Montag, 30. Januar 2017

Mahotella Queens - Township Idols - The Best Of

Mbaqanga, a fusion of rural and urban musical styles that emerged in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s, has no more important or influential exponents than the Mahotella Queens, who have been recording and performing together, with and without male lead singer Simon Nkabinde Mahlathini, for almost 40 years. They have been superstars in their own country for decades, and the European and American markets began to take notice of them as well following the explosive success of Paul Simon's Graceland album in 1986 (on which they did not appear).

This long-overdue best-of collection purports to "cover their entire career," but most of the tracks are not dated and almost all of the material sounds like it was recorded no earlier than 1985. Regardless of its completeness as an overview, though, it offers an excellent sampler of the group's various sounds and styles, from the traditional mbaqanga flavors of "Jive Motella" and "Josefa" to the reggae-influenced "I'm in Love With a Rastaman" and the resolutely forward-looking "Kumnyama Endini" (recorded after Mahlathini's death in 1999). Many tracks feature Mahlathini's trademark "groaning" vocals, but the album's focus is on the women: their sweet and powerful voices, their skillfully composed melodies, and their soaring harmonies. Very strongly recommended.               

Tracklist:

1. Malaika
2. Amabhongo
3. Matsole a Banana (Female Soldiers)
4. Jive Motella
5. I'm in Love With a Rastaman
6. Stop Crime
7. Women of the World
8. I'm Not Your Good Time Girl
9. Ifa Lenkosana [Heir to Wealth]
10. Kumnyama Endlini [It's Dark in the House]
11. Umculo Kawupheli (No End to Music)
12. Zibuyile Nonyaka (Things Have Happened This Time)
13. Uthuli Lwezichwe (Dance Up a Dust Storm)
14. Mbaqanga
15. Thina Siyakhanyisa (Bringing the Lights)
16. Josefa
17. Gazette
18. Senon-Nori (Porcupine!)
19. Sebai- Bai (Spinster)
20. Dilika Town Hall
Mahotella Queens - Township Idols - The Best Of
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 27. Januar 2017

Francesco Lotoro - Shoah - The martyred musicians of the Holocaust

Today Germany is reflecting upon the genocide and atrocities of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime with ceremonies around the country and beyond. Nazi Germany’s Holocaust claimed the lives of more than six million mainly Jewish victims, killed systematically through gas chambers, mass shootings and other brutal methods.
 
Germany has gone through different phases of self-examination in coming to terms with Adolf Hitler’s regime, and it wasn’t until 40 years after the end of the Second World War that Germany named an official day to remember victims of the Nazis’ genocide.
  The 1968 student movement in West Germany during the Cold War played a large part in bringing discussions of the Nazi history to the forefront of debates.

In 1996, German President Roman Herzog - who died earlier this month - first declared January 27th as the official day of remembrance, marking the 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

It was a time of deep reflection for the country, with the official remembrance day declaration preceded the year before - on the 50th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation - by numerous speeches, television documentary specials and reflective newspaper think pieces.

"The darkest and most awful chapter in German history was written at Auschwitz," then Chancellor Helmut Kohl said in 1995. "Above all, Auschwitz symbolizes the racial madness that lay at the heart of National Socialism and the genocide of European Jews, the cold planning and criminal execution of which is without parallel in history."

On that first memorial day, politicians and former concentration camp prisoners laid wreaths at sites across the country, but some members of the Central Council of Jews in Germany criticized the ceremonies as insufficient.

About a decade later in 2005, the United Nations also declared the day as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
 
 
Since 1991, the Italian pianist Francesco Lotor 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, said 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.
 
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.

This album features music of the Czech composers Rudolf Karel, Pavel Haas, Gideon Klein and Viktor Ullmann. They were excellent composers , whose lives and works were cut short by Nazism.

Tracklist:
01. Rudolf Karel - Theme et Variatoions, op. 13
02. - 06. Pavel Haas, Suite, op. 13
07. - 09. Gideon Klein - Sonate pour piano
10. - 12. Viktor Ullmann - Sonate pour piano no. 6 op. 44

Francesco Lotoro - Shoah - The martyred musicians of the Holocaust
(320 kbps, front & back cover included)
 

Donnerstag, 26. Januar 2017

Kurt Weill - Lady In The Dark - The Original 1963 Studio Cast Recording - Recordings by Danny Kaye

With book by Moss Hart, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and music by Kurt Weill, this psychological musical opened on January 23, 1941, to thunderous applause at the Alvin Theatre in New York, and enjoyed a respectable run of 407 performances, in spite of the fact that – like Pal Joey – it broke the traditional mold of Broadway shows at the time.

The story of a stylish fashion magazine editor undergoing psychoanalysis, it starred the radiant Gertrude Lawrence, with Bert Lytell, Macdonald Carey, Victor Mature, and Danny Kaye as the four men of the four dreams that haunt her. The multi-tiered structure, in which each song is part of a particular dream, gave Weill the opportunity to write two of his most memorable compositions, “The Saga Of Jenny” and “My Ship.” Gershwin’s sophisticated lyrics included the tongue-twister “Tschaikovsky,” which would become a runaway hit single for Danny Kaye.

This 1963 studio cast album, starring Risë Stevens, John Reardon, Adolph Green, Stephanie Augustine, Kenneth Bridges, and Roger White, under the musical direction of Lehman Engel, vividly recreates this true masterpiece. It was first released in October, 1963. The reissue also includes five 1941 mono recordings of songs (including Tschaikowsky) sung by Danny Kaye.

