sabato 28 luglio 2018

R.I.P. Kora

Maanam's main vocalist and Polish rock icon Kora is dead at 67, after a five year battle with cancer (local journals are stating that she had to sold her house to afford the high treatment costs).

If you don't know Maanam yet, you can find all their earlier works here on Soviet Sam.




lunedì 4 giugno 2018

giovedì 26 aprile 2018

PHOENIX - "MUGUR DE FLUIER" (1974)

Phoenix are the most important rock band from Romania.
This is their second album, the one with stronger folk influences. In fact, Whilst you could hear traces of Romanian tradition even in their debut album, here it becomes the dominant force. Many songs are acoustic, and the electric ones have one foot in folk music as well, with violin, percussion, and odd meter patterns.

Even though the band had to cope with the censorship of Ceaucescu's regime, the album was another huge success and songs like "Strunga" and the title track became classics.
The sound quality may come across as slightly muffled, but if you like progressive rock and folk music, you should not miss this little gem.

DOWNLOAD (kbps: 320)

mercoledì 10 gennaio 2018

JAROMÍR NOHAVICA - "PORUBA" (2017)

Jaromír Nohavica is the greatest and most popular Czech singer-songwriter. 

He was born in Ostrava in 1953 and has occasionally written lyrics for other artists while having his own day job. Only at the start of the Eighties he began to sing his own songs.
As his ambition grew, his work got more and more political, which prompted the authorities to ban him from performing and recording. He was able to release his first album only in 1988, when the Soviet system was collapsing. He was already 35 years old. 

The enormous popularity in his home country has important echoes in Slovakia and Poland as well, where he may not be a star, but can surely claim cult status. 

I am introducing him on this blog with this brand new album, which he released last November. Since most of his old music is message-centered, I think "Poruba" is better suited as a gateway to his world rather than a simple voice-and-guitar album. 
In fact, the tracklist proves Nohavica's curious spirit, with tense piano ballads ("Empire State"), grotesque doggerels with accordion ("Černá jáma"), and even hip hop experiments (the title track). There are not many singers out there that can claim such a fresh album at the age of 64.


DOWNLOAD (kbps: 320)

mercoledì 22 novembre 2017

L.STADT - "L.STORY" (2017)

L.Stadt are a Polish band from Łódź, founded in 2003 by singer and multi-instrumentalist Łukasz Lach. Their moniker is a contracted form of Litzmannstadt, the name of their city during the nazi occupation.
Despite never making it to the mainstream, L.Stadt have been celebrated for years as one of Poland's best rock bands.
I have to admit that before this new studio effort I wasn't impressed with them, but now I'm fully supporting their new sound.

"L.Story" is a great album. Arrangements are ambitious, incorporating folk elements, prog structures, and background vocals by the young and talented Wielki Chór Młodej Chorei. Acoustic guitars, synthesizers, and traditional instruments mingle with electric instrumentation to create refined, layered songs full of harmony and melancholy.
Words are written by poet and theatre author Konrad Dworakowski, as in the great tradition of poezja śpiewana. In fact, the whole album is influeced by the movement, just think to the choral arrangements in the last song, "Od nowa", and compare them to Marek Grechuta's "Świat w obłokach".
All in all, this may be the best Polish album of 2017.


DOWNLOAD (kbps: 320)