Donnerstag, 31. Juli 2014

Harun Farocki is dead - Rest in peace!

Renowned German filmmaker and video artist Harun Farocki died on Wednesday at 70-years-old. Galerie Ropac confirmed the artist’s passing to the German magazine Monopol.The gallery has represented Farocki since 2007.
 
Born in 1944 in present day Czechoslovakia, but what was then part of Germany, the artist make over 90 films during his lifetime. He studied at the German Academy of Film and Television from 1966 to 1968, developing a unique documentary style that was deeply critical of the media and ways in which images have shaped contemporary life and ideology.
 
From 1974 to 1984 Harocki served as the editor of Munich-based film journal Filmkritik. He moved to California during the 1990s where he taught at UC Berkeley. Farocki began greater engagement with the art world in the 2000s. He took part in Documenta 12, presenting Deep Play (2007), which broke down footage from the 2006 World Cup, held in Germany, across 12 monitors.
 
He has enjoyed solo museum shows at Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, New York’s MoMA, Cologne’s Museum Ludwig, and London’s Tate Modern, among others.
Aside from Galerie Ropac, Farocki is represented by Galerie Barbara Weiss in Berlin and Greene Naftali Gallery in New York.
 
Maybe you want to check out some of his films on the wonderful Arsenevich blog.

Sonntag, 27. Juli 2014

Word, Brass & Steel - Same (1976)

The disco group Wood, Brass & Steel recorded a selftitled album for Turbo/All Platinum Records, the label of Sylvia and Joe Robinson, in 1976.

The album spawned a pair of minor hits in the form of "Always There" (a Ronnie Laws cover that did well in the U.K.). Bassist Doug Wimbish and guitarist Skip McDonald played a lot of music together, in clubs and colleges around New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Three years after that, Skip and Doug teamed up with Keith LeBlanc and they became the house band for the Robinsons’ new label, Sugar Hill Records. The trio subsequently played on seminal early rap hits such as The Message and White Lines (Don’t Do It) with Grandmaster Flash.
Later they relocated to the U.K. and formed Tackhead as well as Fats Comet with Adrian Sherwood.   

Tracklist:

Funkanova5:35
My Darling Baby4:00
Theme Song3:00
Working On A Dream3:04
Say What You Want To Say3:37
Same Ol' Me3:25
My Lady3:25
Without You6:30
Welcome To The Party3:30
Always There5:25


Word, Brass & Steel - Same (1976)       
(320 kbps, front cover included)       

Dienstag, 22. Juli 2014

Reneshoua

Jillem, thanks a lot for all your musical gifts, we miss you and your wonderful blog! Hope to see your blog again soon!

The Legendary Sir Lancelot - Calypso of the West Indies and Ballads of the Caribbean


Chances are that unless you're an old movie buff, you've never heard of Sir Lancelot. Beginning in 1940, however, and for the next 16 years until Harry Belafonte came along, he was the most popular calypso singer in the world and a singing star in the United States. Belafonte himself has described Sir Lancelot as a major influence on his own work and career, and as his inspiration.

Born Lancelot Victor Edward Pinard in Cumuto, North Trinidad, the son of a government official, he began singing at the age of six in a one-hour recital. By the time he was finished with high school, his voice had matured into a perfect tenor instrument, but music didn't seem to be available to him as a career choice - rather, his father sent him to New York to study medicine. By sheer chance, he was heard singing and invited to try a two-week engagement at the Village Vanguard, which turned into a year-long booking. In 1941, he went out west to play engagements at colleges in California and Oregon, and following a concert in Los Angeles, Sir Lancelot was contracted to make his first screen appearance, in the Pat O'Brien/Janet Blair vehicle Two Yanks in Trinidad. This appearance, in turn, led to his being booked on tours of Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean.

His first credited film appearance was in the atmospheric Val Lewton chiller "I Walked with a Zombie", where his songs provided ironic commentary on the action of the movie. He later played a dramatic role in Lewton's "The Ghost Ship" and "Curse of the Cat People"; "Eve Knew Her Apples", starring Ann Miller, "To Have and Have Not" with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and "Brute Force" starring Burt Lancaster. He was well-known enough by then to play characters simply known as "Sir Lancelot" in pictures as different as the comedy "Linda Be Good" and "The Unknown Terror".

Sir Lancelot's singing appearances on radio and television, on shows hosted by Ray Anthony, Ed Sullivan, and Dinah Shore (where he sang the praises of sponsors Ford, Elgin watches, Coca-Cola, and Borden's Milk, and often got more fan mail than Shore herself) planted the seeds of the calypso boom that led the way to Belafonte's rise to fame at the end of the '50s. In 1955, he left the United States for an extended tour of Europe and the Middle East, but returned to Hollywood three years later to appear in "The Buccaneer", a big-budget widescreen historical drama starring Yul Brynner and directed by Anthony Quinn. He continued singing and recording, and made occasional television appearances as late as 1968, when he turned up in a non-singing role in an episode of The Andy Griffith Show, and continued to record at least through 1973.

The album "Calypso of the West Indies and Ballads of the Caribbean" is a Caribbean music treasure, 14 songs from Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Barbados, Haiti, Cuba, and Martinique, sung in Sir Lancelot's pleasing, rich tenor voice, in high spirits and boundless joy, backed by everything from a simple guitar to a steel band. Recorded between 1946 and 1973, in surprisingly good sound (only 1946's "Ugly Woman" - track 12 - sounds compressed, transferred off of a 78 rpm disc). The 1958 tracks (tracks 1 - 9, recorded in Hollywood) feature the Mac Niles Caribe Carnival Band, Steel Drummers, and Singers, and the repertory includes the originals "Jump in the Line" and "Tied-Tongue Mopsy," classics like "Run Joe," "Matilda," and "Jamaica Farewell". Amazingly, the 1973 vintage track, "Double Indemnity" (track 10 - as charming and delightful as the movie of that name is dark and depressing), shows Lancelot's voice in astonishingly good shape, and hardly different at all from its 1946 incarnation.

The Legendary Sir Lancelot - Calypso of the West Indies and Ballads of the Caribbean
(192 kbps, no cover art included)

Montag, 21. Juli 2014

Mighty Ryeders - Help Us Spread The Message

A funky treasure from the 70s - a record that hardly made waves at the time, but which has lived on strongly for years - thanks to a great sample history and key interest from generations of groove diggers! Coming on like a black hippie missionary cult (a belief bolstered by the cover photo of the band sitting atop several globes featuring each of the continents), the Ryeders' sole album is chock full of killer creative tracks mixing funk, soul and boogie-disco arrangements.

Image

Mighty Ryeders have a sound that's clearly influenced by Earth Wind & Fire - funk with a good dose of jazz, often done with some righteous undercurrents in the lyrics - but their groove is also a bit more rough-edged too, sharing some funky 45-levels of excitement, and showing a great ear for sharply jazzy changes! This last aspect has really helped the group's sound stay fresh over the years - and the album's a treasure trove of killer cuts - from the famous "Evil Vibrations" (sampled by De La Soul on "A Rollerskating Jam Named Saturday"), right on down through other gems like "The Mighty Ryeders", "Let There Be Peace", "Lovely", "Help Us Spread The Message", "Fly Away With Me", "Sar Children", and "I've Really Got The Feeling".

Mighty Ryeders - Help Us Spread The Message
(192 kbps, small cover included)