Sonntag, 23. Oktober 2016

KZ Musik - Encyclopedia Of Music Composed In Concentration Camps (1933 - 1945) - CD 4

Since 1991 the Italian pianist Francesco Lotoro has traveled the globe to seek out and bring to light symphonies, songs, sonatas, operas, lullabies and even jazz riffs that were composed and often performed in Nazi-era concentration camps.

“This music is part of the cultural heritage of humanity,” Lotoro, 48, told JTA after a concert in Trani, a port town in southern Italy, that featured surprisingly lively cabaret songs composed in the camps at Westerbork in the Netherlands and Terezin (Theresienstadt) near Prague.

The concert formed part of Lech Lecha, a week long Jewish culture festival in early September that took place in Trani and nine other towns in the Apulia region, the heel of Italy’s boot.

“When I started seeking out this music, my interest was based on curiosity, on passion,” said Lotoro, who was the festival’s artistic director. “I felt that someone had to do it -- and that someone was myself. Today it has become a mission.”

Lotoro has collected original scores, copies and even old recordings of some 4,000 pieces of what he calls “concentrationary music” -- music written in the concentration camps, death camps, labor camps, POW camps and other internment centers set up between 1933, when Dachau was established, and the end of World War II.

In the 1990s he formed an orchestra to perform the pieces, and in 2001 began recording the compositions. A selection was released earlier this year in a 24-CD boxed set called "KZ Musik," or “The Encyclopedia of Concentrationary Music.” (KZ is the German abbreviation for concentration camp.) Some of the pieces have long been known, including music by several prominent composers who were interned in Terezin. The Nazis used Terezin, a ghetto concentration and transit camp, as a propaganda tool, allowing cultural life to develop.

Other musical pieces, however, had been long lost or totally forgotten until Lotoro deciphered, transcribed and arranged them.

Many compositions had been jotted down in notebooks or scribbled in letters or on scraps of paper. In the Pankrac prison in Prague, the Czech composer Rudolf Karel scrawled music on sheets of toilet paper.

“People continued to create despite being in those places,” Lotoro said. “These composers felt that the camp was probably the last place they would be alive, and so they made a will, a testament.

“They had nothing material to leave,” he said, “only their heart, only their mind, only the music. And so they left the music to future generations. It is a great testament of the heart.”

Jews who were killed in the Shoah wrote most of the music that Lotoro has collected. But his collection also includes pieces by Quakers, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roma (Gypsies), political prisoners, homosexuals and others held in camps and prisons as far afield as Asia. He also has music written by German officers and troops in POW camps run by Allied powers and even American GIs held captive by the Japanese.

“Everybody made music, wrote music,” Lotoro said. “Because, you know, music is a social phenomenon. You can be a musician as an amateur, because you have a good ear, you can improvise, you can play the harmonica. Of course there are the great composers and musicians. But music is all of this, from amateur to professional.”

Lotoro, who lives in the town of Barletta, near Trani, and teaches at a music conservatory, believes he is descended from Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity centuries ago. He was drawn to Judaism as a teenager; he and his wife formally converted in 2004.

But Lotoro said this was not the reason he began his search for the lost concentration camp music.

“Of course as a Jew, I now feel that this is a mitzvah; it is something I have to do,” he said. “But I think that if I had not become Jewish I would anyway have done this.”

His first foray to seek out music came long before his conversion. It was a 1991 trip to Terezin, where imprisoned composers such as Viktor Ullmann and Gideon Klein -- both killed at Auschwitz -- had written works, such as Ullmann’s opera “The Emperor of Atlantis,” that already had become part of the international musical repertoire.

“I started there because I thought it would be easier,” Lotoro recalled. “But from Terezin I went on to research other former camps in the region, and at the end of three weeks I had to buy another suitcase to bring home all the material I found.”

Since then he has scoured antiquarian bookshops, catalogs, archives, libraries, museums, private collections and other holdings in more than a dozen countries for traces of lost music. Along the way he has amassed a trove of 13,000 items: scores, notebooks, papers, diaries, microfilms, photocopies, photographs, recordings and other material that he continues to sift through, catalog and sometimes reconstruct. He hopes to load all the pieces he has found onto a digital database for posterity.

As part of his research, Lotoro has consulted with scholars who specialize in the music of the Holocaust, and also has interviewed some of the few surviving musicians as well as relatives of those who perished. But he has carried out most of the work on his own.

“It is yet another testament to Italian creativity -- the ability to address such global issues from a relatively ‘remote’ place, and as a single-handed initiative,” Francesco Spagnolo, an Italian musicologist who is the curator at the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life in Berkeley, Calif., told JTA.

Much of Lotoro’s work also has been self-financed. Although he has received some grants over the years, he told JTA that he had gone into debt and even taken out a second mortgage on his home to cover costs.

Still, Lotoro said, he must continue. “I cannot stop because if I stop, all the research stops automatically,” he said. “And how many works are still out there that I haven’t found? How many works am I missing? How many will I be able to save?”      



Hugo Löwenthal (1879 - 1943) - Terezin

1. Traditionelle Weisen für Pesach, Schwuos und Sukkot
2. Lieder für die Schawuoth Feiertage

Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) - Terezin

 3. Seeräuber-Ballade (a fragment), violin
 4. Schnitterlied
 5. Säerspruch
 6. Die Schweizer
 7. Wanderer erwacht in der Herberge
 8. Der müde Soldat
 9. Wendla im Garten
 10. Chansons des enfants françaises

Pavel Haas (1899-1944) - Terezin
4 Chinese Songs

11. Zaslech jsem divoké husy
12. V bambusovém hàji
13. Daleko mesic je domova
14. Probdenà noc

Rudolf Karel (1880-1945) - Terezin

15. Pìsen Svobody op.41a
16. Zena-Moje Stestì op.41b
17. Pankràc March op.42a
18. Pankràc Polka op.42b
19. Pankràc Valzer op.42c

Robert Dauber (1922-1945) - Terezin
21. Serenata

VA - KZ Musik - CD 4
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 19. Oktober 2016

Hai & Topsy Frankl ‎– Jiddische Lieder (1988)

The 1960s were a time of social upheaval the world over, and Germany was no exception. The children of the 1940s were now old enough to wonder what had
happened during the war, and they were not getting many answers from their parents.Though American hippies were able to turn to their own history for ideals of labour and egalitarianism, Germans had no such luxury. Much of their history was tainted by association; the Nazis had appropriated swathes of German culture for their own purposes.

