Montag, 3. Dezember 2012

Viktor Ullmann - Der Kaiser von Atlantis

Ullmann's opera has got to be one of the most terrifying and moving works in the history of the form. It was composed in 1943 in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, though never performed there. That the music survived at all is something of a miracle, as Ullmann himself was later taken to Auschwitz and gassed. The story is an allegory: the emperor (a thinly disguised parody of Hitler) decides to wage total war, and so offends Death by seeming to take over his job that Death goes on strike, and people everywhere stop dying. Death only agrees to go back to work when the emperor permits himself to be the first victim. Although only about three quarters of an hour long, the music makes a terrific impact, and this gutsy performance pulls no punches. - David Hurwitz,

"I have written quite a lot of new music in Theresienstadt: it must be underlined … that we do not merely sit on the banks of the waters of Babylon, and that our endeavour with respect for arts was commensurate with our will to live." (Viktor Ullmann)

Viktor Ullmann was born in Teschen (Cieszyn) on 1 January 1898. He moved with his mother to Vienna in 1909 where he received his first lessons in music theory with Josef Polnauer in 1914. In 1916, he was called up to perform his military service. After the end of the war, he initially enrolled to study law at the University of Vienna, but also participated in Arnold Schoenberg’s composition seminars in Mödling from October 1918. He additionally received further piano tuition from Eduard Steuermann. Following Schoenberg’s recommendation, he was admitted into the foundation committee of the "Verein für musikalische Privataufführungen” [Society for Private Musical Performance] on 6 December 1918, but relocated to Prague a year later. Following further tuition in composition with Heinrich Jalowetz, he took over Anton Webern’s position as choir director and répétiteur at the New German Theatre in 1920 where, two years later, he was promoted to the position of Kapellmeister by Alexander von Zemlinsky. In 1927, Ullmann became head of opera for one season in Aussig and subsequently undertook an engagement as Kapellmeister and composer of incidental music from 1929 to 1931 at the Schauspielhaus in Zurich. Influenced by Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy, Ullmann later managed an anthroposophic bookshop for two years in Stuttgart (1931/32) before returning to Prague as a freelance musician, teacher, composer and journalist. He attended Alois Hába’s courses in quartertone composition between 1935 and 1937. Following the establishment of the “German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia” in 1939, all public performances of composers of Jewish origin were prohibited. Ullmann was incarcerated in the concentration camp Theresienstadt on 8 September 1942 where he undertook the organisation of the so-called "Freizeitgestaltung" [leisure time administration] together with Hans Krása, Gideon Klein and Rafael Schächter. On 16 October 1944, Ullmann was deported to Auschwitz where he was killed only a few days later.

The rediscovery of Ullmann’s works has a direct connection with the success story of the Kaiser von Atlantis. Ullmann composed this one-act opera in 1943/44 against the background of his impressions of the Theresienstadt ghetto. The libretto was written by one of his fellow inmates Peter Kien: as a result of war and mass slaughter, death refuses to carry out its services. The dictator who has thereby lost his greatest weapon – deterrence – loses all his powers. Death only regains its real purpose at the end and becomes the comforter of humans. Unlike the melodrama Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornet Christoph Rilke for narrator and piano or orchestra based on a text by Rilke (1944), the opera was not performed in Theresienstadt and the posthumous première did not take place until 1975 in Amsterdam.

Ullmann did however achieve consummate success during his lifetime with his Schoenberg Variations: the Variationen und Doppelfuge über ein Thema von Arnold Schönberg have survived in two versions for piano (1929 and 1933/34) in addition to versions for string quartet (1939) and orchestra (1934) and among Ullmann’s entire output display the greatest affinity to the Second Viennese School. A large proportion of Ullmann’s compositions from the 1920s and 1930s must be considered as having been lost, but surviving works include the Concerto for piano and orchestra (1939) and the seven Piano Sonatas, of which Nos. 5 and 7 also exist as a reconstructed symphony. The broad spectrum of Ullmann’s compositional development can be observed in the Lieder for voice and piano: from Wendla im Garten based on Wedekind’s “Frühlings Erwachen” (1918/1943) and the Liederbuch des Hafis based on Bethge (1940) to the Hölderlin Lieder composed in Theresienstadt, Late Romantic influences can be discerned alongside echoes of Zemlinsky’s tonal language and the Neue Sachlichkeit [New Objectivity] of Kurt Weill.

Ullmann was awarded the Hertzka Prize for his compositions on two occasions: 1934 for the orchestral version of the Schoenberg Variations and 1936 for the opera Der Sturz des Antichrist composed a year previously on a libretto by Albert Steffens.

