Donnerstag, 31. Januar 2019

New Age Steppers - Foundation Steppers (On-U Sound, 1983)

Rallying around the considerable talents of British producer/modern dub mastermind Adrian Sherwood, the New Age Steppers were not so much a band as they were a loosely knit aggregation of musicians from some of Britain's best avant-garde post-punk/funk bands. There was Ari Up from the Slits, Mark Stewart from the Pop Group, and John Waddington and Bruce Smith from Rip, Rig & Panic. Along with the usual gang of suspects employed by Sherwood's dynamically creative On-U Sound (George Oban, Style Scott, Eskimo Fox) studio, the sound ofthe New Age Steppers was that of cut-and-paste dub mixing, psychedelic swirls of found sounds, dissonant aural collages, sinewy reggae riddims, and odd, semi-tuneful vocals. Not for the faint of heart, the music created by Sherwood and his Steppers was among the most exhilarating and consistently challenging to come out of Britain during the early post-punk era. It wasn't always accessible, but it has few peers in terms of ingenuity and daring. Highly recommended to those whose musical tastes occasionally reside on pop's radical, experimental fringes.

The third and final New Age Steppers album (unless one considers the Creation Rebel dub sets), "Foundation Steppers" is dominated by Bim Sherman's magnificent vocals, with the majority of his showcases then segueing into a lengthy dub interlude, to complete one of the finest "traditional" reggae albums in the On-U canon. Assuming, of course, that a traditional album would find space for "Five Dog Race," an earthquake instrumental that Adrian Sherwood would return to on several occasions in the future. Lol Coxhill, Doctor Pablo, and Prince Hammer have all distinguished subsequent versions of this mighty rhythm. Another dub, the sparser "Mandarin," is equally forthright, but the key moments here are the vocal tracks - the buoyant "Memories," the confidential "Misplaced Love," and the pushy "Vice of My Enemies" (reworking the old "Rebel Party" rhythm) all testify to Sherman's mighty presence - to the point where the absence of the Steppers' most familiar vocalist, Ari Up, is scarcely even noticed.

New Age Steppers - Foundation Steppers (On-U Sound, 1983)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Newport Broadside - Newport Folk Festival 1963

The most collectible of the 1963 Newport Folk Festival albums, "Broadside" - as its title implies - serves up the hottest topical songs and performers to appear that weekend; 1963 marked the apogee of the folk protest movement, Broadside magazine was its mouthpiece, and Newport 1963 was the finest hour for all.

It only follows, then, that this album should also emerge as the greatest tribute to that age of impassioned innocence. Bob Dylan opens and closes the LP with a pair of duets - the first, with Pete Seeger, is a jolly singalong assault on the Hugh Hefners of this world, while the closing "With God on Our Side," alongside Joan Baez, is a revelation, a reminder of the days when Dylan and Baez, the king and queen of folk, really did seem ready to rule the world.

A pair of Tom Paxton songs are equally remarkable. A gentle "Rambling Boy" is graced by a genuinely melodious audience singalong, while "The Willing Conscript" is as funny (and pertinent) today as it surely was in 1963, with the Vietnam conflict just beginning to escalate, and lessons in bayonetting, disembowelling, and dismembering the enemy were indeed a vital component of any youth's education.

Further proof that the finest folk is that which retains its relevance no matter what the prevailing musical and cultural climate is delivered by Sam Hinton's wryly punning "Talking Atomic Blues." It was originally recorded in 1950; 13 years later, just months after the Cuban missile crisis, it still blistered with every ounce of its original passion. "We hold this truth to be self-evident, that all men should be cremated equal." Newcomers Phil Ochs and Peter La Farge both impress; Englishman Bob Davenport, however, is ill-served by his unaccompanied drone through Ewan MacColl's "Come All Ye Giant Drivers," and three songs from the Freedom Singers were probably a lot more pertinent in 1963 than they sound today. Such moments of drabness are scarce, however; so scarce that if you should find a copy of this album, forget what the vinyl junkie down the road will pay for a copy. Keep it for yourself and play it till the grooves uncoil.

Newport Broadside - Newport Folk Festival 1963
(192 kbps, cover art inlcuded)

VA - Vorwärts und nicht vergessen - Musik der Arbeiterbewegung in Dokumentaraufnahme - To remember Inge Lammel!

Originally posted on July, 30 2015:
Today was the funeral ceremony for Inge Lammel. We lost an engaged and politically conscious friend, always active against racism and fasicsm. Fortunatelly I had the chance to meet Inge Lammel in the last years at several occassions. Once, we talked about this blog and finally she gave me a book about Woody Guthrie as a present. Thanks a lot for all your great work, Inge, and may you rest in peace!
Inge Lammel (born May 8, 1924 in Berlin as Inge Rackwitz ; died July 2,  2015 in Berlin) was a German musicologist, focused on the history and tradition of political music, especially on working-class songs, songs of the resistance movments against the nazis and songs in the concentration camps.

Inge Lammel came to England in 1939 on a "Kindertransport". Contrary to most ‘transports’, associated with Jews and World War II, these children ‘transports’ started before the war broke. They were mainly from Nazi-occupied Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia in the direction of free Britain. They included only kids, without their parents, but with their parents’ consent for their one-way voyage on their own. Many of those 10,000 Jewish children (‘kinder’ in German) were the only survivors of their family.

She settled to the DDR in the fall of 1947, wishing to help rebuild a democratic Germany. She has since lived in Berlin-Pankow. A massive bibliography of German working-class songs was assembled by a collective under the leadership of Inge Lammel at the "Akademie der Künste". Inge Lammel founded the "Arbeiterlied-Archiv" at the "Akademie" and headed it from 1954 to 1985. During this time there were several compilations with working-class songs published in the GDR. She also co-founded the "Bund der Antifaschisten" in Berlin-Pankow.

At the fourth Burg Waldeck Festival in 1967, the GDR was "officially" represented in the form of the Brecht singer Hermann Hähnel and by Ingel Lammel and Erna Berger from the "Arbeiterlieder-Archiv". They presented a workshop on Wolfgang Steinitz´s research on the German democratic folk song.

In 2012 Inge Lammel was honoured for the stalwart work she has carried out for many years researching and writing about the local pre-war Jewish community – she has published several books – and for launching some 12 years ago the "Verein der Freunde und Förderer des ehemaligen Jüdisches Waisenhaus, Pankow". This association, which is run by a committee of Jews and non-Jews, has traced and remained in touch with men who lived in the orphanage before the war. Since 2001 the association, with the help of the Cajewitz Stiftung, has organised many reunions of former pupils and their partners. These reunions have done much to enable the former pupils to come to terms with their past, to reconnect with the new Germany and, in some cases, to regain their mother tongue.

One of the very instructive collections with working-class music published with the help of Ingel Lammel is "Vorwärts und nicht vergessen - Musik der Arbeiterbewegung in Dokumentaraufnahme", released in 1971 on ETERNA. Comes in gatefold cover with booklet, containing texts and photographs, the linernotes are by Inge Lammel.

