Donnerstag, 30. Juni 2011

Gil Scott-Heron - The Mind of Gil Scott-Heron - A Collection of Poetry and Music

"The Mind of Gil Scott-Heron" (subtitled "A Collection of Poetry and Music") is a 1978 album by spoken word and rap pioneer Gil Scott-Heron. Like many of Scott-Heron's albums, the album's content primarily addresses political and social issues; however, The Mind of Gil Scott-Heron relies far more on his spoken word delivery than his other albums.

Whereas much of the artist's earlier albums contained backup jazz-funk music from Brian Jackson, many of these tracks, which address contemporary issues such as Watergate, the pardon of Richard Nixon and the Attica Prison riot, are either live recordings or studio-recorded songs with little more than sparse drum backing or occasional instrumentation.

But what makes Gil Scott-Heron’s poems so powerful is that they don’t serve just as snapshots of a time past, put seem as pertinent today as ever. For the basic issues he’s taking about - our country’s military presence abroad, the rising prison population, political corruption, the growing influence of the wealthiest corporations on governmental policy, police brutality, etc. - have not disappeared in the last 30 years, and in some cases are continually growing worse. It’s hard to hear Scott-Heron say “Ask them what we’re fighting for and they never mention the economics of war” and not see the relevance still today.

Gil Scott Heron’s poetry is so powerful in part because of the issues he raises, but his delivery, style and articulateness can’t go unmentioned. A few of the tracks here are live, and the audience’s reactions drive home the humor and general friendly tone that Scott-Heron exudes, even while ripping our government to shreds (and rightfully so). He also uses repetition and verbal devices, taking a phrase and building a poem around the permutations of it. “The Ghetto Code” uses the letter ‘C’ to jump into all sorts of issues, while the first track on the album leads off with a faux phone call (famously used by Boogie Down Productions on their classic “Why Is That?”): “Click! Whirr…Click! ‘I’m sorry, the government you have elected is inoperative’.”

Gil Scott-Heron - The Mind Of Gil Scott-Heron
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Montag, 27. Juni 2011

Guy Debord - Society Of The Spectacle

Guy Debord's "THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE", originally published in 1967,
is easily the most important radical book of the twentieth century.

Contrary to popular misconceptions, Debord's book is neither an ivory tower of
"philosophical discourse" nor an impulsive "rant" or "protest." It is an
effort to clarify the nature of the situation in which we find ourselves and
the advantages and drawbacks of various methods for changing it. It examines
the most fundamental tendencies and contradictions of the present society --
what is really going on behind the spectacular surface phenomena that we are
conditioned to perceive as the only reality.

Guy Debord, the self-proclaimed leader of the Situationist International, was certainly responsible for the longevity and high profile of Situationist ideas, although the equation of the SI with Guy Debord would be misleading.
Brilliant but autocratic, Debord helped both unify situationist praxis and destroy its expansion into areas not explicitly in line with his own ideas.

His text "The Society of the Spectacle" remains today one of the great theoretical works on modern-day capital, cultural imperialism, and the role of mediation in social relationships.

You can read it here:
http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/pub_contents/4

...or here:
http://www.bopsecrets.org/images/sos.pdf

Sonntag, 26. Juni 2011

VA - Funeral Songs - Dead Man Blues

"We weep when a child is born into this world.
We sing and dance when the good Lord takes someone home." - Mourmer at a Jazz Funeral

The traditional New Orleans Jazz Funeral is as much a part of New Orleans culture as is traditonal jazz itself. If could almost be said, the jazz grew out of the funeral music of the New Orleans of the late nineteenth century. The roots of the tradition are believed to be hundreds of years old, and to be connected to the culture of the people who occupy the are of West Africa that is now called Benin and Nigeria; this region of Africa was known as the "Slave Coast" to the Europeans of the seventeenth century. The captured people of that area took with them to the New World a sophisticated social structure that included two aspects important to the traditional New Orleans Jazz Funeral. Firstly, societies, often secret, were formed to ensure that their members received a proper burial at the time of death, and secondly, a funeral was seen as a major celebration. With the "Christianisation" of the African-Americans that occured over the ensuing centuries and with the growth of the Baptist and Methodist Churches in particualr, another factor came into play that surely strenghtened this notion of a funeral as a celebration. This was the commonly held belief that a birth, an arrival in the secualr world, was a time for tears, and a death, an end to earthly sorrows, was a time for rejoicing.

