Feb 22, 2019

RhoDeo 1907 Grooves

Hello, most of you are aware that Iceland is a special place, fire and ice and just 300,000 humans making a living there, and yet they managed to give the world a number of global artists, it's not just Bjork but there is Johann Johansson, Sigur Ros and before all that there were Mezzoforte...

Today's Artists Eythor, Fridrik, Johann and Gulli were only fifteen and sixteen years old when they formed the band in Reykjavik 1977. The four teenage boys all loved playing their instruments and shared an interest in music, from heavy-rock to jazz-rock fusion and funk. Their enthusiasm and energy soon caught the attention of Icelandic recording executive Steinar Berg, who thought this could lead to something worthwhile and signed the band to his Icelandic label, Steinar hf, in 1979. After three albums of experimenting and developing their skills, the band travelled to London in 1982 to record what turned out to be the pivotal fourth album, Surprise, Surprise.  They teamed up with producer/engineer Geoff Calver, horn- & vocal arranger Chris Cameron and percussionist Luis Jardim, who helped the young Icelanders shape their style and create what became the unmistakable sound of Mezzoforte. Catchy melodies, strong grooves and exciting solos were the key elements. ....N Joy

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Until the arrival of the Sugarcubes, jazz fusion band Mezzoforte was Iceland’s best-known musical export. The group was formed in 1977 at a Reykjavik high school by Fridrik Karlsson (b. 24 April 1960; guitar), Eythór Gunnarsson (b. 9 September 1961; keyboards), Jóhann Ásmundsson (b. 30 March 1961; bass), and Gunnlaugur Briem (b. 8 September 1962; drums).

Mezzoforte was founded in 1977 by four 15-17 year old guys, Eyþór Gunnarsson, Friðrik Karlsson, Jóhann Ásmundsson and Gunnlaugur Briem.

Eyþór and Friðrik had been playing in a dance band together (they actually first met at a summer festival arranged by the Icelandic boy scouts in 1976) and Gulli and Jóhann had been playing together for a short while. What brought them all together was a shared interest in jazz and fusion music.

In the beginning they practiced playing songs by artists like Weather Report, Al di Meola, Chick Corea, Earth, Wind and Fire, George Duke, Jean Luc Ponti (they had a violinist in the band for some months) and other fusion bands. Pretty soon however they started writing some songs of their own, with Friðrik and Eyþór being the most active songwriters.

From early on it was obvious that both personally and musically they all fitted well together. They rehearsed for several hours a day, seven days a week and spent the rest of the time together going to the movies or listening to music. Having played in Reykjavík (mainly in high schools) for just over a year they were offered a recording contract with Steinar Records(later SPOR Records). Mezzoforte had actively started to write their own material and soon developed a unique sound, blending melodic harmonies with tight, funky, rhythm and unpredictable tempo changes. The band recorded their first album in Hljóðriti the only 24 track studio in Iceland at that time.

The first album simply called Mezzoforte was released in 1979 and is the first Icelandic fusion album.

In the following years the band made two additional albums and toured around Iceland. They also played in various dance and jazz bands, some of them were already full time musicians by the age of eighteen. The band was a five-piece band during the first years. Stefan S. Stefansson played saxophone on the first album, but left soon after the release of the album. Björn Thorarensen (keyboards) joined the band in 1979 and played on the second and third album. The band became well respected for their music and the members were in increased demand as session players, and backing band to vocalists. Some interest was also building up outside Iceland.

The second album Í hakanum, was made in the same studio in Iceland. When it came to making the third album the band and Steinar Berg Ísleifsson their record publisher wanted to make an album that would stand the test of a more international audience. They travelled to London, in the fall 1981 to make the album, under the direction of Simon Heyworth. Björn decided to leave Mezzoforte in 1982 to concentrate on his studies in computer sciences. Following his departure Kristinn Svavarsson (saxophones) who had been playing with the band for a while, formally joined the band.

The album Þvílíkt og annað eins was released in Iceland around Christmas time in 1981. Plans for release in the UK did not come through however and since the band was very actice in their songwriting at this time they ended up recording another album in London in 1982, without Þvílíkt og annað eins ever being released in its entity outside of Iceland. (The album will be released as a part of re-releasing all Mezzoforte albums in 1997)


In early 1982 the song Dreamland (Ferðin til draumalandsins) was released with Shooting Star from the second album as a double A-side single and did well on the club scene in the UK.

Having recorded their fourth album Surprise Surprise in London in 1982 the band found themselves standing at crossroads. The small Icelandic market was not enough to support a full time fusion band and the future did not look too positive. They played some concerts in Iceland, but the novelty of an instrumental band was wearing off and interest in funk and fusion music was diminshing with punk rock taking over the music scene. The band held a concert in one of Reykjaviks high scools in february 1983, to an audience of six people. This made them think seriously of breaking up the band.

It was therefore a big surprise when the song Garden Party from the Surprise Surprise album started to climb the British dance and pop charts and eventually found its way to number 17 on the british pop chart in the spring of 1983. Following this the band came internationally known. Garden Party made it into the pop charts in most European countries and suddenly the band was in big demand. The members moved with their families to England and spent the next years touring extensively around Europe and also toured Japan and other countries.

Having enjoyed the success of Garden Party and the Surprise Surprise album for only a few months, Mezzoforte started working on the followup album, their fifth studio album, Observations. Recording sessions were squeesed in between concerts and tours around the world, but despite a very busy schedule the recordings were finished in just two months. Nine songs were recorded for the album, but earlier in the year the band had recorded Rockall which was released as a single in June 1983. The album was first released in Iceland in December 1983 as Yfirsýn with Icelandic songtitles.

