Samstag, 22. April 2017

Melanie - Affectionately Melanie

Affectionately Melanie (aka Melanie) is the second album by Melanie Safka. It contains "Beautiful People", a song that Melanie performed at the Woodstock Festival in 1969.

Melanie's second album was a fairly strong pop-flavored singer/songwriter effort, with more serious-minded material and execution than those familiar with only her best-known songs would expect. Although folk-rock is an element here, it's actually just one, combined as well with well-done pop orchestration, a certain sensibility akin to that heard in theatrical musicals, and even a little bit of white soul (particularly on the one non-original, "Soul Sister Annie"). She would have been well advised to concentrate more on her lower, more sensual register throughout her career, as she does on the generally fine and moving vocals on this LP. The New York theater factor comes into play on the darkly semi-comic "Any Guy" and "Take Me Home," and her more utopian sentiments arise in "Beautiful People." But really, this is far more gutsy than sappy, her earnest delivery containing some real grit. Even if her songs occasionally dovetail with childish sentiment, there's just as much earthy realism, as well as some vulnerable loneliness. Don't overlook this in the bargain bins just because of her half-justified reputation as a singer/songwriting lightweight; you might find yourself surprised at how worthy and affecting this early outing is.                


  1. "I'm Back in Town"
  2. "Tuning My Guitar"
  3. "Soul Sister Annie"
  4. "Any Guy"
  5. "Uptown Down"
  6. "Again"
  7. "Beautiful People"
  8. "Johnny Boy"
  9. "Baby Guitar"
  10. "Deep Down Low"
  11. "For My Father"
  12. "Take Me Home"

Melanie - Affectionately Melanie
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 21. April 2017

Iggy Pop - Jesus, This Is Iggy (Bootleg, 1977) - Happy birthday, Iggy!

Today is the 70th birthday of Iggy Pop – godfather of punk, remarkably skinny dude, amazing showman, eater of Nico’s cat...

There's a reason why many consider Iggy Pop the godfather of punk: every single punk band of the past and present has either knowingly or unknowingly borrowed a thing or two from Pop and his late-'60s/early-'70s band, the Stooges. Born on April 21, 1947, in Muskegon, Michigan, James Newell Osterberg was raised by his parents in a trailer park close to Ann Arbor, in nearby Ypsilanti. Intrigued by rock & roll (as well as such non-musical, monotonous, and mechanical sounds as his father's electric razor and the local automobile assembly plants in Detroit), Osterberg began playing drums and formed his first band, the Iguanas, in the early '60s. Via the Rolling Stones, Osterberg discovered the blues and formed a similarly styled outfit, called the Prime Movers, upon graduating from high school in 1965. When a brief stint at the University of Michigan didn't work out, he moved to Chicago instead, where he played drums alongside the city's bluesmen.              

His heart remained with rock & roll, however, and shortly after returning to Ann Arbor, Osterberg decided to form a rock band. This time, he would leave the drums behind and be the frontman, taking inspiration from the likes of the Velvet Underground's Lou Reed and the Doors' Jim Morrison. He tried to find musicians who shared his musical vision: to create a band whose music would be primordial, sexually charged, aggressive, and repetitive (using his early electric razor/car plant memories for reference). In 1967, he hooked up with an old acquaintance from his high-school days, guitarist Ron Asheton, who also brought along his brother, drummer Scott, and bassist Dave Alexander, thus forming the Psychedelic Stooges. Although it would take a while for their sound to gel -- they experimented with such nontraditional instruments as empty oil drums, vacuums, and other objects before returning to their respective instruments -- the group fit in perfectly with such other high-energy Detroit bands as the MC5, becoming a local attraction.

It was around this time that the group shortened its name to the Stooges, and Osterberg changed his own stage name to Iggy Pop. With the name change, Pop became a man possessed on-stage, going into the crowd nightly to confront members of the audience and working himself into such a frenzy that he would be bleeding by the end of the night from various nicks and scratches. Elektra Records signed the quartet in 1968, issuing their self-titled debut a year later and a follow-up effort, "Fun House", in 1970. Although both records sold poorly upon release, they've since become rock classics, and can be pointed to as the official catalyst for what later became punk rock.        

The Stooges were dropped from their record company in 1971 due to the public's disinterest and the group's growing addictions to hard drugs. Pop's continuous death-defying acts also worried the label, whose decision to drop the band led to the Stooges' breakup the same year. One of the band's more celebrated fans, David Bowie, tracked Pop down and convinced the newly clean and sober singer to restart his career. Pop enlisted guitarist James Williamson (who was briefly a second guitarist for the Stooges before their breakup) and, after the pair signed to Bowie's Mainman management company and relocated to England, they eventually reunited with the Asheton brothers, with Ron moving from the six-string guitar to the bass.

