Donnerstag, 27. April 2023

This Heat - Same (1979)

Dean McFarlane of AllMusic wrote: "There are very few records that can be considered truly important, landmark works of art that produce blueprints for an entire genre. In the case of this album, it's clear that this seminal work was integral in shaping the genres of post-punk, avant rock and post-rock, and like all great influential albums, it seemed it had to wait two decades before its contents could truly be fathomed."

Peter Marsh of BBC Music called it "one of the strongest and strangest debut records of all time. Seemingly born out of the fervent experimentalism of the UK post-punk scene, This Heat's beautifully skewed mix of improvisation, lo-fi tapework and stretched, ghostly songform actually had more in common with maverick longhairs like Henry Cow and Faust. [...] The music here seethes with an economy, invention and power that still shocks a quarter of a century on."[

Steven Grant of Trouser Press wrote: "Though insolent and withdrawn, the music is adventurous and, in its own peculiar way, engrossing."

Pitchfork included the song "24 Track Loop" on their list of the "Greatest 500 Songs from Punk to the Present".


Tracklist:

A1 Testcard
A2 Horizontal Hold
A3 Not Waving
A4 Water
A5 Twilight Furniture
B1 24 Track Loop
B2 Diet Of Worms
B3 Music Like Escaping Gas
B4 Rainforest
B5 The Fall Of Saigon
B6 Testcard II

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Delroy Wilson - Better Must Come... One Day (Jamaican Gold)

PhotobucketLike Dennis Brown and Freddie McGregor, Delroy Wilson was barely out of short trousers when he recorded his debut single for Coxsone Dodd 's Studio One label. His first hit, 'Joe Liges' (1963), was written by Perry, Lee, who at the time was working as a talent-spotter, songwriter and singer for Dodd; the track was a lyrical attack on former Dodd employee and now rival, Prince Buster ('One hand wash the other, but you don't remember your brother, Joe Liges, Joe Liges, stop criticise'), set to a rollicking early ska rhythm. The record was so popular that his follow-up, 'Spirit In The Sky', another Perry-penned barb aimed at Buster, was actually credited to Joe Liges when it was released in the UK on the Bluebeat and Black Swan labels. Delroy went on to cut numerous records in the same vein for Dodd, including 'One Two Three', 'I Shall Not Remove', a duet with Smith, Slim entitled 'Look Who Is Back Again', and the anti-Buster 'Prince Pharaoh', notable for being the only occasion on which Dodd himself is heard on record, admonishing Buster in a coded, spoken outburst.

Wilson's voice broke just in time for the emergence of rocksteady in 1966, and his version of the Tams' 'Dancing Mood' of that year, one of the first rocksteady records, became a monstrous hit, alerting music fans to a new soul-styled crooner to match Ellis, Alton. Throughout the rest of the decade, Wilson, still recording mainly for Studio One, increased his popularity with titles such as 'Riding For A Fall', another Tams cover version, 'Once Upon A Time', 'Run Run', 'Won't You Come Home', 'Never Conquer', 'True Believer', 'One One', 'I'm Not A King', 'Rain From The Skies' and 'Feel Good All Over', as well as covering the Temptations' 'Get Ready'. Leaving Studio One in 1969, Wilson sojourned briefly at Lee, Bunny 's camp, which resulted in a popular reading of the Isley Brothers' 'This Old Heart Of Mine' (1969), before moving to Sonia Pottinger 's Tip Top Records, where he cut the excellent 'It Hurts' and a version of the Elgins' 'Put Yourself In My Place' (both 1969).

He teamed up once more with Bunny Lee and enjoyed a huge Jamaican hit with 'Better Must Come' (1971), which was so popular that it was adopted as a theme song by Michael Manley's PNP to increase their vote among 'sufferers', during that year's election campaign.

In 1972 his success continued with 'Cool Operator', again for Lee, and throughout the next few years he maintained his position as one of reggae's best-loved singers, with songs such as 'Mash Up Illiteracy' and 'Pretty Girl' for Gibbs, Joe, 'Love' for Gussie Clarke, 'Rascal Man' for Winston 'Niney' Holness, a cover version of the Four Tops' 'Ask The Lonely' for J., Harry, 'It's A Shame' (a version of the Detroit Spinners song for Joseph 'Joe Joe' Hookim ), 'Have Some Mercy' for A. Folder, and 'Keep On Running' for Prince Tony. In 1976 his career took a further step forward when he recorded a hugely popular version of Marley, Bob 's 'I'm Still Waiting' for Charmers, Lloyd LTD label, later followed by the well-received Sarge, still regarded by most aficionados as his best set. The misnomered Greatest Hits was also issued by Prince Tony during this period.

Further recordings towards the end of the decade, including 'All In This Thing Together', 'Halfway Up The Stairs' and 'Come In Heaven' for Gussie Clarke, did well, but Wilson's career floundered somewhat during the early part of the 80s, apart from a few sporadic sides, including the popular 'Let's Get Married' for London's Fashion Records.

The Digital age, however, provided a revival of fortunes with the massive 'Don't Put The Blame On Me'/'Stop Acting Strange' for King Jammy in 1987, and 'Ease Up', a cut of the famous 'Rumours' rhythm for Bunny Lee, as well as albums such as Looking For Love for Phil Pratt and Which Way Is Up, produced by Errol 'Flabba' Holt for Blue Mountain, since which time he has once again drifted into semi-retirement. Despite being one of the best singers Jamaica has ever produced, Wilson was rarely able to consolidate the success that came his way; nevertheless, he remained a much-loved and respected, but sorely under used and, outside of reggae circles, underrated performer.

- (Encyclopedia of Popular Music) -


Here´s "Better Must Come... One Day" - a great compilation of music by the great Delroy Wilson on Jamaican Gold, an independent record label from Netherlands specialized in Jamaican music reissues:


Delroy Wilson - Better Must Come... One Day
(192 kbsp)

Katja Ebstein - Berlin... trotz und alledem!


Katja Ebstein, born in the town of Girlachsdorf in 1945, is a German singer and actor. She is best known for her distinct Berliner dialect and love of musical theater. Katja Ebstein honed her talents in the late '60s among the burgeoning folk movement, and scored numerous "Schlager" hits in the '70s with manager, producer, and husband Christian Bruhn.

In the last years she left behind her beginnings as a singer of popular hit songs ("Schlager") and became a serious interpreter of chansons.

Here´s her programm with songs by Otto Reutter, Kurt Tucholsky, Erich Kästner, Bertolt Brecht, Friedrich Hollaender, Wolf Biermann and others concerning the wonderful town of Berlin.

Katja Ebstein - Berlin... trotz und alledem!
(192 kbps)

Mittwoch, 26. April 2023

Doc Watson - Home Again!

Doc Watson's fourth Vanguard album, "Home Again!" is his most affecting folk-style record, with unexpectedly warm vocals matched to the quiet virtuosity of his playing. With only a couple of instrumentals on this 14-song collection, the rest features Watson performing lively, achingly beautiful renditions of popular folk standards ("Katie Morey," "Georgie," "Froggie Went A-Courtin'," "Matty Groves").

