Sunday, 13 October 2019

Jaan Rääts ‎– "Marginaalid" (Мелодия ‎– C10-16031-2) 1981


You're never more than a few feet away from a Rääts, so they reckon.
Indeed, there's a classical composer hiding out in every kitchen,especially in Estonia it seems.
Nearly every decent experimental composer in the former Soviet Union seemed to come from this gloomy Baltic state....which explains a lot of the music's famed bleakness.
In comparison to Rääts multitudinous other works, side B is positively joyful.Thanks to the influence of much younger chum Sven Grünberg, formerly of prog band 'Mess', who lent him his synth collection,and played on it.
Side A is a typically uber-heavy Jaan Rääts style experimental neo classical piano piece.A pity he didn't do two sides of experimental electronica,but, hey,at least we get to be thought of as 'Intellectual' when we're overheard playing "24 Marginal Notes For The Piano".......once!

Tracklist:

A 24 Marginal Notes For The Piano, Op. 65 (28:27)
B Electronic Marginalia, Op.65-a
Featuring [Electronic Realization] – Jaan Rääts, Sven Grünberg (22:07)


Saturday, 12 October 2019

Erkki-Sven Tüür ‎– "Oratorio Ante Finem Saeculi / Symphony No. 2" (Мелодия ‎– C10 27187 009) 1988


Not many ex-prog rockers got to work with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra Of The Ministry Of Culture (on tracks: B1, B2), but Erkki-Sven managed to get given the nod.There's nothing the USSR's Ministry of Culture would like more than one of the Soviet Unions youngsters getting into writing the odd symphony,so Erkki leaving his degenerate past behind in favour of neo-classical compostion would score him plenty of privileges;one being access to their rich depth of classical musicians and the use of the odd Symphony Orchestra.
On side A he only has the use of the Estonian Symphony Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Oratorio Choir to get his ideas across.
There's a bit of the 'Omen' soundtrack about it, think Jerry Goldsmith, and probably some Bartok and Stravinsky influences?
Whatever, its rather brilliantly bleak and creepy.A horror movie soundtrack in the waiting......if it hasn't been used already?
Would have been better released as In Spe's third eponomously titled Magma influenced album in my opinion.It did get him signed to ECM after the wall came down, so here a career maketh.

Tracklist:
Oratorio "Ante Finem Saeculi" (1985) (for soloists, mixed choir and orchestra)
A1 Tempus I
A2 Tempus II
A3 Tempus III
A4 Tempus IV 


Symphony No. 2 (1986-87) (for symphony orchestra and tape)
B1 Vision
B2 Process


Friday, 11 October 2019

In Spe ‎– "In Spe" (Мелодия ‎– C60 23199 000) 1985


In Spe's second album had the same eponymous title as their first,which is a tad confusing,but it can add to sales as its possible to buy the wrong album, then buy the other to rectify your glaring error. It was a popular tactic for Peter Gabriel's solo work,and even The Plastic Ono Band's debut, which had two versions each by John and Yoko respectively, that had the same title and the same cover(with subtle differences).
The main man from the first 'In Spe' album, Erkki-Sven Tüür,had left to persue a career of artistic fulfillment as a proper neo-classical composer. So the remaining members had to try and do a crash course in neo-classical prog.Which to a large extent they achieved,despite the dodgy concept of the Typewriter as part of a concerto...in 'D'!?..whether that was the letter 'D',or the sound of the machine was in 'D', or if there even is a 'D' on a Russian cyrillic keyboard,its not explained.What is sure,however, is that they were never heard of again......read into that what you may.

Tracklist:

Концерт Для Пишущей Машинки Ре Мажор/
Typewriter Concerto in D

A.1 Allegro Vivace E Marcato 5:45
A.2 Largo Molto Tranquillo 6:10
A.3 Allegro Agitato 5:27
A.4 Finale 0:50
B1 Ощущение Вечности 6:03
B2 Рондо Сломанной Руки 4:34
B3 Не Будет Предано Забвению 3:48
B4 Vallis Mariae 3:30

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

In Spe ‎– "In Spe" (Мелодия ‎– С60 19367 001) 1983


More Estonian Prog, with leanings towards the Neo-Classical trend of Estonian modern composition that augmented the record collections of many a social climber in the nineties;filed next to 'Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares' and Arvo Pärt's 'Tabula Rasa'.
In Spe contained one Erkki-Sven Tüür as composer-in-chief.Later to be seen hob-nobbing with all those serious chaps on ECM. Was even pretentious enough to use the word 'Symphony' in the titles of his neo-classical outings,including the opening suite on side one.
All that aside, this is a classic of Estonian prog, and may even be the best symphonic prog album to come out of the Soviet Union.

Tracklist:

1.Симфония для семи исполнителей/Sümfoonia seitsmele esitajale/Symphony For Seven Performers

1a Ostium 4:27
1b Illuminatio 6:35
1c Mare Vitreum 8:30
2.Antidolorosum 4:47
3.Солнечный челн 9:00
4.Борьба сфер 7:20


VSP Projekt ‎– "VSP Projekt" (Мелодия ‎– C60 28195 004) 1989


Another proggy projekt featuring Sven Grunberg was Estonian prog rock super group VSP Projekt,which also featured members of other proggy bands from the Soviet Baltic states, such as In Spe, Radar,Ultima Thule,and Ruja.
I hear the unfortunate sound of a fretless bass on here, so you know that they are serious in their objective of making a smoothly conceptualised Jazz Rock Fusion masterpiece.One that Erkki Sven Tüür of 'In Spe' describes as 'Rock music with a sense of distance and even alienation'......thanks for that Sven. I like a bit of alienation,and the six string fretless bass certainly alienated me.
It does have that bleakness that only scandinavian bands,including the Baltic States, can really understand,and it looms large in most of the music that emanates from this suicide rich region.
So join us as '...that lonely spectator of an empty metropolis ,in an endless field of snow',.....I paraphrase mr Tüür once more....he's good isn't he?

