Samstag, 30. April 2022

Bots - Entrüstung (1981)

Bots is a Dutch language folk rock group from the southern city of Eindhoven that is successful in both the Netherlands and Germany. The band was formed in 1974 by Hans Sanders and is mainly known for the song "Zeven Dagen Lang" ("Sieben Tage Lang" in German, "Seven Days Long" in English). The first albums were produced by Peter Koelewijn. In 2005 a new version of "Zeven Dagen Lang" was recorded with the rapper Ali B on the occasion of the Muziek10Daagse. On 3 November 2007 Hans Sanders died at the age of 61.

In 1980 Bots recorded the album "Je Voelt Pas Nattigheid Als Je Droog Komt Te Staan" ("You Won't Smell A Rat Until You Come Across One") with producer Peter Koelewijn. In the autumn the band's first German-language album came out. "Aufstehn!" (Stand Up!) contains German versions of songs like "Zeven Dagen Lang" (de:"Sieben Tage Lang" en:"Seven Days On End") and Ali. The songs were translated by German authors Günter Wallraff, Henning Venske and Peter Tobiasch.

In 1981 Bots sold over 400,000 copies of "Aufstehn!" and its followup "Entrüstung" (Indignation, also Ent-Rüstung = Dis-Armament (correctly: en:disarmament = de:Abrüstung) ). The songs were translated by German authors Günter Wallraff, Dieter Hildebrandt, Hanns Dieter Hüsch and Henning Venske. 

A1 – Montagmorgen
A2 – Aberglaube
A3 – Rechts
A4 – Das weiche Wasser
A5 – Auf zum Bots
B1 – Popmusikant
B2 – Bürokrat
B3 – Dr. Grossbaum
B4 – Entrüstung
B5 – Wer schweigt stimmt zu

(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 29. April 2022

VA - Ukraininan Music - Anthology Of Folk Music. Spirit Of Folk (2010)

This album, released on the Russian Melodiya label, is entirely devoted to Ukrainian folklore. The program includes songs, ballads, and instrumental compositions from various regions of Ukraine, performed by non-professional ensembles and soloists, as well as several field recordings. All recordings are from 1961 to 1989.

The examples of music folklore on this album represent an anthology of genres and styles of traditional Ukrainian music. In the 1980s, when this material was being repared for release, Ukrainian folk music still preserved the whole diversity of music dialects and representative completeness of its genre structure, although the ban of religious subjects taht existed at the time excluded a rich spectrum of traditional Crhristian genres.

The material recorded in the 1980s and earlier did not see the light of day in those years but has been assumed as a basis of this album.


1 Grass Grown In The Pine Forest 1:44
2 In The Garden, In The Garden, And In The Grapes 1:43
3 We're Starting A Curved Dance 1:34
4 Let's Dress The Bush In Green Maples 2:46
5 Hey You Peter And Ivan Too, Half Of Summer's Gone 2:41
6 Picking Berries In The Forest 2:32
7 Rattled And Thundered, But Still No Rain 1:11
8 Our Master, Wish Us Good Luck 1:41
9 Old Pastoral Melodies 2:56
10 Don't Go Barabash To Our Street 1:42
11 We Walked And Played 1:08
12 Mother Look At My Place 2:09
13 Good Evening Girls, We Came To You 3:36
14 The Mother Unplaited Her Daughter Last Saturday 1:25
15 My Dear Daughter 2:12
16 Thought Of Three Samara Brothers 7:59
17 Black Raven, Black Raven Flying High 2:15
18 Little Orphan 4:06
19 Oh I'll Shout, Oh I'll Hail My Home From My Slavery 4:22
20 Raven Cawing On The Birch Tree 2:20
21 Listen Kind People To What I Want To Tell 2:39
22 A Wreath Of Guzul Melodies 2:52
23 Three Seperate Ways In The Field 2:20
24 By The River, By The Fordway 2:38
25 Don't You Fly Jackdaw So Low Above The Water 1:49
26 The Wife Beat His Husband 2:22
27 Oh You Red Arrowwood 2:59
28 To The Lek, To The Lek, My Chickens 1:41
29 Polka Tatianka 1:11
30 Arkan 1:14

(256 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 28. April 2022

The Members - Uprhythm, Downbeat / Going West (1985)

The punk-orthodoxy view of the Members is that after a string of promising reggae-tinged singles, the septet released one fine album in 1979's "At the Chelsea Nightclub", then lost the plot completely with the follow-up, "1980: The Choice Is Yours", after which they're ignored with an embarrassed throat-clearing. 