Tracklist:
                                                                                               
Glamour Dream
1Oh Fabulous One5:34
2Huxley2:25
3One Life To Live2:32
4Girl Of The Moment2:26

Wedding Dream

5Liza, Liza2:10
6Mapleton High Chorale2:29
7This Is New2:58
8The Princess Of Pure Delight5:33

Circus Dream

9The Greatest Show On Earth5:26
10The Best Years Of His Life2:45
11Tschaikowsky2:26
12The Saga Of Jenny5:54

Childhood Dream

13My Ship3:03

Selected Songs From Lady In The Dark
14One Life To Live2:48
15The Princess Of Pure Delight2:44
16It's Never To Late To Mendelssohn2:23
17Tschaikovsky And Other Russians3:15
18Jenny3:17
19My Ship3:01

Kurt Weill - Lady In The Dark - The Original 1963 Studio Cast Recording - Recordings by Danny Kaye
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Forever More - Words On Black Plastic

"Words on Black Plastic" was the second album by the Scottish Progressive rock group "Forever More" (with some folk shades). Recorded in 1970, it was released as a vinyl album in 1970. The core of the band went on to fame as the Average White Band. The music brings to mind everything from Caravan and Colloseum, to the Band and the Beatles.

"If you have to hunt this down to the ends of the earth, it would be worth your while. It is truly one of the most accomplished and enjoyable albums ever to be lost in the shuffle. Face it, 1970-71 were pretty great years for music (Abbey Road, Layla, The Band, Everybody Know This is Nowhere, Live at Leeds, Led Zep III, All Things Must Pass, Big Star, Electric Warrior, Lola Vs..., John Barleycorn, etc...,the list could go on and on) and a little gem like this gets lost pretty easily with no label support at all (typical of RCA at the time). Also, maybe one of the dumbest covers of all time, it looks like a freaking Mantovani album. I guess it all ended up OK for the band members as Alan Gorrie and Onie McCintyre ended up doing pretty well as the Average White Band (who sound absolutely NOTHING like Forever More) and Mick Travis, who produces folk albums (under his real name, Mick Strode) and who knows where Stuart Francis is now, but happy, I hope. I seriously put these albums up with the best from that time period." - top5jimmy53

This was one of the first albums I bought as a young man, travelling by bike in England. Found this as a cheapo in one of London´s long lost record shops... it looked mysterious for me - and it sounded great, when I first listended to the album some weeks later back in my hometown.

Tracklist:
A1Promises Of Spring4:56
A2The Wrong Person3:30
A3Last Breakfast3:11
A4Get Behind Me Satan5:57
B1Put Your Money On A Pony4:00
B2Lookin' Through The Water3:05
B3O'Brien's Last Stand3:00
B4Angel Of The Lord3:25
B5What A Lovely Day6:02


Forever More - Words On Black Plastic
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Lin Jaldati - Jiddische Lieder (Amiga, 1982)

Lin Jaldati was sent to concentration camps when the Nazis occupied Holland. She didn't speak Yiddish, but learned Yiddish songs from her fellow prisoners. Jaldati survived Auschwitz; being a communist, she came to East Germany to help establish a socialist German state. She married Eberhard Rebling, a German Gentile communist who later became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and started to perform Yiddish songs for a German audience with Rebling accompanying her on piano. Later they were joined by their daughters Katinka and Jalda. Lin Jaldati dedicated her art and her life to communist East Germany. This didn't prevent her from being banned from performing in the late sixties; the hysteria had gone so far that even performing Yiddish songs was interpreted as a pro-Israel statement. For a long time Lin Jaldati, who was highly accepted by what later became the East German Yiddish and klezmer scene, was the only Yiddish performer in East Germany.
 
In the GDR there was no connection to the world centers of Yiddish culture. Israel was seen as an aggressor and song collections, for example from New York, were exchanged among friends but could not be found in any libraries. There were a few recordings by the Leipziger Synagogue choir, mainly religious songs, symphonically arranged. And the well known singer Lin Jaldati: she had survived Auschwitz. Occasionally, official politics made use of her good name. In 1966, she was allowed to release her interpretations of Yiddish resistance and folk songs on one side of a record, and in 1982 an entire record was released. This album, "Jiddische Lieder", with orchestra conducted by Martin Hoffmann, catches her in the last decade of her career. She can be heard intoning, speaking, shouting, and occasionally approximating notes amid the mostly world-weary singing.

Tracklist:
  1. As der Rebe Elimelech
  2. Dem Milners Trern
  3. Nisim fun Rabejim
  4. Hungerik Dajn Ketsele
  5. Rabojsaj
  6. Schwartse Karschelech
  7. In Kamf
  8. Jome, Jome
  9. Schustersche Wajbelech
  10. Ojfn Bojdem
  11. Tsip Tsapekl
  12. A Semerl
  13. Dort bajm Breg fun Weldl
  14. S' brent

(192 kbps)

Mittwoch, 25. Januar 2017

Sylvia Anders - Hanns Eisler - There´s Nothing Quite Like Money (1981)

Sung in English by Sylvia Anders, a German actress and musical comedy star, the recording documents one of the most brilliant (and overlooked) musical and personal collaborations of the twentieth century: that of EISLER & BRECHT.
 
Anyone asked today to name a left-wing German composer who collaborated with BRECHT would surely think first of Kurt Weill. Weill, though, only worked with BRECHT for a short time, and the collaboration didn't really please either man. BRECHT's truer partner - and the truer - radical was HANNS EISLER. (Gregory Sandow). During his lifetime, EISLER (who was one of Schoenberg's favorite pupils) created a massive body of work, but these songs - written to inspire and enlighten a world gone mad with alienation and rampant greed - are his most immediate and successful musical contributions. EISLER's collaboration with BRECHT began in Germany between the World Wars, fueled by their radicalism and by their belief that music should teach optimism and struggle. The two wrote songs on the spur of the moment for workers' rallies and political cabarets: 'If anything new occurred, the first one to telephone me was BRECHT saying, 'We really must do something about that right away.' They continued to work together steadily throughout the 40's in what they called their 'years in exile' in Hollywood - a city that, as the songs document, they both found hatefully corrupt - and finally in East Germany in the 50's where they both settled after EISLER was expelled from the United States for his political beliefs.
 
