Archive for October, 2010


VA – Mojo Rock Steady

The term “reggae,” often used to describe any music coming from Jamaica, is in reality a term that represents a whole canon of music that has grown, developed, and branched off from Jamaica’s first native popular music, ska. Rock steady, the next form the island developed, is the precursor to the specific sub-genre of reggae, as well as the politically and culturally directed music that followed it called roots. In the rock steady era of the ’60s and ’70s, ska’s blaring horns were minimized, and an electric bass and syncopated horn line carried the rhythm. The lyrics became more centered upon political and social concerns, especially the plight of Jamaica’s black citizens. MOJO ROCK STEADY is an excellent introduction to this important era in the development of reggae music. Rhythmically and contextually, the songs contained herein represent important markers in reggae’s growth. There are classic instrumental pieces like “Rockfort Rock” (originally titled “Psychedelic Rock” but renamed because a DJ from the Rockfort area of Kingston claimed it as his neighborhood’s theme song), protean social protest songs from the Gaylads (“Africa”) and the Bassies (“River Jordan”), and an example of one of reggae’s lesser-known female vocalists, Denise Darlington (“Feel So Good”). You´ll find the tracklist in the comment.

Mojo Rock Steady (192 kbps)

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The term “reggae,” often used to describe any music coming from Jamaica, is in reality a term that represents a whole canon of music that has grown, developed, and branched off from Jamaica’s first native popular music, ska. Rock steady, the next form the island developed, is the precursor to the specific sub-genre of reggae, as well as the politically and culturally directed music that followed it called roots. In the rock steady era of the ’60s and ’70s, ska’s blaring horns were minimized, and an electric bass and syncopated horn line carried the rhythm. The lyrics became more centered upon political and social concerns, especially the plight of Jamaica’s black citizens. MOJO ROCK STEADY is an excellent introduction to this important era in the development of reggae music. Rhythmically and contextually, the songs contained herein represent important markers in reggae’s growth. There are classic instrumental pieces like “Rockfort Rock” (originally titled “Psychedelic Rock” but renamed because a DJ from the Rockfort area of Kingston claimed it as his neighborhood’s theme song), protean social protest songs from the Gaylads (“Africa”) and the Bassies (“River Jordan”), and an example of one of reggae’s lesser-known female vocalists, Denise Darlington (“Feel So Good”). You´ll find the tracklist in the comment.

Mojo Rock Steady (192 kbps)


Dutch anarchists “The Ex”, formed by guitarist Terrie and vocalist Sok, had started out in the militant vein of “Crass” but would continuously improve the quality of their cacophonous, incoherent bacchanals via increasingly challenging albums.

This anarcho-punk collective adheres to only the purest ideals in rock music. Starting in 1980, “The Ex” uncorked an endless stream of do-it-themselves vinyl and tapes on a variety of label names (finally settling on Ex Records in ’88). Following “Crass'” example (if not quite that group’s sound; “The Ex” has a cutting “Gang of Four” rhythmic edge and something of a Fall-like declamatory style), “The Ex” use their work as a sonic and graphic vehicle to promote a wide range of left-wing socio-political causes. Along with the piercing and articulate punk rock, most of “The Ex’s” albums contain vast amounts of printed material.

Jon Langford recorded and produced “Aural Guerrilla” at Studio Suite 16 in Rochdale, England. The album was released in July 1988: An evocative and tightly crimped knot about a variety of righteous causes. A bracing blast of barbed wire guitar delivered at reasonable speed with clear (but passionate) vocals, “Aural Guerrilla” is one of “The Ex’s” best; potent highlights include the pro-animal ecology of “Evolution (?),” the anti-rock-star venom of “Meanwhile at McDonna’s” and “Welcome to the Asylum,” an attack on Holland’s shoddy treatment of refugees.

More infos and downloads on http://www.theex.nl/. Check it out!

The Ex – Aural Guerrilla
(192 kbps, ca. 55 MB, front cover included)

“The Ex are a regression to the pop of rage. They understand that punk’s form of protest was to amplify your alienation and disposession. (…) The Ex are best when they’re the sound of a collapsing system, a catastrophic fury that’s senseless and unnegotiable. That’s their lure in this era of pragmatic reformers.”


Dutch anarchists “The Ex”, formed by guitarist Terrie and vocalist Sok, had started out in the militant vein of “Crass” but would continuously improve the quality of their cacophonous, incoherent bacchanals via increasingly challenging albums.

This anarcho-punk collective adheres to only the purest ideals in rock music. Starting in 1980, “The Ex” uncorked an endless stream of do-it-themselves vinyl and tapes on a variety of label names (finally settling on Ex Records in ’88). Following “Crass'” example (if not quite that group’s sound; “The Ex” has a cutting “Gang of Four” rhythmic edge and something of a Fall-like declamatory style), “The Ex” use their work as a sonic and graphic vehicle to promote a wide range of left-wing socio-political causes. Along with the piercing and articulate punk rock, most of “The Ex’s” albums contain vast amounts of printed material.

Jon Langford recorded and produced “Aural Guerrilla” at Studio Suite 16 in Rochdale, England. The album was released in July 1988: An evocative and tightly crimped knot about a variety of righteous causes. A bracing blast of barbed wire guitar delivered at reasonable speed with clear (but passionate) vocals, “Aural Guerrilla” is one of “The Ex’s” best; potent highlights include the pro-animal ecology of “Evolution (?),” the anti-rock-star venom of “Meanwhile at McDonna’s” and “Welcome to the Asylum,” an attack on Holland’s shoddy treatment of refugees.