German folksongs were especially suspect. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Volkslied was used to stitch together the patchwork principalities and
duchies that formed the new German nation. As with other newly-formed nations and nationalities in nineteenth-century Europe, belief in a common mythology
helped unify people. Previously disparate groups were brought together with tales
of a shared heritage. The "Landschaftliche Volkslieder", ‘‘folk songs of landscape’’, were
just one example of the integrationist project - an enormous forty-three-volume
anthology that attempted systematically to incorporate regional folk music into a
national version.

German folk song was thus inextricably bound upwith nationalism, and nationalism had a nasty aftertaste after the Second World War. ‘‘Ever since folk songs were taken over by the Nazis . . . few Germans have been able to sing them with a clean conscience,’’ musicians Hein and Oss Kröher wrote in 1969.

If the German folk song was "verboten" to the younger generation, they would need to take their cues from other traditions, and they did. Judaism was one of those traditions. The culture of the victims was not tainted by association with the Holocaust. Yiddish was somewhat understandable to the German ear. And besides, Yiddish was fun to sing.Why not embrace it?

An important member of the1960s Yiddish music scene was Hai Frankl. Frankl was a Jew who learned Yiddish later in life; he became popular in West Germany, and did much to popularise Yiddish songs on the western side of the Wall. Frankl was born in Wiesbaden in 1920 to a German-Jewish family. Just before the outbreak of war he escaped to Sweden, and, while there, he ‘‘frequently spent evenings with Eastern European Jews, and in long nights at the tavern learned Yiddish songs from them’’, according to Aaron Eckstaedt.

Hai’s father, Dr. Erich Frankl (born in Vienna on September 29, 1880) had been the manager of the porcelain factory belonging to his parents-in-law in Sophienau near Breslau. He served as an officer in the Austrian Army from 1914 to 1918. After 1939 he was a forced-laborer at the BEO Soap-Factory in Dotzheimer Straße in Wiesbaden.
On June 10, 1942, Erich Frankl and his wife Elli (née Schachtel in Charlottenbrunn /Silesia on August 12, 1896) were deported to Lublin and Majdanek – respectively to Sobibor – and murdered. Their daughter Hermine (born in Sophienau /Silesia on March 9, 1922) was able to reach Pyrford, England in a children’s transport and later moved to the USA.

Hai and his Swedish (non-Jewish) wife, Topsy, toured West Germany in the 1960s and 1970s,  singing songs from the labour movement as well as Yiddish folk songs. (They never moved to Germany permanently.)

In 1981 the Frankls released a compilation of Yiddish folk songs, somewhat like Lin Jaldati’s, which helped spark widespread German interest in actually playing Yiddish music, not just listening to it.

Like Jaldati’s collection, the Frankls’ "Jiddische Lieder" presented songs in transliteration and translation, and also included a short history of the Jews of Europe, the Yiddish language, and Hassidism. Unlike Jaldati’s, the Frankls’ collection of songs was accompanied by music including
chords. It was a practical collection intended for actual use.

 Tracklist :
1Wacht Ojf!2:05
3Majn Jingele2:36
4Saj schtolz!1:58
5Sog nit kejnmol2:38
6Schlof majn Kind2:37
7Der Becher3:09
8Ot asoj nejt a Schnajder2:23
9Jid, du Partisaner1:22
12Der Weg is schwer2:50
13Schpil-she mir a Lidele2:18
14Nigun 1 / Nigun 23:19
15Mir lebn ejbig1:37
16Doss jidische Wort3:24
17Und du akerst2:27
18In salzikn Jam3:21
19Di Schwue1:42
20Fun wos lebt a Jid2:31
22Lebn sol Kolumbuss1:29
23Majn Sawoje3:02
24In Kamf2:38
25Schmilik, Gawrilik1:46
26Wir wandern2:34
28Sol schojn kumn di Geule3:04

Hai & Topsy Frankl ‎– Jiddische Lieder (1988)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Peter Rohland - Jiddische Lieder (1965)

75 years ago, the Nazis began deporting Jews to death camps. The infamous Track 17 at Berlin's Grunewald station was the departure point. In official Nazi documents the deportation is euphemistically referred to as a "resettlement" or "evacuation" or people being "deposited." In reality, people were taken with the German state railway to their deaths in ghettos, labor camps or concentration camps.
The first deportation left Track 17 of Berlin's Grunewald station on the 18th October 1941. 1089 children, women and men were taken by force to Lodz. By the end, some 50,000 Jews from Berlin were deported; victims of the Nazi "Reign of Terror."

Peter Rohland (* 22. February 1933, † 5. April 1966) was a German singer, singer-songwriter and a folk music researcher. Together with Hein and Oss Kröher he initiated the "Burg Waldeck Festivals".

Peter Rohland investigated, considerably affected by the work of Wolfgang Steinitz, the song property of the vagrants and the revolution of 1848, as well as jewish songs. He was the first chansonnier to sing jewish songs in West Germany after the Holocaust.