Signed by Columbia Records and hoping to follow in Bowie's footsteps toward a major commercial breakthrough, the Stooges penned another punk classic, the brutally explosive "Raw Power". Pop's plan for the Stooges' third release was equally brutal; he wanted to create a record that would be so powerful, so sonically over the top, that it would physically hurt the listener as it poured forth from the speakers. Although the resulting album wasn't quite that extreme, it came fairly close, with Bowie lending his own contributions as the album's producer. Once again, the album sank without a trace. By 1974, Pop and most of the Stooges had fallen back into the world of heavy drugs, and with their star fading, the band called it quits for a second (and final) time. 

 After spending a brief spell homeless on the streets of Hollywood, during which time there was an unsuccessful attempt to form a band with Pop and former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, Iggy Pop checked himself into the Neuropsychiatric Institute in Los Angeles. During his stay at the hospital, Pop made an attempt at writing and recording some new tunes with Williamson, but when no labels expressed interest, the two went their separate ways. (Completed demos of the sessions would surface on the "Kill City" release in 1977; they would also appear on the 2005 compilation "Penetration", which featured a number of widely circulated demos, outtakes, and alternate mixes from the "Raw Power" sessions.)

During his hospital stay, another old friend came to visit him: David Bowie, whose career was still in high gear. Bowie offered to take Pop on the road with him during his tour in support of "Station to Station", and the pair got along so well that they both moved to Berlin in late 1976, during which time Bowie helped Pop secure a solo record deal with RCA. Bowie had become interested in European electronic rock (Kraftwerk, Can, etc.) and later admitted that he used Pop as a musical guinea pig on such releases as "The Idiot" and "Lust for Life" (both issued in 1977 and produced/co-written by Bowie). Both albums sold better than the singer's previous efforts with the Stooges (particularly in the U.K., where Pop was looked upon as an icon by the burgeoning punk rock movement) as Bowie joined Pop on his world tour as a keyboardist. Shortly thereafter, a surprisingly muddy-sounding live album was culled from Pop's most recent tour, titled "TV Eye (1977 Live)". It was also around this time that Pop severed his ties with Bowie and struck out on his own.    

The bootleg "Jesus, This Is Iggy" was recorded in 1977 in Ohio.

1Raw Power4:18
2T.V. Eye4:13
5Turn Blue6:54
7Gimme Danger4:30
8No Fun3:13
9Sister Midnight3:54
10I Need Somebody4:38
11Search And Destroy3:31
12I Wanna Be Your Dog4:29

Iggy Pop - Jesus, This Is Iggy (Bootleg, 1977)   
(192 kbps, cover art included)      

Donnerstag, 20. April 2017

VA - Memphis - Thats All Right! From Blues To Rock´n´Roll

If Memphis is remembered as the place where Elvis Presley ignited the rock’n’roll revolution in the mid-fifties, the city is forever linked to the rise of the musical idiom that shaped the future of western popular music, the blues.

From the colorful bards of the roaring twenties (Furry Lewis, the Memphis Jug Band, Memphis Minnie) and the one-man-band figures who performed for change on the sidewalks of Beale Street to the inventors of modern electric blues (Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Little Milton), the main purveyors of the blue note ruled over the nights of Memphis before this great cotton capital became a haven for soul music.

This 24 track compilation recognizes the importance of Memphis in the development of the blues, from the early 1920s to the inventors of modern electric blues and the roots of soul music.

VA - Memphis - Thats All Right! From Blues To Rock´n´Roll
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 19. April 2017

Modena City Ramblers - Riportando Tutto A Casa (1993)

The Modena City Ramblers were formed in 1991, a casual musical group that came together to entertain friends and family playing Irish folk music. Meeting up to jam more and more often, the Ramblers began to write their own tunes, inspired by popular Celtic-influenced bands like the Pogues and the Waterboys. Two years after their formation, the band recorded their first demo tape called Combat Folk. Featuring their punk/Irish folk songs and Italian resistance ballads, the demo sold more than 3000 copies, earning the Ramblers grassroots recognition all over Italy.

Picked up by the independent label Helter Skelter, the band's debut album, "Riportando Tutto a Casa" was released in 1994. Eventually distributed by Mercury, the disc went on to sell an impressive 185,000 copies. In the years that followed, Modena City Ramblers earned a reputation as a powerful live act, performing throughout Europe in collaboration with artists such as the Chieftains and Irish rock vocalist Bob Geldof. Their sophomore effort, "La Grande Famiglia", experienced similar success to its predecessor, followed by "Terra e Liberta" which ushered in an era of international attention during which the Ramblers performed in nations such as Bolivia, Spain, Cuba and more.

Known for their progressive politics, the band aligned itself with musicians of similar values such as Manu Chao, performing at festivals like the Independent Days Festival in Bologna and the Awesome Africa Festival in South Africa. Their 2002 production "Radio Rebelde" garnered them invitations to perform in locations near and far, including Algeria, the Czech Republic, Amsterdam and Mexico. The band's 2004 album "Viva la Vida! Viva la Muerte!" (a quote from Zapatista leaders) found its way to Italian Top Ten charts, and opened doors for a 120 city tour. The Modena City Ramblers have become a staple of both the Italian rock scene and the leftist musical circuit alike.    


