Embryo – Embryo’s Reise (1979)

capa cópiaThis post is dedicated to German friends, simply, one of our faithful visitors, Vielen Dank! Let’s make another recap on the subject Krautrock, shall we? Years away from the Xhol Caravan entry, Embryo’s galaxy roamed through our World during its existence, influenced by psych, prog, ethio-jazz, fusion, and today’s album are definitely my favorite, a special gem, let’s learn how to cultivate it!?

Let’s go to our music:

Krautrock (Kosmische Musik) is a German avant-garde, experimental rock movement that emerged at the end of the 60’s, intending to go beyond the eccentricities developed by the psychedelic rock of the US, by giving a special emphasis to electronic treatments, sound manipulation and minimal hypnotic motifs (musique concrete/minimalist) Krautrock put the emphasis on extended/ecstatic instrumental epics, neglecting the (trivial) pop universe.

The term Krautrock was first used by the British music press in a very derogatory way, though it rapidly found a better reputation under the underground music circle, gaining (with time) certain popularity, also thanks to the Brain-Festival Essen.

Ash Ra Tempel's Flyer, 1973
Ash Ra Tempel, Bravo’s Magazine / 1973

With their own particular artistic expression, multiple musical collectives supplied psychedelic incantations, mantra-like drones, lugubrious atmospheres, long and convoluted collective improvisations, binary repetitive drum pulses, fuzz guitars, primitive electronic noises, hallucinatory ballads, and garage blues rock trips. Krautrock can be described as an anarchic, intense, acid, tellurian, nocturnal, spacey, dark and oniric adventure through rock music! (phew!!)

The most consistent years of the scene cover a relatively short period from 1970 to 1975. After their first spontaneous, hyperactive and psychedelic efforts, the bands generally split up or declined into other musical sensibilities, more in line with mainstream rock or with ambient soundscapes. Each region develops its particular musical scene, interpreting differently the Krautrock musical structure.

Faust
Faust

For instance, the Berlin school focused on astral synthscapes, weird electronic experimentation and acid jams (Ash Ra Tempel, Agitation Free, The Cosmic Jokers, Kluster), the Munich scene offered fuzzed-out (Eastern) psych rock mantras with some folk accents (Popol Vuh, Amon Duul, Gila, Guru Guru). Cologne and Dusseldorf underground scenes focused on political rock, electronics, pulsating rhythms and clean sounding (Floh de Cologne, La Dusseldorf, Neu!, Can).

Let’s go to our artist:

Embryo is centered around multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, founded in the late ’60s after Burchard had played in several jazz combos and allegedly spent a short time in Amon Düül II. Since then, busloads of musicians have played together with him in Embryo and there are probably not two albums with the same line-up.

Nevertheless, some musicians stayed with Burchard for quite a long time, Roman Bunka and Edgar Hoffman were one of those. Two excellent multi-instrumentalists who both remained for most of the ’70s and 80’s In addition, Embryo has also played constantly with musicians from outside Europe, especially from Asia and Africa. (!)

Multi-Arts Embryo!
Multi-Arts Embryo!

The continuous changes in the band line up and the wide range of musical styles probably typify the musical restlessness of Burchard. Although the band started as a Krautrock outfit, it was clear within a few albums that he had a genuine interest in combining jazz, rock and a large variety of ethnic (different) music styles.

Throughout the ’70s, the jazz and ethnic influences were often embedded in a jazz-rock/fusion format, while in the mid and late 80’s the band often focused on purely ethnic music, especially from Africa. During the ’90s, Embryo developed more or less into an ethnic jazz band, rarely restricting themselves to a strict compositional format, always allowing ample room for spontaneous musical interaction.

70's
Kraut-World

Surprisingly, Embryo still exits after 30 years and the band still play many concerts and festivals, throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. (!)

Let’s go to our album:

This double album is certainly one of the best attempts to fuse progressive-type rock with ethnic/world music and few have succeeded as well as Embryo’s Reise (voyage). Indeed around the departure of the ever-important Roman Bunka, plans had been made to travel from Istanbul to Pakistan and Nepal, while recording their musical encounters with the many people found on their road paths!