Tracklist:

Mees Sarvega 4:58
Oktoober, Oktoober 5:17
Tuulepealne 7:03
Mälumäng 5:03
Hilineja 8:41
Kuulaps 2:25


Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Mess - "Sven Grünberg’s Proge Rock Group Mess(1975-76)" (Bella Musica ‎– BM-CD 31.4199) 1995


Sven Grünberg was in a Estonian progressive rock band called, ironically, Mess;which I hope was a piss-take of 'Yes'? This mess was founded by Sven and the splendidly named Härmo Härm in 1974.However, Despite the many years of the band's existence and many live performances, Mess didn't release a single studio album because of the contradictions of their musical style with Soviet ideology; only in 1995 did Grünberg manage to release a compilation from several surviving Mess recordings,of which makes up this CD,recorded from 1975-76.
I've always had a soft spot for bands that exist for decades yet never release any product, like Keiji Haino's the beyond excellent 'Fushitsusha',and the also excellent 'Mess'.
Mess's sound is a spaced-out experimental type of prog,thats a cross-hybrid between the more cosmic end of Krautrock and the darker,spacier, side of British progressive Rock.Further strengthening the Baltic states claim to be the home of Soviet music,where all the most interesting commie prog,or 'proge'(i'm sure that's a typo,but a good genre name nonetheless) bands came from.
Sven eventually got his 'professional' status which enabled him to get a record released on Melodiya under his own name,the soviet-kosmiche electronic classic, "Hingus".

Tracklist:
1 Overture/Avamäng 1:48
2 Green Hearths/Rohelised Leed 7:16
3 Bright Mornings/Valged Hommikud 6:31
4 To The Clouds/Pilvini 4:19
5 Pond/Tiik 9:43
6 Story/Lugu 6:09
7 Alone/Üksi 4:39
8 Ask Yourself/Küsi Eneselt 10:39
9 Sky/Taevas (Coda) 2:40


Monday, 7 October 2019

Sven Grünberg / Свен Грюнберг ‎– "Hingus / Дыхание" (Мелодия ‎– С90-16301-2) 1981


Luckily, Soviet Estonian prog legend, Sven Grünberg, formerly of commie prog band 'Mess', got to muck about with the Melodia, in house, EMS Synthi 100 too. The results of which can be heard on this Electronic Cosmic classic. Its like drifting in space waiting for your oxygen to run out after a malfunctioning computer had jettisoned you from the air-lock into the eternal something.
Fittingly its called 'Breath',so it can't be bad,unless its your last one on the million year journey towards the Black Hole at the centre of our Galaxy.

Tracklist:

Hingus/Дыхание 

A1 Hingus I (Breath)
A2 Hingus II (Breath)
A3 Hingus III (Breath)
A4 Hingus IV (Breath)
B1 Teekond (Journey)
B2 Valgusois (Flower Of LIght)


Edward Artemiev /Э. Артемьев ‎– "Метаморфозы / Metamorphoses" (Мелодия ‎– С 10—13889-90) 1980


When Eduard Artemiev, Yuri Bogdanov and Vladimir Martynov got their clammy hands on the massive, British made, Digital/Analogue synthesizer Synthi 100  by EMS systems as owned by "Melodia", the result was "Metamorphoses - Electronic interpretations of classic and modern musical works".Which consisted of electronic interpretations of ‘classical’ and neo-classical pieces by Claude Debussy and Monteverdi among others . Yuri Bogdanov features on every track, on some tracks together with Edward Artemiev, among others. Other tracks feature Vladimir Martynov.
The record was made with the basic concept of a kaleidoscope: it's interspersed with pieces of various styles, genres and eras. For example,for these pieces the authors wanted to show a variety of ways to use a synthesizer, starting with the direct simulation of now or once existing instruments, to the establishment of new not yet known sounds. Thus, the record is like a small musical walk through time,as realized by the SYNTHY100 synthesizer.

Yes, the only synth I know of with a built in Oscilloscope!?
There were only thirty of these beasts made,and luckily for Iron curtain dwelling modern composers the state label shelled out the 6.5 grand necessary to purchase one of these mighty beasts in the late seventies.....of course the BBC Radipphonic Workshop had one since 1970. Now dodgy pop stars all over the planet salivate at the prospect of finding one of these in the local thrift store. Billy Corgan has one....but don't let that put you off.


The Synthi 100....they don't build 'em like this anymore!?

Tracklist:


A1 Ветер На Равнине = Le Vent Dans La Plaine 4:25
A2 Я Молод И Радостен = Io Mi Son Giovinetta 2:15
A3 Почему Ты Спрашиваешь? = Why Aske You? 2:32
A4 Весенний Этюд = Spring Etude 5:20
A5 Сарказмы = Sarcasmes 1:20
A6 Канопа = Canope 2:15
B1 Летний Канон = Summer Cannon 2:25
B2 Утро В Горах = Morning In The Mountains 3:30
B3 Гольдберг-Вариации № 5 И 8 = Goldberg Variations Nos. 5 And 8 1:44
B4 Паруса = Voiles 4:44
B5 Движение = Motion 8:35


Sunday, 6 October 2019

Edward Artemiev / Э. Артемьев ‎– "Moods / Картины-Настроения" (Мелодия ‎– С10 21077 002) 1984



Moving on from soundtracks for communist cheating at sports.I promised more of the Neo-Classical electronica,of Eduard Artemiev.So here's Eddie treating us to the shorter side of his composition spectrum, with epic tracks combining synthesisers and real instruments, plus more chilled out ambient affairs.Rather like a doomier Klaus Schultz or Tangerine Dream, these are from his soundtrack work for Soviet cinema,and works like a more traditional album with more light and shade for those with short attention spans,like Communist Party Officials or American Presidents.

Notes:
From the music to the films:
«Сибириада» [Sibiriada] (A1, A4, A6, B1),
«Куда уходят киты» [Where The Whales Are Gone] (A2),
«Лунная радуга» [Moon Rainbow] (A3, A7),
«Ночь рождения» [Night Of Birth] (A5),
«Инспектор Гулл» [Inspector Gull] (B2),
«Жаркое лето в Кабуле» [Hot Summer In Kabul] (B3, B4),
«Охота на лис» [Hunting The Foxes] (B5)
«Загадки перуанских индейцев» [Mystery Of The Peru Indians] (B6)

Tracklisting :


1. Fire
2. Constellation Of Past Times
3. Training Ground
4. Native Shores
5. Lullaby
6. Reminiscences
7. City
8. Crusade
9. Dream
10. Hot Summer
11. Meditation
12. Hunting
13. Top Of The World

Kosmischer Läufer ‎– "The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Program 1972-83 - Volume Four" (Unknown Capability Recordings ‎– UCKL004V) 2018


While working as a sound editor for DEFA in the 1970’s and 80's Martin Zeichnete led a secret, parallel life writing music to train and inspire East Germany’s athletic elite. This fourth compilation of Zeichnete’s work will take us on a cosmic voyage of both the body and the mind...
Side 1 of this collection contains a running program at 150 bpm taken from various years of the project. After the warm-up fanfare of ‘Zeit zum Laufen 150’ (1977) we launch into the sleek, motorik engine of ‘Goldene Tage’(1982). The second running piece ‘Lichtgeschwindigkeit’ (1983) comes from one of the final Kosmischer Läufer sessions where Zeichnete used a drummer and bass player in the studio. The haunting waltz ‘Der Leuchtturm am Ende der Zeit’(1976) provides a calming warm-down.