1.Hanns EislerDie Fabriken
2.Berliner Schubert ChorRotgardistenmarsch
3.Erwin PiscatorTrotz alledem
4.Arbeiter Schalmei KapelleBüxensteinlied
5.Rote RaketenRote Raketenmarsch
6.Erich WeinertGesang der Latscher
7.Rote RaketenGaslied
8.Gesangverein Typographia          Wann wir schreiten
9.Rote RaketenNiggersong
10.Hanns EislerSolidaritätslied
11.Erich WeinertDer rote Feuerwehrmann
12.Das Rote SprachrohrDas rote Fahne Lied
13.Die StürmerRote Matrosen
14.Hanns EislerDer rote Wedding
15.Hanns EislerGustav Kulkes seliges Ende
16.Das Rote SprachrohrDas Komsomolzenlied
17.Erich WeinertDer heimliche Aufmarsch gegen die Sowjetunion

VA - Vorwärts und nicht vergessen - Musik der Arbeiterbewegung in Dokumentaraufnahme
(192 kbps, cover art & booklet included)

Lin Jaldati - Jiddische Lieder - Live, Köln, 3. Juli 1987

This is a concert recording from 1987, July 3, in Cologne, West Germany. Lin Jaldati performs both traditional and composed Yiddish songs, accompanied by her husband Eberhard Rebling on piano and by their daughters Kathinka Rebling on violin and Jalda Rebling, vocals.

Lin Jaldati was sent to concentration camps when the Nazis occupied Holland. She didn't speak Yiddish, but learned Yiddish songs from her fellow prisoners. Jaldati survived Auschwitz; being a communist, she came to East Germany to help establish a socialist German state. She married Eberhard Rebling, a German communist who later became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and started to perform Yiddish songs for a German audience with Rebling accompanying her on piano.

Later they were joined by their daughters Katinka and Jalda. Lin Jaldati dedicated her art and her life to communist East Germany. This didn't prevent her from being banned from performing in the late sixties; the hysteria had gone so far that even performing Yiddish songs was interpreted as a pro-Israel statement. For a long time Lin Jaldati, who was highly accepted by what later became the East German Yiddish and klezmer scene, was the only Yiddish performer in East Germany.

Lin Jaldati - Jiddische Lieder - Live, Köln, 3. Juli 1987
(192 kbps, front & back cover included)

André Heller - Bitter und Süß - André Heooer in Israel (1978)

André Heller, born in 1947 in Vienna, is one of the most successful multimedia artists in the world. His realisations include garden artworks, chambers of wonder, prose publications and processions, as well as revitalising the art of circus and varieté; his recordings as singer and songwriter have sold in the millions. Large-scale flying and floating sculptures, the Luna Luna avant-garde amusement park, moving pictures, pyrotechnic spectaculars and mazes, theatre pieces and shows directed for stages ranging from Broadway to Vienna’s venerable Burg theatre, from India to China and all the way to South America and Africa have drawn crowds of audiences. André Heller lives in Vienna, Morocco, Lombardy and on his frequent travels.

"Bitter und Süß" was recorded live in Israel, 23-28. November 1975.


A1 Wenn I Amal Stirb 2:05
A2 A Musi, A Musi 2:05
A3 Bitter Und Süß 4:00
A4 Das Marine Museum 6:15
A5 Glasscherbentanz 3:45
B1 Im Paradeisgartl 4:34
B2 Wienerlied 1:39
B3 Und Dann Bin I Ka Liliputaner Mehr 3:02
B4 Windrad 2:23
B5 Kumm Ma Mit Kane Ausreden Mehr 2:15
C1 Alt Wiener Tänze 6:32
C2 A Olta Weana Fiaker 3:55
C3 Waast Es Eh 3:12
C4 Damals 2:25
D1 Lärm Vor Dem Hause 2:29
D2 A Gedicht Fia D Moni 2:06
D3 Engel-Lied 3:08
D4 Jetzt Fahr'n Wir Nach Jerusalem 4:02

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Inti-Illimani - Hacia La Libertad (1975)

For well over 30 years, Inti-Illimani (the name translates as "Sun God") has held a beacon for Chilean music, both the traditional folk styles and the more contemporary nueva cancion. Back in 1967 a group of students at Santiago's Technical University formed a band to perform folk music. Taking their name from the Aymaran Indian language of the Andes, they began playing traditional music - something few did back then - and quickly earned a reputation around the capital, becoming more and more adept on their instruments.

By the '70s they'd grown into a political beast, taking on the nueva cancion (literally "new song") of many young groups, and being quite outspoken lyrically - enough to be forced into exile in 1973, where they'd stay for 15 years. However, they refused to be cowed by the Chilean dictatorship.

Basing themselves in Rome, Italy, they continued to record, and toured more heavily then ever before, earning a powerful reputation around the globe, and becoming very unofficial ambassadors of Chilean music, as well as opponents to the ruling regime. In addition to performing with a number of famous, political figures like Pete Seeger and Mikis Theodorakis, they were included on the famous 1988 Amnesty International Tour, along with Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Bruce Springsteen. It was, perhaps, their highest profile moment, at least in worldwide terms, and set the stage for their return to their homeland, where they've continued to be outspoken.

While they've remained a force in world music, their career in the U.S. was hampered by the lack of any consistent record deal until 1994, when they signed with Green Linnet offshoot Xenophile. Prior to that, only a few of their 30-plus discs made it into domestic U.S. record bins. The eight-piece lineup remained stable until 1996, when Max Berru decided to retire from music after almost three decades, shortly after the group had been celebrated with a "Best Of" disc in Italy (not to be confused with the 2000 "Best Of" on Xenophile, which collected tracks from their last four releases only). Instead of replacing him, they've continued since as a septet. 1997 saw the band honored with a U.C. Berkeley Human Rights Award for their labors in the past. Since then, although they've continued to release albums and tour, they've cut back on their earlier hectic schedule, but also widened their musical horizons, as 1999's "Amar de Nuevo" looked at the complete spectrum of Latin roots music and its Creole heritage.                

"Hacia La Libertad" was originally released in 1975 by the Italian label Dischi dello Zodiaco, later to be reprinted by other European labels.
It was the fourth studio album recorded and released by the band in the exile in Italy.


01. Arriba quemando el sol
02. El arado
03. Cancion a Victor
04. Ciudad Ho Chi Min
05. Chiloé
06. Vientos del pueblo
07. Hacia la libertad
08. Cai cai vilu
09. Canto de los caidos

Inti-Illimani - Hacia La Libertad (1975)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

André Heller - Stimmenhören (1983)

André Heller was born in 1947 in Vienna. As a poet songwriter, his work spans across a period of more than 15 years selecting diverse topics and writing for a German-speaking audience. He has worked with not only international names such as Ástor Piazzolla, Dino Saluzzi, and Freddie Hubbard, but also with Austrian artists such as Toni Stricker, Wolfgang Ambros, and Helmut Qualtinger. Heller's own poetry has been set to music. He has also sung texts by other authors. For instance, "Catherine", from 1970, was set to one of the first hits of Heller. The text came from the then still largely unknown Reinhard Mey, and the music from the Austro-Canadian Jack Grunsky.