01. Un as der Rebbe Alimelech
02. Fohr ijch mir arois
03. Hot majne homntash
04. Wolt ijch sejn a rov
05. Mai komashma lon
06. Jich nehm dos peckel
07. Frateg far nacht
08. Baj dem shtetl
09. Bin ijch mir a schnajderl
10. Jomme, jomme, shpil mir a lidele
11. Un as der Rebbe singt
12. Hot der tate fun jaridl
13. Tzen Bridder
14. Amol is gewen a majsse
15. Tumbalalalaika
16. Unter a klajn bajmele
17. Du majdele, du shajns
18. Lo mir ale singen
19. Baj majn Rebben is gewen
20. Un as de jontefdige tejg
21. Shlof, majn sun
22. Unter de chirwes von Pojln
23. Shtil, die nacht ist ojsgeshternt
24. S' brent, bridderlech, s' brent

Peter Rohland - Jiddische Lieder
(192 kbps, cover art included)

VA - KZ Musik - CD 5 - Encyclopedia of Music Composed in Concentration Camps (1933 - 1945)

In light of the unspeakable atrocities that occurred in the various concentration camps, gulags, death camps, and forced labor camps during the Second World War, it is entirely remarkable that such an abundance and variety of music should emerge.

Many of these works, such as Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, have survived as part of the modern canon while others have all but fallen into oblivion. To prevent this, KZ Musik is releasing a spectacular series of discs featuring all of the known music composed in these camps. This disc, Volume 5, features the Eighth Symphony of Erwin Schulhoff in its original piano score version. While Schulhoff did not survive to complete the Finale, the disc also includes a version completed by Francesco Lotoro, who also performs. The piano's sound is not one of a marvelous, rich instrument, but that seems to be the point. Rather, the instrument sounds a bit distant, a bit tinny, and a bit sparse; these characteristics only enhance Schulhoff's rather bleak score and put listeners in mind of the circumstances surrounding its composition.

Lotoro continues the program with selections from Karel Berman's Terezín Suite. Although Berman was to continue working on this piece once he was liberated, this disc provides listeners with the original score composed while incarcerated. Both Berman's writing and Lotoro's playing are gripping and powerful. Combined with well-written liner notes that include a brief history of each composer's stay in the camps, this album - and indeed all of the volumes in the set - are must-haves.  

VA - KZ Musik - CD 5 - Encyclopedia of Music Composed in Concentration Camps (1933 - 1945)
(320 kbps, small front cover included)       

Peter Rohland - Der Rebbe zingt - Jiddische Volkslieder und Chansons - Peter Rohland und Ensemble (EP, Thorofon, 1963)

Jewish Music in Post-War Germany, Part 1

Jewish music once hand political meaning; the first Germans to sing Yiddish songs in the 1960s were young leftist who were disillusioned with the older generations´s silcence about the Holocaust. Anything that broached the topic of Judaism in post-war Germany then was taboo; to hear the sounds of amurdered Eastern European culture resurrected on German stages was truly a shock. "Each Yiddish song was potentially a provocation to our fathers´ generation, was a political demonstration", writes the musicolgist Wolfgang Martin Stroh, who was present at some of the early performances. And there were other political messages, too; in the 1970s, for example, East germans used the genre to blow a raspberry at their Communist government, which was anti-Zionist.

The 1960s were a time of social upheaval the world over, and Germany was no exception. The children of the 1940s were now old enough to wonder what had happened during the war, and they were not getting many answers from their parents. Though American hippies were able to turn to their own history for ideals of labour and egalitarianism, Germans had no such luxury. Much of their history was tainted by association; the Nazis had appropriated swathes of German culture for their own purposes.

German folksongs were especially suspect. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Volkslied was used to stitch together the patchwork principalities and duchies that formed the new German nation. As with other newly-formed nations and nationalities in nineteenth-centruy Europe, belief in a common mythology helped unify people. Previously disparate groups were brought together with tales of a shared heritage. German folk song was thus inextricably bound up with nationalism, and nationalism had a nasty aftertaste after the Second World War. "Ever since folk songs were taken over by the Nazis... few Germans have been able to sing them with a clean conscience", musicians Hein and Oss Kröher wrote in 1969. If the German folk song was verboten to the younger generation, they would need to take their cues form other tradtions, and they did. Judaism was one of those traditions. The culture of the victims was not tainted by association with the Nazis. Yiddish was somewaht understandable to the German ear. And besides, Yiddish was fun to sing.

One of the most important early interpreters of jewish music in Germany was Peter Rohland. Here´s his EP "Der Rebbe zingt" from 1963.

01. Un as der Rebbe zingt
02. Fahr jich mir arois
03. Bei mein Rebben iz gewesen
04. Du Maydele, du fayns
05. Shtil die Nacht iz oysgesh

Peter Rohland - Der Rebbe zingt - Jiddische Volkslieder und Chansons - Peter Rohland und Ensemble (EP, Thorofon, 1963)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Thanks to for the original upload.

Populäre jüdische Künstler - Berlin - Hamburg - München. Musik & Entertainment 1903 - 1933

From the booklet:

"This album shows that Jewish culture is local German culture and that what is dear and familiar to us, would be unthinkable without its input. The extinction of Jewish culture is synonymous with the extinction of our culture.

The year 1945 is a total cultural breakdown, an hour 0 for everyone in Germany, Jew or non-Jew. Only if we understand that, a life in a truly multi-cultural society can be possible, today."


