Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fujara - "Fujara" {Denmark} [1973] prog/psych

There are many mysterous bands that i think most of us looking for, and this is the one that i had big passion to listen, A few days ago our friend mtumba bring this album to our attention at forum. Since then i am listening some songs on the album over and over again, Some information that i found for the album;
"The band from Køge founded in 1970 playing mostly rock affected by hippie subculture with social and political lyrics. This 6-member group was said to have humorous live performances. It had brass section as strong as Dr. Dopo Jam but didn't use it in so efficient and dynamic way. Anyway, Fujara does not sound like one more political group where lyrics dominated the music. Most compositions remain under influence of West Coast rock but especially two of them are in Dr. Dopo Jam vein, and those are IMO the best ones on the whole album: Styvtoget and excellent Majara. All lyrics are in Danish.." read more here

thanks to mtumba :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Otger Dice - Garden of Pleasure (Net 1977)

Sometimes we love an album for no reason other than that we love it, it's the idiosyncrasy of music that makes it so unique. I really really love this one, though I know some out there will consider it banal, some will find it annoying, some will think the singer has too rough a voice, but maybe someone else will agree that it's just impossible to live without and they're willing to listen to it a hundred times from now on, like I did when I encountered it. In style I think it's similar to the Kaz Lux solo album or later Brainbox with basic rock and folk sounds cooked up with a bit of progressive spice to give it some heat for those who want more mental stimulation. Some tracks actually remind me of Jackson Browne from the Late from the Sky period with that cool californial singer songwriter groove off ventura highway. As with earlier posted Memo a lot of my emotional connexion probably has to do with temporal nostalgia, lost childhood.

Let's get to the music first. Actually let's get to the talking about the music first. The first track hits us with a D minor groove and some nice space synth before the hard rock sound of Otger singing all kinds of craziness on "Trashcan:"
"Goin round in circles
waitin for a miracle
instead of the truth
lightning struck me
shattered in my eye
There is a butterfly session in the neighbourhood" (what the--?)
Well, in my opinion it sure beat Mick's lyrics from Goats Head Soup.
The second song uses an ingenious progression (in key of G) involving G maj7, D maj7, F maj7, Eflat maj7. This is the kind of unusual thinking that takes this above average rock. I like how he then puts the melody on top of this odd progression using the out-of-place D maj7 as transitional ('correct' chord should be D7).
"Flim Flam Lover" is a standout track, starts with a lovely electric piano sound (Otger playing I presume), very very reminiscent of Kaz singing on the Akkerman albums. The song could fit in well as more biography of Eli. The smooth quarter note slow rock sound never sounds as good as here with some acoustic and rhodes piano background, very subtle use of nonfuzzy electric guitar and hammond duetting with the singer. There is a beautiful drama to the whole song with guitar instrumental leading into passionate singing halfway through. I like the lyrics on this one too. "He moves out like a flash... hits the road before they do" Oh those free days of the seventies, how long ago they seem now, free love, free sex, could it really have been true and not a dream? (I wouldn't know personally of course having been a child then.)
"Dreammare" reminds me of Jackson Browne's song After the Deluge, not just because it's also in the key of G. The style is in keeping with the piano singer-songwriter stuff from the west coast. Again, it's tragic that music as well written as the perennial 'classic rock' staples is lost to any kind of sizable audience, because it's at least as good as the average Jackson Browne. Maybe what's missing is the simplicity that makes songs like "I want candy" or "I will remember you" such monster hits, people need something really repetitive and childish to enjoy music. Again, same comments I made earlier about the musical artistic 'test of time', which children's music passes but not our beloved progressive which involves real sweat labour and a lot of education.
I grant there are some throwaway blues style songs in here but this is no different from the average rock album with a few filler tracks. Several songs have the unfortunate tendency of relying too much on an I - IV chord progression.

I have trouble finding info on the man, just like with the earlier Memo.
Ratings are terrible on rateyourmusic, surprisingly to me but probably no one else. I really love the country cover with the seventies font. Boy would I love to go fishing in that creek but the way it was in the seventies, not now.