Embyo’s Reise
Embyo’s Reise

The group was giving improvised multimedia concerts along the way, including stunning live performance paintings, some of these jams are actually really successful, mixing the European (often electric) rock musicians and the acoustic local musicians (Road To Asia), while others are more ethnic players playing freely along.

Symbolic of the 70’s hippy dream, a real must not only in Embryo’s discography!

Embryo Live, Lately
Embryo Live, Lately

The ‘IM’ Highlights are Kurdistan and Cello Celloਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਸਫਰ ਸੁਰੱਖਿਅਤ ਰਹੇ!

Tracks Include:

A1 Strasse Nach Asien (Christian Burchard)

A2 Paki Funk (Michael Wehmayer)

A3 Lost Scooters (Roman Bunka)

A4 Anar, Anar (Traditional, arr. Burchard)

B1 Es Ist, Wie’s Ist (Christian Burchard)

B2 Kurdistan (Christian Burchard)

B3 Far East (Roman Bunka)

B4 Chan Delawar Khan (Traditional, arr. Burchard)

C1 Farid (Christian Burchard)

C2 Cello, Cello (Christian Burchard)

D1 Rog de Quadamuna Achna (Traditional, arr. Burchard)

D2 Hymalaya Radio (Traditional, arr. Burchard)

Credits

Roman Bunka: guitar, vocals, bass, piano, guitar synth, drums, oud

Christian Burchard: vocals, drums, synth-vibes, percussion, tamtam, marimbaphone, pianet

Remigius Drexler: acoustic & electric guitars

Edgar Hoffmann: violin, soprano saxophone, shinai, dilruba, flute, harmonica

Uve Müllrich: bass, electric guitar, oud, rhubab, electric saz, vocals, percussion

Michael Wehmayer: organ, piano, harmonium

Participations

Abdul Jabar: tula / Friedemann Josh: flute / Abdul Madjid: tambur

Schamsdin Masrur: dotar / Mrs. Ramamani: vocals / Mr. Chandramouli: kanjira

Mr. Chandrasekhar: khol / Mr. Gopalakrishna: tabla / Mr. Rajagopal: dhol

Mr. Ramesh: ghatam / Mr. Ramesh Shotam: tavil / Mr. Ravi: dolki

Mr. Sashikumar: mridangam, top pitch / Mr. Sampath Kumar: morsing

Mr. Satyakumar: dholak / Mr. TS Mani: mridangam / Malang Negrabi: zerbagali

Ustad Mohamed Omar: rubab / Machin Abdul Raschid: saranda

Ashok Roy: sarod / Ustad Salim: dilruba / *Ubekannter Zirkusansager: vocals

Bahul Jazz Group of Calcutta: tam-tam, flute, violin, vocals

  • Cover: Hartmut Bremer, Stefan Rustige, Uve Müllrich
  • Engineer: Etienne Conod, Günter Heidler, Rolf Sylvester
  • Mastered: Rico Sonderegger
  • Photography: Georg Kramer, Michael Wehmeyer
  • Recorded: Brian Greenman, Etienne Conod (tracks: A1, B2, B3, C1),
  • Gunni Heidler (tracks: A3, D2), Rolf Sylvester (tracks: A3, A4, B3, C1, D1)

Recordings from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

Recorded Sept 1978 – May 1979

Remix and playback July 1979 by Sunrise-Studios, Kirchberg, Switzerland.

Notes

Tracks A1, B1 and B2 recorded after returning from the journey in August/September 1979 at Sunrise Studio. Track A2, with vocals from an unknown Circus Announcer*, recorded in November 1978 10 km west of Peshawar, Pakistan in the tent of Jan Bahader Circus. Track A4, B3, B4, C1, D1 recorded March 1979 at Goethe-Institut Kabul, Afghanistan; Playbacks for Track B3, C1 July 1979 at Sunrise Studio.

Track D2 recorded at doon school Dehra Dun, Himalaya, India. Track A3, C2 recorded February 1979 in Bangalore (Heidler, Sylvester), track A3 playbacks July 1979 at Sunrise Studio, KirchbergD4 recorded January 1979 in the docks of Calcutta (Greenman). Track D3 is a ‘field recording’ from December 1978.

