Apr 3, 2013

RhoDeo 1313 Aetix

Hello, summer-time may have started last week-end but the weather still is lagging behind, but then well isolated houses will keep you warm, however the UK seems somehow somewhat unprepared to the cold winds from the east.

Meanwhile Aetix continues with females in the lead with this time an 'accidental 4th choice', and today a rather special 'lady' in the spotlight. She thrusts herself into the music, aggressively, directly, furiously, roars in the most beautiful opera alto, then, through shrieks and squeals, precipitates into luminous soprano heights, she parodies, satirises, and howls on stage like a dervish.... N'joy

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Catharina Hagenwas born 11 March 1955, East Berlin, Germany. After her parents divorced in 1957, Hagen was raised in a suburb in the eastern bloc by her actress mother and her stepfather, dissident poet and songwriter Wolf Biermann. In 1964, she joined the Thalmann-Pioneers, a Communist youth organization and, four years later, the Freie Deutsche Jugend - from which she was excluded for her hand in a demonstration (instigated by Biermann) against the participation of East German militia in the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. On failing a 1972 entrance test for a Berlin-Schönweide drama college, she sang a mixture of blues and soul with a Polish outfit for several months prior to enrolment at the Studio Für Unterhaltungsmusik (Studio For Popular Music) where she was an outstanding student. For a few years, she toured East Germany as featured vocalist with the Alfons-Wonneberg-Orchester before fronting Automobil and then Fritzens Dampferband (Fred’s Steamboat Band) but when Biermann was expelled from Soviet territory in 1976, she followed him to West Germany where her worth as an entertainer was sufficiently known for a recording contract to be offered.Her label advised her to acclimate herself to Western culture through travel, and she arrived in London during the height of the punk rock movement. Hagen was quickly taken up by a circle that included The Slits and Sex Pistols.

Back in Germany by mid-1977, Hagen formed the Nina Hagen Band in West Berlin's Kreuzberg district. In 1978 they released their self-titled debut album, which included the single "TV-Glotzer" (a cover of "White Punks on Dope" by The Tubes, though with entirely different German lyrics), and Auf'm Bahnhof Zoo, about West Berlin's then-notorious Berlin Zoologischer Garten station. The album also included a version of "Rangehn" ("Go For It"), a song she had previously recorded in East Germany, but with different music. The album gained significant attention throughout Germany and abroad, both for its hard rock sound and for Hagen's theatrical vocals, far different from the straightforward singing of her East German recordings. However, relations between Hagen and the other band members deteriorated over the course of the subsequent European tour, and Hagen decided to leave the band in 1979, though she was still under contract to produce a second album. This LP, Unbehagen (which in German also means discomfort or unease), was eventually produced with the band recording their tracks in Berlin and Hagen recording the vocals in Los Angeles, California.

She also acted with Dutch rocker Herman Brood and singer Lene Lovich in the 1979 film Cha Cha. In late 1980, Hagen discovered she was pregnant, broke up with the father-to-be Ferdinand Karmelk, and moved to Los Angeles. Her daughter, Cosma Shiva Hagen, was born in Santa Monica on 17 May 1981. In 1982, Hagen released her first English-language album: NunSexMonkRock, a dissonant mix of punk, funk, reggae, and opera. She then went on a world tour with the No Problem Orchestra.

In 1983, she released the album Angstlos and a minor European tour. By this time, Hagen's public appearances were becoming stranger and frequently included discussions of God, UFOs, her social and political beliefs, animal rights and vivisection, and claims of alien sightings. The English version of Angstlos, Fearless, generated two major club hits in America, "Zarah" (a cover of the Zarah Leander (No. 45 USA) song "Ich weiss, es wird einmal ein Wunder geschehen") and the disco/punk/opera song, "New York New York" (No. 9 USA). Her 1985 album Nina Hagen In Ekstasy fared less well, but did generate club hits with "Universal Radio" (No. 39 USA) and a cover of "Spirit In The Sky" and also featured a 1979 recording of her hardcore punk take on Paul Anka's My Way, which had been one of her signature live tunes in previous years. She performed songs from this album during the 1985 version of Rock in Rio.

At the end of 1986, her contract with CBS was over and she released the Punk Wedding EP independently in 1987, a celebration of her marriage to a 17-year-old-punk nicknamed 'Iroquois'. It followed an independent 1986 one-off single with Lene Lovich, the anthemic Don't Kill The Animals. In 1989, Hagen released the album Nina Hagen which was backed up by another German tour. In 1989 she had a relationship with Frank Chevallier from France, with whom she has a son, Otis Chevallier-Hagen.

