Montag, 16. Januar 2017

Force Of Music - Liberated Dub (1979)

South London sound system owner Lloyd Coxsone ably assisted in raising the Royals’ profile in the U.K., eagerly spinning dub plates of the group's "Ten Years After" album. The attention helped Royals' frontman/producer Roy Cousins land a deal with United Artists, whose Ballistic imprint eventually picked up both that vocal set and "Israel Be Wise", as well as "Freedom Fighters Dub" (a set Cousins dedicated to Coxsone in gratitude) and "Liberated Dub".

The latter set was Israel's counterpart, and what it lacked in imagination for track titles (did someone leave a map of Kingston and its environs on the mixing desk?), was more than made up for the music within. Israel was produced by Cousins himself, with the riddims laid down at Channel One studio by the Revolutionaries and the Roots Radics, and mixed down by Ernest Hoo Kim. Even the brightest and most upbeat riddims swiftly take on a more militant stripe in Hoo Kim's hands, as "Marvely" and "Bell Rock" notably illustrate, while particularly pretty ones are stripped of most of their melodies to let the martial beats burst through, as on "Waterhouse" and "Bell Rock." Riddims that were smothered in roots to begin with, as "Israel Be Wise" itself and "If You Want Good" were, are now doused in deep dub, transforming them into the incendiary "Moonlight City" and "Cockburn Pen" respectively. The vocal album was superb, invariably Hoo Kim's counterpart was even more sensational. Another stunning dub set from a master of rockers at his most militant.                

"Life Hard! And The Music Harder!"
A1Moonlight City
A5Riverton City
B1Cockburn Pen
B2Bell Rock
B3Whitewing Walk
B4Tower Hill
B5Central Village

Force Of Music - Liberated Dub (1979)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 15. Januar 2017

Ihre Kinder - Leere Hände (1970)

Nuremberg's most valuable contribution to the polit-rock scene was the group Ihre Kinder. In the mid-sixties the pop band Jonah & The Whales was assembled, consisting of Roland Multhaupt (drums), Sonny Hennig (vocals), Thommy Roder (bass), Ernst Schultz (guitar) and Georgie Meyer (violin). In 1966, they recorded a cover version of "It Ain't Me Babe" for a single on Vogue (DVS 14511). This proved to be an ill-fated one-off attempt, and the group disbanded. However, in 1968, Jonas Porst and Sonny Hennig decided to form a new group with Muck Groh (guitar), Karl Mack (bass), Peter Schmidt (drums) and Georgie Meyer (flute, vocals). Ihre Kinder was to be a politically aware band using German lyrics. Porst's dad was quite a rich man, who was able to support the forthcoming activities. Porst himself soon gave up the drumming and became Ihre Kinder's producer and manager. Several demo tapes were recorded but no record companies were interested. In July - August 1969 an album was recorded at the Dierks Studio at the band's own risk; and was eventually released by Phillips. Mack had now been replaced by Walti Schneider (bass). A female vocalist, Judith Brigger, also took part in this project. The album admittedly sounds quite dated today, featuring 12 short and easy-going folk-pop songs. Still it must be honoured as it is one of the first records of 'Deutschrock' with German lyrics.

The second album "Leere Hande" (1970) was a great improvement, their first true folk-rock album. The arrangements here were more varied with more use of organ, flute and electric guitars. The band had also absorbed some progressive touches from groups like Traffic and Jethro Tull. The 11 songs themselves were more memorable than those on the previous album. Some of them were written by Ernst Schultz (guitar, flute, vocals), now added as Ihre Kinder's sixth member, the rest came from Sonny Hennig. "Leere Hande" was recorded during January and February 1970 in Union Studio, Munich, with Thomas Klemt engineering. It was the first release on the Kuckuck label, generously enclosing a lyrics insert and a large poster.

01. Würfelspiel
02. Ich kann Dir nichts geben
03. Südafrika Apartheid Express
04. Straße ohne Ziel
05. Das Paradies muss auf Erden sein
06. Leere Hände
07. Hilf mir
08. Das wird ein Tag sein
09. Nimm deine Liebe
10. Pedro oder Pfau
11. Nie vergeß ich wie es war

Ihre Kinder - Leere Hände (1970)
(320 kbps, front cover inlcuded)

Antoni und Schall - Bertolt Brecht gesungen von Antoni und Schall

Johanna Schall, the granddaughter of Bert Brecht, and Carmen-Maja Antoni are famous for her work on theater stages and in films. Besides that they did outstanding interpretations of Bertolt Brecht´s work.
This album presents a selection of ballads, songs and poems by Brecht, interpreted by Johanna Schall and Carmen-Maja Antoni, accompanied by Karl-Heinz Nehring from the Berliner Ensemble on piano.


1 Der große Bert Brecht
2 Die Zuhälterballade
3 Sehet die Jungfrau
4 Der Barbara-Song
5 Die Seeräuber-Jenny
6 Und das Lächeln, das mir galt
7 Das Eifersuchtsduett
8 Der Kanonen-Song
9 Jetzt ist alles Gras aufgefressen
10 Paragraph 1
11 Paragraph 111
12 Ballade zum § 218
13 Mein Sohn, was immer auch aus dir werde
14 Auch der Himmel bricht manchmal ein, indem Sterne auf die Erde fallen
15 Das Lied vom SA-Mann
16 Ballade von der "Judenhure" Marie Sanders
17 Kälbermarsch
18 Die protestiert haben sind erschlagen worden
19 Vom kriegerischen Lehrer
20 Vom Kind, das sich nicht waschen wollte
21 Kleines Lied
22 Ihre Worte waren bitter
23 In dem zarten Alter
24 Mutter Beimelein hat ein Holzbein
25 Mit den Gesetzestafeln
26 Nannas Lied
27 Allem, was du empfindest, gib die kleinste Größe
28 Ballade von der Höllenlili
29 Der Song von Mandeley
30 Als ich einst im Flügelkleide in den Himmel gangen bin
31 Über die Verführung von Engeln
32 Ich habe gehört, daß man vom Leben einen dicken hals kriegt
33 Gegen Verführung
34 Ach, nur der flüchtige Blick
35 Sieben Rosen hat der Strauch
36 Das Lied vom kleinen Wind
37 Erinnerung an Marie K.
38 Ballade von der Hanna Cash
39 Und ich dachte immer: die allereinfachsten Worte müssen genügen
40 Ballade von den Seeräubern
41 Das Lied von Surabaya-Johnny
42 Der Lernende
43 Denn wie man sich bettet
Antoni und Schall - Bertolt Brecht gesungen von Antoni und Schall
(192 kbps)