In point of fact, however, the Members rebounded after their second album (which itself is actually not nearly as bad as many would have you believe, sort of the Members' own version of Sandinista! in its appealing looseness and lack of consistent focus) by ridding themselves of any lingering punk associations and going for a complete sonic makeover. The band joined up with producer Martin Rushent (Human League, Altered Images, the Go-Go's), who was a master of making unpromisingly non-commercial bands have big shiny hit records without losing their souls in the process. Rushent nailed it immediately with the Members, concocting the utterly delightful "Working Girl." A mixture of snarky lyrics about the joys of freeloading and a genuinely transcendent chorus, "Working Girl" is a classic '80s pop single and -- despite the protestations of the punker than thou -- easily the best thing the Members ever did. Yes, including "Solitary Confinement." Sadly, the rest of "Uprhythm Downbeat" doesn't reach the same heights, but the good outweighs the bad, including an inspired reggae version of Kraftwerk's "The Model," the self-celebrating "The Family" and "Boys Like Us," and another minor hit, "Going West."

A year after "Uprhythm, Downbeat" proved itself in America, Albion Records released the retitled version  "Going West" of the al
bum for the U.K. to little notice.


A1 Working Girl 4:09
A2 The Family 4:11
A3 The Model 5:10
A4 Chairman Of The Board 4:05
A5 Boys Like Us 4:11
B1 Going West 4:10
B2 Radiodub 5:52
B3 Fire (In My Heart) 4:19
B4 You And Me Against The World 4:22
B5 We, The People 5:10

(192 kbsp, cover art included)

Dienstag, 26. April 2022

VA - Music Of The Ukraine (Folkways, 1951)

Folk music in Ukraine retains great vitality to this day. Ritual songs, ballads, and historical songs (dumy) were sung a cappella or accompanied by folk instruments, of which the bandura (a multistringed lutelike instrument) is the most popular. Itinerant blind musicians known as kobzars or lirnyks (depending on their instrument of choice) were a common feature of the Ukrainian countryside until the 20th century. The hopak, an energetic folk dance composed of leaps and kicks, received renewed attention in the 21st century as martial arts practitioners integrated its movements into a self-defense technique based on ethnic Ukrainian traditions.

"Music of the Ukraine" includes traditional Ukrainian instruments such as the duda (bagpipe) and dances such as the Huculka - "a rapid dance played on mandolin-like instruments (balalaikas) and a home-made fiddle" (Henry Cowell). Often tracks demonstrate a confluence between Western and Eastern modalities, as on "Country Dances."


A1 Gutsul Kolomyika Dance-Song
A2 Kozachok Dance-Song
A3 Hoculka Dance
A4 Country Dances

B1 Wedding Melodies
B2 Hutsulka And Kozachok Dances
B3 Folk Song - The Wind From Field
B4 Folk Song - One Half Of The Garden Blossoms

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 23. April 2022

Tom Robinson – War Baby (1983, 12´´)

"War Baby" is a song by Tom Robinson, released as a single in 1983. It reached No. 6 on the UK singles chart, and was included on Robinson's 1984 album "Hope and Glory".

After the break-up of his band Sector 27, Robinson was "massively into debt, particularly with the British tax authorities", was "technically bankrupt", and depressed, so in 1982 he went to stay with a friend in Hamburg, Germany. He learnt German and started playing in Germany, including in East Berlin (seven years before the fall of the Berlin Wall), with East German band NO 55.

Robinson describes writing the song, whilst stoned, after a bad experience at a gay sauna, he "...wrote straight down "only the very young and the very beautiful can be so aloof." And the rest of it poured out onto the page, eight, ten pages of the stuff, just hand-written, stream of consciousness stuff. And it took about a year to get those ten pages down to something that you could actually sing in four minutes."

The song has been described as being about his experiences of the divisions between East and West Germany. However, it has also been said that "As to what it's actually about, Tom Robinson himself couldn't tell you – he just wrote what "sounded right."" 

He returned to the UK, recorded and released the song, promoting it in a series of late night cabaret performances at the Edinburgh Fringe and, once it had charted, also appearing on Top of the Pops.

"War Baby" later appeared on Robinson's 1984 album "Hope and Glory" and revived his career.

Robinson has said that although "My flip answer to the question of what song am I the most proud is "(Wish I Had a) Grey Cortina" ... the true answer is "War Baby" is the song that I'm most proud of. ... I think it's the most truthful song that I've written, because I didn't think about it at all."

Robert Christgau described it as "a wrenching triumph", whilst Adam Smith said "War Baby, with its cryptic, elliptical lyrics, could have been written in 1974, 1984, 1994, or just about any time. It's one of those magical songs which seems to sit like an anchor while times and styles just flow around it."