Berlin City Nights
Berlin City Nights

Disciplina Kičme – Ja Imam Šarene Oči (1985)

capa cópiaThe Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the end of WWII (1945) until it was formally dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav wars. It was a socialist state that comprised the area of the present-day independent states of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, and Kosovo. Outside the Eastern Bloc, but a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement and as such, it was far more opened and tolerant to western influences comparing to the (many) other socialist states.

Unlike the citizens of other Socialist countries, Yugoslavs enjoyed the freedom of travel and had easy access to Western popular culture. The Yugoslav pop and rock music scene was well developed and covered in the media including numerous magazines, radio and (pioneering) TV shows. SFR Yugoslavia was also the only Socialist country which was taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest, it joined in 1961 even before Western nations such as Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Turkey. (!)

Stjepan Filipović / 'Death to fascism, freedom to the people!'
Stjepan Filipović / ‘Death to fascism, freedom to the people!’

Let’s go to our music:

The new wave music scene emerged in the late ’70s worldwide and had a significant impact on Yugoslav culture. Like its counterparts, the British and the US movement, the Yugoslav new wave was also closely related to Punk Rock, Ska, Reggae, 2 Tone, Mod Revival, etc. The period around 1982 is considered especially crucial concerning the decline of the scene in Yugoslavia, and around the globe.

Zoran Kostić-Cane, the former vocalist of Radnička Kontrola, formed the furious garage punk group Partibrejkers and achieved huge success. Idoli, Prljavo Kazalište, and Film became pop-rock and all of them respectively achieved great mainstream success. The cult band Azra gradually moved on to a more conventional folk-rock sound and Električni Orgazam went through a psychedelic phase.

Partibrejkers, 1981
Partibrejkers, 1981

Symbols of the Yugoslav new wave era are the compilation albums Paket Aranžman, Novi Punk Val, Artistička Radna Akcija and especially movies Davitelj Protiv Davitelja (starring Idoli member Srđan Šaper) and Dečko Koji Obećava (featuring appearances by Šarlo Akrobata and Idoli). Also, an important rockumentary covering this effervescent period is Sretno Dijete, check it out! Lastly, Dušan Kojić-Koja, the former bass player of Šarlo Akrobata formed the legendary group Disciplina Kičme.

This period in the former Yugoslav music is considered a Golden Age Era!

Paket Aranžman (Compilation), 1981
Paket Aranžman (Compilation), 1981

Let’s go to our artist:

Disciplina Kičme (Spinal Discipline), currently working under the slightly altered name of Disciplin A Kitschme, was one of two spin-offs of the seminal Belgrade post-punk/new-wave band Šarlo Akrobata, the other being Ekatarina Velika.

Founded in 1982 by Dušan Kojić-Koja (bass and vocals), Disciplina Kičme was characterized by unconventional line-ups: bass + one or two drummers, sometimes with and without a brass line. Musically, they are best described as an aggressive and artistic rhythmic explosion, experimenting and seeking out new expressiveness while finding (plenty) inspiration in the traditions of punk rock, funk, jazz fusion, noise, drum n’ bass and even the works of Jimi Hendrix. (!)

Disciplina Kičme (Koja & Zica), 1982
Disciplina Kičme (Zica & Koja), 1982

Let’s go to our album:

After the first independent album release Sviđa Mi Se Da Ti Ne Bude Prijatno (1983), the band continued performing in major Yugoslav cities, mainly in small clubs, and in 1985, they released an EP Ja Imam Šarene Oči (I Have Colorful Eyes), with the single ‘Novac Neće Doći’, released by Slovenian label Dokumentarna.

Todorović did the drums and Krasavac appeared only on the intro for the track ‘Sviđa Mi Se…’ and on ’28. jun 1984′ recorded live at Belgrade’s SKC on the same date. Kojić produced the EP and for the first time included a trumpet played by Jugoslav Muškinja. Along the decades they passed through many different line-ups and styles, with a (very) active career, being internationally recognized.

Nowadays, the band enjoys a solid cult status and the last album from 2011!

