Mittwoch, 24. April 2024

Dmitri Schostakowitsch - Kyrill Kondraschin, Moskauer Philharmonie – Sinfonie Nr. 5 D-moll Op. 47 (ETERNA, 1975)

Shostakovich composed his Fifth Symphony in 1937, a period when Joseph Stalin’s regime dominated the Soviet Union and imposed strict artistic constraints. The symphony represents a pivotal moment in Shostakovich’s career, where he had to balance his artistic integrity with the need to please this oppressive regime. As a result, the Fifth contains a profound sense of tension, dissent, and defiance. It is an artistic statement that resonates with the human spirit, as it reveals the triumph of the individual against the forces of oppression.

Although the Fifth Symphony was composed in a specific historical context, its themes and emotions transcend time and place. Shostakovich’s exploration of personal struggle, resilience, and the power of the human spirit resonates with audiences from all walks of life. The symphony’s ability to evoke powerful emotions and convey a profound sense of humanity has helped it endure as a cornerstone of the cannon for nearly a century.


A1 1. Moderato 13:32
A2 2. Allegretto 5:21
B1 3. Largo 12:04
B2 4. Allegro Non Troppo 10:48

Dmitri Schostakowitsch - Kyrill Kondraschin, Moskauer Philharmonie – Sinfonie Nr. 5 D-moll Op. 47 (ETERNA, 1975)

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 22. April 2024

Felicia Sanders - The Songs Of Kurt Weill (1960)

Felicia Sanders (born April 26, 1921, Mount Vernon, New York, USA – died February 7, 1975) was a singer of traditional pop music. She sang in the 1940's, with big bands and on the radio based in Los Angeles, California. She is was the first singer to do the song "In Other Words (Fly Me to the Moon)".

This album is a collection of songs by the famous German composer Kurt Weill. 


Speak Low 3:23
This Is New 3:03
Remember That I Care 3:37
Green Up-Time 1:52
September Song 4:07
Here I'll Stay 2:47
Thousands Of Miles 2:20
Foolish Heart 2:46
Stay Well 3:49
Westwind 3:04
Mon Ami, My Friend 2:26
Oh Heart Of Love 3:04

(cover art included)

Dmitri Shostakovich - Under Stalin´s Shadow - Symphony No. 10 - Andris Nelsons

The "Under Stalin's Shadow" subtitle of this release may be confusing inasmuch as the opening Passacaglia from the opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District dates from before the period when Stalin made Shostakovich's life a living hell, and the main attraction, the Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93, was finished ten months after Stalin's death.

Actually the album is the first in a set of three; the others will cover the symphonies No. 5 through No. 9, all written during the period of Stalinist cultural control. But even here the theme is relevant: the pieces are linked by a dark mood that carries overtones (of a feminist sort in the case of the opera) of repression. And the Symphony No. 10 is decidedly some kind of turning point, with repeated (and finally triumphant) assertions of the D-S-C-H motif (D, E flat, C, B natural in the German system) that would appear frequently in the composer's later work.

Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor Andris Nelsons, who grew up in Soviet-controlled Latvia, is to be believed when he claims a spiritual kinship with Shostakovich, and he delivers a full-blooded performance of the Symphony No. 10 that rises from deepest introspective gloom to a fine example of Shostakovich's sarcasm, to the discovery of the motif, to a triumphant finale enthusiastically greeted by Symphony Hall's usually reserved patrons. Deutsche Grammophon's live engineering, in the orchestra's first recording for the label, is notably clear and sharp. A superior reading of one of the lesser-known Shostakovich symphonies.   


1 Passacaglia (Interlude from Act II of Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk 8:11

Symphony No. 10 In E Minor Op. 93
2 Moderato 25:39
3 Allegro 4:22
4 Allegretto 12:44
5 Andante - Allegro 13:54

Dmitri Shostakovich - Under Stalin´s Shadow - Symphony No. 10 - Andris Nelsons
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 20. April 2024

Kendra Smith - Five Ways Of Disappearing (1995)

"Five Ways of Disappearing" is an album by the American musician Kendra Smith, released in 1995. It marked a full-album return to music for Smith, who for much of the 1990s had been tending to her northern California organic farm. Smith did not do a lot of promotion for the album, and chose not to tour nationally behind it

The album was produced by Smith and A. Phillip Uberman. Many of its songs were constructed around the use of a pump organ; others used Turkish drums and harmonium. On some songs, Smith randomly arranged words to form the lyrics, and used multitracked vocals.

Entertainment Weekly wrote: "Spare and haunting, the eerie keyboards and varied guitar textures drape the songs’ slow tempos and rustic melodies, while Smith’s cool vocals deliver elusive, psychedelic lyrics." Trouser Press called "Bold Marauder" "one of the best acoustic Led Zeppelin imitations in recent memory," and wrote that "though some songs are amiss, precious or overly derivative, as a personal sampler, Five Ways of Disappearing is an impressive—and colorful—achievement." Rolling Stone determined that, "when Smith resigns the organ to a background role and matches her voice's fine edge to the guitar's slightly spacey effects, the results are down to earth and memorable."

Robert Christgau thought that, "with the pump organ and all she does have Her Own Sound, especially if you don't remember Nico too clearly—and unlike Nico, she also has a sense of humor." Spin deemed it "a songwriter's album, in the style of Brian Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)... Each package of lyrics is showcased inside of a specific set of instrumental routines." The Knoxville News Sentinel concluded that the album "drags listeners into semi-consciousness two ways: sometimes entrancing with atmosphere, sometimes with lulling tedium."

AllMusic wrote that Smith's "deadpan vocal delivery adds another layer of individuality to an offbeat album by an offbeat artist."


1 Aurelia
2 Bohemian Zebulon
3 Temporarily Lucy
4 In Your Head
5 Space: Unadorned
6 Maggots
7 Drunken Boat
8 Interlude #1
9 Valley Of The Morning Sun
10 Judge Not
11 Get There
12 Interlude #2
13 Bold Marauder

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 19. April 2024

Abbey Lincoln - That´s Him! (1957)

Anna Marie Wooldridge (August 6, 1930 – August 14, 2010), known by her stage name Abbey Lincoln, was an American jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress, who wrote and performed her own compositions. She was a civil rights advocate during the 1960s.

"That´s Him!" was her second recording, and her first for Riverside. The album finds her accompanied by quite an all-star roster: tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, trumpeter Kenny Dorham, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Max Roach.

Even this early, she was already a major jazz singer with a style of her own. Lincoln was careful from this point on to only interpret lyrics that she believed in. Her repertoire has a few superior standards (including several songs such as "I Must Have That Man!" and "Don't Explain" that are closely associated with Billie Holiday) plus Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Strong Man" and Phil Moore's "Tender as a Rose"; she takes the latter unaccompanied. "Don't Explain" is slightly unusual in that Paul Chambers is absent and Wynton Kelly makes an extremely rare appearance on bass. All three of Abbey Lincoln's Riverside albums are well worth the listen.          