CD 1:
01. Max Hansen - War'n sie schon mal in mich verliebt 3:35
02. Otto Wallburg & Olly Gebauer - Lachst du mich auch aus mein Schatz 2:23
03. Curd Bois & Rosie - Reizend 2:41
04. Kurt Gerron - Großstadtinfantrie 3:09
05. Paul Graetz - Berliner Bilderbogen 5:11
06. Max Ehrlich - Lieber Leierkastenmann 3:19
07. Josef Plauth - Lippische Schützen 3:37
08. Max Hansen - Frau Abendstern 2:50
09. Curd Bois - Guck doch nicht so nach dem Tangogeiger hin 2:46
10. Paul Morgan - Das Rothschildlied 3:14
11. Richard Tauber - Das alte Lied 2:31
12. Irene Eisinger & Richard Fritz Wolff - Tic-to-tic-ta 2:45
13. Fritzi Massary - Im Liebesfalle 3:02
14. Fritzi Fruo - Was ist mit deiner Nase los, süßer Emil 2:13
15. Paul Graetz - Das ist der Herzschlag 6:01
16. Willi Prager - Wohnungsamt 2:27
17. Willi Rosen - Die sparsame Brigitte 2:51
18. Siegfrid Arno - Maddalena 2:47
19. Fritzi Massary & Max Pallenberg - Josef ach Josef 2:49
20. Otto Berco - Es sitzt ein Pinguin 2:44
21. Paul O'Montis - Ghetto 2:49
22. Blandine Ebinger & Oskar Karlweis - Auf Wiedersehn 2:58

 CD 2
01. Gitta Alpar - La bella Tangolita 2:59
02. Die Gebrüder Wolf - Twüschen Elvchaussee und Stadtparksee 3:09
03. Kurt Gerron - Macky Messer 1:58
04. Curd Bois - Ich hab, ich bin, ich wär 2:29
05. Blandine Ebinger - Wenn ich einmal tot bin 2:29
06. Trude Berliner - Ein Mädel von der Reeperbahn 2:48
07. Josef Plaut - Als die Römer frech geworden 3:59
08. Julius Thannhäuser - Das Sendlinger Thor 2:51
09. Guido Gialdini - Tamelan 1:44
10. Martin Bendix - Auf dem Berliner Bahnhof 1:46
11. Friedrich Hollaender - Marion Tango 2:51
12. Alfred Auerbach - Abgefahren 1:47
13. Robert Koppel - Ich hab ne alte Tante 2:34
14. Willi Prager - Jüdische Anekdoten 3:18
15. Richard Tauber - Manon 3:04
16. Willi Rosen - Wenn ich Richard Tauber wär 2:50
17. Willi Prager - Ich weiß das ist nicht so 3:09
18. Dolly Haas - Für'n Groschen Liebe 3:25
19. Siegfrid Arno - Was kann der Sigismund dafür dass er so schön ist 2:54
20. Willi Rosen - Das find ich reizend von Lulu 2:47
21. Margo Lion - Die Braut 1:44
22. Max Pallenberg - Scharfrichter-Couplet 2:09
23. Wilhelm Bendow & Paul Morgan - Nur nicht unterkriegen lassen (2.Teil) 3:11
24. Max Hansen - Man trägt wieder treue Augen 2:23
25. Paul O'Montis - Kaddisch 2:58

Max Ehrlich (1892-1944 KZ Auschwitz)
Fritzi Fruo (1875-1942 Exil Shanghai)
Kurt Gerron (1897-1944 KZ Auschwitz)
Guido Gialdini (1878-194? KZ?)
Paul Morgan (1886-1938 KZ Buchenwald)
Paul O'Montis (1894-1940 KZ Sachsenhausen)
Max Pallenberg (1877-1934 KZ Karlsbad)
Willi Rosen (1894-1944 KZ Auschwitz)
Otto Wallburg (1889-1944 KZ Auschwitz)
James Wolf (1870-1943 KZ Terezin)
Gitta Alpar (1903-1991)
Siegfried Arno (1895-1975)
Alfred Auerbach (1875-1954)
Trude Berliner (1904-1977)
Curd Bois (1901-1991)
Blandine Ebinger (1900-1993)
Paul Graetz (1890-1937)
Dolly Haas (1910-1994)
Max Hansen (1897-1961)
Friedrich Hollaender (1896-1976)
Oskar Karlweis (1899-1956)
Robert Koppel (1874-1966)
Margo Lion (1899 - 1989)
Fritzi Massary (1882-1969)
Josef Plaut (1879-1966)
Willi Prager (1877-1956)
Richard Tauber (1892-1948)
Ludwig Wolf (1867-1955)

Populäre jüdische Künstler - Berlin - Hamburg - München, pt 1
Populäre jüdische Künstler - Berlin - Hamburg - München, pt 2
(320 kbps, booklet included)

Dienstag, 18. Oktober 2016

Os Mutantes - Mutantes (1969)

Here´s another fine album by Os Mutantes, the Brazilian rockers who blended pop packaging, avant-garde experimentation, and an irreverent attitude during the late-'60s tropicalia movement

One album into their career in 1969, "Mutantes" showed few signs of musical burnout after turning in one of the oddest LPs released in the '60s. Similar to its predecessor, "Mutantes" relies on an atmosphere of experimentation and continual musical collisions, walking a fine line between innovation and pointless genre exercises. The lead track ("Dom Quixote") has the same focus on stylistic cut-and-paste as their debut LP's first track ("Panis et Circenses"). Among the band's musical contemporaries, "Mutantes" sounds similar only to songs like the Who's miniature suite "A Quick One While He's Away" -- though done in three minutes instead of nine, and much more confusing given the language barrier.
The album highlights ("Nao Va Se Perder por Ai") and ("Dois Mil e Um") come with what sounds like a typically twisted take on roots music (both Brazilian and American), complete with banjo, accordion, and twangy vocals. Though there are several other enjoyable tracks, including "Magica" and a slap-happy stomp called "Rita Lee," there's a palpable sense that the experimentation here isn't serving much more than its own ends.       