Disciplin A Kitschme
Disciplin A Kitschme

Disciplina Kičme also held three albums in the YU 100: The Best albums of Yugoslav Pop and Rock music book: Sviđa Mi Se Da Ti Ne Bude Prijatno (No. 52), Zeleni Zub Na Planeti Dosade (No. 32) and Svi Za Mnom! (No. 65) (!)

The ‘IM’ highlights are Veruj Meni! and Vaspitanje.

Góða Ferð!

Tracks Include:

A1 Doboš 7 Puta (Snare Drum 7 Times)

A2 Novac Neće Doći! (Money Won’t Come)

A3 Veruj Meni! (Trust Me!)

A4 Pristanište (Pier)

B1 Sviđa Mi Se… (I Like…)

B2 Pregršt Novca (Plenty of Money)

B3 Vaspitanje (Manners)

B4 28. Jun 84!

Credits

  • Bass, Vocals, Bells: Koja (Dušan Kojić)
  • Drums, Percussion (Daire): Zica (Srđan Todorović)
  • Drums on 5 and 9: Nenad Krasavac
  • Handclaps: Đorđe Kostić, Nenad Krasavac
  • Music, Lyrics, Artwork (Cover): Dušan Kojić
  • Trumpet: Jugoslav Muškinja
  • Photography: Igor Petrović
  • Producer: Disciplina Kičme
  • Producer, Handclaps: Darko Milojković
  • Recorded: Enco Lesić
  • Recorded, Producer: Miroslav Cvetković

Recorded at studio Druga Maca, Beograd, September 1983 / 12’’ EP

B4 recorded live in SKC on 28.06.1984 w/ Branislav Trivić (sax), Zekerman (trumpet)

Dokumentarna ‎– DOK P-4

Belgrade Fortress
Belgrade Fortress

People – Ceremony ~ Buddha Meet Rock (1971)

cover

Buddhism is a religion indigenous to the Indian subcontinent that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs, and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as the Buddha (the awakened one). The Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE.

He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering (dukkha) through the elimination of ignorance (avidyā) by way of understanding and the seeing of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda) and the elimination of desire (taṇhā), and thus the attainment of the cessation of all suffering, known as the sublime state of Nirvāṇa!

Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha

Two major branches of Buddhism are recognized: Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar). Mahayana is found throughout East Asia (China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan) and includes the traditions of Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Shingon, and Tiantai. In some classifications, Vajrayana, practiced mainly in Tibet and Mongolia (also China and Russia) is recognized as a third branch, while others classify it as a part of Mahayana.

Let’s go to our history:

About 85 million people in Japan, accounting for 2/3 of the population, are affiliated with Buddhism in some way, often nominally 70-85% of Japanese profess no religious membership or personal religion. Most Japanese Buddhists are also similarly affiliated with Shinto, as neither of the two religions demands exclusivity.

Zen Buddhism was brought to China by the Indian monk Bodhidharma in the 6th century CE. It was called Ch’an in China. Zen’s golden age began with the Sixth Patriarch, Hui-Neng (638-713), and ended with the persecution of Buddhism in China in the middle of the 9th century CE. The great Zen masters came from this period.

Daruma
Daruma

Zen spread to Korea in the 7th century CE and to Japan in the 12th century CE. The essence of Zen is attempting to understand the meaning of life directly, without being misled by logical thought or language. Its techniques are compatible with other faiths and are often used, for example, by Christians seeking a mystical understanding of their faith. Zen often seems paradoxical, it requires an intense discipline which, when practiced properly, results in total spontaneity and ultimate freedom. This natural spontaneity should not be confused with impulsiveness.

Buddhism’s emphasis on the Middle way not only provides a unique guideline for ethics but has also allowed Buddhism to peacefully coexist with differing beliefs, customs, and institutions in countries where it has resided throughout its history.

Laotian Monks
Laotian Monks

Also, its moral and spiritual parallels with other systems of thought, for example, with various tenets of Christianity have been subjects of close study. In addition, the Buddhist concept of dependent origination has been compared to modern scientific thought, as well as Western metaphysics. (!)

Popularised in the West by the Japanese scholar Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (1870 – 1966), Zen culture is the Japanese variant of Chán, a school of Mahayana which strongly emphasizes dhyana (concentration/meditation). This gives insight into one’s true nature, which opens the way to a liberated way of living.