Eva-Maria Hagen - »Joe, mach die Musik von damals nach ...« - Eva-Maria Hagen singt Brecht

Born on October 19, 1934, Eva-Maria Hagen started her stage career in 1953, still under Bertolt Brecht who was then boss of the world-famous Berliner Ensemble theater. When she started a relationship with the ostracized songwriter and poet Wolf Biermann in 1965, the GDR authorities started harassing her, leading to subsequent bans on her work as a performer and actress.
In 1977, after protesting against Biermann's expulsion from the GDR the year before, Hagen was forced to relocate to West Germany herself and settled in Hamburg with her daughter Nina Hagen . From there she started a successful career interpreting songs by Wolf Biermann and Bertolt Brecht. Her debut album, "Nicht Liebe ohne die Liebe" (1979), was a collection of Russian and Gypsy folk songs translated into German by Wolf Biermann. Biermann started to write songs for her which she released on the album "Ich leb' mein Leben" in 1981. On "Das mit den Männern und den Frau'n" (1985) and "Michael, Michael" (1986) she continued the collaboration with Biermann.
After the fall of the wall in 1989, she was finally allowed to perform again in East Germany. Besides many theater and film projects, as well as exhibitions of her paintings, she continued to release CDs: "Wenn ich erstmal losleg" (1996) with new Biermann songs using Baltic folk material, and on the occasion of Brecht's 100th birthday she released "Joe, mach die Musik von damals nach" (1997). Her book "Eva und der Wolf" (1998) about her time together with Biermann was a big success in Germany. In 1999 she released another album with Biermann songs: "Eva Singt Wolfslieder".
Eva-Maria Hagen about her album with songs of Bertolt Brecht:
"This was a present I gave myself to mark the centenary of Brecht the Master, in that I simply delved into his inexhaustible repertoire of songs (with music by Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, Paul Dessau) and trilled away free as a bird as far as my beak allowed…
These songs and ballads have been with me almost all my life.
As a special extra, I give a rendering of some Biermann settings of Brecht poems, and sing the Alabama Song with my daughter Nina."
1Der Bilbao-Song (Weill)4:38
2Der Matrosen-Song (Weill)3:55
3Die Seeräuber-Jenny (Weill)3:29
4Das Lied vom Surabaya-Johnny (Weill)3:58
5Pollys Lied (Weill)0:58
6Die Ballade von der sexuellen Hörigkeit (Weill)2:43
7Der Song von Mandelay (Weill)2:45
8 Lied eines Freudenmädchens (Eisler) 2:15
9Lied vom kleinen Wind (Eisler) 1:57
10Ballade vom Weib und dem Soldaten3:13
11Wiegenlied einer proletarischen Mutter (Eisler) 6:02
12Ballade von der 'Judenhure' Marie Sanders (Eisler) 1:55
13Lied vom Weib des Nazisoldaten (Eisler) 2:27
14Deutsches Miserere (Erbarme dich!) (Eisler) 2:02
15Lied von der belebenden Wirkung des Geldes (Eisler) 3:55
16 Lied vom Förster und der Gräfin (Dessau)1:32
17Ostern (Eisler) 1:43
18Die haltbare Graugans (Eisler) 1:10
19Herr Brecht (Text und Musik: Biermann)0:54
20Wenn das Haus eines Großen (Biermann)0:54
21Was an dir Berg war (Biermann)0:40
22Gegen die Objektiven (Biermann)3:05
23Beim Lesen des Horaz (Biermann)1:06
24Ziffels Lied (Biermann)2:03
25Denn wie man sich bettet (Weill)2:50
26Alabama-Song (Weill)
[Special Guest: Nina Hagen]
27Die Moritat vom Mackie Messer (Weill)2:53
(192 kbps, small cover included)                        

Samstag, 14. Januar 2017

Mimi & Richard Farina - Pack Up Your Sorrows (The Best of the Vanguard Years)

When Vanguard Records issued its double album "The Best of Mimi & Richard Fariña" in 1971, five years after the motorcycle crash that claimed Richard Fariña's life, the label simply repackaged the duo's two regular album releases, "Celebrations for a Grey Day" (1965) and "Reflections in a Crystal Wind" (1966).
In 1988, when it reissued the package on CD, Vanguard cut six tracks to fit "The Best Of" on a single disc, leaving 20. Eighteen of those tracks are repeated on "Pack Up Your Sorrows: Best of the Vanguard Years", which restores one of the cut songs and adds two tracks from the 1968 outtakes album "Memories", plus one previously unreleased instrumental, "Tuileries."
All of that makes the new compilation a slight improvement in terms of selection, while the CD remastering improves the sound. (Ed Ward's enthusiastic but ill-informed liner notes -- he confuses the Big Sur Folk Festival with the Newport Folk Festival and makes other errors -- are not a plus.) As a lyricist, Fariña matched the elliptical style of mid-'60s Bob Dylan image for image, and tracks such as "Hard Loving Loser" are stylistically identical to the folk-rock of Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home", partly because they employ some of the same sidemen. But Fariña and his wife Mimi gave his words a sweet-and-sour harmony style, and their most distinctive music was made when they duetted on autoharp and dulcimer, as on the instrumentals that make up a good part of the song list.
Richard Fariña's early death robbed the music world of an important singer/songwriter (not to mention robbing literature of a promising novelist), but the work he left behind ranks with the best folk-rock of the 1960s.