Abbey Lincoln - That´s Him! (1957)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

The Smashing Pumpkins - Versions (1994)

The Smashing Pumpkins was one of the biggest bands of the alternative era, who deftly mixed roaring rock with dark, insular alternative pop. The band was formed in 1988 by Billy Corgan and James Iha, split in 2000, but was reformed by Corgan in 2006.

The band has a diverse, densely layered sound, which evolved throughout their career and has contained elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, grunge, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, shoegaze, dream pop, and electronica overall, with Corgan as the group's primary songwriter.
The band's first album, Gish (1991), became an underground success. In the advent of alternative rock's mainstream breakthrough, their second album Siamese Dream (1993) established the band's popularity. Despite a tumultuous recording process, the album received acclaim and is regarded as one of the best albums in the genre.

"Versions" is an unofficial release, compiling very euphoric acoustic, alternative and electric versions of some of their mid-90s classics.


1 Cherub Rock (Acoustic Version) 4:26
2 Disarm (Acoustic Version) 3:20
3 Rocket (Acoustic Version) 4:43
4 Spaceboy (Acoustic Version) 3:02
5 Rocket (Alternate Acoustic Version) 4:20
6 Cherub Rock (Alternate Acoustic Version) 4:29
7 Today (Acoustic Version) 3:24
8 Disarm (Alternate Acoustic Version) 3:24
9 Spaceboy (Alternate Acoustic Version) 4:07
10 Dancing In The Moonlight (Acoustic Version) 4:08
11 Rocket (Electric Version) 4:19
12 Quiet (Electric Version) 3:29
13 Today (Electric Version) 3:23
14 Rhinoceros (Electric Version) 4:35
15 Geek USA (Electric Version) 5:17
16 I Am One (Electric Version) 4:15
17 Disarm (Electric Version) 2:14
18 Cherub Rock (Electric Version)

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 16. April 2024

Esther Phillips - Set Me Free (1986)

Esther Phillips was an American soul and rhythm & blues singer (December 23, 1935, Galveston, Texas - August 7, 1984 in Carson, California).

She was an influence on many other artists including Aretha Franklin. She was already a mature singer at age fourteen, and won the amateur talent contest in 1949 at the Barrelhouse Club owned by Johnny Otis. Otis was so impressed he billed her as 'Little Esther' and added her to his traveling revue, the California Rhythm and Blues Caravan. Her first hit record was "Double Crossing Blues" (#1 R+B), recorded in 1950 for Savoy Records. Her duet with Mel Walker on "Mistrusting Blues", also went to number one that year, as did "Cupid Boogie". Other Little Esther records that made it onto the U.S. Billboard R&B chart in 1950 include "Misery" (#9), "Deceivin'" (#4), "Wedding Boogie" (#6), and "Faraway Blues" (#6). Few artists, R&B or otherwise, have ever enjoyed such success in their debut year. Phillips left Otis and the Savoy label at the end of 1950 and signed with Federal Records. Although she recorded more than thirty sides for Federal, only one, "Ring-a-Ding-Doo", charted; making it to #8 in 1952. Not working with Otis was part of her problem; the other part was her drug usage. By the middle of the decade Phillips was chronically addicted to drugs.

Phillips ultimately got well enough to launch a comeback in 1962. Now billed as Esther Phillips instead of Little Esther, she recorded a country tune, "Release Me," with producer Bob Gans. This went to number 1 on R&B and number 8 on the pop listings. After several other minor R&B hits on Lenox, she was signed by Atlantic Records. Her cover of The Beatles song "And I Love Him" nearly made the R&B Top Ten in 1965 and The Beatles flew her to the UK for her first overseas performances. During the 1970's she made a temporary move into disco material and scored an international hit with "What A Difference A Day Made", an updating of the 1930's jazz standard.

Phillips died at UCLA Medical Center in Carson, California in 1984, at the age of 48 from liver and kidney failure.

The album "Set Me Free" is a compilation, tracks 1 to 4 recorded 1964 , 5 recorded 1966 , 6 recorded 1965, 7 to 13 recorded 1966, 14 to 24 recorded 1970.


A1 Mo Jo Hanna
A2 I Saw Me
A3 Double Crossing Blues
A4 Hello Walls
A5 Some Things You Never Get Used To
A6 Let Me Know When It's Over
A7 Ups And Downs
B1 Cheater Man
B2 When A Man Loves A Woman
B3 Fever
B4 When Love Comes To The Human Race
B5 Try Me
B6 I'm Sorry
B7 Somebody Else Is Taking My Place
C1 Catch Me I'm Fallin'
C2 I'm In Love
C3 Brand New Day
C4 Just Like A Fish
C5 Tomorrow Night
C6 Some Cats Know
D1 Set Me Free
D2 All God Has Is Us
D3 He Knows
D4 Woman Will Do No Wrong
D5 Crazy Love

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Paul Dessau - Lilo Herrmann - An die Mütter und an die Lehrer - Der anachronistische Zug (NOVA)

Liselotte Hermann was a German student who became involved in anti-Nazi activities. She was arrested and sentenced to death for high treason, becoming the first woman to be executed in Hitler's
Third Reich.

She was an engineer’s daughter and had a middle-class liberal upbringing. After completing her Abitur, she went to work in a chemical factory to support her studies in chemistry, starting in 1929, and later also in biology as of 1931. She took these programmes at the Technische Hochschule Stuttgart (now the University of Stuttgart) and the University of Berlin. She joined the Kommunistischer Jugendverband Deutschlands (“Communist Youth Federation of Germany”) in 1928 or 1930, and also became a member of the Roter Studentenbund (“Red Students’ League”). From 1931, she was a member of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).

Early in 1933, she signed a “Call for the Defence of Democratic Rights and Freedoms” at the university in Berlin, and was therefore, together with 111 other students, reprimanded and debarred by the university on 11 July 1933. From that time, she worked illegally against Germany's fascist dictatorship. On 20 December 1933, her husband was slain in Gestapo custody.
She took a job as a nanny and socialized with the armed resistance within the KPD. In 1934, Liselotte's son Walter was born. From September of the same year, she lived once again in Stuttgart, where she worked as a shorthand typist at her father's engineering office.
She reestablished contacts with the now banned KPD. From late 1934, she worked as a technical aid with Stefan Lovasz, the Württemberg KPD leader. She obtained from Arthur Göritz information about secret weapons projects - munitions production at the Dornier factory in Friedrichshafen and the building of another, underground munitions factory near Celle - which she relayed to the KPD's office that had been set up in Switzerland.

On 7 December 1935, Liselotte Hermann was seized. For 19 harrowing months she was held in remand custody, whilst her young son had to be cared for by his grandparents. Charged before the Volksgerichtshof, Herrmann was sentenced to death by the Second Senate of the Volksgerichtshof in Stuttgart on 12 June 1937 for "treason and conspiracy to commit high treason". Lina Haag was held in the same Remand Prison at that time, and remembers the night she was sentenced in her book 'A Handful of Dust' or 'How Long the Night'.
After a year in the Berlin Women's Prison, she was transferred to Plötzensee Prison, also in Berlin, for execution. Despite international protests, Liselotte Hermann was sent to the guillotine on 20 June 1938. Her political friends Stefan Lovasz, Josef Steidle and Arthur Göritz were also put to death the same day.