So, it would be unusual for a New Orleans inhabitant not to be a member of some organisation or other. On their death, that individuals would be accompanied to their final resting-place by the brass band of the society of which he or she was a member. The traditional New Orleans Funeral had two stages accompanied by music. The first was a procession of mourners journeying slowly to the cemetery accompanied by a brass band playing a slow, mournful dirge or spiritual. This was followed after the burial itself by a lively return from the cemetery to the sound of rousing music. And what better rosing music could there be than that played by a couple of "hot" jazz musicians?

Wonderful compilation with songs by Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Kid Ory, Jelly roll Morton, Clarence Williams, the Eureka Brass Band and many more:

Funeral Songs - Dead Man Blues CD 1
Funeral Songs - Dead Man Blues CD 2

Walter Benjamin - The Work Of Art In The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction (1936)

Walter Benjamin was a German marxist and literary critic.

Born into a prosperous Jewish family, Benjamin studied philosophy in Berlin, Freiburg, Munich, and Bern. He settled in Berlin in 1920 and worked thereafter as a literary critic and translator. His half-hearted pursuit of an academic career was cut short when the University of Frankfurt rejected his brilliant but unconventional doctoral thesis, "The Origin of German Tragic Drama" (1928).
Benjamin eventually settled in Paris after leaving Germany in 1933 after Hitler came to power. He continued to write essays and reviews for literary journals, but when Paris fell to the Nazis in 1940 he fled south with the hope of escaping to the US via Spain.

Informed by the chief of police at the Franco-Spanish border that he would be turned over to the Gestapo, Benjamin committed suicide.
The posthumous publication of Benjamin’s prolific output won him a growing reputation in the later 20th century. The essays containing his philosophical reflections on literature are written in a dense and concentrated style that contains a strong poetic strain. He mixes social criticism and linguistic analysis with historical nostalgia while communicating an underlying sense of pathos and pessimism. The metaphysical quality of his early critical thought gave way to a Marxist inclination in the 1930s.
Benjamin’s pronounced intellectual independence and originality are evident in the extended essay "Goethe’s Elective Affinities" and the essays collected in "Illuminations".
The approach to art of the USSR under Stalin was typified, first, by the persecution of all those who expressed any independent thought, and, second, by the adoption of Socialist Realism - the view that art is dedicated to the "realistic" representation of - simplistic, optimistic - "proletarian values" and proletarian life.
Subsequent Marxist thinking about art has been largely influenced by Walter Benjamin and Georg Lukács however. Both were exponents of Marxist humanism who saw the important contribution of Marxist theory to aesthetics in the analysis of the condition of labour and in the critique of the alienated and "reified" consciousness of man under capitalism.

Benjamin’s collection of essays The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936, just follow the link and enjoy reading...) attempts to describe the changed experience of art in the modern world and sees the rise of Fascism and mass society as the culmination of a process of debasement, whereby art ceases to be a means of instruction and becomes instead a mere gratification, a matter of taste alone.

"Communism responds by politicising art" - that is, by making art into the instrument by which the false consciousness of the mass man is to be overthrown.

Freitag, 24. Juni 2011

Eric Gale - Negril (with Peter Tosh)

Some weeks ago someone asked in the comment section for Eric Gale´s "Negril" - now here it is!

For some reggae connoisseurs this is one of the greatest record you never heard.

Eric Gale was home in Negril wailing on his guitar behind some serious lambs bred. This album was recorded in Jamaica before Eric Gale went back to New York to become one of the most in-demand East Coast session guitarists. The music is laid-back instrumental Reggae.

This album is some of the most musically advanced reggae you can find. The tracks are all sizzling with dancing groove energy that is the perfect mix of soul and reggae. Paints a perfect picture of the beaches of Negril in Jamaica. If you like reggae and James Brown and Marvin Gaye and Phish, you should give this album a try.

Have a look at the list of the involved musicians and you get an idea of the quality:
Eric Gale (Lead Guitar), Peter Tosh (Rhythm Guitar), Richard Tee (Piano), Keith Sterling (Piano), Leslie Butler (Organ & Synthesizer), Cedric "Im" Brooks (Saxophone, Percussion), Val Douglas (Bass Guitar), Aston "Family Man" Barrett (Bass Guitar), Paul Douglas (Drums), Sparrow Martin (Drums), Joe Higgs (Percussion), Isiah "Sticky" Thompson (Percussion).

Eric Gale - Negril (with Peter Tosh)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 19. Juni 2011

VA - Gospel At Newport - Recorded at the Newport Festival 1959 & 1963 - 66 (Vanguard)

The Newport Folk Festival in its 1960s heyday was noted for spotlighting new and old folkies and, to a lesser degree, rediscovered bluesmen. One of the complementary elements to the fest, however, was gospel, with leading lights of the day turning up on the regular program and as part of Sunday morning workshops.

