Donnerstag, 24. Mai 2018

Pete Seeger - American Favorite Ballads Vol. 3 (1959)

Having recorded two volumes of "American Favorite Ballads", Pete Seeger still had many familiar American folk songs to choose from in assembling a third volume. Yet he (or Folkways Records producer Moses Asch) seems to have expanded the concept of what songs were acceptable for inclusion. Maybe that explains this album's subtitle, "Tunes and Songs", which would seem to cover just about anything.

Beginning with the pre-Civil War tribute to the famed militant abolitionist, "John Brown's Body," Seeger also sings spirituals ("Oh, Mary Don't You Weep," "Swing Low Sweet Chariot"), blues (W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues"), and minstrel songs (Stephen Foster's "Swanee River" and "Camp Town Races"), along with more traditional folk fare. He also presents a banjo instrumental ("The Girl I Left Behind Me"), and he draws from the repertoire of the group from which he has now departed, including his solo versions of the Weavers' "Goodnight Irene," "My Good Man," and "Wimoweh."

The last selection is perhaps the oddest in the set, first because, as Seeger freely acknowledges, it comes from South Africa, not America. (Of course, having been a U.S. pop hit, it can rightly be called an "American favorite," anyway.) The second curious aspect of its inclusion is Seeger's evident discomfort in singing it by himself. He begins as if he's conducting an instruction record on group singing, telling listeners how they can join in on the recording and acknowledging that the song will sound odd with only his solo part. Then he sings his solo part. This may not be a Seeger live album, but even alone in the recording studio, he expects an unseen audience to sing along on one of his greatest hits, American or not.         

John Brown's Body
The Girl I Left Gehind Me
Oh, Mary Don't You Weep
St. Louis Blues
My Good Man
Dink's Song
New River Train
Swanee River
Camptown Races
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Goodnight Irene
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
The Farmer's Curst Wife
When I First Came To This Land

Pete Seeger - American Favorite Ballads Vol. 3 (1959)
(320 kbps, cover art included)     

Mittwoch, 23. Mai 2018

Hanns Eisler - Oeuvres Pour Piano - Christoph Keller

Hanns Eisler became interested in piano music mainly after his studies with Arnold Schönberg, and again druing his exile in the USA. Four of the pieces recorded here date from 1923 - 25, and the other two respectively from 1941 and 1943.

The pianist Christoph Keller from Zürich has played a number of times Eislers piano compositions in concert, analysed them in articles and has given several talks on the work.
Within the context of a complete execution of Eisler´s piano music at the Festival "Musiktage der DDR 1988" he performed for the first time a few posthumous pieces.

The six works presented here were all recorded anew, including the ones already published in 1983 under the label ACCORD. The same firm has also recorded two albums with Eisler´s complete chamber music played by the Zürich Chamber Ensemble under Christioph Keller.

The album was recorded in Zürich January 19 - 21 1989.


                                                     Sonate N° 1, Op. 1 (1923)
1 Allegro 4:54
2 Intermezzo: Andante Con Moto 2:49
3 Finale: Allegro 3:55

                                                     Klavierstücke Op. 3 (1923)
4 Andante Con Moto 3:31
5 Allegro Molto 0:51
6 Andante/Adagio 3:11
7 Allegretto/Molto Allegro 1:25
8 Sonate N° 2 Op. 6 (1924/25) (In Form Von Variationen) 8:19

                                                     Klavierstücke Op. 8 (1925)
9 Allegretto 1:33
10 Kräftig, Energisch 1:29
11 Thema Mit Variationen 3:43
12 Allegro Con Fuoco 1:51
13 Poco Allegretto Grazioso 1:50
14 Hastig, Aufgeregt 0:57
15 Andante/Presto/Andante 1:12
16 Allegro 1:51

                                                                   Variationen (1941)
17 Thema Mit 11 Variationen Und Coda 7:33
18 1. Finale 2:39
19 2. Finale 2:57
20 3. Finale 2:15

                                                                   Sonate N° 3 (1943)
21 (Noire - 96 Env.) 2:28
22 Adagio 4:17
23 Allegro Con Spirito 3:59

Hanns Eisler - Oeuvres Pour Piano - Christoph Keller
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Dienstag, 22. Mai 2018

Mahalia Jackson - Newport 1958

General critical consensus holds Mahalia Jackson as the greatest gospel singer ever to live; a major crossover success whose popularity extended across racial divides, she was gospel's first superstar, and even decades after her death remains, for many listeners, a defining symbol of the music's transcendent power. With her singularly expressive contralto, Jackson continues to inspire the generations of vocalists who follow in her wake; among the first spiritual performers to introduce elements of blues into her music, she infused gospel with a sensuality and freedom it had never before experienced, and her artistry rewrote the rules forever.