A1 Dom Quixote 3:53
A2 Não Vá Se Perder Por Aí 3:15
A3 Dia 36 4:00
A4 2.001 3:56
A5 Algo Mais 2:39
A6 Fuga N° II Dos Mutantes 3:44
B1 Banho De Lua 3:40
B2 Rita Lee 3:09
B3 Mágica 4:43
B4 Qualquer Bobagem 4:47
B5 Caminhante Noturno 5:09

Os Mutantes - Mutantes (1969)
(320 kbps, cover art included)      

Pannach & Kunert - Fluche, Seele, fluche (1981)

Christian "Kuno" Kunert was part of the East German rock legend "Klaus Renft Combo" (or just "RENFT"), the songwriter and rock lyricist Gerulf Pannach was a companion of the band. Their rebellious attitude and "decadent" lifestyle was another thorn in the side of the East German officials. "Renft" was banned from stage for lifetime and declared "non-existent" in September 1975.

As Klaus Jentzsch, founder of the "Klaus Renft Combo", has left the GDR to West-Berlin with his Greek wife in 1976, Christian Kunert and Gerulf Pannach started a folk-duo called "Pannach & Kunert". After a few illegal peformances they were arrested and imprisoned together with writer Jürgen Fuchs for nine months until they were ransomed by the West German Government. They were forced to leave the GDR against their will. "Pannach & Kunert" enjoyed some moderate success in West Berlin.

"Fluche, Seele, fluche" is a wonderful album and a fine example for those critical german artists getting caught between the fronts of the cold war and suffering under their German-German exile:

„Ob im Osten oder Westen
wo man ist, ist´s nie am besten
suche, Seele suche
fluche, Seele, fluche.“

(Gerulf Pannach, inspired by "Weiter immer weiter", written by Erich Mühsam)

Pannach & Kunert - Fluche Seele Fluche (1981)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 17. Oktober 2016

Oktoberklub - Sing mit - 3 Jahre Oktoberklub (Eterna, 1969)

"Singe-Bewegung" and "Oktoberklub" in East Germany, part 3.
Political song in the GDR did not, contrary to what is often assumed, start and finsih with Wolf Biermann. "Singegruppen" and "Liedermacher" were to play a significant cultural role in society from the early 1960s right up until the "Wende". On the one hand, the political song was a proudly coveted and officially nurtured "Erbe", but on the other, it was viewed with suspicion because of its potential as a means of subversion.

GDR singers, treading a precarious tightrope between prohibition and tolerance, enjoyed an elevated status as bearers of unofficial tidings. Concert halls, student clubs, or informal gatherings were invariably packed, and editions of the records released on the state record label "Amiga" were snapped up immediately.

There was a metamorphosis from the loyal teenagers of the "FDJ-Singeklubs" in the 1960s and 1970s into the critically-minded "Liedermacher" of the 1980s. The beginning of this story lie in the "Hootenanny-Klub". Formed in 1966, it incorporated many of the various influences which had been seeping into East Berlin in the period of political thaw since the building of the Wall in 1961. There was an emergence of beat and jazz music and the resident Canadian Perry Friedman introduced the new culture of folk songs from the American civil rights movement. These influences were incorporated into the repertoires of groups hitherto dominated by Brecht/Eisler and international portest songs and lead to the diverse repertoire of the "Oktoberklub".

In 1969 the Eterna label released the album "Oktoberklub - Sing mit", celebrating the first three years of the Oktoberklub with a recording of a concert at the Kongresshalle Berlin, February 16s, 1969.

Vietnamesisches Siegeslied - Oktoberklub
Träum nicht von den gläsernen Sternen - Gebrüder Conrads
Lutschina - Lutschina-Gruppe Moskau
Meinst du, die Russen wollen Krieg - Hartmut König
...gehört dem Volk - Oktoberklub
Körösporti - Gerilla-Gruppe Budapest
Die Fahrt ins Holz - Singeklub der Lessingschule Hoyerswerda
Gulesta - Singeklub der Lessingschule Hoyerswerda
A la huelga - Joan & José
Streiklied der Fliesenleger - Gebrüder Conrads
Wer-wen - Hartmut König
Treptower Park - Oktoberklub
Russisches Volkslied - Lutschina-Gruppe Moskau
Eine kleine Frage -  Gruppe "pasaremos", Dresden

Zwei Stunden vierzig Minuten - Oktoberklub

Oktoberklub - Sing mit - 3 Jahre Oktoberklub (Eterna, 1969)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

To be continued...

Bremer Chor "Die Zeitgenossen" & Gruppe Argus - Lieder zur internationalen Solidarität (1978)

Found this album on a record fair some weeks ago. It was recorded in July 1978 at Studio Nord, Bremen, and released in 1978 on the label "Verlag Atelier im Bauernhaus".

The choir "Die Zeitgenossen" from Bremen/Germany, conducted by Hartmut Emig, is accomapnied by some musicians, called "Gruppe Argus". They are singing and playing international solidarity songs from Greece, Chile, South Africa ,Germany, USA and Portugal. "Die Zeitgenossen" were seeing themselves as a part of an emanzipatoric choir movement, according to the Hanns Eisler slogan: "Unser Singen muss ein Kämpfen sein!"

These protest songs are beautiful folk music with a big choir of up to 100 singers according to the infos in the booklet scans. Sometimes even too beautiful if you consider the tragic songs and lyrics.