In Un Giorno Di Pioggia4:43
Tant Par Tachèr - The Atholl Higlanders5:33
Delinqueint Ed Mòdna4:05
Morte Di Un Poeta3:45
I Funerali Di Berlinguer6:39
Il Bicchiere Dell'Addio4:29
Canto Di Natale4:20
Ahmed L'Ambulante4:44
Bella Ciao3:17
The Great Song Of Indifference3:03

Modena City Ramblers - Riportando Tutto A Casa (1993)
(192 kbps, cover art included)


Doc Watson - Doc Watson (1964, vinyl rip)

In the latter half of the 20th century there were three pre-eminently influential folk/country guitar players: Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Arthel "Doc" Watson, a flat-picking genius from Deep Gap, NC. Unlike the other two, Watson was in middle age before gaining any attention. Since 1960, though, when Watson was recorded with his family and friends in Folkways' "Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's", people have remained in awe of this gentle blind man who sings and picks with a pure and emotional authenticity. The present generation, folkies and country pickers alike, including Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, the late Clarence White, Emmylou Harris, and literally hundreds of others, acknowledge their great debt to Watson. Watson has provided a further service to folk/country by his encyclopedic knowledge of many American traditional songs.

Watson's arrival on the folk scene of the '60s was a major event in American music, due mostly to his appearance at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival and the release of this self-titled album the following year. Not only did it revolutionize folk guitar picking, but it set the standard for the rest of his career with its mix of old-timey numbers, blues, gospel, and adapted fiddle tunes. The album is incredibly varied, from the stark, banjo-driven "Country Blues" to the humorous "Intoxicated Rat," and many of these songs became Watson standards, especially his signature song "Black Mountain Rag." His incredible flat-picking skills may have been what initially wowed his audiences, but it was Watson's complete mastery of the folk idiom that assured his lasting popularity.

Doc Watson - Doc Watson (1964, vinyl rip)
(ca. 224 kbps, cover art included))

Banda Bassotti - Bella Ciao (EP, 1993)

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

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

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

Mississippi John Hurt - Folk Songs and Blues (1963)

After a 35-year absence, Mississippi John Hurt made a return to recording with "Folksongs & Blues", and his gentle, easygoing style of country blues hadn't changed a bit in the intervening years. Hurt croons, and even occasionally whispers, the lyrics, accompanied by the lazy strum of an acoustic guitar and a few touches
of harmonica. He makes the insults in "Salty Dog" actually sound more disappointed than angry, and "Joe Turner Blues" sounds extraordinarily soothing for a song containing the line "He's the man I hate." Hurt is adept at composing lovely melodies (such as "Candy Man Blues") and his gentle, subtle performances do them justice. Still, as laid-back as it can be, it never becomes boring or insubstantial, primarily because the scarred pain in Hurt's voice, as well as the sometimes-dark lyrics, give these songs more weight than is easily apparent.

"Folksongs & Blues" is a great introduction to Mississippi John Hurt's talents, and is a must-have for anyone interested in country blues.

A1Avalon Blues
A2Richland Women Blues
A3Spike Driver Blues
A4Salty Dog
A5Cow Hooking Blues
A6Spanish Fandang
B1Casey Jones
B2Louis Collins
B3Candy Man Blues
B4My Creole Belle
B5Liza Jane - God's Unchanging Hand
B6Joe Turner Blues

Mississippi John Hurt - Folk Songs and Blues (1963)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 17. April 2017

Tom Zé - Tom Zé (1968)

Tom Zé's first release from 1968 is certainly not as unique as some of his material from the '70s, but it's a far cry from faceless.

A true Tropicalia artist, Tom Zé's material on this album runs from traditional Brazilian pop to overly quixotic arrangements - all twisted around his convoluted vocal melodies. Even early on in his career, Zé was taking from a multitude of genres - funk, psychedelic rock, and bossa nova - and creating some kind of unheard pop exotica. This is especially apparent on "Gloria," with its changing tempos, bubbling instrumentation, and off-the-wall harmonies. It's a lot to take in - each track seems to zip by before the listener can grasp hold of it. Perhaps even aware of this, Tom Zé takes a break between songs to address the listener, then resumes his zigzagging trajectory.

The album also includes the fantastic "Parque Industrial" (which was recorded by Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, and Caetano Veloso on the Tropicalia: Ou Panis et Circenses LP). This album is a great listen for anyone interested in Brazilian pop music and the restructuring thereof - yet it is almost tame compared to the found sounds, tape loops, lyrical deconstruction, and other surrealist elements that Tom Zé would grow to include on his later recordings.      