In East Germany, many schools, streets, and institutions were named after her, but after German reunification in 1990, many were given new names in the rush to erase all references to Communism.
Indeed, even in Stuttgart, where Liselotte Herrmann studied, she has been a controversial figure. In 1988, unknown persons placed a simple memorial stone to her on the University of Stuttgart campus, which caused a bit of a stir. "Lilo-Herrmann-Weg" was the city's tribute to her, but it is little more than a 100 m-long blind alley affording access to public and private parking. No-one lives there. In the 1970s, students at the university tried to get a new residence named after her, but the university administration balked at the idea.

The German writer Friedrich Wolf worked after the World War I as a doctor in Remscheid and Hechingen, where he focused on care for common people and prescribed treatment using naturopathic medicine. In 1923 and 1925 his sons Markus und Konrad were born. After 1928 he became a member of the Communist Party and the Association of Proletarian-Revolutionary Authors. In 1929 his drama "Cyankali" sparked a debate about abortion, and he was briefly arrested and charged for performing abortions.
In early 1932 he founded the Spieltrupp Südwest in Stuttgart, a communist agitprop group of lay actors that created controversial pieces about current topics.
After the Nazis came to power, Wolf emigrated with his family to Moscow. In 1938 he made his way to Spain to work as a doctor in the International Brigades. However, he was arrested in France and interned in the concentration camp Le Vernet. In 1941 he gained Soviet citizenship and returned to Moscow where he became a founder of the National Committee for a Free Germany (NKFD) .
In 1945 he returned to Germany and was active in literary and cultural-political issues. From 1949 to 1951 he was the first ambassador of East Germany to Poland. On October 5, 1953, he died in his personal office in Lehnitz.

Friedrich Wolf wrote the biographic poem "Lilo Herrmann", which was set to music in 1954 by the German conductor and composer Paul Dessau. This album features his melodrama for speaker, chorus & ensemble "Lilo Herrmann" besides "An die Mütter und an die Lehrer" and "Der anachronistische Zug", a collaboration with Bertolt Brecht.

Paul Dessau - Lilo Herrmann - An die Mütter und an die Lehrer - Der anachronistische Zug (NOVA)
(320 kbps, vinyl rip, small front cover included)

Montag, 15. April 2024

Die Art - Fear (1990)

"Die Art" was a German band, founded 1984 as "Die Zucht" in Leipzig, German Democratic Republic (GDR/DDR). In 1985 they changed their name to "Die Art" because the government objected against further use of their original name. (Die Zucht = "the breed" or "the discipline" in English).
The 1985 "Die Art"-concert in Haus Auensee Leipzig - together with Billy Bragg & The Neurotics - was legendary.

Die Art privately produced three regular cassette tapes in underground conditions and quality. Since these communist times allowed only an inofficial underhand merchandising during live concerts it was the unique way to "distribute" these tapes - despite the fact, that this activity was - according to the communist GDR-laws - an illegal act.

John Peel played Die Art in his BBC Radio-Show in 1989 for the first time - related to the successful radio debut in the popular GDR underground radio-show "Parocktikum" (at Radiostation DT64) by Lutz Schramm.

The collapse of the Berlin Wall ushered in a new era, and their dream of releasing their official first album in band history finally became true. Due to the fact that it was their 4th regular recording, their first album was entitled FEAR ("fear" and the German word "vier" (the number 4) pronounce the same way in English), which may be regarded as a sort of Best-Of compilation from their first three tapes. "Fear" was recorded and engineered at Studio Brunnenstraße / East-Berlin from April to June 1990.


1 Voices 2:56
2 Wide Wide World 4:46
3 All That Happens 3:25
4 Night And Day 5:26
5 Black Dust 2:41
6 Nightmare 2:47
7 I Love You (Marian) 3:49
8 Looking For My Mind 6:32
9 Eternal Fall 3:24
10 Uptown 5:48
11 Heaven Knows 4:22
12 That's Me 2:26
13 Irish Coffee 3:27

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 12. April 2024

Nikki Sudden - Groove (1989)

Though Nikki Sudden's liner notes claim that "half of the rhythm section lost all of their enthusiasm" during the making of "Groove", that laziness is nowhere evident in the final product. 

A big, swaggering, barnburner of a record, "Groove" pits toothy chords against thundering drums, making for what could best be described as post-punk designed to fill Madison Square Garden. 

The only thing that keeps the affair from being a full-blown bow to stadium rock is Sudden's wobbly, nasal vocals and his stubborn refusal to bow to conventional song structure. Forget anthemic singalong choruses -- Sudden's songs are all verse. Though scattered moments recall the stomp and pout of Marc Bolan, Sudden is too obtuse to be especially sexy. The brash, furious "Great Pharoah" has a two-note vocal melody, and the mournful cover of Neil Young's "Captain Kennedy" is interrupted up by long, loping guitar interludes. 

"Groove" works because it revels in the tension between the muscular arrangements and Sudden's passive drawl.

"This album is dedicated to Karl Stephenson who was killed on Christmas eve 1988, age 24 ... somebody had to play Peter Pan."


1 See My Rider 6:20
2 Murder Valley 4:47
3 French Revolution Blues 3:25
4 Breaking Lines 4:45
5 Groove 5:08
6 Sea-Dog Blues 3:40
7 Great Pharaoh 4:05
8 Poor Relation 3:33
9 Wild Cathedral 3:29
10 Beethoven's Ring 4:37
11 Back To The Coast 2:55
12 Too Bad For You 5:00
13 Village Green 7:51
14 Wedding Hotel 3:39

(ca. 254 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 10. April 2024

Gil Scott-Heron – Reflections (1981)

"Reflections" is an album by the American poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron, released in 1981. It was his second album without Brian Jackson. Scott-Heron supported the album with a North American tour. The album peaked at No. 106 on the Billboard 200.

Arista Records mailed a copy of "'B' Movie'" to every member of Congress. "'B' Movie" was a hit on Black radio stations.

Recorded at TONTO Studio, the album was coproduced by Malcolm Cecil. Scott-Heron was backed by the Midnight Band. "'B' Movie" is a criticism of Ronald Reagan, whose image appears on the album cover in one of the lenses of Scott-Heron's glasses. "Inner City Blues" is a version of the Marvin Gaye song. "Grandma's Hands" is a cover of the Bill Withers song.

Robert Christgau called "'B' Movie" Scott-Heron's "smartest political rap ever"; Knight Ridder deemed it "a bitter tour de force." The Tucson Citizen labeled the album Scott-Heron's "slicing philosophy of America's determined return to the years before social conscience and civil rights." The Philadelphia Daily News praised the "brilliantly articulated bad-tidings."

