Donnerstag, 23. März 2017

Lee Perry Presents Megaton Dub Vol. 1

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Certainly eccentric, Lee "Scratch" Perry is reggae's most influential producer, with a career that spans the entire history of the music.
He started at Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label, first as a talent scout, then as producer. Moving on to other labels, he recorded hit after hit for Jamaican artists, assembling the original Wailers and producing their earliest — some say best — tracks.

Perry has also done extensive solo work, composing, arranging and singing his own records. With the help of a studio band, the Upsetters (named for one of his aliases), Perry has forged a dub reggae style that's idiosyncratic and revolutionary — full of shifting, echoey rhythms and weird sound effects. His characteristic sound is unique — extended grooves layered like fog, with odd vocals and percussion shimmering in the dense mist.

This hard-to-find album collects 10 tracks of pure Scratch dub: Sometimes odd, sometimes wonderful and crucial.

Tracklist:
Dem No Know Dub
Conscious Man Dub
Such Is Dub
Corn Picker Dub
Rasta Dub
Freedom Dub
Megaton Dub
Dreamer Dub
School Girl Dub
Simon The Sorcerer

Lee Perry Presents Megaton Dub Vol. 1
(192 kbps)

Sonntag, 19. März 2017

James Booker - Junco Partner (1976)

This solo disc by arguably the most brilliant of New Orleans' resplendent pianists shows off all the edge and genius he possessed. There may be moments on other discs of slightly more inspired playing (and this is arguable), but for a whole disc this one stands far from the crowd. You can hear some of the most awe-inspiring playing here that reflects the extremely broad background that he could, and did, draw from.

You can hear his classical training and the brilliance of his interpretive skills in "Black Minute Waltz." He follows this with a version of Leadbelly's "Good Night Irene," which shows off his raucous bordello style of playing and voice. The disc goes on showing off the eclectic variety of influences that make up this man's music.

This disc also displays the man's prodigious composing and arranging talents. Though he was regarded as eccentric and crazy, even by New Orleans' accepting standards (he was a flamboyant, black substance abuser, and a homosexual, who spent time both in Angola State Prison and a mental institution), he was considered a musical genius and thus given a certain amount of leeway.

An absolute must if you like New Orleans music.      


Tracklist:

01. Black Minute Waltz
02. Good Night Irene
03. Pixie
04. On The Sunny Side of the Street
05. Make a Better World
06. Junco Partner
07. Put Out the Lights
08. Medley
09. Pop´s Dilemma
10. I´ll Be Seeing You

 
James Booker - Junco Partner (1976)     
(256 kbps, cover art included) 

Samstag, 18. März 2017

Mark Stewart - Jerusalem (On-U Sound, 1982, vinyl rip)

Originally posted in October 2010:

Tomorrow I will visit a screening of the documentary “On/Off: Mark Stewart from Pop Group to Maffia” with Mark as a special guest.

The film retraces Mark Stewart’s steps and paths from the early days of The Pop Group right up to the present. Director Toni Schifer followed the singer around for a full two years and the result is said to be a crafted and detailed, often intimate portrait of the artist, supplemented by interviews with Mark Stewart himself, Adrian Sherwood (On-U Sound), Daniel Miller (Mute), Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Doug Wimbish, Skip McDonald, Keith LeBlanc, Gareth Sager (The Pop Group, Rip Rig and Panic) and many others, plus live recordings and music clips.

Celebrating this very special event we will post some of Mark Stewarts recordings, starting with a vinyl rip of the On-U Sound single "Jerusalem" from 1982.



Mark Stewart - Jerusalem (On-U Sound, 1982, vinyl rip)(320 kbps, front cover included)

VA - Gypsy Knights - Les Grandes Figures Du Jazz Manouche

Jazz manouche, or "traveler jazz", melds elements of traditional Roma (gypsy) music with early swing; this impassioned, rousing music relies mostly on the percussive playing of stringed instruments like the guitar and violin, sans drums. The uncontested master of the art form remains Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt, who joined with jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli in the 1930s to form the all-string Quintette de Hot Club de France, thus introducing jazz manouche to the world. Occasionally a jazz manouche band will use a horn player—American jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins played with Django when they toured Europe, and Django shared the bill with Duke Ellington's big band at Carnegie Hall in the 1940s. Such trans-Atlantic exchanges brought Django's musical leverage to the U.S.; American guitarists from Jimi Hendrix to Willie Nelson have cited Django's playing as a formative influence.