1. Dandelion River Run
2. Pack up Your Sorrows
3. Reflections in a Crystal Wind
4. Swallow Song, A
5. Tommy Makem Fantasy
6. Hard-Loving Loser
7. Michael, Andrew and James
8. Hamish
9. Another Country
10. Falcon, The
11. Reno, Nevada
12. Celebration for a Grey Day
13. Bold Marauder
14. Dopico
15. Sell-Out Agitation Waltz
16. House un-American Blues Activity Dream
17. Raven Child
18. Miles - (TRUE instrumental)
19. Children of Darkness
20. Blood Red Roses
21. Morgan the Pirate
22. Tuileries - (previously unreleased)

Mimi & Richard Farina - Pack Up Your Sorrows (The Best of the Vanguard Years)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 13. Januar 2017

Raincoats - Odyshape (1981)

It was the late Kurt Cobain (with some help from labelmates Sonic Youth) who initiated Geffen's reissue of the Raincoats' catalog. And listening to "Odyshape", it's easy to see why Cobain loved them so. There's an emotional directness about these songs that hooks you from the start. Mostly you hear about emotions and situations, sometimes indirectly, almost as if you are eavesdropping on a conversation. Then it hits you: it's almost like you're talking to old friends. That's the way the Raincoats' music works: it's deceptively simple, but extremely complicated. Also, as on this record, it makes demands of the listener. But songs like "Red Shoes" and "Dancing in My Head" say this far more eloquently. 

"Despite living in an era when almost all music is available on tap, the Raincoats' 1981 post-punk classic still feels like a self-contained secret. It's telling that Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon was brought in to provide sleeve notes but doesn't say a single word about the record, and no demos, outtakes, or other ephemera are included." -


  1. "Shouting Out Loud" (The Raincoats, Ingrid Weiss) - 4:54
  2. "Family Treet" (The Raincoats, Caroline Scott) - 4:12
  3. "Only Loved at Night" - 3:32
  4. "Dancing in My Head" - 5:26
  5. "Odyshape" (The Raincoats, Ingrid Weiss) - 3:37
  6. "And Then It's O.K." (The Raincoats, lyrics: Caroline Scott) - 3:05
  7. "Baby Song" - 4:54
  8. "Red Shoes" - 2:51
  9. "Go Away" - 2:23
Raincoats - Odyshape (1981)
(256 kbps, cover art included)         

Donnerstag, 12. Januar 2017

Matching Mole - Smoke Signals (1972)

"Recorded at various European performances from the spring of 1972, this is a substantial addition to the catalog of a band that only put out two studio albums. The sound is good, and the performances almost wholly instrumental art jazz-rock, not far removed from those heard in the early 1970s by the Soft Machine, drummer/singer Robert Wyatt's previous band. It's electric pianist Bill McRae who wrote most of the material on this disc, and it's the sort of cerebral, intricate, serious fusion-y stuff that might appeal as much, or more, to jazzheads as to prog rockers. Wyatt goes off into some wordless scats at one point, but these aren't conventional rock-songs-with-lyrics at all. There is an admirable variety of textures with some distortion and buzzing, cooked up by McRae and guitarist Phil Miller, but it doesn't boast very accessible melodic ideas, preferring to furrow into angular and at times ominous progressions. The eerie, electronically treated vocal scatting on Wyatt's mischievously titled "Instant Pussy" is a highlight. Five of the nine songs, incidentally, do not appear on the band's studio albums." -         

'Smoke Signals' was recorded in spring 1972 during an European tour mainly in Belgium and France. As these tapes were not planned for release the sound quality is just acceptable. A good idea so to re-create the original track order of the concerts with different sources.
'Smoke Signals' is an interesting document, because 'Matching Mole' just elaborated from a backing band for Robert Wyatt,(more or less imposed by CBS) and who had only played on one half of the first record to a real band. Most tracks appearing here were written by Dave Mc Rae and Phil Miller and would be recorded later for 'The Little Red Record'. Dave Sinclair who started the tournee with the band had left and was replaced by keyboarder Dave Mc Rae who had already guested on the first record and brought with him some fine tunes like 'March Ides' and 'Smoke Signal' presented here for the first time in a rough version. After a band introduction by Robert the band launches into 'March Ides'.The theme is played by Phil Miller, who is soloing then over an ostinato bass line, followed by a drum solo. The second theme is 'Smoke Signal' (here re-named 'Smoke Rings), maybe the most beautiful 'Matching Mole' theme by Dave Mc Rae. The theme is then followed by a longer improvisation until the re-exposure. The next theme 'Nan's True Hole' was written by Phil Miller, who plays an repeated riff over which Dave Mc Rae plays an improvisation followed by another drum solo. 'Brandy As In Benji' follows the same structure of expostion solo, followed by a heavily distorted e-piano solo, that launches again into the 'March Ides' theme, followed by 'Instant Pussy' the only Robert Wyatt composition from the first record, with treated vocals by Robert and an e-piano improvisation.The 'Smoke Signal' appears again, followed by another improvisation and a bass solo and finally the band launches into 'Lything and gracing' a Phil Miller composition, that would appear only as a Hatfield leftover on 'Afters'. A part from the fact, that the sound is not brillant the tapes miss the 'funny' side of the band and especially the Robert Wyatt lyrics, leaving a jazz rock outfit, that improvises mainly over an ostinato bass line and sometimes in a not very inspired way as on 'Lything and Gracing' which is utterly boring.Still an interesting document in the history of Matching Mole, but not recommended as a starter. -