"Newport 1958"  is a wonderful album with recordings of the Newport Jazz Festival 1958.

Jackson was at the peak of her career, and she gave a stunning performance at this show, lifting such songs as "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands," "Lord's Prayer," "Evening Prayer," "I'm on My Way," "Walk over God's Heaven" and "His Eye is on the Sparrow" to glorious heights. It's not only one of the great live gospel albums, it's simply one of the great gospel albums.

Mahalia Jackson - Newport 1958
(256 kbps, cover art included)

VA - Bauer Maas - Lieder gegen Atomkraftwerke

Originally posted in November 2011:

A big number and high variety of actions is expected for November 23-28, 2011, due to the 13th transport of high level active atomic waste (the so-called Castor transport) from the reprocessing unit (plutonium factory) La Hague in France to the temporary repository in Gorleben, Germany.

To support the protest against nuclear waste dump in Gorleben (Wendland, Germany), we post the classic album "Bauer Maas - Lieder gegen Atomkraftwerke". It was released in 1979 on the "Pass-Op" label and contains tracks by Frank Baier, Fiedel Michel, Schmetterline and  more. This compilation contains protest songs against the atomic power plant in Kalkar.

VA - Bauer Maas - Lieder gegen Atomkraftwerke
(~160 kbps, cover art included, two tracks from the original album are missing)

More information about the protest action can be found via or

Nina Simone - Folksy Nina (1964)

Like the 1963 LP "Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall", this was recorded at Carnegie Hall on May 12, 1963, but duplicates little of the material found on that prior album. It isn't just unworthy leftovers, but a strong set in its own right, concentrating on material that could be seen as traditional or folk in orientation.

It's not exactly strictly folk music, in repertoire or arrangement (which includes piano, guitar, bass, and drums, though not every tune has all of the instruments); "Twelfth of Never" (which had also appeared on the Carnegie Hall LP) certainly isn't folk music. However, there was also an uptempo piano blues, Leadbelly's "Silver City Bound"; covers of the Israeli "Erets Zavat Chalav" and "Vanetihu" which served as further proof that Simone's eclecticism knew no bounds; and the stark, moody, spiritually shaded ballads at which she excelled ("When I Was a Young Girl," "Hush Little Baby"). "Lass of the Low Country" is as exquisitely sad-yet-beautiful as it gets.

A1Silver City Bound5:08
A2When I Was A Young Girl5:57
A3Erets Zavat Chalav4:25
A4Lass Of The Low Country6:15
B1The Young Night5:25
B2Twelfth Of Never3:33
B4You Can Sing A Rainbow / Hush Little Baby7:11

Nina Simone - Folksy Nina (1964)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 19. Mai 2018

The Chambers Brothers - Feelin´ The Blues (1970)

Like their West Coast contemporaries Sly and the Family Stone, the Chambers Brothers shattered racial and musical divides to forge an incendiary fusion of funk, gospel, blues, and psychedelia which reached its apex with the perennial 1968 song "Time Has Come Today."
Musical siblings George Chambers (bass/vocals), Willie Chambers (guitar/vocals), Lester Chambers (harmonica/vocals), and Joe Chambers (guitar/vocals) were raised on rural gospel in their native Mississippi before switching over to folk and then soulful blues and R&B-fueled rock. The Chambers Brothers' recordings issued by the Los Angeles-based Vault label were nearly four years old when "Feelin' the Blues" hit the streets in 1970. The band's style had changed quite drastically from old-school blues, soul, and pop to the longer psychedelic jams heard on their international hit "Time Has Come Today." Although the mixture of live and studio selections gives the collection an odds-and-sods vibe, several of the performances are among the best of the Vault Records-era material.

