martedì 24 settembre 2013

PERFECT - "CO SIĘ STAŁO Z ZBIGNIEW H.?" (non-album tracks 1978-1983)

These are some of my favourite songs released by Perfect. Since there is no compilation containing them all, I decided to compile it by myself.

1. Co się stało z Magdą K.?
A sort of Polish answer to "Year of the Cat" by Al Stewart.
Recorded in 1977 and aired in the spring of 1978, it was a solo recording by Zbigniew Holdys. Thirteen years later it was included in Perfect's anthology "1977-1991".

2. Po co?
Recorded in 1981, during the debut album sessions, this funny hard rock was released only eight years later, on the anthology "1981-1989".

3. Coś się dzieje w mej biednej głowie
This is one of the few heavy metal attempts by Perfect. It was released in 1981, as part of the EP "Chcemy być sobą". 

4. Pepe wróć
5. Opanuj się
Released as a single in 1982, selling over 150.000 copies. Both songs reached the top-10 on the Trójka chart. The A-side is one of their most precious gems, a strange hypnotic blues with a ghostly atmosphere. The B-side is a more canonical hard rock, though still enjoyable.

6. Moja magiczna różdżka
This beautiful boogie with new wave guitars was released in 1982, as a B-side for the hit single "Idź precz".

7. Zamieniam się w psa 
8. Dla zasady nie ma sprawy
Released as a single in 1983, selling over 100.000 copies. The A-side is a hi-tech hard rock, the B-side a very slow ballad, slightly reminiscent of the Police.

DOWNLOAD (kbps: 320)

sabato 21 settembre 2013

"POLISH NEW WAVE" (various artists, 1984-87)

This precious compilation was released in 1997 on Mathaus Records. It contains a bunch of non-album singles by four important underground acts of Polish new wave, all signed to the state label Tonpress. You will not find these tracks on any other release. 
I marked in red my personal favourites :)

1. Madame - Gdyby nie szerszenie 
2. Madame - Może właśnie Sybilla
3. Madame - Głupi numer
4. Madame - Dzień narodzin
5. Madame - Krawat powieszony w łaźni 

These five songs are everything the band recorded in its short career. 
Track 1 was aired by Radio Trójka in 1985, reaching no. 2 and becoming a little post-punk anthem. Tracks 2 & 3 were released as a single in 1985, tracks 4 & 5 were released as a single in 1986. 
Five years later Robert Gawliński would have formed Wilki, one of the most popular Polish bands of the 90s.

6. Made in Poland - Obraz we mgle
7. Made in Poland - Ja myślę 
8. Made in Poland - Kobieta
9. Made in Poland - Ucieczka
10. Made in Poland - Nieskazitelna twarz
11. Made in Poland - Jedna kropla deszczu  

This is everything the band produced prior to its debut album.
Lead vocals: Robert "Rozzy" Hilczer - Tracks 6 & 7 were aired by Radio Trójka in december 1984, then released as a single in 1985. Track 8 was part of the compilation "Sztuka latania", released in 1985. 
Lead vocals: Jolanta Pulchna - Track 9 & 10 were released as a single in 1986. Track 11 was probably recorded that same year, but I don't know when it was released.

12. Variété - I znowu ktoś przestawił kamienie 
13. Variété - Te dni  
Relased as a single in 1985, these two songs represented for eight years the only official release by Grzegorz Kaźmierczak and his legendary bandThe A-side was a top-10 hit on the Trójka chart. File under: gloomy sounds & saxophone.

14. 1984 - Tu nie będzie rewolucji
15. 1984 - Krucjata
16. 1984 - Specjalny rodzaj kontrastu
17. 1984 - W chołdzie fanatykom marszu
18. 1984 - Biała chorągiewska

Tracks 14-15 were released as a single in 1987. Tracks 16-18 were aired by Radio Trójka that same year. 
These five tracks probably form the best segment of the compilation. From the aggressiveness of "Tu nie będzie rewolucji" to the tragic melancholy of "Biała chorągiewska" and "Specjalny rodzaj kontrastu", multi-instrumentalist Piotr Liszcz, the leader of the band, shows some strong melodies and refined arrangements.

P.S. Polish title for this compilation is "Polska nowa fala 1983". Funnily, it doesn't contain songs from that year.

DOWNLOAD (kbps: 192)

venerdì 13 settembre 2013

"ASSA" (soundtrack, 1988)

Wiki says: "Assa is a Soviet film directed by Sergei Solovyov and released in 1987. It became a cult film, mostly thanks to the fact that it was one of the films that brought Russian rock music from the underground into the mainstream."

As you may remember, in the early 80s rock musicians from all over Soviet Union were releasing their albums in the black market, through home-made tapes. Even if concerts and festivals were allowed, bands from the underground scene weren't accepted by the official Soviet label, Melodiya.
"Assa" changed everything, as Kino and Akvarium performed in it, only to become stars soon after the release. The soundtrack was released in 1988 by Melodiya.

In particular, two songs became enormously popular. The first is "Gorod zolotoy" (transl. "City of God") by Akvarium, a wonderful acoustic lullaby influenced by Renaissance music. It was originally composed by Vladimir Vavilov in 1972, with lyrics added by poet Henri Volokhonsky.

The second is "Hochu peremen!" by Kino, a post-punk anthem with powerful, outbursting lyrics about freedom: "Our hearts are longing for changes, Our eyes are longing for changes, It's in our laugh and in our tears, And in the pulse of our veins. Changes, we are longing for changes!"

DOWNLOAD (kbps: 320)

giovedì 5 settembre 2013

OMEGA - "10000 LÉPÉS" (1969)

Omega is one of the most popular Hungarian bands ever. After a nice psychedelic debut album ("Trombitás Frédi és a rettenetes emberek", 1968), they released this ultimate classic.

The line-up at the time was a sextet, built around singer János Kóbor and keyboardist-composer Gábor Presser. They produced a surprisingly coloured music, which incorporated a lot of existing styles and predated some others. 
Here you can find devastating hard boogies ("Tűzvihar", "Félbeszakadt koncert"), bizarre improvisations ("Kérgeskezű favágok"), esoteric blues-rock with orchestral arrangements ("Tékozló fiúk", which kinda remind me of Arthur Brown's "Fire"), pleasing uptempo folk songs with a vaudeville touch ("Petróleum lámpa"), and epic martial progressions ("Tízezer lépés").
The most popular song is "Gyöngyhajú lány" (transl. "The Girl with Pearly Hair"), one of the anthems of Hungarian rock music, a wonderful progressive rock ballad.

The album equally resounds prog and hard rock, which were both at their very beginning at the time. In other words, Omega were not mere followers, but great musicians, perfectly synchronized with the expressiveness of Western rock giants.

DOWNLOAD (kbps: 256)