Side 2 give us a first listen to a different aspect of Zeichnete’s work.1978’s ‘Der Weg’ (The Path), was the culmination of his experiments to bring focus to athletes’ minds using music and images.

As Zeichnete recalls:

‘As early as 1974 we were looking to provide a mental stimulus for the athletes as well as physical. We began with alpha wave projection and used dream-machine-like devices with an instructor reading inspirational messages. These early attempts appeared to have no real value to the athletes so I progressed to making a film with a suitable soundtrack.
To view ‘Der Weg’ the subject would be comfortably seated in a darkened room wearing headphones. The film would be projected large-scale onto a concave wall filling their field of vision’.

The film began with a voice-over while a light pulsing gently at 10hz appeared on the screen. Once the subject was attuned to their surroundings the film then progressed as follows:

Phase I – Forst - As the music begins we see scenes of the universe, of life on earth and nature. We end up in a beautiful forest with sunlight playing through the leaves. This section evoked a sense of calm.

Phase II – Das Meer - The deepest part of the meditation. We are flying across the ocean as the sun is rising. Then we are under the sea. All is tranquil as we move among the shoals of fish.

Phase III – Heimat - We are now in modern East Germany. We see the country we love. We see the faces of the people we as athletes will represent. Positive messages appear on the screen.

Phase IV – Morgen - We see our fellow athletes training and winning great victories for our country. Captions on the screen tell us that this is our future!

Sadly, the film has been lost to time but it lives on in Zeichnete’s vibrant soundtrack.

Zeit zum Laufen!"


Tracklist:

A1 Zeit Zum Laufen 150
A2 Goldene Tage
A3 Lichtgeschwindigkeit
A4 Der Leuchtturm Am Ende Der Zeit
B1 Der Weg (Introduction)
B2 Phase I - Forst
B3 Phase II - Das Meer
B4 Phase III - Heimat
B5 Phase IV - Morgen


Saturday, 5 October 2019

Kosmischer Läufer ‎– "The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Program 1972-83 - Volume Three" (Unknown Capability Records ‎– UCKL003V) 2015



I suspect that most of the DDR womens athletic team trod that fine line between being a male while still retaining enough of the female to be considered a woman.
Andreas Krieger,was once known as Heidi Krieger,and competed as a woman for the DDR, winning the gold medal for shot put in the 1986 European Athletic Championships.Trouble was that Krieger was dosed up with so much anabolic androgenic steroids that she changed sex.
At the trial o
f the leader of the East German sports program and East Germany's Olympic committee, Krieger testified that the drugs he had been given had contributed to his trans-sexuality;the doping deprived him of the right to "find out for myself which sex I wanted to be."
Maybe it was a combination of this training music and the drugs that tipped Heidi into manhood? So be attentive, do not listen to this gorgeous Kosmiche musik at the same time as downing a few doses of anabolic steroids,or you may just change gender type.

As it says in the liner notes:
This third collection of Martin Zeichnete's secret work for the DDR's athletic elite comes in two parts. First, a running program (Tracks 1-3) at 164BPM finds Zeichnete at his most hypnotic, particularly on the motorik, rolling 'Jenseits Des Horizonts'. This set ends with the elegiac 'Für Seelenbinder', a song dedicated to Olympic wrestler and communist hero Werner Seelenbinder.
Particularly exciting is the second part (Tracks 4-10), a soundtrack to a lost animated film UCR obtained only a few months ago.
In the spring of 1976 Zeichnete learnt that the NOK der DDR hoped to launch a bid to bring the 1984 Summer Games to East Berlin. Excited, he returned to DEFA in Dresden where he and an animator colleague conceived ‘Traum Von Der Goldenen Zukunft’ (Dream Of The Golden Future), a 20-minute cartoon they hoped could be used to promote the bid. An inspired Zeichnete composed the music in a week. The bid and thus the film were abandoned and the music was cast aside where it lay hidden and forgotten. Until now.


Tracklist:

A1 Zeit Zum Laufen 164 2:54
A2 Jenseits Des Horizonts 10:13
A3 Für Seelenbinder 4:14
B1 Traum Von Der Goldenen Zukunft (Theme) 1:32
B2 In Der Stadt Und Auf Dem Land 2:16
B3 Der Traum Des Mädchens 3:29
B4 Der Traum Des Jungen 3:42
B5 Unterwasser 1:11
B6 Ankunft Im Stadion / Das Rennen 2:31
B7 Die Turnerin 1:36
B8 Siegerehrung / Abschied Von Der Zukunft 5:32


Friday, 4 October 2019

Kosmischer Läufer ‎– "The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Program 1972-83" - Volume Two (Unknown Capability Recordings ‎– UCKL002V) 2014


Todays drugged up East German athlete in the spotlight, is the one and only Marlies Göhr.That sprinter with the strange short staccato stride style,hairy armpits,and terrible hair-do's, that dominated womens sprinting in the 80's.Incredibly she was the only East German athelete to have tested positive for drugs,androgenic steroids, in 1975 as a 17-year-old.Yes, Androgenic drugs can have an effect on one's gender,so I suspect Marlies may have had to shave....her face...not her furry armpits.
With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Stasi (secret police) files suggested widespread official doping under the East German regime...surprise surprise.
However, I would prefer to believe that it was this training music that inspired our fav drug cheats to achieve dominance over the west rather than performance enhancing chemicals.
Volume Two is even better than volume 1,mixing up a bit of Kosmiche with a bit of Motorik,like a groovier Tangerine Dream.
All done without performance enhancing drugs......Shame on you Marlies Göhr, but you and your team mates brightened up those dour olympics in Moscow,and we missed your delightful villany during the tit-for-tat boycott in Los Angeles.Apparently she now shaves those armpits.....what a shame?.....as in that other kind of shame, rather than the hang your head in shame variety.


Liner Notes:
Tracks A1 - B1 from a running programme at 172 BPM with warmup and warmdown pieces.
Tracks B2 - B6 were written to acompany the gymnastic floor excercise and finally tracks B7 - B8 take us onto the ice with two pieces written for the figure skating long program for Katarina Witt.

(More liner notes as a PDF HERE!