2March Ides I4:22
3Smoke Rings7:51
4Nan True's Hole6:00
5Brandy As In Benj4:22
6Electric Piano Solo1:11
7March Ides II4:56
8Instant Pussy2:51
9Smoke Signal6:55
10Lything & Gracing11:48

Matching Mole - Smoke Signals (1972)
(ca. 224 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 11. Januar 2017

Lightnin Hopkins - Country Blues (1959)

While Hopkins in his prime could crank out as many albums as there were days in the week (and sometimes more), some dates were more inspired than others and this casual recording is happily one of those times.

In 1959, armed with nothing more than a single microphone mono tape recorder, folklorist Mack McCormick recorded Hopkins in an informal setting in hopes of catching some rough-edged performances that he felt were lacking from the bluesman's then-recent studio efforts. That he succeeded mightily is evidenced in this 15-song collection, almost casual in the way Lightnin' tosses off themes, lyrics, and emotion in a most cavalier fashion.

Even with a thorough Sonic Solution No Noise process cleansing, these tapes still contain vocal and instrument distortion in spots where Hopkins got too close to the microphone. But none of it matters in the end, for here is Lightnin' truly in his element, playing for his friends and his own enjoyment, minus the comercial overlay of the times or the imposed "folk blues" posturing of his later acoustic recordings. Not the place to start, but a real good place to visit along the way. 


A1Long Time
A2Rainy Day Blues
A4Long Gone Like A Turkey Thru The Corn (Long John)
A5Prison Blues Come Down On Me
A6Backwater Blues (That Mean Old Twister)
A7Gonna Pull A Party
B1Bluebird, Bluebird
B2See See Rider
B3Worrying My Mind
B4Till The Gin Gets Here
B5Bunion Stew
B6You Got To Work To Get Your Pay
B7Go Down Old Hannah
B8Hear My Black Dog Bark

Lightnin Hopkins - Country Blues (1959)
(320 kbps, cover art included)           

Lightnin´ Hopkins - Same

Sam Hopkins was a Texas country bluesman of the highest caliber whose career began in the 1920s and stretched all the way into the 1980s. Along the way, Hopkins watched the genre change remarkably, but he never appreciably altered his mournful Lone Star sound, which translated onto both acoustic and electric guitar. Hopkins' nimble dexterity made intricate boogie riffs seem easy, and his fascinating penchant for improvising lyrics to fit whatever situation might arise made him a beloved blues troubadour.

Born in 1912 to a poor sharecropping family in the cotton country between Dallas and Houston, Hopkins left home when he was only eight years old with a guitar his brother had given him. He made his living however he could, sticking to the open road, playing the blues, and taking odd jobs when money was short.

Hopkins didn’t begin recording until 1946, when he was dubbed “Lightnin’” during his first session, and he soon joined Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker on the national R & B charts. But by the time he was “rediscovered” by Mack McCormick and Sam Charters in 1959, his popularity had begun to wane. A second career emerged - now Lightnin’ was pitched to white audiences, not black ones, and he became immensely successful, singing about his country roots and injustices that informed the civil rights era with a searing emotive power.

Lightnin´ Hopkins - Same
(256 kbps, front & back cover included)

Dienstag, 10. Januar 2017

Malaria! - Emotion (1982, vinyl rip)

Malaria was a great postwave band from berlin, founded by five German women, making music together from 1981-1983.

"In the depths of January 1981, BETTINA KOESTER and GUDRUN GUT stepped from the smoldering ashes of their previous band MANIA D shouldering the yoke of a feverish new project they called MALARIA!. And with the release of the maxi EP "Malaria!" in April that year, the fever spread. The band filled out to include MANON P. DUURSMA, NL ("O.U.T." an early Nina Hagen project), CHRISTINE HAHN, USA (Static, Glen Branca) and SUSANNE KUHNKE, BRD (Die Haut) absorbing their diverse backgrounds and personalities and grew. A first European tour followed during which they appeared on a John Peel session for the BBC and later recorded the single "How do you like my new dog?" for the Belgium label Les Disques du Crepuscule. Malaria toured the US next appearing with The Birthday Party, John Cale, and one unforgettable gig together with Nina Hagen in New York's infamous Studio 54 night club. This tour was the first that promoted New German Music in the United States. Meanwhile Malaria recorded the 12" "New York Passage (Your turn to run)" for Cachalot records which went on to reach the independent top 10 in the U.S. as well as in Europe. During another tour of Europe the band gave birth to "White Water" a 12" long player including "Kaltes Klares Wasser" which went on to become an Indi-classic. In 1982 Malaria released to critical acclaim their first album, "Emotion". It was licensed to Nippon Columbia in Japan and the video "Geld/Money" (directed by B.Buehler and D.Hormel) won prizes for its innovative editing style. Tours of England, France, Benelux, Italy and Scandinavia followed." (from:


A1. Geld - Money (4:00)
A2. Leidenschaft - Passion (3:55)
A3. Eifersucht - Jealousy (3:09)
A4. Einsam - Lonesome (2:55)
A5. Macht - Power (3:30)

B1. Tod - Death (3:55)
B2. Mensch (2:40)
B3. Slave (3:33)
B4. Traum - Dream (3:55)
B5. Gewissen (3:10)

Malaria - Emotion (1982)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

The Kingston Trio - Make Way (1961)

The Kingston Trio's ninth album, and the next to last original LP featuring Dave Guard in the lineup, "Make Way" is a beautiful if relatively low-key selection of a dozen songs, mostly traditional tunes adapted by the group.