The Independent deemed the album "a classic." The Guardian concluded that, "unlike some of those he influenced, Scott-Heron had enough intellectual and musical flexibility to ensure that his medium wasn't crushed under the ponderous weight of his message."


1."Storm Music" 4:51
2."Grandma's Hands" 5:24
3."Is That Jazz?" 3:43
4."Morning Thoughts" 4:37
5."Inner City Blues (Poem: 'The Siege of New Orleans')" 5:46
6."Gun" 4:00
7."'B' Movie" 12:10

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 8. April 2024

Scritti Politti – Songs To Remember (1982)

One needn't look much further than the song titles on the back of Songs to Remember to be struck with the thought that Scritti Politti had changed their scheme. Gone were the days of "Bibbly-O-Tek" and "Skank Bloc Bologna," replaced by brow-raising titles like "Gettin' Havin' and Holdin'" and, er, "Sex." Then there's the photo of Green Gartside -- he looks chipper! And at what point did his shoulders get so big? Oh, those must be shoulder pads. During a lengthy recovery process necessitated by a physical meltdown, 

Gartside found himself rejuvenated with a new agenda to become less like the Pop Group in favor of being more like a pop group; young communism would now be replaced by young romanticism. Influenced heavily by R&B and lovers rock reggae, Gartside opted to aim his group at the pop charts. After cajoling his returning mates to go with the flow, Gartside took advantage of producer Adam Kidron's rare availability and went about recording Scritti Politti's first LP with most of the material far from realization. With the addition of a saxophonist and a trio of backing singers, Scritti resurfaced with a rather scatterbrained record. Sometimes it sounds like T. Rex in miniature form ("Jacques Derrida"); sometimes it sounds like wannabe Dirty Mind-era Prince ("Sex"); sometimes it sounds like wannabe Young Americans-era David Bowie ("A Slow Soul"). 

Despite the well-intended but overt appropriations, there are moments of full-on glory that aren't sunk in their influences. The infectiously naïve "Asylums in Jerusalem" matches sunny reggae with '70s Stevie Wonder; the blue-eyed soul of "Faithless" is simply good, not simply red; and then there's the closing dessert of "The Sweetest Girl," a peerless block of lovers rock-inspired synth pop. In sum, there's as much to love as there is to skip. (

A1 Asylums In Jerusalem 3:12
A2 A Slow Soul 3:15
A3 Jacques Derrida 4:58
A4 Lions After Slumber 6:08
A5 Faithless 4:13
B1 Sex 4:20
B2 Rock-A-Boy Blue 5:49
B3 Gettin' Havin' & Holdin' 5:16
B4 The Sweetest Girl 6:16

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 7. April 2024

Holger Hiller - Ein Bündel Fäulnis in der Grube (1983)

Holger Hiller studied art at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg, where he met Walter Thielsch and Thomas Fehlmann and recorded first works with them. With Fehlmann he later founded the band Palais Schaumburg in 1980, of which he was the singer. At the same time his solo career began. Hiller was one of the first musicians in Europe to use the sampler as his main or sole instrument.

From 1984 on, he lived in London, eventually working as producer for Mute Records. In 1988, he started a band project called Ohi Ho Bang Bang with video artist Akiko Hada, recording a song/video called "The Two," releasing it as both a 12" single and a CD Video. The video shows Hiller and Karl Bonnie creating different sounds from every item in a room, which Hada edited together to make a song out of the sounds whilst keeping the video footage of their creation intact. This transfer of sampling techniques from music to video might have been pioneering; only 10 years later, it got popular with "Timber" by Coldcut, who used custom-made software to create it.

Since 2003, Hiller lives in Berlin, working as an English language teacher.

With „Ein Bündel Fäulnis in der Grube“, Holger Hiller presented his solo debut having left Palais Schaumburg. Originally released in 1983 on the Düsseldorf scene label Ata Tak, an international release followed in 1984 via Cherry Red Records. Combining electronic sequencer sounds and sampling fragments with unconventional lyrics its multidisciplinary approach locates it somewhere between the pop and avant-garde. 


01. Liebe Beamtinnen und Beamte
02. Blass schlafen Rabe…
03. Budapest - Bukarest
04. Jonny (du Lump)
05. Akt mit Feile (für A. O.)
06. Hosen, die nicht aneinander passen
07. Chemische und physikalische Entdeckungen
08. Mütter der Fröhlichkeit
09. Ein Bündel Fäulnis in der Grube
10. Das Feuer
11. Ein Hoch auf das Bügeln

Holger Hiller - Ein Bündel Fäulnis in der Grube (1983)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 6. April 2024

Lord Kitchener – Klassic Kitchener Volume One (1993)

Lord Kitchener (born Aldwyn Roberts) shares with Mighty Sparrow the title of the world's best known Calypso singer.

He began his career in Trinidad and won his first Road March award for singing in 1946. In 1948, Kitch emigrated to England in the company of singer Lord Beginner and newsreel footage of the time shows him singing "London Is the Place for Me."

This Kitchener compilation is a gem with all the obvious reasons why Kitchener's musical compositions were always favored at Carnival by steel pan orchestras. Pannists trained on Calypso, Jazz and Tchaikovsky always choose Kitch! He seems the only composer who consistently makes songs that lend themselves to the complex arrangements of an orchestra. This is the most sophisticated side of Calypso music, but the lyrics are as loaded with innuendo and social critique as ever.

1 When A Man Is Poor 3:07
2 Nora 3:53
3 Trouble In Arima 2:51
4 Tie Tongue Mopsy 2:52
5 Cricket Champions 3:51
6 Old Lady Walk A Mile & A Half 3:36
7 Chinese Never Had A VJ Day 4:03
8 Steel Band Music 3:04
9 If You're Brown 3:08
10 Doctor Kitch 3:51
11 Batty Mamselle 3:57
12 Law And Order 3:47

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 5. April 2024

Love Inc. – Life's A Gas (1996)

If you want to get a glimpse of 90s german techno I would take this cd and the Maurizio compilation. A seriously damn fine album with real nice minimal house/techno tracks and enuff going on for both the head and the body.

Everyone talked about the prophetic vaporwave of the title track epic in regards to this record, But I think many people underrate just how good Voigt's sampling and production is on the whole. Seriously, this record is so ahead of the curve in places that I'd believe it was released in 2016, not two decades earlier.

And then there´s "Life´s a gas", the outstanding ending track of th album. I could live in there. I could live inside its blue lava lamp walls til i fade awa
y, and not have wasted a day of my life...