Tracklist:

A1 Zeit Zum Laufen 172 3:13
A2 Morgenröte 9:51
A3 Flucht Aus Dem Tal Der Ahnungslosen 10:13
B1 Die Kapsel 3:22
B2 Die Libellen 1:29
B3 Mausi Mausi 1:30
B4 Walzer Der Roten Katze 1:34
B5 Chronik 1:39
B6 Der Hörraum 1:32
B7 Für Kati 3:53
B8 Weltraumspaziergang 4:13


Kosmischer Läufer ‎– "The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Program 1972-83 - Volume One" (Unknown Capability Recordings ‎– UCKL001) 2013


The myth spoiling music Stasi have suggested that this is an elaborate hoax.The same bastards who unveiled the identity of the Residents, and that Captain Beefheart made nearly everything up.
This should be ignored, and I truly believe that this music was comissioned by the DDR government,and those drug fuelled monsters in the DDR olympic squad used this to train to.
As Hoaxes go, this one is impressivly watertight,which is reason enough to put that aside and enjoy the georgeous analogue beauty of the Kosmiche Musick trapped in these grooves, and imagine Heike Drechler downing gallons of performance enhancing substances to those classic warm synth sounds.
Here's an amusing interview with the, alleged, composer of these pieces, Martin Zeichnette:

An Interview with Martin Zeichnete. Berlin. February 2013:
Q: Hello Martin, we'll start at the beginning I suppose. Where did you grow up?
I was born in Pesterwitz, which is near Dresden, in 1951. Before the war my parents had been teachers. Afterwards my father worked for the FDGB and my mother sometimes gave music lessons.
Q: Where did you begin your music career?
My first job was as an apprentice sound editor for DEFA, (Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft), in the Trickfilme (Animation) department in Dresden. I learned techniques in tape editing and 'special effects' which I would put to good use later on in my 'invisible' career. Perhaps because we provided music for animated film we managed to sneak in some avant garde ideas that would not be tolerated elsewhere. Some of us saw it as a game. Between us and the state censors.
Q: Tell me about the music that inspired Kosmischer Läufer?
Although we were of course aware of popular Western music at the time, very little was available to us. Our primary source came from radio stations broadcasting from the West. Due to the geography of the area this proved difficult in Dresden! There was a station I could get from Düsseldorf that played Kosmische Musik , you know, Kraftwerk and Cluster and Neu! and so on. To me, sitting in the attic tuning the radio dial, searching for anything, hearing these beautiful new electronic sounds, it did seem like music from the cosmos. I would record it and pass tapes on to my friends. We did have people in the East doing electronic music, such as Paul-Heinz Dittrich, but I found their version of it all too studious. The music from the West was fun. It had energy.
Q: How did the idea come about?
I was a keen amateur runner and when out I would play these motorik, repetitive songs in my head. I thought somehow it could be used as a training aid for athletes. The electric pulse sort of thing. I thought it could benefit the athletes mind as well as body, the music would be hypnotic, it would bring focus. Then at work I was shown a prototype design of Andreas Pavel's 'Stereobelt' and I knew this could be possible.
Q: So how does it go from an idea to a reality?
It was not in a good way! I shared my ideas with colleagues at work but as was often the case in those times I perhaps spoke in front of the wrong person. One day at the studio two SED members arrived and took me away in an official car.
Q: What did you think was happening?
Well. I didn't know, you think of everything you have said, everyone you have said it to, but I think I knew it would be about the music. I feared I would lose my job, at the very least. It would be very bad for someone who worked on party films to be seen to be influenced by the enemy, you know, Western culture.
Q:Where were you taken?
We drove in silence to the outskirts of Berlin to what I later found out was an athletics camp. They knew all about me and my idea. They questioned me about the concept for hours then left me alone in the room. Later an official from the Nationales Olympisches Komitee came in and told me I would begin to work on the project immediately.
Q: Just like that! It seems very matter of fact?
Yes, I was stunned, but sometimes that is how things happened then. We know now that the athletic directors were trying anything to gain an advantage in those times. At least my idea did not harm the athletes. I was in a studio in Berlin the next day.
Q: Did you work alone or with other musicians?
To begin with it was just myself, the engineer and always a state official who would sit in the corner observing. The first things I tried were basically electronic metronomes at various paces with very little melody. These were tested but the athletes didn't respond very well so I began writing more 'musical' pieces. Sometimes I would be joined by a drummer and a guitarist. It was incredible, when I would explain to the musicians what we were going to do, you could tell immediately the ones who 'got' what the music was. We would be in the live room doing 20 minute space rock pieces while a government official sat bored on the other side of the glass. It was surreal.
Q: What equipment did you have access to?
It varied. We had some Western technology in effect units and such but the synthesizers were mostly Soviet in origin and could be very temperamental. The studio in Dresden had a Subharchord which I had used before on animation soundtracks, it was a great machine. I filled in many claim forms for equipment. Sometimes it came, sometimes it didn't. The Moog didn't. I do know that the athletes in the program were probably the first people in the East to have Walkmen as I saw the order for 300 units.
Q: Did you ever meet the athletes?
Not really at the time, always there was a minder there when I met with them and the coaches to discuss what they needed. It was a shame, they were my only audience. Years later, after reunification, one former Olympian I met confessed to me that he would try and swap the training cassettes supplied to him for Western music at international meets.
Q: How long did the project continue?
I would be summoned to Berlin generally in the winter to produce tracks for the upcoming athletics season. The last work I did was in 1983 doing pieces for the gymnastic team's floor performances. The project stopped as suddenly as it had started. I was given no explanation. I think it may have been due to the boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics.
Q: How did you retain the music?
Well, I was not supposed to take the music from the studio as it was state property but I did manage to sneak a lot out. I thought the master tapes had been destroyed or lost in the chaos after the wall came down but one of the engineers, who 'got' it, had rescued a lot of them. We transferred them to digital in the early 90s.
Q: Why release this now?
I made this music for people to train to. Because of the time and place I did it only a select few got to use it. I would like for more people to finally use and enjoy it. It is as simple as that."

Liner Notes:
This program should allow the average runner to complete a 5 kilometre run at a reasonable pace. Included are 3 minute warmup and warm down pieces.
This program was used by the East German Olympians in the 1970s.