"Utawena" is a great vocal showcase for Nick Reynolds (and also features Mongo Santamaria and Willie "Bobo" Colon on percussion), who also adapted the subdued, hauntingly lovely "The River Is Wide." "Speckled Roan" is a particularly effective Dave Guard-featured track authored by Jane Bowers, on which the soon to be departed Guard not only turns in one of his most beautifully expressive vocals but delivers a gorgeous guitar duet with David "Buck" Wheat. "Blow the Candle Out" was Bob Shane's major featured number, a quietly elegant performance with a gorgeous melody and some of the most restrained playing in the history of the original trio. The ensemble singing on "Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies" is among their best collective vocal performances, made all the more beautiful by Wheat's elegant guitar accompaniment. The liveliest songs were confined to the wrong places on the album, on the second side and away from the leadoff position, including their version of Antonio Fernandez's "En el Agua (Maria Christina)," the drinking song "Jug of Punch," and "Bonnie Hielan' Laddie," with "Blue Eyed Gal" closing out the album, which reached number two on the charts despite its having no single A-side on it.


Side one:
  1. "En El Agua" (Antonio Fernandez)
  2. "Come All You Fair and Tender Ladies" (Traditional, Dave Guard, Gretchen Guard)
  3. "A Jug of Punch" (Ewan MacColl, Francis McPeake)
  4. "Bonny Hielan' Laddie" (Dave Guard, Joe Hickerson)
  5. "Utawena" (Nick Reynolds, Adam Yagodka)
  6. "Hard Travelin'" (Woody Guthrie)
Side two:
  1. "Hangman" (Traditional, Nick Reynolds, Adam Yagodka)
  2. "Speckled Roan" (Jane Bowers)
  3. "The River is Wide" (Traditional, Reynolds)
  4. "Oh, Yes, Oh" (Traditional, Guard, Guard)
  5. "Blow the Candle Out" (Tom Drake, Bob Shane)
  6. "Blue Eyed Gal" (Drake, Shane, Miriam Stafford)

The Kingston Trio - Make Way (1961)
(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)


Montag, 9. Januar 2017

Ton Steine Scherben - Auswahl I - Happy Birthday to Rio Reiser!

Today is the 67th birthday of Rio Reiser!

Rio Reiser (9 January 1950 – 20 August 1996), was a German rock musician and singer of rock group Ton Steine Scherben. He was born Ralph Christian Möbius in Berlin and died at the age of 46 in Fresenhagen, Germany. Rio Reiser supported squatting in the early 1970s and later the green political party Die Grünen. After German reunification, he joined the Party of Democratic Socialism.

While he still went to school, Reiser became singer in his first rock band The Beat Kings. The band had been founded by R.P.S. Lanrue (real name Ralph Peter Steitz), a boy living in the neighbourhood, who had heard of Reiser's singing talents and had asked him to join the band after letting Reiser perform a few songs to give a sample (as R.P.S. Lanrue later claimed in an interview, the Rolling Stones song "Play with fire" tipped the balance). Lanrue, who was of the same age as Reiser, soon became Reiser's closest friend and musical counterpart who went on to support Reiser as musician and lived with him most of the time until his death.

After having quit school, Reiser left his then hometown, as well as The Beat Kings, to follow his two older brothers' call to Berlin in order to compose the music for their common project, the first Beat-Opera, which turned out to be, in the words of Rio, an "absolute flop". Nevertheless, Reiser stayed in Berlin, where he was later joined by Lanrue.

After occasionally having toured the countryside with the theatre group "Hoffmans Comic Theater" (consisting in Reiser, his brothers and a group of friends), Reiser went on to continue theatrical projects in Berlin where he joined an improvisation theatre group which played scenes from the everyday life of pupils and trainees, thus adopting and reflecting the social problems among young people in West Berlin in the Sixties, as well as its tense and sense of imminent social change. The theatre was very successful with young people and toured through Germany until 1969. The involvement in the context of the student and youth movement—not only as musician and actor, but often in the political debates which were to follow the theatre performance as well, played an important role for Rio Reiser's development of political awareness and for his lifelong commitment—both privately and as musician—to liberation movements of various kinds, including, in particular, the left-wing political movement characteristic for the Sixties and Seventies (while he liked to put an emphasis on supporting the workers' and "simple people's" interests rather than the students' intellectual approach), the Gay liberation movement and later, the German ecological movement. His musical work to a large extent reflects these political influences and convictions and thus can hardly be detached from his political positions.

In 1970, Reiser recorded his first single with the band Ton Steine Scherben. The band name was chosen in a lengthy democratic decision procedure among the members, friends and supporters of the band. The original name idea was actually "VEB Ton Steine Scherben", but the "VEB" was soon dropped. The band name can be translated both as "clay stones shards" and as "sound stones shards", thus offering different approaches to interpretation (sometimes also understood as a political program) and, last not least, making reference to Reiser's favorites The Rolling Stones. In that same year the group performed their first public concert and recorded their first full-length record.
The band soon became very popular with the squatter scene, left-wing student and workers' movement and was invited to numerous political events to provide the soundtrack to demonstrations, parties and rallies across Germany which often inspired the audience to translate the message into action afterwards. Thus, many buildings were seized after the end of a concert, and the band often ended up sitting in some commune discussing the political agenda with their hosts. Reiser later revealed in his autobiography that he sometimes would have preferred to just get away with some nice person.
Fifteen years of touring, four more LPs and various film projects and collaborations with other musicians followed, including the recording of two children's records. Reiser lived together with the band and a large group of friends and supporters most of that time, first sharing a commune in Berlin. In 1975—after the band was tiring of the numerous demands and expectations by all kinds of political groups—the group settled down on a farm in Fresenhagen in North Germany which continued to be Reiser's refuge and place of inspiration even after moving back to Berlin a couple of years later. One of the band's most important and ambitious albums, the "Black Album", was recorded there.