Paris-based record company Le Chant du Monde, which specializes in world music, offers a new releases that celebrate the legacy of Django Reinhardt: Gypsy Knights: Les Grandes Figures du Jazz Manouche is a compilation of songs by the greats among Django's disciples and includes three performances by the master himself. The CD explores the full range of jazz manouche expression, from Django and Grappelli on the classic "Djangology, to the moody tango "Davïdo of guitarist Mandino Reinhardt (Django's cousin), to the contemporary swing sound of guitarist Dorado Schmitt's "Balladorado, one of only two ballads on the disc. The CD isn't limited to gypsy guitar: Florin Niculescu turns out a formidable "Lady Is A Tramp" on the violin and accordionists Marcel Loeffler and David Rivière evoke a jazz-age musette on "Pont de Venise" and "A Saint Ouen", respectively. Rivière also performs with the well-known manouche group Les Pommes de Ma Douche on the blues tune "Saint Pierre Blues" and the spry "Fleure Bleue". Also of note: appearances by celebrated gypsy guitarists Angelo Debarre and Biréli Lagrène. - allaboutjazz.com

Tracklist:

       1. Djangologie - Django Reinhardt
2. Antsela - Tchavolo Schmitt
3. Entre Amis - Angelo Debarre, Ludovic Beler
4. B.L. - Biréli Lagrène
5. Choukar Gaiga - Mandino Reinhardt
6. Sinti Rhapsodie - Dorado Schmitt, Pierre Blanchard
7. Lady Is A Tramp - Florin Niculescu
8. Pont De Venise - Marcel Loeffler
9. Saint Pierre Blues - Les Pommes De Ma Douche
10. Swing 42 - Django Reinhardt
11. Valse A Dora - Tchavolo Schmitt
12. Come Into My Swing - Angelo Debarre, Ludovic Beler
13. Bireli Hi Gogoro - Biréli Lagrène
14. Davido - Mandino Reinhardt
15. Balladorado - Dorado Schmitt, Pierre Blanchard
16. Romantique Voyage - Raphael Fays
17. Fleur Bleue - Les Pommes De Ma Douche
18. A Saint Ouen - David Rivière
19. Valse A Tchavolo - Angelo Debarre, Tchavolo Schmitt
20. Blues Clair - Django Reinhardt

VA - Gypsy Knights - Les Grandes Figures Du Jazz Manouche
(256 kbps, small cover art included)

Freitag, 17. März 2017

VA - Original Jamaican Soundsystem Style - 21 R'n'B Scorchers


It'll take a while to explain this record to your friends, but what a concept. To be brief, Jamaican sound systems were once hungry for music (hard to imagine since rocksteady and reggae records would soon be issued as fast as newspapers), so the DJs turned to the world of American R&B.

"Original Jamaican Sound System Style" features many of the American tunes Jamaican DJs were spinning in the '50s, and it's evidence that they had excellent taste. The liner notes are fantastic, and you can't even pretend that every song on here isn't anything but jaunty and rollicking Friday night fish-fry fun. But don't forget that the sound systems overdrove these tracks through monolithic but cheap speakers; they mixed the tracks in with their own Jamaican R&B, and entranced audiences with shouts of babble. To hear it would be amazing but the ultraclean digital remasters here only hint at the experience. It's unfortunate that no one dug up a tape of the real deal, but this is evidence that someone should try.

Tracklist:
       1. Safronia B - Calvin Boze
2. Monkey Speaks His Mind - Dave Bartholomew
3. Live It Up - Ernie Freeman
4. Let's Make A Whole Lot Of Love - Dodgers
5. I'm Gone - Shirley & Lee
6. I'm In The Mood For Love - Fats Domino
7. Little Bitty Pretty One - Thurston Harris
8. Tears On My Pillow - Little Anthony & The Imperials
9. Strator-Cruiser - Joe Lutchers
10. Secretly - Jimmie Rodgers
11. Someone Like You - Faye Adams
12. It's Over - James 'SugarBoy' Crawford
13. The Vow - Gene & Eunice
14. If You Don't Want Me Baby - Ray Johnson
15. Blue Moon - Lynn Hope
16. One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer -Amos Milburn
17. Waiting & Drinking - Calvin Boze
18. One Night - Smiley Lewis
19. Be My Guest - Fats Domino
20. 3 x 7 = 21 - Jewel King
21. Return To Me - Ernie Freeman

VA - Original Jamaican Soundsystem Style - 21 R´n´B Scorchers
(192 kbps, cover art included)
                

Donnerstag, 16. März 2017

Leadbelly - Bourgeois Blues - Lead Belly Legacy Vol. 2

This is volume 2 of a projected 3-volume set of Lead Belly's performances recorded by Moses Asch during the 1940s. The original masters now reside in the Folkways Archive at the Smithsonian Institution.
Completely remastered from the best sources in our collections, this recording contains the highest sound quality possible. The liner notes contain extensive annotation and reflections on Lead Belly's music as you've never heard it before. Compiled and annotated by Jeff Place. "The soul expressed is full-fledged and sublime." — New England Folk Almanac