01. Die ganze Erde uns (Greece) 03:00
02. Ich bin die Front (Greece) 02:53
03. Venceremos (Chile) 03:32
04. Das neue Leben (Chile) 03:12
05. Lied für unsere Gefallenen (Chile) 05:54
06. Nougqougqo (South Africa) 02:19
07. Ndodemnyama (South Africa) 02:48
08. Grândola, Vila Morena (Portugal) 02:47
09. Hold the fort (USA) 03:36
10. Und schon morgen (Germany) 03:59
11. Oh freedom (USA) 02:04

Bremer Chor Die Zeitgenossen

Gruppe Argus:
Wiebke Rendigs: vocals
Stephan Uhlig: guitar, vocals
Christian Uhlig: bass, vocals
Dietz Koldewey: guitar, vocals

Wiebke Rendigs: alto (1,6)
Rotraud Schalipp: soprano (5)
Ivesa Lübben: flute (5)
Achim Klug: bass (8)
Frank Drecoll, Heiner Borcherding: tenors (8)
Wilhelm Meerkamp: announcer (9)

Alexander Ahrens: cello (5)
Rolf Wieneck: banjo (9)
Levi Gioro & the Athenians: bouzoukis (1,2)

Bremer Chor "Die Zeitgenossen" & Gruppe Argus - Lieder zur internationalen Solidarität (1978)
(ca. 256 kbps, cover art included)

The Ex - Singles. Period. The Vinyl Years 1980–1990

"Singles. Period. The Vinyl Years 1980–1990" is a compilation album by Dutch punk rock band The Ex, containing most of their singles released between 1980 and 1990. The collection does not include the band's double-single 1936, The Spanish Revolution, nor their "6" series or their collaborations with artists such as Chumbawumba and Dog Faced Hermans.
Singles. Period. was released in 2005 by Touch and Go Records during a time when The Ex's material was only being issued physically on compact disc. The band later returned to releasing albums on vinyl, and even began to issue new 7" singles in 2010.

The Ex has explored many musical directions through the years, including avant-garde jazz and experimental music. But on this decade's-worth of singles and B-sides released as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations the Dutch anarcho-socialist outfit hews close to its early-'80s punk ideals. The primitive punk polka of "Stupid Americans" is a raucous vehicle for the band's anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist worldview, while the angular "Human Car" wears its affinity with late-'70s punk groups like Gang Of Four and the Mekons on its ripped sleeve. Unapologetically political yet never dull, lyrics are screamed or chanted, scrambling for attention through a tumultuous mix of primal drums, clanking bass, and searing guitar.     

  1. "Human car" - 2:14
  2. "Rock'n'roll-stoel" - 2:07
  3. "Cells" - 1:52
  4. "Apathy disease" - 3:29
  5. "Stupid Americans" - 2:16
  6. "Money" - 1:36
  7. "Curtains" - 2:17
  8. "Weapons for El Salvador" 2:48
  9. "Dust" - 2:15
  10. "New wars 2" - 1:38
  11. "Constitutional state" - 1:55
  12. "Gonna rob the spermbank" - 3:46
  13. "When nothing else is helpful anymore" - 3:32
  14. "Memberships" - 5:34
  15. "Trash" - 4:56
  16. "Crap-rap" - 2:51
  17. "Long live the aged" - 3:54
  18. "Enough is enough" - 4:42
  19. "Rara rap" - 4:33
  20. "Contempt" - 2:25
  21. "Stonestampers song" - 2:58
  22. "Lied der Steinklopfer" - 3:35
  23. "Keep on hoppin'" - 3:04

The Ex - Singles. Period. The Vinyl Years 1980–1990
(224 kbps, cover art included)

Sun Ra And His Astro Infinity Arkestra – Strange Strings

"Strange Strings" is a somewhat legendary album from the mid-'60s. "I'm painting pictures of things I know about, and things I've felt, that the world hasn't had the chance to feel..." -Sun Ra, interviewed by Henry Dumas in 1966.
Recorded in 1966, and first published in 1967, this is the peak of Sun Ra's studies on possibilities of strings' sound.
The Arkestra uses here a huge range of strings instruments, from the usual (like double bass and viola), to the exotic ones (ukelin, bandura, zither,dutar and others), identified in the original liner notes as "electronic strings", but that were acoustic instruments amplified with microphones placed very close to the sound hole, and then treated with reverb and distortion.

"Marshall Allen said that when they began to record the musicians asked Sun Ra what they should play, and he answered only that he would point to them when he wanted them to start. The result is an astonishing achievement, a musical event which seems independent of all other musical traditions and histories.... The piece is all texture, with no sense of tonality except where Art Jenkins sings through a metal megaphone with a tunnel voice. But to say that the instruments seem out of tune misses the point, since there is no "tune", and in any case the Arkestra did not know how to tune most of the instruments..." - John F Szwed
"Worlds Approaching" is a great tune, anchored by a bass ostinato and timpani and featuring several fantastic solos, including Marshall Allen on oboe, Robert Cummings on bass clarinet, John Gilmore on tenor, and Sun Ra on electric piano. Off and on throughout the tune, Bugs Hunter applies near-lethal doses of reverb, giving the piece a very odd but interesting sound. "Strange Strings" is one of those songs that is likely to inspire some sort of "you call that music?" comment from your grandmother, or even from open-minded friends. It sounds like they raided the local pawnshop for anything with strings on it, then passed them out to the bandmembers. It's difficult to tell if some of these instruments have been prepared in some way, or if they're simply being played by untutored hands. There are also lots of drums and some viola playing from Ronnie Boykins that is also treated heavily with reverb. Despite the cacophony, there is a definite ebb and flow to the piece and what seem like different movements or themes. Whatever you think of the music contained, there's no denying that it produced some of the most remarkable sounds of the mid-'60s. If you don't like "far out," stay clear of this one.    

A1Worlds Approaching
A2Strings Strange
B1Strange Strange
(ca. 224 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 13. Oktober 2016

Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger - New Briton Gazette Volume 2 (1962)

Ewan MacColl was a folk singer, songwriter, socialist, actor, poet, playwright, and argubly one of the most important figures the British Folk Revial on the 1950's & 1960's. MacColl wrote hundreds songs that been recorded by hundreds artists.

Here´s volume 2 of "New Briton Gazette", an album collecting contemporary British songs composed and sung by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger.

