lunedì 29 ottobre 2012

MAANAM - "O!" (1982)

If compared to Maanam's debut album, the sound "O!" is more stereotypical (i.e. the flat snare drum sound that dominated the Eighties), but it's still powerful and enjoyable.

It was a successful record, selling around 380.000 copies in 1982-83. Seven of its songs reached the top-3 on the Trójka chart. "Nie poganiaj mnie..." is probably the most popular title here, but I also enjoy aggressive numbers such as "Paranoja jest goła" and "Pałac na piasku", with that torrential rhythm section.

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sabato 27 ottobre 2012

MAANAM - "MAANAM" (1981)

Maanam was one of the greatest Polish post-punk bands (the others being Perfect, Lady Pank, and Republika). Their debut album, a new wave milestone, was a slow but strong seller in the early Eighties, totaling over 230.000 copies between 1981 and 1983.
Technically superior to the average English-speaking post-punk bands, Maanam played an all-power art-punk with frantic rhythms and whirling guitars, dominated by Olga "Kora" Jackowska's hysterical approach and acrobatic vocal lines. 
While rhythm guitarist Marek Jackowski composed every song, revealing an outstanding talent as a songwriter, the added power to the sound is brought by Ryszard Olesiński, a virtuoso lead guitarist who filled every song with twisted solos and bizarre tricks.

"Szare miraże" and "Boskie Buenos" are probably the most popular songs, but the entire tracklist is brilliant, with the ferocious "Karuzela marzeń", the incredible speed of "Żądza pieniądza", the atmospheric instrumental "Miłość jest cudowna", and the mazy guitar solo of "Stoję stoję czuję się świetnie".

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lunedì 22 ottobre 2012

SIEKIERA - "NOWA ALEKSANDRIA" (1986)

I don't think there's much I can say about Siekiera. Their cult is kinda strong even among the Western alternative music listeners.

For those who are totally new to the argument: Siekiera was initially a hardcore-punk project, founded by Tomasz Adamski (vocals/guitars) and Dariusz Malinowski (vocals/bass) in 1983. After some line-up changes, they were joined in 1985 by Paweł Młynarczyk (keyboards) and Zbigniew Musiński (drums), with whom they recorded this debut album.

By the time of "Nowa Alkesandria" their sound had moved from hardcore to the darker borders of post-punk, with loud, dominant bass lines, torrential drum patterns and cold synthesizers layers.

"Już Blisko" and "Tak dużo tak mocno" reached the top-10 on the LP3 songs chart, and the album sold around 50.000 copies (a respectable result, considering its harsh sound). Nonetheless, Siekiera disbanded soon after.

P.S. I've added three bonus tracks. 
"Jest bezpiecznie" and "Misiowie puszyści" formed altogether the band's first single, while "Ja stoję ja tańczę ja walczę" was originally included on the compilation album "Jak punk to punk", along with artists such as Armia, Dezerter, Rejestracja, Process, Abaddon, and TZN Xenna.


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giovedì 18 ottobre 2012

SERGEY KURYOKHIN - "GOSPODIN OFORMITEL / POSVYASHCHONNYY", soundtracks (rec. 1988-89, rel. 1999)

Died of cardiac sarcoma in 1996 when only 42, Sergey Kuryokhin was one of the most important figures in the history of Russian music, having faced countless music styles without losing his radical artistic integrity. Famous in the avant-jazz circles for his noisy piano improvisations, but also able to design ambitious progressive suites later in his career, Kuryokhin reached the peak of his pop creativity with the soundtracks for "Gospodin oformitel" and "Posvyashchonnyy", two wonderful surrealistic movies directed by Oleg Teptsov. Kuryokhin created the right mix of music to emphasize the images, both baroque and horrorific.

Starting with the sick, demented carillon melody of "Shkatulka" and closing with "Erotika", where space ambient meets an operatic solfeggio, Kuryokhin leads the listeners into a travel through Russian folk music ("Mistika"), exciting post-punk tracks ("Igra 1", "Sorvalas'"), and elegies which could compete with those composed by Danny Elfman ("Krysha"). The key-track is probably "Donna Anna", a new wave number with soprano vocals and an epic guitar solo with a harsh distortion.


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sabato 13 ottobre 2012

NII KOSMETIKI - "ISTORIYA BOLEZNI" (1986)

Original band's name: НИИ Косметики
Original title: История болезни

Formed in Moscow in 1984 and guided by singer Mikhail "Mefodiy" Evseenkov, NII Kosmetiki was a minor band of Russian new wave. Their self-released magnetic tapes gained a small cult following through the years.

NII Kosmetiki sound pretty fresh today: their mix of new wave and pop - with effected guitars, low quality keyboards, and a small budget production - kinda predated musicians such as Ariel Pink and trends such as glo-fi and chill wave. 


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lunedì 8 ottobre 2012

KOFE - "BALANS" (1986)

Original band's name: Кофе
Original title: Баланс

Kofe was one of the many bands generated by the Saint Petersburg underground scene.

"Balans" is their second album, it was produced by Aleksey Vishnya (Алексей Вишня), and it includes pseudo-EBM compositions ("Monument"), synth-pop with catchy refrains ("Zero"), electronic rock & roll with demential voices ("Bugi shok"), and a wonderful title track, which can be considered the Russian version of Duran Duran's "Planet Earth".

The project broke up in 1987, when singer Georgiy Kobeshavidze's quarrels with the rest of the band reached a point of no return. Three of them would have formed Petlya Nesterova.

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giovedì 4 ottobre 2012

PETLYA NESTEROVA - "KTO ZDES'..." (1989)

Original band's name: Петля Нестерова 
Original title: Кто здесь?

Petlya Nesterova (transl. Loop of Death) was one of the great underground bands of the Saint Petersburg scene. 
It was founded in 1987 by Eduard Nesterenko (guitars/vocals), Igor Kopylov (bass) and Aleksandr Senin (drums), after they left Kofe due to artistic divergences. 

“Kto zdes'...” is their debut album: recorded by Aleksey Vishnya at her home studio and then refined in Berlin, these ten tracks can compete with many English-speaking post-punk classics. The trio shows a particular sound, both lyrical and danceable, with syncopated bass lines, clean guitar riffs on high octaves, and a mix of played drums and rhythm machines. Yuri Kasparyan from Kino and Andrej Nuzhdin from Igry helped on guitars.  

After the release of "Kto zdes'..." the band was never a full-time engagement: all the members were involved in other projects, and they released a second album, “Salto mortale”, only in 2001. Nesterenko tragically died of cancer in 2008. 

DOWNLOAD (kbps: 234-273) 

lunedì 1 ottobre 2012

"PAKET ARANŽMAN" (1981)


Oh well, I had to post this album sooner or later. 
This is THE yugoslavian new wave album: not the most successful, not the most beautiful, but surely the most idolized and influent record of its era. 
It contains eleven songs, divided between three legendary bands: Šarlo Akrobata, Električni Orgazam, and Idoli.  
They were all brand new tracks, except Idoli's "Maljčiki", a re-recording of their second single.
"Vi" and "Krokodili Dolaze" by Električni Orgazam would later be re-recorded to appear on their debut album.

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