Samstag, 29. September 2018

Clannad - Same (1973)

Clannad bridged the gap between traditional Celtic music and pop. Their results were usually an entrancing, enchanting form of pop that managed to fuse the disparate elements together rather seamlessly. Such fusions have earned the band an international cult of fans.

Taking their name from the Gaelic word for "family," Clannad formed in 1970 when the Brennan family -- Máire (vocals, harp), Ciarán (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards), Pól (guitar, percussion, flute, vocals) -- began playing at their father Leo's tavern with two of their uncles, Pádraig Duggan (guitar, vocals, mandolin) and Noel Duggan (guitar, vocals). Soon afterward, the group began playing folk festivals in Ireland. They released their self-titled first album in 1973, yet the band didn't earn any widespread success until they toured Germany in 1975.

From a latter-day vantage point, Clannad's first album is probably too pop-oriented for traditionalists, but too traditional in feel for those who were attracted to the group's later pop-oriented recordings. For those listeners without any particular preconceptions, it's an invigorating blend of Irish traditional folk with modern influences. More than any of Clannad's subsequent albums, this debut bears the influence of the eclectic, jazzy edge of Pentangle, particularly in the fat double basslines; Maire Brennan's high, pristine vocals show an affinity with Pentangle's Jacqui McShee as well.

Maire's harp and Paul Brennan's flute, however, give the music a strong Irish stamp. Sung mostly in Gaelic and occasionally in English, the material is quite varied in scope, and the arrangements and vocals are vastly pretty and melodic. The cover of Tim Rose's "Morning Dew" that concludes the album is one of the best versions ever of this oft-covered folk-rock tune.               

  1. "Níl Sé Ina Lá (Níl Sé'n Lá)" – 4:50
  2. "Thíos Cois Na Trá Domh" – 2:55
  3. "Brian Boru's March" – 3:50
  4. "Siúbhán Ní Dhuibhir" – 4:30
  5. "An Mhaighdean Mhara" – 2:10
  6. "Liza" (Padraig Duggan, Pól Brennan) – 2:00
  7. "An Toileán Úr" – 4:03
  8. "Mrs. McDermott" (Turlough O'Carolan) – 3:03
  9. "The Pretty Maid" – 2:40
  10. "An Pháirc" (Mick Hanly) – 3:00
  11. "Harvest Home" – 1:40
  12. "Morning Dew" (Bonnie Dobson, Tim Rose) – 3:45
  13. "An Bealach Seo 'tá Romham" – 2:42 (bonus track)

Clannad - Same (1973)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 26. September 2018

Walter Benjamin - Ebook Collection

Walter Benjamin, (born July 15, 1892, Berlin, Ger.—died Sept. 26, 1940, near Port-Bou, Spain), man of letters and aesthetician, is now considered to have been the most important German literary critic in the first half of the 20th century.

Born into a prosperous Jewish family, Benjamin studied philosophy in Berlin, Freiburg im Breisgau, Munich, and Bern. He settled in Berlin in 1920 and worked thereafter as a literary critic and translator. His halfhearted pursuit of an academic career was cut short when the University of Frankfurt rejected his brilliant but unconventional doctoral thesis, Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels (1928; The Origin of German Tragic Drama).

Benjamin eventually settled in Paris after leaving Germany in 1933 upon the Nazis’ rise to power. He continued to write essays and reviews for literary journals, but upon the fall of France to the Germans in 1940 he fled southward with the hope of escaping to the United States via Spain. Informed by the chief of police at the town of Port-Bou on the Franco-Spanish border that he would be turned over to the Gestapo, Benjamin committed suicide.

The posthumous publication of Benjamin’s prolific output significantly increased his reputation in the later 20th century. The essays containing his philosophical reflections on literature are written in a dense and concentrated style that contains a strong poetic strain. He mixes social criticism and linguistic analysis with historical nostalgia while communicating an underlying sense of pathos and pessimism. The metaphysical quality of his early critical thought gave way to a Marxist inclination in the 1930s. Benjamin’s pronounced intellectual independence and originality are evident in the extended essay Goethes Wahlverwandtschaften (1924–25; “Goethe’s Elective Affinities”) and in the essays posthumously collected in Illuminationen (1961; Illuminations), including “Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit” (1936; “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”).

This ebook collection contains his complete work and some biographic books about Benjamin in German language and "The Cambridge Compation to Walter Benjamin" in English.

Walter Benjamin - A collection of ebooks
(epub & pdf)

Walter Benjamin - Geschichten der Freundschaft (documentary film, 2010)

78 years ago, on September 26, 1940, at the age of 48, Walter Benjamin committed suicide at Portbou on the French–Spanish border while attempting to escape from invading Nazi forces. 

Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940)was a German Jewish philosopher, cultural critic and essayist. An eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Romanticism, Western Marxism, and Jewish mysticism, Benjamin made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory, literary criticism, and historical materialism. He was associated with the Frankfurt School, and also maintained formative friendships with thinkers such as playwright Bertolt Brecht and Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem. He was also related by law to German political theorist and philosopher Hannah Arendt through her first marriage to Benjamin's cousin, Günther Anders.

In 1932, during the turmoil preceding Adolf Hitler's assumption of the office of Chancellor of Germany, Walter Benjamin left Germany for the Spanish island of Ibiza for some months; he then moved to Nice, where he considered killing himself. Perceiving the socio-political and cultural significance of the Reichstag fire (27 February 1933) as the de facto Nazi assumption of full power in Germany, then manifest with the subsequent persecution of the Jews, he moved to Paris, but, before doing so, he sought shelter in Svendborg, at Bertolt Brecht's house, and at Sanremo, where his ex-wife Dora lived.
As he ran out of money, Benjamin collaborated with Max Horkheimer, and received funds from the Institute for Social Research, later going permanently into exile. In Paris, he met other German artists and intellectuals, refugees there from Germany; he befriended Hannah Arendt, novelist Hermann Hesse, and composer Kurt Weill. In 1936, a first version of "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" ("L'œuvre d'art à l'époque de sa reproduction méchanisée") was published, in French, by Max Horkheimer in the Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung journal of the Institute for Social Research. It was a critique of the authenticity of mass-produced art; he wrote that a mechanically produced copy of an artwork can be taken somewhere where the original could never have gone, arguing that the presence of the original is "prerequisite to the concept of authenticity".