The seventeen individual songs on this album classify as agitprop; they are political, anti-Nazi, proworker, pacifist, but their stirring sentiments and clear-eyed melodic and rhythmic appeal make them art songs as well. Best are 'The German Miserere,' 'There's Nothing Quite Like Money' (with its biting refrain, 'Money is our aphrodisiac'), 'Song of a German Mother,' 'Easter Sunday,' and the rousing 'Solidarity Song,' which was written in the Thirties and still has resonance today. Also included are the Seven Hollywood Elegies, bitter, nasty miniatures about the corrupt 'paradise' of southern California. German cabaret artist Sylvia Anders has a classically trained voice, which she uses like a surgeon's scalpel to dissect Brecht's lyrics. --Stephany von Buchau, High Notes

Sylvia Anders is a consistently compelling, sensuously and satirically powerful interpreter of both the words and the sinuous musical lines. She is a German actress based in Hamburg but, singing in English, is doubly idiomatic. Among the cheerily bitter titles are: 'The Rat Men,' 'Song of a German Mother' (of a Nazi), and 'The German Miserere.' Because they are so skillfully theatrical, the songs transcend their grim topical origins-especially when sung, as here, with such voracious mockery. --Nat Hentoff, The Progressive
 
(256 kbps, front cover included)
 
 

Die City Preachers - Warum? - Deutsche Protestsongs gegen den Krieg (1966)



The City Preachers were the first folk-rock group in Germany. "Warum?" was their third album, released in 1966 on Philips.

Some "City Preachers" members became later very sucessful in Germany as solo musicians like Udo Lindenberg and Inga Rumpf. They played a mixture of folk and protest songs, spirituals, blues, flamenco and bouzouki. Jewish and Balkan songs, but also early German-language "Protest Songs" were part of their repertoire.

"Warum?" is an album with anti-war protest songs in german language.

Tracklist :
A1 Die Strassen sind so weit 2:28
A2 Der unbekannte Soldat 3:15
A3 Wiegenlied "66" 3:23
 
A4 Vor Sonnenuntergang 3:04
A5 Wo ist das Land? 2:21
B1 Was hast du in der Schule gelernt? 2:42
B2 Strasse der Verzweiflung 2:19
B3 Keiner weiss warum 3:04
B4 Die Hand 2:50
B5 Die Felder von Verdun 3:54
B6 Uns're Welt 2:34


Die City Preachers - Warum? - Deutsche Protestsongs gegen den Krieg (1966)
(~150 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 21. Januar 2017

Atahualpa Yupanqui - Camino Del Indio (1942-1944)


Argentinean folk icon Atahualpa Yupanqui became one of the most valuable treasures for the local culture. As a child living in the small town of Roca, province of Buenos Aires, Héctor Roberto Chavero was seduced by traditional music, especially by the touching sound of the acoustic guitar.
After taking violin lessons, the young man began learning how to play guitar, having musician Bautista Almirón as his teacher. For many years, Atahualpa Yupanqui traveled around his native country, singing folk tunes and working as muleteer, delivering telegrams, and even working as a journalist for a Rosario newspaper.
 
In the late '30s, the artist started recording songs, making his debut as a writer in 1941 with Piedra Sola, later writing a famous novel called Cerro Bajo. In 1949, the singer/songwriter went on tour around Europe for the first time, including performances with France's Edith Piaf. During the following decades Atahualpa Yupanqui achieved an impressive amount of national and international recognition, becoming an essential artist, a distinguished Latin American troubadour, and influencing many prominent musicians and Argentinean folk groups. Atahualpa Yupanqui passed away in France in May, 1992.                

Atahualpa Yupanqui - Camino Del Indio (1942-1944)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Tracklist:

1.: Camino Del Indio 2.: Malambo 3.: Viento Viento 4.: Una Cancion En La Montana 5.: Camino En Los Valles 6.: El Kachorro 7.: Piedra Y Camino 8.: Vidala Del Silencio 9.: Me Voy 10.: Huajra 11.: Carguita De Tola 12.: La Viajerita

Malvina Reynolds - Sings The Truth (1967)

Born Malvina Milder of Jewish socialist immigrant parents in San Francisco, Malvina was refused her diploma by Lowell High School because her parents were opposed to US participation in World War I. She entered UC Berkeley anyway, and received her BA and MA in English. She married William Reynolds, a carpenter and organizer, in 1934 and had one child, Nancy, in 1935. She completed her dissertation and was awarded her Doctorate in 1936. It was the middle of the Depression, she was Jewish, socialist, and a woman. She could not find a job teaching at the college level. She became a social worker and a columnist for the People's World and, when World War II started, an assembly-line worker at a bomb factory. When her father died, she and her husband took over her parents' naval tailor shop in Long Beach, California. There in the late forties she met Earl Robinson, Pete Seeger and other folk singers and songwriters and began writing songs. She returned to Berkeley, and to the University, where she took music theory classes in the early fifties. She gained recognition as a songwriter when Harry Belafonte sang her “Turn Around.” Her songs were recorded by Joan Baez, Judy Collins, The Seekers, Pete Seeger, and the Limeliters, among others. She wrote songs for Women for Peace, the Nestle Boycott, the sit-ins in San Francisco on auto row and at the Sheraton-Palace, the fight against putting a freeway through Golden Gate Park and other causes. She toured Scandinavia, England and Japan. A film biography, Love It Like a Fool, was made a few years before she died in 1978. Ellen Stekert is writing a biography and would like information about Malvina's pre-1945 activities.