Tracklist:

1 Zeit Zum Laufen 156 2:56
2 Sandtrommel 6:26
3 Die Lange Gerade 13:07
4 Tonband Laufspur 6:32
5 Ein Merkwürdiger Anschlag 2:49


Thursday, 3 October 2019

Eduard Artemiev / Эдуард Артемьев ‎– "Ode To The Bearer Of Good News / Ода Доброму Вестнику" ( Мелодия ‎– С60 21277 005) 1984


Keeping with the Soviet sporting theme, here be Edward Artemiev's tribute to the Moscow Olympiad of 1980.The one where the western powers were under pressure from Reagan's America to boycott the games....so much for the land of the free.The UK sent a team,which i'm not so sure they would do if it happened today.
Eddie was the guy who made all those creepy soundtracks for those creepy Andrei Tarkovsky films,like Solaris and Stalker.As near as one can get to arty perfection.
This album is a mixture of Proggy Kosmiche music and neo classical electronic hybrid ambient weirdness.
Its fantastically intense,and darkly dramatic stuff.Like a soundtrack for a Nordic Noir Siberian Gulag crime thriller,including the disco scene.

Tracklist:

1 Факел/Fakel 3:28
2 Добрый Вестник/Dobry Vestnik 7:00
3 Гармония Мира/Garmonya mira 3:39
4 Вечный Прогресс/Vechny progress 4:26
5 Красота Земли/Krasota Zemli 7:38
6 Интерлюдия/Interludia 3:47
7 О Спорт, Ты - Мир/O sport ti mir
Ensemble – Мелодия 6:47


Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Arsenal / Арсенал ‎– "Джаз-Рок Ансамбль Арсенал / Jazz Rock Ensemble" (Мелодия ‎– С 60—12209-10) 1979


Indeed, Arsenal, the Soviet Jazz Fusion combo NOT the fucking Footy team.....christ....how many times????
...well...Arsenal weren't always a electronic synth pop trio like on "Pulse 3", since 1973 they were an experimental Jazz Rock collective,releasing an album of such stuff on state label Melodija six years after their inception.It took time to be accepted as proper musicians in the USSR,as only 'Professionals' were allowed to release proper records. Once that rubber stamp was applied to your papers the first place of call was Melodija HQ, and you were away.
One thing Melodija records really liked was if musicians from any of the republics did a 'Superior' version of the decadant rubbish that was being turned out in the west. Just the idea of a Russian Jazz Rock combo had the KGB instantly moist....."Da, vee have ser Jazz Rock Kombo,unt sey are better zan your Jazz Rock Kombo's too!!!"...apologies for the terrible Russian accent,not easy to transcribe into gibberish, but i do try.
Its actually rather fucking good,and reminds one of those Blaxsploitation (Redsploitation?) soundtracks,like Roy Ayers"Coffy" (Vodka?),but with extra kerosene and played by some Siberian alcoholics with 'wet Brain' high on Vodka and aviation fuel.
I'm sure Arsenal were very sober, but I had to get an imbiber of high octane clear fluids reference in hadn't I?
As the bloke in Boney M said at the end of world wide mega hit "Rasputin",...."Ooooooooh! Those Russsssiaaaans!"...i'll now finish as I started.....Indeeeed. 

Tracklist:

1. Опасная игра (A Dangerous Game)
2. Дерево (A Tree)
3. Сюита ля бемоль мажор (Suite in A Flat Major)
4. Башня из слоновой кости (An Ivory Tower)
5. Генезис (Genesis)
6. Рэгтайм (Ragtime)

DOWNLOAD an arse full HERE!

Arsenal / Арсенал ‎– "Пульс 3 = Pulse 3" (Мелодия ‎– С60 23883 009) 1986


Arsenal,no not the Football team from North London, the Proggy Jazz Fusion combo from the Soviet Union, were, by 1986, considered 'professionals',so were offered/ordered, by the Sports Ministry, to do the third "Sport and Music" disc in a modern electronic stylee for the peoples to exercise to;a commie version of 'Strength Through Joy' one assumes?
Arsenal do a splendid job at making half an hour of synth pop instrumentals to exercise to,which is in stark contrast to their original style of the experimental progressive Jazz Rock fusion of their youth in the early seventies.Electropantomime they call it?
As it says informatively on the cover:

"The Music recorded on this disc reflects only one side of the "Arsenal"'s activity in trying out new rythms, forms. orchestral devices, instruments. Venturing into new styles and genres the ensemble keeps its image fresh and develops modern intrumental trends. Most of the pieces presented here are performed in the second part of the ensemble´s concert and are linked with the visual effects of the stage production, costumes, plastic movement. The pulsating motions performed by the ensemble members to electronic music are called "electropantomime".

Already issued in the "Sport & Music" Series are:
Various - Ритмическая Гимнастика (Aerobic Exercises) C60 21591 005
А. Родионов / Б. Тихомиров - Пульс 1. Музыкальный Компьютер C60 23379 009
Zigmar Liepinš - Пульс 2 = Pulse 2 C60 23479 004

Tracklist:

A1 Эстафета = Relay Race 4:08
A2 Рондо = Rondo 4:32
A3 Праздник = Festival 2:12
A4 Пульс Улицы = Street Pulse 3:28
B1 Фоторобот = Photorobot 3:20
B2 Былина = Folk Epic Tale 5:20
B3 Манипулятор = Manipulator 2:41
B4 Электронная Шарманка = Electronic Organ 2:41


Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Zigmar Liepinš ‎– "Пульс 2 = Pulse 2" (Мелодия ‎– C60 23479 004) 1985


The second edition in the 'Sport and Music' series of electro-pop records released in the CCCP by Melodiya in 1985.
This one is by Latvian keyboardist Zigmar Liepins,better known as a member of jazzy combo Modo.
You could have played this on your Soviet equivalent of a Walkman as you exercised,but Communist 'tech' wasn't big on miniturisation.You would have needed a ruck sack to carry it around in;good for building up stamina,but terrible for your back.As everyone was either in, going in, or been in, the Red Army, this was nothing more than a mild inconvenience
Get Pulse 1 Here! and Pulse 3 Here!

Sleeve notes:
"This disc is issued in a series jointly prepared by the "Melodiya" firm and the USSR Sports Committee and may be recommended to accompany sports coaching sessions, competitions and other active recreations."