There isn't a weak number here, although highlights include the haunting "Winter's Night," and "The F.F.V.," the latter a grim but lively song in memory of a train wreck and a dead engineer. All are played with very imposing dexterity by Watson, joined by his son Merle and Russ Savakus on upright bass. This album was a great showcase for Watson's voice - vaguely similar to but rougher-hewn than Burl Ives - which is often overlooked in the aura of his playing.

Tracklist:

  1. "Down in the Valley to Pray" (Traditional) – 2:01
  2. "Georgie" (Gaither Carlton, Doc Watson) – 2:48
  3. "The Old Man Below" (Carlton, Watson) – 2:07
  4. "Katie Morey" (Traditional) – 2:25
  5. "F. F.V." (Annie Watson, Watson) – 4:04
  6. "A-Rovin' on a Winter's Night" (Dolly Greer, Watson) – 3:25
  7. "Dill Pickle Rag" (Traditional) – 1:26
  8. "Sing Song Kitty" (Traditional) – 2:19
  9. "Froggie Went A-Courtin'" (Traditional) – 4:07
  10. "Pretty Saro" (Traditional) – 2:45
  11. "Childhood Play" (Alfred G. Karnes) – 2:00
  12. "Rain Crow Bill" (Henry Whitter) – 1:47
  13. "Matty Groves" (Dolly Greer, Doc Watson, Stewart Yonce) – 6:07
  14. "Victory Rag" (Maybelle Carter) – 1:44
 
Doc Watson - Home Again!      
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Hanns Eisler´s 120th birthday - "Gegen die Dummheit"

Hanns Eisler was born in Leipzig on 6 July 1898 and went to school in Vienna. After two years as a common soldier in the first world war, he became a student of Arnold Schoenberg in 1919, dedicating his Sonata for Piano op. 1 to his teacher in 1923. He moved to Berlin 1925, where he composed for workers’ choruses and agitprop groups, collaborating with Brecht (Die Maßnahme, Die Mutter) from 1928. 

From 1933, Eisler initially resided in Paris, Svendborg, and London, before taking exile in America from 1938, where he created his most significant chamber music works (including Fourteen Ways to Describe Rain). Alongside music for eight Hollywood pictures, Eisler also composed his Hollywood Songbook to texts by Brecht, Hölderlin, and others while in California.

In 1948, Eisler returned to Europe, initially to Vienna and Prague and ultimately to East Berlin. Although he wrote the National Anthem of the GDR to a text by Johannes R. Becher, conflict arose with GDR cultural bureaucracy when he published his libretto Johann Faustus in late 1952. Up until 1955, Eisler predominantly worked in Vienna for the Scala Vienna and Vienna Film at Rosenhügel. In the GDR, he wrote works for the Berliner Ensemble and DEFA. In 1959, he witnessed the premiere of his Deutsche Symphonie, mostly composed while in exile, at the State Opera Unter den Linden. Hanns Eisler died in East Berlin on 6 September 1962. 

The album "Gegen die Dummheit" with Peter Siche (vocals) and Klaus Schäfer (piano) was released in 1998 on Edition Apoll. Besides well-known Eisler songs it contains Die Götter, Zuckerbrot und Peitsche, Und endlich stirbt die Sehnsucht doch and Goethe-Fragment.

Tracklist:


1 Die Götter 0:44
2 Zuckerbrot und Peitsche 2:30
3 Rückkehr zur Natur 2:06
4 Die Spaziergänge 2:18
5 Feldfrüchte 2:29
6 O Fallada, da du hangest 2:53
7 Stempellied 4:08
8 Lob des Lernens 2:01
9 Die Ballade vom Wasserrad 3:20
10 Kälbermarsch 2:00
11 An den kleinen Radioapparat 0:59
12 Der Kirschdieb 1:19
13 An eine Stadt 3:55
14 Elegie II - An die Überlebenden 2:32
15 Der Graben 2:59
16 Friedenslied 2:37
17 Das ferne Lied 1:43
18 Und endlich 1:25
19 Goethe-Fragment 1:21
20 Ardens sed virens 1:02
21 Lied von der Moldau 1:34
22 Anmut sparet nicht noch Mühe 1:43
23 (Schluß-)Spruch 0:56


Hanns Eisler - Gegen die Dummheit - Gesang: Peter Siche, Klavier: Klaus Schäfer
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Bluegrass At Newport - Newport Folk Festivals 1959, 1960 & 1963

Bluegrass is one of America´s original root music forms, one which originated in the traditional mountain music of the Kentucky and Virginia hills. The ringing banjos, lively fiddles and mandolins, and booming upright bass tones set toes to tapping and hands to clapping in rural mountain communities throughout the early and mid 1950s.

It was at the very first Newport Folk Festival, back in 1959, that bluegrass got its initial exposure to the young urban audiences who flocked to Rhode island each July to see and hear the red hot pickers and singers who were among the legendary figures of bluegrass.

In some cases these performers were making theri first-ever trips out of the South. Artists like Flatt and Scruggs, Doc Watson, and Jim & Jesse McReynold beace, if not quite household words, at least well enough known to contiinue to pursue active careers on the bluegrass festival, college, coffeehouse and concert circuit for many years after their Newport Folk Festival appearances.

Bluegrass At Newport - 2 CDs:
Bluegrass At Newport - Newport Folk Festivals 1959, 1960 & 1963
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 25. April 2023

Harry Belafonte - The Midnight Special (1962)


Looking forward to see a documentary film about Harry Belafonte tomorrow at "Berlinale", here´s another one of his wonderful albums:

Known to rock collectors as being the first album to feature Bob Dylan (he plays harmonica on the title track), "The Midnight Special" is also a record that best exemplifies Harry Belafonte's uniqueness as a recording artist. Belafonte's main strength as a performer has been his ability to effect unique interpretations of traditional material. Combining blues, big band, gospel, and soul, Belafonte utilizes mainly traditional material on one of his best programmed albums of the sixties.

The folk warhorse "On Top of Old Smokey" becomes a bluesy, supercharged six-minute epic which generates excitement as it increases in intensity, only to fade away in its denouement. "Muleskinner" is country music legend Jimmie Rodgers' "Blue Yodel No. 8," made all the more exciting by the Belafonte Folk Singers' whistles, shouts, and slaps.
Other highlights include "Makes a Long Time Man Feel Bad," a prison work song transformed into an after hours blues and the folk standard "Crawdad Song," which becomes a rousing big band stomp. Belafonte's notorious perfectionism in the studio apparently didn't sit well with the 20-year old Dylan, who walked out on the session after recording only one title.

Fresh link:
 
Harry Belafonte - The Midnight Special (1962)
(256 kbps, complete cover art included)

Harry Belafonte - Jump Up Calypso (1961)


Harry Belafonte was an established all-around entertainer and actor by the time of this album, so it could be seen in a sense as a return to "roots" styles.