A1São São Paulo3:29
A2Curso Intensivo De Boas Maneiras2:58
A4Namorinho De Portão2:35
A5Catecismo, Creme Dental E Eu2:44
B1Não Buzine Que Eu Estou Paquerando (Rancho E Etc - Hino Da L.B.A.P.)2:39
B2Profissão De Ladrão2:35
B3Sem Entrada E Sem Mais Nada2:40
B4Parque Industrial3:16
B5Quero Sambar Meu Bem3:50
B6Sabor De Burrice4:18

(192 kbps, cover art included)


Samstag, 15. April 2017

Mississippi John Hurt - Worried Blues 1963

Together with 1963's "Avalon Blues" (as opposed to the similarly titled compendium of 1928 recordings), "Worried Blues" represents the best of Mississippi John Hurt's later work, following his rediscovery in the early 1960s.

As much a folk musician as a bluesman, Hurt included traditional and devotional music as well as blues in his oeuvre. His wide-ranging repertoire here is highlighted by "Farther Along" and "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep." Accompanied only by his guitar, Hurt is a compelling, engaging performer who eschews gimmickry. The ease with which he plays creates a peacefulness at the center of this music that's undeniably appealing. --Genevieve Williams


1Lazy Blues3:20
2Farther Along3:51
3Sliding Delta5:09
4Nobody Cares For Me3:38
5Cow Hooking Blues No. 23:46
6Talkin' Casey4:51
7Weeping And Wailing4:11
8Worried Blues4:43
9Oh Mary Don't You Weep3:26
10I Been Cryin' Since You Been Gone3:09

Mississippi John Hurt - Worried Blues 1963
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 14. April 2017

Alton Ellis & The Heptones - Mr. Ska Bean´a (1980)

One of the first vocalists to enter the Jamaican music business, Alton Ellis was generally revered as the greatest and most soulful singer the country ever produced — that is, until Bob Marley came along. Ellis had his first hit during the ska craze, but made his true lasting mark as the definitive solo singer of the rocksteady era. Sweet, smooth, and deeply emotive, Ellis was equally at home on Jamaican originals or reggae-fied covers of American R&B hits.

This collaboration with the Heptones was produced at Black Ark and Channel One and was released in 1980 on the Cha Cha label.


A1Humble Will Stumble
A2Hard To Be A Lover
A3Pure Sorrow
A4Inside My Soul
A5Loving You
B1Mr Ska Beana
B2Bless You
B3Children Are Crying
B4Woe Child

Alton Ellis & The Heptones - Mr. Ska Bean´a (1980)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 13. April 2017

Singers & Players - Vacuum Pumping (1988)

"Singers and Players" is a reggae collective formed by Adrian Sherwood and featuring various members of the New Age Steppers, Creation Rebel, the Roots Radics, and other musicians affiliated with the On-U Sound label. After a brief period of creativity in the early '80s, the collective was stagnant until 1998's "Revenge of the Underdog", which featured vocals from Bim Sherman and Prince Far I. "Staggering Heights" followed in the spring of 2000.                

By 1988, the Singers & Players saga was coming to an end, many original members were now gone, new faces were still appearing, but the creative frissom that had driven this collective was quickly dissipating. This was perhaps due to Adrian Sherwood's disinterest, as the producer remained shaken and removed from operations by Prince Far I's senseless murder years earlier.
In any event, the ensemble stirred one final time, to release the "Vacuum Pumping" album, a fine, if not quite inspired set, that proved to be their swan song. Bim Sherman's "Run Them Away" featured on that set, a militant number that gives the governments and warmongers a taste of their own violent medicine.

The riddim is a fine one, and although sparser than earlier efforts, well this was what the contemporary dancehalls demanded, and the backing still bristles with militancy. But for all his vengeful lyrics, Bim Sherman is never going to convince anyone of that he's a real menace; in fact, the backing female vocalists are more threatening than he is. Still, it's the quiet ones that often found to be the most murderous, so the wicked best beware just in case.

Not their best work, but still a reminder of Singers & Players's strength and conviction.          


Run Them Away5:18
Lighthouse / Dreamworld4:25
Holy Scripture5:38
To Be Free3:21
I Don't Want Aids3:28
Boom Um Baff Um5:22
These Eyes4:15

Singers & Players - Vacuum Pumping (1988)
(320 kbps, cover art included)


Last Poets - At Last (1976)

It was the combination of poetry with almost-frighteningly intense rhythm tracks, mostly done on hand drums, that helped create the Last Poets' reputation for being way ahead of the curve on the entire development of what would come to be called rap music.

With their politically charged raps, taut rhythms, and dedication to raising African-American consciousness, the Last Poets almost single-handedly laid the groundwork for the emergence of hip-hop. The group arose out of the prison experiences of Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, a U.S. Army paratrooper who chose jail as an alternative to fighting in Vietnam; while incarcerated, he converted to Islam, learned to "spiel" (an early form of rapping), and befriended fellow inmates Omar Ben Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole.