1. Der Kaiser von Atlantis by Viktor Ullmann
Performer: Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano), Herbert Lippert (Tenor), Walter Berry (Bass Baritone),
Christiane Oelze (Soprano), Martin Petzold (Tenor), Franz Mazura (Baritone),
Michael Kraus (Baritone)
Conductor: Lothar Zagrosek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1943; Theresienstadt, Czec
Date of Recording: 02/1993
Venue: Paul-Gerhardt Kirche, Leipzig
Length: 57 Minutes 36 Secs.
Language: German
2. Hölderlin Lieder: Abendphantasie by Viktor Ullmann
Performer: Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano), Jonathan Alder (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1943; Theresienstadt, Czec
Date of Recording: 02/1993
Venue: Paul-Gerhardt Kirche, Leipzig
Length: 6 Minutes 14 Secs.
Language: German
3. Hölderlin Lieder: Der Frühling by Viktor Ullmann
Performer: Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano), Jonathan Alder (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1943; Theresienstadt, Czec
Date of Recording: 02/1993
Venue: Paul-Gerhardt Kirche, Leipzig
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs.
Language: German
4. Hölderlin Lieder: Wo bist du by Viktor Ullmann
Performer: Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano), Jonathan Alder (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1943; Theresienstadt, Czec
Date of Recording: 02/1993
Venue: Paul-Gerhardt Kirche, Leipzig
Length: 1 Minutes 50 Secs.
Language: German

Viktor Ullmann - Der Kaiser von Atlantis
(182 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 25. Oktober 2012

Blind Willie McTell - Library Of Congress 1940

Blind Willie McTell (born William Samuel McTier May 5, 1898 – August 19, 1959), was an influential Piedmont and ragtime blues singer and guitarist. He played with a fluid, syncopated fingerstyle guitar technique, common among many exponents of Piedmont blues, although, unlike his contemporaries, he came to exclusively use twelve-string guitars. McTell was also an adept slide guitarist, unusual among ragtime bluesmen. His vocal style, a smooth and often laid-back tenor, differed greatly from many of the harsher voice types employed by Delta bluesmen, such as Charlie Patton. McTell embodied a variety of musical styles, including blues, ragtime, religious music, and hokum.

By the time Georgia native William Samuel "Blind Willie" McTell earned ten dollars by sitting down in a hotel room in Atlanta on November 5, 1940, to preserve his artistry on 15 transcription platters for the Library of Congress, he had achieved a degree of fame by having recorded some 85 sides for multiple labels during the years 1927-1936.

McTell was a skilled 12-string guitarist, an expressive vocalist, and a well-versed interpreter of ragtime, spirituals, blues, and a wide range of rural folk forms. He performed well for the Library of Congress, sometimes narrating and explaining the social background for his music while fielding John Lomax's rather careless and insensitive questions. What you get here is an excellent spectrum of McTell's stylistic range and repertoire. His slide maneuvers on "Amazing Grace" are strikingly reminiscent of Blind Willie Johnson's technique. The overall content of this hotel room recital points directly to McTell's Atlantic session of November 1949.

Blind Willie McTell - Library Of Congress 1940
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 22. Oktober 2012

In Memoriam Käthe Reichel

Käthe Reichel, born March 3, 1926, in Berlin, attended commercial training and became a draper before she turned to acting rather by accident after the end of World War II. Without ever attending drama school, she became a cast member at the theatre in Greiz. In 1950, Bert Brecht who recognized her acting talent, brought her to Berliner Ensemble. There, she worked hard for her reputation as a born Brecht actress with highly-praised performances in "Die Dreigroschenoper" ("The Threepenny-Opera") and in "Der kaukasische Kreidekreis" ("The Caucasian Chalk Circle"), among others.

From 1961 on, Käthe Reichel continued her theatre career at a new place of activity – as a cast member of Deutsches Theater Berlin. With unabated success, she performed, for instance, in Lessing’s "Minna von Barnhelm" or in Sean O'Caseys "Juno and the Paycock ".
Käthe Reichel made her movie debut in 1951 in a small role in Arthur Pohl’s "Corinna Schmidt" but did not continue her movie career for several years. Instead, she perpetuated her theatre career. 18 years later, after her role in the fairy tale movie "Wie heiratet man einen König" (1969), Reichel finally started to work regularly for movie productions. She was mainly seen in key supporting roles, for instance in Roland Gräf’s "Mein lieber Robinson" ("My Friend Robinson", 1971), in the classic DEFA movie "Die Legende von Paul und Paula" ("The Legend of Paul and Paula", 1973), where she played the eccentric wife of the shooting gallery owner, or in the drama "Die Verlobte" ("The Fiancée", 1980), where Reichel played an emotionally torn prison warden.