Tracklist:

Fannin Street3:01
Bourgeois Blues2:17
Easy Rider2:50
Alabama Bound2:16
Don't You Love Your Daddy No More?3:01
Gallis Pole2:44
Leavin' Blues1:29
Midnight Special2:01
T.B. Blues3:42
Linin' Track1:14
Julie Ann Johnson0:40
John Henry2:24
Jim Crow Blues3:29
Jim Crow #22:42
Good Morning Blues #22:08
Abraham Lincoln3:10
Army Life1:46
Hitler Song4:32
Careless Love2:56
Haul Away Joe2:48
How Do You Know?/Don't Mind The Weather2:17
Skip To My Lou2:10
Red Bird2:54
Out On The Western Plains1:30
Cowboy Song1:43
You Can't Mistreat Me3:13
Diggin' My Potatoes2:33
John Hardy2:42


Leadbelly - Bourgeois Blues - Lead Belly Legacy Vol. 2
(192 kbps, cover art included)


Opal - Happy Nightmare Baby (1987)

The neo-psychedelic group Opal formed in the mid-'80s, featuring former Rain Parade guitarist David Roback and former Dream Syndicate bassist Kendra Smith. Initially, the group was called Clay Allison, but the group dropped the name after one single; Roback, Smith, and drummer Keith Mitchell released the remaining Clay Allison tracks under their own name in 1984 on the "Fell From the Sun" EP. After its release, the group adopted the name Opal and released an EP, "Northern Line", in 1985.

"Happy Nightmare Baby", their first full-length album, followed in 1987. Smith left the group during the "Happy Nightmare" tour, effectively putting an end to the band. Roback continued with vocalist Hope Sandoval; the group then metamorphosed into Mazzy Star.

At once drowsy, psychedelic, entrancing, and possessed of a sinuous spark, "Happy Nightmare Baby" may have been Opal's only album but deserves more attention than merely being a blueprint for Roback's later work in Mazzy Star. For one thing, Opal was very much its own band, with Kendra Smith's particular lyrical visions of mystic power and universe-scaling dreams and nightmares its own entity. As is her singing, though she's got less of Hope Sandoval's wistful drift and more focused control - check out the brief "A Falling Star," where the comparatively stripped-down arrangement places her singing in the foreground, notably without much in the way of echo. Roback's playing certainly won't surprise anyone per se who backtracks to this group from albums like "She Hangs Brightly", and the atmosphere of textured, moody power is evident right from the start with the wonderful early T. Rex tribute, "Rocket Machine." The compressed string swirl and steady stomp is pure Marc Bolan-via-Tony Visconti, though Smith avoids Bolan's style of warble for her own cool, something also quite evident on the slow-groove stomp of the great "She's a Diamond" and the concluding "Soul Giver." Meanwhile, other familiar elements Roback would later use are present aplenty - very Ray Manzarek-like organ lines on the mantra-chugs of "Magick Power" and "Siamese Trap," compressed acid rock solos and lots of reverb. The title track itself stands out a bit as being a bit more of a '60s Europop confection in a stripped-down 1968 setting - Roback's electric guitar adds some fire, but it's the slightly jazz-tinged rhythm and easy delivery from Smith that helps establish its own character. It's a release that stood out both in time and place (a 1987 release on SST Records, of all places!), but it stands up to future years and listens darn well.

Tracklist:
A1Rocket Machine
A2Magick Power
A3Relevation
A4A Falling Star
A5She's A Diamond
B1Supernova
B2Siamese Trap
B3Happy Nightmare Baby
B4Soul Giver

Opal - Happy Nightmare Baby (1987)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 10. März 2017

Louis Killen, Jeff Warner, Gerret Warner, John Benson - Steady As She Goes (1976)

Steady as She Goes is an album dedicated to workers on the sea. During a time when a captain’s reign could be tyrannical, the work tough, and the sea unkind, the men maintained that "a song is as good as ten men." Often used in the manner of a work song in the fields, these shanties tell the tales of loneliness, families left behind, and the daily hardships of nautical life, but also about raising anchor with certain knowledge that you are heading home.

Excerpts from Sleeve Notes:
"LOUIS KILLEN was brought up in a singing family in the industrial and mining region of the river Tyne in Northeastern England. He arrived in the United States in 1966 with a bag full of hundreds of marvelous traditional British songs of sailors and fishermen, miners and milkmaids, farmers and weavers. Britain's loss has been America's gain. His subtle, full bodied interpretations, sometimes mournful, sometimes hilarious, have delighted audiences from coast to coast. He has recorded for Topic and Front Hall records."