Income 5:05
Club N.C.N. 5:33
Back To Life 6:16
Hot Love (Mike Mix) 4:52
Where It's At 5:23
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Rmx 6:22
Lady Democracy 6:26
Contradition 8:44
Hot Love (Gas Mix) 8:03
Life's A Gas 14:53

Love Inc. – Life's A Gas (1996)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dave Van Ronk - Van Ronk (1971)

"Dave and I both had a love/hate relationship with this album, because it had some of his greatest material but the arrangements keep undercutting or overwhelming his vocals. His take was, "they gave me impressive recording budgets, and we worked out some pretty interesting arrangements, with strings and horns and what-all. I enjoyed that, at times, and it gave me a chance to do some material that I would not have otherwise done, though I also was coaxed into doing some arrangements that even at the time seemed overblown and buried the material."
In this period he had fully committed himself to the new styles being created by friends like Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, which he thought of as a new kind of art or cabaret song and mixed with Brecht and Jacques Brel. His version of Mitchell's "Urge for Going" stays pretty close to his guitar chart, with nice strings, and is altogether a good example of what he could do with full orchestration (though he hated the drums), and "Legend of the Dead Soldier" is one of his most frighteningly powerful versions of a Brecht lyric. Peter Stampfel's "Random Canyon" is Dave at his most intentionally and ridiculously bombastic, and works just fine. "Fox's Minstrel Show" is a strange piece of material, but well suited to the big arrangement, and although Dave eventually decided that Brel's "Port of Amsterdam" was too drenched in nostalgie de la boue, he sings it well. Dave kept toying with the idea of rerecording the material he liked best from this album, but was held back by the fact that he never worked out his own ways of performing things like the Brel or Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going To Rain Today. All in all, this is a mixed bag, but well worth hearing after one knows his basic repertoire--I find it exciting to revisit it once and a while and wonder what he might have done if he'd had the chance to go on experimenting with these kinds of production values."  - Elijah Wald


Bird On The Wire 3:55
Fox's Minstrel Show 3:05
Port Of Amsterdam 3:25
Fat Old John 1:06
Urge For Going 4:37
Random Canyon 2:05
I Think It's Going To Rain Today 3:50
Gaslight Rag 2:55
Honey Hair 3:15
Legend Of The Dead Soldier 4:05
Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive 2:30

Dave Van Ronk - Van Ronk (1971)
(ca. 256 kbps, cover art included)

Die Conrads – Brecht die Macht der Monopole (1971)

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

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

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

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

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

Donnerstag, 4. April 2024

Eartha Kitt - That Bad Eartha (1953)

"That Bad Eartha" is a twelve-song reconfiguration of material from American singer Eartha Kitt's first two eight-song, 10-inch albums issued by RCA Victor. It contains all eight songs from the 1953 album RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt. It repurposes the cover image and title, and four of the songs from Eartha's 1954 second 10-inch album, That Bad Eartha (10-inch, 8-song album). In this way, it could be considered an expansion of the first short-length album, supplementing it with packaging and selected songs from the second.

In May 1953, RCA Victor released the 10-inch vinyl album RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt, which reached No. 2 on the pop albums chart and featured 8 songs. The album was recorded in four sessions between March and October 1953 with Henri Rene and His Orchestra

RCA released her second album, That Bad Eartha, in the 10″ popular format, in 1954. It was also released in a 45 RPM extended play version with two songs on each side of two disks. That Bad Eartha spent 12 weeks on the pop albums chart, peaking at No. 5.

Long-playing records were introduced in 1948 by Columbia with 10-inch albums as the popular music format and the 12-inch album the format for classical music. RCA introduced the 45 RPM format shortly afterwards. By the mid-50s, 10″ LPs were phased out, replaced by 12″ ones for popular as well as classical music. At this point, in approximately 1956, RCA Victor reconfigured these two 8-song albums into a 12-track album, jettisoning 4 songs. This then became the standard version of the album.

Several singles were issued from various configurations of these albums. "Under the Bridges of Paris" charted in the UK Singles Chart in 1955 at #7.


Want To Be Evil
C'est Si Bon (It's So Good)
Angelitos Negros
Avril Au Portugal (The Whispering Serenade)
Let's Do It
My Heart Belongs To Daddy
Uska Dara
African Lullaby
Mountain High, Valley Low
Lilac Wine (Dance Me A Song)
Under The Bridges Of Paris
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Eartha Kitt - That Bad Eartha (1953)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

The Almanac Singers - Their Complete General Recordings (1941, reissued 1996)

They were only together for about a year in the early '40s, but the Almanac Singers' repertoire, and individual members, would go on to much later greatness in the decades that followed. Comprised of folk legends Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Pete Hawes, and Millard Lampell, the group performed mostly at left-wing political conventions and labor rallies with a set list that mixed the traditional with the political.

The songs contained on "Complete General Recordings" are some of their finest moments, and many of the tunes would see later life covered by the Weavers (Seeger and Hays's future band) and even - in the case of "House of the Rising Sun" - the Animals.
Produced by another music legend, Alan Lomax, "Their Complete General Recordings" is an essential document of folk music's history and a great chance to these classic numbers in a raw, unadulterated form. The Almanac Singers may not have sold as many records as their contemporaries (blame that on the unpopular pacifism they preached as the United States entered World War II), but their versions of these tunes are simply timeless.

1. Blow Ye Winds Heigh Ho - Pete Seeger
2. Away, Rio - Pete Hawes
3. Blow The Man Down - Woody Guthrie
4. House of the Rising Sun - Woody Guthrie
5. Ground Hog - Pete Seeger
6. State of Arkansas - Lee Hays
7. The Weaver's Song - Ensemble
8. I Ride An Old Paint - Woody Guthrie
9. Hard, Ain't It Hard - Woody Guthrie
10. The Dodger Song - Lee Hays
11. Greenland Fishing - Pete Seeger
12. The Golden Vanity - Pete Seeger
13. The Coast of High Barbary - Pete Seeger
14. Haul Away, Joe - Pete Hawes

(The name of the artist at the end of each track indicates the lead singer)

The Almanac Singers - Their Complete General Recordings (1941)
(320 kbps, booklet fully scanned)

Ernst Busch - Spanien - Venceremos (Aurora, 1967)

Ernst Busch was called "the singing heart of the labor movement". He was, along with Helene Weigel, one of the best-known singer/actors who popularized Brecht's political plays in the early 30s. His powerful, "metallic" voice was a perfect instrument for outdoor rallies and large performance halls in a time when amplification was generally unavailable. Busch spent the last years of the war in a Nazi prison and, following his release, resumed his singing and acting career in East Germany.

On March 9, 1933, Busch escaped Nazi Germany for the Netherlands, where he worked at Radio Hilversum. His exile took him to Belgium, France and Switzerland; in 1935 he moved on to Moscow, working for the Comintern radio station. From January 1937 to August 1938, he worked as an artist entertaining the International Brigades in Spain and on Radio Madrid. In 1938 he took part in concerts held in Belgium to support volunteers in the Spanish civil war and Jewish refugees from Germany. Busch was arrested in Antwerp on May 10, 1938 and deported to France, where he was interned in the St. Cyprien and Gurs camps.

This EP is a part of Ernst Busch´s recordings on the "Aurora" label between 1964 and 1974 for his wonderful "Chronicle of the first half of the 20st century in songs and ballads".  It features songs rememebering the fight of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil war. The songs were recorded between June, 1966 and January, 1967, with the conductor Adolf Fritz Guhl.