A1 Trashcan 3:00
A2 Bands And Dice 3:38
A3 Flim Flam Lover 4:38
A4 You've Got The Tools 3:31
A5 Dreammare 2:49
B1 Ridin' A Tiger 3:40
B2 See The People 5:43
B3 I Synthesize My Song 3:38
B4 Garden Of Pleasure

Bass - Paul Happener
Drums - David Kemper , Jan Pijnenberg
Guitar - Dean Parks , Eef Albers , Fred Berger
Keyboards, Vocals - Otger Cooymans*
Percussion - Victor Feldman
Producer - Bert Ruiter
Vocals - Anton Verhagen

Flim Flam Lover...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Siamo, Il volo di Icaro

Here we have two light-prog italian albums, late 70s. The first, Il Volo di Icaro, features quite good songwriting. It's worth briefly repeating the ancient Greek story of Icarus although I have a feeling everyone knows it well. Daedalus was an artisan who had been imprisoned on Crete by Minos, with his son, in order to escape he created wings made of feathers and glued with wax. He warned his son repeatedly not to attempt to fly too high but the son became intoxicated with the feeling and the sun melted his wings and he fell into the sea (a specific sea near Samos). Daedalus must have cried hard, it's difficult to lose a son, even in this way. It would've been heartbreaking to have known he could have avoided it with more care, and that it was a fully preventable accident. It generally takes months to years to get over a death like that. Constantly he would have been afraid to fly again, to even look at a bird would have been painful. He surely would have been able to commiserate with prometheus bound.
How close did Icarus have to get? Well since the temperature will drop inversely proportionally to the square of the radius from the sun, starting from a surface t for the sun of 6000 C, to the earth's minus 15 without greenhouse effect 93 million miles away, in order to reach a temperature of 40 degrees or so to melt wax while still being compatible with life would have meant getting about halfway to the sun.
This record doesn't get into the astronomical details, but has some beautiful tracks outlining the tale, some straight pop songwriting, some sweet folk guitar (Giorno di Marzo) some ingenious passages. The last song unfortunately is a throwaway song of street sounds. The second last Meditation is a very atmospheric piano piece in D minor. Check out the beautiful synths that then play out a spacey melody over a nice bass groove.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Arild Andersen Lifelines 1981

I return today, already too soon, and I apologize in advance for returning. My wife's work in her master's degree (studying gross anatomy of extraterrestrials) has kept me away from our shared computer almost as much as her yelling at me to get away. Luckily her thesis is almost done and will be sent out into space anon on one of those chinese tourist rockets, we have been allotted a small plastic box that costs only a few dollars, because it was made in indonesia. Also my import-export business has been booming (we import desert sand and export gorilla suits). After a few more albums we'll be going on holidays to the US east coast to check out the nice big oil slick, already having packed the detergent, until end July.

Here we have a very typical ecm-style low-key jazz album from Norway, it lulls you into complacency only to suddenly launch you into a coma. It is of course very good, as good as the american style of jazz, and somewhat more interesting in my opinion. Utterly absent is the 'swing' that is the hallmark and aficionado's definition of good US jazz, but I can live without swing.

From Wikipedia:
Arild Andersen (born 27 October 1945) is a Norwegian bass player.

Born in Lillestrøm, Norway, he started out as a member of the Jan Garbarek Quartet (1967-1973), with Terje Rypdal and Jon Christensen. In the same period he also worked with the Norwegian singer Karin Krog and played in the rhythm section for visiting American musicians including Phil Woods, Dexter Gordon, Bill Frisell, Hampton Hawes, Johnny Griffin, Sonny Rollins, and Chick Corea. During this time, he also worked with Don Cherry, George Russell and Tomasz Stańko.

Andersen has recorded over a dozen albums for ECM Records as band leader and with Masqualero, and appeared on many others as side man.

In January 2009 Andersen was named Musicien Europeen 2008 by the French Academie du Jazz.[1]

[edit] Solo discography
"Clouds in my head" (1975)
"Shimri" (1977)
"Green Shading into Blue" (1978)
"Lifelines" (1981)
"A Molde Concert" (1981)
"Sagn" (1990)
"Arv" (1993)
"If You Look Far Enough" (1994)
"Hyperborean" (1997)
"Sommerbrisen" (1998)
"Achirana" (2000)
"The Triangle" (2004)
"Elektra" (2005)
"Live at Belleville" (2008)

01 Cameron 6:23
02 Prelude 5:53
03 Landloper 0:48
04 Predawn 6:02
05 Dear Kenny 6:20
06 A Song I Used To Play 2:42
07 Lifelines 6:28
08 Anew

Double Bass - Arild Andersen
Drums - Paul Motian
Engineer - Jan Erik Kongshaug
Flugelhorn, Cornet - Kenny Wheeler
Piano - Steve Dobrogosz
Producer - Manfred Eicher
Written-By - Arild Andersen (tracks: 01, 03 to 08) , Radka Toneff (tracks: 08) , Steve Dobrogosz (tracks: 02)

The piano solos are really dreamy.