Somewhat contrasting with the album's title, the Chambers actually cover a wide spectrum of music on "Feelin' the Blues". Their roots can be heard throughout the flawless interpretation of the sacred standards "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" and the excellent "Travel on My Way." Similarly, the midtempo reading of Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman" offers the Chambers an opportunity to subtly return to their gospel origins with call-and-response backing harmonies. The proceedings are far from being pious, however, as the quartet harmonizes the chorus of "Too Fat Polka" during one of the instrumental breaks. Perhaps wishing to remove some of the sting from the real storyline, the reworking of "House of the Rising Sun" - according to the spoken introduction - is told from the point of view of the receptionist (huh?) at the infamous bordello. Had the Chambers Brothers decided on a more straightforward translation, the song could easily have been one of the album's best. Other tunes worth spinning include a version of Bobby Parker's "Blues Get Off My Shoulder" - in a longer form than on 1968's "The Chambers Brothers Shout!" - and the comparatively brief but effective update of the jazzy "Undecided."

A1Girls, We Love You
A2I Got A Woman
A3House Of The Rising Sun
B1Don't Lose Your Cool
B2Just A Closer Walk With Thee
B3Blues Get Off My Shoulder
B4Travel On My Way

The Chambers Brothers - Feelin´ The Blues (1970)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 18. Mai 2018

Mimi & Richard Farina - Memories (1968)

A posthumous collection of odds and ends, this actually holds considerable appeal for anyone who likes their pair of fully realized albums. The 12 songs include a few studio outtakes, a few solo turns by Mimi on compositions written by Richard but incompletely recorded at the time of his death, a couple performances from the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, and a couple of Joan Baez tracks from sessions for an aborted album Richard was producing with her. These leftovers are generally up to the standard of the two "real" albums, especially "The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood" (covered by Fairport Convention) and "Morgan the Pirate" (a farewell to Bob Dylan, according to the sketchy liner notes). The two cuts by Baez (which Richard wrote or co-wrote), especially the compellingly melancholy "All The World Has Gone By," are excellent, leading one to wonder if the projected album they came from would have been one of Baez's best if it had been completed. These may be leftovers, but it's a worthwhile collection nonetheless.                

This album is one of those very few works that truly points towards what might have been had tragedy not struck. Richard and Mimi Fariña had defined a very particular place for themselves by the middle of the sixties: they had released two critically acclaimed and highly influential albums in “Celebrations For A Grey Day” and “Reflections In A Crystal Wind” (both 1965) and Richard's novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me had just been published in 1966. However Richard was to die in a motorcycle accident right after the launch party for this novel, never knowing how it would quickly become a cult success and remain in print for decades afterwards.

It is the musical legacy that we are concerned with here, and there can be no doubt that Richard and Mimi were trail-blazers as they were in the absolute vanguard of what became known as folk-rock, and we talk here not of the pop version of the Turtles, Grass Roots and PF Sloan, but of the highly intelligent re-invention of traditional folk music into new forms that would eventually lead to far better-known albums like Fairport Convention's “Liege And Lief”. Indeed Richard and Mimi's albums were amongst a select few in play rotation at Fairport (the house) in the early months of 1967.

After the first two albums, this one was a posthumous release in 1968, and culled tracks from some differing sources. There are some session out-takes, and some that could be called works-in-progress, and there are two live tracks taken from the pair's successful appearance at the 1965 Newport folk Festival. There are also two Richard Fariña productions of Joan Baez (Mimi's big sister) taking lead vocal on ‘A Swallow Song’ and ‘All The World Has Gone By’. The album begins with Mimi's achingly beautiful rendition of ‘The Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood’, associated later by many with Sandy Denny, and these Fairport family connections continue with the inclusion of the a capella ‘Blood Red Roses’ and ‘House Un-American Blues Activity Dream’ which were both reworked later by Ian Matthews. But such links should not take away from the beauty of the original works, as this was an album that proved how exciting their direction could have been with most of the songs written by Richard. Even with an instrumental, ‘Lemonade Lady’, that Richard plays on the dulcimer in an attacking and radical style far removed from the instrument's usual delicacy, there is music here that caught many ears in the sixties and continues to do so in the new century. One song that thrusts forward even more that the others is ‘Morgan The Pirate’, which is apparently Richard's 'farewell to Dylan'. Its structure and attacking framework is arguably the most interesting new direction that the pair could have followed, and could have certainly led them towards further and heavier electrification. With every track here fascinating, it is a release that can lead new listeners to more investigation of their small but incredibly rich catalogue.

The Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood4:16
Joy 'Round My Brain3:45
Lemonade Lady2:00
Downtown (Instrumental)1:34
Almond Joy2:11
Blood Red Roses2:29
Morgan The Pirate5:45
Dopico (Instrumental)6:34
House Un-American Blues Activity Dream3:50
A Swallow Song2:45
All The World Has Gone By3:40
Pack Up Your Sorrows3:00

Mimi & Richard Farina - Memories (1968)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Mississippi John Hurt - 1928 Sessions

John Smith Hurt, better known as Mississippi John Hurt (July 3, 1893 or March 8, 1892 — November 2, 1966) was an American country blues singer and guitarist.
Raised in Avalon, Mississippi, Hurt taught himself how to play the guitar around age nine. Singing to a melodious finger-picked accompaniment, he began to play local dances and parties while working as a sharecropper. He first recorded for Okeh Records in 1928, but these recordings were commercial failures. Hurt then drifted out of the recording scene and continued to work as a farmer. Tom Hoskins, a blues enthusiast, located Hurt in 1963 and convinced him to relocate to Washington, D.C. where he was recorded by the Library of Congress in 1964. This helped further the American folk music revival, which had led to the rediscovery of many other bluesmen of Hurt's era. Hurt entered the university and coffeehouse concert circuit with other Delta blues musicians brought out of retirement. As well as playing concerts, he recorded several albums for Vanguard Records.

This album features the 13 original 1928 recordings of Hurt. Justifiably legendary, with gentle grace and power on these understated vocal and fingerpicking masterpieces. These are the ones to hear, although all Hurt is worth listening to.     

1Ain't No Tellin'2:55
2Stack O' Lee Blues2:57
3Candy Man Blues2:46
4Spike Driver Blues3:15
5Avalon Blues3:03
6Louis Collins2:59
8Big Leg Blues2:51
9Nobody's Dirty Business2:53
10Got The Blues Can't Be Satisfied2:51
11Blessed Be The Name2:47
12Blue Harvest Blues2:53
13Praying On The Old Camp Ground2:36

Mississippi John Hurt‎– 1928 Sessions                                          
(cover art included)

Donnerstag, 17. Mai 2018

Amandla! The mix-cd.

Some years ago the dj collective "Zero G Sound" made a wonderful mix-cd called "Amandla!". They built a nice and groovy mix of different kind of african music styles.

Here´s the tracklist of this mix:

02-Orchestra Baobab - Boulamine
03-Super Eagles - Aliou Gori-Mami
04-Abdel Gadir Salim All-Stars - Alhagi
05-Alemayehn Eshete - Eskegizew Bertchi
06-Clint Eph Sebastian - Jane
07-Jimmy Solanke - Eja Ka Jo
08-Fela Kuti - Highlife Time
09-Orchestre de la Paillote - Kandia Blues
10-Ze Manel - Na Kaminho Di Luta
11-Ernest Ranglin - Ala Walee
12-Ogyatanaa Band - Disco Africa
13-Oscar Sulley - Buhom Mashie
14-Thomas Mapfumo - Hondo
15-Tiken Jah Fakoly - Francafrique
16-Daara-J - Number One
17-X-Plastaz - Msimu Kwa Msimu
18-Reggie Rockstone - Eye Mo De Anaa
19-Felal Kuti - Shakara
20-Baba Maal & Taj Mahal - Trouble Sleep.mp3

For your listening pleasure you can download the mix (mp3, 192 kbps, ca. 108 MB, cover art included, please burn it without gaps between the tracks!):

Zero G Soundsystem - Amadla!
(192 kbps, front & back cover included)

Mittwoch, 16. Mai 2018

The Fugs - Refused To Be Burnt Out (Live In The 80s)

This release chronicles the return of the Fugs to the performance stage, which ironically began in 1984 at the height of Ronald Reganmania.
However, if "Refuse To Be Burnt-Out" proves anything, the lesson is that it might be possible to take a freak out of the ‘60s … but you can never take the ‘60s out of a freak.
The ‘80s Fugs features original members Tuli Kupferberg and Ed Saunders -- who have updated their sound without ever compromising their message. Compiled from several performances, "Refuse To Be Burnt-Out" is fairly evenly split between classics - such as "CIA Man", "How Sweet I Roamed" and the sing-a-long favourite "Wide, Wide River" - as well as material penned especially for this reunion.
Of particular note is a sublime "Fingers Of The Sun" -- a no nukes anthem originally located on the 1968 "Tenderness Junction" release. The newer compositions remain ever loyal to the ‘idealistic realities' that became running motifs throughout the Fugs history.
Primary among these is the Kupferberg title "If You Want To Be President" which takes a poke at Regan's popular success with particular emphasis on the '82 fiasco in the Falkland Islands.