In any case, it's all-out calypso, with backing by the Trinidad Steel Band, and qualifies as one of his most energetic albums, even getting rambunctious at times.

Tracklist:
                
Sweetheart From Venezuela 3:28
Go Down Emanuel Road 3:07
The Baby Boy 3:22
Gloria 3:08
Land Of The Sea And Sun 2:55
Goin' Down Jordan 3:34
Jump In The Line 3:39
Kingston Market 3:11
Monkey 3:58
These Are The Times 3:14
Bally Mena 3:25
Angelina 3:53
    

Harry Belafonte - Jump Up Calypso (1961)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Harry Belafonte - Belafonte Sings Of The Caribbean (1957)


Harry Belafonte's second album of songs from the West Indies expanded the scope in both style as well as geography from the "Calypso" album.
 
As in that album, his chief collaborator was the prolific Irving Burgie. For the first time, we hear Belafonte sing one of the famous wry calypso tunes based on historical happenings. "Love, Love Alone" dealt with the abdication of King Edward VII to marry the American widow, Mrs. Wallis Simpson. Also on the album are the ballads "Haiti Cherie" and "Island in the Sun," the latter the theme song from the motion picture starring Belafonte and Joan Fontaine.

The songs are catchy and melodic, and the accompaniment has been stepped up to feature an orchestra, conducted by longtime Belafonte orchestra leader Robert DeCormier (aka Bob Corman).  

Tracklist:
"Scratch, Scratch" (Harry Belafonte, Irving Burgie) – 2:39
"Lucy's Door" (Traditional, Lord Burgess) – 3:43
"Cordelia Brown" (Lord Burgess, Belafonte) – 2:53
"Don't Ever Love Me" (Burgie) – 2:46
"Love, Love Alone" (John Hardy) – 3:19
"Cocoanut Woman" (Lord Burgess, Belafonte) – 3:18
"Haiti Cherie" (Lord Burgess, Belafonte) – 3:18
"Judy Drownded" (Burgie) – 3:28
"Island in the Sun" (Lord Burgess, Belafonte) – 3:21
"Angelique-O" (Burgie, William Attaway) – 2:40
"Lead Man Holler" (Lord Burgess, Belafonte) – 4:18

Harry Belafonte - Belafonte Sings Of The Caribbean (1957)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Harry Belafonte – The Many Moods Of Belafonte (1962) - Rest In Peace!

The singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte died today at the age of 96. Rest in peace and many, many thanks for all the wonderful music!

Belafonte's follow-up album to "The Midnight Special" is another record stressing the diversity of world music. This time, a small combo accompanies Belafonte on the various tracks, as opposed to the big band approach of his last album.

Several crowd-pleasers were introduced on this album for the first time: the calypso "Zombie Jamboree," awhich soon replaced "Matilda" as Belafonte's epic audience participation song; and the showtune "Try to Remember," from the off-Broadway show "The Fantasticks".

The two highlights on the album are both songs dealing with American folk music. "Betty an' Dupree" is a classic murder ballad in the tradition of "Frankie and Johnny," performed with the intensity the subject matter commands. Country-western composer Merle Travis' "Dark as a Dungeon," a protest song dealing with the dreary, bitter life of the coal miner was inadvertantly recorded during a thunderstorm, giving the song a dose of ominous spontaneity.

Two of Belafonte's proteges from South Africa are also featured: singer Miriam Makeba and jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela. Some of the ballads are weak when compared to the more dramatic highlights, but still, this is a very satisfying album.
             
Tracklist:
01. Tongue Tie Baby (B.Eaton)
02. Who’s Gonna Be Your Man (Brookes-Minkoff)
03. ‘Long About Now (Hellerman-Minkoff)
04. Bamotsweri (with Miriam Makeba) (Makeba)
05. I’m On My Way To Saturday (Guryan)
06. Betty An’ Dupree (Calabata Leonard De Paur)
07. Summertime Love (Loesser)
08. Lyla, Lyla (Alterman-Zeira)
09. Zombie Jamboree (Mauge Jr)
10. Try To Remember (Schmidt-Jones)
11. Dark As A Dungeon (Travis)

Harry Belafonte - The Many Moods Of Belafonte (1962)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

VA - Mischa Spoliansky - Es liegt in der Luft - Ein Komponistenportrait

Mischa Spoliansky was born in the eastern part of Poland which was then ruled by Russia. When he was a child the family moved to Vienna; later he improved his abilities as a pianist and a composer in Dresden. At the outbreak of WW I he moved to Berlin. There he did further studies and earned himself a living by playing in coffee houses. 1919 he was invited by Friedrich Hollaender and Werner Richard Heymann to join them in the famous Berlin cabaret "Schall und Rauch".

Spoliansky's pieces were performed widely, especially those on texts by Marcellus Schiffer: Alles Schwindel, Es liegt in der Luft, Wie werde ich reich und glücklich, Zwei Krawatten ... just to mention a few. 1933 he went into exile in England. He acquired British citizenship and never returned to Germany.

This portrait features interpretations of his songs by artist like Margo Lion, Marlene Dietrich, Marek Weber, Max Hansen, Paul O´Montins, Curt Bois, Willy Prager, Dajos Béla and Richard Tauber.


VA - Mischa Spoliansky - Es liegt in der Luft - Ein Komponistenportrait
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Hanns Eisler - Choral Songs - Children´s Songs - Popular Songs (Chorlieder - Kinderlieder - Volkslieder)


On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of the composer Hanns Eisler (September, 6), there was a wonderful "Long Hanns Eisler night" eleven years ago at the Akademie der Künste (Berlin) with artist like Sonja Kehler, Wenzel, Hanns Eisler Chor and Bremer Eisler Ensemble. One of the highlights of the evening was the appearance of Gisela May. The wonderful actress and singer had an interesting on-stage conversation with the Eisler expert Jürgen Scherbera about her collaboration with Hanns Eisler. And she gave us an interpretation of "Die haltbare Graugans".

One of the most original and prolific composers of the twentieth century, Hanns Eisler proved that expressing humanistic and political concerns does not necessarily lead to musical banalities, but can achieve his stated aesthetic ideal of "freshness, intelligence, strength and elegance" (as opposed to "bombast, sentimentality and mysticism"). Eisler´s variety of genres and writing styles surpasses anything to be found among other leading 20th-century composers. Songs of widely differing kinds and levels were the principal fruit of Eisler´s talent and ability: marching songs, ballads, lullabies, art songs, canons, anthems, chansons, choral songs and cycles.

This album is a collection of choral songs, children´s songs and popular songs, including the "Little Woodbury song book". It contains key works illustrating Eisler´s characteristic, largely song-oriented musical thinking.