With Werner Schneyder, he created Viennese German songs that are translated from Jacques Brel, such as "Franz" (after the Brel title "Jef"). In 1976, he published a fairy tale called, Märchen für ein Wiener Kind (English version as "A Fairy Tale for a Viennese Child"), which is part of the children's book Update on Rumpelstiltskin and other Fairy Tales by 43 Authors, which is compiled by Hans-Joachim Gelberg, illustrated by Willi Glasauer, and published by Beltz & Gelberg. Using intimate memories of traumatic childhood experiences, and insights into his life, as well as his Catholic-Jewish origin, he created songs with the title "Angstlied" (Verwunschen, 1980).

Titles like "Miruna, die Riesin von Göteborg" (Verwunschen, 1980) are, in turn, influenced by the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. "Das Lied vom idealen Park" (Narrenlieder 1985), or, as a duet with Wolfgang Ambros, he also introduced the Bob Dylan cover, "Für immer jung" (Stimmenhören, 1983), are now titles that are part of the Austro-pop cannon. In 1983, he appeared on Stimmenhören with the song "Erhebet euch Geliebte", a song at the time of the peace movement in the early 1980s. Since the early 1980s, he turned increasingly to large public productions, installations and performances, until 1982, where his concert career came to close.

In 1985, the album, Narrenlieder, was released. Between 1967 and 1985, he published a total of fourteen LPs, twelve of those were gold records, and earned him seven times platinum. In 1991, he wrote, looking back on this period:
"I started in 1967, to put my poems together using my voice on record and in recitals before millions of people. This was following the example of Bob Dylan's first meaningful and self-published poetry [...] 1982 was certainly the zenith of that career, where I had to stop my concerts. I realized at this point, it was spoiled for me, because at 8pm, I had to act gifted in front of a few thousand listeners, just because they had paid for admission." – Heller in the liner notes of Kritische Gesamtausgabe published in 1991.
However, on his 60th birthday, Heller gave a concert in April 2007 at the Viennese Radiokulturhaus, after twenty-five years of absence from the stage in a recital entitled, Konzert für mich (Concert for me).

In 2006, thanks to the initiative of Chris Gelbmann, he released his last album called, Ruf und Echo. The 3-CD compendium is the first release in the past 20 years, containing new songs, and interpretations of old hits by artists like Brian Eno, Xavier Naidoo, Thomas D, and The Walkabouts.


Der Mikado1:43
Wie mei Herzschlag3:25
Tulios Lied4:17
Die Hundertjährige4:04
Zehn Brider6:13
Für immer jung3:54
Der erste Reif in Rimini4:17
Mir Träumte4:20
Erhebt euch Geliebte4:16

André Heller - Stimmenhören (1983)
(ca. 180 kbps, cover art included)

Country Joe & The Fish - Electric Music for the Mind and Body

Their full-length debut is their most joyous and cohesive statement and one of the most important and enduring documents of the psychedelic era, the band's swirl of distorted guitar and organ at its most inventive.
In contrast to Jefferson Airplane, who were at their best working within conventional song structures, and the Grateful Dead, who hadn't quite yet figured out how to transpose their music to the recording studio, Country Joe & the Fish delivered a fully formed, uncompromising, and yet utterly accessible -- in fact, often delightfully witty -- body of psychedelic music the first time out. Ranging in mood from good-timey to downright apocalyptic, it embraced all of the facets of the band's music, which were startling in their diversity: soaring guitar and keyboard excursions ("Flying High," "Section 43," "Bass Strings," "The Masked Marauder"), the group's folk roots ("Sad and Lonely Times"), McDonald's personal ode to Grace Slick ("Grace"), and their in-your-face politics ("Superbird").

Hardly any band since the Beatles had ever come up with such a perfect and perfectly bold introduction to who and what they were, and the results -- given the prodigious talents and wide-ranging orientation of this group -- might've scared off most major record labels. Additionally, this is one of the best-performed records of its period, most of it so bracing and exciting that one gets some of the intensity of a live performance.

Flying High2:37
Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine4:18
Death Sound4:21
Porpoise Mouth2:47
Section 437:23
Super Bird2:01
Sad And Lonely Times2:21
Bass Strings4:58
The Masked Marauder3:07

Country Joe & The Fish - Electric Music for the Mind and Body        
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 30. Januar 2019

Neil Young - Anthology 1967 - 1993

Some artists make it seem utterly courageous to follow their own muse. Neil Young makes it seem like there's no other choice. For the last 45 years, Young has glanced at his options, shrugged for a moment, and lit off for the place that seemed right. Young has always kept his fans guessing, turning an array of stylistic corners -  country twang here, poignant picking there, and a whole lot of blaring guitar rock everywhere between. It doesn't matter if the songs are personal confessions, allusive tales, or bouncy throwaways - since the mid-1960s Young has filled each with immediacy and passion, two hallmarks of a career that has been utterly influential and wildly fun to follow. He's like your weird old uncle - if your uncle were a rock & roll genius.

"Anthology" is a great collection of outtakes, B-sides, edits and rare recordings...


Disc 1 - 1967-1974:
1. Mr. Soul
2. Down To The Wire
3. If I Could Have Her Tonight
4. I've Been Waiting For You
5. Here We Are In The Years
6. What Did You Do To My Life
7. Mr. Soul
8. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
9. Cinnamon Girl
10. Down By The River
11. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
12. Everybody's Alone
13. Dance Dance Dance
14. On The Way Home
15. Wonderin'
16. Sugar Mountain
17. Birds
18. I Believe In You
19. Out On The Weekend
20. War Song
21. Last Trip To Tulsa
22. Bad Fog Of Loneliness
23. Traces
24. Human Highway
25. Pushed It Over The End
26. Walk On

Disc 2 - 1975-1982:
1. Campaigner
2. White Line
3. Pocahontas
4. Like A Hurricane
5. Stringman
6. Too Far Gone
7. Sedan Delivery
8. Powderfinger
9. Hold Back The Tears
10. Look Out For My Love
11. Hey Babe
12. Worried Man Blues
13. My My Hey Hey
14. Home On The Range
15. Southern Pacific
16. Opera Star
17. Surfer Joe And Moe The Sleaze
18. Berlin

Disc 3 - 1982-1989:
1. If You Got Love
2. Sample And Hold
3. Mr. Soul
4. Sample And Hold
5. Do You Wanna Dance
6. Silver And Gold
7. Time Off For Good Behaviour
8. Leaving' The Top Forty Behind
9. Interstate
10. Grey Riders
11. Nothing Is Perfect
12. Weight Of The World
13. Inca Queen
14. Too Lonely
15. Ten Men Workin'
16. I'm Goin'
17. This Note's For You
18. Boxcar

Disc 4 - 1989-1993:
1. Cocaine Eyes
2. Heavy Love
3. Don't Cry
4. Rockin' In The World
5. Razor Love
6. Born To Run
7. White Line
8. Love To Burn
9. The Days That Used To Be
10. Love And Only Love
11. Mansion On The Hill
12. Don't Spook The Horse
13. Over And Over
14. Arc

There must be two more discs with recordings from 1994 to 1999 - sadly they are not on my hard-drive...