Besides her acting career, Käthe Reichel became known for her political activities. In 1976, she collected signatures against the expatriation of Wolf Biermann, and during the turnaround in the GDR, she was a strong advocate for alternative political perspectives, to state only two examples.
She was a nonconformist activist, unafraid to publicly express her opinion. She criticised the market-economy pressures of the post-wall period and played a central role in the tribunal against NATO intervention in Yugoslavia. Whether showing her solidarity with the Bischofferode miners during their hunger strike or collecting donations for the construction of 100 houses in Vietnam, Käthe Reichelt has made the human rights struggle her own without pretensions and with a voice that cannot be overheard.
In 2000, Reichel was awarded the human rights awards by the "Gesellschaft zum Schutz der Bürgerrechte und Menschenwürde" ("Society for the protection of civil rights and human dignity").

Käthe Reichel was living in Berlin and Buckow and died 19 October 2012 in Buckow.

You can find recordings by Käthe Reichel via and

Freitag, 12. Oktober 2012

Nils Koppruch is dead - "Ich wein´ einen Fluss"

"Ich singe vor deinem Fesnter, und der Regen lässt nicht nach /
Und eine Stimme ruft von oben: Falsches Fenster, falscher Tag." - Nils Koppruch

The singer-songwriter Nils Koppruch, who lived and worked in Hamburg, is dead. The musician, born in 1965, who became famous with the indie band Fink, died unexpectedly in the night to Wednesday.

From 1996 to 2006, Nils Koppruch was the singer and frontman of the band Fink. He wrote the music and lyrics and played the guitar, banjo and harmonica. In the following years he worked as a solo artist and did interesting collaborations with other artist like Gisbert zu Knyphausen. In Hamburg-St. Pauli he operated the small gallery "NEW".

German texts, funny, melancholic and always original, plus a banjo - somehow Nils Koppruch and Fink invented a special kind of "German-Americana" sound: German indie pop with strong influences of folk, americana, blues and bluegrass.

Thanks a lot for all the great music - and rest in peace!

Sonntag, 30. September 2012

21st Century Dub (Roir, 1980)

This is a combination rerelease of Pecker Power and Instant Rasta, two albums recorded by Japanese percussionist Pecker in conjunction with Jamaican musicians. It's an interesting effort, combining a certain Jamaican rawness with a sophisticated Japanese surface, and it certainly comes equipped with the reggae muscle to kick it along - Sly & Robbie on the one hand, and the Wailers band on the other, and both Channel One and Tuff Gong studios (if only they'd managed Federal as well, but that might have meant the Dragonaires as a backing band).

I'm not sure exactly how much of Pecker's work is really being heard on this album, but that really isn't the point - the point is more that it's a good reggae and dub set. ROIR is the home of some killer reggae, and this album is no exception to Neil Cooper's rule. I'd consider "21st Century Dub" a must-have for any dub fan, great or small.

"Some of the best dub of all time. This complete reissue of two Japanese LP's ('Pecker Power' and 'Instant Rasta') combines the best of classic mid-70's dub (Joe Gibbs 'African Series', Pablo, Tubby styles) with the best in technological advances. Quite simply, classic." - Peter Wright (now GM of Rykodisc) 1987
From ROIR site:
"An amazing but true story about an experimental dub session organized by BOB MARLEY in Jamaica in 1979!!!

In 1979 during a visit to Japan, Bob Marley met the acclaimed Japanese percussionist Pecker. Pecker, a big fan of reggae, convinced Marley to bring top Japanese musicians (mostly members of The Yellow Magic Orchestra) to Jamaica to mix it up with the cream of Jamaican reggae artists, to jam and play out in informal dub sessions at both Channel One and Tuff Gong Studios. The astounding results were released only in Japan on two separate LP's in 1980."

1. Pecker - Mystical Cosmic Vibrations (5:24)
2. Pecker - International Orchitis (4:10)
3. Pecker - Pecker Power Part Two (1:25)
4. Pecker - Pecker Power Part One (5:07)
5. Pecker - Concrete Jungle (5:11)
6. Pecker - Militant Sniff (4:27)
7. Pecker - Jamming (4:11)
8. Pecker - Mystical Electro Harakiri (5:02)
9. Pecker - Beggar Suite Part 1 (4:54)
10. Pecker - Beggar Suite Part 2 (3:32)
11. Pecker - Beggar Suite Part 3 (2:49)
12. Pecker - Dub Jam Rock (4:50)
13. Pecker - Kylyn (6:42)
14. Pecker - Dr. Dr. Humanity (1:18)
21st Century Dub (Roir, 1980)
(192 kbps, small front cover included)

Sonntag, 26. August 2012

The Heptones - Same (aka Fattie Fattie, 1967)

the heptones

One of the definitive rocksteady vocal groups, the Heptones were also one of the few to successfully make the transition to the reggae era.

The group was fronted by Leroy Sibbles, who was not only an exquisite singer but also a talented songwriter, arranger, and session bassist at the legendary Studio One. Penning much of its own material, the group boasted one of the deepest catalogs of its time, full of high-quality numbers that were widely imitated for their close-harmony vocals, and widely recycled for their loose, liquid, melodic instrumental grooves.