Tracklist01 - 20: Woodburry-Liederbüchlein
21 - 23:  Kanons
24: Gegen den Krieg, Op. 51
25 - 29: Fünf Lieder für Kindergärten
30 - 32: Drei Kinderlieder für Gesang und Bratsche
33 - 41: Suite für Septett No. 1, Op. 92a
42 - 47: Neue deutsche Volkslieder
48: Nationalhymne der DDR

Hanns Eisler - Chorlieder - Kinderlieder - Volkslieder
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Lipstick Traces - A Secret History Of The 20th Century (1928-92)

This is a soundtrack or audio companion to Greil Marcus' book 'Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century' (1989), originally published in the US by Harvard University Press, in the UK by Penguin Books, in Germany by Rogner & Bernhard (Zweitausendeins), in Italy (as 'Tracce di Rossetto') by Leonardo Editore, and in Spain (as 'Rastros de Carmin') by Anagrama - a book of comparative history by rock-music critic Greil Marcus that examines popular music and art as a social critique of Western culture.

From the liner notes:

"It happens. You feel alien. You are other. Nothing in your culture, in your experience gets near to what you feel. You want to be elsewhere. If you can't be elsewhere, you want to see everything brought down. These thoughts explode in your head. You can't sleep, you grind your teeth. You get migraines. You shake.

Then you walk into a room. You see or hear four people making a noise, playing the limits of electricity and the room's ambient space: like a switch tripping, your life is changed forever. Out of nowhere, the terrain is cleared and the possibilities stretch before you.

This will only happen once, with that certainty. It may happen before and afterwards, in precognitions, aftershocks, conscious attempts to recapture that first shock of recognition: when you find the piper that calls your tune.

This collection exists for many reasons: for fun, to be played alongside a book with words and pictures, to rewrite Punk in terms of a still hidden female history. Most of all, it solves a perceptual problem: how to recapture that first hearing of the Sex Pistols' 'Anarchy in the UK'.

Nearly seventeen years after its first release, 'Anarchy in the UK' sounds, well, tired. If not quite a generally recognised 'rock classic', then its familiarity, and indeed supersession by generations of Punk and Rap groups, has meant that the song, and the time which it heralded, have lost their immediate potency. How to hear them in a new way?

In this particular example, to hear and see the Sex Pistols/the Clash/the Saints (among others) in 1978 was to feel this: 'Everything that is normally taken for granted as the way God planned it, as the way human beings were meant to be, is suddenly refuted, loses its reality, loses its pull. And people glimpse two things: they glimpse that the world they've been raised to accept is a fraud and a sham, and that another world is possible.'

This is a sensation at once galvanising and terrifying: you will hear it on most of the selections here. Just jump into the tunnel with the Slits, like Alice after the rabbit: by the end of this sixty minute journey, you'll have a composite picture that takes you right back to Punk's original, primal alienation.

I'd love to hear this collection condensed into a six minute rap tune, or a twelve minute techno mantra, but in the meantime we begin, with a giggle...


1. The Slits "A Boring Life"
A 1977 demo, recorded by Ari Up (vocals), Tessa Pollitt (bass), Viv Albertine (guitar), and Palmolive (drums). One of the few documents of that 1977 sound. (Originally released on 'Once Upon a Time in a Living Room', Y/Rough Trade, 1980, UK).

2. The Orioles "It's Too Soon To Know"
A No. 1 R&B hit in the USA in 1948, and also a more spectral hit among whites, the sort the chart couldn't fully register: 'a meeting of cultures' in a segregated society. Composed by a white Jewish songwriter named Deborah Chessler, performed by a black Baltimore group at first called the Vibra-Naires: Sonny Til (lead), George Nelson (second lead), Alexander Sharp (tenor), Johnny Reed (bass), and Tommy Gaither (guitar). (Originally released on It's-a-Natural, 1948, US).

3. Trio Exvoco "L'amiral cherche une maison à louer" (Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco, Richard Huelsenbeck)
Composed 1916, performed in the same year at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich, recreated here by Trio Exvoco (Hanna Aurbacher, Theophil Maier, and Ewald Liska). Written, sung, and chanted in German (Huelsenbeck), French (Tzara), and English (Janco): 'proto rock 'n' roll'. (Recorded 1980; from 'Dada For Now', Ark, 1985, UK).

4. Jonathan Richman "Road Runner"
Accept no substitutes. (Originally released on Beserkley, 1975, US).

5. Guy Debord - Excerpt from soundtrack to 'Hurlements en faveur de Sade'
A film first shown in Paris in 1952 at the Ciné-Club Avant-Garde. See Debord, 'Society of the Spectacle and Other Films' (London: Rebel Press, 1992), for a translation of the screenplay ("Howlings in favour of Sade").

6. The Roxy, London - Ambience
From the two nights at the end of April 1977, recorded by Mike Thorne for the album 'The Roxy London WC2 (Jan-Apr 77)' (EMI, 1977, UK) - an accurate reflection of English Punk's early gamut, with X-Ray Spex, Wire, Buzzcocks, Slaughter & The Dogs, Eater, Johnny Moped, and the Unwanted).

7. Jean-Louis Brau "Instrumentation Verbale (Face 2)"
A 1963 recording in the style of 1950 ultra-lettrist Paris sound poetry. (Originally released on Achèle, 1965, France).

8. Buzzcocks "Boredom"
Recorded by the late Martin Hannett in Manchester, 12/76. Mostly put down in one take by Howard Devoto (vocals), Pete Shelley (guitar), Steve Diggle (bass), and John Maher (drums). (Originally released on New Hormones, 1/77, UK).

9. The Adverts "One Chord Wonders"
Second version, recorded by T. V. Smith (vocals), Howard Pickup (guitar), Gaye Advert (bass), and Laurie Driver (drums) for 'Crossing the Red Sea with the Adverts'. (Originally released on Bright Records, 1978, UK).

10. Raoul Hausmann "phonème bbbb"
Berlin dada sound poetry, composed 1918, performed 1956/57. (From 'Poèmes phonetiques complètes', S Press Tapes, 1978, W. Germany).

11. Gang of Four "At Home He's a Tourist"
Recorded as the band's second single by Jon King (vocals, melodica), Andy Gill (guitar, vocals), Dave Allen (bass), and Hugo Burnham (drums). (Originally released on EMI, 1979, UK, and on 'Entertainment!', EMI, 1979, UK / Warner Bros., 1980, US).

12. The Adverts "Gary Gilmore's Eyes"
Personnel as on "One Chord Wonders." (Originally released on Anchor, 1977, UK).

13. Kleenex "Ü (angry side)"
Recorded in London by by Regula Sing (vocals), Marlene Marder (guitar), Klaudia Schiff (bass), Lislot Ha (drums) from Switzerland. (Originally released on Rough Trade, 1979, UK). [liner notes erroneously states this to be recorded in Switzerland]

14. Guy Debord - Excerpt from the soundtrack to 'Critique de la séparation' (Dansk-Fransk Experimentalfilmskompagni, 1961)
Music: Bodin de Boismortier, 'Allegro movement, Op. 37 - Concerto in E Minor in five parts'. Narration: (Debord): "The sectors of a city are, at a certain level, legible. But the meaning they have had for us, personally, is incommunicable. like the clandestinity of private life. of which we possess nothing but pitiful documents." See Debord, 'Society of the Spectacle and Other Films', as above, for a translation of the screenplay ("Critique of Separation").