After the release of Observations, Mezzoforte toured Europe and Japan, playing more than 150 concerts in one year, including most major festivals, such as the North Sea festival in Holland and the Montreux Festival in Switzerland where the band headlined a concert with Passport, Steps Ahead and Spyro Gyra. Observations is the last Mezzoforte album to feature Kristinn Svavarsson on saxophones. While the rest of the band decided to stay in the UK, Kristinn went back to Iceland in the summer of 1984, having spent one year on the road while his family was living in London.

So now Mezzoforte was a four piece band. They had recorded five albums, made the charts in most European countries and played at more concerts and TV shows than anyone can remember. With their families back home in Iceland, the band was still living in England between tours.

During the late summer and fall 1984, the band recorded Rising in three different studios. This is the only album Mezzoforte made as a quartet, relying on just two other musicians to complete the musical picture on a couple of songs. The band was also taking more responsibility for producing the songs with Geoff Calver behind the mixing console.

For concerts the four Icelanders added musicians of several other nationalities performing as six or even seven-piece band during late 1984 and 1985. During that period they took a step into another musical direction adding lead vocals to the lineup.


No limits is the seventh studio album made by Mezzoforte. On this album made in 1985, two long time touring partners took part in the recordings. The dutch percussionist Jeroen De Rijk and the british saxophonist David O'Higgins played on a couple of songs. On this album Mezzoforte changes their musical course, recording three tracks with lead singer Noel McCalla. This album was produced by Nigel Wright who also wrote lyrics to a couple of songs. By this time the band had moved back to Iceland, but was as busy as ever touring around Europe with David O'Higgins and Noel McCalla. Mezzoforte started working on building their own recording studio in Iceland and this was the last time they went to England to make an album. A recording deal with BMG Ariola had secured the release of Mezzoforte albums in the USA and early 1987 the band started to make an album aimed at this new market. Enjoying the luxury of having their own studio available at all times the band spent endless time in the studio. A lot of time went into programming synthesizers and sequencers and in fact the band did not play much together or rehearse the songs before going into the studio. The only song on the album that the band recorded as a group is In a Word and that took only few hours to complete.

For additional producers they looked in two opposite directions. Two of the songs are produced and partially arranged by two Norwegians, Svein Dag Hauge and Rolf Graf. They were members of the group Lava a well known group in Norway, frequently backing Randy Crawford on her tours outside the US. Eythor Gunnarsson worked with Lava/Randy Crawford for some time and the saxophonist of Lava, Kåre Kolve later joined Mezzoforte.

The other producer Eric Phersing came from the United States. He had worked with several jazz/fusion artists in Los Angeles. Most of the recordings were done in Iceland but when it came to putting the finishing touches to the album the band went to Los Angeles where Ernie Watts and Steve Tavaglione added some saxophone lines to the songs. The Seawind horns played on three songs and Efrain Toro added some percussion.

In order to make the album sound more like US albums, the band got Erik Zobler to mix the album in Los Angeles. Zobler who is half Icelandic was at that time best known for his long time work with George Duke and his work on Michael Jacksons album BAD.

After two years of more or less continous work the album was finally released in 1989. It did not do as well as expected in the US market and the reaction in other parts of the world were disappointing for the band as well. So having played at concerts in Europe in 1989/90 and done some re-recordings for a compilation album (Fortissimos released in 1991) the band took a break to work on other projects and did not return to the recording studio as Mezzoforte until late 1993.


During this period Fridrik Karlsson made a solo album (Point Blank released 1990) featuring Mezzofortes members on some of the songs, they also worked with Eythor Gunnarssons wife Ellen Kristjánsdóttir and saxophonist Sigurður Flosason. Both these acts toured around Scandinavia in 1990-92 under various names. Friðrik and Jóhann joined the pop/dance band Stjórnin, and participated in the Eurovision Grand Prix Song Contest as Heart 2 Heart. Eyþór and Gulli started working with Bubbi Morthens, an Icelandic rock star, with Eyþór producing a couple of his albums.

The band had begun writing for a new album in early 1993 when they received an invitation to go to SE Asia to play at two jazz festivals in Indonesia and Malaysia in September 1993. By this time Kåre Kolve had become a member of the band. Coming straight off the tour, the band went to Puk Studios in Denmark to record a new album, before returning home to Iceland. This time the band produced the album by themselves and changed their working methods by recording most of the music "live" and using very few additional musicians. The album called Daybreak was released internationally in 1994. During 1994 the band toured in Norway and SE Asia adding Singapore to the list of countries. But most of the time was spent on other projects.

In January 1995 Mezzoforte started working on a new album and during that year spent much time writing and recording new material with a new saxophone player Óskar Guðjónsson The recordings were finished in December 1995 and the album called Monkey Fields was released in Central Europe in September 1996, in Scandinavia in December 1996/January 1997.

In 1996 Mezzoforte visited four countries for the first time, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in April and Bulgaria in December. The band played at the JakJazz festival in Indonesia for the third time and played some concerts in Iceland, one of which was recorded for Radio and Television. In early 1996 Frissi Karlsson moved to London to work as a session musician. He was soon offered to play on the soundtrack for the movie Evita. Later Gulli Briem joined Frissi in the studio and together they performed with Madonna on BBC´s Top of the Pops.

In 1997 the band will be touring in Europe, starting to work on a new album, working on a documentary TV program and several other projects.