The Heptones were formed in Kingston in 1965, with a lineup of Sibbles, Barry Llewellyn, and Earl Morgan. At first they called themselves the Hep Ones, but a one-word name seemed to make more sense to fans, and the change was made accordingly. They made their first recording for Ken Lack's Caltone label that year, a strange ska adaptation of "The William Tell Overture" titled "Gun Men Coming to Town."

heptones 2
Things started to take off for the group in 1966 when they caught on at Clement "Coxsone" Dodd´s Studio One, the pre-eminent hit factory of the rocksteady era. Dodd helped train the group in the art of harmony singing, and also guided budding songwriter Sibbles, who developed a sly, sarcastic sense of humor to underpin his tales of broken-hearted lovers.

The Heptones had their first hit later that year with "Fattie Fattie," a ribald paean to large women that was banned from Jamaican radio but sold briskly nonetheless. They went on to record vast amounts of material for Dodd over the next five years. As the hits piled up, Sibbles became a staff songwriter and arranger, played bass with the Studio One house band on a multitude of recordings, and worked as an assistant producer and talent scout as well. However, by 1971, a Rastafarian social consciousness was emerging in his writing, and he had grown tired of the boundaries of working in Dodd's studio system; that sense of confinement led to an acrimonious split with Dodd.

This is an album with sweet slow rocksteady from 1967, lead by Leroy Sibbles with backing vocals by Barry Llewellyn and Earl Morgan. “Fattie Fatti” was The Heptones first single and first hit even though it was banned from Jamaican radio due to inappropriate lyrics. They also cover Sam Cooke’s “Only Sixteen” on this their debut LP and the R&B influence is apparent throughout (even in the album’s cover photos) albeit driven by a rocksteady, and what will soon become reggae beat.

01 - Fattie Fattie
02 - Why Must I
03 - Only Sixteen
04 - Mama
05 - The Best Things In Life
06 - Gee Wee
07 - I've Got A Feeling
08 - Tripe Girl
09 - Baby
10 - Let's Fall In Love
11 - Take A Tip From Me
12 - Cry Baby Cry
13 - Why Did You Leave
14 - Get In The Groove

The Heptones - Same (aka Fattie Fattie, 1967)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 15. August 2012

Carl Andersen - Rest in Peace!

The underground film maker Carl Andersen died on August, 3, at the age of 54 in Berlin. Thanks a lot for bringing so much strange films to us via the great Negativland video library.  Rest in peace, Carl!

Die Sehnsucht nach dem Mehr (2000)
The Films Of Carl Andersen.

 by Anneliese Holles, London, 2008.

The Austrian born Carl Andersen is perhaps one of the few contemporary Auteurs to have devoted his films almost entirely to the subject of women. How they tick and how they relate to each other, and to men, is almost an obsession, a fetish only capable of being exorcised by the likes of his unlikely muse, Malga Kubiak. His films, which chiefly address the weighty issue of why relationships (especially sexual ones,) dont

Andersens Märchen von der Liebe (2001)
function, often have dark beginnings; for example „Eiszeit“, whose ice cold opening sequence depicts one woman vigourously masturbating another, fully clothed, or the desperate beginning sequence of „Chien Fuck“, with its bitch director figure, who demands so much from her lover that he can no longer „perform.“

Cult films from the 60s and 70s by obscure directors such as Vilgot Sjöman, José Benazeraf, Jesus Franco, Lothar Lambert and Jean Rollin are the chief influences of Andersen’s films. However, unlike so many films from the 60s and 70s, ie: Cassavetes, and Bergmann (whose female darkness is at times overwhelming), Andersen’s films have an extraordinary quotient, which makes them highly original and very uncommercial; in recent times he has evolved a hybrid; a mock documentary look and feel that can really confuse the viewer; in „Chien Fuck“ I was so convinced that the „director“ character was really the director that I asked myself what were her feelings about being filmed; only to find out in the end credits that she is essentially a fictional character; just as the rest of the „interviewed“ ex lovers are. This is an astounding technique, and one which is rarely talked about by other reviewers of Andersen’s films. The sex, which is full on and often explicit, is always the thing that gets talked about. Which, actually is Andersen’s point! Why do we have such a „thing“ about sex when it is such a normal, daily activity, why should it be censored, or artificially portrayed, as it is in 90 percent of the films we see? Indeed, the sex in his films can get in the way of seeing the real issue, as illustrated so humourously in „Lick An Apple Like A Pussy“, which deals with the fascinating subject of how actors avoid doing the real thing; how much energy is wasted in talking and thinking about why they shouldnt have sex, rather than just getting on and seeing it as part of their job.

This essential Narcissism is also a part of Andersen’s oeuvre. „Mondo Weirdo“, his second film, has none of the documentary aspects of the later films, but it is a surreal fantasyland of voyeurism and bisexual acts. „Sehnsucht Nach Dem Mehr“ is a very Nouvelle Vague pondering on what the actors think about the director, which I personally found insufferable and claustrophically narcissistic, almost approaching „Big Brother“!