A1 Riego-Hymne
A2 Söhne des Volkes
A3 Las Companias de Acero
A4 Halt´ stand, rotes Madrid

B1 Wenn das Eisen mich mäht
B2 Hans Beimler, Kamerad
B3 Abschied von der Front
B4 Es wird die neue Welt geboren

Ernst Busch - Spanien - Venceremos (Aurora, 1967)
(320 kbps, cover art included, vinyl rip)

Teresa Stratas - The Unknows Kurt Weill (1981)

Kurt Weill was both well respected and popular in his own day, and in the years since his death in 1950 his reputation has only increased. As a result, many of the songs on "The Unknown Kurt Weill "(recorded in 1981) are no longer quite so unknown.
Perhaps that's because Weill's melodies are so catchy that they take up residence in your brain after just a listen or two. No wonder "Mack the Knife" (not included here) became an enormous pop hit for Bobby Darin. But crossover appeal aside, these are songs that beg for individual interpretation.

Teresa Stratas is a Weill specialist, having been tapped by Weill's widow - the gravel-voiced chanteuse Lotte Lenya - to carry the musical torch. The notoriously volatile Stratas is no longer singing (due to a faulty throat operation), but on this recording, she sounds terrific, sinking her teeth into stunning songs like "Und was bekam des Soldaten Weib" (Ballad of the Soldier's Wife) and "Nanna's Lied" (both with texts by Bertolt Brecht).

Of this production Harold Lawrence writes "Easily one of the outstanding early digital releases is this Nonesuch recording of 14 songs of Kurt Weill's theater music. The soprano, Teresa Stratas, who made such a deep impression in the role of Jenny in the Metropolitan Opera's revival of "Mahagonny", sings 14 songs by Weill in this release, Kurt Weill's widow, Lotte Lenya, was in the audience on opening night and wrote Miss Stratas that 'nobody can sing Weill's music better than you do.' She offered Stratas a number of unpublished songs that she had guarded since her husband's death in 1950. The result was a New York concert in January 1980 in which these songs formed the nucleus of the program. The event attracted the interest of Jac Holzman, Nonesuch's enterprising director. Holzman lost no time in signing up Teresa Stratas and pianist Richard Woitach to commit the concert to disc. The album is a fascinating collection, spanning some 20 years. Teresa Stratas sings with total understanding of the different sides of the composer and the recording, on Nonesuch Records, ranks as one of the best early digital efforts."
This recording is a revelation because it testifies to Weill's heritage and place in music: from the profane to the metaphysical, the seedy to the classic, it connects Weill to both the German dance- and concert-halls. Stratas interpretation places this music in the Berg tradition, using a wide range of color and emotion that rushes the melodious songs at you in a brilliant and immediate way. This is an album that I would grab first in a fire and I believe is a true classic in recording history.

Teresa Strata - The Unknown Kurt Weill (1981)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 3. April 2024

VA – Chansons De Kurt Weill - De L'Opéra De Quat' Sous A September Song (Phillips, 1958)

Kurt Weill (1900-1950) began his career in the early 1920’s, after a musical childhood and several years of study in Berlin. By the time his first opera, The Protagonist (Georg Kaiser), was performed in April 1926, he was an established young German composer. But he had already decided to devote himself to the musical theater, and his works with Bertolt Brecht soon made him famous all over Europe. 

He fled the new Nazi leadership in March 1933 and continued his indefatigable efforts, first in Paris (1933-35), then in the U.S. until his death. 

Certain common threads tie together his career: a concern for social justice, an aggressive pursuit of highly-regarded playwrights and lyricists as collaborators, and the ability to adapt to audience tastes no matter where he found himself. His most important works: the Violin Concerto (1925), The Threepenny Opera (Bertolt Brecht and Elisabeth Hauptmann, 1928), Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Brecht and Hauptmann, 1930), The Pledge (Caspar Neher, 1932), The Seven Deadly Sins (Brecht, 1933), Lady in the Dark (Moss Hart and Ira Gershwin, 1941), Street Scene (Elmer Rice and Langston Hughes, 1947), Lost in the Stars (Maxwell Anderson, 1949). 

He died of heart failure in 1950, shortly after he and Anderson began work on a musical adaptation of Huckleberry Finn, leaving behind a large catalogue of works and a reputation that continues to grow as more of his music is performed.

Weill was raised in a religious Jewish family in Dessau, Germany. Although he was not observant, he composed a number of “Jewish” works, from a vast score to The Eternal Road (1937, Franz Werfel) to a setting of the Kiddush. 

He married actress Lotte Lenya in 1926; they maintained a close relationship throughout his life despite their divorce in 1933 (they remarried in 1937).


A1 Les Quatre Barbus– Chant Des Canons
A2 Catherine Sauvage– Bilbao Song
A3 Yves Robert – Complainte De Mackie
A4 Catherine Sauvage– Chanson de Barbara
A5 Les Quatre Barbus, Christiane Legrand– Le Roi D'Aquitaine
A6 Catherine Sauvage– La Fiancée Du Pirate
A7 Franck Aussman Et Son Orchestre– Grandeur Et Décadence De la Ville De Mahagonny
A8 Christiane Legrand– Speak Low (Tout Bas)
B1 Franck Aussman Et Son Orchestre– Ballade De La Vie Agréable
B2 Catherine Sauvage– Sorabaya Johnny
B3 Les Quatre Barbus– Le Grand Lustucru
B4 Catherine Sauvage– Nanna's Lied
B5 Franck Aussman Et Son Orchestre– Tango Des Matelots
B6 Christiane Legrand– J'attends Un Navire
B7 Catherine Sauvage– Alabama Song
B8 Franck Aussman Et Son Orchestre– September Song (J'ai Peur De L'Automne)

(705 kbps, one track each album side, cover art included)

Kurt Weill & Bert Brecht - Rise And Fall Of the City Of Mahagonny

In the 1920´s Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht worked togehter on the "song-play" "Mahagonny", based on poems taken from Brecht´s "Hauspostille". They interrupted adapting the song-play into a "Mahagonny" opera in May 1928 so that they could concentrate on a new version of the classical "Beggar´s Opera", which enjoyed its premiere performance as "The Threepenny Opera" in autumn 1928 in Berlin. The piece took the rest of Europa by storm and Brecht and Weill were alredy working on their next project - The "Mahagonny" opera.

This opera tells the story of three criminals (Leokadja Begbick, Trinity Moses and Fatty) creating the city of Mahagonny. Drinking, gambling, prize-fights and similar activities are the sole occupation of the inhabitants, and money rules. The implications for a society organized on such a value system is the overarching theme of the opera, which explores scenarios of greed, gluttony, lust, and a justice system in which a murderer can buy his way to freedom, but inability to pay a bill results in conviction and a death sentence.
There are only two main characters, Jenny, a prostitute, and Jim Mahoney, a lumberjack. Mahagonny is threatened by a hurricane at the end of Act 1, which despite much anticipation & causing much distress simply bypasses the city. In Act 2 following the hurricane nothing is forbidden and various scenes of debauchery occur. Jenny and Jim try to leave but Jim cannot pay his debts and is arrested. Another character arraigned for murder, bribes his way out of it, but Jim has no money and is condemned to death for not paying for his whisky. The opera ends with discontent destroying the city, which burns as the inhabitants march away.
The music uses a number of styles, including rag-time, jazz and formal counterpoint, notably in the "Alabama Song" (covered by The Doors and later David Bowie).
The lyrics for the "Alabama Song" and another song, the "Benares Song" are in English (albeit specifically idiosyncratic English) and are performed in that language even when the opera is performed in its original German language.