Neil Young - Anthology 1967 - 1993 - CD 1 & 2
Neil Young - Anthology 1967 - 1993 - CD 3 & 4

(192 kbps, cover art inlcuded)

Franz Josef Degenhardt - Mutter Mathilde (1972)

Learned and versatile, German poet, novelist, folksinger, and noted attorney Franz Josef Degenhardt was born December 3, 1931. He began releasing records in the early '60s and hasn't let up, with some 50 album titles in his personal discography, the most recent appearing in 2006. Degenhardt was also an accomplished novelist, with a half dozen largely autobiographical novels to his name. He died died 14 November 2011 in Quickborn, Germany.       

From the early 1960s onward, in addition to practicing law, Degenhardt was also performing and releasing recordings. He is perhaps most famous for his song (and the album of the same name) "Spiel nicht mit den Schmuddelkindern" ("Don't Play With the Grubby Children," 1965), but has released close to 50 albums, starting with "Zwischen Null Uhr Null und Mitternacht" ("Between 00:00 and Midnight," 1963), renamed "Rumpelstilzchen" ("Rumpelstiltskin"). In 1968 Degenhardt was involved in trials of members of the German student movement, principally defending social democrats and communists. At the same time, he was - in his capacity as a singer-songwriter - one of the major voices of the 1968 student movement. On his 1977 album "Wildledermantelmann" he criticized many of his former comrades from that era for what he saw as their betrayal of socialist ideals and shift towards a social-liberal orientation. The album's title (roughly, "man with velour coat") mocks the style of clothing they had supposedly adopted.        

"Mutter Mathilde", released in 1972, includes the great "Befragung eines Kriegsdienstverweigerers", a song for Angela Davis and one dedicated Sacco and Vanzetti.


Angela Davis4:51
Bodo, genannt der Rote6:22
Sacco und Vanzetti3:12
Befragung eine Kriegsdienstverweigerers4:00
Natascha Speckenbach5:19
Auf der Hochzeit2:03
Mutter Mathilde5:57
Ja, dieses Deutschland meine ich3:45

Franz Josef Degenhardt - Mutter Mathilde (1972)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

VA - KZ Musik - Encyclopedia of Music Composed in Concentration Camps (1933 - 1945) - CD 6

"The sixth CD is a wild potpourri, demonstrating that an astounding range of music--liturgical, classical, popular; choral, vocal, instrumental--can be deeply moving. It opens with Pinkhof's Jewish liturgical songs for a cappella male choir. Two long Hebraic chants by Bischofswerder, intoned by solo male voice (Paolo Candido), are surpassingly haunting, as is Zrzavý's V'lirushalaim for baritone and string quartet. Note that both sides imprisoned foreigners during World War II: Bischofswerder, a German rabbi who moved to London in 1933, was interned as an "enemy alien" in England and later in Australia. Hilsley's Fantasia is for a plaintive oboe and string quartet, his Dance Pieces for oboe and viola. Kropiński's instrumental music is somber; Bez Titulu a slow, sad tango. The remaining tracks are sentimental, often bittersweet ballads. (...)

Volume 6 (68 minutes) is an assemblage of vocal works along with a few short instrumental items. There are short, solemn liturgical texts set for a cappella male choir and solo male voice by Josef Pinkhof (1906-45) and Boaz Bischofswerder (d 1956); more characteristic songs and short piano solos and pianoand- violin duos by composers already represented in earlier volumes (Ullmann, Kropinski, Peskarova); and a conventionally tonal and bizarrely sweet 7-minute setting--presumably sardonic?--of a brutal text, warbled out by a childlike female voice with four-square piano accompaniment and given the cruel title Auschwitz Lied. This is credited to one Camilla Mohaupt, though the name is uncertain and there are no birth or death dates. The Kropinski numbers (my favorite things on this volume) exhibit that composer's pleasing way with traditionally harmonized, Slavic-inflected melodies such as his `Bez Titulu'. The universal appeal of this idiom is underscored by the popularity of George Gershwin's "blue" music--more Eastern European than African- American in origin--as well as such popular songs as the catchy, at once cynical and nostalgic `Those Were the Days', made worldfamous in a 1968 English language adaptation released on the Beatles' label, but actually written by a Russian song-writer, Boris Fomin, in the early 1900s. Indeed, `Bez Titulu' and `Those Were the Days' bear a strong enough resemblance to suggest Kropinski was familiar with the earlier song; at any rate he certainly knew the style. In sharp contrast are two pieces by William Hilsley (1911-2003), an English composer who had emigrated to the Netherlands before he was apprehended by the Third Reich and held in an internment camp for British citizens. His Fantasia on a Provencal Christmas Carol for oboe and string quartet and Three Dances for oboe and viola are fresh, sprightly, modal, pastoral, and pensive, very much in a Vaughan Williams vein and seemingly out of place among the darkened weltschmerz of so many downtrodden Eastern European Jews and fiery Communist martyrs. How innocent and undamaged Hilsley's music seems by comparison." -- American Record Guide, Mark L Lehman, November-December 2009

"In 1982, Dr. Francesco Lotoro visited Auschwitz and was amazed to find in its archives, a treasure trove of music written by prisoners. Ever since, Professor Lotoro has dedicated his life and career to finding, authenticating, transcribing, and cataloguing this precious legacy.
Traveling all over the world in search of this lost music, Professor Lotoro has found over 4,000 pieces of music — from astonishingly beautiful chamber music to avant-garde jazz to bawdy vaudevillian songs—and he estimates that 1,500 pieces are still waiting to be discovered.
These pieces were scribbled in notebooks, diaries, and even on toilet paper. Many of the finds originated in Terezin in the Czech Republic. Terezin was a concentration camp used by the Third Reich as propaganda to hide their plans for extermination., where music was allowed. Orchestras and bands were created and allowed to perform.
Thus far, Lotoro’s discoveries have resulted in a collection of over 4,000 manuscripts, around 13,000 microfiches, as well as numerous letters, drawings, and photographs. Professor Lotoro converted to Judaism and believes it is his Mitzvah to preserve this cultural heritage. He knows that he must move quickly or the music of that generation will be lost.
As a concert pianist, Professor Lotoro studied at The Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. Subsequently, he studied with Tamas Vasary and Aldo Ciccolini. In 1995, Lotoro founded the Orchestra Musica Judaica. His discography includes over 40 CDs, including 24 of Concentrationary music with KZ Musik.
In 2007 Dahlan and Honora Foah met Francesco Lotoro and inspired by his work, created a concert of some of the works he had discovered. The concert evolved into the Creativity in Captivity project dedicated to supporting Dr. Lotoro’s work."