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Mezzoforte was founded in 1977 by four 15-17 year old musicians: Friðrik Karlsson, Eyþór Gunnarsson, Jóhann Ásmundsson and Gunnlaugur Briem. What brought them together was a shared interest in jazz and fusion music. Having played in Reykjavík (mainly in high schools) for just over a year they were offered a recording contract with Steinar Records and recorded their first album in Hljóðriti, the only 24 track studio in Iceland at that time. Simply titled Mezzoforte, it is the first Icelandic fusion album. The band was a five-piece band during the first years, Stefán S. Stefánsson played saxophone on the first album, but left soon after the release of the album. The band became well respected for their music and the members were in increased demand as session players and backing band members to vocalists. Some interest was also building up outside Iceland.

 Mezzoforte - Mezzoforte (flac   195mb)

01 Kínahverfið (Chinatown) 4:56
02 Í Dagsins Önn (One day semester) 3:53
03 Kvöldstund Með Þér (Evening With You) 4:40
04 Þeir Settu Svip Á Bæinn (Dodge the town) 4:53
05 Fyrirkomulagið (Arrangements) 4:42
06 Gengið Á Jökulinn (Walk on the glacier) 4:36
07 Þegar Tangóinn Fékk Sér Nýjan Kjól ( When Tango Got A New Dress) 3:14
08 Sólroðinn (Reddened sun) 3:54

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Í Hakanum is the 1980 studio album of Mezzoforte on Steinar released in Iceland. The September 1981 UK release, titled Mezzoforte, had a different cover artwork, but – since their first album, released only in Iceland, was also called Mezzoforte – Í Hakanum was usually referred to as Octopus,[2] what became the title of the 1996 CD re-release. Though still in their teens, members of Mezzoforte were already working as session musicians in Iceland, playing in various bands and backing singers. After their debut album as a quartett, Bjorn Thorarensen joined Mezzoforte as a second keyboard player. Í Hakanum was the first Mezzoforte album, produced by Geoff Calver. Recordings took place at Hot Ice Studios in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland from mid August to mid October 1980 with some additional recordings and mixing in London’s Red Bus Studios in late October. The album features Kristinn Svavarsson on sax, who became a full member of the band in 1982.

Mezzoforte - Octopus (flac   199mb)

01 Humoresque / Gletta 3:41
02 Midnight Express / Miðnæturhraðlestin 3:35
03 Danger High Voltage / Háspenna Lifshætta 4:05
04 Octopus / Eftirsjá 5:31
05 Shooting Star / Stjörnuhrap 5:02
06 Northern Winds / Vindur Úr Suðri 5:32
07 Rendez-Vous / Fyrstu Kynni 5:57
08 Finale / Niðurlagið 2:29

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The songwriting formulas are 90% the responsibility of keyboards’ player Eythor Gurnasson – who was certainly well informed of the novelties of the golden age of keyboards – and guitar player Fridrik Karlson who alternated between acoustic and electrics but certainly favored George Benson post-mid seventies phase; at the end of the day the only track which stands out is, in spite of its Disco references, the group penned “Funk Suite No.1” when most of the above mentioned pitfalls are avoided, the guys indulge in some inflamed statements, the saxes soar,  the guitarist finally pugs his guitar into an effects pedal to add a much welcomed grit to his sound, an organ sound is at last discernible,  the percussions are able to run wild for a while and the gals’ mics are definitely off! However I’m strongly convinced we can assume that the several guests listed were also given free rein; with Louis Jardim and Eirikur Ingolfsson on percussions, Chris Hunter on alto and tenor saxes, Martin Dobson on tenor and Bill Eldridge and Stuart Brooks on trumpet I can only say that it was too little too late and that although that 80s spirit had irremediable infiltrated the inspirational cells of most everyone in the Bizz, they could have taken better advantage of the manpower at their disposal.

 Mezzoforte - Surprise,Surprise (flac   297mb)

01 Surprise 1:25
02 Garden Party 6:00
03 Gazing At The Clouds 6:30
04 Early Autumn 6:17
05 Action Man 4:58
06 Funk Suite No.1 5:49
07 Easy Jack 4:45
08 Fusion Blues 5:40
09 The Old Neighborhood 5:32
10 Surprise, Reprise 0:50

 Mezzoforte - Surprise,Surprise (ogg   120mb)

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Sprelllifandi / Live at the Dominion is a live album of the Icelandic funk / fusion band Mezzoforte from 1983. The registration from the Dominion Theater in London on 30 June 1983 has only been published in Iceland and in a limited edition in Japan.

 Mezzoforte - Sprelllifandi (flac   304mb)

01 Intro 1:05
02 Danger/High Voltage 4:29
03 Surprise 0:42
04 Gazing At The Clouds 6:40
05 Early Autumn 7:06
06 The Venue 4:43
07 Midnight Express 4:03
08 Garden Party 7:40
09 Surprise Surprise 5:52
10 Blue Ice 6:23

 Mezzoforte - Sprelllifandi (ogg   129mb)

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Feb 21, 2019

RhoDeo 1907 Roots


Today's artists are less a band than an assemblage of some of Cuba's most renowned musical forces, whose performing careers had largely ended decades earlier with the rise of Fidel Castro. Recruiting the long-forgotten likes of singer Ibrahim Ferrer, guitarists/singers Compay Segundo and Eliades Ochoa, and pianist Rubén González, Ry Cooder entered Havana's Egrem Studios to record the album Buena Vista Social Club; the project was an unexpected commercial and critical smash, earning a Grammy and becoming the best-selling release of Cooder's long career. The international success generated a revival of interest in traditional Cuban music and Latin American music as a whole.....N'Joy

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Buena Vista Social Club is an ensemble of Cuban musicians established in 1996 to revive the music of pre-revolutionary Cuba. The project was organized by World Circuit executive Nick Gold, produced by American guitarist Ry Cooder and directed by Juan de Marcos González. They named the group after the homonymous members' club in the Buenavista quarter of Havana, a popular music venue in the 1940s. To showcase the popular styles of the time, such as son, bolero and danzón, they recruited a dozen veteran musicians, many of whom had been retired for many years.