This opera enjoyed its premiere performance in 1930 as "The Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny". This event became one of the greatest theatre scandals in the history of the Weimarer Republic. Organized groups of Nazi troublemakers attended the performance and caused such tumultuous scenes that the performance could only be completed with the greatest of effort. The reaction of the right-wing press also made it clear that "Mahagonny" was not only considered an opera but also a political issue. Weill left Germany in 1933.

Kurt Weill & Bert Brecht - Rise And Fall Of the City Of Mahagonny pt 1
Kurt Weill & Bert Brecht - Rise And Fall Of the City Of Mahagonny pt 2
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Kurt Weill - From Berlin To Broadway

Kurt Weill died 74 years ago.

British archival label Pearl's "Kurt Weill - From Berlin to Broadway: A Selection" is a single-disc condensation of a pair of two-CD sets, "Kurt Weill - From Berlin to Broadway" (GEMM 9189) and "Kurt Weill - From Berlin to Broadway, Vol. 2" (GEMM 9294).

It presents recordings from seven of Weill's stage musicals made around the times the shows were produced and sung in most cases by the performers who introduced them onstage. There are also private recordings by Weill himself, by his German collaborator Bertolt Brecht, and by his wife Lotte Lenya.

The collection begins with two songs, "Moritat von Mackie Messer" (Mack the Knife) and "Kannonensong" (Cannon Song) sung by Harald Paulsen, who first played the part of Mack the Knife in "Die Dreigroschenoper" ("The Threepenny Opera") in 1928, and recorded the same year. Lenya and Brecht are also heard performing songs from the show. Lenya handles most of the songs from the other two German musicals included, "Happy End" and "Aufstieg und Fall des Stadt Mahagonny" ("Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny"), two of them in scratchy private recordings.

After the initial nine tracks, the rest consists of Broadway material. Though the recording of full-length original cast albums did not become common until after the success of the "Oklahoma!" album in 1943, it was not uncommon before that for labels to make records of individual songs from Broadway shows using those shows' principals, and that is largely what one hears here, including a single of "September Song" that Walter Huston recorded for Brunswick in 1938 and selections from "Lady in the Dark" recorded by Gertrude Lawrence for RCA Victor and Danny Kaye for Columbia.

Decca recorded a five-record 78 rpm cast album of "One Touch of Venus" in November 1943, and five of the songs are here, sung by Mary Martin and Kenny Baker. "Lost in the Stars", Weill's final show, actually began life years earlier as "Ulysses Africanus", and Walter Huston recorded a version of the song "Lost in the Stars" for Decca in 1944, five years before the musical opened. In a private recording, Lenya sings "Lover Man," an early version of "Trouble Man" from the show.

The CD closes with four performances by Weill himself of songs for "One Touch of Venus", one of which is an early version of "Way Out West in Jersey," here called "Jersey Plonk."

One can hear the change in Weill's approach from the innovative sound of "Die Dreigroschenoper" and the other German shows to the more conventional style of the Broadway material. But Weill's individual style is always apparent, no more so than in his own performances and those of his wife when his music is stripped to just a piano and voice. These vintage recordings are crucial to an appreciation of Weill, even if they are not always in the best fidelity, and since they range from available commercial recordings to acetates in private hands, the compilation has unparalleled breadth.

(192 kbps, front cover included)

Brave Old World - Dus gezang fin geto Lodzh / Song of the Lodz Ghetto

Klezmer music traces back to the dance music played by itinerant Jewish music that traveled throughout Europe in the nineteenth century. The tradition is brought up to contemporary standards by Brave Old World, a group that includes members from California, Chicago, New York and Berlin. "The Washington Post' called Brave Old World "the revival's first supergroup. Every player is a virtuoso". "The Boston Globe" explained that Brave Old World "plays a klezmer music that is entirely grounded in the present, so intensely evolved from the music as it was, and, yet, so clearly, obviously, entirely klezmer that one could not seperate out many of the influences".

The original lineup of Brave Old World featured Joel Rubin on clarinet, Ben Bazyler on drums, Stu Brotman, a former member of 1960s' rock band, Kaleidescope and an ex-sideman for Canned Heat, Geoff and Maria Muldaur and Ry Cooder, on bass, cymablom, tilinka and percussion, Indiana-born and Berlin-based Alan Bern on keyboards and Michael Alpert, a founding member of Kapelye and a research associate at the YIVO Institute for Jewish research, on violin, accordion and vocals. Rubin was later replaced by Kurt Bjorling, musical director of the Chicago Klezmer Ensemble since 1984. In 1992, the group won first prize at the International Klezmer Festival in Sofed, Israel. In addition to their recordings, Brave Old World has been featured on two albums with violinist Itzhak Perlman.

This album was recorded live in Bordeaux. Song of the Lodz Ghetto is a unique musical work, a song cycle in which memory and imagination freely interact to create a Proustian journey between present and past. At the center are Brave Old World's arrangements of the rare Jewish street and cabaret songs from the Nazi ghetto of Lodz, Poland, 1940-44. Leading through the Lodz repertoire like stepping-stones through the river of memory are Brave Old World's own original compositions, reflections on 17 years of performing Jewish music. Michael Alpert's moving Berlin 1990 forms the emotional and musical counterpoint to the passionate and ironic street songs of the bard of the Lodz ghetto, Yankele Herszkowicz. A musical and spiritual journey of resistance, love, and reconciliation.