If there is anyone who can claim to make film for women, about women, and on the side of women, then it’s Andersen, even with his sometimes highly unsympathetic female characters. He is trying to represent the world as it is; often using non actors, normal looking people as opposed to models, and showing every malfunctional and destructive aspect of relationships, because that’s what is real to him. The „ugliness“ in women can also be their strength, and vice versa. It takes an actress as strong as Kubiak to cope with the uglier side of Andersen’s anima.

The lightness in his films is, however, just as omnipresent, and comes most often through the medium of music. Music inspires and lightens every dark corner in his work, and makes those films highly enjoyable. Music features heavily in „Mondo Weirdo“, where the erotic and sexual sequences are like fantasies without dialogue; and in „Chien Fuck“, which is heavy on dialogue, and uses the music to divert and uplift in the form of a small documentary montage about a Berlin band.

Andersen’s films are life affirming in a „Dogma“ sense; if you can run fast enough behind the shaky camera, and not turn away during the unflinchingly upclose sex, you will see the reflection of the flawed but beautiful fragility that all humans possess; and that is Andersen’s charm; a very modern, honest and unconventional cinema, for those that are ready.


Donnerstag, 12. Juli 2012

Mighty Sparrow - Sparrow In HiFi (1963)

With his ultra-sweet vocals and lyrics that speak of romance and topical politics, Mighty Sparrow (born Slinger Francisco) rose to the upper echelon of Trinidadian calypso. Best known for his hits "Jean and Dinah" in 1956 and "Carnival Boycott" in 1957, Sparrow is an 11-time winner of the calypso monarchy and an eight-time winner of Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival Road March competition.

Born to a poor working-class family in Gran Roi, a small fishing village in Grenada, Sparrow moved to Trinidad at the age of one. Learning to sing in the boy's choir of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, he became the head choirboy. At the age of 14, he formed a steel band to perform at the Carnival, sparking his interest in calypso. Teaching himself to play guitar, Sparrow began to write his own songs. Winning the Carnival competition with "Jean and Dinah," he received a grand prize of 40 dollars. In protest, he wrote a scorching indictment of the Trinidadian music industry, "Carnival Boycott." Despite his refusal to compete in the Carnival contests for the next three years, Sparrow became one of the Caribbean's most successful artists.       

"Sparrow In HiFi"

Samstag, 7. Juli 2012

Sugar Minott - Live Loving (1977)

We post this album in honour to Sugar Minott who died two years ago.

Few artists had the impact on Jamaica's dancehall scene as Sugar Minott. His releases provided the blueprints for the rise of the contemporary dancehall style, he was also equally influential as a producer, and his extraordinarily popular sound system helped launch numerous new DJs into the limelight.
Lincoln Barrington Minott was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on May 25, 1956. He began his career in the sound systems while still a child, working as a selector for the Sound of Silence Keystone outfit, before launching his own Gathering of Youth sound system just as he hit his teens. There, too, he carried on merely as the selector. However, in 1969, Minott decided to take the mike himself, not as a DJ, but as a singer, one third of the African Brothers roots trio, alongside Tony Tuff and Derrick Howard. The group initially made its way around the amateur talent show circuit, but eventually linked up with the Micron label. African Brothers released a number of singles over the next few years, including "Party Night," "Gimme Gimme African Love," and "A Di System" cut with producer Jah Bunny. The trio also began self-producing (its first attempt was "Torturing"), and then launched its own Ital label. By this time, the trio's Abyssinians influence was becoming prominent, as can be heard on "Righteous Kingdom," "Youths of Today," and "Lead Us Father."

In 1974, African Brothers cut "Mysterious Nature" with producer Rupie Edwards, which brought them to the attention of Studio One. Their debut song for that label, "No Cup No Broke, was also their last, and the trio split to pursue solo careers. (Tony Tuff would continue his cultural career before switching with great success to dancehall.) In 1987, the Uptempo label gathered up the African Brothers singles for the compilation album Collectors Item, crediting it to Sugar Minott & the African Brothers. Coxsone Dodd was keen to keep Minott, whose talents extended beyond vocals and into session work as both a guitarist and drummer. However, the artist had an even more innovative talent tucked away -- an extraordinary ability to compose new lyrics to old songs.
In a scene split between toasters and deep roots, Minott had invented an entirely new style and Dodd was quick to take advantage. It was pure serendipity, or incredible forethought, that the rhythms the pair used were ones that would soon be tearing up the dancehalls. It took a few releases for the Jamaican public to catch on, but by 1978, Minott had his first hit with the single "Vanity." More quickly followed and before the year was out, he released his debut album, Live Loving, which many credit as the first true dancehall album. It would revolutionize the entire Jamaican musical scene. Minott's follow-up album, 1979's Showcase, was equally revolutionary and included not just dub versions, but featured the hip new syndrums that would soon rule the dancehalls. Both albums also doubled as hits collections, and included such smashes as "Wrong Doers," "Oh Mr. DC," "House Is Not a Home," and such Niney Holness-produced chart-busters as "No Vacancy," "Give Thanks and Praise," and "Babylon."