The song was blacklisted by the BBC during the first Gulf War (1990–91), but later featured in the TV series "Ashes to Ashes", appearing on the "Ashes to Ashes – Series 3 (Original Soundtrack)" album.


A War Baby (Re-Recorded Extended Version) 7:54
B1 War Baby (A Live Duo Version) 5:27
B2 Hell Yes 3:54

Tom Robinson – War Baby (1983, 12´´)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 22. April 2022

ZSD - Krieg dem Kriege (1985)

ZSD was a punk band from Munich, Germany. "ZSD" is the short form for "Zielstrebige Degeneration" and in the same time a reference to a Munic security service well knows for its brutal performance in the Munich underground.

"Krieg dem Kriege" was their self produced second album, released on the Munich based "Starving Missile" label.

The album was released with a very plain lyric sheet, which was put in as a substitute for a planned 20 page booklet that was scrapped at the last minute because the band had run out of money for the release. It was supposed to be given away separately, but in the end was never finished.

Krieg dem Kriege!


Der Tag davor
Bevors zu spät ist heisst es handeln
Ost & West
Die Welt versinkt
5 vor 12
Die ersten wern die letzten sein - Die letzten wern die ersten sein!
Nie wieder
Keiner schöner Land
Die Systeme selbst liefern die Beweise - Jede Art von Regierung ist scheisse!!!!
Wer? Wann? Und Wo?
Preis des Schweigens
G3 in El Salvador
Tag der deutschen Einheit
Verdammt zum Untergang

ZSD - Krieg dem Kriege (1985)
(128 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 21. April 2022

Vorkriegsphase - Scheiss Krieg (EP, 1983)

I bought this masterpiece of hardcore punk back in the 1980s, in the middle of the West German peace movement. 

The "Scheiss Krieg EP"  was released in 1983 on Rock-O-Rama Records. "Vorkriegsphase" was a band from Kaufbeuren in Bavaria, Germany. At that time it perfectly expressed my teenage feelings of angst...

"Krazy krazy Krauts! VORKRIEGSPHASE were notorious for having one of the most wicked guitar sounds to ever grace the face of the earth. I mean, can you believe this fuzzy mayhem? Incredible! Such a wild bunch, seriously wonder what these guys are up to today (if still alive). (...) Generally speaking, one can say that VORKRIEGSPHASE make most (almost every) band sound like Joan Baez in comparison." (

Listen to it loud!! Scheiss Krieg!!!

A Starve To Death
B1 Scheiss Krieg
B2 Scheißegal

Vorkriegsphase - Scheiss Krieg (EP, 1983)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 20. April 2022

This Heat - Deceit (1981)

Out of all the boundary breaking that occurred during the fertile era of post-punk, This Heat's "Deceit" is one of the most expansive, imaginative, and remarkably wild records to have been produced during the time -- and very possibly the last three decades. 

It's an impressive procession of tangential shards that encompass tape collages, Middle Eastern motifs, barbaric vocal clamoring, and occasional pointy-jagged-atonal guitar passages that alternate between hypnotizing and shooting clean through your spine. 

The typical structures of jazz, world music, and rock & roll are heaved into a blender, cooking up a post-punk paella that's about as relaxing as a crosstown walk through a hail storm. It ends up hardly resembling anything it takes cues from. As with a good number of the album's ten tracks, random peeks into "Paper Hats" at the minute markers will hardly sound like the same song. And that song hardly resembles any of the others on the record; yet, it encapsulates what makes the whole thing so exciting. The song in question trots along arrhythmically with some bass, drum, and spindly guitar interplay until sputtering into a wreck of those instruments and who knows what else -- this 20-second interruption, which resembles the Junkyard Gang's idea of warming up, abruptly gives way to a march down a Twilight Zone-themed corridor of snaky guitar, pulsing high hats, and creeped-out atmospherics. 

If you can make out any of the lyrics (the ones in "Independence" should ring a bell, though), you'll realize the mushroom clouds and political figures depicted in the sleeve aren't the only evidence that the record is about war and nukes. Know this -- if you really want to be thrown around a room, there's hardly a better source. No greater record has been made in an abandoned meat locker.


A1 Sleep 2:14
A2 Paper Hats 6:02
A3 Triumph 2:55
A4 S.P.Q.R. 3:28
A5 Cenotaph 4:39
B1 Shrinkwrap 1:40
B2 Radio Prague 2:21
B3 Makeshift Swahili 4:04
B4 Independence 3:42
B5 A New Kind Of Water 4:57
B6 Hi Baku Shyo (Suffer Bomb Disease) 4:03

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 19. April 2022

Otava & Kyiv Kobza Guilds - We Are Going Around - Lost Songs of Kyiv Region


The songs on the album are performed by the folklore group "Otava" ("the first grass after cutting") headed by Hanna Koropnichenko. The group has already existed for many years researching und studying the singing tradition of Kyiv and adjacent regions.