Side One
The Banks They Are Rosy - (MacColl)
Rosalie - (Seeger/MacColl)
March With Us Today - (Seeger)
Lullabye For The Times - (MacColl)
No Agents Need Apply - (MacColl)
The Printer's Trade - (Seeger/MacColl)
The Ballad Of Jimmy Wilson - (Seeger/MacColl)
Side Two
The Big Hewer - (MacColl/Seeger)
The Shoals Of Herring - (MacColl)
The Young Birds - (Seeger/MacColl)
Needle and Thread - (MacColl)
Hey Ho! Cook and Rowe! - (Seeger)
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - (MacColl)
Come Live With Me - (MacColl)
When I Was Young - (Seeger)

Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger - New Briton Gazette Volume 2 (1962)
(256 kbps, front cover & booklet included)

Henry Cow - Leg End (1973)

Political astuteness aside, Henry Cow's "Leg End" is simply a busy musical trip, comprised of snaking rhythms, unorthodox time signatures, and incongruous waves of multiple instruments that actually culminate in some appealing yet complex progressive rock.

Here, on the band's debut, both Fred Frith and woodwind man Geoff Leigh hold nothing back, creating eclectic, avant garde-styled jazz movements without any sense of direction, or so it may seem at first, but paying close attention to Henry Cow's musical wallowing results in some first-rate instrumental fusion, albeit a little too abstract at times. Through tracks like "Amygdala," "Teenbeat," and "The Tenth Chaffinch," it's simply creativity run amok, instilling the free-spiritedness of the late '60s into this, a 1974 album.

The techniques are difficult to follow, but the stewing that emerges between the piano, guitar, flute, and percussion is so animated and colorful, it actually sounds pleasant as a whole. Chris Cutler lends his uncommitted, self-governing brand of drumming to the album to help culminate the frenzy, and Leigh's tenor flute does add some extraordinary musical fabric to each of the album's ten cuts. "Nine Funerals of the Citizen King" is one of the easiest pieces to listen to, while the short but amiable "Bellycan" is an excerpt removed from the group's work with the Greasy Truckers, performed a year earlier. In 1974, Henry Cow released "Unrest", which contains the same vigor and spontaneity as "Leg End", only it didn't receive the same amount of attention. Shortly after, they united with Dagmar Krause and the rest of Slapp Happy to further their unconventional route.

  1. "Nirvana for Mice" (Frith) – 4:53
  2. "Amygdala" (Hodgkinson) – 6:47
  3. "Teenbeat (Introduction)" (Henry Cow) – 4:32
  4. "Teenbeat" (Frith, Greaves) – 6:57
  5. "Nirvana (Reprise)" (Frith) – 1:11
  6. "Extract from 'With the Yellow Half-Moon and Blue Star' " (Frith) – 2:26
  7. "Teenbeat (Reprise)" (Frith) – 5:07
  8. "The Tenth Chaffinch" (Henry Cow) – 6:06
  9. "Nine Funerals of the Citizen King" (Hodgkinson) – 5:34
  10. "Bellycan" (Henry Cow) – 3:19

Henry Cow - Leg End (1973)              
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 12. Oktober 2016

Dog Faced Hermans - Hum Of Life (1993)

The Dog Faced Hermans were a four-piece band whose style could be described as anarcho-punk incorporating folk and noise influences as well as unorthodox instrumentation.

Dog Faced Hermans formed by previous members of Volunteer Slavery in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1986, but later moved to Amsterdam. The band was closely associated with The Ex, and this resulted in a joint tour of Europe, a split cassette and "Stonestamper's Song", a collaborative single released under the name Ex Faced Hermans.
They disbanded in 1995, with members of the band moving on to other notable projects including the Canadian ensemble Rhythm Activism, and Holland's The Ex, with whom they collaborated and were closely affiliated and in whom guitarist Andy Moor has been a member since 1990. Drummer Wilf Plum now plays with Two Pin Din and "Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp".

Though this album suffers a little from the lo-fi recording quality, the sound of this exceptional experimental rock/post-punk unit can miraculously transcend the misgivings of poor recording quality with pure energy and high innovation. As far as inventive post-punk groups go, Dog Faced Hermans are certainly on a par with the Ex and early Sonic Youth and remain criminally overlooked in the scheme of '80s post-punk. This release is not as strong as the jaw-dropping masterpiece "Those Deep Buds", but is still a phenomenal display of inventive post-punk which draws on folk, free improvisation, and sound of Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band circa "Doc at the Radar Station". If one can imagine that group fronted by Sandy Denny, that could be a good analogy for this sound.                

A1Jan 9
A3The Hook And The Wire
A4How We Connect
A5Love Split With Blood
B1White Indians
B2Hear The Dogs
B3Love Is The Heart Of Everything
B4Madame La Mer
B5Peace Warriors

Dog Faced Hermans - Hum Of Life (1993)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 11. Oktober 2016

Cochise - Rauchzeichen (1979)

Cochise from Dortmund played folk music with mostly political lyrics inspired by left wing perspective.The band was founded in 1979 and became one of the musical voices of the alternative movement in Germany.
They developed an unique lyrical and musical language connecting the political contents of the 70s and 80s with powerfull, delightfull music and the rebellious attitude of a whole generation.

"Rauchzeichen" was their debut album, recorded in August 1979 at Ton Studio St. Blasien, Northeim.
These are the lyrics of the title track of the album, a cover of "Rauchzeichen" by Ape, Beck & Brinkmann.


Wenn ihr den letzten Baum zerstört
Dem letzten Fluss die Klarheit nehmt
Den letzten Wilden habt bekehrt
Der Vogel nicht mehr singt
Die letzte Straße angekommen
Der letzte Wald zum Parkplatz wird
Der letzte Krieg endlich gewonnen
Der letzte Strand mit Öl verschmiert

Werdet ihr erst dann einseh'n
Dass ihr euer schönes Geld
Auf der Bank nicht essen könnt –
Welch Menge ihr auch nennt?