The albums title track is a new composition which author Ed Saunders dedicates to the memory of Fugs who are no longer with us. As only he can, the words manifest indelible images effortlessly telling the tale on multiple levels.

The Fugs - Refused To Be Burnt Out (Live In The 80s)
(192 kbps, ca. 92 MB)

Sun Ra - The Futuristic Sounds Of Sun Ra (1961)

Sun Ra's only release for the Savoy label is a gem. Recorded in October of 1961, this is probably the first recording the Arkestra made after arriving in New York. As such, you're dealing with a smallish Arkestra (seven main instrumentalists, joined by vocalist Ricky Murray on "China Gate") that's still playing the boppish, highly arranged music characteristic of the Chicago years (1954-1961).

Ra sticks to acoustic piano for the entire session, but various percussion instruments are dispersed throughout the band, giving a slightly exotic flavor to some of the tunes. John Gilmore plays bass clarinet on a couple tunes (as well as some great tenor solos), and Marshall Allen's flute playing is excellent, as always.

This album was produced by Tom Wilson, who also produced the first Sun Ra LP, "Jazz by Sun Ra" (1956) for the Transition label, later reissued by Delmark as "Sun Song" (Wilson later went on to sign the Mothers of Invention to Verve and "electrified" Bob Dylan). With the exception of "The Beginning," all the tunes are very accessible. This is one to play for the mistaken folks who think the Arkestra did nothing but make noise. Excellent.


A1 Bassism
A2 Of Wounds And Something Else
A3 What's That
A4 Where Is Tomorrow
A5 The Beginning
A6 China Gates
Vocals – Ricky Murray

B1 New Day
B2 Tapestry From An Asteroid
B3 Jet Flight
B4 Looking Outward
B5 Space Jazz Reverie

Sun Ra - The Futuristic Sounds Of Sun Ra (1961)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Pete Seeger - American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1

The first in a series of five immensely popular Pete Seeger releases, "American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1" was intended to gather together and set down songs that "everyone" knew (or seemed to know), in simple, unadorned musical settings, accompanied by his guitar or banjo, that adults and children could learn and sing together.

At the time, the albums were primarily aimed at schools and libraries, though one can bet that more than a few progressive-minded and left-leaning families bought them a well, even if these weren't the union and topical songs Seeger was loved for in those circles, if only as a statement against the blacklist that had hurt the artist's career; one also wonders, as a minor point, if the decision to include "Big Rock Candy Mountain" wasn't a little zing at Burl Ives, for whom the song had been something of a signature tune, and who had ended up on the opposite side of Seeger in the ideological wars of the 1950s (a hatchet that wasn't fully buried between them until the '80s).

Seeger's range on this album is stunning, from the gentle simplicity of "Skip to My Lou" to the rousing exuberance of "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep" - his voice is melodious and powerful across a range that may surprise listeners who only know the artist for the recordings done in his seventies and eighties - and while his guitar playing is fine, it's his banjo work that is the real treat across these songs. For a man who (supposedly) so resented the electrification of folk music, Seeger isn't shy about spinning some (admittedly acoustic) pyrotechnics out of his banjo when the song seems to call for it. Moe Asch's recording technology was more than good enough for Seeger and his instrument, and the tapes have held up across five decades. And as to the songs, they encompass folk, country, and gospel standards, and their sheer power is perhaps the most amazing aspect of this record (and its four follow-ups): the world and its so-called culture, popular or otherwise, have moved on so far (even in the late '60s, these seemed kind of hokey to kids who thought they knew better) that 50-plus years later, this record is still an education, as well as a rare treat.                

A1 Down In The Valley
A2 Mary Don't You Weep
A3 The Blue Tail Fly
A4 Yankee Doodle
A5 Cielito Lindo
A6 Buffalo Gals
A7 The Wabash Cannon Ball
A8 So Long, It's Been Good To Know You
Written-By – Woody Guthrie
B1 The Wagoner's Lad
B2 The Big Rock Candy Mountain
B3 The Wreck Of The Old '97
B4 On Top Of Old Smokey
B5 I Ride An Old Paint
B6 Frankie And Johnny
B7 Old Dan Tucker
B8 Skip To My Lou
B9 Home On The Range

Pete Seeger - American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Otto Reutter - Es geht vorwärts - Chansons und Couplets (1922 - 1930)

A coupletist (kupletist) is a poet, singer, or actor who specializes in couplets - wittily ambiguous, political, or satirical songs, usually in cabaret settings, usually with refrains, generally used as a transition between two cabaret numbers.