In 1937 Benjamin worked on "Das Paris des Second Empire bei Baudelaire" ("The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire"), met Georges Bataille (to whom he later entrusted the "Arcades Project" manuscript), and joined the College of Sociology. In 1938 he paid a last visit to Bertolt Brecht, who was exiled to Denmark. Meanwhile, the Nazi Régime stripped German Jews of their German citizenship; now a stateless man, Benjamin was arrested by the French government and incarcerated for three months in a prison camp near Nevers, in central Burgundy.
Returning to Paris in January 1940, he wrote "Über den Begriff der Geschichte" ("On the Concept of History", later published as "Theses on the Philosophy of History"). While the Wehrmacht was pushing back the French Army, on 13 June Benjamin and his sister fled Paris to the town of Lourdes, just a day before the Germans entered the capital with orders to arrest him at his flat. In August, he obtained a travel visa to the US that Max Horkheimer had negotiated for him. In eluding the Gestapo, Benjamin planned to travel to the US from neutral Portugal, which he expected to reach via Francoist Spain, then ostensibly a neutral country.

Walter Benjamin's grave in Portbou. The epitaph in German, repeated in Catalan, quotes from Section 7 of Theses on the Philosophy of History: "There is no document of culture which is not at the same time a document of barbarism"

He crossed the French–Spanish border and arrived at the coastal town of Portbou, in Catalonia. The Franco government had cancelled all transit visas and ordered the Spanish police to return such persons to France, including the Jewish refugee group Benjamin had joined. They were told by the Spanish police that they would be deported back to France the next day, which would have destroyed Benjamin's plans to travel to the United States. Expecting repatriation to Nazi hands, Walter Benjamin killed himself with an overdose of morphine tablets that night, while staying in the Hotel de Francia; the official Portbou register records 26 September 1940 as the official date of death. Benjamin's colleague Arthur Koestler, also fleeing Europe, attempted suicide by taking some of the morphine tablets, but he survived. Benjamin's brother Georg was killed at the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in 1942. Despite his suicide, Benjamin was buried in the consecrated section of a Roman Catholic cemetery.

The others in his party were allowed passage the next day (maybe because Benjamin's suicide shocked Spanish officials), and safely reached Lisbon on 30 September. Hannah Arendt, who crossed the French-Spanish border at Portbou a few months later, passed the manuscript of Theses to Adorno. Another completed manuscript, which Benjamin had carried in his suitcase, disappeared after his death and has not been recovered. Some critics speculate that it was his Arcades Project in a final form; this is very unlikely as the author's plans for the work had changed in the wake of Adorno's criticisms in 1938, and it seems clear that the work was flowing over its containing limits in his last years.

"Geschichten der Freundschaft" is an insisting documentary film with quotes from letters and diaries about the friendship with Gershom Scholem, Theodor W. Adorno, Bertolt Brecht, the "Passagen", living in the exile and the Shoah.

Walter Benjamin - Geschichten der Freundschaft 
(documentary film in German language, 52 minutes, 2010)

Dienstag, 25. September 2018

Nina Simone ‎– 'Nuff Said! (1968)

This very special recording was taped at the Westbury Music Fair three days after the murder of Martin Luther King. The whole program that night was dedicated in his memory. 

This concert went down in the history books as an important event for the civil rights movement.  You can hear the emotion in Nina Simone's voice.

The album has a good mix of slow and upbeat songs. This is certainly Ms. Simone at her best.   


In The Morning 2:12
Sunday in Savannah 3:03
The Backlash Blues 2:43
Please Read Me 2:44
Gin House Blues 2:47
Why? (The King of Love Is Dead) 5:31
Peace of Mind 2:40
Ain't Got No I Got Life 2:05
I Loves You Porgy 3:27
Take My Hand Precious Lord 1:35
Do What You Gotta Do 2:55

Nina Simone ‎– 'Nuff Said! (1968)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 24. September 2018

VA - Viva! Zimbabwe - Dance Music From Zimbabwe (1983)

After over 30 years this album hasn´t lost any of its appeal. It features some of the best Zimbabwean pop stars. Jit or Jiti music is represented by the fast mbira-like guitar sounds of The Four Brothers who became international world music stars. Thomas Mapfumo, the Lion of Zimbabwe, appears with an early 80s political anthem in the style that came to be known as Chimurenga. Sungura guitar melodies are featured with James Chimombe, the "King of Sungura." Bands on the album such as Nyami Nyami Sounds and Super Sounds have members who went on to some of the most popular Zimbabwean bands such as Chazezesa Challengers. One thing I've found is that you simply can't get through this record without getting on your feet and dancing around!

Robert Christgau wrote about this album: "For all the liner talk about electric dance music, what sets this apart is its roots in thumb piano. With that painfully mastered village instrument the melodic source, the guitar figures are the quickest in Africa--contrapuntal at their best, and always hooky. Vocals are likewise unassuming if not delicate, rhythms distinctly light. Takes a while to hear, will never hit you over the head, and you can dance to it. Call it folk-disco. A- "

A1Devera Ngwena Jazz BandSolo Na Mutsai
A2Four Brothers, TheMakorokoto
A3Thomas Mapfumo and Blacks Unlimited*Ndamutswa Nengoma
A4New Black MontanaMagumede
A5Super SoundsIsalwa Kuchelwa
A6Monica Nyami Nyami SoundShirley
B1Patrick Mukwamba and The Four BrothersZvinonaka Zvinodhura
B2Devera Ngwena Jazz BandZvoku Mayadhi
B3Super SoundsMonica
B4James Chimombe and OK SuccessZvingashure
B5Patrick Mukwamba and The Four BrothersDai Ndiri Shiri
B6Elijah Madzikatire and The Brave SunVana Tinogumbura

VA - Viva! Zimbabwe - Dance Music From Zimbabwe (1983)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mikis Theodorakis & Zulfu Livaneli - Together!