Tracklist:

A1Paddy Lay Back
A2Bold Riley
A3Rolling Down To Old Maui
A4Jolly Roving Tar
A5Topman And The Afterguard
A6Off To Sea Once More
B1Strike The Bell
B2Ship In Distress
B3Blow The Man Down
B4The Coast Of Peru
B5All For Me Grog
B6Shallow Brown
B7Bring 'Em Down
B8Away Rio


Louis Killen, Jeff Warner, Gerret Warner, John Benson - Steady As She Goes
(320 kbps, cover art included)



Donnerstag, 9. März 2017

Paul Robeson - Sings Negro Spirituals (1962)

Paul Robeson excelled as an athlete, actor, singer, and activist, qualifying him as a contemporary renaissance man. His early accomplishments as a professional football player, Columbia law school graduate, and an actor on Broadway in the 1920s seemed but a prologue to even greater achievements to come. Involvement with the political left in the 1940s, however, led to a confrontation with the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the late 1940s. He was blacklisted, his passport was revoked, and his career came to a halt.              

"Sings Negro Spirituals" is an album showcasing Paul Robeson's inimitable baritone voice across a range of folksongs and spirituals with piano accompaniment from Alan Booth.


Tracklist:
A1Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
A2Scandalize My Name
A3There Is A Balm I Giliead
A4No More Auction Block For Me
A5Bear The Burden In The Heat Of The Day
A6Amazing Grace
A7Who'll Be A Witnnes For Our Lord
A8We Are Climbing Jacobs's Ladder
B1There's A Man Goin' Round Takin' Names
B2Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel?
B3On Our Knees
B4The End Of My Journey
B5I'm Gonna Let It Shine
B6Unchanging Grace
B7Stand Still, Jordan
B8Mount Zion

Paul Robeson - Sings Negro Spirituals (1962)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 8. März 2017

Nina Simone - Let It All Out (1965)

"Let It All Out" is one of Nina Simone's more adult pop-oriented mid-'60s albums, with renditions of tunes by Duke Ellington ("Mood Indigo"), Billie Holiday ("Don't Explain"), Irving Berlin ("This Year's Kisses"), and Rodgers & Hart ("Little Girl Blue").

As ever, Simone ranges wide in her selection: Bob Dylan's "The Ballad of Hollis Brown," a swaggering adaptation of "Chauffeur Blues" (credited to her husband of the time, Andy Stroud), the gospel hymn "Nearer Blessed Lord," and Van McCoy's "For Myself." "Images" is an a cappella adaptation of a poem about the beauty of blackness by Waring Cuney. All of Simone's Philips albums are solid, and this is no exception, while it isn't the best of them.

"Love Me or Leave Me" and "Mood Indigo" were also featured on Simone's debut album "Little Girl Blue" (1958); these are new performances and different arrangements.

Tracklist:
Mood Indigo2:25
The Other Woman3:02
Love Me Or Leave Me4:05
Don't Explain4:18
Little Girl Blue2:32
Chauffeur2:48
For Myself2:05
The Ballad Of Hollis Brown4:55
This Year's Kisses2:58
Images2:50
Nearer Blessed Lord4:30

Nina Simone - Let It All Out (1965)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 6. März 2017

Bob Marley And The Wailers ‎– Nice Time - (Plus Dub Versions)

"Nice Time" is a french release, published back in 1991/1992, including Bob Marley & The Wailers songs from various producers. Nearly the same tracks in a different run were released on the definitly wrong labeld "All The Hits" album.
Just when you think you've seen it all, and you're positive that there's no way left to recycle the same old batch of Bob Marley & the Wailers' early reggae records, suddenly a compilation appears that makes you sit up and take notice. What sets this set apart, then, is that every vocal cut is twinned with its B-side instrumental version (labeled as "dubbs," not to be confused with "alternate" vocal takes that have also been making appearances on a wide number of compilations). If you bought the 45s when they were initially released, this is precisely what you would have gotten. In some cases, the backing instrumental track is more interesting that the A-side, a reflection that not all these songs showcase the Wailers at their best. Most importantly, it provides a snapshot of the early reggae era, a time when new rhythms and productions had come to the fore, and fans were as keen to hear the backing (preferably with a DJ mashing it up on top) as the singers themselves. This collection is still a refreshingly new take on an otherwise pretty tired set of songs.                