Josef Pinkhof Bergen-Belsen
1. Lecho Adonoi, male choir
2. Scharchoret, male choir
3. Wajhie, male choir
4. Gadlu, male choir & male singer

Boaz Bischofswerder (? – 1956) Hay/Tatura
5. El Male Rachamim, male singer
6. Lehu Nerann’no, male singer
7. Mi Addir, baritone & piano

David Grünfeld – Zikmund Schul Terezin
8. Uv’tzeil Knofecho, baritone & piano

Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) Terezin
2 Lieder der Tröstung
9. Tote wollen nicht verweilen, baritone & piano
10. Erwachen zu Weihnachten, baritone & piano

Vilem Zrzawy – Zikmund Schul Terezin
11. V'lirushalaim, baritone & strings quartet

William Hilsley Oflag XVIII C/Oflag VIII A
12. Fantasy on Provencal Christmas Carol, hautbois & strings quartet
13-15. 3 Dance Pieces, hautbois & viola

Hermann Gürtler Bolzano, Italy
16. Rigaudon, piano

Jozef Kropiński (1913-1970) Buchenwald
17. Bez titułu, piano
18. Poem (after Poem Z. Fibich’s 5th Symphony), piano
19. Tęsknota, piano
20. Pieśń bez słów, violin & piano
21. Dlaczego?, violin & piano

Ludmila Peškařová (1890-1987) Ravensbrück
22. Černe vlajky, female singer & piano
23. Modlitba za vlast, female singer & piano
24. Hradčany krásné, female singer & piano
25. Kdybych měla aero, female singer & piano
26. Slunce vzchází a zapadá, female singer & piano

Jadwiga Leszczynska Auschwitz
27. Frauenlager, female singer & piano

Camilla Mohaupt Bergen-Belsen
28. Auschwitz Lied, female singer & piano

VA - KZ Musik - Encyclopedia of Music Composed in Concentration Camps (1933 - 1945) - CD 6

(256 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 29. Januar 2019

Perry Friedman - Hootenanny Vol. 2

"Singe-Bewegung" and "Oktoberklub" in East Germany, part 1.

In the early 1960s, after the erection of the Berlin wall, East Germany underwent a phase of economic reforms accompanied by a short-lived ideological thaw. Literature and cinema dared a critical take on real life behind the Iron Curtain. The “hot music” the regime had formerly stifled was now promoted. With the indigenous folk and protest songs came “left-wing” songs from “the other side”. The new song culture that emerged differed markedly from the songs of struggle and agitprop of previous years.

The musical protest movement in the West inspired many artists in East Germany. In 1963 Wolf Biermann wrote Ballade vom Briefträger William L. Moore (Ballad of a Mailman), which Fasia Jansen performed to resounding applause at the first West German folkfest at Burg Waldeck in 1964. In July 1966, half a year after being barred from performing and publishing his work, Biermann sent a Vietnam song to Walter Ulbricht (first secretary of the socialist party), declaring that it had “every chance of becoming an important song in the international anti-Vietnam war movement”. Gerhard Schöne, the 15-year-old son of a priest in the Saxon town of Coswig, wrote Sag mir, was ist deine Welt (Tell me what’s your world) to the tune of the West German hit Welche Farbe hat die Welt (What colour’s the world), which made a name for him in church circles. Around the same time an 18-year-old high school student in East Berlin, Hartmut König, composed Sag mir, wo du stehst based on the American song Which Side Are You On: König’s version became the most best-known title at the Hootenanny Club (later called the Oktoberklub). In 1968 Eulenspiegel-Verlag, an East Berlin publisher, put out a collection of protest songs with lyrics by Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Franz Josef Degenhardt, Dieter Süverkrüp, Hartmut König et al. It came with an LP on which Manfred Krug sang songs from Chile, France, the US and a Vietnam song of his own.

In 1960 Perry Friedman, a Canadian folk singer who’d moved to East Berlin the year before, began holding “hootenannys” there, i.e. sing-along folk music parties. He set out to transplant in the GDR the casual style of singing and performing songs that had become an established tradition in American left-wing circles. In 1965, DT 64, the radio station for young people, began promoting these events, and hootenanny clubs sprouted up a year later in Berlin and other East German cities. These clubs attracted both amateurs and pros, including Perry Friedman, Hartmut König, Reiner Schöne, Bettina Wegner, the Beat band Team 4, and many others. The hootenanny movement was neither oppositional nor unofficial. Though government-funded, it was not a campaign decreed from above, but a relatively spontaneous outgrowth that was unusually laid-back and unconstrained by East German standards in those days.

Perry Friedman - Hootenanny Vol. 2 (AMIGA, 1966)
(320 kbps, vinyl rip, cover art included)

If you want to find out more about the "Hootenanny" in East Berlin, visit this years "Festival Musik & Politik".

Perry Friedman - Hootenanny mit Perry Friedman (Amiga, 1966)

"Singe-Bewegung" and "Oktoberklub" in East Germany, part 10.

Perry Friedman was a folksinger from western Canada who emigrated to the GDR in the late 1950s and went on to play an important role in the East German cultural scene by introducing the country to a number of folk music traditions – including their own. He began holding “hootenannys” in East Berlin, i.e. sing-along folk music parties. He set out to transplant in the GDR the casual style of singing and performing songs that had become an established tradition in American left-wing circles.

In 2004, Dietz Verlag Berlin published Wenn die Neugier nicht wär’ – Ein Kanadier in der DDR, a book containing Perry’s unfinished memoirs and reminiscences from a number of family, friends and colleagues. This work goes some way to telling Perry’s story, however, unfortunately, the memoir portion covers only up to his departure from the GDR in 1971, leaving much of his story to be told by others. For those who read German though, it’s worth tracking down.