Early May 1997, the legendary icons Mikis Theodorakis (Greece) and Zulfu Livaneli (Turkey) united again to start ea series of concerts in Europe with a final concert on the green-line of Nicosia/Cyprus.

The first concert in Berlin was totally sold out. It turned out to be the one and only concert of the tour as Mikis had to cancel the others right after the final standing ovations in Berlin due to serious health problems.

This is the recording of this evening. There is one new Theodorakis song on this album called "Kerem" with text by Nazim Hikmet. Its sung by both atists together as is the famous "Imaste Dio" ("The Two Of Us").  It is also unique in its sense of togetherness, spirit, poetry and music. Hope you enjoy it!

Mikis Theodorakis & Zulfu Livaneli - Together!
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Judith Reyes - Crónica Mexicana

The singer/songwriter Judith Reyes has been described as the "chronicler of the 1968 Student Movement" in Mexico. Redefining the late nineteenth century revolutionary corrido tradition, Reyes created songs that functioned as oral "eye-witness" accounts of grassroots mobilisation and as critiques of political repession about which official sources and media outlets frequently remained silent.

In Mexico on 2 October 1968, ten days before the Olympics were scheduled to take place in the country, more than 300 students, who were peacefully demonstrating in La Plazade las Tres Culturas in Mexico City, were mown down by a hail of military bullets. This act was immortalised in the following days by the folk singer Judith Reyes in he ballad "La tragedia de la Plaza de las Tres Culturas" ("The tragedyof the Plaza of the Three Culturas"). The tragedy of the students deaths was underlined in Reyes´ ballad by her use of the traditional corrido form, which was originally a nineteenth-century song form that was closely associated with the Mexican Revolution.

1. La Salinidad (The Salt Invasion)
2. Corrido de Arturo Gamez (Corrido of Arturo Gamez)
3. Corrido de Santo Domingo (The peasants of Sanchez Lozoya)
4. Los Niños Trabajadores (Corrido of the Working Children)
5. Gorilita, Gorilon (Little "gorilla," big "gorilla")
6. La Ocupación Militar de la Universidad (Corrido of the Occupied University)
7. Canción del Politecnico (Song of Polytechnic Institute)
8. Tragedia de la Plaza de las Tres Culturas (Tragedy of Plaza of the Three Cultures)
9. Marcha de los Caidos (March of the Fallen Dead)

Judith Reyes - Cónica Mexicana
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Exhibition "The Most Dangerous Game" about the Situationist movement

The exhibition "The Most Dangerous Game - The Situationist International en route for May ’68" will take place at the "Haus der Kulturen der Welt", Sep 27, Thu — 2018, Dec 10, Mon.

­ ­ ­
­ The Situationist movement centered on radical criticism of consumerism and of middle-class values. The exhibition The Most Dangerous Game addresses their emergence, their break with art and their role in the 1968 revolts.Thereby the exhibition traces the battle of the signs: the playful appropriation of the situationists as well as its take-over by capitalism. Curated by Wolfgang Scheppe, Roberto Ohrt and Eleonora Sovrani. The opening during Berlin Art Week will be attended by Jacqueline de Jong and other guests.

Between 1957 and 1972, the Situationist International (S.I.) first projected a “revolutionary front in culture” and then shifted its propaganda to the political field. Employing ludic methods, the movement offered a fundamental critique of the spectacle of a consumerist society. In an age in which the principles of the market economy are increasingly permeating all areas of life, The Most Dangerous Game instigates a new envisioning of the years in which the S.I. articulated its critique.
The exhibition’s title refers to a lost collage created by one of S.I.’s co-founders, Guy Debord. The title recalls, on the one hand, the revolutionary earnestness with which the S.I. radicalized the debates of the postwar years, while, on the other hand, emphasizing the playful element that characterized all their diverse activities. Their ‘playing field’ was the city and everyday life. It was here that they sought confrontation with the bourgeois system – aesthetically through the “construction of situations”, and theoretically through precise analyses of modern consumerist society.

The exhibition’s starting-point is the Bibliothèque situationniste de Silkeborg, a venture that Debord drafted in outline with the painter Asger Jorn in 1959 for the latter’s museum in Denmark. At HKW, this project, which remained unrealized in its day, is for the first time re-constructed in its entirety. An Archive of Last Images presents for the first time works by all artists active during the initial S.I. period.
The exhibition thematizes the break away from art created around 1962 – when the S.I. distanced itself from those members who wished to adhere to a primarily artistic creative praxis – and follows the activities of the S.I. up to and including the May 1968 uprising in France, in which the S.I. played an essential part. The revolt was stifled after only a few weeks. Bourgeois society, however, appropriated the themes of the insurgent younger generation and subsequently subjected all areas of life – including sexuality – to capitalist ends and exploitation.