Tracklist

Redder Than Red3:09
I've Got To Cry3:25
Power And More Power2:39
Hypocrites2:40
Thank You Lord3:42
Mr Chatterbox2:23
Hey Happy People3:25
Nice Time2:29
I've Got The Action3:04
Mellow Mood3:28
Redder Than Red (Dub Version)2:46
I've Got To Cry (Dub Version)3:11
Power And More Power (Dub Version)2:36
Hypocrites (Dub Version)2:39
Thank You Lord (Dub Version)3:40
Mr Chatterbox (Dub Version)3:02
Hey Happy People (Dub Version)3:18
Nice Time (Dub Version)2:36
I've Got The Action (Dub Version)3:02
Mellow Mood (Dub Version)3:27


Bob Marley And The Wailers ‎– Nice Time - (Plus Dub Versions)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Paul Robeson - On My Journey - Paul Robeson´s Independent Recordings (2007)

A 20th century renaissance man, Paul Robeson was an actor, singer, writer, scholar, activist, and intellectual with a degree from the Columbia University law school. He also suffered no fools, and his outspoken views on racism and McCarthyism eventually led to his blacklisting in the 1950s, a situation Robeson met with characteristic dignity and resilience.

When no label would record him, he started his own imprint, Othello Records, and recorded some 100 tracks and released three LPs ("Robeson Sings", "Solid Rock", and "Let Freedom Ring") between 1954 and 1958, generally to spare piano accompaniment by either Lawrence Brown or Alan Booth. Eventually Monitor Records picked up some of these tracks for a pair of LPs in 1958, "Favorite Songs" and "Encore Robeson", which became the first dents in Robeson's situation on the blacklist, which was smashed entirely when Vanguard Records picked him up a year later.

Throughout this period, Robeson found himself being harassed by the U.S. government in myriad ways, but he responded with diligence, determination, and the kind of personal grace that Senator McCarthy could only dream about.

Now these independent recordings, most of them produced by Robeson's son Paul Robeson, Jr. and many recorded in friends' apartments, are fittingly a part of the Smithsonian/Folkways catalog, and a generous sampling of them is included here. Robeson's deep voice and theatrical singing style sound quaint at first, but as he tackles these traditional spirituals and folk songs, most of which concern themselves with faith, hope, and freedom, the full range of this man's vision becomes clear: one love, one world, as Bob Marley would put it over a decade later. Among the highlights here are versions of Dvorák's "Songs My Mother Taught Me," the powerful and majestic "Takin' Names," a probably definitive "Joe Hill," and a resonant take on "No More Auction Block for Me," a song that became the melodic template for "We Shall Overcome," and speeded up, for Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," plus a wonderful version of "Hammer Song" done with the harmonica-and-guitar team of Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee. Robeson's performing style and approach clearly belong to the early 20th century, but his convictions, vision, and unerring and diligent activism place him intellectually at the close of it. Robeson blazed the path that Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez, and many others would follow in the 1960s, and truthfully, provides a road map for 21st century agitators like Rage Against the Machine. A true American treasure and icon, Paul Robeson's work belongs at Smithsonian/Folkways, which will always keep it available and in print.

(224 kbps, cover art included)

Please support the non profit record label of the Smithsonian Institution,
check out http://www.folkways.si.edu/.

Bob Marley & The Wailers - The Complete Soul Rebels - The Upsetter Record Shop - Part I

A bizarre title for a Bob Marley album, with a faintly eccentric sleevenote (see below) and track listing to boot. However, the music, basically the "Soul Rebels" LP remastered with the original two-track tape and with instrumental versions following each song, is unimpeachable, even if we´ve heard it all before. The running order is different from the original LP, and "Memphis", an instrumental track anyway, isn´t included. Tracks with different titles turn out to be nothing new, but collectors will not worry about it, being grateful instead for the few Marley tid-bits they are thrown, even if they are merely the backing tracks of songs they know and love.
 
 
From the original linernotes:

"The Upsetter Record Shop Part I contains eleven tracks and their instrumental versions, mostly recorded in 1969 with Glen Adams on keyboradds, Alva Lewis on guitar, the Barrett brothers in the rhythm section and Lee Perry at the mixing desk. Two tracks are sung by Peter Tosh.