15. The Clash - Stage talk, Roundhouse, London, September 23, 1976
Joe Strummer recorded while supporting Crazy Avan and the Rhythm Rockers. (From the Jon Savage Archive).

16. Mekons "Never Been in a Riot"
Recorded 1977 with Andy Corrigan and Mark White (vocals), Ken and Tong (guitars), Ros Allen (bass), Jon Langford (drums and vocals). (Originally released on Fast Product, 1978, UK).

17. LiLiPUT "Split"
Kleenex after a name change; as above, with Chrigel Freund replacing Regula Sing on vocals, plus Angie Barrack, saxophone. (Originally released on Rough Trade, 1980, UK).

18. Roman Bunka, Holger Czukay, Raymond Federman etc. "röhrenhose-rokoko-neger-rhythmus"
from 'dr. huelsenbecks mentale heilmethode' ("Dr. Huelsenbeck's Psychological Salvation System"). Written and produced by Herbert Kapfer and Regina Moths as a radio play for Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich, Germany, 1992 - an aural biography/autobiography of Huelsenbeck, but on this track the all-night argument over "Negro poetry,", aesthetic dictatorship, and untrammelled desire that was Berlin dada. (Originally released on Rough Trade Rec., 1992, Germany).

19. Essential Logic "Wake Up"
Recorded by Lora Logic (alto/tenor saxes, vocals), David (tenor sax), Phil Lip (guitar), William Bennett (guitar), Mark Turner (bass), Rich Tea (drums). (Originally released on Virgin, 1979, UK).

20. Kleenex "You (friendly side)"
Details as on "angry side" above.

21. Gil J. Wolman "Megapneumies, 24 Mars 1963 (Face 1)"
In the invention of ultra-lettrist sound poetry, Wolman was Braque to Jean-Louis Brau's Picasso, or vice versa. (Originally released on Achèle, 1965, France).

22. The Raincoats "In Love"
Recorded by Ana da Silva (vocals, guitar), Vicki Aspinall (vocals, violin), Gina Birch (vocals, bass), and Palmolive (drums). (Originally released on Rough Trade, 1979, UK).

23. Guy Debord - Excerpt from soundtrack to 'Hurlements en faveur de Sade'
Details as above.

24. Marie Osmond "Karawane"
Dada sound poem composed and first performed by Hugo Ball in Zürich in 1916, performed by Osmond on the syndicated US television program "Ripley's Believe It Or Not", c. 1984. As host of a special show on sound poetry, Osmond was asked by the producer to recite only the first line of Ball's work; incensed at being thought too dumb for art, she memorized the lot and delivered it whole in a rare 'glimpse of freedom'.

25. Bascam Lamar Lunsford "I Wish I was a Mole in the Ground"
A traditional Appalachian ballad: 'one little mole is enough to bring a whole mountain down.' (Originally released on Brunswick, 1928, US - taken from 'The Anthology of American Folk Music', compiled by Harry Smith and released by Folkway Records, 1952).

26. Mekons "The Building"
Performed by Mark White (vocals, foot). (Originally released on 'it falleth like the gentle rain from heaven - The Mekons Story, 1977-1982', CNT, 1982, UK).

27. Benny Spellman "Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)"
Composed by Allen Toussaint. (Originally released on Minit, 1962, US)."

Thanks again to Mr. Lucky!

Lipstick Traces - A Secret History Of The 20th Century
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 24. April 2023

VA - Get Up, Stand Up! - Jamaican Protest Songs

Reggae has always been synonymous as the planet´s most significant and ubiquitous rhythm of resistance. The list of protest songs coming out of Jamaica since the 1960s is large and multifaceted. Racial pride, calls to arms and brotherhood, pleas for peace and over-standing, and the demanding of an end to Apartheid have all been themes for roots artists in spreading their messages. Often Jamaican artists have been at the forefront of these higly charged movements of change.

This collection brings togehter songs of protest form Jamaican musical history with some of the most noteworthy American protest anthems (recorded specifically for this collection) in an reggae tour de force of word, sound and power. 

Protest music identifies inequities, calls for their eradication, and offers avenues into a more perfect future. Here are some of the best ever, mixing decades and styles and artist all of whom have one common pjrpose, nothing less than changing the word. The message is clear and it will always remain strong. A luta continua!


Tracklist:

1 –Luciano  - Eve Of Destruction 3:35
2 –Junior Reid  - One Blood 3:39
3 –Beres Hammond  - Putting Up Resistance 3:55
4 –Peter Tosh  - Get Up, Stand Up 3:30
5 –Freddie McGregor  - For What It's Worth 3:38
6 –Black Uhuru  - Solidarity 4:26
7 –Bushman - Working Class Hero 3:34
8 –Tenor Saw - Ring The Alarm 3:17
9 –Yvad The Universal Soldier 2:32
10 –Third World - 1865 (96° In The Shade) 4:21
11 –Dennis Brown - Revolution 5:03
12 –Bob Marley & The Wailers - Soul Rebel 3:19
13 –Don Carlos - Blowin' In The Wind 3:26
14 –Hugh Mundell - Africa Must Be Free By 1983 2:31
15 –Israel Vibration - The Same Song 4:08
16 –Delroy Wilson - Better Must Come 2:44
17 –Half Pint - Greetings 3:36
18 –Steel Pulse - No More Weapons 4:32

VA - Get Up, Stand Up! - Jamaican Protest Songs
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Berlin Cabaret - Bei uns um die Gedächtniskirche rum...- Friedrich Hollaender und das Kabarett der zwanziger Jahre


This is a set of historical recordings from the 1920s and 1930s on two CDs.

Friedrich Hollaender, who composed some of Marlene Dietrich's best-known songs, wrote 17 of the 44 selections in the set. Hollaender (later emigrated to Hollywood), also performs on piano. Other performances include some of the first names in German cabaret: Trude Hesterberg (founder of "Die Wilde Bühne"), Ernst Busch (Germany's greatest politically engaged singer), Blandine Ebinger (USA, 1937-1947)), Kate Kühl ("Lucy" in the premiere of "Die Dreigroschen-oper", 1928), Margo Lion (one of the best German chanson parodists), and many others.
Despite the word "cabaret" in the title, many of the numbers included come from so-called "Revues" (perhaps best translated as "follies"-as in Ziegfield Follies). If cabaret offered humor, irony, wit, and "Zeitkritik", the "Revues" offered both wit and humor, but were less politically oriented; additionally, they featured Girls . Yet the songs from these entertainments, because they are either personal statements or expressions of universal emotions, remain fresh.

The set includes "literary" texts by Joachim Ringelnatz, Theobald Tiger (i.e., Tucholsky), Walter Mehring, and Bertolt Brecht. Friedrich Hollaender wrote many of the lyrics as well, particularly those from early "talkies" such as "Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss" from "Der blaue Engel".