With works by Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Armando, Enrico Baj, Conrad Bakker, CoBrA, Constant, Corneille, Guy Debord, Erwin Eisch, Ansgar Elde, Farfa, Lothar Fischer, Internationale Lettriste, Internationale Situationniste, Isidore Isou, Jacqueline de Jong, Asger Jorn, Laboratorio Sperimentale, Uwe Lausen, Jeppesen Victor Martin, Giors Melanotte, Eva Renée Nele, Erik Nyholm, Panamarenko, Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, Hans Platschek, Heimrad Prem, Ralph Rumney, Piero Simondo, Gruppe SPUR, Gretel Stadler, Hardy Strid, Helmut Sturm, Maurice Wyckaert, Hans-Peter Zimmer

More about the program… 

Sonntag, 23. September 2018

Mississippi John Hurt - Coffee Blues (1996)

John Smith Hurt (possibly March 3, 1892 – November 2, 1966), better known as Mississippi John Hurt, was an American country blues singer and guitarist.

Raised in Avalon, Mississippi, Hurt taught himself to play the guitar around the age of nine. He worked as a sharecropper and began playing at dances and parties, singing to a melodious fingerpicked accompaniment. His first recordings, made for Okeh Records in 1928, were commercial failures, and he continued to work as a farmer.

Dick Spottswood and Tom Hoskins, a blues enthusiast, located Hurt in 1963 and persuaded him to move to Washington, D.C. He was recorded by the Library of Congress in 1964. This helped further the American folk music revival, which led to the rediscovery of many other bluesmen of Hurt's era. Hurt performed on the university and coffeehouse concert circuit with other Delta blues musicians who were brought out of retirement. He also recorded several albums for Vanguard Records.

Hurt returned to Mississippi in 1965, where he died, in Grenada, a year later.
  Material recorded by him has been re-released by many record labels. The compilation "Coffee Blues" was released in 1996 in France.

 1. Frankie & Albert 
  2. Talkin' Casey
  3. Trouble I Had All My Day
  4. Coffee Blues
  5. Hard Time In Old Town Tonight
  6. Chicken Blues
  7. Here I Am, Oh Lord Send Me
  8. Spike Driver Blues
  9. Rich Woman Blues

  10. Monday Morning Blues

Mississippi John Hurt - Coffee Blues (1996)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 15. September 2018

Fela Ransome Kuti & The Africa 70 – Music Of Fela - Roforofo Fight (1972)

It's true that Fela Kuti's early-'70s records tend to blur together with their similar groupings of four lengthy Afro-funk-jazz cuts. In their defense, it must be said that while few artists can pull off similar approaches time after time and continue to make it sound fresh, Kuti is one of them. 

Each of the four songs on the 1972 album "Roforofo Fight" clocks in at 12 to 17 minutes, and there's a slight slide toward more '70s-sounding rhythms in the happy-feet beats of the title track and the varied yet rock-solid drums in "Go Slow." There's just a hint of reggae in "Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am," in the pace, vocal delivery, ethereal keyboards, and lilting yet dramatic minor melodic lines. 

The James Brown influence is strongly heard in the lean, nervous guitar strums of "Question Jam Answer," and the horns cook in a way that they might have had Brown been more inclined to let his bands go into improvisational jams.


A Roforofo Fight 15:33
B Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am 12:00
C Question Jam Answer 13:45
D Go Slow 17:21

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 14. September 2018

Nico - Drama Of Exile

It was a shock at the time and today, the thrill still lingers. Almost 15 years after she quit the Velvet Underground, and with four stunningly stubborn solo albums under her belt, Nico was finally ready to return to rock & roll, with a conventional band and a clutch of great songs which proved that, whatever else she'd lost during a career spent on the bleakest fringe of the idiom, the arts of composition and interpretation were not part of it.

As a member of the Velvets, she'd performed two songs, the stately "All Tomorrow's Parties" and the fragile "Femme Fatale." Now she added a third to her bow, a relentless "Waiting for the Man" which took its lead from composer Lou Reed's own recent revisions of the song but never lost sight of the trademark primitivism which gave it its original power -- that's not Maureen Tucker on drums, but close your eyes and it could be. Elsewhere, David Bowie's "Heroes" was given an almost militaristic going over, the chopping guitars, rolling drums, and a triumphant Davey Payne sax solo conspiring to prove that while Bowie had written about what he saw in Berlin, Nico sang of what she knew. It was stirring stuff and, again, all the more surprising for who was behind it. Nico reveled in the confusion. "It was really boring, all that quiet stuff," she said of her past albums and, as if to hammer home the point, ensured that even her most reflective moments now swam within a brittle swirl of new wave-inflected rock, and the traditional Eurasian influences which band members Philippe Quilichini and Mahammad Hadi added to Nico's own unique references.

Across her own compositions, "Drama of Exile" explored the faces and places Nico witnessed during her own dramatic exile - she had spent the first half of the 1970s in hiding, convinced that the Black Panthers had a contract out on her; she resurfaced and was then forced to retreat once again, after an interview quote was interpreted as espousing brutal racism. The haunting, almost Indian-sounding "Orly Flight," the rattled funk of "The Sphinx," and the droning/hypnotic "Purple Lips" all suggested adventures which never made the newspapers, while "One More Chance" made it obvious that she didn't regret one of them. Nor, once this album was assimilated by the world at large, would she ever need to.

Genghis Khan
Purple Lips
One More Chance
Henry Hudson
Waiting For The Man
Sixty Forty
The Sphinx
Orly Flight

Nico - Drama Of Exile
(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)

Gil Scott-Heron - Real Eyes (1980)

In 1980, Gil Scott-Heron had a nice opportunity to promote his "Real Eyes" album when he became the opening act on Stevie Wonder's "Hotter Than July" tour. On his own, Scott-Heron usually played small clubs, but opening for Wonder gave him the chance to perform in front of thousands of Wonder fans in major stadiums and sports arenas. Many of Wonder's white fans seemed to be unfamiliar with Scott-Heron (who had never had a major pop hit), while a lot of Wonder's black fans at least knew him for "The Bottle" and "Angel Dust" even if they hadn't bought a lot of his albums. Opening for all those Wonder fans certainly didn't hurt Scott-Heron's career, but it didn't make him a superstar either.