Ton Steine Scherben were musically very successful and, being one of the first rock bands in Germany which actually wrote and performed German rock songs, opened the door for countless successful German rock and pop bands to follow. Due to their refusal to adapt to the demands of the mainstream music business, as well as to financial mismanagement, a certain "outlawish" image in the eyes of the large radio and TV stations and a fan community which often forgot that the band had to make a living out of the music and would have despised any commercial ambitions, they were not able to translate their musical success and widespread popularity into financial stability.

"Auswahl I" was a compilation featuring some classic Ton Steine Scherben songs, released on their David Volksmund Produktion-label. The track "Keine Macht für niemand" was re-recorded for this 1981 compilation, the other tracks are original versions.


A1Warum Geht Es Mir So Dreckig5:04
A2Mein Name Ist Mensch6:27
A3Rauch Haus Song3:35
A4Macht Kaputt Was Euch Kaputt Macht3:39
A5Wir Streiken3:53
B1Wenn Die Nacht Am Tiefsten ...3:30
B2Halt Dich An Deiner Liebe Fest6:00
B3Kribbel Krabbel3:48
B4Guten Morgen4:00
B5Keine Macht Für Niemand4:35

Ton Steine Scherben - Auswahl I - 1970 - 1981
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 7. Januar 2017

Frankie Armstrong & Dave Van Ronk - Let No One Deceive You - Songs Of Bertolt Brecht (1989)

British folksinger Frankie Armstrong and American folksinger Dave Van Ronk, recording in Vancouver, Canada, sing songs with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht in English over acoustic guitar and piano accompaniments on this collection.

Van Ronk's voice, which annotator Roy Bailey says has been described as a "blend of rasp-wheeze-growl-slide-and-shout," is a good vehicle for these sometimes harsh statements, starting with his version of "Mack the Knife." Armstrong is less abrasive, but equally versatile, turning in an arch and threatening version of "Pirate Jenny," for instance, but a gentler one of "The Love Market." The two singers perform separately, alternating tracks until the end when they sing a duet on "Tango Ballad" from The Threepenny Opera, which was written for male and female voices.

These are songs that have been translated from the original German many times, and listeners familiar with them will recognize minor variations from, for example, Marc Blitzstein's English adaptations for The Threepenny Opera. It's actually some of the more obscure songs with music by Hanns Eisler (who worked more extensively with Brecht than did Kurt Weill, who composed The Threepenny Opera) that are more interesting, since, while often recorded, they are rarely performed in English. This is also true of the recitations of Brecht's poetry, such as "Lullabies I, II, III."   

The album was originally released in 1989 on the Vancouver non-profit label "Aural Tradition".

  1. Mack the Knife (2.30)
  2. The Love Market (2.40)
  3. We All Make the Bed That We Lie in (3.37)
  4. Lullabies I, II, III / To My Countrymen / Lullaby IV (3.30)
  5. A Man Is a Man (3.20)
  6. The Song of the Little Wind (2.04)
  7. Let No One Deceive You (1.56)
  8. Song of the Moldau (1.16)
  9. The Legend of the Dead Soldier (3.30)
  10. Pirate Jenny(4.03)
  11. Alabama Song (5.10)
  12. What Keeps a Man Alive? (2.47)
  13. Tango Ballad (4.37)
Tracks 1, 10, 12, 13 from Bertolt Brecht / Kurt Weill, The Threepenny Opera;
Track 2 from Bertolt Brecht / Hanns Eisler, Roundbeads & Painted Heads;
Tracks 3, 7, 11 from Bertolt Brecht / Kurt Weill, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny;
Track 4 Bertolt Brecht / Hanns Eisler;
Tracks 5, 9 Bertolt Brecht;
Tracks 6, 8 from Bertolt Brecht / Hanns Eisler, Schwejk in the Second World War;

Frankie Armstrong & Dave Van Ronk - Let No One Deceive You - Songs Of Bertolt Brecht (1989)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

The Ex - Blueprints For A Blackout

"Blueprints For A Blackout" was a double-album by The Ex, released in 1984, and out of print.


"It's caustic. A real burner. (...) While still retaining an all important relevant edge to their musical comment , they've introduced elements of tunesmithing, attack, decay and composition that places them head and shoulders above their contemporaries."

"Well-known venom, but the music becomes more experimental (i.e. slower, richer, more stirring, fed by yet rather remarkable set of instruments) with every new release."


1Streetcars Named Desire / Animal Harm (Medley)2:39
2Blueprints For A Blackout3:54
3Rabble With A Cause2:19
4Requiem For A Rip-Off2:52
5Pleased To Meat You4:17

6A Goodbuy To You3:39
7The Swim1:48
9U.S. Hole2:41
10(Not) 2B Continued1:10
11Grimm Stories4:52

12A Plague To Survive5:22
13The Rise Of The Dutch Republic3:53
14Kidnap Connection2:17
15Fire And Ice4:41

16Jack Frost Is Innocent2:53
17Love You Till Eh2:48
18Food On 453:17
19Scrub That Scum8:18

The Ex - Blueprints For A Blackout (1984)
(192 kbps, cover art inlcuded)

Freitag, 6. Januar 2017

Klaus der Fiedler und Toni - Straßenmusik

Music has provided an outlet for expressing the political vision of violinist and composer Klaus der Geiger (born Klaus von Wrochem). Performing as a street musician since 1970, Klaus der Geiger has spoken out against housing shortages and the limiting of tenant and human rights. In addition to performing many concerts for the homeless, he has participated in numerous demonstrations against nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.