Tracklist:

A1 Танец-85 (Dance-85) 4:00
A2 Челнок (Shuttle) 1:43
A3 Виктория (Victoria) 4:15
A4 Возрождение (Rebirth) 3:06
B1 ...Опус IV (...Opus IV) 4:10
B2 Видение (Vision) 3:50
B3 Твердый Орешек (Hard Nut To Crack) 4:44


Monday, 30 September 2019

А. Родионов & Б. Тихомиров ‎– "Пульс 1. Музыкальный Компьютер (Sport and Music Vol.1)" ( Мелодия ‎– C60 23379 009) 1985


Allegedly, this, on the cutting edge of youth culture relic,came with a free course of Steroids,which was the Soviet equivalent of the half-time Orange in the communist sporting arena.......of course I am joking,but the Soviet sports ministry weren't, when nearly all athletes for the CCCP were drugged up to the eyeballs in a desperate bid to out-do America and her allies.Which is still going on today,except now Russia are very Banned,hopefully forever.
In 1985,they had lost the space-race,were losing in the Arms-race, but the eastern bloc were untouchable in nearly every Olympics race.
This all sounds rather despicable,but at least they reserved the raping and enforced terminated pregnacies for the 14 year old female gymnasts.It made them more flexible in competition apparently.
I don't remember reading about this in Das Kapital!?
The Polit bureau preferred their comrades in the proletariat to exercise in silence,no screaming either no matter what your coach was doing to you; but word had it that a new fad had emerged in the USA called 'Aerobics',according to high level intelligence reports. Otherwise known as 'Exercise to Music'. An evil decadant capitalist called Colonel Jane Fondle,as stated in top secret KGB microfilm, had begun a mass undemocratic mobilisation of female special forces to stealthily learn hand-to-hand combat techniques ready to be parachuted in, pre-emptively,to attack Russian infastructure before the invasion. The uniform of pale pastal shades, headbands displaying rank, and so-called 'legwarmers, to conceal chemical weaponry, was obviously a new form of Dazzle camouflage.
This album of the latest modern music is the USSR's answer to this sinister threat against their gloriously dour existence......i'll let the ministry of sporting glory explain further:
The following introduction is taken from cover:

"Physical exercise to music can greatly help to organise rationally our work and rest. Both musical and human motion rhythms may be classed as "functional", with an essential influence on Man's health and productivity.
The present record is a joint venture of the Melodia sound-recording firm and the USSR Sport Committee, first in a planned series under "Pulse" heading meant to emphasize the vital importance of phisical culture.
"Pulse 1" of the "Sport & Music" series is recommended to accompany coaching sessions, sport festivals, competitions and other active recreations.
The series will be sufficiently versatile to adapt to various purposes that music can serve in sports.
The series' first disc (30 cm diametre (12"), 45 rpm) acquaints the public with electronic music composed with the help of an individual musical computer, for the first time in the USSR.
The scores were created on the display with the subsequent recording to magnetic tape. The composition is based on suites of contrasting instrumental miniatures.
We hope that the joint effort of Melodia and the USSR Sports Committee will promote Soviet electronic music in sports." 
(Field Marshall Vladimir Z. Leotardov, Chief inspector of young ladies bottoms and Beach volleyball Minister 1955-86;died of Radiation Poisoning at Chernobyl,1986, after fondling several firemen.)

Tracklist:

Современное Пятиборье, Сюита · Modern Pentathlon, Suite 12:30
A1 Догоняй, Компьютер (Кросс) · Catch Up, Computer (Cross-Country Race)
A2 Электронный Наездник (Скачки) · Electronic Jockey (Horse Races)
A3 В Гостях У Нептуна (Плавание) · Visiting Neptune (Swimming)
A4 Игровой Автомат (Стрельба Из Пистолета) · Gaming Slot Machine (Pistol Shooting)
A5 Барокко (Фехтование) · Baroque (Fencing)

Музыкальные Картинки, Сюита · Musical Sketches, Suite 13:00
B1 Марафон · Marathon
B2 Электронный Будильник · Electronic Alarm-Clock
B3 На Роликовых Коньках · Roller-Skating
B4 Соревнование · Competition
B5 Танец · Dance

DOWNLOAD or be shot HERE!

Various ‎Artists – "Ритмическая Гимнастика (Aerobic Exercises)" (Мелодия ‎– C60 21591 005) 1985


"This disc prepared by "Melodia" together with the USSR Sport Committee will replace the teacher. This record is the first in the series of programmes in aerobics, intended for collective, individual and even family exercises."...it says on the cover.
Replace the Teacher?....what happened to her?
Reassigned to do important heroic work treating radiation burns at Chernobyl no doubt?She's now long dead after contracting Non-Hodgkinsons Lymphoma at the age of 29.Then posthumously decorated as a Hero of the Soviet Union before being cremated as a radiation hazard.
The image of Jane Fondski on the cover clashes with my preferred vision of a Soviet Aerobics Instructor. A steroided up brute of a woman with a five o'clock shadow,stuffed into a uniform,stomping through the exercises wearing jackboots and a scowl.
I certainly feel a need to obey the voice on the record, if only I knew what the fuck shes banging on about.
The dialogue set over the top of some elevator synth pop could easily have been something that Jim Whelton ,of Homosexuals/Die Trip Computer Die fame, would have made back in the eighties as L Voag or Gus Coma. Far weirder than anything Nurse With Wound could have hoped to have made back in the day.But it was just another day in the asbestos factory for the Melodja back room staff.
You may think me in need of,or already on medication, but I play this album a lot....its out there maaaaan!

Tracklist:

A1 К Звездам (Towards The Stars) 1:02
A2 Сафари (Safari) 3:47
A3 Игра (Game) 1:21
A4 В Движении (On The Move) 2:18
A5 Заход Солнца (Sunset) 3:58
A6 Танец (Dance) 2:06
A7 Веретено (Spindle) 2:11
A8 К Звездам (Towards The Stars) 1:05
B1 Интродукция (Introduction) 1:43
B2 Просто Так (Just So) 2:29
B3 Ралли (Rally) 2:12
B4 Ручей (Stream) 1:47
B5 Аттракцион (Attraction) 2:18
B6 К Звездам (Towards The Stars) 3:03
B7 Мираж (Mirage) 3:35
B8 В Движении (On The Move) 1:23


Sunday, 29 September 2019

Teisutis Makačinas ‎– "Disko Muzika" (Мелодия ‎– C60-18011-2) 1982



Cold war era Lithuanian synth-pop anyone?
Yes,"Ilgas Laukimas" is Space's "Magic Fly" with the same notes but not necessarily in the right order, and Gėlės Veidrodyje is a Giorgio Moroder out-take;but who was gonna sue someone who lived in the Soviet Union?.....Nobody.....but this commie synth-pop classic is equally charming and gorgeously analogue, as well as pure eurovision cheese electro-schlager.....love it.