Kobza lyrics have been presented by members of artistic group "Kyiv Kobza Guilds".

The album continues a series of records of Kyiv region folk music («Songs Of Left Bank Kyiv Region", 1997 and «As It Was From Ancient Times...", 2000). While two previous CDs represent authentic singing and instrumental playing tradition of Kyiv region of the end of twentieth century, this album accumulates folklore music performed by young Kyiv artists that intended to restore and revive already «lost» and forgotten songs. Kyiv region including part of today's Cherkasy. Poltava and Chernihiv regions (since regional borders have varied during centuries) is one of those places where the traditional culture was damaged the most due to various factors. The specific location, dynamic historical events and the pressure from a large city have influenced significantly the culture of Kyiv land.


1 Skinija izlataja Kovcheh Zavjeta
2 Ja my hodymo, prohodzhajemo
3 Prysvjatyj Vasylij pishov schedruvaty
4 To St. Barbara
5 Vechirnjaja ziron'ka zazhyhajet'sja
6 Ptychka nevelychka po polju litala
7 To Khrist on the Khross
8 Pochala na vesnu da j voskresaty
9 Solovej, solovejko
10 Ne kuj, zozule, j u dibrovi
11 To St. Georg
12 Oj, u luzi na dubochku
13 Nema v sviti pravdy
14 Scho ja v bat'ka ta j na jodhodi
15 Posluhajte podruzhechky
16 Oj, hto p’je – tomu nalyvajte
17 Oj, z – za hory, da j z – za kruchi
18 Da zabjeleni snjezhky, zabjeljeli bjely
19 About Shvachka and Bondarenko
20 Boh Sozdatjet' vs'omu Svjetu
21 Isuse mij, preljubeznyj

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 9. April 2022

The Ex - All Corpses Smell The Same (1980)

Emerging out of Amsterdam's vibrant squat scene in 1979, The Ex – a name chosen for the ease and speed with which it could be spray-painted onto a wall – have for four decades been an entirely self-sustaining musical entity, charting a course through the global underground with a spirit of freedom and radical exploration.

"All Corpses Smell The Same", The Ex's first single, marks the beginning of this DIY odyssey -- appearing in June 1980 on Hé Records, a precursor to the band's own stalwart Ex Records imprint. The core of The Ex's propulsive sound can be found in these tracks, as they show a band starting to push beyond the boundaries of punk. The exuberant jag and slash of Terrie Ex's guitar drive 'Human Car' and 'Rock 'N' Roll-Stoel,' while the rhythmic churn of 'Cells' and 'Apathy Disease' hints at the shape of Ex music to come -- centering on vocalist G.W. Sok's incisive poetic invective. With only 500 copies pressed originally and gone in a flash, All Corpses Smell The Same quickly became a legendary piece of the international punk puzzle, and The Ex would begin an inspiring career that continues to this day. These songs show that from the jump, The Ex were operating on punk's freest and most exploratory edges. In the words of The Mekons' Jon Langford, The Ex have 'always epitomized the boundless potential of punk's initial moment.'


01 Human Car
02 Rock 'n' Rollstoel
03 Cell
04 Apathy Disease

(224 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 8. April 2022

VA - Protest: Songs of Struggle and Resistance from Around the World (2004)

"Dedicated to musicians who sing out against injustice."

As a way to remind people that music has always been a global form of social resistance, Ellipsis Arts released "Protest: Songs of Struggle and Resistance from Around the World", a collection spanning 40 years of the genre's history, from the 1960s all the way to the time the album was released in 2004. 

It would be difficult to compile a record of reasonable length that truly encompassed the world's musician/activists, but this release is a decent attempt to include as geographically diverse of a selection as possible in 15 songs, and the album contains a lot of artists from Africa, a handful each from the U.S. and Europe and the Middle East, an Argentinean guitarist, and a Jamaican singer. 

The songs mainly speak about problems specific to the countries of origin, although most also have lyrics that are open to interpretation, so that they could be applied to any situation of genocide, war, oppression, or the desire for freedom. Due to the diversity in artistic nationality, there is also a nice diversity in the music, from the upbeat African rhythms (Mzwakhe Mbuli's "Ndimbeleni," Papa Wemba's "Esclave") to the acoustic guitar-driven American and Irish folk ballads (Pete Seeger's "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy," Barbara Dane's "The Kent State Massacre," Larry Kirwan's "Bobby Sands, MP") to the achingly beautiful voice and guitar combo from both Angola (Kafala Brothers' "Renuncia Impossivel") and Latin America (Christine Brebes/Diego Rolon's "Te Recuerdo Amanda"). 