While it's possible that some Wonder fans enjoyed Scott-Heron's opening sets enough to go out and purchase "Real Eyes", most of the people who acquired this LP were already confirmed Scott-Heron fans. Unfortunately, "Real Eyes" lacked a hit single, although the material is excellent nonetheless. As usual, Scott-Heron has a lot of sociopolitical things on his mind - "The Train From Washington" concludes that the working class can't depend on the U.S. government for anything, while "Not Needed" angrily points the finger at companies who consider longtime employees expendable.

And the album's less sociopolitical songs are equally memorable. "Your Daddy Loves You" is a touching ode to Scott-Heron's daughter Gia Louise (who was only a child in 1980), and the jazz-oriented "A Legend in His Own Mind" is a humorous, clever put-down of a wannabe "Casanova" who isn't nearly the ladies' man he brags about being. Scott-Heron's love of jazz serves him well on "A Legend in His Own Mind" and the smoky "Combinations," but make no mistake: "Real Eyes" is an R&B album more than anything.

(320 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 13. September 2018

Tom Robinson - Living In A Boom Time (1992)

Tom Robinson (b.1950) is a UK songwriter & broadcaster first known in the 70s as an anti-racist and LGBT campaigner. He released 19 albums between 1975-2001 with various bands and has co-written songs with Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. He's an award-winning presenter at BBC Radio 6 Music, and released "Only The Now" (his first album in 19 years) in October 2015.

Tom Robinson seems to have been forgotten by the musical mainstream. The Tom Robinson Band were one of the great early punk bands, with an enormous following. The band split up after two albums and seem to have been forgotten, although Tom Robinson briefly returned to the charts in the early 80s with War Baby.

Tom Robinson continues touring and producing albums. "Living In A Boom Time"  - a solo acoustic album, recorded live at club gigs in Ireland - is one of his best albums and demonstrates the powerful mix of musical talent, wit and anger at the world's injustices that makes Tom one of my favourite artists. It captures the spirit of a Tom Robinson solo show around the beginning of the 1990s.

It starts with a brief intro, which comments ironically on Tom's transition from Punk Rocker to the more acoustic style of this album. Most of the album contains new material. "Living in a boom time" is an attack on the get rich quick culture of the early 90s and "Yuppy Scum" comments ironically on the transition from young rebel to middle aged pillar of the establishment that many people go through. My own favourite is "Rigging it up, Duncannon" inspired by the tragedy of the explosion on the Piper Alpha Oil Rig. "More Lives Than One" is better than the original, and "Castle Island" is unavailable on any other album. The album finishes with new versions of the classic tracks, "War Baby" and "Back in the Ould Country".

"Across eleven tracks, recorded live on tour in Ireland earlier this year, Tom Robinson reinvents himself as a solo folk singer. But where some faded rock stars may clutch desperately at the acoustic guitar, as a straw to save them from the harsh realities of life without chart positions, our Tom would appear to have made a sound and successful career move.

Shorn of the obligatory bass, drums and electric guitars', Robinson reveals a bite at the bottom of his voice-and a dozen more tonsiliary textures besides which will come as a considerable surprise to those who remember only the one-dimensional, weak and watery sound of his singing on the likes of '2-4-6-8 Motorway' and 'Glad To Be Gay'.

Standing alone and vulnerable like this, Robinson still manages to infuse his material with a strong sense of meaning, without having to resort to the blatant sloganeering which has often blighted his writing since the late '70s.

But then, with the possible exception of 'Yuppie Scum', Robinson's own translation of Jacques Brel's inflammatory 'Les Bourgeois', the songs here are uniformly less angry and embittered than they were back in his heyday as a pinko Punk.

Robinson's subject matter on 'Living In A Boom Time', 'My Own Sweet Way', 'Rigging It Up Duncannon' and 'The Brits Come Rolling Back' is still everyday social injustice in the post-AIDS, post-Thatcher era. But he now handles his themes with a weary resignation which, paradoxically, pushes the message home all the more effectively. And entertainingly.

Such a shift in emphasis may well prompt the agitprop fraternity to accuse him of going soft politically but, for the rest of us, Living In A Boom Time is Tom Robinson's most appealing album in years." - Chas de Whalley
 , VOX Magazine         


1 Intro 1:00
2 Living In A Boom Time 3:55
3 Blood Brother 4:31
4 More Lives Than One 2:44
5 Yuppie Scum 3:05
6 My Own Sweet Way 4:10
7 Castle Island 4:24
8 Rigging It Up, Duncannon 3:26
9 The Brits Come Rolling Back 3:18
10 War Baby 4:31
11 Back In The Old Country 3:40

Tom Robinson - Living In A Boom Time (1992)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 12. September 2018

Harry Belafonte‎– My Lord What A Mornin'

"My Lord What a Mornin' " is an album by Harry Belafonte, released by RCA Victor in 1960. The album was reissued in 1995 with additional bonus tracks.

With this album, Belafonte moved into his most artistically productive period. The LPs he made into the mid-'60s were all concept albums zeroing in on specific folk music themes. "My Lord What a Mornin'" was the first of two albums that featured the choir known as the Belafonte Folk Singers, conducted by Bob Corman, who were by then recording as a group in their own right for RCA Victor.

The album consists of traditional Negro spirituals, delivered by Belafonte, who combined his acting and singing abilities with his deep understanding of the subject matter, thanks to his growing interest in his African American heritage and the civil rights movement. Noted poet Langston Hughes penned the liner notes, describing in detail the history of spirituals. This is an emotional, satisfying album, although not quite as powerful as "Belafonte Returns to Carnegie Hall".               


