Archive for January, 2011


The “Liebig 14” is an alternative house project in Berlin-Friedrichshain. The house was squatted in 1990 and legalized in the next years. In the last years, the residents lost their apartment contracts – and now the police is planning the eviction on 2nd of February.The attempted negotiations with regional and senate politicians to find a legal solution for the continuation of the house project or to buy the house with the help of a foundation have failed. 

More and more people in Berlin are hit by increasing rents and lose their apartments and social environments. To them and to the residents of the “Liebig 14” we giver our full solidarity and support! You can find more infos via http://www.liebig14.blogsport.de/.

In solidarity with the people at “Liebig 14” we post an album which is an great document of the West-Berlin squatter movement of the early 80s of the last century. “Lieder für Instandbesetzer” was recorded at a solidarity concert at “Metropol” with Bettina Wegner, Walter Mossmann, Teller Bunte Knete, Fliegende Blätter and IG Blech. The album was released in 1981 on “Mood Records.”

New link:
VA -Lieder für Instandbesetzer (1981)
(cover art included)

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The “Liebig 14” is an alternative house project in Berlin-Friedrichshain. The house was squatted in 1990 and legalized in the next years. In the last years, the residents lost their apartment contracts – and now the police is planning the eviction on 2nd of February.The attempted negotiations with regional and senate politicians to find a legal solution for the continuation of the house project or to buy the house with the help of a foundation have failed. 

More and more people in Berlin are hit by increasing rents and lose their apartments and social environments. To them and to the residents of the “Liebig 14” we giver our full solidarity and support! You can find more infos via http://www.liebig14.blogsport.de/.

In solidarity with the people at “Liebig 14” we post an album which is an great document of the West-Berlin squatter movement of the early 80s of the last century. “Lieder für Instandbesetzer” was recorded at a solidarity concert at “Metropol” with Bettina Wegner, Walter Mossmann, Teller Bunte Knete, Fliegende Blätter and IG Blech. The album was released in 1981 on “Mood Records.”

VA -Lieder für Instandbesetzer (1981)
(cover art included)

Hanns Eisler is an anomaly among 20th-century composers in that he managed to merge strident political content with gorgeous music without sounding didactic or preachy. His early worker’s anthems, far from being mere propaganda, stand on their own as sophisticated compositions; they’re pocket symphonies that you can sing along with. Eisler cut his teeth studying with Schoenberg in the early 1920s, but soon thereafter broke with his teacher, feeling that his high-minded dodecaphony alienated the working man. The irony, however, was that Eisler never totally abandoned these high-art tendencies, instead subtly incorporating them into everything he did. Like Kurt Weill, Eisler’s political proclivities brought him into contact with Bertolt Brecht and the two became close collaborators for many years.

Deutsche Sinfonie, written in the mid-30s, finds them paired in one of Eisler’s more conservative orchestral settings, blatantly tipping its hat to the 12-tone crew. In this group of vocal pieces, Brecht’s lyrics remain scathing, once again slyly subverting the concert hall tradition in true Eisler style. Eisler uses Brcht´s poetic image of Germany as a “besmirched, pale mother” in the prelude (which cites the “Internatinale” and “Unsterbliche Opfer”, a song dedicated to the memory of concentration camp victims) to describe the suffering inflicted by German hands. In the passacaglia of the second part, the lament takes on more concrete form to become a condemnation of Nazi terror in the concentration camps (the work´s original title was “Konzentrationslagersymphonie”). The fourth part with Brecht´s “Zu Potsdam unter den Eichen” dras attention to facism´s extremist roots, while the orchestral funeral procession in the fith part, based on Brecht´s poem “Sonnenburg” addresses the idescribable suffering of the victims. The seventh part (after Brecht´s “Begräbnis des Hetzers im Zinksarg”) exposes fascist propaganda in its truel colours. A “peasant cantata” with the rousing “Bauer steh auf” is folowed by the “worker´s cantata” based on the “Lied vom Klassenfeind”, which Brecht wrote in exile. The following orchestral movement gives musical expression to the dialectics of pain and confidence, whereupon the eleven-movement opus ends with an epilogue after a four-line verse from Brecht´s “Kriegsfiebel”.

This album features the recordings with Elisabeth Breul, Hermann Hähnel and Fred Teschler accompanied by the  Rundfunkchor Leipzig and the Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Leipzig, conducted by Adolf Fritz Guhl. The speaking voices were done by Ekkehard Schall and Hilmar Thate. This album was released in 1974 by ETERNA and later by NOVA and was replaced in 1987 with a newer recording conducted by Max Pommer.