The artists included on the album tend to stick to their respective countries' folk music traditions, so there aren't really any ventures into hip-hop or modern rock (the closest would have to be the Breton group Tri Yann's "La Geste de Sarajevo"), but the record is a nice collection of poignant and sometimes provocative protest songs from a worldwide group of musicians who were all unafraid to speak up against authority and profess their ideas on peace and war.


1 Baaziz – God Bless(e) America 3:06
2 Gary 'Nesta' Pine – Fighting For The Right Thing 4:25
3 Pierre Akendengue – Eleke 5:09
4 Larry Kirwan – Bobby Sands, MP 5:06
5 Tri Yann – La Geste De Sarajevo 4:50
6 Christine Brebes / Diego Rolon – To Recuerdo Amanda 3:07
7 Marcel Khalife – Speak Up 4:51
8 Mzwakhe Mbuli – Ndimbeleni 5:23
9 Kafala Brothers – Renuncia Impossivel 2:29
10 Chava Alberstein – Chad Gadya 5:03
11 Barbara Dane – The Kent State Massacre 3:43
12 Stella Chiweshe – Paite Rima 3:48
13 Robin Williamson – Cold Days Of February 2 52
14 Papa Wemba – Esclave 4:48
15 Pete Seeger – Waist Deep In The Bug Muddy 2:56

VA - Protest: Songs of Struggle and Resistance from Around the World (2004)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

    Donnerstag, 7. April 2022

    Cochise - Unter Geiern (1981)

    Cochise was a German band from Dortmund (1979-1988) named by a famous indian apache chieftain. With their catchy but also political and quite critical folk music with german lyrics they reached in a short time one of the leading positions of the ecological and peace movement in Germany. The formative phase of the band was 1984 until 1987. Within this 10 years of appearance in the scene this Polit-Rocker played more than 1.000 gigs mainly in the are of the german language and sold with quite less presence in the communication media a huge amount of approximately 120.000 units of their nine albums.

    In 1982, in the middle of the "hot phase" of the squatting movement in the Ruhr area and the street battles around the "Startbahn West" at the Frankfurt airport, their third LP "Unter Geiern" was released,

    1 Du ganz allein 1:40
    2 Wir nehmen uns was wir brauchen 2:04
    3 Dienstag Früh 2:27
    4 Bildet Banden 1:17
    5 Nachricht 3:23
    6 Lass mich noch mal ziehen 2:12
    7 Durch die Wüste 4:27
    8 Keiner hat Zeit 2:31
    9 Isumùya 4:15
    10 Du kotzt mich an 2:28
    11 Der Henker 4:42
    12 Nils' Mondfahrt 2:45
    13 Gestern hamse den Wald gefegt 2:35
    14 Morgengraun 4:08
    15 Gestern hamse den Wald gefegt 2:39
    16 Isumuya 4:13
    17 Der Henker 5:03
    18 Du kotzt mich an 2:33

    Tracks 1-14 rec. at Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik, january 1982.
    Tracks 15-18 are previously unreleased live recordings from Dortmund and Recklinghausen.

    (192 kbps, cover art included)

    Dienstag, 5. April 2022

    Boris Gmyrya – Ukrainian Songs vol.1

    Boris Gmyrya was born in the small Ukrainian town Lebenin. At an early age Boris performed a lot of Ukrainian folk songs. At the age of 11 he started to work as an office boy, at 16 he worked as a stevedore, stoker and sailor. 

     In 1927, after a course at a worker’s faculty, he entered the Kharkov Construction Institute. An active participant in local theatres, Gmyrya soon began to be known for his remarkable voice. He studied in the class of Prof. Pavel Golubev at the Construction Institute. In 1936, while still at the conservatory, he joined the Kharkov Opera Theatre. He made his debut as Sultan in Gulak-Artemovsky’s Ukrainian opera Zaporozhye Cossack Beyond the Danube. He first gained recognition in 1939 winning a first prize at a nation-wide vocalist’s competition, which was followed by his first tour through the country. His repertory of 36 roles included Gremin, Boris, Sobakin in Rimsky-Kosakov’s The Tsar’s Bride, Miller in Dargomyzhsky’s The Mermaid and a number of character roles. He was an excellent Salieri in Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Mozart and Salieri. As a recitalist on the concert platform as well as in radio broadcasts, he gained even more attention in songs by his favorite composers Mussorgsky, Borodin, Rachmaninov, Brahms, Schumann, Grieg, Dvorak as well as in Ukrainian folk songs. Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death, Schubert’s Winterreise (!), Rubinstein’s Persian Songs and the Shostakovich songs were performed as complex musical dramas. 