The vocal tracks which form this first volume were on the original Jamaican album "Soul Rebels" and were produced by Lee Perry in the back of his Upsetter Record Shop. The first series, recorded between 1969 and 1970, mark a date in the history of reggae because it was a categorical break with the tradition of sixties ska and rock-steady: Perry shifted and transformed the old sound in give it more life and more sharpness, based on the Barrett brohters´ rhythm section and Glen Adams´ keyborads. The Wailers formation then invented the concept of the "Soul ManRebel" with the "Black Is Beautiful" slogan and began to claim their Afro-Caribbean pride to set themselves apart from the "rude boys" etc.
This period seemed to be relatively well-known to fans as a result of the various albums issued in England, but, by a stroke of exceptional good luck, "Upsetter Record Shop" brings together, for the first time, all the "Soul Rebel" instrumental versions, those famous B-sides of the Jamaican singles which were previously little know.
After "Soul Revolution", this virtually brings up to date almost all the famous 1969 sessions between the Upsetters, Lee Perry and the Wailers."


Tracklist
1Soul Rebels3:18
2Soul Rebels (Version)2:40
3No Water Can Quench My Thirst2:35
4No Water (Version)2:49
5Rebel Hop2:50
6Rebel Hop (Version)2:45
7No Sympathy2:50
8No Sympathy (Version)2:41
9It's All Right2:30
10It's All Right (Version)2:30
11Reaction3:34
12Reaction (Version)3:31
13Corner Stone2:40
14Corner Stone (Version)2:22
15400 Years2:40
16400 Years (Version)2:41
17Make Up3:25
18Make Up (Version)3:11
19Try Me3:04
20Try Me (Version)3:02
21Soul Almighty3:25
22Soul Almighty (Version)3:18


Bob Marley & The Wailers - The Complete Soul Rebels - The Upsetter Record Shop - Part I
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 5. März 2017

Ernst Busch: Frank Wedekind – Spottlieder (Aurora,1964)


Frank Wedekind, original name Benjamin Franklin Wedekind (born July 24, 1864, Hannover, died March 9, 1918, Munich), was a German actor and dramatist who became an intense personal force in the German artistic world on the eve of World War I.
A direct forebear of the modern Theatre of the Absurd, Wedekind employed episodic scenes, fragmented dialogue, distortion, and caricature in his dramas, which formed the transition from the realism of his age to the Expressionism of the following generation.

The son of a German American father and a Swiss mother, Wedekind lived in Switzerland from 1872 to 1884, when he moved to Munich, where he remained until his death. He was successively an advertising manager, the secretary of a circus, a journalist for the satirical weekly "Simplicissimus", a cabaret performer, and the producer of his own plays. The electric quality of his personality has been attested by his contemporaries.

Wedekind’s characteristic theme in his dramas was the antagonism of the elemental force of sex to the philistinism of society. In 1891 the publication of his tragedy "Frühlings Erwachen" ("The Awakening of Spring", also published as "Spring Awakening") created a scandal. Successfully produced by Max Reinhardt in 1905, the play is a series of brief scenes, some poetic and tender, others harsh and frank, dealing with the awakening of sexuality in three adolescents. In the Lulu plays, "Erdgeist" (1895; "Earth Spirit") and "Die Büchse der Pandora" (1904; "Pandora’s Box"), he extended the theme of sex to the underworld of society and introduced the eternal, amoral femme fatale Lulu, who is destroyed in the tragic conflict of sexual freedom with hypocritical bourgeois morality. These two tragedies inspired Alban Berg’s opera Lulu. The character of Lulu is most identified with actress Louise Brooks, who portrayed her in G.W. Pabst’s masterful silent film version of "Die Büchse der Pandora" (1929).

In 1918, Bertolt Brecht attended the funeral of Frank Wedekind. He later wrote in his diary, "They stood perplexed in top hats, as if round the carcass of a vulture. Bewildered crows."

Wedekind was a prophet in the darkness. He had come before his time. A moralist who wore the mask of an immoralist, he had been the terror of the German bourgeoisie, alternately praised for being a saint and condemned for being a devil. He did not follow any group, or subscribe to any political ideology of the day. And his expressionistic visions preceded the rise of expressionism by several decades.

During Frank Wedekind's lifetime, his plays were persecuted and only performed in censored versions. They were considered pure pornography, for he dared to deal with issues of sexual freedom and release, problems of puberty, moments of ecstasy between the sexes, and moments of misunderstanding and violence. Wedekind's language was brilliant and poetic, constructed mainly of cascades of short one-line sentences often consisting of only one or two words, like verbal exchanges between pistols. His plays broke through all the clichés of the theatre of his time, and today he is considered one of the founders of modern drama.

Celebrating the 100th birthday of Frank Wedekind, Ernst Busch released in 1964 as a part of his "Aurora"-series a booklet with two EPs featuring "Spottlieder" by Frank Wedekind, accompanied by Walter Olbertz.