With sarcasm and humor, coupletists take on political dignitaries, the prevailing zeitgeist and lifestyle, in short, "all of the world's madness." Friedrich Wolf called the couplet "the direct involvement of the audience in the game."


1 Es Geht Vorwärts 3:00
2 Der Überzieher 3:10
3 Karussell 3:23
4 Wir Fang'n Noch Mal Von Vorne An 3:39
5 Das Ist So Einfach, Und Man Denkt Nicht Dran 3:19
6 Aus! 2:47
7 Gründ'n Wir 'Ne G.M.B.H. 3:27
8 Der Blusenkauf 2:43
9 Alles Weg'n De Leut' 2:50
10 Berlin Ist Ja So Groß 3:13
11 Nehm'n Sie 'N Alten 2:38
12 Gräme Dich Nicht 2:54
13 Mir Hab'n Se Als Geheilt Entlassen-Vortrag Eines Idioten 2:26
14 Loblied Auf Die Frauen Von Heute 2:54
15 Phantasie Ist Jederzeit Schöner Als Die Wirklichkeit 3:14
16 Einmal Im Jahr 2:20
17 Mein Theaterrepertoire 3:15
18 Und Dadurch Gleicht Sich Alles Wieder Aus 3:34
19 Ist Doch Schön-So Bequem 3:30
20 Ich Habe Zuviel Angst Vor Meiner Frau 3:52
21 Ich Kann Das Tempo Nicht Vertragen 4:00
22 Sei Modern 3:26
23 Der Gewissenhafte Maurer 2:48

Otto Reutter - Es geht vorwärts - Chansons und Couplets (1922 - 1930)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 15. Mai 2018

Ed Sanders - Beer Cans On The Moon (1973)

"They say rock & roll and politics don't mix," sings Ed Sanders at the very beginning of his second and final solo LP. That's not necessarily true, but if you were going to make an argument against that declaration, this album is one of the last exhibits you'd want to use as evidence.

The crucial flaws were not those of intent: Sanders wasted no time in advocating "Nonviolent Direction Action," satirizing the war-mongering of Henry Kissinger, hailing the unwinding of the Watergate scandal, and grinding out a "Universal Rent Strike Rag." Perhaps these weren't as immediately attention-grabbing issues as Vietnam and free love, but they were still important, especially in 1973. But Sanders was let down by the pedestrian, typically laissez-faire early-'70s rock arrangements, the severe limitations of his nasal twanging vocals, and most crucially by his own bluntly unwitty songwriting.

Sanders had proved he was skilled at crude wit with the Fugs, yet even though his efforts here are similar thematically, they sound forced and overly didactic, and are more tiresome than funny, even for many who wholeheartedly agree with his sociopolitical outlook. Sad to say, even many left-wingers and Fugs fans will demand the record be removed from the turntable long before its conclusion, or at any rate before the daft, echo-laden novelty tune about a "Yodeling Robot" that falls in love with Dolly Parton.

- Richie Unterberger

Ed Sanders - Beer Cans On The Moon (1973)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Kurt Weill - 1900 - 1950 - Berliner Requiem

The focus of this album falls on the "Berliner Requiem" of 1928, together with two a capella choral pieces, "Legende vom toten Soldaten" and "Zu Potsdam unter den Eichen", which fall in the vicinity of the "Requiem". The four songs to texts by Walt Whitman give an impression - not merely in musical terms - of the way the "American" Weill grappled with the subject of war and death, this time form the perspecitve of one who "stayed at home" and helplessly confronted the Second World War. The album opens with the large-scale "Recordare", a religious view of the same subject, and is counter-balanced by the concluding "Kiddush". The latter work is the only piece on this album which does not directly deal with the problems of war and peace, but its meditative and religious stance can be taken as symbolic of peace.

The vocal works on this live recording cover a period of twenty-four years. During this time not only the circumstances of Weill´s life but his very musical language changed whith almost unimaginable radicality. At first an "avant-garde" composer in the early 1920s, a spiritual confrère of Schoenberg and Hindemith, Weill underwent an simplification and popularization in his musical style which, in scale, is probalby unique in the history of music.

