Archive for July, 2011


Holiday break

It´s time for summer holidays – so there will be no new posts in the next two weeks. Have a nice time and enojoy yourself!

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It´s time for summer holidays – so there will be no new posts in the next two weeks. Have a nice time and enojoy yourself!

This is the compilation that helped to define the sound of Tropicalia, whose artists made huge and influential strides in creating exotic pop that was as influenced by psychedelia as it was by samba, bossa nova, and more traditional South American genres.
“Tropicália” not only includes tracks from the label’s most important acts (Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa), but presents a large number of collaborations between these artists, many of which are simply amazing.
Given the fact that many of the original Tropicalia releases have not been reissued or are not widely available, the compilation stands as a near-definitive package for the sound, and a great opportunity for anyone unfamiliar with the artists to experience an amazing and hugely important genre.

The title of this record translates to “bread and circuses,” a phrase denoting cheap political handouts used to gather support. If you have any interest in the Tropicália movement, which was more recently popularized in the states by artists like Beck and David Byrne, “Panis Et Circenses” is the place to start. It’s the original and essential Tropicália comp. One that changed the world.

VA – Tropicalia Ou Panis Et Circensis
(192 kbps, front & back cover included)

This is the compilation that helped to define the sound of Tropicalia, whose artists made huge and influential strides in creating exotic pop that was as influenced by psychedelia as it was by samba, bossa nova, and more traditional South American genres.
“Tropicália” not only includes tracks from the label’s most important acts (Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa), but presents a large number of collaborations between these artists, many of which are simply amazing.
Given the fact that many of the original Tropicalia releases have not been reissued or are not widely available, the compilation stands as a near-definitive package for the sound, and a great opportunity for anyone unfamiliar with the artists to experience an amazing and hugely important genre.

The title of this record translates to “bread and circuses,” a phrase denoting cheap political handouts used to gather support. If you have any interest in the Tropicália movement, which was more recently popularized in the states by artists like Beck and David Byrne, “Panis Et Circenses” is the place to start. It’s the original and essential Tropicália comp. One that changed the world.

VA – Tropicalia Ou Panis Et Circensis
(192 kbps, front & back cover included)

Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson made a lot of incredible music together and “Secrets” is no exception. Soul and Jazz come together with the brilliance that is Gil Scott-Heron’s mind and the result is truly inspiring. This 1978 album from the poet/musician, an album that continues the journey started on the 1977 album, “Bridges”.

“Angel Dust” warns of the dangers of drug abuse. “Show Bizness” is a hilarious look at the perils of the music business (‘they’ll take care of everything for only 95%’), whilst “Madison Avenue” talks of the over commercialization of western society (“buying is all that’s asked of you…”). “Better Days Ahead” and “Prayer For Everybody” see Gil in a more optimistic light hoping for a better future.

Gil Scott Heron was rapping and telling it like it is long before hip hop even thought about running its course. This album was a good example of Gil’s finest works.

Tracklist:
1. Angel Dust
2. Madison Avenue
3. Cane
4. Third World Revolution
5. Better Days Ahead
6. 3 Miles Down
7. Angola Louisiana
8. Show Bizness
9. A Prayer For Everybody To Be Free

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson – Secrets
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson made a lot of incredible music together and “Secrets” is no exception. Soul and Jazz come together with the brilliance that is Gil Scott-Heron’s mind and the result is truly inspiring. This 1978 album from the poet/musician, an album that continues the journey started on the 1977 album, “Bridges”.

“Angel Dust” warns of the dangers of drug abuse. “Show Bizness” is a hilarious look at the perils of the music business (‘they’ll take care of everything for only 95%’), whilst “Madison Avenue” talks of the over commercialization of western society (“buying is all that’s asked of you…”). “Better Days Ahead” and “Prayer For Everybody” see Gil in a more optimistic light hoping for a better future.

Gil Scott Heron was rapping and telling it like it is long before hip hop even thought about running its course. This album was a good example of Gil’s finest works.

Tracklist:
1. Angel Dust
2. Madison Avenue
3. Cane
4. Third World Revolution
5. Better Days Ahead
6. 3 Miles Down
7. Angola Louisiana
8. Show Bizness
9. A Prayer For Everybody To Be Free