In 1983, the Hitbound label gathered up a batch of the Holness-produced hits on With Lots of Extra, making up the numbers with extra songs that were equally good. The singer scored another major hit with "Never Too Young," produced by Prince Jammy, who also oversaw Minott's third album, 1979's Bitter Sweet. But that did little to prepare listeners for Minott's third full-length release that year, the phenomenal Ghetto-ology, a deeply roots album featuring such tracks as "Dreader Than Dread," "Never Gonna Give Jah Up," and "Africa Is the Black Man's Home." A superb dub companion remixed by King Tubby in one of his final projects accompanied the album, and in 2000 the Easy Star label appended this to Ghetto-ology's CD reissue. The album was the beginning of Minott's move into a dread sound. Black Roots, its follow-up, picked up precisely where its predecessor left off and continued down the deep roots path. However, Roots Lovers, also released in 1980, showed a seismic shift in direction as Minott moved strongly into the lovers rock arena, while still maintaining a roots approach. Minott's energy and enthusiasm seemed boundless and this year also saw the launch of his own labels, Youth Promotion and Black Roots. He debuted his new labels with the self-produced "Man Hungry" and followed it up with "Hard Time Pressure." That latter single was Minott's British debut and went down a storm. That, coupled with the success of Roots Lovers in a U.K. in the feverish grip of lovers rock frenzy, prompted the singer to relocate to London after he played Reggae Sunsplash that same year.

In the 2000s Minott remained a popular live performer, with his studio work largely limited to guest appearances, although he released the occasional album as leader, including 2008's New Day, featuring appearances by Toots Hibbert, Sly Dunbar, Dwight Pickney, and Andrew Tosh. Sugar Minott had been diagnosed with heart problems in 2009, and died on July 10, 2010 following his admittance to a Kingston hospital after he had complained of feeling poorly. He was 54 years old.

"Live Loving" was released in 1977 on Studio One.

1. Jahoviah
2. Hang On Natty
3. Change Your Ways
4. Give A Hand
5. Come On Home
6. A House Is Not A Home
7. Live Loving
8. Love Gonna Pack Up
9. Jah Almighty
10. Jah Jah Lead Us

Sugar Minott - Live Loving (1977)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012

The Ruts - Babylon's Burning / Society (Single, 1979)

The Ruts were a reggae-influenced British punk rock band. They were heavily involved in anti-racism causes and Southall born lead singer Malcolm Owen was particularly affected by the race riots in his hometown in April 1979.
This single captured the mood of the time, as riots swept Britain in the summer of 1979. "Babylon's Burning" is about the fiery collapse of western civilization.The track was featured in the 1980 film Times Square and was The Ruts biggest hit - they never recovered from the death of Malcolm Owen from a heroin overdose the following year.

A - Babylon´s Burning
B - Society

The Ruts - Babylon´s Burning (Single, 1979)
(320 kbps, frotn cover included)

Mittwoch, 20. Juni 2012

Jennifer Lara - Studio One Presents Jennifer Lara (1974)

Jennifer Lara, born in Kingston, Jamaica, died 11 June 2005, Kingston, Jamaica.

In 1974, Jennifer Lara recorded her debut album with Coxsone Dodd at Studio One in Brentford Road. The results of the sessions appeared on "Studio One Presents Jennifer Lara", which was an instant success.
She also enjoyed a massive hit with the single "Where Have All The Good Men Gone", which has since become an anthem. Other Downbeat-produced hits followed, including "Consider Me" and "Do That To Me One More Time".

While working in Brentford Road she was also employed as a backing singer and is recognized for her notable contribution on Freddie McGregor’s early 80s recording "I Am Ready". She toured in Europe and her appearances in the UK were greeted with enthusiasm by both media and audiences.

A1 A Woman
A2 A Change Is Gonna Come
A3 Hurt So Good
A4 Close To You
A5 Impossible
B1 Loving You
B2 Our Love
B3 Love And Harmony
B4 Ain't No Love
B5 Rocking Tonight

Jennifer Lara - Studio One Presents Jennifer Lara
(ca. 192 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 3. Mai 2012

Lightnin Hopkins - Blues Kingpins

Lightnin' Hopkins ability to take a stock kit bag of boogie riffs and spin endlessly varied blues-based lyrics over the top of them, usually personalizing the story just enough to keep things fresh, served him well throughout his career, but he was arguably at his best at the very start of that career before constant label hopping seemingly became his secondary occupation.