Friedman’s casual, North American approach to music making was difficult for East German authorities and audiences to place initially, but it resonated amongst young people starved for something new and authentic. In 1960, Friedman received permission to host a Hootenanny, a sing-along folk music party format that had become popular in North America, in the newly constructed Sport Hall in the Stalinallee (later Karl-Marx-Allee). This was well-received and featured not only Perry but a number of other artists as well including Gisela May (an acclaimed actress and singer) and Lin Jaldati  (East Germany’s foremost interpreter of Yiddish song). The evening was a huge success and sparked an interest in both Friedman and the folk / protest songs he had in his repertoire. Finding himself working and earning a living doing what he loved, the decision to settle in East Berlin was an easy one.
During this period, Perry married a German girl, a West Berlin native who was studying to be a teacher in the East. Sylvia Friedman tells that on the evening that the Berlin Wall was erected (August 13, 1961), Perry and his wife were in West Berlin visiting her family. When they learned that the border had been closed, they were faced with the decision of whether to stay put or return to the uncertainty of the GDR. They chose the latter and within years were parents of three young boys.
In 1962, Perry worked with Heinz Kahlau, a poet and writer and staunch supporter of the East German regime, on a book project entitled Hör zu, Mister Bilbo (Listen, Mr. Bilbo) which contained German translations of American workers’ songs. In 1963, the West German independent label pläne released a 7″ ep I’m On My Way – Amerikanische Negerlieder, marking his first release in Germany. In 1964, Perry’s brother Searle and family move to East Berlin in order for Searle to pursue studies at the ‘Hans Eisler’ Academy of Music.
Until the mid-1960s, Perry was kept busy performing on radio and television, touring the GDR with the Hootenanny format and supporting the singing clubs which had sprouted up in many East German towns and cities. During this time his repertoire expanded to include songs from German folk and working class traditions. For many, this is seen as Perry’s most important contribution to East German culture for in doing this, he helped rehabilitate a part of German heritage which had abused and perverted by the Nazis between the years 1933-1945. The popularity of the Hootenanny shows encouraged the Amiga label to release three compilation albums featuring performances by Perry and other performers in 1966: Hootenanny mit Perry Friedman, Hootenanny mit Perry Friedman 2 and Songs, Chansons und Neue Lieder.
But a change in the cultural politics of the GDR in 1967 had significant consequences for Perry. Interested in keeping the influence of Western, and in particular American, culture at bay, the ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED – Sozialistische Einheitspartei) turned over control of the concerts and singing clubs to the Party’s youth wing, the Free German Youth (FDJ – Freie Deutsche Jugend). The foreign term ‘Hootenanny’ was forbidden and replaced with the accurate, if less evocative, term ‘Singing Movement’ (dt. ‘Singbewegung‘). Having worked closely with the FDJ in the past, Perry initially didn’t see these changes as an existential threat and he took on a leadership role in the Berlin-based “Oktoberklub”, the singing club in the East German capital which found a home in the newly built Kino International in the Karl-Marx-Allee.
A short time later, however, Perry found himself blacklisted because of his Canadian/Western background. Banned from performing on radio or tv and with few gigs on offer, Perry’s Canadian passport now proved his salvation. Using this, he was able to pass through the now-closed inner-German border into West Berlin and West Germany where he was at least able to perform and generate some income. Although he was partially ‘rehabilitated’ by Kurt Goldstein, the head of GDR Radio, in 1968 with a new radio program, these were difficult years for Perry.
WIth things showing little sign of improvement, Perry decided to take the family back to Canada in 1971. By 1976, Perry had had enough of Canada and decided to return to East Berlin. For Perry and so many others of his generation, the GDR embodied an alternative to a capitalist world and the promise of a more just, equitable social order. He felt that the limits the regime placed on individuals and their freedom were, while regrettable, necessary.
Back in East Berlin, Perry was taken under the wing of the FDJ by its leader Egon Krenz (who would later go on to succeed, if only briefly, Erich Honecker as the head of after his resignation in October 1989). A revival of the ‘Singing Movement’ coincided with Perry’s return and in the years that followed, Perry toured throughout in the GDR and the Eastern Bloc. In 1979, Perry received the GDR’s National Prize for Art and Music and in 1982 he released a self-titled new album for the GDR’s Amiga label.
In addition to his work in the East, Perry was also active in West Germany. He appeared at many union events, particularly those of the IG Metall. He was also contributed to many of the huge peace protests/concerts which punctuated life in the Federal Republic in the 1980s.
In 1988, while on tour and already suffering from kidney problems and diabetes, Perry suffered a heart attack that forced him off the road. He was just getting back to work when the tumultuous events of the fall of 1989 brought down the East German state in which Perry had invested so much hope. A letter to Jack Winter written in December 1989 gives a sense of his despair at the turn of events: “We find ourselves confronted by a very painful period of our lives. . . . I fear that we are in the process of throwing away an entire chapter of our history, one named ‘Socialism’. . . . The tragedy here is that the people had a onetime chance to develop a new society and they threw it away.”
Like many of his contemporaries, the early years after German unification brought many changes to Perry’s life. He did some freelance work as a radio journalist once again, but it took him several years to find his feet artistically particularly now that the state supports which had made much of his work possible were gone. He did regroup, however, and Perry’s last musical projects brought him back to his roots. A 1992 concert featured a program of American folk and classical music while his final performance in 1994 was made up from his repertoire of Yiddish and German songs.
After a lengthy struggle with illness, Perry died at the age of 59 in Berlin on March 16, 1995.

Thanks a lot for this very informative biography to The GDR Objectified.

(01) Perry Friedman - Wenn alle Brünnlein fließen
(02) Perry Friedman - Zwischen Berg und tiefem Tal
(03) Lin Jaldati - Het Kwezelke
(04) Rolf Zimmermann - Gib' deine Hand
(05) Christel Schulze & Klaus Schneider - Liebeslied
(06) Gerry Wolff - Kling-Klang
(07) Lutz Kirchenwitz - Weltuntergangs-Blues
(08) Lutz Kirchenwitz - Die Oliven gedeih'n
(09) Lin Jaldati - Sing, sing so
(10) Perry Friedman - Wake up, Jacob
(11) Lin Jaldati - As der Rebbe weijnt
(12) Perry Friedman - Oh, Jerum
(13) Lutz Kirchenwitz - Es fiel ein Reif
(14) Christel Schulze & Klaus Schneider - Singe, Soldat
(15) Rolf Zimmermann - Wenn die Sonn' am Himmel steht
(16) Lin Jaldati - Wenn die Lichter wieder brennen
(17) Jörn Fechner - In den Bäumen ist heute ein Raunen
(18) Christel Schulze & Klaus Schneider - Abendlied
(19) Perry Friedman - My Bonnie

Perry Friedman - Hootenanny mit Perry Friedman (Amiga, 1966)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Friedrich Hollaender & Blandine Ebinger - Vaführe mir liebers nicht (Lieder, Chansons)

Friedrich Holländer was the son of the operetta composer Victor Holländer. He studied in Berlin with Engelbert Humperdinck and he worked there for the cabaret "Schall und Rauch".

There he met the actress Blandine Ebinger. They married and had a daughter, Philine. Blandine performed his songs and he was also one of the founders of the first jazz band in Berlin, the "Weintraub Syncopators".

From 1929 onwards he worked mainly as a composer of film music and his score for "Der Blaue Engel" (with Marlene Dietrich) brought him fame. When the nazi's seized power in 1933 he left for Paris with his second wife Hedi Schoop and in 1934 they moved on to Hollywood, where he worked as a director and a composer. He was married a third and a fourth time, and by his third wife Leza he had another daughter in 1944, Melodie. In 1955 he returned to Germany and settled in Munich. There he wrote for cabarets once more, but without the succes of his earlier years.

Blandine Ebinger was a german actress and singer (1899 - 1993). She was the daughter of the actress Margarete Wezel and pianist Gustav Loerser. Blandine was adopted by the physician Dr. Ernst Ebinger. With eight years she was already on the stage in Leipzig. From 1913 onwards she worked at the theatres in Berlin.

She made her film debut in 1916 and in 1919 she was in F.W. Murnau's movie "Der Knabe in Blau".

During the twenties she was famous for singing chansons, many of them written by her husband Friedrich Hollaender. Blandine performed in several anti-Nazi cabarets in Germany and moved in 1937 to the USA. She had a hard time there and was given only minor parts. In 1946 she returned to Europe. After performing in Zürich she went back to Berlin, where she did theatre, movies and television.