Tracklist:

1 Į Dieną Einam
2 Ilgas Laukimas
3 Prie Atminimų Upės
4 Klausyk, Mieloji
5 Gėlės Veidrodyje
6 Tau, Tėvyne

7 Ten, Kur Meilė

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Zodiac ‎– "Disco Alliance" (Мелодия ‎– C60-13771-2) 1980



It's 1980,the year of the Olympics, the one when nobody went because of the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, and Disco was hitting big in the Baltic states.
Meanwhile ,in the students' club of the Latvian State Conservatoire of music, Janis Lusens (a Bloke by the way!) organized a rock-group, named "Zodiac". Their first album, "Disco Alliance",turned out to be the Soviet "Dark Side Of The Moon" if not for its spacey themes,then for its persistence in the Soviet charts. LP's, issued in large quantities, sold out immediately in every corner of that huge drab empire.The Melodija pressing plants were straining to keep up with demand, even with their low grade pressing standards, and cheapo sleeve printing.
Zodiac's mid tempo instrumental electronic rock had everyone dancing like the zombies in the 'Night Of The Living dead',from deepest Siberia to the Kremilin ballroom.Even leonid Brezhnev was seen tapping his foot to this classic Latvian cheese, momentarily before he had to stand and endure the mayday parade of nuclear missles.Ironically the very things that destroyed the USSR.Their incentiveless economy was drained dry by spending all their roubles on those rediculous ICBM's.
The only joy the proletariat had were the unannouced record releases that state label Melodija turned out.Your average Comrade only had to look at the front cover and read such forbidden pleasures as 'Instrumental Rock Group' that adorned the terrible cover of Zodiac's magnum opus, and you were away. The word spread quickly that there was a new Rock group from the glorious republic of Latvia, and everyone wanted one. Not easy to supply millions of albums when your industry runs on sludge. No-one knows how many copies they sold ,but it must have been over a few million.
It's a sort of cross between 'Dark Side of the Moon',BBC Testcard music,Georgio Moroder and 'Stars on 45',all the way from the Dark side of the Earth.

Tracklist:

A1 Zodiac 5:12
A2 Pacific 3:52
A3 Provincial Disco 4:18
B1 Polo 3:17
B2 Mirage 4:02
B3 Rock On The Ice 2:42
B4 Alliance 3:41


Argo ‎– "Discophonia" (Мелодия ‎– С 60—15173-4) 1981


After the copyright action taken against me by Hungarian Proggers Omega,I've lost my thread,so i've fallen back to the default setting of Iron curtain disco weirdness.Probably knocked up under order by a couple of Red Army Generals and a few huge Soviet made tube driven synths...hence the incredible warmth of the electronics.
I can just imagine hearing the medals rattling down at the KGB disco,as the higher ranking officers mingled with the conscripts in a frantic sea of Khaki's, greens and greys. Jackboots stomping on the state provided underlit floor a la Saturday Night Fever.
"Who says vee don't know how to have zer Fun" seeths a KGB colonel in his dress uniform.Grating his moulded asbestos false teeth, sparks leaping from the tendrils of his wirey eyebrow hair,reaching for someone or something to grab like a parasitic climbing plant.
If you wanted to dance without marching in columns in a land where The Bee Gees were Illegal.....at least the CCCP didn't get everything wrong?...then the state record label Melodiya  could provide you with a pure uncorrupted socialist version of Disco for the people. No elitest band picture, no song titles, just 40 minutes of weird low tempo electronic muzak to sway to then go home to your apartment block,or barracks before the curfew. 
"We don't go to Discos because its easy, we go to discos because it is hard" said JFK, and the Soviets agreed.Its certainly a challenge to dance to this stuff, where standing still is a popular option,a real floor emptier,....unless a western spy is present then "YOU WILL DANCE!"....at gunpoint if necessary.The best dancer will receive a Hero of the Soviet Union medal.
All together now...."Deeeeeskooooo"....as some unnamed Lithuanian consript hisses on track A1.

Tracklist:

A1 7:55
A2 4:30
A3 3:28
A4 3:41
B1 7:44
B2 6:20
B3 4:52


Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Locomotiv GT ‎– "Bummm!" (Pepita ‎– SLPX 17467) 1973


It's the Iron Curtain Village People! The one on the left is a Leninist Architect from  Hungarian Special Forces, the one in the dungerees is a highly decorated Plumber, moonlighting in the Polit Bureau. Then we have Gabor, he's a state dentist and concrete technician, and the last one on the right isn't in the band at all, he's a secret policeman following the other three,taking notes and logging their sex lives for future blackmail useages.It ain't called 'Bummmm' for nothing y'know!
Formed by ex-members of Hungarian Prog nancy boys Omega,(Sorry, the Omega post has been removed due to a DCMA copyright violation????Though who'd want to copy that I'd like to see their psychological profiling?) Locomotiv GT wanted to 'butch' it up a fraction,get rocking,and wear western clothing.They certainly knew how to have fun in the Communist Bloc,but these chaps were disappointingly lacking in essential Polit Bureau Chic.Their purpose may have well have been to infiltrate the evil western youth culture and when they were number one on zer billboard chart-ess, call for that longed for socialist revolution.
The only thing wrong with that plan was that they were Shit!
They certainly try very hard ,but fail, to 'Kék Asszony' in the same way le Royaume-Uni fails to kick ass on the Eurovision Song Contest while the former Soviet Bloc states chuckle heartily at our dismal attempts at talent show Schlager pop.Don't be surprised to see Locomotiv GT ,reformed and rockin' at the next Eurovision,and....WINNING!
"You may have zer Beatles but vee hapf zer Locomotiv GT....vee arse laffink out loud hahahahahaaaaaaa!" said the Norwegian judge; the same one that commentated on the 2-1 defeat of England in world cup qualifying in 1981....check this out HERE!

NB. You won't believe this but the previous post of very shit Hungarian prog ice dancers, Omega, has been pulled due to a DMCA complaint!?... those communists eh? The cover was funny anyhow so i'll put a link here so you don't miss out.

Tracklist:

A1 Ringasd El Magad 4:50
A2 Kék Asszony 3:30
A3 Gyere, Gyere Ki A Hegyoldalba 2:45
A4 Visszamegyek A Falumba 4:00
A5 Bárzene 4:15
B1 Ő Még Csak Most 14. 3:45
B2 Szabadíts Meg 3:40
B3 Vallomás 3:55
B4 Mondd Mire Van 2:35
B5 Miénk Itt A Tér 3:00


Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Area ‎– "Arbeit Macht Frei (Il Lavoro Rende Liberi)" (Cramps Records ‎– CRS LP5101) 1973


There are times when one should be humbled by musicianship, and this is definitely one of those rare ocassions.
Comfortably in the top three of Italian Prog, this debut album by prog-fusion commies, Area, blows most similar,jazzy Canterbury style bands out of the water.Just like the Royal Air Force did to the Italian Navy using outmoded bi-planes loaded with torpedo's in the early days of WW2.A tactic copied very sucessfully by the Japanese at Pearl Harbour.
There's a nifty extermination camp vibe as well,which apart from some ear shredding yodelling,makes this ferocious record nearly perfect;but, perfection is a quality that should be avoided at all costs,which Area do, so that means this is perfecton by default.Try and explain that to an alien computer in Star Trek and you'll end up with an explosion on your guilty hands.