    Extremely popular in his country, he was given the title of “Honoured Artist of the Ukrainian Republic” in 1941 and “The People’s Artist of the USSR” in 1952. The same year he was awarded a State Prize, and in 1966 he received an Order of Lenin.


    01. trad.: Gude viter / The Wind Sings
    02. Lysenko: Reve ta stone Dnipr shirokiy / The Wide Dnipr Roars and Moans
    03. Lysenko: Chego meni tyazhko / Why is it So Painful?
    04. trad.: Chuesh, brate miy / Can You Hear Me, Brother?
    05. Lysenko: Uchitesya, brate moi / Learn, My Brothers
    06. trad.: Bezmezhne pole / Boundless Field
    07. trad.: Ot sela do sela / From Village to Village
    08. Za dumoyu duma / One Thought After Another
    09. trad.: Vecheri na dvori / Evening
    10. Stepovoi: Lysenko: Koli razluchayutsya dvoye / When Lovers Part
    11. trad.: Oy, u poli viter viye / Oh, the Wind Blows in the Field

    (320 kbps, front cover included)

    Sonntag, 3. April 2022

    Shura Cherkassky - Frédéric Chopin / Franz Liszt (EP, Electrola)

    Shura Cherkassky (7 October 1909 – 27 December 1995) was a Ukrainian-American concert pianist known for his performances of the romantic repertoire. His playing was characterized by a virtuoso technique and singing piano tone. For much of his later life, Cherkassky resided in London.

    Alexander Isaakovich Cherkassky (Shura is a diminutive form of Alexander) was born in Odessa, Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire) in 1909. Cherkassky's family fled to the United States to escape the Russian Revolution. His family was Jewish.

    Cherkassky's first music lessons were from his mother, Lydia Cherkassky, who once played for Tchaikovsky in St. Petersburg. She also taught the pianist Raymond Lewenthal. In the United States, Cherkassky continued his piano studies at the Curtis Institute of Music under Josef Hofmann. Before studying with Hofmann, however, Cherkassky auditioned for Sergei Rachmaninoff, who advised him to give up performing for at least two years and to change the position of his hands at the keyboard. Conversely, Hofmann suggested Cherkassky should continue giving concerts, and this long association with public performance meant that Cherkassky felt comfortable before an audience. Hofmann also recommended that he practice for four hours every day and Cherkassky did this religiously throughout his life, maintaining an extensive repertoire (baroque to Berio) to an exacting standard. His studies and advisory sessions with Hofmann continued until 1935. In the interim he began his lifelong obsession with world travel with trips to Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, Russia and Europe.

    Cherkassky performed actively until the end of his life and many of his best recordings were made under live concert recital conditions.


    Side 1:
    Chopin: Fantasie Impromptu, CIS-Moll, Op.66 (Posth.)

    Side 2:  
    Chopin: Etüde, C-Moll, Op.10, Nr.12, "Revolutionsetüde"
    Liszt: Liebestraum (Nr.3)

    (320 kbps, cover art included)

    Samstag, 2. April 2022

    Sun Ra - Omniverse (1979)

    "Omniverse", recorded in New York in 1979 and released that year on Sun Ra’s Saturn label (catalog #91379) is a solid, overlooked set in the vast Ra canon.

    The tracks aren’t so much compositions as excursions, with few memorable themes or recurring motifs. It’s pure jazz, somewhat “inside” (for Ra), with little of the aggressiveness and confrontation for which the bandleader was renowned. (“Visitant of the Ninth Ultimate” is an exception.) "Omniverse" offers lots of reflective piano in trio, quartet, and sextet settings. Instead of a keyboard showcase, Sun Ra engages in dynamic interplay with the rhythm section. The horns are featured largely as soloists; there are few ensemble passages.


    1. The Place of Five Points
    2. West End Side of Magic City [Vita No. 5]
    3. Dark Lights in a White Forest
    4. Omniverse
    5. Visitant of the Ninth Ultimate

    Tracks 1 thru 5 recorded at Variety Recording Studios, New York, September 1979.

    Sun Ra - Omniverse (1979)
    (320 kbps, cover art included)

    VA - Hombro Con Hombro (Cuba, 1975)

    The Cuban experience which produced the “nueva trova songs” of Pablo Milanés and Silvio Rodriguez, and which offered support to many nueva canción artists, was unique in the Americas, forging a new tradition of reflection and an expression of self-doubt emotional experience, hopes and beliefs. Elsewhere on the continent, nueva canción at times played a much more direct and oppositional propaganda role.