Friday, June 11, 2010

BBL - "One" {Germany} [1982]

I could not find a review in English... infos are welcome :)

Die Formation BBL aus Kassel bestand zwischen 1978 und 1984. Volker Billhardt (g), Kalle Binder (dr) und Helmut Lenk (b) entwickelten einen Stil, der sowohl Elemente aus Jazz, Blues, Rock, Funk und experimentelle Aspekte enthielt.
Ein besonderer Schwerpunkt des Trios war die Gewichtung der Improvisation. Natürlich wurden teilweise feste Arrangements und Kompositionen zur Grundlage herangezogen, der überwiegende musikalische Prozess vollzog sich aber im improvisatorischen Bereich.
Als logische Schlussfolgerung daraus wurden auch Konzerte ohne festen Rahmen durchgeführt, die musikalische Struktur ergab sich dann aus der jeweiligen Atmosphäre, den räumlichen Gegebenheiten, der Interaktion mit dem Publikum oder anderen inneren und äußeren Umständen.
BBL arbeitete häufig mit befreundeten Musikern zusammen, die vorrangig aus dem Bereich des Jazz kamen. Auch interdisziplinär fand eine stellenweise intensive Auseinandersetzung mit den Künstlern Albrecht Genin und Nik Barlo Jr.
statt. So wurden gemeinsame Performances im Rahmen von Ausstellungseröffnungen durchgeführt.
BBL nahm in 1982 am kulturellen Beiprogramm der d7 teil. http://www.lenk-music.de/800/FR_BBL1.html

Seite 1
A1 - Bat
A2 - Play into the day
A3 - Skypictures
A4 - Blisters
Seite 2
B1 - Mar-a-ton

- Volker Billhardt (guitar)
- Kalle Binder (drums)
- Helmut Lenk (bass)

Side A...

Thanks to KC! ;)

Link in comments...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Imants Kalninš - "4. Simfonija" ("Rock" Symphony) {Latvia} [1972]

Imants Kalninš (born May 26, 1941 in Riga, Latvia) is one of the most important composers in the history of Latvian music. Having studied classical, as well as choral music, he has written six symphonies, several operas (including the first rock opera in the USSR - Ei, jus tur!/ "Hey, you there!"), oratorios, cantatas, choir songs, a lot of movie and theater music. However, he is generally best known for his rock songs and is to be considered the first composer of intellectual rock music. http://soundmaven.com

"Travelling the Baltic States the influence of the Russification that was applied by the Soviet regime for more then forty years is notable everywhere. Also in the music scene. During the Soviet period, artists and writers were kept under surveillance and their work was heavily censored. This was done largely through state sponsorship. Artists who were approved by the state were given superior accommodation and the state purchased their work. There were also artists that tried to find mazes in the Soviet regulation and were able to keep local culture alive.

In musical terms the Latvian traditional music originates in the Daina. A mix of music and poetry telling stories about local mythology and legendary Latvian heroes. No wonder the Soviet rule wasn’t to keen on these nationalistic songs. With this in mind the work of composer Imants Kalniņš is undeniable of great importance. Born in 1941 he was brought up under Soviet rule. Still he was interested in the old Latvian daina’s and mixed them in his classical work. This did not go down to well. To make things even worse he became interested in rock ‘n roll in sixties and founded the first Latvian pop-band 2xBBM. After a short-lived succesfull start the local officials banned the band just a year after their first appearance.

Probably pretty pissed off Kalniņš started to work on a project that would be released as ‘symfony 4’ in 1972. The project was no classical work but is in fact the first progressive rock album in Latvia history. Inspired by illegal music like Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ and Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ Kalniņš mixed rock and Latvia folklore with classical music. To make things even worse he incorporated poetry from American beat poet Kelly Cherry (who was his lover at the time) for the final movement. Still with all these obvious attempts to irritate the Soviet officials the symphony was allowed to be released if Cherry’s poem would be left off. Although it looks like a minor step for some the relevance of this work for Latvian people must have been huge. Note that a copy of the album is even on display at the Riga Occupation Museum as a symbol of the Latvian culture being cherished in the seventies. (review first published on europopmusic.eu)
by europopmusic

more info... http://inkpot.com/classical/ssogarbage.html

01 Allegreto (14:14)
02 Andante trnquillo (8:46)
03 Grave molto (8:37)
04 Moderato rubato (17:49)


link in comments...