Tracks CD 1:
1.: Spötterdämmerung - Friedrich Hollaender
2.: Die Hysterische Ziege - Blandine Ebinger
3.: Die Trommlerin - Blandine Ebinger
4.: Friedrich Luft Über Blandine Ebinger
5.: Das Wunderkind - Blandine Ebinger
6.: In Den Abendwind Geflüstert - Blandine Ebinger
7.: Das Groschenlied - Blandine Ebinger
8.: Oh Mond - Blandine Ebinger
9.: Blandine Ebinger zu Den Liedern Eines Armen Mädchens
10.: Currende - Blandine Ebinger
11.: Die Hungerkünstlerin - Blandine Ebinger
12.: Wiegenlied an Eine Mutter - Blandine Ebinger
13.: Drei Wünsche - Blandine Ebinger
14.: Das Mädchen mit Den Schwefelhölzern - Blandine Ebinger
15.: Wenn Ick Mal Tot Bin - Blandine Ebinger
16.: Nachtgebet - Blandine Ebinger
17.: Friedrich Luft, Nachruf auf Friedrich Hollaender (1)
18.: Die Notbremse - Friedrich Hollaender
19.: Die Roten Schuhe - Blandine Ebinger
20.: Und Ick Baumle mit De Beene - Blandine Ebinger
21.: Das Berg - und - Talbahn - Gefühl - Friedrich Hollaender
22.: Kindertragödie - Blandine Ebinger
23.: Die Kleine Stadt - Blandine Ebinger
24.: Auf Wiedersehn - Blandine Ebinger

Tracks CD 2:
25.: Wenn Wir Stadtbahn Fahren - Blandine Ebinger
26.: Chinesisches Märchen - Blandine Ebinger
27.: Blandine Ebinger zur Entstehung des "Jonny"
28.: Jonny - Blandine Ebinger
29.: Ilse - Blandine Ebinger
30.: Stroganoff - Friedrich Hollaender
31.: Die Kartenhexe - Blandine Ebinger
32.: Der Pflaumenbaum - Blandine Ebinger
33.: Starker Tobak - Blandine Ebinger
34.: Waidmannsheil - Blandine Ebinger
35.: Ein Volkslied - Blandine Ebinger
36.: Friedrich Luft, Nachruf auf Friedrich Hollaender (2)
37.: Moderne Zeiten - Friedrich Hollaender
38.: Der Elektrische Otto - Blandine Ebinger
39.: Du Sowohl Wie Ich - Blandine Ebinger
40.: Kitsch - Blandine Ebinger
41.: Zieh Dich Aus, Petronella - Blandine Ebinger
42.: Friedrich Luft, Nachruf auf Friedrich Hollaender (3)
43.: Die Blaue Blume - Friedrich Hollaender
44.: Die Schnapstrine - Blandine Ebinger
45.: Blandine Ebinger Zum Rätsellied
46.: Rätsellied - Blandine Ebinger
47.: Die Trommlerin - Blandine Ebinger

Die Conrads – Brecht die Macht der Monopole (1971)

"Brecht die Macht der Monopole", released in 1971 by "Die Conrads" on the Pläne label is one of the most underrated and unknown german polit rock LPs -  "Break the power of the monopolies": Propaganda against capitalism, imperialism and fascism, for socialism, communism and the peace movement, served with folk rock and acid kraut.

The German lyrics are often not sung but spoken. If you fancy Lokomotive Kreuzberg, Floh de Cologne or 3 Tornados, don't miss it.

01. Holzhammerlied 1 03:28
02. Ein Schwein bleibt ein Schwein 04:48
03. Lied vom Aufmucken 03:39
04. Mieter-Song 05:02
05. Lied vom roten Punkt 04:27
06. Familienballade 05:32
07. Giftgas 06:25
08. Als die Nazis frech geworden 04:08
09. Wem soll getraut werden 03:54
10. Holzhammerlied 2 02:49
Total time: 44:07

Reinhold Conrads: guitar, harmonica, vocals
Herrmann Conrads: banjo, bass, vocals
Heinz Conrads: guitar, bass, vocals
Josef Schmitz: drums, percussion

Die Conrads - Brecht die Macht der Monopole (1971)
(ca. 256 kbps, cover art included)

Zupfgeigenhansel – Eintritt frei (Pläne,1980)

The album "Eintritt frei" was recorded live on Sept. 24/25, 1980, at the tavern "Zur lieben Hand" in Owingen, Lake of Constance. Side A contains some medieval songs, side B Jiddisch songs. Of course Conny Plank has done an excellent job again, the sound quality is as good as a studio recording.

The booklet contains notes and chords

for the guitar, lyrics, infos about the songs' history, translation from Jiddisch to German and more photographs.

Zupfgeigenhansel was a German folk duo, one of the most successful groups to emerge on the German folk scene in the 1970s. It consisted of Erich Schmeckenbecher and Thomas Friz. The group was named after the collection of folk songs of the same name, which was published in 1909.

The group started playing in folk-clubs, mainly in southern Germany, in 1974. They then started appearing on the radio programme Liederladen of the Südwestfunk broadcasting station. They released their first album, Volkslieder I for the Pläne record company in 1976, and later in the year their second album, Volkslieder II. In 1978 they received the award of "Artists of the Year" in one of the categories of the German Phonoakademie. They disbanded in 1985.

01. Wenn alle Brünnlein fließen 05:25
02. Die Bauern von St. Pölten 02:41
03. Der Revoluzzer 02:44
04. Andre, die das Land so sehr nicht liebten 03:25
05. Victor Jara 06:15
06. Di mame 03:19
07. Mojschele 05:17
08. Di mesinke 02:39
09. Dire-gelt 02:36
10. Tsen brider 07:43
Total time: 41:57

Thomas Friz: vocals, guitars
Erich Schmeckenbecher: vocals, mandolin, guitars, accordeon
Lutz Berger: violin
Bruno Brandenberger: bass
Conny Plank: sound, recording, mix

Zupfgeigenhansel – Eintritt frei (Pläne,1980)
(ca. 278 kbps, cover art included)

Banda Bassotti - Bella Ciao (EP, 1993)

Banda Bassotti is an Italian ska-punk band formed in 1987 in Rome. Their songs are generally political in nature, focusing on Communist and anti-Fascist issues. Many are about Ireland and Latin America, as well. The band was inspired by The Clash and The Specials. The band was very politically active from the very beginning, attending protests and sympathizing with anti-Fascist movements in Italy. Their name derives from the Italian version of the Disney characters "The Beagle Boys".

All Are Equal For The Law4:51
Bella Ciao2:16
La Ballata Della Sanguisuga6:16
Zio Paperone3:10

Banda Bassotti - Bella Ciao (EP, 1993)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

VA - KZ Musik - CD 5 - Encyclopedia of Music Composed in Concentration Camps (1933 - 1945)

In light of the unspeakable atrocities that occurred in the various concentration camps, gulags, death camps, and forced labor camps during the Second World War, it is entirely remarkable that such an abundance and variety of music should emerge.

Many of these works, such as Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, have survived as part of the modern canon while others have all but fallen into oblivion. To prevent this, KZ Musik is releasing a spectacular series of discs featuring all of the known music composed in these camps. This disc, Volume 5, features the Eighth Symphony of Erwin Schulhoff in its original piano score version. While Schulhoff did not survive to complete the Finale, the disc also includes a version completed by Francesco Lotoro, who also performs. The piano's sound is not one of a marvelous, rich instrument, but that seems to be the point. Rather, the instrument sounds a bit distant, a bit tinny, and a bit sparse; these characteristics only enhance Schulhoff's rather bleak score and put listeners in mind of the circumstances surrounding its composition.