How many other musicians made their major-label recording debuts as grandmothers in their mid-sixties, as Malvina Reynolds did on this circa late-1966/early-1967 LP, produced by John Hammond? But those were different times, which saw ridiculously uncommercial, avowedly antiestablishment albums released by the labels of large corporations. And this is certainly an uncommercial record, Reynolds' wavering voice - even the liner notes disclose how "she admitted to one critic that she had a semi-permanent frog in her throat" - backed by plain acoustic guitar-dominated instrumentation, though it sounds like a bass is in the mix at points. As froggy as it is here, though, her voice was in better shape than it would be on her 1970s recordings for the small Cassandra label. And this does give you the chance to hear Reynolds' own versions of her two most famous songs, which were primarily associated with other performers on record - "Little Boxes" (which was a small hit for Pete Seeger) and "What Have They Done to the Rain?" (a hit for the Searchers, and also recorded by Joan Baez, Marianne Faithfull, and the Seekers). Those two compositions, particularly "What Have They Done to the Rain?," are the best songs on the LP, which otherwise ranges from moving and inspirational '60s folk ("I Don't Mind Failing," the melancholy closer "Bitter Rain") to unappealingly didactic folk protest. In part because of that streak of blunt righteousness, and in part because the melodies and singing often aren't that strong, much of this hasn't dated well, even if the spirit of Reynolds' anger and satire - targeting bigotry, suburban conformity, religious fundamentalism, and overdevelopment - remains right-on and commendable in many ways.


Tracklist:

The New Restaurant
What's Goin' On Down There
Little Boxes
Battle of Maxton Field
God Bless the Grass
I Don't Mind Failing
What Have They Done to the Rain?
The Devil's Baptizin
Singing Jesus
The Bloody Neat
Quiet
Love Is Something (Magic Penny)
Bitter Rain

Malvina Reynolds - Sings the Truth (1967)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Freitag, 20. Januar 2017

Pete Seeger - Young vs. Old (1969)


There's no denying Seeger's historical importance to both folk and pop music and on the political front, well, he's been a kind of canary in the coal mine for decades, speaking (and singing) out on any number of vital issues.

At the time that this album was originally released, though, Seeger presented a tough marketing problem for Columbia, partly because of the singer's strong political views and partly for his equally as strong aversion to all things mercantile, and at a time when the urban folk boom was at its peak, Seeger, who by all rights should have been in the front and center of it, was marginalized, as much an embarrassment to Columbia marketing execs as he was an asset. Time heals all wounds, however, or at least time covers them up, and Seeger can now be viewed as what he always was, a gifted live performer, songwriter and song preserver who has more interest in bringing people together for social utility than dividing and provoking them to anger.

On his previous Columbia Records LP, "Pete Seeger Now", recorded and released in 1968, Pete Seeger reflected the desperation felt by left-wing activists in the wake of that tumultuous year, as "the Movement" (a combination of Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War advocates) suffered the successive body blows of the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Robert F. Kennedy; the Chicago police riot during the Democratic National Convention; and the election of pro-war candidate Richard Nixon as president. It was enough to make even a veteran of earlier struggles like Seeger embittered and depressed, and he reacted by writing and singing more radical material, and by turning over half the album to strident African-American performers. A year later, however, he had turned a corner, growing a beard and devoting himself to his handmade sloop the Clearwater, sailing the Hudson River with a new ecology-minded message of cleaning up the waters flowing beside his home of Beacon, NY. That changed focus is not much apparent on his follow-up to "Pete Seeger Now", "Pete Seeger Young Vs. Old", perhaps because the collection seems to be a patchwork of material, some of it dating back a few years. Up front are three live tracks, starting with "Who Knows," a song in which Seeger attempts to escape the anguish of recent events by being philosophical and looking at the big picture, even at the end - and possible reconstitution - of the universe. Meanwhile, however, the Vietnam War goes on, and Seeger responds with the singalong "Bring Them Home," which casts anti-war sentiment as patriotic and defiantly declares, "I may be right, I may be wrong/But I have a right to sing this song!" From there, the album becomes a mixture of studio tracks that range from the humorous and folksy to the serious and pedagogic. The "young vs. old" theme comes up especially late on the disc, in the contrast, between the cheery, if sardonic "Get Up and Go," about old age ("My get up and go has got up and went"), and "Declaration of Independence," a song made up by a child in his bathtub. There's no humor in "All My Children of the Sun," a sort of successor to Seeger's metaphorical anti-war song of 1967, "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy." In this story song, instead of a group of soldiers being led into an ever-deepening swamp by a stubborn officer, a group of downed airmen stubbornly presses on down a river on a raft, ignoring the warning of one of their number who insists - correctly, of course - that they are heading for a waterfall. The story could refer to Vietnam again, but it equally could describe the ecological concerns now consuming Seeger. Either way, it's not as catchy as its predecessor and therefore less effective. By the end, Seeger is covering Joni Mitchell's popular song of disillusionment "Both Sides Now," but he can't help adding his own final verse to make it more optimistic and offer his own sage advice. At age 50, he may have earned the right to lecture his followers, even in a culture he must be painfully aware has become youth-oriented and unwilling to listen to its elders. Maybe that's why he gives the last word to the very young in the joke song "Mayrowana." (No, that's not some word from a lost language; it needs to be thought of phonetically.)            

Tracklist:

1. Who Knows
2. Bring Them Home
3. When I Was Most Beautiful
4. This Old Car
5. Ballad Of The Fort Hood Three
6. Cumberland Mountain Bear Chase
7. Since You’ve Been Apart
8. Lolly Todum
9. My Rainbow Man
10. Poisoning The Students’ Minds
11. All My Children Of The Sun
12. The Good Boy
13. Be Kind To Your Parents
14. Get Up And Go
15. Declaration Of Independence
16. Both Sides Now
17. Mayrowana

Pete Seeger - Young vs. Old (1969)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Malvina Reynolds - Another Country Heard From (1960)

Malvina Reynolds (August 23, 1900 – March 17, 1978) was an American folk/blues singer-songwriter and political activist, best known for her song-writing, particularly the songs "Little Boxes" and "Morningtown Ride."

Malvina Reynolds writes, "Story telling and making rhymes have always been the thing with me.... Some years ago I got a guitar and was up to my neck in the folk songs rediscovered by the great collectors of that time. Pretty soon my verses were emerging with tunes attached."

This album features fifteen of Reynolds' songs.   




