martedì 30 settembre 2014

ZABRANJENO PUŠENJE - "DOK ČEKAŠ SABAH SA ŠEJTANOM" (1985)

Zabranjeno pušenje's second album is one of the many two-LP sets that characterized Yugoslav rock in the first half of the 80s. 
It lasts nearly an hour and contains eighteen songs, ranging from punk to blues, from new wave to country, from pub rock to power pop. 
Most of the tracks are graced by catchy tunes and creative arrangements, incorporating crazy background vocals and powerful bass lines, but also touches of sax and keyboards. 

Unfortunately, "Dok čekaš..." sold less than 30.000 copies at the time, as the authority decided to boycott the band for a pun about Marshal Tito expressed during a concert. 

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mercoledì 24 settembre 2014

IZABELA TROJANOWSKA - "IZA" (1981)

Izabela Trojanowska had three hits in Poland between 1980 and 1981: "Tyle samo prawd ile kłamstw", "Wszystko czego dziś chcę", and "Jestem twoim grzechem". The combined sales of these singles exceeded the 380.000 copies mark.

Her debut album collects them all, but for some reason only 50.000 copies were printed at the time. It was a dumb decision by the state label Tonpress, as it could have sold at least ten times more. If you are Polish and you know something about this strange story, please leave a comment.

The music is in the same vein of Trojanowska's second album, which I already posted some months ago, so you know what to expect: post-punk, synth-pop, exotic melodies, and some catchy guitar riffs. Anyway, "Iza" is even more eclectic than "Układy", as it was entirely composed by Romuald Lipko and played by his legendary band Budka Suflera.


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giovedì 18 settembre 2014

ZVUKI MU - "PROSTYE VESHCHI" (1988)

Original band name: Звуки Му
Original album title: Простые вещи

Zvuki Mu was a band from Moscow, founded in 1981 by singer Pyotr Mamonov. For some years it was just a part-time project, as the band didn't have a professional equipment, nor the possibility to record any song. Anyway, in 1988 their friend Vasily Shumov, leader of the experimental post-punk band Tsentr, offered Mamonov the chance to produce an album, which he obviously accepted. Zvuki Mu recorded around twenty songs during these sessions, most of which were written in the course of the 80s. 

"Prostye veshchi" lasts over 79 minutes and was released in the black market as a two-tape set. Reissued on CD in 1996, it is a still enjoyable anthology of new wave pieces with huge bass lines, funky guitars, jazz fusion keyboards, and pompous declamations.


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venerdì 12 settembre 2014

NIKOLAY KOPERNIK - "RODINA" (1986)

Original band name: Николай Коперник
Original album title: Родина

Despite never being popular, Nikolay Kopernik was one of the most fascinating bands of Russian new wave. 
The line-up of their debut album consists of Yuri Orlov (vocals, guitars), Igor Len
(keyboards), Dmitry Tsvetkov (drum machine), Oleg Andreev (bass guitar), and Igor Andreev (saxophone).
Like many other rock acts of their era, they were not allowed to record in a professional studio, and they had to arrange themselves into a small apartment. Tsvetkov opted for a drum machine when he realized there was not enough space for a real set of drums. 

You can try to imagine a Soviet answer to David Sylvian's Japan, Bill Nelson, early Adam & the Ants, or even Frankie Goes to Hollywood, but obviously the band had enough personality to sound in its own, peculiar way. 
They were excellent and creative instrumentists. Orlov played guitar with a glass thimble, giving it a thin, crystalline sound; Andreev played a fretless bass, filling a lot of spaces with his improvisations; Len added the atmosphere with his electronic layers, often ispired by minimalism and ambient music.
The music was composed by Len, Tsvetkov, and Orlov, while the latter wrote the lyrics, inspired by a book of poems from northern Russia.

DOWNLOAD (kbps: 221-311)