The group's eponymous album was recorded in March 1996 and released in September 1997, quickly becoming an international success, which prompted the ensemble to perform with a full line-up in Amsterdam and New York in 1998. German director Wim Wenders captured the performance on film for a documentary—also called Buena Vista Social Club—that included interviews with the musicians conducted in Havana. Wenders' film was released in June 1999 to critical acclaim, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary feature and winning numerous accolades including Best Documentary at the European Film Awards. This was followed up by a second documentary: Buena Vista Social Club: Adios in 2017.


Shortly after returning from Havana to record the Buena Vista Social Club album, Ry Cooder began working with German film director Wim Wenders on the soundtrack to Wenders' film The End of Violence, the third such collaboration between the two artists. According to Wenders, it was an effort to force Cooder to focus on the project, "He always sort of looked in the distance and smiled, and I knew he was back in Havana."  Wenders filmed the recording sessions on the recently enhanced format Digital Video with the help of cinematographer Robert Müller, and then shot interviews with each "Buena Vista" ensemble member in different Havana locations. Wenders was also present to film the group's first performance with a full line-up in Amsterdam in April 1998 (two nights) and a second time in Carnegie Hall, New York City on 1 July 1998. The completed documentary was released on 17 September 1999, and included scenes in New York of the Cubans, some of whom had never left the island, window shopping and visiting tourist sites. According to Sight & Sound magazine, these scenes of "innocents abroad" were the film's most moving moments, as the contrasts between societies of Havana and New York become evident on the faces of the performers. Ferrer, from an impoverished background and staunchly anti consumerist, was shown describing the city as "beautiful" and finding the experience overwhelming. Upon completion of filming, Wenders felt that the film "didn't feel really like it was a documentary anymore. It felt like it was a true character piece".

The film became a box office success, grossing $23,002,182 worldwide. Critics were generally enthusiastic about the story and especially the music, although leading U.S. film critic Roger Ebert and the British Film Institute's Peter Curran felt that Wenders had lingered too long on Cooder during the performances; and the editing, which interspersed interviews with music, had disrupted the continuity of the songs. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature in 1999. It won best documentary at the European Film Awards and received seventeen other major accolades internationally.

Wim Wenders - Buena Vista Social Club    (avi  787mb)


The success of both the album and film sparked a revival of interest in traditional Cuban music and Latin American music in general. Some of the Cuban performers later released well-received solo albums and recorded collaborations with stars from different musical genres. The "Buena Vista Social Club" name became an umbrella term to describe these performances and releases, and has been likened to a brand label that encapsulates Cuba's "musical golden age" between the 1930s and 1950s. The new success was fleeting for the most recognizable artists in the ensemble: Compay Segundo, Rubén González, and Ibrahim Ferrer, who died at the ages of ninety-five, eighty-four, and seventy-eight respectively; Compay Segundo and González in 2003, then Ferrer in 2005.

Several surviving members of the Buena Vista Social Club, such as veteran singer Omara Portuondo, trumpeter Manuel "Guajiro" Mirabal, laúd player Barbarito Torres and trombonist and conductor Jesús "Aguaje" Ramos currently tour worldwide, to popular acclaim, with new members such as singer Carlos Calunga and pianist Rolando Luna, as part of a 13-member band called Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club.

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The Cinco leyendas collection, made up of original records by Francisco Repilado (Compay Segundo), Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo, Eliades Ochoa and Rubén González, became the highest-selling Cuban record company in the world.  Legendary figures are full of Cuban music, and therefore on the basis of this title could have armed as many occasional quintets as wanted, but it happens, that these five were not taken at random, but between how much they have in common,  is the fact that they were the names that most managed to shine in the world of the album, after their invaluable contribution to the triumph achieved by what could be considered the most commercial of projects on Cuban music made in the last ten years, the Buena Vista  Social Club. This album gives us the possibility of being able to obtain, once and for all, five compilations made from selected themes of previously published anthologies about these great artists, which presupposes that it is musically "the best of the best," including extensive comments from  prestigious musicologists who are in charge of delving into the history of each of these figures and their significance within the Cuban musical context, which provides an interesting theoretical platform also published in two languages, to the seventy-four jewels that groups this elegant case.


Born in the eastern town of Songo La Maya in 1946, Eliades Ochoa began playing guitar at the age of six, debuting at a very young age when improvising on the streets of Santiago de Cuba, until he became a member of the Oriental Quintet and  of the Septet Typical.  Recognized for his exceptional qualities as a guitarist, he received the offer in 1978 to direct the Cuarteto Patria, a group that, starting from his entry, would experience a new stage of development, starting a successful career of international presentations and record productions. In 1997 he was one of the participants in the project Buena Vista Social Club, which brought together great figures of Cuban music, achieving the Grammy award, which contributed to the international promotion of his work, which appears in the present  album a representative sample.