Tracklist:
A1The Pied Piper
A2We Hate To See Them Go
A3Let It Be
A4Faucets Are Dripping
A5Don't Talk To Me Of Love
A6Money Blues
A7The Day The Freeway Froze
B1The Delinquent
B2Mommy's Girl
B3Somewhere Between
B4I Live In A City
B5The Little Land
B6Oh Doctor!
B7Sing Along
B8The Miracle


Malvina Reynolds - Another Country Heard From (1960)
(320 kbps, cover art & booklet included)

Gil Scott-Heron - 1971 – Pieces Of A Man

After decades of influencing everyone from jazz musicians to hip-hop stars, "Pieces of a Man" set a standard for vocal artistry and political awareness that few musicians will ever match.

Scott-Heron's unique proto-rap style influenced a generation of hip-hop artists, and nowhere is his style more powerful than on the classic "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Even though the media - the very entity attacked in this song - has used, reused, and recontextualized the song and its title so many times, its message is so strong that it has become almost impossible to co-opt. Musically, the track created a formula that modern hip-hop would follow for years to come: bare-bones arrangements featuring pounding basslines and stripped-down drumbeats. Although the song features plenty of outdated references to everything from Spiro Agnew and Jim Webb to The Beverly Hillbillies, the force of Scott-Heron's well-directed anger makes the song timeless.

More than just a spoken word poet, Scott-Heron was also a uniquely gifted vocalist. On tracks like the reflective "I Think I'll Call It Morning" and the title track, Scott-Heron's voice is complemented perfectly by the soulful keyboards of Brian Jackson. On "Lady Day and John Coltrane," he not only celebrates jazz legends of the past in his words but in his vocal performance, one that is filled with enough soul and innovation to make Coltrane and Billie Holiday nod their heads in approval. Four decades after its release, "Pieces of a Man" is just as - if not more - powerful and influential today as it was the day it was released.

Tracklist:
01. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
02. Save The Children
03. Lady Day and John Coltrane
04. Home Is Where The Hatred Is
05. When You Are Who You Are
06. I Think I’ll Call It Morning
07. Pieces Of Man
08. A Sign Of The Ages
09. Or Down You’ll Fall
10. The Needles Eye
11. The Prisoner

Gil Scott-Heron - Peaces Of A Man (1971)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Thanks a lot to http://rappamelo.com/ for the original upload!

VA - The Disagreement Of The People - A Collection Of Artists Against Criminal InJustice Act

Subtitled "A Collection of Artists Against the Criminal InJustice Act", this compilation finds British musicians banding together to increase awareness of U.K. laws that threaten the people's rights. Julian Cope, Billy Bragg, June Tabor, New Model Army, Jackie Leven, the Pogues and Kitchens of Distinction are just a few of the acts featured.   

From the booklet:

"Here´s the Top 10 you never wanted to see - the top ten human rights that are under threat from the Criminal Justice and Public Order Arct.

- The right to protest.
- The right to be silent.
- The right to travel.
- The right to be free from discrimination.
- The right to respect for your way of life.
- The right to a fair hearing at court.
- The right not to be harassed in the street.
- The right to listen to the music of your choice.
- The right to privacy.
- The right to be different.

All of these rights, in one way or another, are under threat from this new piece of legislation. That´s why so many people have become angry and determined to do something about it. It is why this record has been made. (...)

An early American rebel, Andrew Elliot, said "when Tyranny is abroad, submission is a crime". We mustn´t submit. We´ve got to change that top ten to one of our ownd and build a world which is run according to different human values - equality, justice, respect and tolerance. That´s what this record is all about."             

Tracklist:

  1. Julian Cope: Ain't But the One Way (4.14)
  2. Chumbawamba: Justice / Injustice (3.40)
  3. Andy White: The Guildford Four (3.54)
  4. Ian McNabb: Won't Get Fooled Again (8.31)
  5. The Pogues: The Birmingham Six (2.53)
  6. June Tabor: All Our Trades Are Gone (5.02)
    from Angel Tiger with an additional spoken introduction
  7. Rory McLeod: How Can You Keep on Moving (4.38)
  8. Back to the Planet: Electro Rays Mix (3.43)
  9. Reservoir Frogs: Hobo (3.49)
  10. New Model Army and Joolz: Song to the Men of England (4.29)
  11. The Oysterband: One Green Hill (3.12)
    from Trawler
  12. Detrimental: Babylon (4.05)
  13. Jackie Leven with Mike Scott & Robert Bly: Clay Jug (6.29)
  14. Poisongirls: Stonehenge (2.55)
  15. Kitchens of Distinction: Pastor Niemöller's Lament (Never Again) (4.21)
  16. Credit to the Nation: Come Dancing (Mr. B's Mix) (6.48)
  17. Billy Bragg & Heathens All: This Land Is Your Land (4.34)



VA - The Disagreement Of The People - A Collection Of Artists Against Criminal InJustice Act
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 16. Januar 2017

Force Of Music - Liberated Dub (1979)

South London sound system owner Lloyd Coxsone ably assisted in raising the Royals’ profile in the U.K., eagerly spinning dub plates of the group's "Ten Years After" album. The attention helped Royals' frontman/producer Roy Cousins land a deal with United Artists, whose Ballistic imprint eventually picked up both that vocal set and "Israel Be Wise", as well as "Freedom Fighters Dub" (a set Cousins dedicated to Coxsone in gratitude) and "Liberated Dub".

The latter set was Israel's counterpart, and what it lacked in imagination for track titles (did someone leave a map of Kingston and its environs on the mixing desk?), was more than made up for the music within. Israel was produced by Cousins himself, with the riddims laid down at Channel One studio by the Revolutionaries and the Roots Radics, and mixed down by Ernest Hoo Kim. Even the brightest and most upbeat riddims swiftly take on a more militant stripe in Hoo Kim's hands, as "Marvely" and "Bell Rock" notably illustrate, while particularly pretty ones are stripped of most of their melodies to let the martial beats burst through, as on "Waterhouse" and "Bell Rock." Riddims that were smothered in roots to begin with, as "Israel Be Wise" itself and "If You Want Good" were, are now doused in deep dub, transforming them into the incendiary "Moonlight City" and "Cockburn Pen" respectively. The vocal album was superb, invariably Hoo Kim's counterpart was even more sensational. Another stunning dub set from a master of rockers at his most militant.                