1. Recordare, Op. 11 (1923)
2. Legende vom toten Soldaten (1929)
3. Zu Potsdam unter den Eichen (1928)
Berliner Requiem (1928):
5. Ballade vom ertrunken Mädchen
6. Marterl (Grabschrift)
7. Erster Bericht über den unbekannten Soldaten unter dem Triumphbogen
8. Zweiter Bericht uber den unbekannten Soldaten unter dem Triumphbogen
9. Grosser Dankchoral

Four Walt Whitman Songs (1942/47):
10. Oh Captain! My Captain!
11. Beat! Beat! Drums!
12. Dirge for two veterans
13. Come up from the feilds, father
14. Kiddush (1946)

Recorded at Robert-Schumann-Saal, Düsseldorf, March, 24, 1990, with Jürgen Wagner (tenord), Wolfgang Holzmair (baritone) and the Robert-Schumann-Kammerorchester conducted by Harmut Schmidt (1 - 9) and Marc-Andreas Schlingensiepen (10 - 14).

Kurt Weill - Berliner Requiem
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Autonomie - Materialien gegen die Fabrikgesellschaft

The journal "Autonomie" ("Autonomy") was established in 1975. It emerged from the agitational newspaper "Wir Wollen Alles" ("We Want it All"), which was published by the Operaist-oriented groups ‘Arbeitersache’ (‘Workers’ Cause’) in Munich, ‘Revolutionärer Kampf’ (‘Revolutionary Struggle’) in Frankfurt and ‘Proletarische Front’ (‘The Proletarian Front’) in Hamburg. Two political lines soon developed within the editorial board. On the one hand, there was the ‘first-person politics’ proposed by those in Frankfurt. On the other hand, the Hamburg group in particular insisted on a ‘working-class standpoint’: for this group, relating to the subjectivity of the ‘class’ and building a social-revolutionary organisation should take priority over policies related to the individual. In 1979, the Frankfurt group issued the last journal (No. 14) of the old version of Autonomie. Between 1979 and 1985 the Hamburg group published Autonomie: Neue Folge (Autonomy: The New Edition). It is now available here online for the first time. In fact, issue No. 12 of the old version of the journal was conceived in Hamburg and thus has been included in this digitised edition. This issue was devoted to the subject of regionalism. Alongside this theme, there was an article on ‘the moral economy’, which took up the British New Left’s writing on social history.

The Hamburg editorial board was made up of a core of former members from the ‘Proletarische Front’ organisation. This core was expanded by a number of people who joined in connection with a campaign for a suspended sentence for Karl Heinz Roth, a member of the board.1 During the first two years, Roth carried out an important and integrative role on the editorial board. Smaller editorial teams – in which external authors also played a part – were formed for each individual issue. All articles were regularly discussed by the main editorial board, which was supported by a salaried senior editor. The board’s offices were located in Hamburg-Altona. In 1982, several members left the editorial board in connection with the ‘Position Paper’ published in issue No. 10.

Apart from issue No. 1, the magazine was self-produced and financed by donations from the editorial staff. The journal’s circulation was three thousand – four thousand for some issues. The majority of its readers came from the protest movements of the 1970s and were predominantly from North Germany. But there were also some readers from around several university cities in South Germany, as well as from Berlin. Reading circles occasionally sprung up and the editorial board organised a series of events centred on the journal – for example in the context of the prisoners’ and anti-nuclear movements.

Autonomie: Neue Folge aimed, on the one hand, to develop an expanded concept of structural violence which referred to the interweaving of technological violence into every-day life. On the other hand, the journal sought to work out a new, social-revolutionary understanding of internationalism and anti-imperialism. Behind these aims stood the political concept of placing in a broader historical context, and strategically expanding, the various partial movements active in the wake of the ‘anti-authoritarian’ revolts of 1968, which mainly agitated in selective and situational ways.

Autonomie: Neue Folge began in May 1979 with an issue on the Iranian Revolution. With regard to the People’s Mujahedin and the theoretician Ali Schariati, the issue attempted to explore the potential of ‘Iranian mass autonomy’ – as a non-Bolshevik path to social revolution. This subject was revisited in issues No. 6 (on the Iran-Iraq War, 1980) and No. 8 (on the People’s Mujahedin, 1981). As is well known, the Iranian Revolution ended in a counterrevolution of the reactionary Ayatollahs, in civil war and terror. Back then the editorial board could not anticipate that the Iranian Revolution was possibly but the first episode in a revolutionary epoch, which would flow into the Arab rebellions. The interest in the ‘Middle and Near East’ lapsed.