Tracklist:
EP 1: Im heiligen Land, Der Anarchist / Der Zoologe von Berlin, Der blinde Knabe
EP 2: Brigitte B., Mein Lieschen, Die Wetterfahne / Die sieben Heller, Diplomaten

Ernst Busch - Frank Wedekind - Spottlieder (Aurora, 1964)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Dave Van Ronk - Songs For Ageing Children (1973)

Dave Van Ronk albums tend to be few and far between, but his profile in record stores may have been raised by the release of two reissues in 1972, both of them called "Van Ronk". (The one on Fantasy Records contained two LPs previously released by Prestige; the one on Polydor compiled material previously released by Mercury.)

So, here he is on Cadet Records, and he begins by revisiting the first song on his first album, "Duncan & Brady," which led off 1959's "Dave Van Ronk Sings Blues, Ballads & a Spiritual". But here it's given a folk-rock arrangement, with an electric guitar, electric bass, piano, and drums augmenting the acoustic guitar. Other arrangements are quieter (the next song, Len Chandler's "Green Rocky Road," has a bass thumping along beneath what sound like two fingerpicked guitars, but nothing else), but Van Ronk has made his point that this is not a folk-blues album.

He also deliberately mixes up the material, combining the songs of Joni Mitchell ("River," but not her "Songs for Aging Children," despite the album title) and Randy Newman ("Sail Away") with Brecht/Weill's "As You Make Your Bed"; folk-blues in his old manner (the Reverend Gary Davis' "Candy Man"); R&B ("Work with Me Annie"); novelties ("Teddy Bear's Picnic" and "My Little Grass Shack [In Kealakekua, Hawaii]"); and even a couple of originals that close either side of the LP. "Song for Joni" is a gently sung but desperate reflection on a world overrun by rats, while "Last Call" appropriately sounds like a song to be sung by a drunken man right before the bar closes. This is a varied set, as if Van Ronk were trying to cover a lot of bases against the chance that he might not get another opportunity to record again soon.                

Tracklist:

A:
  1. "Duncan & Brady" (Traditional) – 3:48
  2. "Green Rocky Road" (Len Chandler) – 4:08
  3. "As You Make Your Bed" (Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill) – 4:21
  4. "Teddy Bears' Picnic" (Bratton & Kennedy) – 2:22
  5. "Song for Joni" (Dave Van Ronk) – 2:02
B:
  1. "Work with Me Annie" (Hank Ballard) – 2:30
  2. "River" (Joni Mitchell) – 2:45
  3. "My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii" – 3:35
  4. "Sail Away" (Randy Newman) – 2:54
  5. "Candy Man" (Rev. Gary Davis) – 2:43
  6. "Last Call" (Van Ronk) – 3:07


Dave Van Ronk  - Songs For Ageing Children
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Bob Marley & The Wailers - Rarities - The Upsetter Record Shop - Part II

The second LP of the pair is a real collectors´ delight. Here´s a heap of hard-to-find and never-before released masters, dating from between 1972 and 1977 (approx). There´s some dispute as to the true provenance of the tracks: "Concrete Jungle" and "Screw Face" and "Satisfy My Soul" are not Lee Perry productions at all, but Tuff Gong productions. The recording details are also a little erroneous: Randy´s is certainly a studio where some of these tracks were cut, but "WIRL" should read Dynamic, and "Rainbow Country" was cut at neither, but at Lee Perry´s Black Ark. As for the assertion that the records were produced at the back of Perry´s record shop, from where the title of the two albums is derived, it´s totally false, although doubtless Perry hatched what few marketing plans he had for The Wailers´ tracks he had recorded somewhere within the confines of his retail premises. No matter, however, since words on record sleeves are never as important as the music on which they´re supposed to inform. In this case, the music can speak perfectly eloquently for itself.

From the original liner notes:

"After 1969 and "Soul Rebels", the best of the Wailers-Upsetters combination was yet to come. At the end of 1970, returning from a trip in the cold of Europe, Bob Marley, downcast by the start of his international career, wrote "Long Long Winter". Back in Jamaica, he found himself confronted by the local flare-up, political disputes and a social upheaval. This was the context in which the Wailers got their second wind, through a realistic commentary on the misery of Kingston. The needy population and the man in the street thus legitimised them as the island´s number one band. Non only did reggae establish itself as part of the Jamaican culture order but also, from then on, Bob Marley became the spokesman of the ghetto cause. He recorded "Trenchtown Rock" and "Concrete Jungle" after the names of two well-known deprived districts in the capital.

Once again, as in 1969, the spirit and the sound combinations created by Perry´s genius made reggae explode. Old reworked tracks like "Put It On" and "Don´t Rock My Boat" took on a Rasta feel under Perry´s spell, through a magical procession of sounds, backed up by the soul of the Burru drums.