  1. "Wake up Jacob" (Harry Belafonte, Gene Corman, Milton Okun) – 1:55
  2. "My Lord, What a Mornin'" (Belafonte, Corman, Okun) – 4:27
  3. "Ezekiel" (Traditional) – 3:41
  4. "'Buked and Scorned" (Belafonte, Corman) – 4:45
  5. "Stars Shinin' (By 'N By)" (Belafonte, Corman, Okun) – 1:38
  6. "Oh, Freedom" (Belafonte, Corman, Okun) – 3:22
  7. "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?" (Traditional) – 4:38
  8. "Oh, Let Me Fly" (Belafonte, Corman, Okun) – 2:11
  9. "Swing Low" (Traditional) – 4:02
  10. "March Down to Jordan" (Belafonte, Okun, Ned Wright) – 3:28
  11. "Steal Away" – 3:47
    1995 reissue bonus tracks:
  12. "All My Trials" (Traditional, Carter, Greene) – 4:04
  13. "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" (Traditional) – 3:59
  14. "Go Down Emanuel Road" (Irving Burgie) – 3:12
  15. "In My Father's House" – 3:37
  16. "Goin' Down Jordan" (Theophilus Woods) – 3:38

Harry Belafonte‎– My Lord What A Mornin'
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 8. September 2018

Various Artists - Als die Partisanen kamen (Berlin Underground 1979-83 )

In 1991, the Berlin-based Zensor label released a compilation called Als die Partisanen kamen . It contained a bunch of Berlin underground music which had appeared on the Zensor, Monogam, and Marat labels between 1979 and 1983.



01. Einstürzende Neubauten & Sentimentale Jugend - Wollt Ihr die totale Befriedigung (3:20)
02. Mania D - Track Four (3:27)
03. Frieder Butzmann - Valeska (2:55)
04. Rainy Day Woman - Die Heimkehr der Roten Brigaden (4:11)
05. Der tobende Luftkampf - Fieber (3:29)
06. Thomas Voburka - Black Box (2:37)
07. Einstürzende Neubauten - Für den Untergang (4:13)
08. Mona Mur - Eintagsfliege (4:02)
09. Frieder Butzmann - Waschsalon (3:53)
10. Die Haut - (Never going back to) Avenue (3:47)
11. Die Zwei - Einsamkeit (2:56)
12. Frieder Butzmann - Die Kleinen Tiere (1:07)
13. Mekanik Destrüktiv Kohmandöh - Im Land des ewigen Krieges (5:31)
14. Borsig - Hiroshima (4:03)
15. P1/E - 49 Second Romance (2:47)
16. Die Unbekannten - Casualties (2:16)
17. Konstantin - Sing mir ein kleines Arbeiterkampflied (3:28)
18. Django & Maria - Rock 'n' Roll is bigger than all of Us (2:43)
19. Michael Altfeld - Music for Toilets (2:14)

VA - Als die Partisanen kamen (Berlin Underground 1979 - 1983
(192 kbps, cover art inlcuded)

Freitag, 7. September 2018

The Weavers ‎– The Weavers At Home (1959)

"The Weavers at Home" is the Weavers' third Vanguard Records album following "The Weavers at Carnegie Hall" and "The Weavers on Tour", and as its title suggests, it represents the group's first studio recordings since leaving Decca Records in 1953. But they have not returned to the orchestral settings they used on many of the Decca tracks; the instrumentation remains spare, with just Fred Hellerman's acoustic guitar, a banjo, and occasional harmonica passages. (The one exception is "Tina," which features uncredited trumpet and bongos.)

Things start out the way any Weavers fan might expect, with a spirited performance of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," and they end 40 minutes later with an equally lively reading of "Howard's Dead and Gone," and in between are more of the kinds of group efforts the Weavers are known for. But the underlying motivating factor of this album, one only barely acknowledged, is the departure of Pete Seeger and his replacement by Erik Darling, a transition that the LP embodies, since Darling (though credited only as a "guest artist") stands in for Seeger on five songs - "Meet the Johnson Boys," "Come Little Donkey," "Kum Bachura," "All Night Long," and "You Old Fool."

Given that a few other tracks are solo performances, Seeger is actually absent from about half of the disc. And there's more to it than that. Seeger has only one lead vocal, a remake of his and group member Lee Hays' "Empty Pockets Blues," which he previously sang on his 1955 solo album "The Goofing-Off Suite". Otherwise, even when he is singing and playing, he's largely in the background. So is Darling on his "guest" appearances. Thus, this is a Weavers album on which Ronnie Gilbert (who solos on the Spanish-language song "Eres Alta" and "Every Night") and Fred Hellerman (with showcases including "Come Little Donkey" and "Let the Midnight Special") really stand out, as does Hays, even in a group context on "All Night Long" and his duet with Gilbert on "You Old Fool."

With Seeger's gradual exit, the Weavers are becoming a different group with a more even balance among the members. But, as such stirring numbers as the African "Tina" (a "Wimoweh"-like song sung in the Xhosa language) and "Aunt Rhodie" show, they are losing something with the departure of their star. 


A1 This Land Is Your Land 2:41
A2 Aweigh, Santy Ano 2:32
A3 Wild Goose Grasses 2:53
A4 Meet The Johnson Boys 1:32
A5 Aunt Rhodie 1:55
A6 Tina 1:59
A7 Eres Alta 2:30
A8 Come Little Donkey 2:30
A9 Kum Bachura 1:27
B1 All Night Long 2:20
B2 You Old Fool 2:34
B3 Every Night 3:04
B4 Let The Midnight Special 2:34
B5 Bury Me 1:57
B6 Almost Done 2:55
B7 Empty Pocket Blues 3:14
B8 Howard's Dead And Gone 3:07

The Weavers - The Weavers At Home 1959
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 6. September 2018

Malon - Rebellion (1971)

"Rebellion" is a great funky latin psych album released in France by the famous Juan Carlos Caceres with his band Malon featuring other Argentinan expatriate Miguel Abuelo.