The theme of social-revolutionary anti-imperialism carried over into issue No. 10 (‘Anti-Imperialism in the 1980s’, 1982) in which concepts drawn from the US Operaist left were further developed and the primacy of the social was contrasted with the classical theory of imperialism. The topic further found expression in the article ‘Genocide against Social Revolution’ in the final issue, No. 14 (1985). Not until many years later was this concept explicitly back-referenced to the Russian Revolution, which was always implicit within the approach in the mid-1980s.2

In the thematic issues No. 2 through No. 7, there was an attempt to enter into an exchange with single-issue movements and currents, as well as to ‘set out markers’ for the reconstruction of an overarching social-revolutionary agenda. The ‘workers’ standpoint’ was projected onto a new social subject – the ‘factory society’ became an explanatory model for the entirety of the social terrain. This began with the issue on prisons (No. 2, ‘The New Prisons’, 1979) which presented materials on the prisoners’ movement and recent developments in the detention systems. This topic was complemented in 1980 by a special issue on preventive detention. This theme was followed by that of urban planning in issue No. 3 (‘The Second Destruction of Germany’, 1980) which reached from the 19th century architectural utopias to the house occupations of the 1980s, and the issue on the anti-nuclear movement (No.4/5, ‘Resistance Against Nuclear Factories. The Nuclear State’, 1980) which alongside references to the movement against nuclear power included a polemic against the institutionalisation of politics by the Greens. The issues dedicated to medicine, such as special issue No. 2 (‘Medicine and National Socialism’, 1980) and No. 7 (‘Healthcare Reform, Rape, Forced Sterilisation, Sick Leave’, 1981) were to provide historical and contemporary material for the debates in the ‘health movement’ in the context of the ‘health conferences’ held in Berlin and Hamburg. This topic was taken up again later in the journal Beiträge zur nationalsozialistischen Gesundheits- und Sozialpolitik (Contributions to National Socialist Health and Social Policy).

It was not until the Fiat issue (No. 9, ‘Factories and the New Class Composition’, 1982) that Autonomie: Neue Folge chimed in with the point of departure of the 1970s, as expressed in the subtitle ‘Materials against Factory Society’. The ‘Arbeitersache’ group had related to the workers at BMW with an anti-Taylorist, anti-Fordist programme. ‘Revolutionärer Kampf’ had done the same with the Opel workers, and ‘Proletarische Front’ had focused on the ports, shipyards and the Volkswagen workers in Hannover. The experiences of this wave of struggle, which had culminated in the 1973 Ford strike, were now to be recalled in order to arrive at a new analysis of the reality of class in West Germany, of the exploitation of labour and of the regional labour markets. However, this systematic approach failed to materialise. Instead there was a separate issue (No. 12, ‘The Italian Model: Revolutionary Movements at an End?’, 1983) in which the topic of Italy was broached once more. The matters of labour markets and technology were differently dealt with in issues No. 11 and No. 13 under the common title of ‘Imperialism in the Metropolises’ (No. 11, ‘The Compulsion to Work. New Poverty, 1982) and issue No. 13 (‘The Assault of Technology’, 1983). In parallel with the quasi post-Operaist focus on the metropolitan class and global mass poverty, since issue No. 3 a debate had emerged regarding subjectivity and technological violence, which found its way into various issues. The reference point for this was a book published in 1981 entitled Leben als Sabotage (Life as Sabotage).3

Since 1982 there had been difficult disagreements on the editorial board. Issues No. 13 and No. 14 were only published by smaller editorial sub-groups who continued to work together informally. Some members of the editorial board no longer believed that it was possible to reconstruct social-revolutionary processes in the global north from a metropolitan standpoint and therefore focused more on the social-historical paradigm of mass poverty and anti-imperialist struggles. This implied different ideas of organisation. The divergent points of view no longer led to fruitful discussions, but rather to the dissolution of the editorial board. Appearing after a two-year break with a new design, the final issue (No. 14, ‘Class History – Social Revolution?’) was published in 1985. It contained three separate essays: a historical study of mass poverty and the right of existence; a contribution to reproductive labour (catching up somewhat, since a feminist position had not been able to prevail in the editorial board until then) and a portrayal of the Bretton Woods system as a weapon against the social revolution.
  1. Cf. Ein ganz gewöhnlicher Mordprozess, Berlin 1978
  3. Detlef Hartmann, Leben als Sabotage. Zur Krise der technologischen Gewalt, Tübingen 1981
You find a complete archive of the Autonomie journal via this link.