"Life Hard! And The Music Harder!"
Tracklist:
A1Moonlight City
A2Baktu
A3Waterhouse
A4Marverly
A5Riverton City
B1Cockburn Pen
B2Bell Rock
B3Whitewing Walk
B4Tower Hill
B5Central Village

Force Of Music - Liberated Dub (1979)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 15. Januar 2017

Ihre Kinder - Leere Hände (1970)

Nuremberg's most valuable contribution to the polit-rock scene was the group Ihre Kinder. In the mid-sixties the pop band Jonah & The Whales was assembled, consisting of Roland Multhaupt (drums), Sonny Hennig (vocals), Thommy Roder (bass), Ernst Schultz (guitar) and Georgie Meyer (violin). In 1966, they recorded a cover version of "It Ain't Me Babe" for a single on Vogue (DVS 14511). This proved to be an ill-fated one-off attempt, and the group disbanded. However, in 1968, Jonas Porst and Sonny Hennig decided to form a new group with Muck Groh (guitar), Karl Mack (bass), Peter Schmidt (drums) and Georgie Meyer (flute, vocals). Ihre Kinder was to be a politically aware band using German lyrics. Porst's dad was quite a rich man, who was able to support the forthcoming activities. Porst himself soon gave up the drumming and became Ihre Kinder's producer and manager. Several demo tapes were recorded but no record companies were interested. In July - August 1969 an album was recorded at the Dierks Studio at the band's own risk; and was eventually released by Phillips. Mack had now been replaced by Walti Schneider (bass). A female vocalist, Judith Brigger, also took part in this project. The album admittedly sounds quite dated today, featuring 12 short and easy-going folk-pop songs. Still it must be honoured as it is one of the first records of 'Deutschrock' with German lyrics.

The second album "Leere Hande" (1970) was a great improvement, their first true folk-rock album. The arrangements here were more varied with more use of organ, flute and electric guitars. The band had also absorbed some progressive touches from groups like Traffic and Jethro Tull. The 11 songs themselves were more memorable than those on the previous album. Some of them were written by Ernst Schultz (guitar, flute, vocals), now added as Ihre Kinder's sixth member, the rest came from Sonny Hennig. "Leere Hande" was recorded during January and February 1970 in Union Studio, Munich, with Thomas Klemt engineering. It was the first release on the Kuckuck label, generously enclosing a lyrics insert and a large poster.

Tracklist:
01. Würfelspiel
02. Ich kann Dir nichts geben
03. Südafrika Apartheid Express
04. Straße ohne Ziel
05. Das Paradies muss auf Erden sein
06. Leere Hände
07. Hilf mir
08. Das wird ein Tag sein
09. Nimm deine Liebe
10. Pedro oder Pfau
11. Nie vergeß ich wie es war

Ihre Kinder - Leere Hände (1970)
(320 kbps, front cover inlcuded)

Antoni und Schall - Bertolt Brecht gesungen von Antoni und Schall


Johanna Schall, the granddaughter of Bert Brecht, and Carmen-Maja Antoni are famous for her work on theater stages and in films. Besides that they did outstanding interpretations of Bertolt Brecht´s work.
This album presents a selection of ballads, songs and poems by Brecht, interpreted by Johanna Schall and Carmen-Maja Antoni, accompanied by Karl-Heinz Nehring from the Berliner Ensemble on piano.


Tracks:

1 Der große Bert Brecht
2 Die Zuhälterballade
3 Sehet die Jungfrau
4 Der Barbara-Song
5 Die Seeräuber-Jenny
6 Und das Lächeln, das mir galt
7 Das Eifersuchtsduett
8 Der Kanonen-Song
9 Jetzt ist alles Gras aufgefressen
10 Paragraph 1
11 Paragraph 111
12 Ballade zum § 218
13 Mein Sohn, was immer auch aus dir werde
14 Auch der Himmel bricht manchmal ein, indem Sterne auf die Erde fallen
15 Das Lied vom SA-Mann
16 Ballade von der "Judenhure" Marie Sanders
17 Kälbermarsch
18 Die protestiert haben sind erschlagen worden
19 Vom kriegerischen Lehrer
20 Vom Kind, das sich nicht waschen wollte
21 Kleines Lied
22 Ihre Worte waren bitter
23 In dem zarten Alter
24 Mutter Beimelein hat ein Holzbein
25 Mit den Gesetzestafeln
26 Nannas Lied
27 Allem, was du empfindest, gib die kleinste Größe
28 Ballade von der Höllenlili
29 Der Song von Mandeley
30 Als ich einst im Flügelkleide in den Himmel gangen bin
31 Über die Verführung von Engeln
32 Ich habe gehört, daß man vom Leben einen dicken hals kriegt
33 Gegen Verführung
34 Ach, nur der flüchtige Blick
35 Sieben Rosen hat der Strauch
36 Das Lied vom kleinen Wind
37 Erinnerung an Marie K.
38 Ballade von der Hanna Cash
39 Und ich dachte immer: die allereinfachsten Worte müssen genügen
40 Ballade von den Seeräubern
41 Das Lied von Surabaya-Johnny
42 Der Lernende
43 Denn wie man sich bettet
 
Antoni und Schall - Bertolt Brecht gesungen von Antoni und Schall
(192 kbps)

Freitag, 13. Januar 2017

Raincoats - Odyshape (1981)

It was the late Kurt Cobain (with some help from labelmates Sonic Youth) who initiated Geffen's reissue of the Raincoats' catalog. And listening to "Odyshape", it's easy to see why Cobain loved them so. There's an emotional directness about these songs that hooks you from the start. Mostly you hear about emotions and situations, sometimes indirectly, almost as if you are eavesdropping on a conversation. Then it hits you: it's almost like you're talking to old friends. That's the way the Raincoats' music works: it's deceptively simple, but extremely complicated. Also, as on this record, it makes demands of the listener. But songs like "Red Shoes" and "Dancing in My Head" say this far more eloquently. 