Tracklist:

A1 Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero) 4:27
A2 Arbeit Macht Frei 7:56
A3 Consapevolezza 6:06
B1 Le Labbra Del Tempo 6:00
B2 240 Chilometri Da Smirne 5:10
B3 L'Abbattimento Dello Zeppelin 6:45


Monday, 23 September 2019

L'Uovo Di Colombo ‎– "L'Uovo Di Colombo" (Columbia ‎– 3 C 064-17889) 1973


The Italian 'Egg' was also a keyboard driven monster, like its UK counterpart. Exemplary musicianship,but no 13/12 time signatures as far as I can hear. In between the slightly painful balladering parts, this bunch of Romans could certainly get their groove on.....they should have made a soundtrack for an Italian crime movie, as was a short trend around 1976 after most proggers were unemployed. What came first the group or the Egg?

Tracklist:

A1 L'Indecisione (Vedi ''I King'')
A2 Io
A3 Anja
A4 Vox Dei
B1 Turba
B2 Consiglio
B3 Visione Della Morte
B4 Scherzo


Il Volo ‎– "Il Volo" (Numero Uno ‎– DZSLN 55667) 1974


Two of Formula 3 were also in Italian Prog souper group, Il Volo (The Flight).Which consisted of Alberto Radius and Gabriele Lorenzi from Formula 3,a bloke from Flora Fauna Cemento (Mario Lavezzi), another chap from Osage Tribe (Bob Callero),one more from Dallaglio (Gianni Dall'Aglio himself!), along with a soundtrack composer ,like nearly everyone was in Italy in the seventies,Vince Tempera.
The results are a very laid back form of melodic prog verging on the 'adult-orientated' anathema,all recorded with that great mid-seventies acoustically dead ambiance.A kind of Post-Prog before the rest of the planet, except Italy, were very over it all.

Tracklist:

Come Una Zanzara 4:56
La Mia Rivoluzione 3:05
Il Calore Umano 4:30
Il Canto Della Preistoria (Molecole) 4:15
I Primi Respiri 3:43
La Canzone Del Nostro Tempo 4:07
Sonno 3:58
Sinfonia Delle Scarpe Da Tennis 2:49


Sunday, 22 September 2019

Formula 3 ‎– "Sognando E Risognando" (Numero Uno ‎– ZSLN 55152) 1972


I have no idea what they were thinking when they decided to use this awful taste bypass art as the cover? Little Orphan Annie grown up, but as an malnourished death camp prostitute being crushed by ,what seems to be, a rubber ring!?
The music, for the most part, is divided into suites, and largely stays in classic prog territory, lots of organ dominated keyboardisms, shifting melodies, 'rocking-out' sections,and,you'll be pleased to know, not much singing.

Tracklist:

Sognando E Risognando

A1a Fermo Al Semaforo 2:53
A1b Sognando 1:15
A1c La Stalla Con I Buoi 5:12
A1d Risognando 1:17


L'Ultima Foglia

A2a L'Albero 5:18
A2b Non Mi Ritrovo 4:23
B1a Finale 2:12

Storia Di Un Uomo E Una Donna

B2 Storia Di Un Uomo E Una Donna 5:02

Aeternum

B3a Tema 2:32
B3b Caccia 1:42
B3c Interludio 6:00
B3d Finale 1:15

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Semiramis ‎– "Dedicato A Frazz" (Trident ‎– TRI 1004) 1973


Isn't that the incredible Hulk's calmer brother on the cover? Or the Jolly Green Giant on tranquilizers?
This band were the Italian Prog equivalents of 'The Prats' or 'Die 2. Liga' as they were all teenagers, but unlike Their punk rock equivalents they were supremely Virtuosic on their chosen instruments.....the little show-off bastards! 
Formed when they were all 15 in 1970, these smart-arse kids were pushing 18 when this album came out....almost over the hill in pop terms, so Prog was a wise career choice.Sadly,as seemed to be the norm in Italian Prog, they did one excellent album then fucked off to be forgotten....all except singer/guitarist Michele Zarrillo, who managed to achieve a 'pop' career somehow!
According to this very favorable review, Semiramis "pile it on from every angle. Synths go awry, voices scream, guitars go a hundred miles a second, drums jettison you across the room. How could a group compose so many ideas? There are literally 15 albums on this!"
Yep,thank you unknown scribe, that sums it all up rather succinctly.

Tracklist:

1 La Bottega Del Rigattiere
2 Luna Park
3 Uno Zoo Di Vetro
4 Per Una Strada Affollata
5 Dietro Una Porta Di Carta
6 Frazz
7 Clown


Friday, 20 September 2019

Maxophone ‎– "Maxophone" (Produttori Associati ‎– PA-LP 57) 1975


'Stars in their Eyes' was a terrible, cheesey singing show on Uk TV in the nineties,where members of the public impersonated their singing heroes.After a short interview with the suspected Peadophile host, the constestant would say, ...and Tonight Matthew (the creepy host) I'm going to be Neil Diamond,or for example,check out this Greek version of the Show here....can TV get more wrong than this clip of a member of the Greek public as Stevie Wonder?...this is as hilarious as it is shocking!
If there was ever a Prog Stars in their Eyes, Maxophone would have said, "Tonight, we're gonna be Marillion!"
Maxophone were Italy's version of Marillion,who were the UK's Peter Gabriel's Genesis replacements for all those sad Genesis fans who mourned the loss of their favourite bunch of public school boys.....Phil Collins excepted 'cus he was workin' Claahs mate!
Its a very good facsimile of the Gabriel era if you like that sort of thing,but essentially, whats the point?Just listen to Genesis?Or better still, don't listen to Genesis at all!
This is the allegedly inferior 'English Version'.

Tracklist:

A1 Life Can Be Like Music
A2 Six Against One
A3 When We Were Young
B1 Fase
B2 I Heard A Butterfly
B3 Live Together Or Die