A native of the small German city of Doppoldiswalde, halfway between Dresden and Dubi, Klaus der Geiger studied in Cologne under American composer Mauricio Kagel. Traveling to the United States in the late-'60s, he attracted attention as a political-minded street musician in Boston and San Diego. When his request for a visa extension was rejected, due to his political outspokenness, he returned to Germany.

This album is a live recording from October 1975. One part was recorded in a pedestrian zone in Frankfurt with a 2-track-machine. The other part was recorded with a 4-track-recorder in the "Kneißl-Keller", part of the autonomus community center in Munich-Milbertshofen. On the later recording, Klaus der Geiger was accompanied by Tommi (guitar) and Uli (harmonium).

1. Bolle [4:12]
2. Oberaufsichtsrat [4:01]
3. Frühlingslied [3:10]
4. Rosie [3:10]
5. Amazing Grace [6:25]
6. Herstatt-Blues [5:19]
7. Die Katharina Focke [2:42]
8. Kumpellied [7:09]
9. Nachbar [5:57]

Klaus der Fiedler und Toni - Straßenmusik
(320 kbps, cover art included)

With special greetings to Otto - thanks a lot for your patience!

Eck - Lieder gegen Angst und Unterdrückung (1980)

During the 1970s and 1980s there was a diverse and powerful alternative and left-wing scene in West Germany, being made up of ecological and political groups of various grades of dogmatism, local grassroots organizations, punks, and a growing faction of militant autonomous groups ("Autonome").

Besides its focus in West Berlin there were also important local scenes in the West German provinces. It was here, in the rural and sparsely populated countryside of Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, Bavaria and Baden-Württenberg, where militant protests and attempts to block the sites, or potential sites, of nuclear power stations took place - leading to the ermergence of alternative camps "occupying" sites in Wyhl, Brokdorf and Gorlben ("Republik Freies Wendland").

An important part of this political scene were always a lot of singer-songwriters, rock bands and other musical projects. One of these songwriteres was Bruno Eckhardt, who released under the alias Eck in 1980 on the "Trikont/Unsere Stimme"-label the album "Lieder gegen Angst und Unterdrückung". The wonderful song "Drum bin ich rot geworden" is a nice version of "The Rifles of the IRA".

A1Drum bin ich rot geworden
A2Auf Kreuzbergs grauen Straßen
A3Ex Sumar
A4Victor Jara
B1Ich bin als Mensch geboren
B2Lied von den Träumen
B3Der Knast
B4Arbeiter, Brüder

Eck - Lieder gegen Angst und Unterdrückung (1980)
(ca. 160 kbps, cover art included)

Boris Grebenshikov - Russian Songwriter • A Collection From Boris Grebenshikov

An album from Russia's greatest rock musician is long overdue, and this collection is more than worthwhile. Like some American singer/songwriters, Grebenshikov has found himself coming closer and closer to roots music over the years, and these songs are very much the product of that. Whether putting his mark on the traditional song "My Little Loom" or writing an ode to his changing homeland with "Russian Nirvana," he's masterful. The songs themselves (with lyrics provided in four languages) are gems, the product of mature thought and frequently poetic, although the images, which seem obscure to Westernerners, probably resonate with Russians. But the beauty is best-illustrated by the settings, usually stripped-down, but with just the right touches to set off the voice and words, even if it takes some strange left turns, like the pseudo-'50s arrangement of "Gertruda." Accordion is prevalent, of course, but the oboe that courses through "Nikita of Riazan" gives an aching tone to the song. He's often compared to Dylan and Springsteen, which is unfair; the traditions are utterly different. Only the quality of the writing and performing is comparable - listen to the gentle "Dubrovsky" and you'll be convinced. Grebenshikov is world class.                

Boris Grebenshikov became the “Darling of Glasnost” during the post-cold war Soviet Rock boom in the USA. “Like many other artists previously branded as antisovetchiki,” music critic David Kissinger wrote in 1989, “Grebenshikov and his band mates are now being bear-hugged by a Soviet leadership determined to project a new image to the world.” In fact, he was the first Russian rock artist to record in the West. Today, he can still sell out any stadium in Russia.

Russia’s greatest living songwriter spends one month every year in a Tibetan monastery. But his independent thinking has not always served his career well. Grebenshikov and his group Akvarium (Aquarium) blasted onto the Leningrad rock scene in 1973, when there were very few “official” groups in the Soviet Union. The poet laureate of Russian rock refused to submit his contemplative songs to the government’s censorship committees. When Akvarium could not get sanctioned gigs, they played in underground venues, basements, back alley bars, and through it all they built up one of the most loyal fan bases of any Russian act.

Although Boris still performs and records with Akvarium, since 1984 he has periodically taken some time to do solo albums, including the US-released Radio Silence in 1989, when the words of the day were glasnost and perestroika. Some of his most interesting musical endeavors have resulted from these personal recordings, where Boris—who is often compared to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen—is able to explore the roots of his songwriting and Russian heritage. As a result of these releases, Boris has today come to symbolize the best of Russian music, with books of his poetry and lyrics becoming bestsellers and each album a huge success both critically and popularly.

In contrast to other albums Boris has released outside his homeland, Russian Songwriter treats the listener to a wider overview of the Russian songwriter style. The repertoire ranges from traditional Russian music to songs by writers who influenced his generation, such as Bulat Okujava and Alexander Vertinsky. In these songwriter-centric pieces, Boris combines words and music to create a sonic atmosphere that is undeniably beautiful and unmistakably Russian. The liner notes contain lyrics in four languages and the repertoire is real Russian substance, not watered-down for commercial value.

