lunedì 27 maggio 2013

OBYWATEL G.C. - "TAK! TAK!" (1988)

Obywatel G.C. (transl. Citizen G.C.) is a fascinating nickname used for the first time in 1986 by singer & composer Grzegorz Ciechowski, while Republika was on hyatus. After a great eponymous album (which you will eventually find on Soviet Sam), he released this classic title. 

"Tak! Tak!" sold over 300.000 copies in 1988 alone, while "Nie pytaj o Polskę" and "Tak tak to ja" both reached the top of the Trójka chart, staying there for four and seven weeks respectively. The first in particular would become one of the most popular and revered Polish songs ever.
It is an effective masterpiece: the soft electronic beat, the melancholic piano riff, the atmospheric keyboard background, the peculiar structure (it is a sort of bolero, with instruments added while the song goes on), the touching saxophone solo in the middle, the wall of voices which leads the chorus, the epic fade-out ending. One of the most incredible songs you will ever hear, plain and simple.

The rest of the album is also very good. Helped by keyboardist & producer Rafał PaczkowskiCiechowski creates a new wave almanac, where aggressive guitars, electronic breaks, and sampled jokes are mixed with a symphonic attitude in the name of a romantic pop titanism.

DOWNLOAD (kbps: 320)

mercoledì 22 maggio 2013

PARTIBREJKERS - "PARTIBREJKERS" (1985)

Partibrejkers is probably the most important Yugoslavian garage rock band. They were founded in 1982 by singer Cane (Zoran Kostić), drummer Manzanera (Goran Bulatović), and two guitar players, Anton (Nebojša Antonijević) and Ljuba (Ljubiša Kostadinović). The band is still active nowadays, even though only Cane and Anton are part of the current line-up. 

Produced by Dušan "Koja" Kojić, their debut album was released by Jugoton, the greatest label of socialist Yugoslavia. It was anticipated by "1000 godina", a frantic punk-blues number which quickly became a generational anthem (no. 7 on the B92 all-time chart). The chorus is basically a libertarian slogan: "I don't want to live for a thousand years, I want it now, and I want it all". 

If this song is characterized by a strong acoustic guitar presence, the rest of the album is electric and noisy. The band played an all-power rock'n'roll with sharp sounds and no bass guitar. Some of the most exciting titles are "Ona živi na brdu" (with dissonant background vocals and loud drums), "Hej ti dole u mraku" (with a crazy guitar solo), "Ako si..." (the videoclip is a must watch), and "Stoj Džoni" (an answer to "Johnny B. Goode").

DOWNLOAD (kbps: 320)

sabato 18 maggio 2013

R.I.P. Marek Jackowski

Maanam's rhythm guitar player & genius composer has died today, aged 66. 
This is a sad day for Soviet Sam.

giovedì 16 maggio 2013

MAANAM - "MAANAM FOREVER" (non-album tracks 1979-1986)

There are lots of non-album songs from the first phase of Maanam's career. Here's a collection that includes all of them, compiled by Soviet Sam.

Tonpress single, 1979:
1. Hamlet 
2. Oprócz

Tonpress single, 1980:
3. Boskie Buenos 
4. Żądza pieniądza 
Not the same versions you can find on "Maanam", but two exciting early takes. I love them, expecially for the raw sound of lead guitar.

Tonpress single, 1981:
5. Och, ten Hollywood 
6. Ta noc do innych jest niepodobna 

Tonpress single, 1981:
7. Cykady na Cykladach 
8. 1984 
150.000 copies sold. The A-side was a colossal hit in Poland.

9. España Forever
Aired by Radio Trójka in June 1982, but not phisically released at the time. It was later included in some compilations.

Tonpress single, 1983:
10. Kocham Cię, kochanie moje
11. Elektro Spiro kontra Zanzara 
140.000 copies sold. The A-side reached no. 1 on the Trójka chart, while the B-side was no. 2.

Tonpress single, 1986:
12. Jesteśmy ze stali 
13. Ty, nie Ty 

(kbps: 320. Except tracks 2, 4 and 8: 204-208)

domenica 12 maggio 2013

OBOJENI PROGRAM - "NAJVAŽNIJE JE BITI ZDRAV" (1990)

Founded in the early Eighties by singer Branislav Babić, better known as Kebra, Obojeni program is one of the most important bands of Novi Sad's indie music scene. They started to release albums just a couple of years before the outbreak of the Yugoslavian War, but they were able to release their music throughout the Nineties, without leaving their homeland. 
If today they are a cult band among rock music listeners, at the time of this debut album they were just a small underground reality, known only to those who had seen them in small concerts during the Eighties. 
The tracklist is composed in its majority by songs tested during those gigs, such as "Štipaljka", "Ona je tu!", and "Filadelfija". Music style incorporates funk rock riffs, jangle pop guitars ("To još nisam rekao""Uzmi me!"), and a bunch of catchy (sometimes even epic) vocal tunes. Kebra's peculiar voice is their real trademark. 
Some melodies here and there remind me of the coeval Madchester sound, which the band would have fully embraced on the second album.

P.S. Those who appreciates Šarlo Akrobata and Disciplina Kičme would probably like to know that "Najvažnije je biti zdrav" was produced by‎ Dušan "Koja" Kojić.

DOWNLOAD (kbps: 320)

lunedì 6 maggio 2013

PERFECT - "PERFECT" (1982)

Perfect had a troubled history prior to their debut album, but it's not particularly interesting or useful, so I will skip it. What you need to know is that by the time of this record, after some changes, the line-up was polarized on two members: Zbigniew Hołdys (guitar, composer) and Grzegorz Markowski (vocals).

"Perfect" was one of Poland's blockbusters of the decade, selling around 440.000 copies in the year of its release. Most of the songs on the tracklist are ultimate classics, expecially the ballad "Nie płacz Ewka", the circular reggae-rock "Chcemy być sobą", and the post-punk anthem "Ale wkoło jest wesoło".

These guys had a really unclassifiable sound. They moved somewhere between new wave and hard rock, reggae rhythm tricks and pop immediacy, with some punk and blues touches. You know that I don't like to compare Polish bands with English-speaking ones, because I consider them well-defined entities, anyway if that can help you, just try to imagine something between Police and Lynyrd Skynyrd. 

DOWNLOAD (kbps: 320)