A1In Time And Space
A2The Courtroom
A3Death Row
A4Picture In Blue
B3Uncle Sam's Lament
B4The African Slave
B5Ode To Saphcallah
B6In Search Of Knowledge

Last Poets - At Last (1976)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 12. April 2017

Hannes Wader – Bis jetzt (Live 1986)

"Bis jetzt (Live 1986)" was recorded live in November 1986 on Hannes Wader´s tour commemorating 20 years on stage. Forget about Goethe and Schiller, these are the relevant German lyrics for our world today. Ripped from records in mint condition, played for the 2nd time ever, no clicks, no pops. There is a re-release out on CD, but there are 3 tracks missing, among them the 2 strongest political songs. I wonder if the music industry mafia are cowards or cheaters, but most likely they are both. Track number 9 (Der Rattenfänger im Kaffee Giesing) is moved to the end of the list, because it is from a different show, on the vinyls it only fitted on side B.

Tracklist:01. Gut wieder hier zu sein 04:16
02. Ansage 00:25
03. Wir werden sehn 07:12
04. Blumen des Armen 03:18
05. Der Rattenfänger 07:38
06. Johnny 05:32
07. Charley 05:07
08. Mammi 04:54
09. Cocaine 05:13
10. Hotel zur Langen Dämmerung 05:58
11. Am Fluß 06:26
12. Unterwegs nach Süden 05:02
13. Dat du min Leefste büst 02:51
14. Pablo 04:58
15. Hafenmelodie 05:30
16. Landsknecht 06:19
17. Lisa 05:23
18. Der Rattenfänger im Kaffee Giesing 02:23

Hannes Wader – Bis jetzt (Live 1986)
(ca. 256 kbps, cover art included)

From Wikipedia and his website:

Hannes Wader (born Hans Eckard Wader on 23 June 1942) is a German singer-songwriter ("Liedermacher"). Wader was born in Bethel, near Bielefeld, Westphalia, Germany.

He both wrote new songs and played covers of historical works. His works are based on German folk tradition. Aside from his own lyrics, he also performs works of poets like Eichendorff, Schubert, Bellmann a.o.

In the 1970s, Hannes Wader became one of the stars of the political left through workers' songs, socialist hymns, and his provocative lyrics covering such themes as socialist and communist resistance to oppression in Europe and other places like Latin America.

Wader was a member of the German Communist Party from 1977 to 1991. He even came under suspicions of terrorism because he left his flat in Hamburg to Gudrun Ensslin, a RAF terrorist, and because of his song "Der Tankerkönig", a talking blues about kidnapping a tycoon. He then was banned by TV & radio and other media.

In 1973 he bought a windmill in Struckum, Nordfriesland, where he produced some of his later albums. In 1998, he and his family moved to Steinburg, district of Schleswig-Holstein.

Today he rarely sings the workers' songs and socialist hymns that used to be a large part of his repertoire. He recently published an album exclusively with songs by Franz Schubert. He also performed translated works from Carl Michael Bellman on the album "Liebe, Schnaps & Tod".

Remarkably, many of the social issues Wader sang about in his early days are still relevant today. Wader is one of the most active political singers in Germany today.

He collaborated with Werner Lämmerhirt, Hans Hartmann, Reinhard Mey, Konstantin Wecker a.o. Actually, Hannes Wader is playing his farewell tour...

Montag, 10. April 2017

Elis Regina - Elis (1966)

Elis Regina, who died in 1982, was, of course, the premier interpreter of Brazilian popular song in the 1960s and 1970s. She did definitive versions of the work of composers Gilberto Gil and Antonio Carlos Jobim, just to name two.

 I would rate her as one of the greatest popular singers of the past forty years, on a par with Dusty Springfield for sure, and much more exciting. "Elis" dates from 1966 and is a fine example of her early style. This album is worth owning if only for her incredible version of Gilberto Gil's "Roda" ("Circle") which cuts Gil's more laid-back original. Also included here is a version of Gil's "Lunik 9" which compares well with his recording.

This is a fantastic album. It's especially notable for the fact that in 1966, 21-year-old Elis Regina sought to use her already-considerable popularity and influence to popularize a bunch of then-unknown (in Brazil) songwriting talent on the order of Gilberto Gil, Edu Lobo, Milton Nascimento, Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque--that's to say, almost the whole upper-crust of the great MPB generation.


A2Samba Em Paz2:03
A3Pra Dizer Adeus3:48
A6Boa Palavra4:20
B1Lunik 93:13
B2Tem Mais Samba2:33
B3Sonho De Maria3:20
B4Tereza Sabe Sambar3:30
B6Canção Do Sal2:56

Elis Regina - Elis (1966)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 5. April 2017

Il Contemporaneo Di Modena – Zeitgenossen (1971)

This album from the German communist label "Pläne Verlag" never saw a cd release. "Zeitgenossen" was recorded in West-Berlin by Italian communist activists calling themselves "Il Contemporaneo Di Modena" . Only 5 musicians were left from the 10 who started the band. Online info only in Italian, scans with German infos & lyrics. On back cover and Discogs track 10 is listed as 3 different tracks, on record and label it's only 1 track.

 Translation from the cover:
"Our time is the period of transition from capitalism to socialism. The fight against imperialism
unites 3 powerful contemporary forces: the socialist world system, the international working class and the national liberation movement."