BVSC 1 - Eliades Ochoa      (flac  344mb)

01 El cuarto de Tula
02 Estoy hecho tierra
03 En casa de Pedro el Coj
04 Allí donde tú sabes
05 La culebra
06 Rita la Caimana
07 Que lío Compay Andrés
08 Alma de mujer
09 Mujer perjura
10 Qué te parece Cholito
12 La venganza del Perico
13 Entre flores
14 Beso discreto

BVSC 1 - Eliades Ochoa    (ogg  146mb)


When the veteran defenders of traditional Cuban music with their acoustic formats became fashionable in the last decade of the nineties, they took an enormous advantage in the commercial order to the rest of the demonstrations;  One of the most undeniably sounding themes was the Chan Chan, which, showing an extreme simplicity and unequaled flavors, moved the entire planet in the voice of its composer, Francisco Repilado, the charismatic Compay Segundo.
 Born in Santiago on Siboney Beach, where he was born on November 18, 1907, he was a very young clarinetist from the Municipal Band of Santiago, at the same time that he gave free rein to his troubadour affiliation while simultaneously staying in it with his participation in different groups.  of traditional music.  In the thirties he settled in Havana, entering as a clarinetist in the Municipal Band of the capital under the direction of maestro Gonzalo Roig, which would follow his entry as a guitarist in the Hatuey Quartet of Justa García.  The clarinet was also used to form part of the Matamoros Ensemble, where he stayed for twelve years, and from 1942 he founded the duo Los Compadres with Lorenzo Hierrezuelo, where he stayed until the month of September 1955, then  which founds the group Compay Segundo and their Boys who would accompany him for the rest of his life.  In 1997 he took part in the project Buena Vista Social Club, Grammy winning album, which served to turn his Chan Chan into a hymn, which he later had the opportunity to defend in the main stages of the world. The present album is a compilation of some of the most important themes within his repertoire, which give us the measure of his wonderful talent as a composer and the extraordinary Cubanness of his pen

BVSC 2 - Compay Segundo    (flac  281mb)

01. Saludos Compay
02. Chan chán
03. Voy pa' Mayarí
04. Anita
05. La mujer del peso
06. Sanluisera
07. Yo soy de monte Compay
08. Será cuando tú digas
09. Francisco Guayabal
10. Sigue el paso No. 1
11. A los barrios de Santiago
12. De Jatibonico a Bolondrón
13. Sigue el paso No. 2
14. Sigue el paso en la Nochebuena
15. María en la playa

BVSC 2 - Compay Segundo  (ogg    116mb)


Ibrahím Ferrer started singing at the age of thirteen, with a group called Los Jóvenes del Son that was dedicated to entertain neighborhood parties, later joining different groups such as Wilson, Surprise and the Wonder of Beltrán, until  enter the legendary orchestra Chepín de Electo Rosell, with which he placed a lot of successes, among which the anthological one is montuno Bartolo's platanal.  In 1953 he joined the group of Pacho Alonso - years later baptized with the name of Los Bocucos - a group in which, starting in 1967, he became the lead singer, and in which he will continue until 1991. In 1997, he was invited to participate in the Buena Vista Social Club, and that same year he returned to the studios to record with the Afro Cuban All Stars orchestra the album All Cuba Like, which the Buena Vista Social title would follow shortly after.  Club presents Ibrahím Ferrer, his first solo album, nominated for the Latin Grammy, where Ibrahím won the title of "Revelation Artist" after sixty years of artistic career. Since then countless concerts were generated in countless countries, which would take him to the most important stages of the world, creating a great demand on his discography, most of which is treasured in the archives of the EGREM, serving as  base for the compilation of compilations like this one in which we can appreciate many of the themes that he turned into hits throughout his career

BVSC 3 - Ibrahim Ferrer    (flac  354mb)

01. El botellero
02. Como la piel canela
03. Fomento
04. Monte adentro
05. En qué parte de Cuba nació el son
06. Así es la vida Compay
07. Todavía me queda voz
08. El son de la santiaguera
09. Cucuruchito de coco
10. Esto se baila y se toca
12. Mi tonada montuna
13. Estoy seco y me quiero mojar
14. Mañana me voy pa' Sibanicú
15. El platanal de Bartolo

BVSC 3 - Ibrahim Ferrer  (ogg  136mb)


Omara Portuondo is recognized as one of the main exponents of the "filin", a creative movement that was created in the late forties in the Cuban song.  Throughout his career he joined different groups such as the Conjunto Loquibambia Swing, the Musicabana group, the Orlando de la Rosa Quartet and the Anacaona orchestra;  but without a doubt the most important of all was the quartet Las D'Aida, organized by the pianist Aida Diestro, with whom he kept working for fifteen years, until in 1967 he separated and offered a concert at the Teatro  Amadeo Roldán, with whom he began a period of consolidation of his image, in which he completely won the favor of a national audience that witnessed the authentic appearance of an artist endorsed by his talent, which he admired not as  the fashion singer, but as the genuine personification of the Cuban song.
 A successful career of three decades full of foreign tours, participation in festivals and recordings was crowned with the triumph of the Buena Vista Social Club, making Omara one of the great legends of Cuban music with Ibrahím, Compay, Rubén and Eliades;  moment from which it began to appear in multiple compilations that sought to satisfy the appetite of an audience eager to find their recordings. The album that we are putting to your consideration aims to show us a part of so much good music sown throughout a lifetime, unsurpassedly performed by a singer who is a true diva of Cuban music.