The album includes many killer funky latin rock cuts like the banging "Candombe". All in all, the whole album is pretty solid.


A1 Macoña 3:00
A2 La Ville 2:20
A3 Rebellion 3:40
A4 Je Donnerai 3:05
A5 Huinca 3:25
A6 Candombe 3:50
B1 Vidala 5:05
B2 Milonga 2:40
B3 Malon 1:40
B4 Le Fantôme 2:45
B5 La Nueva 4:10

(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 5. September 2018

Caetano Veloso - Caetano Veloso (1968)

Caetano Veloso's first album as a solo artist marked the birth of the culturally revolutionary tropicalia movement, of which Veloso and Gilberto Gil were the leading figures. The concept of the movement was to modernize Brazilian popular culture and, through creative music and poetry, reflect the Brazilian society as it appeared at the time. Veloso and other tropicalistas mixed traditional Brazilian popular music primarily with international pop culture and psychedelic rock, but they would incorporate practically anything that crossed their minds. This kind of wild cultural and musical cannibalism was found to be very controversial by many elements of the Brazilian society, both to the left and to the right of the political spectrum, and would ultimately lead to the arrest and forced exile of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil in 1969.

After the hugely successful release of the psychedelic pop poem "Alegria, Alegria" as a single in 1967, Veloso aimed at releasing an album that would surpass the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's in terms of creativity, while at the same time reflecting the new, more international, Brazil. The result was this unique 12-track gem with classics such as the previously mentioned "Alegria, Alegria," the lovely and ironic "Superbacana," and the Latin-flavored "Soy Loco por Ti America." The title of the opening track "Tropicália" - a song that in a wonderful way summarizes what the movement was all about - was actually borrowed from an installation by visual artist Hélio Oiticica which Veloso found very inspiring.

Soon after the release of this album, the term "tropicália," to the mild irritation of Veloso himself, became the name used by the media to describe the entire Brazilian movement. In addition to the great and uniquely inventive music on the album, what strikes the listener is the excellent standard of the lyrics, written by such prominent poets as Capinam, Ferreira Gullar, and of course Veloso himself. More often than not, the lyrics could easily stand alone as poems.

For all its artistic quality, and its position as the first tropicalia album, as well as Caetano Veloso's first solo album, this is a classic and one of the most important albums of Brazilian popular music history.      


1. Tropicália
2. Clarice
3. No Dia Que Eu Vim-Me Embora
4. Alegria, Alegria
5. Onde Andaras
6. Anunciação
7. Superbacana
8. Paisagem Útil
9. Clara
10. Soy Loco Por Ti, America
11. Ave-Maria
12. Eles
Caetano Veloso - Caetano Veloso (1968)     

VA - Tougher Than Tough (Trojan)

The title of this compilation makes clear that the rude boy phenomenon influenced many Jamaican music styles, of course peaking with Jimmy Cliff's 1973 soundtrack to "The Harder They Come", biopic of original rude boy and fugitive Vincent "Ivanhoe" Martin. Some of the tracks within demonstrate Jamaican musicians' respect for the island's criminal set: Desmond Dekker & the Aces immortalize rudies on the easy-swinging ska vehicle "Rudy Got Soul," and Honey Boy Martin defers to the ruthless outlaws on "Dreader Than Dread."

The majority of acts represented here, though, point a collective finger at the gangster fringe: reform is recommended by Dandy on "Rudy A Message to You," while Derrick Morgan takes things to trial on "Court Dismiss" - Morgan seems to split the difference of opinion, in fact, with his contrasting praise on "Tougher Than Tough."

Whether pro or con, the 18 high-quality selections here offer up a fine overview of the rich first decade of Jamaican music, including well-known songs like Desmond Dekker's "007 (Shanty Town)" and the Slicker's "Johnny Too Bad," as well as obscure gems like Boris Gardiner's organ-driven rock steady instrumental "Scarface." Another plus is the overall high-quality sound, which is not always the case with Trojan reissues. If your musical tastes run to the topical and you feel the need for a good introduction to the beginnings of reggae, then this is the disc to get. To be more democratic, the high-quality selections here make this a must for both the casual and serious fan of Jamaican music.


1 –The Soul Brothers - Lawless Street 3:19
2 –The Clarendonians - Rude Boy Gone Jail 2:49
3 –The Heptones - Gunmen Coming To Town 2:33
4 –Desmond Dekker & The Aces - Rudy Got Soul 2:50
5 –Derrick Morgan - Tougher Than Tough 2:26
6 –Derrick Morgan - Court Dismiss 2:55
7 –Dandy - Rudy A Message To You 2:34
8 –Desmond Dekker & The Aces - 007 (Shanty Town) 2:34
9 –Honey Boy Martin - Dreader Than Dread 2:37
10 –Jackie Edwards - On The Run (With A Gun) 2:44
11 –Boris Gardiner & Love People - Scarface 3:10
12 –The Slickers - Johnny Too Bad 3:04
13 –The Starlites - You're A Wanted Man 2:35
14 –The Untouchables - Cool Down 2:52
15 –Jackie Edwards - Johnny Gunman 2:19
16 –Dennis Alcapone - Alcapone's Guns Don't Argue 2:55
17 –The Slickers - You Can't Win 2:32
18 –Andy Capp  - The Law 2:14

VA - Tougher Than Tough (Trojan)  
(320 kbps, cover art included)         

Audio Active - Apollo Choco (On-U Sound)

The drugged-out sounds of dub take a uniquely Japanese twist on Audio Active's Apollo Choco album. Robot gorillas adorn the front of the album and a space ship in the shape of a Japanese chocolate candy appears on the reverse.

Just as the artwork blends a mixture of science fiction and Japanese snack foods, the music draws on a variety of interesting influences. Funk, dub reggae, and technology blend with a kind of punk attitude that makes for a very fresh and funky sound.