 Biography from Istituto Storico Modena:
"Il Contemporaneo nasce nel 1967 dal Gruppo giovanile Arri di Modena, sul quale si innestano elementi provenienti dal Circolo della canzone popolare di Carpi. Il gruppo da subito si ritaglia un ruolo importante nell’ambito della Canzone politica giovanile, partecipa a numerosi festival musicali all’interno e al di fuori dei confini nazionali ponendo al centro della propria produzione temi come l’emigrazione, Vietnam, problemi dei lavoratori ecc. Il primo recital organico del gruppo è “La TV del mio stivale” (1969), una satira politica sul sistema televisivo, segue il 33 giri Zeitgenossen (che in tedesco significa Contemporaneo) interamente registrato a Berlino ovest, ed un secondo recital “Pelle o Classe” sulla discriminazione razziale. Nel 1972 il Contemporaneo si esibisce in cento concerti attraversando tutta la penisola, da Bolzano a Lecce. Nello stesso anno arriva il terzo recital dal titolo “Agnelli ti vede e ti punisce”. Nel 1973 partecipano, insieme agli Inti Illimani tra altri, al Festival Internazionale della Canzone Politica di Carpi e si producono in ben 150 concerti, comprese due lunghe turnè in Germania e a Cuba. Nei testi si fanno spazio i temi dell’Internazionalismo e lo studio sul campo delle tradizioni di costume, di lotta e di vita delle province emiliane. Nel 1974 musicano un testo sull’eccidio del gennaio 1950 alle Fonderie Riunite di Modena. …"

01. Bella Ciao 02:03
02. Comandante "Che Guevara" 03:47
03. Sortiris Petrula 02:10
04. Io Non Sono 01:47
05. Dove Vola L'Avvoltoio 03:15
06. Se Il Cielo Fosse Bianco Di Carta 03:41
07. Drink Americano 03:12
08. Dormi Dormi 01:56
09. So Stato A Lavora A Montesicuro 02:10
10. Io Son Metalmeccanico · Non Ne Posso Più · Per Santa Caterina Dei Pastai 06:04
11. Uguaglianza 03:09
12. Signor Studente 03:44
13. Valle Giulia 02:55
14. Questo È Il Nostro Vietnam 03:49
15. Contessa 04:02

(ca. 256 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 4. April 2017

VA - Old Time DJ Come Back ... Again!

From the vaults of RAS records come this solid roundup of classic reggae DJ sides. At the zenith of his fame, producer and toaster Tapper Zukie cut these tracks on both veteran and relatively new mic masters.

Spanning the roots reggae era and early dancehall days, the likes of U-Roy, Big Youth, Dennis Alcapone, Dillinger, and Prince Jazzbo made their musical trade respectable while the work of vocal soloists and groups dominated the charts. Along the way, their innovations would have a great influence on both the course of reggae music and once seemingly distant orbits as hip-hop.

This collection provides 15 prime examples of their art, including cuts by both the aforementioned toasters and other expert chatters like U-Brown, Brigadier Jerry, Trinity, and Jah Stitch. A fine primer for Jamaican DJ newcomers.       

1Brigadier JerryRaggamuffin3:54
3U BrownBits Of Paper3:34
4Massive DreadAction3:36
5Tappa ZukieJudge I Oh Lord3:38
6Trinity Trinty Is My Name3:40
7Big YouthBack In Time4:02
8I RoyA Fi Talk4:02
9U Roy & J.C. Lodge Satisfy My Soul4:00
10Dennis AlcaponeTeacher Teacher2:50
11Scotty Information3:50
12Rankin JoeKings Time4:00
13Jah StitchHow Long3:59
14Jah MickyIt's Of The Pass3:49
15Prince JazzboSo The West Was Won3:12

VA - Old Time DJ Come Back ... Again!
(192 kbps, cover art included)       

Montag, 3. April 2017

Helene Weigel liest Brecht (LITERA 1966)

Helene Weigel (12 May 1900 in Vienna – 6 May 1971 in Berlin) was one of the outstanding theatre actors of her generation. She was the second wife of Bertolt Brecht.

The daughter of a Jewish lawyer, she became a Communist Party member from 1930 and Artistic Director of the Berliner Ensemble after her husband Brecht's death in 1956.

Among the Brecht roles she is most noted for the iconic "Mother Courage".

Between 1933 and 1947, as a refugee from Hitler's Germany, she was seldom able to pursue her acting craft - even during the family's six-year stint in Los Angeles. It was only with the foundation of the Berliner Ensemble in the German Democratic Republic in 1949 that the brilliance of Brecht's theatre began to be recognised worldwide. She died in 1971, still at the helm of the company, and many of the roles that she created with Brecht are still in the theatre's repertoire today.

Here are some readings of Brecht passages by Helene Weigel. The recordings of „Der Mantel des Ketzers“, „Monolog der Antigone“, „Der Soldat von La Ciotat“ and „An meine Landsleute“ are from the archives of the Berliner Ensemble and were directed by Bertolt Brech.