BVSC 4 - Omara Portuondo    (flac  305mb)

01. Échale salsita
02. Lo que me queda por vivir
03. Mi son caliente
04. Vuela pena
05. Guitarra en son mayor
06. Nada para ti
07. Vieja luna
08. Te quería
09. Vale la pena vivir
10. Toda una vida
11. Eso no lo he dicho yo
12. Me acostumbré a estar sin ti
13. Y mucho más
14. Nosotros
15. Agua que cae del cielo

BVSC 4 - Omara Portuondo  (ogg  112mb)


For more than sixty years, Rubén González was professionally linked with the elite of our popular music, until he became a member of the group of veterans who starred at the end of the last century in the adventure of the Buena Vista Social Club. His professional life began in the central region of the country as a musician of different orchestras until in 1941 he made the decision to move to the capital, quickly establishing himself among the most demanded pianists of that time.  He was a member of the ensembles of Arsenio Rodríguez and Kubavana by Alberto Ruiz, of the Senén Suárez group and the Riverside Orchestra, until he joined Enrique Jorrín's orchestra, in which he kept contributing his characteristic "tumbao" for more than  twenty five years.  Simultaneously he was part of the Cuban Cuban Nonto organized by the trombonist Pucho Escalante, with which he was able to unleash his passion as a jazz player.  His first record as a soloist is recorded in 1975 and is titled Indestructible, an album in which although it includes rich sonorous downloads that show his interpretative skills, he places greater emphasis on making a waste of expressiveness from his version of key titles within  from the repertoire of the filin.  In 1996 they invited him to be part of the cast of the Afrocuban All Stars for the recording of his album All Cuba Like, which was nominated for the Grammy Awards, followed by the classic Buenavista Social Club, with which came the opportunity to perform at  the most important international stages, also opening the doors for the appearance of his albums Introducing Rubén González y Chanchullo, edited in 2003 a few months before his death.  This album shows us a compilation of some of its main recordings through which we can get closer to the work of one of the great legends of Cuban culture.

BVSC 5 - Rubén González    (flac  223mb)

01 Yo te enseño Lola
02 Soplete
03 Préstame la bicicleta
04 Date una vueltecita
05 Ambrosio
06 La gloria eres tú
07 Noneto
08 Nuestra canción
09 Moby Dick
10 Todo aquel ayer
11 ¿De qué te quejas?
12 Mil congojas
13 Sancho
14 Ciudad oscura
15 Qué infelicidad

BVSC 5 - Rubén González  (ogg  105mb)

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Feb 20, 2019

RhoDeo 1907 Aetix

Hello,  looks like chances are Scotland becoming an independent nation once again, as London, on orders of their hinterland, prepare to jump of a cliff and limit the damage that will incur. Now is the EU prepared to pay them a bonus for breaking up the UK with possibly N Ireland and even Wales following the money and leave those English basket-cases behind.

Today's artists were a Scottish post-punk band, active between 1979 and 1982, who released singles on the Postcard Records label. The band was named after the protagonist of Franz Kafka's novel The Trial. Although they released just one album while together and achieved only moderate success, they have since proved influential on many bands that followed. .. ......N'Joy

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 Inspired by the artsy side of the '70s New York scene and the anti-careerist stance of punk, Edinburgh natives Paul Haig (vocals, guitar), Malcolm Ross (guitar), and Ronnie Torrance (drums) formed a band with an apparently unmentionable name. Future Exploited member Gary McCormack came and went as the bassist, with the trio eventually renaming itself TV Art. David Weddell eventually filled the gap, with the band frequently playing in and around their town. By the end of 1979's summer, they had recorded a demo and changed their name to Josef K.

November of that year saw the release of the nervy Chance Meeting single on the one-off Absolute label. Alan Horne and Orange Juice member Edwyn Collins struck a verbal deal with the band for their Postcard imprint, which released a series of the band's singles. The first was a double pack with the funk-/soul-influenced Orange Juice gracing one half, which helped break ground on the press-derived "Scottish Sound." In late 1980 the band recorded an LP's worth of material in less than two weeks. The somewhat slickly produced Sorry for Laughing was canned by Horne and the band for tilting the sound toward the rhythm section, rather than highlighting the guitars and sounding live. A few months later, the band recorded another album, entitled The Only Fun in Town. Committed in less than a week, this one was released officially, hitting the top position of the U.K. indie chart. Notably, it was the only full-length released by the band, as well as the Postcard label. Having released a record and playing a number of successful shows, Haig determined that the band needn't accomplish anything more and disbanded his group. Ross went off to join Orange Juice, and also spent time with fellow Scots Aztec Camera. Haig began a solo career, eventually working with such talents as Alan Rankine, Billy Mackenzie, Cabaret Voltaire, and Mantronix. Weddell and Torrance were part of the Happy Family with Nick Currie (better known as Momus).

Musically, they resembled their label mates Orange Juice in fusing post-punk guitars with funk and disco rhythms. They were influenced by American bands such as Pere Ubu, Television, Talking Heads, and The Voidoids, and British bands such as Subway Sect. However, in terms of their lyrics and image Josef K were always far more downbeat and austere than Orange Juice, and were never to match Orange Juice's commercial success. They were also described as sounding similar to Joy Division but "less doomy". Haig was a fan of Joy Division and "It's Kinda Funny" was inspired by the death of Ian Curtis. Haig's lyrics were also inspired by the works of Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Hermann Hesse, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Knut Hamsun.

The band adopted what was described as an "anti-rock stance", most members eschewing drink and (most) drugs, and the band never doing encores, which Ross considered "patronizing".

A number of posthumous releases followed shortly after the band's departure. Young and Stupid was issued by Supreme International Recordings in 1987, compiling singles, a session for the BBC, and stray tracks from the shelved first album (it has been reissued twice since then with varying content). Les Temps Modernes coupled Sorry for Laughing with The Only Fun in Town on CD in 1990 (since the original release, it has been reissued by Rev-Ola and LTM once again). Marina issued a compilation of the band's finer moments in 1998, entitled Endless Soul. Domino did the same in 2006, with the excellent Entomology. Despite the recurring levels of interest in the band and their work, unlike many of their peers, they have to date resisted the urge to re-form.