"Despite living in an era when almost all music is available on tap, the Raincoats' 1981 post-punk classic still feels like a self-contained secret. It's telling that Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon was brought in to provide sleeve notes but doesn't say a single word about the record, and no demos, outtakes, or other ephemera are included." - pitchfork.com


Tracklist:

  1. "Shouting Out Loud" (The Raincoats, Ingrid Weiss) - 4:54
  2. "Family Treet" (The Raincoats, Caroline Scott) - 4:12
  3. "Only Loved at Night" - 3:32
  4. "Dancing in My Head" - 5:26
  5. "Odyshape" (The Raincoats, Ingrid Weiss) - 3:37
  6. "And Then It's O.K." (The Raincoats, lyrics: Caroline Scott) - 3:05
  7. "Baby Song" - 4:54
  8. "Red Shoes" - 2:51
  9. "Go Away" - 2:23
    
Raincoats - Odyshape (1981)
(256 kbps, cover art included)         

Donnerstag, 12. Januar 2017

Matching Mole - Smoke Signals (1972)

"Recorded at various European performances from the spring of 1972, this is a substantial addition to the catalog of a band that only put out two studio albums. The sound is good, and the performances almost wholly instrumental art jazz-rock, not far removed from those heard in the early 1970s by the Soft Machine, drummer/singer Robert Wyatt's previous band. It's electric pianist Bill McRae who wrote most of the material on this disc, and it's the sort of cerebral, intricate, serious fusion-y stuff that might appeal as much, or more, to jazzheads as to prog rockers. Wyatt goes off into some wordless scats at one point, but these aren't conventional rock-songs-with-lyrics at all. There is an admirable variety of textures with some distortion and buzzing, cooked up by McRae and guitarist Phil Miller, but it doesn't boast very accessible melodic ideas, preferring to furrow into angular and at times ominous progressions. The eerie, electronically treated vocal scatting on Wyatt's mischievously titled "Instant Pussy" is a highlight. Five of the nine songs, incidentally, do not appear on the band's studio albums." - allmusic.com         

'Smoke Signals' was recorded in spring 1972 during an European tour mainly in Belgium and France. As these tapes were not planned for release the sound quality is just acceptable. A good idea so to re-create the original track order of the concerts with different sources.
'Smoke Signals' is an interesting document, because 'Matching Mole' just elaborated from a backing band for Robert Wyatt,(more or less imposed by CBS) and who had only played on one half of the first record to a real band. Most tracks appearing here were written by Dave Mc Rae and Phil Miller and would be recorded later for 'The Little Red Record'. Dave Sinclair who started the tournee with the band had left and was replaced by keyboarder Dave Mc Rae who had already guested on the first record and brought with him some fine tunes like 'March Ides' and 'Smoke Signal' presented here for the first time in a rough version. After a band introduction by Robert the band launches into 'March Ides'.The theme is played by Phil Miller, who is soloing then over an ostinato bass line, followed by a drum solo. The second theme is 'Smoke Signal' (here re-named 'Smoke Rings), maybe the most beautiful 'Matching Mole' theme by Dave Mc Rae. The theme is then followed by a longer improvisation until the re-exposure. The next theme 'Nan's True Hole' was written by Phil Miller, who plays an repeated riff over which Dave Mc Rae plays an improvisation followed by another drum solo. 'Brandy As In Benji' follows the same structure of expostion solo, followed by a heavily distorted e-piano solo, that launches again into the 'March Ides' theme, followed by 'Instant Pussy' the only Robert Wyatt composition from the first record, with treated vocals by Robert and an e-piano improvisation.The 'Smoke Signal' appears again, followed by another improvisation and a bass solo and finally the band launches into 'Lything and gracing' a Phil Miller composition, that would appear only as a Hatfield leftover on 'Afters'. A part from the fact, that the sound is not brillant the tapes miss the 'funny' side of the band and especially the Robert Wyatt lyrics, leaving a jazz rock outfit, that improvises mainly over an ostinato bass line and sometimes in a not very inspired way as on 'Lything and Gracing' which is utterly boring.Still an interesting document in the history of Matching Mole, but not recommended as a starter. - progarchives.com

Tracklist:

1Intro0:44
2March Ides I4:22
3Smoke Rings7:51
4Nan True's Hole6:00
5Brandy As In Benj4:22
6Electric Piano Solo1:11
7March Ides II4:56
8Instant Pussy2:51
9Smoke Signal6:55
10Lything & Gracing11:48


Matching Mole - Smoke Signals (1972)
(ca. 224 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 10. Januar 2017

The Kingston Trio - Make Way (1961)

The Kingston Trio's ninth album, and the next to last original LP featuring Dave Guard in the lineup, "Make Way" is a beautiful if relatively low-key selection of a dozen songs, mostly traditional tunes adapted by the group.

"Utawena" is a great vocal showcase for Nick Reynolds (and also features Mongo Santamaria and Willie "Bobo" Colon on percussion), who also adapted the subdued, hauntingly lovely "The River Is Wide." "Speckled Roan" is a particularly effective Dave Guard-featured track authored by Jane Bowers, on which the soon to be departed Guard not only turns in one of his most beautifully expressive vocals but delivers a gorgeous guitar duet with David "Buck" Wheat. "Blow the Candle Out" was Bob Shane's major featured number, a quietly elegant performance with a gorgeous melody and some of the most restrained playing in the history of the original trio. The ensemble singing on "Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies" is among their best collective vocal performances, made all the more beautiful by Wheat's elegant guitar accompaniment. The liveliest songs were confined to the wrong places on the album, on the second side and away from the leadoff position, including their version of Antonio Fernandez's "En el Agua (Maria Christina)," the drinking song "Jug of Punch," and "Bonnie Hielan' Laddie," with "Blue Eyed Gal" closing out the album, which reached number two on the charts despite its having no single A-side on it.