1My Little Loom • Станочек3:25
2Gertruda • Гертруда4:12
3Nikita Of Riazan • Никита Рязанский2:40
4China • Китай1:48
5Three Sisters • Три Сестры4:34
6Little Swallow • Ласточка3:51
7My Lady (Gosudaryna) • Государыня3:05
8Fate's Rusty Pail • Ржавый Жбан Судьбы2:53
9Vanka Morozov • Ванька Морозов2:06
10The Fastest Plane On Earth • Самый Быстрый Самолет2:51
11Tarusa • Таруса3:40
12Dubrovsky • Дубровский4:06
13The Mares Of Reckless Abandon • Кони Беспредела6:02
14Garcon Number 2 • Гарсон # 24:12
15Russian Nirvana • Русская Нирвана3:11

Boris Grebenshikov - Russian Songwriter • A Collection From Boris Grebenshikov
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 5. Januar 2017

Kernbeisser – Brokdorfer Kantate (Eigelstein, 1979)

"Brokdorf Kantate" is an interesting avantgarde-polit rock concept album supporting the movment against the nuclear plant in Brokdorf. "Kernbeisser" was basically the same band as "HerrGottSax", known for just this album, a curious 1979 Polit-rock conceptual oddity which is largely the project of Büdi Siebert using lyrics by the German anarchist writer Peter Paul Zahl.                   

"Brokdorf Kantate" was recorded in 1979 at "Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik" in Stuttgart and released on the label Eigelstein Musicproduktion, which was a part of the West German alternative culture. The album was produced by Büdi Siebert, memeber of the "Poesie und Musik"-project. He is a German multi-instumentalist, composer and producer, he plays reeds, flutes, percussion, keyboards and guitar. He has been active since the early 1970s, was a producer for Eigelstein Musikproduktion, and from 1998 to 2003 he was teacher for film music at the Filmakademie in Ludwigsburg. Büdi Siebert is responsible for some of the most beautiful advanced German fusion that can be heard with his two records "Hmm" in 1983 and HerrGottSax's "Seibold Seiergesichts Sündige Saxofone" from 1981.

The folks of wrote about this album:
"What I love the most about this record is that flows from beginning to end as a seamless whole, like an oratorio conceived all in one bout with the same feeling and tone throughout.  Really quite a masterpiece, so why so forgotten?"

A2Diese Gesichter unter dem Helm
A3Die Angst allein zu sein
A4Sie sprechen die Sprache des Krieges
A5Seht in ihr Gesicht
A6Wer von uns wäre nicht gegen Gewalt
A7Lied vom Bauern und der alten Dame
B1Über den Marschen
B2Hier Kkmpfen Frauen
B3Weil wir die Zukunft wollen
B4Empor steigen wir aus den Kellern
B5Hierher gehört Leben - Alle Türen offen

Kernbeisser - Brokdorf Kantate (1979)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 4. Januar 2017

VA - Dig This - A Tribute To The Great Strike (1985)

This album was dedicated to the British miners who went on strike during 1984 and 1985. The album features a head-spinning stylistic variety; the driving folk-punk of The Men They Couldn't Hang, the twisted art-country of the Mekons, the loping reggae-punk of Omega Tribe, the frightening anglo-synth rap of Akimbo, the accusatory goth-rock of Leningrad Sandwich, the fierce noise-punk of The Ex, the anarcho-weirdness of The Posion Girls, the hard-to-classify Steve Lake and, of course, the only band on earth who can be described as both Crass' heirs and one-hit wonders, Chumabawamaba.
Side A features live recordings from Southbank Poly, side B has some studio recordings.

Musicians became involved in the strike in three basic ways. Firstly, some wrote and recorded songs dealing with issues related to the dispute. For example "Soul Deep" (Council Collective) was a call to action in the name of class solidarity with the miners. Others emphasized the physical and emotional hardship endured by the miners. Robert Calvert recorded "All the machines are quiet", in which a fictional miner delclared, "The winter´s coming / We need new shoes / I´m selling the car".  

Secondly, some groups went one step further and gave the profits from songs or albums to striken miners or their supporters. The most significant example of this was "Soul Deep", 100.000 copies of which were sold. The raised money was donated to the Women Against Pit Closures organization and the wife of the taxi driver who had been accidentally killed while taking a working miner to his colliery. Other benefit songs were made by Chumbawamba, Robert Wyatt, Henry Cow or The Ex. Numerous compilation albums were released, including the featured "Dig This - A Tribute To The Great Strike". Many musicians also performed at benefit concerts, the proceeds from which were donated to striking miners or used to support them.  

Finally, a smaller number of artists attended picket lines and demonstrations in support of the miners. These included Paul Heaton of the Housemartins, Jimmy Somerville of Bronski Beat (later of the Communards), The Redskins, the Flying Pickets, Paul Weller and Billy Bragg.

Thanks a lot to for inspiration and words.

A1 Poison Girls - Cry
A2 Poison Girls - Voodoo Pappadollar
A3 Mekons - Flitcraft
A4 Mekons - Trouble Down South
A5 Men They Couldn't Hang - Jack Dandy
A6 Men They Couldn't Hang - Rawhide

B1 Akimbo - The Rap
B2 Steve Lake - Turn Out The Lights
B3 Leningrad Sandwich - We Will Rise
B4 The Ex - We've Got Everything We Never Wanted
B5 Omega Tribe - Young John
B6 Chumbawamba - The Police Have Been Wonderful
B7 Chumbawamba -   Fitzwilliam

VA - Dig This - A Tribute To The Great Strike (1985)
(320 kbps, front cover included)