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It would be easy to say that Josef K had better days ahead of them when leader Paul Haig decided to close that chapter in his life, because there's simply no telling. Despite that train of thought and despite the reservations of bandmembers and critics over the way the Scottish quartet's limited studio output was recorded, and despite the fact that the bandmembers thought they did their best work on-stage, there is still no denying that there is some brilliance apparent in their lone studio album and this compilation, Young and Stupid. Three versions of it are floating around, with each successive edition improving on the one that preceded it. It was originally released on vinyl by Supreme in 1987 with 12 songs that mined their singles; though the tracks were selected by the band and the LP was released by their former manager, it didn't exactly fulfill its duty or exhaust the vaults -- vaults that contained substantial recordings that had been out of print for some time. When the label issued the title on CD three years later, it was significantly bolstered with the addition of several tracks: a session recorded for John Peel's BBC program in 1981, another smattering from 7" releases, and some previously unreleased material that included a demo version of "Radio Drill Time." This thankfully brought a full close to the CD issuing of Josef K's studio legacy, as it completed the unfinished job done by the original pressing. (So the CD version of Young and Stupid and the Only Fun in Town/Sorry for Laughing pairing rounds up everything the band made in a studio.)

It's also probably worth explaining that a number of songs from the original version are not included on the two versions that followed; those songs -- which could be found on the CD release of The Only Fun in Town/Sorry for Laughing anyway -- were extracted to make room for all the goodies mentioned above. And when LTM reissued the disc in 2002, they remastered the sound to great effect and added a superfluous live rendition of "Adoration" to the end of the second version's running order -- so that's the one to own. The fantastic BBC session is a key inclusion, not only for the fact that it was the last material recorded by the band prior to its breakup. "The Missionary," which was laid down for the session and would later be released as the A-side to a posthumous single (with vocal and instrumental takes on "The Angle" -- a hot tune in its own right that displays their Talking Heads influence more than anything else they released -- as B-sides), is proof positive that Josef K didn't pack it in because they were running on fumes. A speedy, dexterous number that showcases each member's locked-in precision, it's easily one of the best songs they committed to tape, right up there with the classic "Sorry for Laughing," which is also found here in its single version. They were smart, stylish, and jerky, but they were in every sense a pop band -- and an excellent one at that.

 Josef K - Young And Stupid (flac  468mb)
01 Romance 2:54
02 Chance Meeting 2:58
03 Radio Drill Time 4:06
04 Crazy To Exist (Live) 3:01
05 It's Kinda Funny 3:40
06 Final Request 2:18
07 Sorry For Laughing 3:01
08 Revelation 4:16
09 Chance Meeting 3:07
10 Pictures (Of Cindy) 2:19
11 The Angle (One Angle) 2:42
12 The Angle (Second Angle) 2:36
13 The Missionary 3:49
14 Heart Of Song 3:20
15 Applebush 2:20
16 Heaven Sent 3:35
17 Endless Soul 2:25
18 Radio Drill Time (Demo) 4:18
19 Torn Mentor 5:13
20 Night Ritual 2:45
21 Adoration [Live] 4:43

 Josef K - Young And Stupid  (ogg   166mb)

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Released by the Marina label in 1998, Endless Soul is a serviceable overview of Josef K's brief career, taking the best songs from the band's lone album and several singles into consideration. There isn't exactly a great need for its existence, as there isn't much of a point in distilling such a limited output that can be swept up in whole. “From here I see another plan, and hearing voice can't understand. A thousand times for all to see; questioning the right to be.” Josef K play hurricane jangle pop and their songs are full of punk spirit. “It took ten years to realize why the angels start to cry when you roll on down the lane – your happy smile, your funny name. I'm not being mean, so don't take it hard when I ask you to run round the yard.” The hectic beats and very emphatic bass seem to be the band’s trademark. “There’s so many pathways that lead to the heart. The records were letters, the wrong place to start so devoid of expression I can tell at a glance stripped at face value we can glide into trance. On the freeway so dark in the heat of this night we can tune in on them if the frequency’s right.” And of course their guitars are always wailing and yelping.

  Josef K - Endless Soul   (flac  389mb)

01 The Missionary 3:47
02 Endless Soul 2:28
03 It's Kinda Funny 3:43
04 Sorry For Laughing 2:59
05 Heart Of Song 3:18
06 Heads Watch 2:05
07 Chance Meeting 3:04
08 The Angle 2:39
09 Drone 3:07
10 Variation Of Scene 3:29
11 Final Request 2:21
12 16 Years 2:31
13 Heaven Sent 3:37
14 Revelation 4:14
15 Radio Drill Time 4:04
16 Adoration 4:41

 Josef K - Endless Soul    (ogg   126mb)

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Boots for Dancing are a post-punk band from Edinburgh, Scotland, active between 1979 and 1982. They reformed in 2015.

The band was formed in late 1979 by Dave Carson (vocals), Graeme High (guitar), Dougie Barrie (bass), and Stuart Wright (drums).[1] Showing influences from the likes of Gang of Four and The Pop Group, they signed to the Pop Aural label for their eponymous debut single, receiving airplay from John Peel.[1] In the next two years, the band had more line-up changes than releases, first with ex-Shake and Rezillos drummer Angel Paterson replacing Wright, to be replaced himself by Jamo Stewart and Dickie Fusco.[1] Former Thursdays guitarist Mike Barclay then replaced High, who joined Delta 5. The band also added ex-Shake/Rezillos guitarist Jo Callis for second single "Rain Song", issued in March 1981.[1] Callis then left to join The Human League, with no further line-up changes before third single "Ooh Bop Sh'Bam" was released in early 1982.[1] Barrie then departed, his replacement being ex-Flowers/Shake/Rezillos bassist Simon Templar (b. Bloomfield), and ex-Josef K drummer Ronnie Torrance replaced the departing Fusco and Stewart (the latter forming The Syndicate).[1] The band split up later in 1982.