Vanguard Records' 19-song anthology gathers a dozen performers singing songs of praise. Not all the featured artists fall into the strict gospel camp; nonsecular stalwarts including the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Swan Silvertones, and Dorothy Love Coats and the Original Gospel Harmonettes are sequenced alongside the likes of astonishing Bahaman guitarist Joseph Spence, the soulful Staples Singers, and Delta bluesman Son House.The setting has a slight modifying effect on the performers, but as a documentation of the meeting of two very different communities - the older, black, god-fearing performers and a young, white, mostly curious audience - "Gospel at Newport" is hard to beat.

VA - Gospel At Newport (1959, 1963 - 1966)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 18. Juni 2011

Dave Brubeck Quartet - The Last Set At Newport (1971)

"Last Set at Newport" is a short but interesting Brubeck release. Of special note is the extended version of "Take Five," on which Gerry Mulligan reinterprets the sax part into a gritty acid-jazz. The quartet is in full swing in this recording displaying enormous energy to every piece. The three pieces are explored in the solos to a significant length and it is this element that makes this album so appealing.

The Dave Brubeck-Gerry Mulligan quartet is heard in a very inspired performance at the Newport Jazz Festival, just a short time before a riot by the audience closed the festival. These versions of "Take Five" and "Open the Gates" are memorable, but it is the extended "Blues for Newport" that is truly classic. Mulligan and Brubeck (backed by bassist Jack Six and drummer Alan Dawson) constantly challenge each other during this exciting performance, making this set well-worth searching for.

This is not an album for a mellow night at home. Rather it will get your heart pumping.

From the linernotes:
"Dave Brubeck was never shy about coming down hard on his piano keyboard, and this live performance at the 1971 Newport Jazz Festival is perhaps the least subtle of all his recordings. After hearing these tracks and the responsiveness of the crowd, listeners will have no doubt that this is exactly what the occasion called for.
Alan Dawson (drums) and Jack Six (bass) do an excellent job of preserving the Brubeck tradition while contributing to their legendary leader's evolution in the 1970s. And of course, Gerry Mulligan, who set the standard for baritone saxophonists, is a perfect solution to the dilemma of what to do after Paul Desmond. He makes "Take Five" sound like a brand new tune. And check out what Brubeck and Mulligan do in the opener "Blues for Newport." Many times since I acquired the original LP in the early 1970s, I've found myself humming this tune - and stealing licks from it for my own solos.
This is a short program with only three tracks totaling just under 35 minutes, but it's fun to hear how much energy can be generated by an acoustic quartet. It's a must-have for fans of Brubeck and Mulligan."

Tracklist:

1. Introduction - Father Norman O'Connor
2. Blues For Newport
3. Take Five
4. Open The Gates (Out Of The Way Of The People)


Dave Brubeck Quartet - The Last Set At Newport (1971)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Freitag, 17. Juni 2011

Babadi - Resistance (African Reggae)

Babadi is a reggae artist from the Comore Islands who burst on the scene in 1997 with socially conscious lyrics and a staunch defense of modern M'godro (traditional comorian song tradition). His third album "Résistance" made him a permanent figure on the Mahoran scene. His music blends M'godro with an Afro-Mahoran reggae backed by insistent percussion (think central African Kwassa tinted with Mauritian Seggae) and lightened by typical Mahoran lyric melodies.

The songs are engaged, as always, since «Chigoma Ya Léo», his first album which already talks about political hypocrisis, about decolonisation, polygamy and the consequences of rough modernity. His words touch because of its simplicity and provocates the awakening of consciences. His music finds its way between tradition (Chigowa) and modernity (Ya Léo) and in «Résistance», the brasses, voices and percussions invite us to a festive Mgodro who meets the warm rythmes of African Reggae music. Concerning the production, he managed to gather with professionnal partners.

Babadi - Resistance (African Reggae)
(192 kbps, front & back cover included, ca. 92 MB)

Donnerstag, 16. Juni 2011

Dog Faced Hermans - Treat (Live Tape 1989)

The Dog Faced Hermans was a five-piece band whose style could be described as anarcho-punk incorporating folk and noise influences as well as unorthodox instrumentation. Formed in Scotland, they'd relocated at the end of the 80s to Amsterdam and released a superb single, the never-on-album "Time Bomb". Their close association with The Ex resulted in a joint tour of Europe, a tremendous collaborative single called "Stonestamper´s Song" recorded under the name Ex Faced Hermans and the here presented split cassette "Treat (Live 1989)".

Disbanded in 1995, members of the Dog Faced Hermans moved on to other notable projects including the Canadian ensemble Rhythm Activism and Holland's The Ex, with whom they collaborated and were closely affiliated.