Byōdō-in
Byōdō-in

In Zen Buddhism, an ensō (円,相) is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. The ensō symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void). It is characterized by a minimalism born of Japanese aesthetics.

The many different schools, such as the Zen Buddhist concepts, practices, and traditions will be left to an expert. This is just a small introduction to the subject, our today’s album has an exploitative side, but it’s the basis for one of the rare fusions between rock and religion, especially in the East!

Ensō
Ensō

Let’s go to our album:

People were formed during a short term in 1971 as a (nearly) occasional shooting star project to produce a novel by blending their rock sounds and Buddhist Shomyo (sutra). The album was led by Buddhist poet/songwriter Naoki Tachikawa and was organized by Teichiku Records‘ A&R director Hideki Sakamoto.

All the members were renowned and talented Japanese session musicians: Kimio Mizutani (Masahiko Satoh & Soundbrakers, Love Live Life), Yusuke Hogushi (Sound Ltd.), Hideaki Takebe (Yosui Inoue), Kiyoshi Tanaka (Zuno Keisato), and Rally Sunaga (Hiroshi Yasukawa). They released a solemn and mysterious rock Lp, an album with a vision which slowly unfolds in a zen way.

Kimio Mizutani
Kimio Mizutani

Through most of the album is a mood of improvisation build around some fundaments of Buddhist prayers with a psych-rock band playing a mostly droning. With clear organ, slowly rhythmic bass, wooden block, wah-wah guitar, drums, and acoustic guitar, temple cymbals, and an occasional sitar played in Japanese mode.

Curiously, the album starts and ends with a sample from David Axelrod’s Holy Thursday, being one of the first unauthorized uses of a song in rock history. The ‘IM’ highlights are for the entire album, this rite soundtrack captures the beauty of an ancient religion with tinges of modernity, fake orgasms and lots of fuzz. 良い旅を!

Tracks Include:

A1 プロローグ (Prologue)

A2 声明 Part 1 (Shōmyō Part 1)

A3 讃歌 (Sanka) [Gatha]

B1 切散華 (Kirisange) [Flower Strewing]

B2 声明 Part 2 (Shōmyō Part 2)

B3 祈り Part 1 (Inori Part 1)

B4 祈り Part 2 (Inori Part 2)

B5 エピローグ (Epilogue)

Credits

  • Bass: Hideaki Takebe
  • Drums, Percussion: Kiyoshi Tanaka
  • Electric Guitar, Guitar (Slide), Acoustic Guitar, Sitar: Kimio Mizutani
  • Organ, Guitar, Vocals: Yusuke Hoguchi
  • Percussion, Gong: Larry Sunaga
  • Vocals: Akemi Tomura, Goro Inoue, Kyo Shibata, Maiya Sugihara
  • All songs by Naoki Tachikawa and Yusuke Hogushi
  • Arranged by: Yusuke Hoguchi
  • Engineer: Tatuo Kawabe
  • Producer: Naoki Tachikawa

Recorded at: Teichiku Suginami Studios, Tokyo

Original 1971 Lp on Teichicku Records

Tokyo Glance
Tokyo Glance

C and K Vocal – Generace (1977)

Cover

Czechoslovakia. With the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy at the end of WWI, the independent country of Czechoslovakia was formed, encouraged by, among others, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The Czechs and Slovaks were not at the same level of economic and technological development, but the freedom and opportunity found in an independent new country enabled them to make strides toward overcoming these inequalities. However, the gap between cultures was never fully bridged, and the discrepancy played a continuing role throughout the seventy-five years of the union.

The first republic led by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (politician, sociologist, and philosopher), a rationalist and humanist, lasted until the German occupation and settled the country in the 10th position of world industrial production. The second and third republic was shortened by the beginning of the communist era, after WWII in 1948.

Prague Nazi Occupation
Prague Nazi Occupation

Then, the economy was committed to comprehensive central planning and abolition of private ownership of capital. Czechoslovakia became a satellite state of the Soviet Union; it was a founding member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) in 1949 and of the Warsaw Pact (URSS’s response to OTAN) in 1955. The attainment of Soviet-style command socialism became the government’s avowed policy.