Tracklist:

Side one:
  1. "En El Agua" (Antonio Fernandez)
  2. "Come All You Fair and Tender Ladies" (Traditional, Dave Guard, Gretchen Guard)
  3. "A Jug of Punch" (Ewan MacColl, Francis McPeake)
  4. "Bonny Hielan' Laddie" (Dave Guard, Joe Hickerson)
  5. "Utawena" (Nick Reynolds, Adam Yagodka)
  6. "Hard Travelin'" (Woody Guthrie)
Side two:
  1. "Hangman" (Traditional, Nick Reynolds, Adam Yagodka)
  2. "Speckled Roan" (Jane Bowers)
  3. "The River is Wide" (Traditional, Reynolds)
  4. "Oh, Yes, Oh" (Traditional, Guard, Guard)
  5. "Blow the Candle Out" (Tom Drake, Bob Shane)
  6. "Blue Eyed Gal" (Drake, Shane, Miriam Stafford)

The Kingston Trio - Make Way (1961)
(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)

             

Montag, 9. Januar 2017

Ton Steine Scherben - Auswahl I - Happy Birthday to Rio Reiser!

Today is the 67th birthday of Rio Reiser!

Rio Reiser (9 January 1950 – 20 August 1996), was a German rock musician and singer of rock group Ton Steine Scherben. He was born Ralph Christian Möbius in Berlin and died at the age of 46 in Fresenhagen, Germany. Rio Reiser supported squatting in the early 1970s and later the green political party Die Grünen. After German reunification, he joined the Party of Democratic Socialism.

While he still went to school, Reiser became singer in his first rock band The Beat Kings. The band had been founded by R.P.S. Lanrue (real name Ralph Peter Steitz), a boy living in the neighbourhood, who had heard of Reiser's singing talents and had asked him to join the band after letting Reiser perform a few songs to give a sample (as R.P.S. Lanrue later claimed in an interview, the Rolling Stones song "Play with fire" tipped the balance). Lanrue, who was of the same age as Reiser, soon became Reiser's closest friend and musical counterpart who went on to support Reiser as musician and lived with him most of the time until his death.

After having quit school, Reiser left his then hometown, as well as The Beat Kings, to follow his two older brothers' call to Berlin in order to compose the music for their common project, the first Beat-Opera, which turned out to be, in the words of Rio, an "absolute flop". Nevertheless, Reiser stayed in Berlin, where he was later joined by Lanrue.

After occasionally having toured the countryside with the theatre group "Hoffmans Comic Theater" (consisting in Reiser, his brothers and a group of friends), Reiser went on to continue theatrical projects in Berlin where he joined an improvisation theatre group which played scenes from the everyday life of pupils and trainees, thus adopting and reflecting the social problems among young people in West Berlin in the Sixties, as well as its tense and sense of imminent social change. The theatre was very successful with young people and toured through Germany until 1969. The involvement in the context of the student and youth movement—not only as musician and actor, but often in the political debates which were to follow the theatre performance as well, played an important role for Rio Reiser's development of political awareness and for his lifelong commitment—both privately and as musician—to liberation movements of various kinds, including, in particular, the left-wing political movement characteristic for the Sixties and Seventies (while he liked to put an emphasis on supporting the workers' and "simple people's" interests rather than the students' intellectual approach), the Gay liberation movement and later, the German ecological movement. His musical work to a large extent reflects these political influences and convictions and thus can hardly be detached from his political positions.

In 1970, Reiser recorded his first single with the band Ton Steine Scherben. The band name was chosen in a lengthy democratic decision procedure among the members, friends and supporters of the band. The original name idea was actually "VEB Ton Steine Scherben", but the "VEB" was soon dropped. The band name can be translated both as "clay stones shards" and as "sound stones shards", thus offering different approaches to interpretation (sometimes also understood as a political program) and, last not least, making reference to Reiser's favorites The Rolling Stones. In that same year the group performed their first public concert and recorded their first full-length record.
The band soon became very popular with the squatter scene, left-wing student and workers' movement and was invited to numerous political events to provide the soundtrack to demonstrations, parties and rallies across Germany which often inspired the audience to translate the message into action afterwards. Thus, many buildings were seized after the end of a concert, and the band often ended up sitting in some commune discussing the political agenda with their hosts. Reiser later revealed in his autobiography that he sometimes would have preferred to just get away with some nice person.
 
Fifteen years of touring, four more LPs and various film projects and collaborations with other musicians followed, including the recording of two children's records. Reiser lived together with the band and a large group of friends and supporters most of that time, first sharing a commune in Berlin. In 1975—after the band was tiring of the numerous demands and expectations by all kinds of political groups—the group settled down on a farm in Fresenhagen in North Germany which continued to be Reiser's refuge and place of inspiration even after moving back to Berlin a couple of years later. One of the band's most important and ambitious albums, the "Black Album", was recorded there.

Ton Steine Scherben were musically very successful and, being one of the first rock bands in Germany which actually wrote and performed German rock songs, opened the door for countless successful German rock and pop bands to follow. Due to their refusal to adapt to the demands of the mainstream music business, as well as to financial mismanagement, a certain "outlawish" image in the eyes of the large radio and TV stations and a fan community which often forgot that the band had to make a living out of the music and would have despised any commercial ambitions, they were not able to translate their musical success and widespread popularity into financial stability.



"Auswahl I" was a compilation featuring some classic Ton Steine Scherben songs, released on their David Volksmund Produktion-label. The track "Keine Macht für niemand" was re-recorded for this 1981 compilation, the other tracks are original versions.

Tracklist:

A1Warum Geht Es Mir So Dreckig5:04
A2Mein Name Ist Mensch6:27
A3Rauch Haus Song3:35
A4Macht Kaputt Was Euch Kaputt Macht3:39
A5Wir Streiken3:53
B1Wenn Die Nacht Am Tiefsten ...3:30
B2Halt Dich An Deiner Liebe Fest6:00
B3Kribbel Krabbel3:48
B4Guten Morgen4:00
B5Keine Macht Für Niemand4:35

Ton Steine Scherben - Auswahl I - 1970 - 1981
(192 kbps, cover art included)