Included in the file are essays by Anna Seghers and Paul Rillas which were part of the original album release.

Der Mantel des Ketzers (1937)
Vom armen B. B. (1921)
Vom ertrunkenen Mädchen (1922)
Die Liebenden (Um 1928/29)
Monolog der Antigone des Sophokels (1947)
Legende von der Entstehung des Buches Taoteking auf dem Weg des Laotse in die Emigration (1937)
Gleichnis des Buddha vom Brennenden Haus (1938)
An die Nachgeborenen (1938)
Der Soldat von La Ciotat (1928)
Das Lied vom Klassenfeind (1933)
Deutschland (1933)
An den Schwankenden (1933)
Die Teppichweber von Kujan-Bulak ehren Lenin (1927)
Kinderkreuzzug (1941)
An meine Landsleute (1950)

Helene Weigel liest Brecht (LITERA 1966)
192 kbps

Sonntag, 2. April 2017

Dieter Süverkrüp & Walter Andreas Schwarz - Erich Mühsam - Ich lade Euch zum Requiem (1986)

Erich Mühsam (6 April 1878 in Berlin, Germany – 10 July 1934 Oranienburg Concentration Camp) was a German-Jewish anarchist, writer, poet, dramatist and cabaret performer.
Both a prolific poet, dramatist and a Bohemian intellectual, Mühsam emerged at the end of World War I as one of the leading agitators for a federated Bavarian Soviet Republic. However, Mühsam achieved international prominence during the years of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) for works which satirized Adolf Hitler and condemned Nazism before Hitler came to power in 1933.

Erich Mühsam was an anarchist who despised dogma & close-mindedness. He believed in the power of the individual & the power of the lowest classes of society.

At Sonnenburg, the first Concentration Camp where Mühsam was held, it was reported:
"After breaking his teeth with musket blows; stamping a swastika on his scalp with a red-hot brand; subjecting him to tortures which caused him to be taken into a hospital, even now the fascist hyenas of the Sonnenburg concentration camp continue their beastly attacks upon this defenseless man. The last news are really atrocious: the Nazi forced our comrade to dig his own grave and then with a simulated execution made him go through the agony of a doomed man. Although his body has been reduced to a mass of bleeding and tumefied flesh, his spirit is still very high: when his traducers tried to force him to sing the Horst-Wessel-Lied (the Nazi's anthem) he defied their anger by singing the International." (from: "The Nazi Regime at Work: Erich Mühsam" in MAN! A Journal of the Anarchist Ideal and Movement. Vol. 2, No. 3, March 1934)

On this album Dieter Süverkrüp, Walter Andreas Schwarz and Vridolin Enxing (from the polit-rock band "Floh De Cologne") have arranged and interpreted 31 agitation songs, poems and vicious ballads from the estate of Erich Mühsam. The final verse proclaims: "Das Heut´erkennt das Gestrn nicht, / trotz Ruhmeskranz und Seelenmessen. - / Wer Zukunft schuf, bleibt unvergessen. / Erst die Geschichte hält Gericht." Mühsam´s requiem for his dead revolutionary colleagues had different connotations for a West German audience than for one in the GDR. In the GDR, these lines were dripping with irony even as late as the 1980s because of the hollowness of the state´s claims to be the continuation of this past - the dead revolutionaires had indeed effectively been forgotten. In the West German version, on the other hand, there is no intended irony, only the invoking of a tradition in a country were radical socialism has ceased to play a majore cultural role. By 1986, the heady days of student rebellion were longe gone. Süverkrüp and Schwarz´s modest motivation is to keep the spirit alive "für die, die auf dem beschwerichen Weg in die Zukunft Mühsams Idealismus brauchen als Stärkung und Bestätigung", as the booklet informs us.

Dieter Süverkrüp & Walter Andreas Schwarz - Erich Mühsam - Ich lade Euch zum Requiem
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Samstag, 1. April 2017

The Ruts - The Crack (1979)

Early punk's greatest glory, and greatest flaw, was that most of the bands were signed before they'd reached true musical proficiency. No wonder they sounded so unique - they weren't capable of imitating their influences yet. Not so with the Ruts, who were able to deliver a powerful musical punch with their debut album, something virtually unique among old-school British punk bands.

Easily able to recreate not just first-wave punk stylings, but classic rock as well, the Ruts' influences ran the gamut of genres from Motörhead to Marley, the New York Dolls to the Banshees. Thus, "The Crack" was one blindingly original album, far removed from its contemporaries. At the core, the quartet's sound was based primarily on '70s rock, played fast and hard, bringing them into the sphere of the street punks, an evolving genre later tagged Oi!, and eventually mutating into both speed metal and hardcore.