Although Czechoslovakia’s industrial growth of 170 percent between 1948 and 1957 was impressive, it was far exceeded by that of Japan and the Federal Republic of Germany (almost 300 percent). The 1960 Constitution declared the victory of socialism and proclaimed the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

De-Staliniziation had a late start in Czechoslovakia, in the early 1960s, the economy became severely stagnant, the industrial growth rate was the lowest in Eastern Europe. As a result, in 1965, the party approved the New Economic Model, introducing free-market elements into the economy. The KSČ (Communist Party of Czechoslovakia) ‘theses’ of December 1965 presented the party response to the call for political reform.

Alexander Dubcek
Alexander Dubcek

Democratic centralism was redefined, placing a stronger emphasis on democracy. The leading role of the KSČ was reaffirmed but limited. On January 5, 1968, the KSČ Central Committee elected Alexander Dubcek, a Slovak reformer, to replace Novotný as the first secretary of the KSČ. The most turbulent period since the war had begun, amongst the wanted reforms were the press freedom, the end of political monopoly (from Communist Party), the free party organization, religious tolerance, amid other measures that pointed to a radical democratization of Czechoslovakia.

The massive support from intellectuals, the society and countries like Yugoslavia left the URSS fearful with the end of their hegemony and on August 20, 1968, after refusing to attend a meeting at the Warsaw Pact.

These same troops from the alliance invaded the city of Prague, Dubcek was arrested and brought to Moscow, along with other Czech leaders.

Prague Spring
Prague Spring

The following months were marked by the peaceful resistance to the occupation from the population. Local radio broadcasts were brief stimulating resistance. Days after the seizure of Prague has triggered a general strike. The USSR tried unsuccessfully to arrange a collaborationist government, but the solidarity with the old leadership had become widespread. Dubcek returned to Prague and still remained for some time in office. But the reform plan was dropped in exchange for the withdrawal of troops.

In January 1969, a young man immolated himself publicly in the Czech capital, restarting a wave of demonstrations. But by that time, the hard-line Communist Party had recomposed. The favor of rapprochement with the USSR again took control of the party. The election of Gustáv Husák, in April 1969, which succeeded Dubcek, ended the short but significant movement known as the Prague Spring. The reforms would come just two decades later, with the crisis of the socialist bloc. (!)

21 Srpen 1968, Praha
21 Srpen 1968, Praha

Let’s go to our history:

In 1969, long-time collaborators Jiri Cerha and Ladislav Kantor had the idea to get together talented vocalists for a multi-timbered vocal ensemble, and so was born C&K Vocal. At first, their style was folk-based and they often participated in folk and country festivals. By 1973 though, with their new concert repertoire, they started exploring the rock. The line-up included Lubos Pospisil, Zdena Adamova, Milena Cervena and Helena Arnetova besides the two co-founders.

In 1976 they released an English Lp called Generation, which was mostly comprised of unique covers of rock artists such as Uriah Heep, Flamengo and Marek Grechuta. The Czech version was released a year later containing a considerable number of originals as well. The style was hard prog, quite similar to Flamengo but with voices replacing saxophones and strings/synths replacing Hammond.

Early C&K Vocal
Early C&K Vocal

The prog influence was likely brought to the band by guitarist Ota Petrina, who was a co-writer and producer and also the leader of the instrumental segment which included top Czech musicians such as Pavel Fort, Guma Kulhanek, Jan Kubik, and Anatoli Kohout. During the late ’70s and early ’80s, the band focused on audiovisual programs, combining music with photography, visual arts and film. They also recorded a considerable amount of singles and another English-sung Lp Growing Up Time.

During the late 80’s they recorded two more albums, Balada o Zemi (1985) and Causa Krysar (1989), the latter of which had a modernized 80s new wave sound but also abundant symphonic elements. Ladislav Kantor left the ensemble in 1990, but despite this, they have still been sporadically active.