The set justly showcases La Dietrich and her vocal talents. Her earlier, somewhat rougher versions of "Jonny" and "Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte" contrast interestingly with later, more polished-and more familiar-recordings of them. Several numbers feature her in duet or trio with other singers.
To your great delight you can discover several songs by the immortal Claire Waldoff which do not appear on her album "Wer schmeisst denn da mit Lehm... " (Odeon). Her rendition of "Raus mit den Männern aus dem Reichstag," with its strongly trilled R's, rings as true today as it did when first sung.

The singers typically speak-sing with conscious disregard for actual musical pitch in a way that seems to typify popular music from this period. Much of the music on this set sounds like Lotte Lenja's version of "Seeräuber Jenny" and indeed provides a context for the Brecht/Weill style of vocalizing.

The original recordings, which were provided by various archives in Berlin and Frankfurt, have been digitally reworked to improve the sound quality. The digital version renders the voices more clearly and significantly reduces the surface noise. The cost, however, must be measured in loss of musicality. In the digital version the instruments seem less present and somewhat artificial; the rich interplay between voice and instruments tends to disappear. By the 1930s, however, recording techniques had evidently improved. The sound quality of the later pieces is much better with very little hiss or noise on either vinyl and CD.

Much of the material on this set remains fresh and interesting. The parody of the Wandervogel movement is quite amusing, as is Ringelnatz's nonsense parody of "Wenn ich ein Vöglein wär" (sung by Die Drei Katakombe-Jungens). The last song on the set is Brecht's "Der Marsch ins Dritte Reich," sung by Ernst Busch to a version of "It's a Long Way to Tipperary," arranged by Hanns Eisler.

All of the artists and topics mentioned above can be researched in Klaus Budzinski and Reinhard Hippen's Metzler Kabarett Lexikon (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1996 ISBN 3-476-01448-7). This well-illustrated handbook (b-w only) covers the entire range of German-language cabaret, from the earliest times (the 1890s) to West German television broadcasts.

Berlin Cabaret - Bei uns um die Gedächtniskirche rum... 
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 23. April 2023

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

Hanns Eisler - Klingende Dokumente IV (1982)

Hanns Eisler´s reflections "On the task of music in our time" ("Über die Aufgabe der Musik in unserer Zeit") suggest that music, by exerting a cathartic effect on human feelings, should help produce people who are "better equipped" for socialism. Such views strike us as antiquated today. But the words he then added appear to have gained a new relevance in the complex world situation we are facing at the beginning of the 21th century in the light of the near-total collapse of the socialist world and the worldwide triumph of capitalism, but also in view of an incresingly widespread sense of apocalyptic resignation: "There exists a facile cynicism, a facile objectivism, a facile tendency to look at our weakneses and denying our merits and virtues which fills me with gloom and anger."

The "White Bread Cantata " ("Weißbrot-Kantate", after an Italian peasant legend) belongs to a group of small cantatas for vocalists and several instruments composed in 1934.

The "Peace Song" ("Friedenslied") figures among a group of children´s songs which were written around 1950 while Eisler was composing the "New German Folk Songs " based on texts by Johannes R. Becher.

The "Lenin Requiem" (words by Brecht) was finished in exile as early as 5 August 1937, but it was not until 22 November 1958 that it received its first perfomance in Berlin. The cantata "The Carpet-Weavers of Kuyan-Bulak" ("Die Teppichweber von Kujan Bulak", Brecht) was composed in 1957 and had its premiere on 17 February 1958.

Tracklist:

(01) Vom Sprengen des Gartens
(02) Haltung zum Lehrer Schönberg - Treue des Schülers zum Lehrer (Bunge-Gespräch, 1958)
(03) Lenin - Requiem für Alt- und Baritonsolo, Chor und Orchester
(04) Eisler - ein politischer Komponist?
(Herrmann-Gespräch, 1961)
(05) Aus ,,Die Weissbrotkantate"
Nr.3 Abschließende Bemerkung
(06) Die Weißbrotkantate
(07) Friedenslied
(08) Die Tage der Kommune
Aus der Bühnenmusik Nr.1-3
(09) Brecht, Eisler und Chaplin
(Bunge-Gespräch, 1958)
(10) Galileo Galilei
Ballade Nr.9 aus der Bühnenmusik
(11) Lebensfreude - ohne Konformismus zur Vergangenheit hin (Bunge-Gespräch, 1958)
(12) Der Held der westlichen Welt
Vier Lieder aus der Bühnenmusik
(13) Über die Aufgabe der Musik unserer Zeit
(Herrmann-Gespräch, 1960)
(14) Die Teppichweber von Kujan-Bulak
Kantate für Sopran und Orchester

Hanns Eisler - Klingende Dokumente IV (1982)
(320 kbps, no cover art)

VA - Dein und mein Planet - 5 Jahre Rock für den Frieden (Amiga, 1985)


The music festival "Rock für den Frieden" ("Rock for Peace"), which was held annually from 1982 to 1987 at "Palast der Republik" in East Berlin, was one of the highlights of the GDR rock scene. It was organised by the "Zentralrat der FDJ" and the "Komitee für Unterhaltungskunst der DDR".

With this state-sponsored music festival, SED youth functionaries and the rock scene arrived at an arrangement based on the lowest common denominator: anxiety about survival in the face of a possible nuclear war. Because the festival quickly devolved into an empty ritual filled with conformist political songs and forced ceremonies, more and more East German bands refused to participate.

This festival compilation was released in 1985 on the Amiga label, celebrating the first 5 years of "Rock für den Frieden".


Tracklist:

A1 –Karat - Der blaue Planet 5:15 
A2 –Karussell - Keiner will sterben 3:58 
A3 –Berluc No Bomb 3:46 
A4 –Puhdys - Das Buch 5:38 
A5 –Dialog - Dein und mein Planet 5:05 
B1 –City - Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind 3:48 
B2 –Silly - Ein Lied für die Menschen 5:09 
B3 –Wolfgang Ziegler - Geboren um zu leben 4:08 
B4 –Reform - Soldat vom Don 6:28 
B5 –Electra - Vier Milliarden 4:40


VA - Dein und mein Planet - 5 Jahre Rock für den Frieden (1985, Amiga)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 21. April 2023

Ensemble Modern / Heiner Goebbels - Black On White

Heiner Goebbels's music-theatre work "Black on White" was put together during several months of rehearsal with Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt's Theater am Turm in 1996. Its flickering, erratic musical surface combines elements of composed music, improvisation, musique concrete and spoken text, reflecting the composer's previous work as an improviser and theatre director.

"Black on White," a masterful if sometimes frustrating concoction of chaos and discipline, was built around the astonishingly flexible Ensemble Modern, whose members play in constant motion. They wind through a stage full of debris, set up a triumphant arch made of ladders, take up their horns and march in formation across a phalanx of benches. When a proscenium arch is sent keeling to the ground, nobody flinches.