Some tracks move more strongly toward one distinct genre than others. "Output/Start Rec" brings I-Roy into the mix to create a kind of club dance track instead of the expected reggae jam. These kinds of twists give the record solid replay value. "Citizen Zombie" being one of the few vocal tracks gives Audio Active the opportunity to issue a protest and show their punk attitude in full.

Adrian Sherwood is at the controls and helps to unleash Audio Active's noise funk, which is reminiscent of Adrian Sherwood's hand in dubbing Primal Scream's Echo Dek album. Apollo Choco is an example of new and exciting dub, which shows Audio Active's true capabilities

Audio Active - Apollo Choco
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 4. September 2018

Kortatu - Nicaragua Sandinista / Ehun Ginen (Single, 1988)

Basque alternative threesome Kortatu was formed in 1983 by brothers Fermín and Iñigo Muguruza, who were joined by drummer Treku Armendariz. Known for its charismatic performances and radical lyrics, Kortatu's self-titled debut album was released in 1985, followed by 1986's "El Estado De Las Cosas", and 1988's "Kolpez Kolpe". Soon after, while the band was playing at Pamplone, Iruña, a live album called "Azken Guda Dantza" was recorded. Kortatu disbanded in 1989.               

Kortatu were a part of the Basque Radical Rock and pioneers in introducing the ska in Spain, provided with a punk background base. One of their main influences was the British band The Clash.  

Both songs on this single are live recordings.


A Nicaragua Sandinista    3:36
B Ehun Ginen      3:06

Kortatu - Nicaragua Sandinista / Ehun Ginen (Single, 1988)
(192 kbps, cover art included)     

Montag, 3. September 2018

Dave Van Ronk - Dave Van Ronk, Folksinger (Prestige, 1962)

Many die-hard folkys consider Dave Van Ronk in a class apart from his contemporaries — such as Bob Dylan, Eric Von Schmidt, or Jean Ritchie.

Likewise, when asked to pick their favorite of his recordings, "Dave Van Ronk, Folksinger" is likely among the first mentioned. The original LP features a baker's dozen of Van Ronk's most memorable performances, presented in the intimate context of his own solo guitar accompaniment.
This unadorned musical approach seemingly raised the bar for many Washington Square folk devotees. His deceptively simplistic delivery acts as both a gateway to, as well as an archetypal interpreter of, a roots-based folk music that is steeped in the American experience. "Dave Van Ronk, Folksinger" is the first in a series of sides that Van Ronk would cut for Prestige and features a selection of traditional material, most of which hadn't been included on his earlier Folkways albums.

What is most immediately striking about Van Ronk's approach is the overwhelming solitude inherent within his delivery. The unadorned humanity is expressed practically by default. Examples can be found throughout the disc, be it in the soul-rendering visage of a junkie in "Cocaine Blues" or the lamentations of "Hang Me, Oh Hang Me." As well as forging a unique style, Van Ronk also reflects the enormous inspiration of his varied influences. The rambunctious "Samson and Delilah" certainly takes a page from the talkin' blues delivery of Rev. Gary Davis. The mournful and despondent "He Was a Friend of Mine" comes from the same mold that forged Bob Dylan's original. Van Ronk was a vocal supporter of Dylan in that he was one of, if not the first artist to have covered one of his tunes. The version heard here can be likened to Dylan's paternal twin, as the song's essence remains true to form. However, not all of Van Ronk's material is so somber. John Henry's bawdy blues "You've Been a Good Old Wagon" and the traditional "Chicken Is Nice" are charming in their unaffected, almost accidental whimsy. As there is nothing new about the material, once again the impassive delivery and subtle intonations are at the core of making these readings so amusing. In the case of the former, Van Ronk's assertion to keep the narrative voice either feminine - or possibly gay - allows tremendous insight into the type of humor Van Ronk successfully asserts. This is a vital touchstone of Americana and likewise is highly recommended as a key component of any serious collection of 20th century folk music.


A1 Samson & Delilah 3:35
A2 Cocaine Blues 4:13
A3 You've Been A Good Old Wagon 2:16
A4 Fixin' To Die 2:50
A5 Hang Me, Oh Hang Me 3:07
A6 Long John 2:10
A7 Chicken Is Nice 2:29
B1 He Was A Friend Of Mine 3:29
B2 Motherless Children 3:45
B3 Stackalee 3:32
B4 Mr. Noah 1:28
B5 Come Back Baby 3:48
B6 Poor Lazarus 5:06

Dave Van Ronk - Dave Van Ronk, Folksinger (Prestige, 1962)
(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 2. September 2018

Creation Rockers Vol. 1 & 2 (originally released in 1979)

Collecting together the first two volumes of the popular "Creation Rockers" series on one CD, this is truly a great value.

The songs here range from ska and rock steady to dub and toasting to roots, with the emphasis on the latter. Whatever the sub-genre, seminal tracks abound, such as Niney the Observor's "Blood and Fire", Alton Ellis' lively "Dance Crasher," the classic rhythms of Slim Smith's "My Conversation" and Bob Andy's "Feeling Soul," Peter Tosh's "Brand New Second Hand," and Dennis Brown's "Conqueror."

Some lesser known favorites: Derrick Harriott's uncharacteristically militant "Message From a Black Man" features a great up-tempo acoustic guitar rhythm, while Ken Boothe's "You're No Good" is funky, funky, funky. "I've Got Soul" by Carlton & The Shoes provides a privileged look at the group that spawned the legendary Abyssinians, with brothers Lynford and Donald Manning being two-thirds of each group. "I've Got Soul" is Abyssinian-esque in its cool, harmonic flow, similar to the Abyssinians' "There Is No End."

Creation Rockers Vol. 1 & 2 (192 kbps)