Multi-Arts Ensemble
Multi-Arts Ensemble

Let’s go to our album:

Today’s record will leave the fans of choral and vocal techniques much impressed. With a large range of influences such as rock, prog, soul, jazz, Latin tinges, ballads, and an incredible backing band this is one of the musical gems that the Iron Curtain hid in those days. The Czech Republic has also a distinct mark in terms of arts: the Czech new-wave cinema, Franz Kafka, Gustav Mahler, Antonín Dvorak and many Cubist, Abstract and Surrealist painters, are just a few names of this underestimated society.

The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Rám Příštích Obrazů, a fantastic opening track, delivering complex harmonics in a carrousel of voices and soulful breathtaking conclusion, just brilliant! And Doky, Vlaky, Hlad A Boty, with resemblance of Flamengo’s sound (a dedicated post of them will be held), this brass-rock got some psychedelic riffs, sweet breakbeats, and a wholly tuned vocal performance.

Enjoy this commie rock act and Boa Viaxe!

Night Overview
Night Overview

Tracks Include:

A1 Rám Příštích Obrazů (music: V.Misik, lyrics: J.Kainar)

A2 Na Kraji (music: J.Cerha, lyrics: L.Kantor)

A3 Lásko, Lásko… (music: O.Petrina, lyrics: L.Kantor)

B1 Doky, Vlaky, Hlad A Boty (music: J.Kubik, lyrics: L.Kantor)

B2 Generace (Životopis) (music: J.Cerha, lyrics: L.Kantor)

B3 Vteřiny (music: J.Cerha, lyrics: L.Kantor)

B4 Chorovod (Korowód) (music: M.Grechuta, lyrics: L.A.Moczulski, L.Kantor)

Supraphon 1 13 2023

Credits

  • Alto Vocals – Helena Arnetová (tracks: A1, B2, B3), Milena Cervená
  • Guest, Soprano Vocals – Zdena Adamová (tracks: A2)
  • Mezzo-Soprano Vocals – Petra Janu (tracks: B2)
  • Tenor Vocals – Lubos Pospisil (tracks: A3, B1, B3)
  • Baritone Vocals –  Ladislav Kantor (tracks: B1, B4)
  • Bass Vocals (Bass-Baritone) – Jiri Cerha (tracks: A2, B1, B2)
  • Arranged By (Vocal) –  C & K Vocal (tracks: A1 to A3, B3, B4), Jiri Cerha (tracks: A2, B1, B2, B4), Ota Petrina (tracks: A3, B3)

Leader (C&K Vocal) – Ladislav Kantor

Backing Band – Labyrint

  • Bass Guitar – Vladimir Kulhánek (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2, B4)
  • Drums, Percussion, Congas – Anatoli Kohout (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2, B4)
  • Electric Piano, Organ, Piano, Percussion – Pavel Vetrovec (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2, B4)
  • Guest, Bass Guitar – Vladimír Padrunek (tracks: A3)
  • Guest, Congas – Jiri Tomek (tracks: A2, B4)
  • Guest, Drums – Vlado Cech (tracks: A3)
  • Guest, Flute – Jiri Stivin (tracks: B2), Libor Mikule (tracks: B3)
  • Guest, Organ – Petr Dvorak (tracks: B3)
  • Guest, Synthesizer (Moog) – Jan Neckar (tracks: B2, B4), Martin Kratochvíl (tracks: A3)
  • Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Percussion – Jan Kubík (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2, B4)
  • Arranged By (Instrumental), Electric Guitar – Pavel Fort (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2)
  • Arranged By (Instrumental), Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar –  Ota Petrina (tracks: A3, B3, B4)
  • Leader (Labyrint) – Pavel Fort
  • Photography By – Vladimír Merta
  • Producer [Umělecká Spolupráce] – Hynek Zalcik

Notes

Released in collaboration with the Mladý Svět magazine, Discotheque of Mladý Svět edition series. Recorded at the Supraphon studio Dejvice, Prague, from December 16, 1974, to September 3, 1976.

Lately
Lately

Maki Asakawa (浅川 マキ) – Cat Nap (1982)

Capa

Japan. Today, we’ve got a point outside the curve of someone’s discography, nothing less than Asakawa Maki (Maki Asakawa, January 27, 1942 – January 17, 2010) the major female precursor for folk, rock and pop audiences in the country. Her hoarse and deep voice, hypnotic eyes and persona, all black style and the (always) cigarette in tow, managed to capture national and foreign fame throughout an extensive famous career. Much based on folk-rock, blues, and some jazz, these previous albums and characters will entry along with our galaxy. A rare live presentation it is available (for now at least) and can be seen here, check it out!

