ("We need some action now, down in a Babylon/and the sooner is the better"). Dread's vocals are poised and self-assured; he sings when he feels like it, and lets his ping-ponging freestyle raps carry the track when he doesn't. The latter quality is most pronounced on hardcore dub exercises like "The Jumping Master," on which Dread playfully talks up the abilities of his backing musicians and mixing knob-twiddling peers like Scientist (who's compared to another "jumping master," the comic book hero Spiderman). "Israel (12 Tribe) Stylee" and "Mental Slavery" go still further up the heart of dub darkness, boosted by enough vocal echo and tape effects to light up a video arcade, which is part of the genre's cut-and-paste charm. But Dread's hardly some po-faced roots purist, or he wouldn't try his hand at more straightforward pop-reggae grooves like "Jah Jah Love (In the Morning)," and "Rockers Delight." As usual, there's no lack of top-flight musicians to boost the cause, including drummer Style Scott, bassist Flabba Holt, and Roots Radics rhythm ace Bingy Bunny.

Dread marshals his musical artillery to unsettling effect on the title cut, which matter-of-factly ticks off man's march to a global reckoning. A cutoff in mid-sentence provides a powerful closing note for an album that sounds as fresh and innovative as it did 20 years ago.


Tracklist:

Break Down The Walls 5:48
Jah Jah Love (In The Morning) 7:13
The Jumping Master 5:13
Israel (12 Tribe) Stylee (extended play) 8:39
Warrior Stylee (extended stereo style) 7:49
Money Dread 3:33
Rockers Delight (extended play) 8:01
Mental Slavery (extended play) 6:36
World War III 3:45

Mikey Dread - Beyond World War III (1981)
(ca. 320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 5. Oktober 2018

Asian Dub Foundation - Conscious EP (1994)


Asian Dub Foundation formed in 1993 as an outgrowth of the documentary "Identical Beat", a film shot at London's Farringdon Community Music House, the site of a series of summer workshops designed to teach Asian children the essentials of music technology. In charge of the workshops were tutor Aniruddha Das and youth worker John Pandit, also a noted DJ; with one of their students, a 15-year-old Bengali rapper named Deedar Zaman, they soon formed a sound system that they called the Asian Dub Foundation.

After each adopted an alias -- bassist/tabla player Das became Dr. Das, Pandit became Pandit G, and Zaman became Master D -- they gradually evolved into a working band with the 1994 addition of former Higher Intelligence Agency guitarist Steve Chandra Savale, an innovative performer known for tuning his strings to one note like a sitar, turning up the distortion unit, and playing his instrument with a knife, earning him the nickname "Chandrasonic."

Emerging in the midst of considerable anti-Asian violence throughout Britain, the Foundation's early demos landed them a contract with Nation Records, and they recorded their debut EP, "Conscious", in 1994.


Channeling influences ranging from punk to ambient music to Bengali folk songs, Asian Dub Foundation quickly gained a strong fan base not only among clubgoers but also among the anti-fascist movement, who applauded the group's vocal stand against racism.


Tracklist:
A1 Debris
A2 Tu Meri
B1 Jericho
B2 Witness


Asian Dub Foundation - Conscious EP (1994)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Tom Robinson Band - Rising Free EP (1978)


In post-Sex Pistols England, the Tom Robinson Band bridged the gap between punk and new wave, challenging the ennui of the former and the apathy of the latter with songs about politics and social justice as their rallying cry.

Robinson – who was open about his orientation for the entirety of his career (although he now classifies himself as bisexual) – wrote the song "Glad To Be Gay" for a London pride parade. The EP reached #18 in the UK, despite the song being banned by the BBC. This is a great song, as it attacks both anti-gay bigotry and the complacency of those who allow it to happen. It's amazing (and a little depressing) how many of the lyrics are still relevant today.

The "Rising Free" EP, the bands second 7'', was recorded live at London's Lyceum in November 1977 & released in 1978. Tom Robinson was accompanied by Danny Kustow, Mark Ambler and Dolphin Taylor.

Tracklist:

A1 Don't Take No for an Answer
A2 Martin
B1 Glad to be Gay
C1 Right On Sister

Lyrics of the "Glad To Be Gay" version released on this EP:

"This song is dedicated to the World Health Organization, it’s a medical song and it concerns a disease whose classification according to the International Classification of Diseases is 302.0

The British police are the best in the world
I don’t believe one of these stories I’ve heard
‘Bout them raiding our pubs for no reason at all
Lining the customers up by the wall
Picking out people, knocking them down
Resisting arrest as they’re kicked on the ground
Searching their houses, calling them queer
I don’t believe that sort of thing happens here

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Pictures of naked young women are fun
In Titbits and Playboy, page three of The Sun
There’s no nudes in Gay News our one magazine
But they still found excuses to call it obscene
Read how disgusting we are in the press
The Telegraph, People and Sunday Express
Molesters of children, corruptors of youth
It’s there in the paper it must be the truth

Try and sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Don’t try to kid us that if you’re discreet
You’re perfectly safe as you walk down the street
You don’t have to mince or make bitchy remarks
To get beaten unconscious and left in the dark
I had a friend who was gentle and short
He was lonely one evening, he went for a walk
Queerbashers caught him, kicked in his teeth
He was only hospitalised for a week
And he still bears the scars

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

And sit back and watch as they close all our clubs
Arrest us for meeting and raid all our pubs
Make sure your boyfriend’s at least 21
So only your friends and your brothers get done
Lie to your workmates, lie to your folks
Put down the queens, tell anti-queer jokes
Gay Lib’s ridiculous, join their laughter
‘The buggers are legal now, what more are they after?’
Tell them!

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy this way"


Tom Robinson Band - Rising Free EP (1978)
(256 kbps, cover art included)