1Rumkovski Khayim/Lodzh-Fidl2:43
3A Gants Fayn Mazltov4:35
4Nisht Nor Simkhe/Veynendiks4:57
5Vayl Ikh Bin A Yidele3:28
6S'iz Kaydankes, Kaytn4:08
7Kimts In Herts /Rumkovski Khayim4:03
8Yikhes/Vinter 19425:58
9Makh Tsi Di Eygelekh3:11
10Berlin 19901:19
11Es Geyt A Yeke4:03
12Ver Klapt Du Azoy?/Geto Varyant4:24
13Geto, Getunya4:06
15Amerike Hot Erklert/Kemfn!4:20
16Berlin 19902:28
18Bobover Khupe-Marsh/Rumkovski Khayim6:56

Brave Old World - Dus gezang fin geto Lodzh / Song of the Lodz Ghetto
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Bernd Witthuser - Lieder von Vampiren, Nonnen und Toten (1970)

“If I’d perform in front of miners and sing about how we’d sweat because of the exhausting mining-work the miners they’d laugh about me, since I haven’t gone to work for more than two years.” Bernd Witthüser refused to be received as a political folk-singer for the working class. From 1964 up to 1969 the folk-festival at “Burg Waldeck” (in the Hunsrück mountains) played an important role for the development of a musical underground in post-WW-II-Germany. The music performed there offered an alternative to the German “Schlager” and was influenced by the American and French folk music, but even more important than that musical references was a very strong Marxist tradition that the new generation connected with (Bertolt Brecht functioned as an important role model). Not unlike Pete Seeger in the U.S., folk music was considered to be not only the voice of the people but something to educate people with, raise people’s consciousness, teach them about society etc.: “We shall overcome”…

That highly political (and arrogant at times) approach often led to controversial events. Not unlike Pete Seeger attacking Dylan’s amplification with an axe, there were similar incidents at “Burg Waldeck”. For example there was the time Rolf Schwendter disturbed Reinhard May’s concert with a snare drum, because May’s songs weren’t political enough for Schwendter’s taste.
As a result to the politicised/political climate during the late 1960’s the festival turned out to be dominated by discussions and teach-ins and all these incidents/discussions during these years were as necessary as self-centered: On the one hand the festival and its music/musicians worked as an instrument to politicise people – on the other hand the privileged middle-class kids had to learn that the “revolutionary subject” (i.e. the working class) they were talking about/looking for was somewhere else: at work – and not at a hippie-festival in the Hunsrück mountains. As a consequence in 1969 the preaching to the converted came to an end (the festival was put on hold until 1973) and the folk-music-scene disbanded and headed off to different shores.

Some of the folk musicians referred to the psychedelic music as a druggy escape-route from a reality that needed to be changed (and because of drug-use remained unchanged), some referred to the psychedelic aesthetics as a way to enter the doors of perception – as a first step towards a new society. The crucial point (still): is smoking pot revolutionary or counter-revolutionary behaviour?
By 1968 Bernd Witthüser had already had some local success as a protest-singer, but he didn’t want to sing about mining when his everyday life was more about smoking pot and reading poetry. It seemed ridiculous to him.

Instead of performing the “working class hero” he chose to sing about vampires, nuns and the dead. Influenced by medieval and romantic poetry (like Novalis and Heinrich Heine) he recorded a gothic-folk or folk-noir record for Rolf Ulrich Kaisers Ohr-label (with whom he had also worked before when he managed the “Essener Songtage” in 1968). But it wouldn’t be a Witthüser (& Westrupp is on board already, too) record without a good measure of goofy jokes included: The last song on the record is an adaption of the theme tune from the TV-series “Flipper” and until that last song a lot of – more or less – funny wordplays and gags come with a lot of the songs on “Lieder von Vampiren, Nonnen und Toten”.

But the all in all frivolous approach is a good thing, actually. Otherwise “Lieder von Vampiren, Nonnen und Toten” would be an unbearable proto-neo-folk-disaster. But Bernd and Walter had a reefer once in a while and their daily dose of Marihuana kept them away from turning into morbid youngsters longing for death.

It’s quite difficult to write about the music on “Lieder von Vampiren, Nonnen und Toten” without thinking of the lyrics all the time. And being a native speaker of the German language I wonder how the record is received if you don’t get the lyrics (which is – the other way round – in 99,9% the case for all the Anglo-American music “Krauts” listen to). “Lieder von Vampiren, Nonnen und Toten” is a lovely, unadorned folk music record garnished with a lot of humour and a slightly psychedelic vibe. Mostly guitar and voice, with a bit of percussion, a flute, a trombone and stuff like that here and there. Imagine Cheech & Chong singing Current 93.

After “Lieder von Vampiren, Nonnen und Toten”, Witthüser & Westrupp went on to perform and record as a duo and they released three studio-records (“Trips und Träume”, “Der Jesuspilz” und “Bauer Plath”) and a live-record (“Live ’68-’73”). It’s all about smoking pot, making fun of authorities, daydreaming and enjoying life, basically. Not sure, if this can be considered as a revolutionary agenda, but for a few years it seemed to work – and they both remain swinging until this day! ~ Krautrock database

01. Dracula (4:35)
02. Das stille Grab (2:26)
03. Wir möchten dieses Lied noch singen (3:40)
04. Kann die Klage deuten wer? (3:51)
05. Ich bin dahin (3:19)
06. Welcher Wechsel doch im Leben (2:58)
07. Leis ertönt die Abendglocke (3:10)
08. Hinüber wall ich (2:54)
09. Wenn ich ein Fröhlicher wär (2:52)
10. Die Beschwörung (2:54)
11. Liebeslied (4:10)
12. Die Lilie vom See (4:04)
13. Wer schwimmt dort? (1:59)

Bernd Witthuser - Lieder von Vampiren, Nonnen und Toten (1970)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Bertolt Brecht - Auszüge aus dem Arbeitsjournal 1948 - 1954

Today Brecht is best known as a poet, and most critics consider his poetic talent his strong point. His plays were mostly based on the works of others. But he was an innovator with his theatrical "Verfremdungseffekt" ("alienation effect"), designed to make the audience active, thinking participants in a play, rather than just passive observers who get lost in dramatic illusion. Many people today know Brecht best through the "Threepenny Opera" songs he wrote with the composer Kurt Weill ("Mackie Messer"/"Mack the Knife"). Like many artists, Brecht has become more appreciated after his death than he was during his lifetime. His sardonic humor now seems almost contemporary.

Born into a bourgeois family with a Catholic father and a Protestant mother, Brecht became a Marxist who was critical of society and religion in general. Forced into exile by the Nazis in 1933, Brecht was a man without a country for much of his life. He seemed to live in his own "alienation effect." Even after his return to East Germany in 1949, Brecht went from being viewed as a radical Marxist in the West, to being viewed suspiciously by the East for his unorthodox dramatic theories.For a brief time Brecht worked in Hollywood - a place he did not like very much. With the Austrian director Fritz Lang, Brecht wrote the script for "Hangmen Also Die" (1943), inspired by the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by Czech resistance fighters, and the ensuing retaliation by the Nazis. Forced out of Hollywood by HUAC, Brecht finally settled in East Berlin.

Brecht quickly discovered, however, that the German Democratic Republic was not quite his ideal brand of Communism, and he was often at odds with his East German hosts. He did not care to keep up appearances, and because of his scruffy, unshaven appearance, East German security guards once excluded him from a Berlin reception being held in his own honor.
He died in East Berlin in 1956.

During the exile period, Bertolt Brecht was forced to develop new aesthetic forms since it was often difficult to find theaters to produce his work. The prose works of the exile period such as Me-Ti, the Keuner stories, and the Tui novel, as well as Brecht's Arbeitsjournal, can be seen as an extension of his aesthetic experiments to the realm of prose literature.

Bertolt Brecht - Auszüge aus dem Arbeitsjournal 1948 - 1954
(192 kbps, cover art included)