This succinct set collects some of Hopkins' very earliest recordings for the Aladdin, RPM and Modern labels, beginning with his impressive 1946 debut on Aladdin, "Katie Mae Blues." Before this recording he was known as Sam Hopkins, but since "Katie Mae" paired him with pianist Wilson "Thunder" Smith, Sam was renamed Lightnin', and the name stuck long after Thunder ceased to be a part of the equation.

Also here is the fine "Tim Moore Blues" and a blistering electric take on "Jake Head Boogie." There are literally hundreds of Hopkins releases on the market, most of which deliver variations on the same set of goods, and this set isn't radically different in that regard. Hopkins' never appreciably changed his style in the coming decades (which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on one's tolerance), but these at least are some of the sides that got the whole thing rolling, and they seem the fresher for it.

Lightnin Hopkins - Blues Kingpins
(192 kbps, small front cover included)

Samstag, 7. April 2012

Scientist - Dub War (Coxsone Vs. Quaker City)

This Scientist dub album was originally released on vinyl by Imperial Records in 1981.

Overton Brown was only 16 years old when producer/performer Errol "Don" Mais discovered and used the considerable talents of this adolescent dub whiz. Born in Kingston in 1960, the Scientist learned basic electronics from his TV repairman father, skills that made him very popular with the mobile DJs and their not-always-functioning sound systems. A friend suggested he visit the legendary dub producer/mixer King Tubby, not to remix records, but to get some transformers by which Scientist could build his own amplifiers. Soon the Scientist was an employee of Tubby's, fixing transformers and televisions, when one day, after an animated conversation about mixing records, Tubby challenged the Scientist to take a shot at remixing a record. Brimming with adolescent bravado, Scientist took Tubby's challenge, and that led to an extended apprenticeship in dub experimentation under Tubby's guidance. It was while at Tubby's that the Scientist developed his idiosyncratic dub style, playful and very psychedelic, loaded with echo explosions and blasts of feedback, a sound that caught the attention of Don Mais, who overheard the Scientist at the mixing board during a visit to Tubby's studio. With Mais supervising the production, Scientist, now all of 18, cut some wicked dub sides for the Roots Tradition label. At the end of the '70s, Scientist (now also referred to as "The Dub Chemist") left Tubby's to become the main engineer at Channel One Studios, and working with Henry "Junjo" Lawes, cut some best-selling dub LPs, only to leave for the greener pastures of Tuff Gong in 1982. In 1985, Scientist moved to Silver Springs, Maryland, where he lives and works as a recording engineer.

Third And Fourth Generation
Coxsone Feel This One
Streight In The Boy Coxsone Chest
The Man Never Immetiate Always Orriginate
Ride On
Run Come Listen Coxsone
Murderer Style
Scientist Say Papa Coxsone Gone
Give Them Dub Coxsone
Coxsone A Chemist In A Dis

Scientist - Dub War (192 kbps, front cover included)

Samstag, 4. Februar 2012

Emma Goldman - "Mother Of Anarchism"

"To the daring belongs the future… when we run out of dreams, we die… - Emma Goldman said that. And it’s the truth."
— Federico Arcos

"Anarchism really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government." - Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman (June 27, 1869 – May 14, 1940) aka 'Red Emma', was a Kaunas, Lithuania-born anarchist known for her writings and speeches. She was lionized as an iconic "rebel woman" feminist by admirers, and derided as an advocate of politically motivated murder and violent revolution by her critics.
Goldman played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in the United States and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. She emigrated to the United States at seventeen and was later deported to Russia, where she witnessed the results of the Russian Revolution. She spent a number of years in Southern France where she wrote her autobiography, "Living My Life", and other works, before taking part in the Spanish Civil War in 1936 as the English language representative in London of the CNT-FAI.

Her commitment to Anarchism and her activist inclinations led her to champion the causes of labor, anti-militarism, atheism, prison reform, and women's rights -- not just in the U.S. but abroad as well. After her deportation to Russian in 1919, and subsequent disillusionment with the so-called Soviet revolution, Emma never gave up hope that her anarchist ideals might still find fertile ground. She saw the flower bloom in Spain. Citizens and workers, organized by the CNT-FAI, the Anarcho-Syndicalist union, quickly suppressed the July, 1936 uprising of the army, led by General Franco, in both Barcelona and the countryside. Emma, 67 years old, rushed to lend her support.