Hanns Eisler – Deutsche Symphonie (Guhl, 1974)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Today is the Holocaust Memorial Day, dedicated to the remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. The chosen date is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Army in 1945.

“Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust and of other genocides. On it, we commemorate victims, honour survivors and commit to tackling prejudice, discrimination and racism in the present day. We encourage nations to conquer genocide and atrocity and individuals to stand up against hatred.” (from: http://www.hmd.org.uk/about/)

This is an opportunity to show our respect for the survivors of Nazi persecution and mass murder, and to listen to what they can tell us about the best and the worst of human behaviour.
“During the Second World War the poet Iacovos Kambanellis was a prisoner in Camp Mauthausen. In 1965 he wrote four poems about this period and asked the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis to put them to music. The poems are now world-famous as the Mauthausen trilogy. Thanks to Maria Farantouri the trilogy has become very popular.

The recordings on this album date from 1995 and 1999. The four poems are sung in three different languages (Greek, Hebrew and English) by Farantouri, Elinoar Moav Veniadis and Nadia Weinberg respectively. You might think that it’s boring to listen to the same songs over and over again, with only the languages varying, but that is not the case.

The Hebrew version has a very classical approach and has a completely different atmosphere than the English one, which is influenced by jazz, or the Greek one, which is very close to the original Farantouri recordings. The Hebrew part of the album surprised me most. Veniadis makes me want to cry. She gives such a power to the songs that I can feel the poems in every part of my body. The same applies to Farantouri when she is singing in her low voice, which is the opposite of Veniadis’ voice.

The English version is nice because, as you understand the lyrics, you get a notion of what the songs are about – but that’s all. Weinberg turns them into popular tunes, sung well technically but with little emotion.”
(Eelco Schilder, FolkWorld CD Reviews)

Mikis Theodorakis- Mauthausen Trilogy – In Memoriam Of Liberation
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Today is the Holocaust Memorial Day, dedicated to the remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. The chosen date is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Army in 1945.

“Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust and of other genocides. On it, we commemorate victims, honour survivors and commit to tackling prejudice, discrimination and racism in the present day. We encourage nations to conquer genocide and atrocity and individuals to stand up against hatred.” (from: http://www.hmd.org.uk/about/)

This is an opportunity to show our respect for the survivors of Nazi persecution and mass murder, and to listen to what they can tell us about the best and the worst of human behaviour.
“During the Second World War the poet Iacovos Kambanellis was a prisoner in Camp Mauthausen. In 1965 he wrote four poems about this period and asked the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis to put them to music. The poems are now world-famous as the Mauthausen trilogy. Thanks to Maria Farantouri the trilogy has become very popular.

The recordings on this album date from 1995 and 1999. The four poems are sung in three different languages (Greek, Hebrew and English) by Farantouri, Elinoar Moav Veniadis and Nadia Weinberg respectively. You might think that it’s boring to listen to the same songs over and over again, with only the languages varying, but that is not the case.

The Hebrew version has a very classical approach and has a completely different atmosphere than the English one, which is influenced by jazz, or the Greek one, which is very close to the original Farantouri recordings. The Hebrew part of the album surprised me most. Veniadis makes me want to cry. She gives such a power to the songs that I can feel the poems in every part of my body. The same applies to Farantouri when she is singing in her low voice, which is the opposite of Veniadis’ voice.

The English version is nice because, as you understand the lyrics, you get a notion of what the songs are about – but that’s all. Weinberg turns them into popular tunes, sung well technically but with little emotion.”
(Eelco Schilder, FolkWorld CD Reviews)

Mikis Theodorakis- Mauthausen Trilogy – In Memoriam Of Liberation
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Here´s volume 3 of this wonderful series of historic recordings from the archives of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, recorded between 1959 and 1994.

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The mus of Basotho is as diverse as that of the Batswana, with whom they share a similar language. The difference is slight, especially the pronunciation of words. The traditions are motly similar, as are the styles both traditional and modern. Like all african music Basotho were affected by urbanisation as well as the church. The school system also introduced choral music and Basotho went on to produce some of the best composers of this genre.

Tswana music is pretty close to that of the Basotho since the languages are virtually the same. Like Zulu and Sotho music, the Tswana also depeloped their music with the advent of urbanisation and christianity. Traditional music was the main force until the missionaries came to South Africa.

African Renaissance – Volume 3 – pt.1
African Renaissance – Volume 3 – pt. 2
(192 kbps, mp3)

Massiel (real name María de los Ángeles Santamaría Espinosa) is a Spanish singer. She was born on August 2, 1947 in Madrid.