Wenn ihr den letzten Fisch gefangen
Die letzte Erde aufgeteilt
Die letzte Bombe hochgegangen
Die letzten Ernten sind verseucht
Die letzte Mutter Kinder liebt
Der letzte Mensch durch Folter stirbt
Der letzte Gott den Segen gibt
Der letzte Hitler für sich wirbt

Werdet ihr erst dann einseh'n
Dass ihr euer schönes Geld
Auf der Bank nicht essen könnt –
Welch Menge ihr auch nennt?

Wenn das letzte Meer voll Abfall ist
Die letzte Erde ausgehöhlt
Der letzte Tanker langsam bricht
Das letzte Paradies zerstört
Die letzte Menschlichkeit besiegt
Das letzte Hochhaus hoch genug
Die letzte Lüge Beifall bringt
Die letzte Blume fault im Wind

Werdet ihr erst dann einseh'n
Dass ihr euer schönes Geld
Auf der Bank nicht essen könnt –
Welch Menge ihr auch nennt?

Werdet ihr erst dann einseh'n
Dass ihr euer schönes Geld
Auf der Bank nicht essen könnt –
Welch Menge ihr auch nennt?"


1Rolltreppe abwärts4:13
2Was kann schöner sein...!5:13
3Ballade von der Hester Jonas4:26
4Der bitterböse Friederich3:44
5Das Anarchistenschwein2:46
6Kannst Du das mitansehen5:02
8Im Laufe der Woche7:14
9Jeder Traum3:55

Cochise - Rauchzeichen (1979)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 10. Oktober 2016

Lightnin Hopkins - Mojo Hand (1960)

Sam John "Lightnin'" Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982) was an American country blues singer, songwriter, guitarist, and occasional pianist, from Centerville, Texas. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 71 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
The musicologist Robert "Mack" McCormick opined that Hopkins is "the embodiment of the jazz-and-poetry spirit, representing its ancient form in the single creator whose words and music are one act".

This album, recorded for Fire Records, is especially interesting because it casts Hopkins in a more R&B-flavored environment. This obvious effort to get a hit makes for some excellent blues; moody and powerful performances play throughout. There's even a charming novelty Christmas blues, "Santa."                


1Mojo Hand
2Coffee For Mama
3Awful Dreams
4Black Mare Trot
5Have You Ever Loved A Woman
6Glory Be
7Sometimes She Will
9Shine On, Moon!
10Shake That Thing
11Walk A Long Time
12Last Night
13Just Pickin'
14Bring Me My Shotgun
15Mojo Hand (Live At 1965 Newport Folk Festival)

Lightnin Hopkins - Mojo Hand (1960)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 9. Oktober 2016

The Chambers Brothers - New Generation (1971)

Like their West Coast contemporaries Sly and the Family Stone, the Chambers Brothers shattered racial and musical divides to forge an incendiary fusion of funk, gospel, blues, and psychedelia which reached its apex with the perennial 1968 song "Time Has Come Today."

Eschewing their normal frenzied mix of soul and rock, the brothers package their socially uplifting messages more in James Brown-style funk than usual.

They produce the album themselves and their ambition often exceeds their grasp. String orchestrations by band members Brian Keenan and Joe Chambers clutter an already-busy mix.

The title track is the kind of extended rave-up that seems to be on every one of their albums. "Going to the Mill" closes the session with a straightforward, and welcome, shot of gospel. 

A1Are You Ready
A2Young Girl
A4When The Evening Comes
A5Practice What You Preach
B3New Generation
B4Going To The Mill

The Chambers Brothers - New Generation (1971)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 8. Oktober 2016

Woody Guthrie - Ballads Of Sacco & Vanzetti (1947)

 "Ballads of Sacco & Vanzetti" is a set of ballad songs, written and performed by Woody Guthrie, related to the trial, conviction and execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. The series was commissioned by Moe Asch in 1945 and recorded in 1946 and 1947. Guthrie never completed the project and was unsatisfied by the result.
The project was released later in its abandoned form by Asch.

Guthrie sings the story of the anarchists who were tried and convicted of murder, then executed in Boston in the 1920s. Written by Guthrie during 1946-47, the powerful songs of this well-known affair reaffirm the value of the struggle for freedom and dramatically describe the price often paid.

Woody Guthrie - Ballads Of Sacco & Vanzetti (1947)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Tom Robinson Band - Power In The Darkness

This is the album by which Tom Robinson's works have been measured; its consistency is all the more remarkable, since he'd written several keynote tracks while toiling in the go-nowhere folk trio "Café Society" (such as Robinson's defining anthem, "Glad to Be Gay").

"Power in the Darkness" is proudly defiant as the era that inspired "Up Against the Wall," "Ain't Gonna Take It," "Long Hot Summer," or "The Winter of '79," which level fierce disdain for social hypocrisy.

So does the nearly five-minute title track and funk-rock tour de force, while Chris Thomas' production is as razor sharp as the band itself. Guitarist Danny Kustow's go-for-the-throat style is the driving force; it's storming on the rockers yet suitably restrained on quieter fare like "Too Good to Be True," Robinson's lament for oft-delayed social change. Keyboardist Mark Ambler is equally assertive on colorful Hammond organ swashes, while Robinson plunks down simple, legato basslines, and Brian "Dolpin" Taylor keeps the beat pouncing, where others might let it loiter.

The live/studio bonus EP, "Rising Free", demonstrates the band's explosive nature. The Ambler-Kustow interplay works to thunderous effect on "Don't Take No for an Answer," Robinson's bittersweet account of a soured publishing deal with the Kinks' Ray Davies; the hit "2-4-6-8 Motorway," one of rock's great drive-all-night numbers; and a searing rearrangement of Bob Dylan's plea for a wrongly accused inmate, "I Shall Be Released." The forceful tone is sometimes undermined by a strident sloganeering streak, as typified by "Right On Sister" or "Better Decide Which Side You're On," but that's a minor complaint amid the music's unflagging strength. Think music and politics don't mix? Listen to this album, and then decide.