More infos and downloads on http://www.theex.nl/. Check it out!

The Ex – Aural Guerrilla
(192 kbps, ca. 55 MB, front cover included)

“The Ex are a regression to the pop of rage. They understand that punk’s form of protest was to amplify your alienation and disposession. (…) The Ex are best when they’re the sound of a collapsing system, a catastrophic fury that’s senseless and unnegotiable. That’s their lure in this era of pragmatic reformers.”

The artistic co-operation of Brecht and Weill began in 1926 in Berlin, at a point in time when Brecht had already achieved a certain degree of fame through his poems and expressionist play “Trommen in der Nacht”. The composer Weill and the lyricist Brecht harmonized excellently together, mainly due to their personal attitudes and the perfect mix of their talents.
The “Threepenny Opera” is regarded to be the most important work by this writing team. The premiere took place on the 28th August, 1928 at the “Theater am Schiffbauerdamm” in Berlin. The enthusiastic response of the audience during this first performance gave an idea of the success to come and that the “Threepenny Opera” was to become the greatest musical success of the twenties in Germany.
This piece of musical history, which is staged in the “Milieu”, was based on an opera persiflage and period satire by the Englishmen Pepusch and Gay. Brecht transported the subject matter into the 20th century and turned it into an attack by the “proletarian world” on the “corrupt middle-class”.
The recording on hand is one of the most famous productions of the opera in existence. Two of the highlights of this recording are most certanly the titles sung by Brecht himself: “The Ballad Of Mack The Knife (Moritat)” and “The Ballad Of Why Human Effort Is Always Futile”.

The opera “The Rise And Fll Of The City Of Mahagonny”, a cross-section of which can be found on this CD, enjoyed its premiere just one year after the “Threepenny Opera” and caused a theatre scandal on the grounds of its crooks-and-whores milieu and the broadcasting of hollow phrases. The National Socialists already had so much influence that they were able to put a ban on furhter performances whithin an short space of time.

Weill and Brecht emigrated in 1933.

Bert Brecht & Kurt Weill – The Threepenny Opera
(mp3, 192 kbps, ca. 60 MB)

The artistic co-operation of Brecht and Weill began in 1926 in Berlin, at a point in time when Brecht had already achieved a certain degree of fame through his poems and expressionist play “Trommen in der Nacht”. The composer Weill and the lyricist Brecht harmonized excellently together, mainly due to their personal attitudes and the perfect mix of their talents.
The “Threepenny Opera” is regarded to be the most important work by this writing team. The premiere took place on the 28th August, 1928 at the “Theater am Schiffbauerdamm” in Berlin. The enthusiastic response of the audience during this first performance gave an idea of the success to come and that the “Threepenny Opera” was to become the greatest musical success of the twenties in Germany.
This piece of musical history, which is staged in the “Milieu”, was based on an opera persiflage and period satire by the Englishmen Pepusch and Gay. Brecht transported the subject matter into the 20th century and turned it into an attack by the “proletarian world” on the “corrupt middle-class”.
The recording on hand is one of the most famous productions of the opera in existence. Two of the highlights of this recording are most certanly the titles sung by Brecht himself: “The Ballad Of Mack The Knife (Moritat)” and “The Ballad Of Why Human Effort Is Always Futile”.

The opera “The Rise And Fll Of The City Of Mahagonny”, a cross-section of which can be found on this CD, enjoyed its premiere just one year after the “Threepenny Opera” and caused a theatre scandal on the grounds of its crooks-and-whores milieu and the broadcasting of hollow phrases. The National Socialists already had so much influence that they were able to put a ban on furhter performances whithin an short space of time.

Weill and Brecht emigrated in 1933.

Bert Brecht & Kurt Weill – The Threepenny Opera
(mp3, 192 kbps, ca. 60 MB)

The play “Die Schule der Diktatoren” by Erich Kästner had its premiere in 1957 and was honoured by the “Georg-Büchner-Preis”.

Kästner was a German satirist, poet and novelist, whose military experiences made him pacifist after World War I and opponent of totalitarian systems.

During the post-World War II years, Kästner was an active participant in the Munich cabaret “Die Schaubude” (from 1951 “Die kleine Freiheit”).
In his play “DIE SCHULE DER DIKTATOREN” (1949) about a training school for dictator-doubles Kästner reflected his experiences during wartime and unmasked inhumanity in the form of comedy.

Erich Kästner – Die Schule der Diktatoren (new link)
(192 kbps, cover included, ca. 72 MB)

The play “Die Schule der Diktatoren” by Erich Kästner had its premiere in 1957 and was honoured by the “Georg-Büchner-Preis”.

Kästner was a German satirist, poet and novelist, whose military experiences made him pacifist after World War I and opponent of totalitarian systems.

During the post-World War II years, Kästner was an active participant in the Munich cabaret “Die Schaubude” (from 1951 “Die kleine Freiheit”).
In his play “DIE SCHULE DER DIKTATOREN” (1949) about a training school for dictator-doubles Kästner reflected his experiences during wartime and unmasked inhumanity in the form of comedy.

Erich Kästner – Die Schule der Diktatoren (new link)
(192 kbps, cover included, ca. 72 MB)

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.

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

(192 kbps, front cover included)

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.

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

(192 kbps, front cover included)