Dog Faced Hermans - Treat (Live Tape, 1989)
(mp3, 192 kbps, ca. 61 MB, no covers)

Dienstag, 14. Juni 2011

Rootsman: From The Dubplate Basket Vol. 1

The Rootsman is a musician and DJ based in Bradford, England. After playing in the punk band “State Oppression” he started his first local sound system in 1985 and was a pirate radio activist. Nowadays he is one of the most important neo dub producers and is running the “Third Eye Music” label.

For our great pleasure Rootsman made an absolutely breathtaking free dubplate mix-cd featuring a lot exclusive dubplates. His emphasis is on great tunes, cut with creativity in an unbelievable line up. Alongside the voices of great reggae artist, you will hear dubplates from artists from the Third Eye Music family (D. Bo General, Bongo Chilli, YT, Tony G.).

You will find the download link in the news section on the The Rootsman website or you can download it via
Rootsman - From The Dubplate Basket Vol. 1

Tracklist:
1. ROBERT LEE: BANG BANG
2. MICHAEL BUCKLEY: CRY OF A SOUNDBOY
3. SUGARBLACK: RUB A DUB
4. ANTHONY JOHNSON: OH WHAT A DAY
5. EARL 16: REGGAE ROCK
6. U BROWN: ROOTSMAN SOUND
7. TONY G: IF I EVER
8. SAMMY DREAD: THEY DIDN?T KNOW
9. GYPTIAN: JUDGEMENT NIGHT
10. YT: WICKED ACT
11. D.BO GENERAL: MAMA
12. ECHO MINOTT/HOPETON JAMES: DON´T TEST
13. JOHNNY OSBOURNE: HE CAN SURELY TURN THE TIDE
14. TURBULENCE: ON MY WAY
15. FRISCO KID: REVENGE
16. ROBERT LEE: LIVE GOOD
17. D.BO GENERAL: STRANGE THINGS
18. PHILIP FRASER: COME ROOTSMAN
19. BRAVEHEART: RED EYES
20. EVERTON BLENDER/DETERMINE: TIME LIKE THIS
21. JUNIOR DELGADO: KING OF KINGS
22. D.BO GENERAL: FREEDOM
23. TAFFARI: MORE ROOTSMAN
24. JOHNNY CLARKE: BABYLON
25. BUSHMAN: YADD AWAY HOME
26. BONGO CHILLI: READ YOUR BIBLE
27. LUCIANO: FINAL CALL
28. EARL 16: CHANGING WORLD
29. FRED LOCKS: BLACK STAR LINER
30. JOSEY WALES: SLACKNESS DEAD
31. EARL 16: PRESSURE
32. TURBULENCE: NOTORIOUS
33. LYMIE: LOVE WE MUST HAVE

Big up the Rootsman Soundsystem and D. Bo Gegeral!

Do The Reggay!

A few years ago René Wynands wrote a wonderful book about the ever-changing history of jamaican music from the early days of pocomania to nowadays dancehall dons.

Beacause the book is out of print for a long time, Mr. Wynand gives us all an alternative oportunity to read his work:

You can download the whole text on the following site (pdf-file in german language): http://www.oktober.de/reggae/ .

Montag, 13. Juni 2011

VA - Hot Shots Reggae Chartbusters '71 (1971)


This is a nice compilation with classic reggae cuts, released on Trojan records in 1971.

Tracklist:

Greyhound - Black And White
Jackie Edwards - I Must Go Back
Derrick Harriott - Groovy Situation
Nicky Thomas - Love Of The Common People
Bob & Marcia - Young Gifted And Black
Horace Faith - Black Pearl
Dave Barker & Ansel Collins - Monkey Spanner
Dave Barker & Ansel Collins - Double Barrel
The Maytals - 54-46 Was My Number
Freddie Notes & The Rudies - Montego Bay
James Chambers - Bongo Man
Jimmy London & The Impact All Stars - Shake A Hand
The Pioneers - Let Your Yeah Be Yeah
Bob Andy & Marcia Griffiths - Pied Pipe


VA - Hot Shots Reggae Chartbusters `71 (1971)
(about 200 kbps, front cover included)

Freitag, 10. Juni 2011

The Weavers - The Best Of The Weavers (1959)

The Weavers - comprised of Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Fred Hellerman and Ronnie Gilbert - were the most important group of the folk revival. They helped invent hootenany culture, and charged it with a political urgency. They sang everything: Maoist anthems, civil rights hymns, even children's songs like "If I Had a Hammer."

The Decca recordings are historic but not always indicative of the Weavers art. "Goodnight Irene" ia given more production than suited the quartet's ethos, even if those songs would help change America forever.