The backbone of this motley score is jazz, all kinds of jazz: the jagged, glassy rhythms of be-bop, the baroque frenzy of Ornette Coleman, the stately quiver of a New Orleans funeral. But Goebbels drapes a great many other sources on that solid frame. In one especially haunting episode, the plaintive sound of a Jewish cantor recorded in the 1920s floats above an accompaniment of hard-edged chords.

"Black on White is also an affectionate and curiously moving tribute to the German playwright Heiner Muller, whose taped voice is to be found reading parts of Edgar Allan Poe's parable, Shadow, at various points in the piece. Ensemble Modern are not only called on to speak and sing while playing their normal instruments, but to form impromptu ensembles of saxophones and brass instruments and what sounds like a group of toy violins in the eerie coda. Other sonic delights include a toccata for teapot and piccolo, a gargantuan fantasy for sine tone and didjeridu, and a surreal concert aria for six sampled Jewish cantors and a contrabass clarinet.
You may have guessed by now that I enjoyed listening to this CD. It is true that the recorded sound can be a little dry in places and there were times when I missed the visual element of the musictheatre piece in performance. Nevertheless, Black on White is a powerful and imaginative statement, humorous and intense in equal measure. Great credit is due to Ensemble Modern, Südwestfunk and RCA themselves." -  Martyn Harry
.
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Ernst Busch - Live in Berlin 1960



Originally posted on January 22, 2014:

Today is the 114th birthday of Ernst Busch, the wonderful interpreter of political songs. Celebrating his birthday, the Ernst Busch Gesellschaft yesterday screened two interesting documentary films featuring Ernst Busch - happily I had the chance to visit this event.

The birthday concert of January 22, 1960 documented here marked the
singer’s return from sulking in a corner. His return to the recording studio
shortly afterwards made the comeback complete. In the last fifteen years of his
life (up to his committal to the Bernburg psychiatric clinic), he fulfilled his long
cherished desire to record a »sounding cultural history«. The Aurora record
series, a collaboration between Busch, the Academy of the Arts and the VEB
Deutsche Schallplatten (the »People’s Own« successor to his old firm Lied der
Zeit), became his musical legacy.

East Berlin, January 22, 1960: the assembly hall of the Academy of the Arts
of the GDR is hopelessly overcrowded with up to 300 people. A hundred
invited guests from cultural and political institutions have been joined by
Academy staff, colleagues and their friends, as well as fans from the West who
have good connections »over there« in the East. The illustrious audience has
just taken its seats and then stood up again to welcome the star of the evening
with a standing ovation. In the street there are still young people who
absolutely must get in. They want to see for themselves how national prizewinner
Ernst Busch is celebrating his sixtieth birthday, wish to hear what
justifies the legendary reputation of a singer who has been silent for almost a
decade.

They have even written a threatening letter to lend emphasis to their
concern, as Herbert Ihering afterwards amusedly relates at dinner: »I have here
a document bearing the title ›Last Warning!‹, in which the young people write:
‚If we are not allowed into the Busch hall today, there will be burnings at the
stake, gunpowder, poison, E605, gallows, pistols, drownings and instruments
of torture!‹ As you see, that’s all illustrated here ... (general laughter) It is all
written here, not so? New master pupils are in the making ...« The »master
pupils« have finally gained admission and found standing room, Academy
president Otto Nagel has read out the congratulations sent to Busch, Ihering
has declared in a brief introduction that the birthday boy will now treat us to
songs from the last forty years, accompanied at the piano by his friends Grigori
Schneerson and Hanns Eisler – and Busch begins to sing.

A memorable evening. And a remarkable recording – especially since there
are no other live recordings of Busch’s concerts. It’s as if an old cabaret hack is
standing on the stage, wanting to see if he can still do it. Busch is in good voice and a good mood. And he trots through what is for him a decidedly
cheerful programme with an ease that is often lacking in his sterile late studio
recordings. He dispenses with many of his early hits (like »Baumwollpflücker«,
»Säckeschmeisser« and »Nigger Jim«), concentrating instead on
his two favourite poets: of the 24 songs, five are by Brecht and ten
are by Tucholsky (whose »Revolutionsrückblick« has been omitted
from the CD for technical reasons). Eisler, his favourite composer, is
constantly present – he wrote the music for almost all the songs
Busch performs this evening. Only three of the settings are not by his
»old accompanist Hanns«, as Eisler dubs himself on a sheet of
music dedicated to his friend. Busch has recently presented his
composer with a great challenge, swamping him with more than
two dozen »Tucho« texts selected in consultation with the poet’s widow Mary Tucholsky.
Eisler was composing like a pieceworker in 1959: »For Ernst from the municipal
kitchen of music (delivered to your doorstep on request) is one of the quips he sent to his
purchaser. The new cycle of Tucholsky songs, sections of which are presented
here, is not the only present Eisler has sent his revered friend. Many of the
people in the assembly hall have read his hymn-like article in the Berliner
Zeitung that morning: »The singing heart of the working class – to Ernst Busch
for his 60th birthday«. 

Of course, nothing is the way it was in undivided Berlin before 1933, when
he sang before 10,000 people in the Sportpalast. Today he sings in the solid
and tasteful atmosphere of the »Akdekü«, as Busch mockingly calls the
Akademie der Künste (Academy of the Arts). Today he presents himself as the
ripened political chansonnier and no longer as the »Young Siegfried in the
German Communist Party (Alfred Polgar). The evening is a nostalgic event, a
kind of family gathering of the East Berlin cultural scene. The average age in
the hall is high, particularly in the front rows, where the prominent figures are
seated. The camera of the DEFA-Wochenschau (East German news programme)
catches the authoress Anna Seghers looking radiant, Alexander Abusch, the
minister of education and cultural affairs, applauds enthusiastically, and
Brecht’s widow actress Helene Weigel is heard making lively interjections
during the concert.

The intimate atmosphere seems to inspire him. Ernst Busch is on top form.
He invites the audience to sing along with several songs – hits of his like the
Agitprop cracker »Arbeiter, Bauern, nehmt die Gewehre« (with the call to arms
of workers and peasants updated by the singer himself), the »Einheitsfrontlied«
and the anthem of the German members of the International Brigades,
»Spaniens Himmel«. He interposes two anecdotes, but otherwise refrains from
making remarks and concentrates on singing. »As you have noticed, no
speeches are being made ...«, he says archly. His audience meanwhile practises
the art of listening between the lines, a skill that is much used and indeed
sometimes overworked in the GDR. Much is read into many a verse, given that
Busch seems to stand for rebellion in all circumstances.

