domenica 27 aprile 2014


You will probably remember "Krzyk", the album that marked Jacek Kaczmarski's comeback in Poland. I posted it on Soviet Sam some weeks ago.

Anyway, before leaving his country, the bard had already released "Mury", a strong debut in collaboration with Przemysław Gintrowski (a folksinger and soundtrack composer) and Zbigniew Łapiński (a virtuoso piano player, who was part of "Krzyk" too).

Even though the album didn't get any popularity at the time, as it was censored when the martial law became effective at the end of 1981, it gained a huge cult following since the end of the regime. The title-track is a cover of "L'estaca" by Lluís Llach, a Spanish anti-fascist anthem, with new lyrics by Kaczmarski. Today it is one of the most popular Polish folk songs.

Gintrowski's "Śmiech" and Kaczmarski's "Pompeja" are classics too, both strongly characterized by Łapiński's elaborate piano style and some striking background vocals.

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domenica 13 aprile 2014


If you are a frequent Soviet Sam reader, it shouldn't be necessary to introduce you the genius of Grzegorz Ciechowski. With and without Republika, he was probably the best thing happened to the Polish music scene of the Eighties.

This is his first solo album, an anthology of songs he composed while still in Republika (some of which were played during the band's last concerts). If you liked "Tak! Tak!", or Republika's last singles ("Tak długo czekam", "Sam na linie", "Moja krew"), you will like this album too, as it displays the same arrangements and approach. A dark, bombastic mix of muscular rock and electronic sounds.

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martedì 8 aprile 2014

IGOR LEN - "ZDES'" (rec. 1988, rel. 1990)

Original artist name: Игорь Лень
Original album title: Здесь

Until 1991 only the government owned label Melodiya could legally release music albums in the Soviet Union. After the fall of the socialist regime, Melodiya closed down and its entire catalogue went out of print.
While the part concerning the most popular artists was reissued by new labels born after 1991, another great part is still buried in the sands of time and nobody seems to care about it.

It's really a shame, because we are talking about a huge amount of music. Dozens of folk and ethnic music albums from all around the Soviet Unions are lost somewhere in dusty, forgotten archives, and so are lots of experimental records, including electronic pioneers, modern classical music, soundtracks, and so on.
The day a benefactor would systematically reissue the lost Melodiya catalogue will be a great day for music. For the time being, all we can do is enjoy some old vinyl rips.

"Zdes'" by Igor Len was one of the last albums released by Melodiya, in 1990. Recorded two years before by Len and his collaborator Dmitriy Tsvetkov, it consists of six tracks that mix melodic ambient music, suggestive liturgical voices, and a wide open space echo. On "Sryv" you can also hear a beautiful acoustic guitar played by Len himself.
"Zdes'" had a 250.000 copies distribution at the time, making it one of the most successful ambient music albums of its era. This makes the fact that such a gem is out of print even more sad.

P.S. I apologize for the vinyl rip, but I cannot do otherwise. Higher sounds are a bit disturbing, so be careful with the volume.

DOWNLOAD (kbps: 320, vinyl rip)

giovedì 3 aprile 2014

DK - "SNOVA LYUBOV' POSELITSA" (2001 collection of two 1984 tapes)

Original band name: ДК
Original album title: Снова любовь поселица

This CD was released in 2001, becoming one of DK's most frequently found releases, but despite what many think, it doesn't contain the magnetic tape of the same title released in 1984. In fact, it collects tracks from two other tapes of that year, "Vtoroye aprelya" and "Prekrasnyy novyy mir".

If compared to DK's other anthology appeared on Soviet Sam, "Lirika", this is more avant-garde oriented. There's nothing here resembling a song, but the music is still enjoyable in its perverted way. A raw sound quality, repetitive rhythms, crazy noises, spooky jingles, grotesque declamations, and lots of bizarre instrumental solos for guitar, organ, sax, and flute.
There are two tracks in particular which I find shockingly ahead of their time. I'm talking about "Staryy sukhodroch", with its incredible proto-trip hop rhythm, and "Poslushay drug", ten apocalyptic minutes with slow, distorted guitars which predate the sludge metal sound in many aspects.

DOWNLOAD (kpbs: 320)