These sessions reflect this period, these were the new paramets which would define the throbbing and significant beat of reggae in the seventies. From the on, the Wailers went from hit to hit, the Jamaican record industry was working overtime and Lee Perry re-recorded and re-pressed the old tracks of 1969 and a new series of tracks (and, even more wonderful, the instrumental tracks) which form part of these rarities and illustrade the 2nc volume of "Upsetter Record Shop".

During 1971/72, when the Wailers were at the height of their success, Lee Perry produced the first versions of "Concrete Jungle" and "Natural Mystic", as well as "Satisfy My Soul" and "Screwface", which dealt with the negative side of power and of bad company.

These recordings are quite different from the ones mad ein 1969. In between, Glen Adams had gone to the United States and had been replaced by the young and talented Tyrone Downie. The acid keyborads of "Soul Rebels" gave way to horns (probably Tommy MCCook or Vin Gordon) and percussion but the main innovatin was anchoring the music to the particular rhythmic dynamic imposed by the two Barretts and which Lee Perry increasingly refinde, arriving at the apotheosis of the dub record in 1976 whith the sublime "Blackboard Jungle". At the same time, strengthened by his new world status, Bob Marley re-recorded many of the classics originally produced by Perry on his international albums."

Tracklist
1Concrete Jungle3:08
2Concrete Jungle (Version)3:11
3Screw Faces2:16
4Screw Faces (Version)2:16
5Love Life3:00
6Love Life (Version)2:56
7Satisfy My Soul2:10
8Satisfy My Soul (Version)2:57
9Rainbow Country4:26
10Rainbow Country (Version)3:34
11Long Long Winter3:03
12Long Long Winter (Version)3:02
13Put In On4:06
14Put In On (Version)3:35
15Don't Rock My Boat4:15
16Don't Rock My Boat (Version)4:15
17Keep On Movin'3:07
18Keep On Movin' (Version)3:02

Bob Marley & The Wailers - Rarities - The Upsetter Record Shop - Part II
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 3. März 2017

Hugh Masekela - I Am Not Afraid (1974)

In 1974, Hugh Masekela had already scored a chart-topping hit in the USA, where he’d been living in exile since the early 1960s. He was hanging out with jazz greats: John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Dizzie Gillepsie are names that pepper the pages of his biography Still Grazing - a nod to his Grammy-winning crossover hit ‘Grazin’ in the Grass’. He’d essentially ‘made it’ - he was living the American dream and no one could tell him otherwise. Suddenly, he found himself right in the middle of America’s high-brow society. With commercial success came the trappings of fame. He left a trail of bad decisions and broken promises, and these eventually caught up with him in the 70s. He was in need of an exit strategy, a remedy to the mounting distractions and dissatisfaction.
It was in the midst of this self-loathing that he walked to his piano and started playing the tune to what would straddle generations and continues to reverberate with music enthusiasts. ‘Stimela’, a staple in his live sets, appears as the last track on I Am Not Afraid. It was the impetus Hugh needed to wean himself off the trappings he’d grown to despise. Elsewhere on the album, every song demonstrates a stylistic leap in Masekela’s abilities, aided by his new backing band, Ghana’s Hedzoleh Sounds, who he’d met through his friend Fela Kuti. Congas set the tone on album opener ‘Night in Tunisia’. More percussive instruments follow - shakers, calabash, then a bassline groove and a crunchy, funky guitar lick. It’s a reworking of a Dizzy Gillepsie composition that infuses the original with refreshing ideas. ‘Been Such A Long Time’ is less psychedelic; more contained. Hugh’s raspy voice coasts atop Joe Sample’s piano. The result is a subtle tribute to his home, South Africa, a place he’d been absent from since leaving on a one-way ticket in the quest for creative and political freedom.

Masekela spent a considerable amount of time travelling and living in countries across Africa, from his palatial lifestyle in Liberia, to then-Zaire, where he was involved in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’, the legendary stand-off between boxing greats Mohammed Ali and George Foreman. The result of these extended stays are songs that give accurate portraits of how people live across the continent - from women going about their duties (‘In the Market Place’) to insight into Liberian initiation rituals (‘African Secret Society’).

I Am Not Afraid is Masekela’s way of reclaiming his being, of charting new territory and not holding back. The album stands as a time-tested testament to the great things that result when artists push themselves to new heights. - http://musicinafrica.net

Tracklist:

01. Night in Tunisia
02. Been such a long time gone
03. In the market place
04. Jungle Jim
05. African secret society
06. Nina
07. Stimela (Coaltrain)


Hugh Masekela - I Am Not Afraid (1974)
(320 kbps, cover art included)