Those who witness the performance will still recall its subversive moments
decades later. The »Seifenlied« (soap song), a satirical song from the Weimar
Republic about the Social Democratic Party of Germany, is understood by some
in the auditorium – among them the young actors Ulrich Thein and Annekathrin
Bürger – as a political statement relating to the present: »Little Hanns Eisler is
at the piano, Ernst Busch sings, the party and state leaders sit in the first row
and clap, and then Busch gives an encore – they have asked for it after all: ›We
work up a lather, we soap ourselves, we wash our hands clean again ...‹
Annekathrin and Thein freeze in sympathy. They still know the text, and the
tune, yet neither of them has ever heard it again. What kind of a text is that?
They hardly venture to look towards the first row. Yes, frozen solid! They look
like a row of icicles. Eisler and Busch thaw more and more. Busch stretches out
his arms: ›Sing along!› – ›We work up a lather, we soap ourselves, we wash
our hands clean again ...‹ What can they do? The icicles sing. They sing and try
to look harmless. Busch, the fighter for Spain, their old comrade, he has them
all in the palm of his hand, a whole song long. Is this his comment on the
relationship between politics and art, on the Formalism controversy in the GDR
– his comment on the very direction taken by the still young state?
Shortly before the end of the concert, Busch sings Brecht’s »Kinderhymne«,
a (hopeless) contender in the public discussion thirty years later about whether
a new national anthem was needed for the reunited Germany. Busch comments
on this song: »This is what a teacher tells his children.« The announcement
amuses some members of the audience; partly, perhaps, because it unintentionally
describes the role Busch himself will progressively assume in the 1960s.
Busch, the North German, who likes to address his audiences as »Kinners«
(dialect for Kinder), does indeed have something of a teacher about him with
advancing years – a rather odd history teacher with a marked sense of political
mission. It has not escaped him that the teaching at his school follows a
syllabus consisting mainly of hot air. So what does he do about it? In the late
1970s the songwriter Reinhold Andert will put it like this in his song »Ernst
Busch«: »His silence was clean, honest and rough, without false feeling,
without violins. He struck the tone of our hearts precisely; learn from him how
to sing and be silent!  - Jochen Voit

Ernst Busch - Live in Berlin 1960
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Hanns Eisler - Klingende Dokumente III (1975)

The four "Klingende Dokumente" albums  were published in the GDR between 1973 and 1982. They take the form of musical utterances by Hanns Eisler as a "singer", "pianist" and conducter as well as interviews, talks and a lecture attesting to his views about the social function of music and the role of the musician in challenging social and musical conventions. Most of these recordings were not intended for release and, given their poor quality, are not entirely suitable for such a purpose. 

The "Bankenlied" ("Banking Song", 1932) is typical of Eislers militant style. The recording was mide in the 1950s.
The "Suite für Septett Nr. 1, Op 92 a" (Variatons on American Children´s Songs), written in the United States in 1946, was recorded in 1956, with Eisler wielding the baton.

Tracklist:

A1Bankenlied3:10
A2Über Hölderlin16:15
A3Die Gesichte der Simone Machard (A) Der zweite Traum3:50
A4Die Gesichte der Simone Machard (B) Lied der Simone und Marsch1:55
A5Kantate auf den Tod eines Genossen Op. 644:05
A6Über Schoenberg4:30
B1Schwejk im Zweiten Weltkrieg8:50
B2Über Wissenschaft und Kunst9:40
B3Suite für Septett Nr. 1 Op. 92a4:15



Hanns Eisler - Klingende Dokumente III
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 20. April 2023

Marian Anderson - Let Freedom Ring (1939 - 1961)

A legendary African-American interpreter of both operatic and concert repertoire, Marian Anderson was possessed of one of the finest contralto voices in living memory. Her career was notable not only for her artistic achievements -- which were many -- but also for a dignified tenacity in the face of discrimination. She opened doors for subsequent generations of black American singers.

After concertizing around the world in the 1930s and becoming the toast of Europe, Anderson’s agent, Sol Hurok, brought her back to America in 1935 for a historic homecoming at Town Hall in New York. His hope that her international stardom would shield her from racial discrimination in her homeland was unfortunately not realized. As was the case with all African Americans, concert artists included, Anderson was subjected to many indignities—not the least of which were segregated concert halls and denial of access to hotels and restaurants while touring. Though she initially avoided taking a political stance, this role was thrust upon her in 1939 when the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to rent Constitution Hall for Anderson’s proposed Easter Sunday concert. After being turned down by additional venues in the nation’s capital, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt took up the cause (she had brought Anderson to the White House three years earlier), along with many other politicians and celebrities. To make a long story short, the Easter concert went forward on April 9, 1939, but was moved to the Lincoln Memorial on the Mall. Over 75,000 were in attendance, and the concert was broadcast live over NBC (tracks 1 to 9),

The Copenhagen Concert (tracks 10 to 28) is a further triumph. Held in especially high regard in Scandinavia (Sibelius adapted some of his works for her), Anderson basks in the audience's affection.


Tracklist:

01 - Opening Announcement
02 - Speech by U
03 - America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee) 
04 - La Favorita- 'E fia vero_' - 'Oh mio Fernando!' - 'Scritto in cielo' 
05 - Ave Maria, D
06 - Intermission Announcements
07 - Gospel Train 
08 - Trampin' 
09 - Closing Announcement
10 - 5 Lieder, Op
11 - 4 Songs, Op
12 - Die Forelle, D
13 - Ave Maria, D
14 - Erlkönig, D
15 - Samson et Dalila, Op
16 - Comin' Through the Rye 
17 - Von zwei Rosen, Op
18 - Es war zur holden Lenzeszeit, Op
19 - Läksin minä kesäyönä käymään (
20 - Belshazzar's Feast, Op
21 - 6 Songs, Op
22 - Done Foun' My Los' Sheep 
23 - Hold On! 
24 - He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
25 - He's Got the Whole World in His Hands (Reprise) 
26 - My Soul's Been Anchored in de Lord 
27 - Heav'n, Heav'n 
28 - O What a Beautiful City! 

(ca, 180 kbps, cover art included)

Doc Watson & Son - Same (1965)

Merle Watson's debut with father Doc Watson was recorded shortly after they performed their first concerts together in California, and it shows the duo's musical partnership already in full flower, an incredible fact considering that Merle had only been picking guitar for eight months!
The best songs here turned up on later Vanguard best-ofs, but there's a fair amount of greatness in the astonishing instrumental medley "Fiddler's Dram/Whistling Rufus/Ragtime Annie" and "Little Stream of Whiskey," an old Irish drinking song transformed into a hobo ballad with a bouncy fingerpicked melody.
 
Perhaps most astonishing is the solo harmonica workout "Mama Blues," in which the elder Watson imitates the sound of a child crying, showing off yet another facet of his incredible musical skill.                


Tracklist:

A1Muskrat2:51
A2Weary Blues2:10
A3Medley2:09
A4Dream Of The Miner's Child2:45
A5Rising Sun Blues4:17
A6Mama Blues2:18
A7We Shall All Be Reunited2:10
B1Little Stream Of Whiskey2:25
B2Little Sadie2:57
B3Beaumont Rag1:37
B4Otto Wood The Bandit3:14
B5Faithful Soldier3:09
B6Memphis Blues1:32
B7Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar2:06

Doc Watson & Son – Doc Watson & Son (1965)      
(320 kbps, cover art included)