    This abum was released in Cuba in 1975 as a hommage to the people of Chile and the Unidad Popular. Featured artists are Pablo Milanés, Amaury Perez, Silvio Rodrig
    uez and others.
    On this album you find an interesting version of “Plegaria a un labrador” by Los Cañas – originally done by Victor Jara and Quilapayun.

    (128 kbps, cover art included)
    (128 kbps, cover art included)

    The Ex - Tumult (1983)

    A Dutch group of communal anarchists (think of an Amsterdam-based Crass), the Ex are something of a rarity in political rock circles, in that their albums are at least as musically interesting as they are lyrically pungent.

    In the particular case of 1983's "Tumult", the group's fourth album, its musical merit is at least partially due to the fact that Jon Langford of the Mekons and the Three Johns produced. Langford gives the band a slightly more structured sound, which turns out to be to their advantage; in so doing, Langford minimizes the group's obvious points of comparison (singer G.W. Sok sounds more than a little like the Fall's Mark E. Smith) and makes them sound more like their own band. The seven-minute opener, "Bouquet of Barbed Wire," builds slowly from a hypnotic guitar riff, adding instruments one at a time before exploding into an intense post-punk roar. The rest of the album continues in this defiant style, with the declamatory "Squat!" a musical and sociological high point, through the rest of this generous 13-track album. The closing "Island Race" ends with an industrial clanging that predates the early records by Test Department and Einsturzende Neubauten.


    A1 Bouquet Of Barbed Wire 6:58
    A2 Fear 2:17
    A3 Hunt The Hunters 3:34
    A4 Survival Of The Fattest 5:18
    A5 Red Muzak 2:44
    A6 Happy Thoughts 5:33
    B1 The Well-Known Soldier 2:22
    B2 Black And White Statements 4:39
    B3 Squat! 2:25
    B4 Same Old News 2:08
    B5 F.U.N.E.I.D.Y. 5:23
    B6 O.S.L. (New Schvienhunt League) 2:42
    B7 Island Race 7:17

    The Ex - Tumult (1983)
    (192 kbps, cover art included)

    Victor Jara - Pongo en tus manos abiertas (1969)

    "Pongo en tus manos abiertas" ("I Put Into Your Open Hands") is an album recorded by Víctor Jara with the musicians from Quilapayún in June, 1969. It was the third album released by the DICAP record label.

    From the liner notes:

    Laughter and blows,
    Hope and protest.
    A shout emerges crossing the large expanse of our territory.
    It is the peasant nailing a plough on the land,
    the worker filling the air with protest on May Day,
    the student and his word

    in street battles,
    the youth,
    that for being young,
    cannot but look forward into the future.

    And all this is present
    in the youth that struggles
    and in the song of protest.

    The new song of Victor Jara unites,
    from his position as activist of the people’s cause,
    the spirit of the young generation of our land,
    the lengthy tradition of the workers struggles
    the awaken conscious of the artist
    which is identified more than compromised with the people.

    During these days in which the Communist Youth
    gather for their VI Congress
    to reassert their decision to receive the message
    which places in their “OPEN HANDS”
    the visionary father of the New Homeland,
    Luis Emilio Recabarren.

    We also place in the open hands
    of all the Chilean youth
    These songs that speak to us
    about our convictions,
    our hopes
    of ourselves."

    Released in 1969, Victor Jara's fourth album was his masterpiece, a landmark in the evolution of the nueva canción. Intrinsically Chilean yet part of a broader Latin American sensibility, Jara's music blended indigenous instrumentation and folk forms with a contemporary singer/songwriter orientation; his lyrical focus on land reform, organized labor, poverty, imperialism, and race specifically addressed Chile under Frei's presidency but also engaged with a Pan-American revolutionary consciousness and a global progressive awareness. Jara negotiates these three realms throughout this record, backed by Quilapayún. Interwoven with haunting flutes, "A Luis Emilio Recabarren" pays lilting homage to the Chilean Communist Party founder, while the passionate "Preguntas por Puerto Montt" responds to a government-ordered massacre of peasants. The accusatory urgency of Jara's tone and the music's rhythmic insistence differentiate this song from the strum-along preaching that often characterizes protest music. Similarly, "'Movil' Oil Special" raises another topical issue of the period (the violent suppression of student activists), but Jara's oppositional approach is inventive and playful as he frames his concerns as musical theater, punctuating infectious rhythms with crowd noise, gunfire, and sirens, showing rather than simply reporting events. Several cover versions look beyond Chile. A spirited rendition of Uruguayan Daniel Viglietti's "A Desalambrar" speaks to the perennial Latin American problem of land rights and the Caribbean lullaby "Duerme, Duerme Negrito" invokes the continent's racial heterogeneity; on "Juan Sin Tierra," Jara turns his hand to a Mexican corrido and "Zamba del Che" celebrates the Argentinean guerilla leader. A version of Pete Seeger's "If I Had a Hammer" connects with worldwide struggles for civil rights and workers' rights. Most memorable, though, is Jara's own "Te Recuerdo Amanda": fusing the personal and political, the poetic and prosaic, this poignant snapshot of working people is the record's crowning achievement.