The recording career ofthe Weavers falls into two categories: pre-blacklist and post-blacklist. In their pre-blacklist days, they recorded for Decca, and their adaptations of folk songs were backed by orchestras and choruses. Frequently, these songs (notably "Goodnight Irene"), were giant pop hits.

Tracklist:

Side 1:
1. Goodnight Irene
2. Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
3. So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh)
4. Old Paint (Ride Along Little Dogies)
5. Around the Corner (Beneath the Berry Tree)
6. Wimoweh

Side 2:
1. On Top of Old Smokey
2. The Wreck of the John B
3. Midnight Special
4. The Roving Kind
5. Lonesome Traveler
6. When the Saints Go Marching In

The Weavers - The Best Of The Weavers (1959)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 8. Juni 2011

The Abyssinians - Forward On To Zion (1978)

Few groups better captured the heart and soul of roots reggae than the Abyssinians; the vocal trio's heavenly close harmonies, dark melodies, and Rastafarian themes, all delivered with a deep spiritual feeling, were instrumental in defining and refining the genre.

The Abyssinians were formed in 1968 by founding members Donald Manning, Bernard Collins and Linford Manning. It was in 1969 with their release “Satta Massagana” recorded on Coxson Dodd’s Studio One label - a Rastafarian hymn based on the Ethiopian Amharic language, that launched them into the ranks of Reggae music greats. “Satta Massagana” became one of reggae’s most popular songs; becoming an anthem that was heard on the radios, in the dancehalls and in the churches of Jamaica. It was also covered by many other International artists’ including Third World.
"Forward On To Zion" is an alternative title for the "Satta Massagana" album, released in 1978 on the Different labe. It is one of those legendary reggae albums: if you had to pick the five most influential Rasta anthems of the 1970s (and Jah knows there have been few if any since then), the title track of this album would be one of them. So, most likely, would "Declaration of Rights," which has been remade in countless different versions. And the Abyssinians themselves are a fine vocal trio. So enjoy this wonderful album!
The Abyssinians - Forward On To Zion (1978)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 5. Juni 2011

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - Bridges (1977)

Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson, and the Midnight Band take a slightly different approach with their 1977 effort, "Bridges". With less of the gaping and world-infused sound prevalent on previous albums, the songs are more concise and Scott-Heron comes into his own as a singer depending less on his spoken word vocal style.

This album may not be one of his better-known releases (the long out of print LP was slated to make it's CD debut in the fall of 2001), but the excellent songwriting exposes Scott-Heron at the height of his powers as a literary artist. The social, political, cultural, and historical themes are presented in a tight funk meets jazz meets blues meets rock sound that is buoyed by Jackson's characteristic keyboard playing and the Midnight Band's colorful arrangements. Scott-Heron's ability to make the personal universal is evident from the opening track, "Hello Sunday! Hello Road!," all the way through to the gorgeous "95 South (All of the Places We've Been)." The most popular cut on the album, "We Almost Lost Detroit," which shares its title with the John G. Fuller book published in 1975, recounts the story of the nuclear meltdown at the Fermi Atomic Power Plant near Monroe, MI, in 1966. This song was also contributed to the No Nukes concert and album in 1980. Along with the two records that would follow in the late 70s, "Bridges" stands as one of Scott-Heron's most enjoyable and durable albums.

(192 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2011

V/A - Calypso Ladies 1928-1941 (Heritage)

This fine calypso album was released n 1991 on Heritage records.

Tracklist:

Delcina - The Tiger
Señorita Panchita - The Tiger
Carmencita - Lionel Belasco
Nora Darling - The Lion
Peggy Daniels - The Lion
Marian - John «Buddy» Williams
Marian Le'go Me Man - Keskidee Trio
Adeline - Lord Pretender
My Girl Mabel - King Radio
Unfortunate Millie - Wilmoth Houdini
Cecelia - Wilmoth Houdini
Hold Your Hand Madam Khan - Codallo's Top Hatters
Sweet Evalina - Lord Executor
Adelle - Cyril Monrose String Orchestra
Victoria - Cyril Monrose String Orchestra
One Morning - Lord Beginner
Dorothy - The Lion & Atilla the Hun
My Troubles With Dorothy - Lord Executor
Ida, Ida Let Me Know - Codallo's Top Hatters
Ruby Canera - The Caresser
The Diamond Ring for Emaline - The Growler
Marguérite - Gerald Clark
Oh, Emily! - Sam Manning
Emily - The Tiger
Emilia - The Tiger

VA - Calypso Ladies 1928 - 1941
(320 kbps, front cover inlcuded)