Lotoro continues the program with selections from Karel Berman's Terezín Suite. Although Berman was to continue working on this piece once he was liberated, this disc provides listeners with the original score composed while incarcerated. Both Berman's writing and Lotoro's playing are gripping and powerful. Combined with well-written liner notes that include a brief history of each composer's stay in the camps, this album - and indeed all of the volumes in the set - are must-haves.

VA - KZ Musik - CD 5 - Encyclopedia of Music Composed in Concentration Camps (1933 - 1945)
(320 kbps, small front cover included)       

Joshua White - Southern Exposure - An Album of Jim Crow Blues (1941)

"The blues, contrary to popular conception, are not always concerned with love, razors, dice, and death," Richard Wright wrote in 1941, in the liner notes to a new album of 78 rpm records. "Southern Exposure contains the blues, the wailing blues, the moaning blues, the laughing-crying blues, the sad-happy blues. But it contains also the fighting blues . . ."

Southern Exposure was the third album by Josh White, a young singer who was then staking out a unique position in American music: he was the only musician ever to make a name for himself singing political blues. Oddly, he made no claim to uniqueness; like Wright, he argued that the blues was by its nature a protest music, and decades of writers on the subject would concur. They always pointed, though, to veiled verses like "You don’t know my mind/ When you see me laughing, I’m laughing just to keep from crying." What Josh was singing was something quite different: a repertoire of blues about current events, written from a strong left-wing perspective. Some of the other blues artists who became caught up in the folk revival recorded similar pieces (Big Bill Broonzy’s "Black, Brown and White" and Leadbelly’s "Bourgeois Blues" are the most successful examples), but only Josh made it the centerpiece of his work.

In 1941, Josh White was 27 and had already lived out two previous musical careers. He had spent his childhood traveling around the South as "lead boy" for blind blues and gospel singers, making his first recordings at age 14 with the streetcorner evangelist Blind Joe Taggart. Then, in the early 1930s, he had settled in Harlem and became a solo artist, his records influencing a generation of players in the southeastern states (both Blind Boy Fuller and John Jackson covered his songs and guitar arrangements). These early recordings were pretty standard blues and gospel fare, though his guitar work was already outstanding and he was the only artist to have simultaneous success in the sacred and secular markets, recording gospel under his own name and blues as "Pinewood Tom." Only one of his 1930s records hinted at his future direction: in 1936 he put out "No More Ball and Chain" backed with "Silicosis Is Killin’ Me," two songs by a populist country songwriter, Bob Miller. Miller was a link between what was then called "hillbilly" music and the progressive New York scene, working with the Appalachian ballad singer and union organizer Aunt Molly Jackson and later the Almanac Singers, but his collaboration with Josh was brief. They might have done more work together, but, shortly after making the record, Josh cut his right hand so severely that he was unable to play for the next four years.

It was with the Almanacs that he first recorded for Keynote Records, an outgrowth of New Masses magazine, and in 1941 the label released his most influential album of the period, Southern Exposure: An Album of Jim Crow Blues. This time, the songs were all original compositions, collaborations between Josh and the Harlem Renaissance poet Waring Cuney. It was the first full-fledged Civil Rights record album, and there would never be another with so much popularity or impact. The title song gives an idea; written to the tune of "Careless Love," it was the lament of a Southern sharecropper:

Well, I work all the week in the blazin’ sun, (3x)
Can’t buy my shoes, Lord, when my payday comes.

I ain’t treated no better than a mountian goat, (3x)
Boss takes my crop and the poll takes my vote.

The rest of the material, most of it in a straightforward 12-bar blues framework, included "Jim Crow Train," Bad Housing Blues," and "Defense Factory Blues." The latter was typical, a hard-hitting attack on wartime factory segregation with lines like, "I’ll tell you one thing, that bossman ain’t my friend/ If he was, he’d give me some democracy to defend." Harlem’s main newspaper, the Amsterdam News, devoted two articles to the album’s release, rating it as a work that "no record library should be without" and emphasizing the painful familiarity of the subject matter: "All of you know the guy who ëwent to the defense factory trying to find some work to do . . .’; and over there on 133d St. and Park Ave., and down in Mississippi and out in Minnesota, we all have a brother or a sister or a cousin who can wail: ëwoke up this mornin’ rain water in my bed. . . . There ain’t no reason I should live this way. . . I’ve lost my job, can’t even get on the WPA.’"

(Thanks to Elijah Wald, Living Blues magazine, for the information.)

(224 kbps, front cover included)

Franz K. - Sensemann (1972)

Sensemann is the first album by the German band Franz K. The band plays in a guitar-bass-drums trio set-up. Their strong anti-capitalist lyrics more or less place them in the German polit-rock scene.
There are two side-long tracks on the album. The first track is mostly bluesy rock with some jazzy elements.
The music is played in an energetic way and has this great Rolling Stones "Midnight Rambler" vibe. The second track is quite a monster. Within one minute you go from The Guess Who-type rock to "21th Century Schizoid Man" mayhem. After a few minutes the sky has cleared and an almost Black Sabbath-ian grunge riff sets in. There are a few guitar lines vaguely recalling the German band Vita Nova. Next, a razor-edged guitar assault pops up which reminds me of Guru Guru, T2 and Black Sabbath all at the same time. After some eight to nine minutes a pedestrian beat announces the arrival of the vocals. The vocals are less in your face and more symbolic this time. The last part of the track is more jamming and repetitive, but still quite cool.

"Sensemann" is an album with aggressive German lyrics and similarly angular freaky guitars. There are also sizeable instrumental breaks that are top-notch Krautrock progressive. A psychedelic hard-rock twist on Ton Steine Scherben perhaps, it's a record that's full of invention and surprises.
A great album if you like guitar-led underground rock.

ADas Goldene Reich20:09

Franz K. - Sensemann (1972)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Television Personalities - Camping In France (1991)

Britain's Television Personalities enjoyed one of the new wave era's longest, most erratic, and most far-reaching careers. Over the course of a musical evolution that led them from wide-eyed shambling pop to the outer reaches of psychedelia and back, they directly influenced virtually every major pop uprising of the period, with artists as diverse as feedback virtuosos the Jesus and Mary Chain, twee pop titans the Pastels, and lo-fi kingpins Pavement readily acknowledging Television Personalities' inspiration.             

"Camping In France" is a quite good sounding (semi)-boot from December 1985. With Jowe Head of Swell Maps on guitar and backing vocals, a bit messy and shobby but in the end it's just great, great fun.


1Kings And Country
2Three Wishes
3Stop And Smell The Roses
4La Grande Illusion
5Silly Girl
6A Picture Of Dorian Gray
7Jackanory Stories
8David Hockney's Diaries
9Painter Man
10Back To Vietnam
11If I Could Write Poetry
12Geoffrey Ingram
13Salvador Dali's Garden Party
14Never Understand Me (Here We Go 'Round The Mary Chain)

                                                    Bonus Tracks:
15Happy All The Time
16Girl On The Motorcycle
17Just Call Me Jack

Television Personalities - Camping In France (1991)
(320 kbps, cover art included)