    "A Luis Emilio Recabarren" (To Luis Emilio Recabarren) (Víctor Jara) 2:49
    "A desalambrar" (Tear down the fences) (Daniel Viglietti) 1:36
    "Duerme, duerme, negrito" (Sleep little black child) (Traditional, Adapt: Atahualpa Yupanqui) 2:49
    "Juan sin Tierra" (Landless Juan) (Jorge Saldaña) 3:09f
    "Preguntas por Puerto Montt" (Questions about Puerto Montt) (Víctor Jara) 2:39
    "Móvil Oil Special" (Víctor Jara) 2:46
    "Cruz de Luz, Camilo Torres" (Cross of Light, Camilo Torres) (Daniel Viglietti) 3:04
    "El martillo" (If I had a hammer) (Lee Hays/Pete Seeger – Adapt: Víctor Jara)
    "Te recuerdo Amanda" (I remember you Amanda) (Víctor Jara) 2:33
    "Zamba del Che" (Zamba song for "Che") (Rubén Ortiz Fernández) 3:39
    "Ya parte el galgo terrible" (The ferocious greyhounds attack) (Pablo Neruda – Sergio Ortega) 1:50
    "A Cochabamba me voy" (I am going to Cochabamba) (Víctor Jara) 2:26

    Victor Jara - Pongo en tus manos abiertas (1969)
    (192 kbps, cover art included)

    Freitag, 1. April 2022

    Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 (Cologne Gurzenich Orchestra, Kitaenko)

    "No-one could possibly describe the towering Thirteenth (71 038) as anything other than a masterpiece. It’s probably the finest performance in Haitink’s distinguished cycle; I’d even suggest it’s one of the very best things he’s ever done. I only wish I could say the same of Wigglesworth’s version - one of the few disappointments in his otherwise first-rate series - but musically and sonically the Dutchman’s recording is hard to rival, let alone surpass. Kitaienko’s Babi Yar certainly doesn’t have anything like the sense of foreboding one gets with Haitink; the Prague choir aren’t as weighty or incisive as the Royal Concertgebouw Men’s Chorus either. As with Wigglesworth I was somewhat underwhelmed by Kitaienko’s soloist, Arutjun Kotchinian, although that perception did change as the performance progressed.

    What I miss most with Kitaienko is the lack of cumulative weight and tension, that block-by-granitic-block construction that sets Haitink apart from his rivals. That said, Kitaienko reveals the human face of this most imposing symphony. Kotchinian sings meltingly in quieter passages and the chorus is impressive too. Kotchinian is suitably animated in Humour, if not as bitingly sardonic as Marius Rintzler for Haitink. As for Kitaienko his approach isn’t as seamless as I’d like, and the music is apt to sound like a collection of discrete chunks rather than a carefully unified whole.

    Make no mistake this is a very decent Thirteenth - In the store really does capture the grey, bone-aching weariness of those interminable queues - and I found myself warming to Kotchinian’s heartfelt, sensitively scaled delivery. The vocal/orchestral balance is well judged too, and the sonics are up to the standards of the house. Even the band excels, with finely calibrated playing that explodes into controlled splendour in those despairing climaxes. Where Kitaienko does rival Haitink - perhaps even surpasses him - is in the bleak music of Fears. Goodness, this is marrow-chilling stuff, the louring bass as threatening as one could wish.

    This Babi Yar is a flesh-and-blood creation, the polar opposite of the often faceless, grinding monumentalism that characterises Haitink’s reading. In that sense Kitaienko offers a valuable corrective to one’s long-held preferences/prejudices; he also finds a rare transparency and inwardness here that’s very impressive. That said, Haitink’s is still the most searing performance; Rintzler and the Dutch chorus really do sound corrosively cynical in A career and Haitink maintains a firm grip on the reins to the very end. By contrast Kitaienko is softer, more pliant, at this point and that works surprisingly well too." - 
    Dan Morgan


    1 1. Adagio: Babi Yar 17:22
    2 2. Allegretto: Humor 8:11
    3 3. Adagio: In The Store 13:50
    4 4. Largo: Fears 12:40
    5 5. Allegretto: A Career 12:09

    (256 kbps, cover art included)