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She won the Eurovision Song Contest 1968 with the song “La, la, la”, which earned 29 points, beating out famous British pop crooner Cliff Richard, who placed second that year with “Congratulations”. Some years later she performed dramatic roles in theatrical productions like “A los hombres futuros, yo Bertolt Brecht” (1972), “Corridos de la revolución: Mexico 1910” (1976) and “Antonio and Cleopatra” in the early ’80s.

In 1977, she released an album covering the music of Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill in Spanish, called “Baladas Y Canciones De Bertolt Brecht”.

Massiel – Baladas y canciones de Bertolt Brecht (1977)
(192 kbps)

Massiel (real name María de los Ángeles Santamaría Espinosa) is a Spanish singer. She was born on August 2, 1947 in Madrid.

Image

She won the Eurovision Song Contest 1968 with the song “La, la, la”, which earned 29 points, beating out famous British pop crooner Cliff Richard, who placed second that year with “Congratulations”. Some years later she performed dramatic roles in theatrical productions like “A los hombres futuros, yo Bertolt Brecht” (1972), “Corridos de la revolución: Mexico 1910” (1976) and “Antonio and Cleopatra” in the early ’80s.

In 1977, she released an album covering the music of Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill in Spanish, called “Baladas Y Canciones De Bertolt Brecht”.

Massiel – Baladas y canciones de Bertolt Brecht (1977)
(192 kbps)

The segregation of indigenous music by the South African Broadcasting Corporation under the National Party’s policy of “separate development” has had an unintentional after-effect – apartheid has bequeathed the world a glorious legacy of recorded music. A rich archive of SABC acetates, never intended to be heard outside the townships and provinces, has at last made its way onto CD. Music listeners now get their first chance to sample this cornucopia as Eagle Records has released a bunch of double CDs under the title “African Renaissance”. The set spans 30 years of recording and covers everything from Western-influenced doo-wop to gumboot, historic ceremonial to traditional dance; a capella chorus to mine and sugar mill bands.

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The music in these recordings is accessible, rich and uplifting and sound quality is very good. The selection also has a historic significance; it catches traditional forms that are fast being subsumed by new influences. With the opening of South Africa, modern western forms such as hip- hop are increasingly being incorporated into the music of the young; kwaiko, for example, borrowing heavily from house music and American rappers. Many of the tracks on these compilations are immensely physical, their catchiness forcing you to your feet. Others are more spiritual, with soaring, heart-stopping moments of beauty and poignancy. Such a wide and eclectic selection gives the lie to the impression of “sameness” which resulted from willy-nilly incorporation of African elements in the early 1980s world music fad. To borrow a phrase from the jazz world, this music is the sound of surprise. On these discs you will find the polyrhythmic vocal complexity of traditional Zulu music (recently popularised by star turns like Ladysmith Black Mambazo); the reggae- ish heal of Venda artists; shimmering harmonies, epitomised by the South Soto Bohlokong Choral or the Tswana Mmabatho police choir; the stomping rhythms and exuberance of Xhosa outfits such as the Harmony Baca Gumboot Dancers; and the gentle melodic fluency of Ndebele artists such as Love Inspirations.

It would take a hard heart or leaden soul not to find something in “African Renaissance’s” treasure-trove to lift the spirit or get the feet tapping. Some of the royalties from the series will go to surviving artists; the rest to a development project to help disadvantaged young musicians in South Africa.

Here´s volume 9 with Nguni choral music on the first cd and Mbhaqanga, which has been hailed as Africa´s hardest and most upbeat sound, on the second.

African Renaissance – Volume 9 pt. 2
(192 kbps, front cover included)


“So this is the final Weavers record,” writes Vanguard Records head Maynard Solomon in his liner notes to the second album (mostly) culled from the group’s May 2-3, 1963, stand at Carnegie Hall, performances at which Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays, and Fred Hellerman were joined by all four occupants of the tenor position: original member Pete Seeger; his replacement, Erik Darling; then-current member Frank Hamilton; and his replacement, Bernie Krause.

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The album doesn’t spell out who’s singing when, but it’s not hard to tell that Seeger is present on old favorites like “The Frozen Logger,” “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine,” and “Rock Island Line.” The Weavers made a lot of live albums, and a lot of them at Carnegie Hall (this was the fourth), so they can be difficult to tell apart, even when you’re listening to one. Happily, they all share the qualities of humor, passion, and good singing. And though the Weavers broke up more than a year before this album was released, it wasn’t their final record, not even their final record to be recorded live at Carnegie Hall.

(192 kbps, front cover included)