Today we’ll start with a twist overview. Different from its first releases and acclaimed developments through the ’70s, Cat Nap has its unique blends from Jazz, Rock, Funk, Reggae, Ska, Post-Punk and Pop in a solid experience direct from the early ’80s. (!)

Promo 76'
Promo 76′

Let’s go to their history:

Jazz and blues vocalist, lyricist, composer, and orchestrator Maki Asakawa was born in 1942 in Ishikawa Prefecture. After a short stint working at the town office in her small village, she headed for Tokyo to pursue music. She started by playing at U.S. military bases and cabarets, where she refined her style, which was largely informed by Billie Holiday and Mahalia Jackson. Asakawa released her first Ep, Tokyo Banka, on the Victor imprint in 1967. In 1968, Maki got her big break when she appeared for three days running at the Shinjuku underground theater known as Sasoriza, a project of underground playwright and controversial movie director Shuji Terayama. Shortly thereafter, she signed with Toshiba (currently EMI Music Japan), making her official major-label debut in July 1969 single’s: Yo Ga Aketara / Kamome.

Since then, Maki Asakawa has consistently released music and appeared live, garnering praise for her unique interpretation of jazz, blues, and avant-gardeshe has also collaborated with Yosuke Yamashita and Akira Sakata, and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto among many other legends!

Sadly, she died of acute heart failure in her hotel room in Nagoya on a Sunday night and later pronounced dead. She was 67. (RIP)

Years Active: 1967 ~ 2010

Live
Live

Let’s go to our album:

At the time of its release (October 21, 1982), Cat Nap received this type of commentary from the Japanese press:

‘A splendid work, with new horizons that Maki challenged, colored by improvisation, honed melody and stand out performance.’

Fact. Along with its trumpeter, composer and partner Toshinori Kondo, Maki sails free among a beautiful kaleidoscope of modern sound; once again (as JAGATARA), the 80’s aesthetics that prevailed through, were as revolutionary as those from previous decades. This is a very uptempo one with incredible experimental moments.

The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Shinkyoku B, a monster groove-reggae with crazy harmonics, fuzz and sexy vocals from our bluesy queen. A perfect song for a tropical panorama, good energies, friends and a cold drink! And Machine (an instrumental one), probably the pinnacle of the album. With its own avant-garde atmosphere, mimicking the functioning of some real machine, speaking of a Pop artist, this is quite something! We got dissonant woodwinds, atonal guitar solos, multiple sound effects and a constant pace beat that last until the final second! Crazy, crazy, crazy. 良い旅!

Writing
Indefectible Cigarette

Tracks include:

A1 暗い眼をした女優 (Kurai Me Wo Shita Joyuu)

A2 忘れたよ (Wasureta Yo)

A3 こころ隠して (Kokoro Kakushite)

A4 むかし (Mukashi)

B1 新曲“B” (Shinkyoku B)

B2 夕暮れのまんなか (Yuugure No Manaka)

B3 マシン (Machine)

B4 今なら (Ima Nara)

Maki Asakawa: Vocal

Toshinori Kondo: Trumpet, Percussion

Toshiyuki Honda: Alto Sax, Soprano Sax, Flute

Shigeharu Mukai: Trombone

Kiyoshi Sugimoto: Guitar

Kazuo Tobita: Guitar

Tamio Kawabata: Bass

Hiro Tsunoda: Drums

  • Yoshino Kimutsugi: Recording & Mixing Engineer
  • Tatsuya Sakamoto: Second Engineer
  • Nonaka Lily: Front Cover Art

Recorded at July 19, 20 and 21 1982 at Take One Studio.

Produced: 寺本幸司・柴田徹

  • All lyrics: 浅川マキ (Maki Asakawa) except B-2 by 山内テツ (Tetsu Yamauchi)
  • All songs composed by 近藤等則 (Toshinori Kondo)
  • Label: Express
  • Toshiba EMI (Japan)
The Inseparable Cigarette