Here are some works by Emma Goldman and her autobiography:
Emma Goldmann - Works & Autobiography
The file contents the following texts:

Emma Goldman - 1908 - What I Believe.pdf
Emma Goldman - 1909 - A New Declaration of Independence.pdf
Emma Goldman - 1910 - Anarchism What It Really Stands For.pdf
Emma Goldman - 1911 - Francisco Ferrer and The Modern School.pdf
Emma Goldman - 1914 - Voltairine De Cleyre.pdf
Emma Goldman - 1917 - Address To The Jury.pdf
Emma Goldman - 1918 - The Truth About the Bolsheviki.pdf
Emma Goldman - 1923 - My Disillusionment in Russia.pdf
Emma Goldman - 1924 - My Further Disillusionment in Russia.pdf
Emma Goldman - 1931 - Living My Life.pdf
Emma Goldman - 1934 - Was My Life Worth Living.pdf
Emma Goldman - Anarchy Defended by Anarchists.pdf
Emma Goldman - Socialism Caught in the Political Trap.pdf
Emma Goldman - The Social Importance of the Modern School.pdf
Hippolyte Havel - 1911 - EMMA GOLDMAN (Biography).pdf

More Emma Goldman materials on:
"The Emma Goldman Papers (DL SunSITE)":

Donnerstag, 19. Januar 2012

Janis Joplin - Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI - July 27, 1968

The greatest white female rock singer of the 1960s, Janis Joplin was also a great blues singer, making her material her own with her wailing, raspy, supercharged emotional delivery. First rising to stardom as the frontwoman for San Francisco psychedelic band Big Brother & the Holding Company, she left the group in the late '60s for a brief and uneven (though commercially successful) career as a solo artist. Although she wasn't always supplied with the best material or most sympathetic musicians, her best recordings, with both Big Brother and on her own, are some of the most exciting performances of her era.
She also did much to redefine the role of women in rock with her assertive, sexually forthright persona and raunchy, electrifying on-stage presence.

Here´s a rare bootleg with her performance at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, 1968.

01 Piece Of My Heart (Jerry Ragovoy, Bert Berns)
02 Summertime (DuBose Heyward, George Gershwin)
03 Coo Coo (Peter Albin)
04 Combination Of The Two (Sam Andrew)
05 Ball and Chain (Willie Mae Thornton)
06 Down On Me (Eddy Head, arr. Janis Joplin)
07 Piece Of My Heart (Reprise) (Jerry Ragovoy, Bert Berns)

Sam Andrew - guitar
Peter Albin - bass
Jim Gurley - guitar
Dave Getz - drums

Janis Joplin - Newport Folk Festival, 1968
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Samstag, 14. Januar 2012

"Fragt uns, wir sind die letzten" - "Ask us, we are the last" - Interviews with victims of the fascist regime

This weekend the annual Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht demonstration, initiated in the German Democratic Republic and continued in today’s conditions takes place on Sunday 15 January 2012, 10 am at Berlin Friedrichshain.

The demonstration commemorates the murder of the two leaders of the German workers movement by reactionary Freikorps on the orders of the Social Democrat minister Friedrich Ebert.

This gives cause for sharing "Ask us, we are the last, Vol. 1 & 2" - two booklets with memories of victims of the fascist regime and people form the anti-fascist resistance.
These memories are an important counterweight to prevailing images of history and also to those "Zeitzeugen" who apparently knew of nothing - especially not by their own fault.

These interviews are based not so much of a scientific, supposedly objective approach to history, but rather a personal one. How did people experience persecution and / or resistance? What lessons they drew from it? What were (and are) their motivation to engage against fascist ideology?

In a few years there will be no more possibilities of meeting people from persecution and resistance, The more urgent it is to get into conversation with those people to preserve their knowledge and make it available to the public. These booklets can´t replace historical scientific work or even a theoretical discussion. But they can make visible these marginalized perspectives that these perspectives.

"Fragt uns, wir sind die letzten - Ask us, we are the last"
(2 pdf booklets, german language)

Palais Schaumburg - Telephon / Kinder, der Tod (7", 1980)

Palais Schaumburg was a new wave band from Hamburg, Germany. The style was classified as Neue Deutsche Welle, and strongly characterized by their avant garde music and dadaistic attitude.

The band was originally formed in 1980, featuring Timo Blunck, Holger Hiller, Thomas Fehlmann, and percussionist F.M. Einheit. The group's name stands for Das Palais Schaumburg in Bonn, the former residence of German chancellor.

Einheit left the group, eventually to join Einstürzende Neubauten and was replaced by Ralf Hertwig prior to Palais Schaumburg's first full length album "Palais Schaumburg" which was produced by David Cunningham and released in 1981. Shortly after it was released, Hiller left the band and started his solo career. He was replaced with Moritz von Oswald and vocalist Walther Thielsch.

The group made several singles and albums throughout early 80's, where their avant garde sounds were heavily influenced by funk, especially in albums "Lupa" and "Parlez-Vous Schaumburg".

They eventually split up in 1984. All the members have been working on their solo careers.

Here´s a Palais Schaumburg single, released in 1980 on ZickZack.

A Telephon
B Kinder, der Tod

Palais Schaumburg - Telephon/Kinder der Tod
(192 kbps,  no cover art included)