The album features a clutch of headbanging pogo-til-you-puke blasts of fury, anthemic shout-alongs one and all. But the Ruts were capable of much more than simplistic punk-rockers in a metal mode. Some songs feature a wondrous gothic drone; "It Was Cold" was indebted to both Magazine and the Police, while other tracks give nods to pub rock and R&B. Out of this mass of sounds and styles, the Ruts hammered out intriguing hybrids, darkly shadowed, but occasionally emerging into the pop light. "Dope for Guns," for example, weds a hard rock verse to an anthemic poppy chorus, then ties the knot with a reggae riff, while "Is It Something That I Said" pushes toward Buzzcocks territory.

The seminal "Jah War," inspired by the Southall riots, is simmering roots reggae/dub, but seared by classic rock guitar leads, totally redefining the rockers genre. The group was, if anything, even stronger lyrically. "Babylon's Burning" turns a powerful punk-rocker into an epic, with singer Malcolm Owen capturing the anger, frustration, and horror of anyone caught up in a riot. On "Jah War," he deliberately cools his passions, giving the words more nuanced power than if he allowed his anger to break free. On the sinister "S.U.S.," a response to England's infamous stop and search law, the group combines to create an ominous atmosphere of paranoia, a sound more chilling than that of any modern black metal band. The CD reissue also includes the B-sides from the group's three singles, the dub-heavy "Give Youth a Chance," the slamming, if somewhat silly "I Ain't Sophisticated," and the jokey "The Crack," where more excellent dub is interspersed with the group's rather amusing take on early rock & roll.

1Babylon's Burning2:35
2Dope For Guns2:11
4Something That I Said3:53
5You're Just A...2:55
6It Was Cold6:48
7Savage Circle3:05
8Jah War6:55
9Criminal Mind1:34
11Out Of Order1:50
12Human Punk4:34
13Give Youth A Chance3:07
14I Ain't Sofisticated2:16
15The Crack5:49

The Ruts - The Crack (1979)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 31. März 2017

Sun Ra And His Solar Arkestra - Cosmic Equation (The Heliocentric Worlds Of Sun Ra, Vol. I)

"Cosmic Equation" is an unofficial version of "The Heliocentric Worlds Of Sun Ra, Vol. I".
Sun Ra‘s pivotal recording "Heliocentric Worlds, Vol. I" is one of those efforts that any fan of challenging improvised music should own. Done in the spring of 1965, it parallels many of the more important statements of the time, like John Coltrane‘s movement toward unabashed free jazz, the developed music of Ornette Coleman, emerging figures like Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, and a fully flowered Albert Ayler. The Solar Arkestra was a solid 11-piece group, with hefty contributions by saxophonists Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, Pat Patrick, Danny Davis, and Robert Cummings, lone trumpeter Chris Capers, trombonists Teddy Nance and Bernard Pettaway, and the exceptional bassist Ronnie Boykins, playing strictly instrumental music, with no chants or vocal space stories.

What is most intruguing about this Ra band is that the leader plays very little acoustic piano, choosing to focus his attention primarily on the bass marimba, and to a lesser extent an electrically amplified celeste. It’s the prelude of his move to a raw but technologically driven sound as the synthesizer would come into his arsenal of instruments shortly after this. There’s the deep blues of “Heliocentric,” low key until lion-roaring horns enter, but the rip-snorting attitude of “Outer Nothingness” changes the tone, as multiple layers of improvisation build only to a mezzo forte level, with a collective percussion solo and the deeply hued, resonant, wooden bass marimba as played by the leader. Ra returns to his plucky sounding acoustic piano for the improvised “Other Worlds,” then moves to the shimmering celeste while Boykins leads the charge of the full ensemble with a scattershot, fiery, chaotic, mad free bop. Perhaps a track that most perfectly represents the democratic nature of the Arkestra, “The Cosmos” features many segments stitched together, whether it be the bowed bass of Boykins stringing tied notes in seconds and thirds, Ra’s galactic celeste, or bits and pieces of the horn section stepping up and out, with the final note struck by Jimhmi Johnson’s royal tympani. An Egyptian, march-implied theme ruminates through “Of Heavenly Things” with the bass marimba and Allen‘s piccolo in the middle, “Nebulae” is a feature for the dense celeste of Ra played alone, and the conclusionary “Dancing in the Sun” is a two-minute burst of free bebop with Ra back at the piano. What makes this music so joyful and even organized is the way that individual voicings are able to both stand on their own, and work in context improvisationally. Though not quite the full-blown, magnum opus, operatic space drama the band would eventually conceive, the planted seeds from the huge tree of what they were about to accomplish are sown in this truly remarkable effort, still an event, and a turning point for early creative music. For audiophiles, there’s a cleanly pressed vinyl LP, limited edition version of only 1,000 copies, issued in 2009, replete with Sun Ra‘s Picasso-influenced black-and-white artwork. -

A2Outer Nothingness7:40
A3Other Worlds4:18
B1The Cosmos7:20
B2Of Heavenly Things5:40
B4Dancing In The Sun1:50

Sun Ra And His Solar Arkestra - Cosmic Equation (The Heliocentric Worlds Of Sun Ra, Vol. I)
(320 kbps, cover art included)