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Continental Uptight Band

Not a lot of info on the web on this netherlandish folk-pop band. Their albums Beautiful Friendship (70) and Roots (72) are from the same period as the earlier Bojoura album, basically from 40 years ago. A little bit more pop oriented than folk in my opinion, some tracks remind me of Neil Young, some of the Beatles' acoustic stuff.

Beautiful friendship...
Northers islands...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

back to folk...

Wow, that is one beautiful woman! ! !
I figure today it will be harder to navigate away from the page with a bit of eye candy coming up first...
It's inexplicable to me why some amazing folk albums are still unknown. This one in particular has a great pedigree, I see from brief research online that Bojoura Cleuver was a hugely popular singer in Holland back in the day-- 40 years ago that is. It's arranged and composed to a large extent by Thijs van Leer, whose solo albums are quite available. His presence explains why these songs are so much above the usual folksy material.
I really love this album and that's why I've brought it back from the brink here. Particularly impressive are the van Leer ones, The swallow and the calf which is I gather a trad. song, tells the parable of those who are fated for freedom (the swallow) and those who are fated for chains (the calf). I have to admit it's hard for me to listen without at least one tear appearing indiscretely. The "Time it goes by" reminds me a lot of Nick Drake's early stuff. Please note that Bojoura has written the lyrics for a few tracks. What a tragedy that this well-written music is so rare today, it really doesn't deserve to be, several tracks here are as good as any AM radio standards like simon and garfunkel or peter paul and mary that are so overplayed day in day out. I don't understand why people are so willing to put up with the same repertoire in their lives. So strange too to think that those who recall this album, would be by now mostly senior citizens, retirees with grey hair. The beautiful Raina (Bojoura) herself is now a lovely 63 year old grandmother, untouched I'm sure from mr botox and ms. restylane, with several beautiful grandchildren probably some with great musical talent. Time is still a great mystery in physics with physicists evenly divided between those who view it as a perceptual illusion in reality a block as in einsteinian gravitation (general relativity) (there is only one bojoura in the present past and future) and those who feel it is related to entropy and the birth of the universe and possibly involves unknown physics (further increases in her entropy will lead to dust).
Please enjoy this lost gem as much as I have and let's hope its worldline continues far into the high entropy space of states.

More info, from websites:
"Bojoura, of Bulgarian descent, was the most popular Dutch singer for a long period of time. She was born in 1947 in The Hague as Raina Cleuver van Melzen and discovered by George Kooymans (Golden Earring) in 1967. She recorded a lot of folk songs, although she also did some songs penned by Kooymans. She was frequently accompanied by the Thijs van Leer Trio (1967-1969)."

"Asked to think up the title for this new Bojoura album, I couldn't but suggest to entitle it "The Beauty of Bojoura", impressed as I am by her inward as well as her outward beauty. In addition to a talent for singing she also possesses a fine feeling for languages. This not only manifests itself in her fluency when speaking such languages as French, German, English, Bulgarian or Dutch, but also in the remarkable richness of metaphor in the lyrics she writes. This figurative language has been a great inspiration to me when setting a handful of her poems to music. On the other hand, Bo and I have equally enjoyed doing our versions of songs from the repertoire of such groups and singers as Peter, Paul & Mary, the Doors, the Rolling Stones, Tim Hardin and Tom Paxton." - Thijs van Leer.

Side A
Black sheep child (Tim Hardin)
Last thing on my mind (T. Paxton)
The wizard and the girl (T. van Leer/ B. Cleuver)
Flora (Stookey - Travers - Mezzetti)
The swallow and the calf (Trad. - T. van Leer/ B. Cleuver)
Side B
Comes a time (T. van Leer/ B. Cleuver)
Time it goes by (E. Nobel/ T. van Leer/ B. Cleuver)
The days of love (T. van Leer/ B. Cleuver)
Wintertime love (The Doors)
Backstreet Girl (M. Jagger/ K. Richards)
Why do they go back home (T. van Leer/ B. Cleuver/ J.Akkerman)

The Swallow and the calf...

link is in progress.