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

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)

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

Freitag, 20. Januar 2017

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!

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

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)

Samstag, 7. Januar 2017

The Ex - Blueprints For A Blackout

"Blueprints For A Blackout" was a double-album by The Ex, released in 1984, and out of print.

Reviews:

"It's caustic. A real burner. (...) While still retaining an all important relevant edge to their musical comment , they've introduced elements of tunesmithing, attack, decay and composition that places them head and shoulders above their contemporaries."

"Well-known venom, but the music becomes more experimental (i.e. slower, richer, more stirring, fed by yet rather remarkable set of instruments) with every new release."
         


Tracklist:

      1-5
1Streetcars Named Desire / Animal Harm (Medley)2:39
2Blueprints For A Blackout3:54
3Rabble With A Cause2:19
4Requiem For A Rip-Off2:52
5Pleased To Meat You4:17

6-11
6A Goodbuy To You3:39
7The Swim1:48
8Boohoo2:29
9U.S. Hole2:41
10(Not) 2B Continued1:10
11Grimm Stories4:52

12-15
12A Plague To Survive5:22
13The Rise Of The Dutch Republic3:53
14Kidnap Connection2:17
15Fire And Ice4:41

16-19
16Jack Frost Is Innocent2:53
17Love You Till Eh2:48
18Food On 453:17
19Scrub That Scum8:18

The Ex - Blueprints For A Blackout (1984)
(192 kbps, cover art inlcuded)

Sonntag, 1. Januar 2017

Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit

"Strange Fruit

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop."

What can we say about Billie Holiday that has not already been said before? Coming to prominence in the 1930’s where she played with the Teddy Wilson band in 1935, went solo in 1936, joined Count Basie in 1937 and finally Artie Shaw in 1938 before finally stepping out on her own again as one of the greatest jazz singers who ever lived! There is something about her voice that sets “Lady Day” apart from any of her contempories, or indeed anyone who tried to follow in her giant footsteps. Perhaps it was her tough upbringing, playing in the small bars of Harlem (including a spell in a brothel), that gave her voice that special anguish, pain and sadness, a yearning for something or someone better in her life.
"Strange Fruit" is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday, who first sang and recorded it in 1939. Written by the teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem, it exposed American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. Such lynchings had occurred chiefly in the South but also in other regions of the United States. Meeropol set it to music and with his wife and the singer Laura Duncan, performed it as a protest song in New York venues, including Madison Square Garden.
The song has been covered by artists, as well as inspiring novels, other poems and other creative works. In 1978 Holiday's version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Barney Josephson, the founder of Cafe Society in Greenwich Village, New York's first integrated nightclub, heard the song and introduced it to Billie Holiday. Other reports say that Robert Gordon, who was directing Billie Holiday's show at Cafe Society, heard the song at Madison Square Garden and introduced it to her. Holiday first performed the song at Cafe Society in 1939. She said that singing it made her fearful of retaliation but, because its imagery reminded her of her father, she continued to sing the piece making it a regular part of her live performances. Because of the poignancy of the song, Josephson drew up some rules: Holiday would close with it; the waiters would stop all service in advance; the room would be in darkness except for a spotlight on Holiday's face; and there would be no encore. During the musical introduction, Holiday would stand with her eyes closed, as if she were evoking a prayer.
Holiday approached her recording label, Columbia, about the song, but the company feared reaction by record retailers in the South, as well as negative reaction from affiliates of its co-owned radio network, CBS. Even John Hammond, Holiday's producer, refused so she turned to friend Milt Gabler, whose Commodore label produced alternative jazz. Holiday sang "Strange Fruit" for him a cappella, and moved him to tears. Columbia allowed Holiday a one-session release from her contract in order to record it and Frankie Newton's eight-piece Cafe Society Band was used for the session. Because he was worried that the song was too short, Gabler asked pianist Sonny White to improvise an introduction so that Holiday only starts singing after 70 seconds. Gabler worked out a special arrangement with Vocalion Records to record and distribute the song.
She recorded two major sessions at Commodore, one in 1939 and one in 1944. The song was highly regarded and the 1939 record sold a million copies, in time becoming Holiday's biggest-selling record.
In her autobiography, "Lady Sings the Blues", Holiday suggested that she, together with Meeropol, her accompanist Sonny White, and arranger Danny Mendelsohn, set the poem to music. The writers David Margolick and Hilton Als dismissed that claim in their work, Strange Fruit: The Biography of a Song writing that hers was "an account that may set a record for most misinformation per column inch". When challenged, Holiday - whose autobiography had been ghostwritten by William Dufty - claimed, "I ain't never read that book."

The compilation "Strange Fruit" was released in 1991 and features recordings from 1933-1940.

Tracklist:

01. I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues (Frankie Newton & His Orchestra)
02. Fine And Mellow (Frankie Newton & His Orchestra)
03. Yesterdays (Frankie Newton & His Orchestra)
04. Strange Fruit (Frankie Newton & His Orchestra)
05. Long Gone Blues (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
06. Swing! Brother, Swing! (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
07. St. Louis Blues (Billie Holiday With Benny Carter & His All Star Orchestra)
08. That's All I Ask Of You (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
09. Let's Call The Whole Thing Off (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
10. Summertime (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
11. Night And Day (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
12. They Can't Take That Away From Me (Count Basie & His Orchestra)
13. Your Mother's Son-In-Law (Benny Goodman & His Orchestra)
14. I Can't Pretend (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
15. Dream Of Life (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
16. Some Other Spring (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
17. Now They Call It Swing (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
18. I Hear Music (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
19. Body And Soul (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
20. I Wished On The Moon (Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra)
21. Ghost Of Yesterdays (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
22. On The Sentimental Side (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
23. The Very Thought Of You (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)
24. You Go To My Head (Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra)

Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit (1933 - 1940)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Happy New Year!

...and a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year to all of you.