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson – Secrets
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Today is the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Or yesterday was, depending on where you count from. Like everything to do with this conflict it isn’t clear and straight forward. In this case you have two choices, – the rising in Morocco that took place on the 17th, or the rising on the mainland that took place on the 18th.
Released to mark the 25th anniversary of the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Folkways Records’ 1961 LP, “Songs of the Spanish Civil War, Vol. 1”, combines the contents of two albums of 78 rpm records originally issued in the ’40s, “Six Songs for Democracy” (Keynote Records, July 1940) and “Songs of the Lincoln Brigades” (Asch Records, 1944).
The latter, taking up Side One of this disc, is a collection of six songs recorded in March 1944 by Pete Seeger (on leave from the U.S. Army) and three of his fellow folk musicians, Tom Glazer, Baldwin “Butch” Hawes, and Bess Lomax (who later married Hawes). They sing in English and Spanish, employing old folk tunes to comment on life among the troops and pay tribute to the international brigade that went to Spain to fight the Fascists in the ’30s. Their performances are stirring, even though the sound quality is iffy.
Side Two contains the six tracks from the Keynote album performed by the German singer Ernst Busch and a chorus that was actually recorded in Spain during the conflict in June 1938. Busch mostly sings in German in a theatrical style reminiscent of the work of Kurt Weill, which is not surprising, given that Weill’s old partner, Bertolt Brecht, provided the lyrics for “Das Lied von der Einheitsfront (Song of the United Front).”
These are historical recordings marking an important and tragic conflict that presaged World War II. The album cover’s notation, “authorized recording,” is meant to cast aspersions on an earlier LP reissue of some of this same material, Stinson Records’ “Songs of the Lincoln and International Brigades”. Folkways head Moses Asch lost master recordings of the Seeger music in a dispute with Stinson. Typical of Folkways, this version is much better annotated, with an extensive booklet containing liner notes and lyrics.
(320 kbps, front cover inlcuded)
July 18 marks the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
Time Magazinze, Monday, Aug. 04, 1941, writes about “We Behind the Barbed Wire”:
“World War II has yet to produce a great song, but last week some of its saddest were heard in the U.S. The League of American Writers produced an album of records ($2.75) called “Behind the Barbed Wire” – six songs of the French, Spanish, Italian and German anti-fascists who now rot in the French concentration camps of Gurs, Vernet d’Ariège, Argelès-sur-Mer.
The six songs were recorded in Manhattan by a Netherlands-born fighter in the Spanish Civil War, Bart van der Schelling. He wears his chin in a brace, is called “official singer” for the U.S. survivors of the International Brigades of the Loyalists. Singer van der Schelling is backed by an “Exiles Chorus” directed by Earl Robinson (Ballad for Americans). Some of the songs – the Spanish “Joven Guardia”, the Italian “Guardia Rossa”, the German “Thaelmann-Bataillon”, the French “Au Devant de la Vie” (music by Soviet Composer Dmitri Shostakovich) – were composed during the Spanish War. Most of them are in rough, plodding march time. The one which gives the album its name was composed by a German, Eberhard Schmitt, in the camp at Gurs. Its chorus, translated (not quite so lame in the original):
Behind the wire, our courage is unbroken
We yield to no one! We’re not broken reeds!
Jail or internment, we’re masters of our lives,

Nothing counts with us but deeds!
For where Germany’s and Austria’s sons may be,
One goal they cling to: Liberty! . . .”

Tracks:

Woody Guthrie and Ernst Busch accompanied by Chorus and Orchestra01- Jarama 2:55

02- On the Jarama Front 2:46
03- Ballad of the XI Brigade 3:10
04- Hans Beimler, Comrade 2:55
05- The Thaelmann-Column (German) 2:45
Songs We Remember
06- Santa Espina 2:21
07- Sevilllanos 2:24
08- The Road to Aviles 2:41
Behind the Barbed Wire, by Bart Van Der Schelling and the Exiles Chorus directed by Earl Robinson
09- La Guardia Rossa (Italian) 2:24
10- Wie Hinterm Draht (Behind the Barbed Wire)  (Composed in French internment Camp of Gurs by Eberhard Schmitt) 2:49
11- La Joven Guardia (Spanish) 2:20
12- Au Devant de la Vie (French) Music by Dmitri Shostakovich 2:48

VA – Songs Of The Spanish Civil War, Vol. 2 (1962)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Hanns Eisler was a gifted composer who became an “unperson” in the United States after he was forced to leave in 1948 as “an undesirable alien”. He is increasingly popular in Europe, where his very diverse and often inventive music is reaching a new generation of listeners. Eisler reacted against the late-Romantic tradition of “art for art’s sake” and instead argued that music must have a social function, that music should be engaged in the struggle for human liberation. So he was closely associated with the political theater of Bertolt Brecht and other radical writers, and was one of the first serious composers to experiment with the new technologies of radio, film and recording. At the same time, he wrote extraordinary chamber music and was arguably one of the best composers of German concert lieder in the 20th century.

Eric Bentley (born September 14, 1916) is a critic, playwright, singer, editor and translator.Bentley met Bertolt Brecht at UCLA as a young man and is considered one of the pre-eminent experts on Brecht, whose work he has translated. He edited the Grove Press issue of Brecht’s work, and made two albums of Brecht songs for the legendary Folkways Records label, most of which had never been recorded in English before.

Eric Bentley’s “Songs of Hanns Eisler” was released on the Folkways label in 1964.

Eric Bentley – Songs Of Hanns Eisler (1964)
(320 kbps, front cover included, booklet in pdf format included)

One of the most original and prolific composers of the twentieth century, Hanns Eisler proved that expressing humanistic and political concerns does not necessarily lead to musical banalities, but can achieve his stated aesthetic ideal of “freshness, intelligence, strength and elegance” (as opposed to “bombast, sentimentality and mysticism”). Eisler´s variety of genres and writing styles surpasses anything to be found among other leading 20th-century composers. Songs of widely differing kinds and levels were the principal fruit of Eisler´s talent and ability: marching songs, ballads, lullabies, art songs, canons, anthems, chansons, choral songs and cycles.

This album is a collection of choral songs, children´s songs and popular songs, including the “Little Woodbury song book”. It contains key works illustrating Eisler´s characteristic, largely song-oriented musical thinking.

Tracklist01 – 20: Woodburry-Liederbüchlein
21 – 23:  Kanons
24: Gegen den Krieg, Op. 51
25 – 29: Fünf Lieder für Kindergärten
30 – 32: Drei Kinderlieder für Gesang und Bratsche
33 – 41: Suite für Septett No. 1, Op. 92a
42 – 47: Neue deutsche Volkslieder
48: Nationalhymne der DDR

Hanns Eisler – Chorlieder – Kinderlieder – Volkslieder
(192 kbps, front cover included)