 Keep trawling back through the annals of pop north of the border, tracing that lineage, and you will eventually encounter the legend that is Boots for Dancing, the punk-funk combo that began life in the capital as a post-pub piece of bravado and rolled through no more that three years of existence with a constantly changing line-up around frontman, vocalist, proto-rapper and mean mover Dave Carson. They left a recorded legacy of just three singles and a trio of sessions for the John Peel radio show. The legendary DJ's crucial support hardly sets Boots for Dancing apart from many other bands in what is now termed the post-punk era of 1979 to 1982, but his assertion that they were one of the few bands whose music was liable to persuade him on to the dancefloor is worth noting.

Now, some decades later, there is a Boots for Dancing album, newly released on the Athens of the North label run by Euan Fryer and the culmination of three years work by Fryer and Carson. Entitled The Undisco Kidds - a title that pays studied homage to the sound of George Clinton's seminal American band Funkadelic who inspired the less musically literate Edinburgh teenagers back in the day - the 14-track disc includes the entirety of two of those Peel sessions and one song from the third, together with four tracks recorded in 1981 at Tony Pilley's equally legendary Barclay Towers studios in Edinburgh. That visit to the studio produced the band's third, self-released, single, Ooh Bop Sh'Bam, but it is the only song on the whole project that has previously been commercially available, which makes the album much more than an exercise in vault-raiding nostalgia.

Particularly curious at first sight is the omission of both the previous singles, released on Bob Last's Pop:Aural label, The Rain Song, and the twelve-inch floor-filling anthem that kick-started the whole story, the song Boots for Dancing itself. As Carson explains, there are both musical and legal reasons for their absence.

"The work in putting together a Boots album - and it was Euan driving it - was in tracking down high quality recordings. The sound on the Pop:Aural recordings was much more compressed and not at all like the rest of the music we could find. And there is still some questions about the status of them in terms of what we signed at the time.

"It was simpler to licence the Peel sessions from the BBC and we were lucky to track down Tony Pilley. We wanted to make it sound like an album as an entity rather than the product of different sessions. The recordings were made over two years but they are not too disparate. I am totally amazed by it."

"It is not about revisiting the past and past relationships, but about finding something and putting it out for people to enjoy."

In that endeavour, Carson found the perfect partner in Fryer's Athens of the North operation, whose main business previously has been tracking down rare soul and disco 45s and reissuing them in high quality - and not inexpensive - seven inch pressings. Naturally, although the first release of The Undisco Kidds is on CD, there will be a vinyl version.

The story that Boots for Dancing is part of is one of a very vibrant Edinburgh scene, which is very fondly recalled by those who were there. Its alumni included Jo Callis, the guitarist and songwriter who passed influentially through the ranks of Boots on his journey between the Rezillos and The Human League. The manager of Boots for Dancing, and later the equally before-the-wave So You Think You're A Cowboy?, Alan "Pinhead" Proudfoot, would occasionally employ this writer to drive his bands to and from gigs. It is an era that is beautifully evoked, and meticulously recorded, by The Herald's Neil Cooper in a lengthy essay in the new disc's booklet.

"The coherence in the story is all Neil's," says Carson. "He interviewed me for two-and-a-half hours and then sent me a first draft with all the cross-references he had found through drawing me out and triggering my memory. He really opens up the story. There was no such thing as post-punk back then - that was invented in retrospect - but it was a development of the ideas of 1976 and 77 in that we were all about challenging things."

The Boots for Dancing album has - eventually and coincidentally - arrived at a time when the story of Scottish music-making of the period, particularly in Edinburgh as well as better-documented Postcard-label Glasgow, is being rediscovered, due in no small part to Grant McPhee's acclaimed documentary film Big Gold Dream. Gideon Coe airing an old Boots for Dancing Peel session on BBC Radio 6Music also gave Carson and Fryer's efforts "a bit of a boost", as Carson puts it.

What is clear is that The Undisco Kidds is an album that Boots never stood still long enough to make at the time. The variety in the music is terrific, ranging from the foot-stomping chants of Get Up and Ooh Bop Sh'Bam that grew straight from that eponymous punk-disco debut, to the lounge supper club jazz aesthetic of Style in Full Swing and South Pacific and culminating in the uncategorisable Bend and Elbow, Lend an Ear. While the skill of the young musicians develops in provocative directions, the common thread is Carson's way with an ear-catching lyric, cheerfully plundering a hinterland of showtunes, gospel and r'n'b for memorable phrases to repurpose.

"My main regret is that we didn't get into the studio more," says Carson, "because the other great instrument is the mixing desk. Most of these tracks were recorded with very few overdubs, and I'm very happy that people can now understand the range and variation Boots were capable of."

 Boots for Dancing - Undisco Kidds (flac  369mb)

01 Salt in the Ocean 3:44
02 The Pleasure Chant 4:18
03 (Let's All) Hesitate 3:56
04 Get Up 3:26
05 Style in Full Swing 3:23
06 Timeless Tonight 3:30
07 (Somewhere in The) South Pacific 6:50
08 Just the Ticket 4:01
09 Wild Jazz Summers 5:06
10 Shadows on Stone 3:37
11 Oh' Bop Sh Bam 2:55
12 Money (Is Thin on the Ground)  3:28
13 Stand 3:21
14 Bend an Elbow, Lend an Ear 3:32

 Boots for Dancing - Undisco Kidds    (ogg  139mb)

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