In the 1990s, Hagen lived in Paris with her daughter Cosma Shiva and son Otis. In 1991 she toured Europe in support of her new album Street. In 1992 Hagen became the host of a TV show on RTLplus. Also in the same year (1992) she collaborated with Adamski on the European smash and minor UK hit single "Get Your Body". The following year, she released Revolution Ballroom. In 1994, Hagen starred in the acclaimed San Francisco Goethe Institut's "The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber", playing the singer version of "Anita" alongside dancer Jennifer Pieren who portrayed the other "professions" of "Anita".

1995 brought the German-language album Freud Euch appeared, recorded in English as BeeHappy in 1996. Nina returned to San Francisco to star in another San Francisco Goethe Institut show, "Hannusen, Hitler's Jewish Clarvoyant." Hagen also collaborated with electronic music composer Christopher Franke, along with Rick Palombi (credited as Rick Jude) on "Alchemy of Love", the theme song for the film Tenchi Muyo! in Love. In May 1996, she married David Lynn, who is fifteen years younger, but divorced him in the beginning of 2000. In 1998, Hagen became the host of a weekly science fiction show on the British Sci-Fi Channel, in addition to embarking on another tour of Germany. In 1999, she released the devotional album Om Namah Shivay, which was distributed exclusively online.

In 2000, her song Schön ist die Welt became the official song of Expo 2000. Another cover of a Zarah Leander song "Der Wind hat mir ein Lied erzählt" was a minor hit the same year. The album The Return of the Mother was released in February 2001, accompanied by another German tour. Later albums include Big Band Explosion, in which she sang numerous swing covers with her then husband, Danish singer and performer, Lucas Alexander. This was followed by Heiß, a greatest hits album. The following album, Journey to The Snow Queen, is more of an audio book—she reads the Snow Queen fairy tale with Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker in the background.

In 2005 Nina Hagen headlined the Drop Dead Festival in New York Cityn she has been an active protester against the war in Iraq, and she's a vegetarian. In August 2009 she was baptized in the Protestant Reformed church of Schüttorf. After a four year lapse her next album, Personal Jesus, was released July 16, 2010, followed by Volksbeat, released November 11, 2011, this album follows the Jesus-oriented theme of her previous album "Personal Jesus" as well as dealing with civil rights, anti-establishment, anti-war and anti-nuclear power icons and movements.

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Showcasing the Nina Hagen band at their absolute peak, and Nina Hagen herself in wonderful form before her pseudo-philosophical beliefs kinda bogged her down  Unbehagen (discomfort in German) is unlikely to make you discomfortable certainly not the band or Nina himself. They feel pretty much at ease with every style they tackle, be it faux-Goth, quirky New Wave, aggressive punk, or "African Reggae" which introduces the record. I mean, who the hell would think a naughty East German girl could take a reggae rhythm, add lines like 'I wanna go to Africa to the black jah rastaman", and make it actually sound authentic? Considering Hagen's double diva/slut image, it's no problem to say that Unbehagen is just as much of a piece of absurdist trash as it is of a true work of art. You take it from here - one thing's for certain, and that is this album is no ordinary "thing".

Nina Hagen Band - Unbehagen  (flac 249mb)

01 African Reggae 6:17
02 Alptraum 6:10
03 Wir Leben Immer...Noch (Lucky Number) 4:54
04 Wenn Ich Ein Junge Wär (Live-Version) 2:15
05 Herrmann Hiess Er 6:36
06 Auf'm Rummel 4:33
07 Wau Wau 2:08
08 Fall In Love Mit Mir 3:47
09 No Way (Instrumental) 1:05
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Nunsexmonkrock totally grinds. It makes fun of just about everything, from the church ('Antiworld') to drugs ('Smack Jack') to religious obsessions ('Taitschi Tarot') to pompous futuristic declarations ('Future Is Now') to alien life ('UFO'). But even if you cannot make out the actual lyrics - and I sure can't most of the time - the very sound of the music is enough to drive you wild. Nina gets even more production-concerned on this album, which usually means featuring tons and tons and tons of vocal overdubs; sometimes there's as much as four or five Ninas vocalizing at the same time, each one in a different key and a different voice, yet in some perverse manner these overdubs merge together real well.

Nina Hagen Band - Nunsexmonkrock  (flac 270mb)

01 Antiworld 4:41
02 Smack Jack 5:16
03 Taitschi-Tarot 2:05
04 Dread Love 4:08
05 Future Is Now 2:55
06 Born In Xixax 2:55
07 Iki Maska 5:08
08 Dr. Art 4:49
09 Cosma Shiva 3:17
10 UFO 4:52
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With production shored up by Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey, Nina Hagen's Fearless is, overtly, a dance album. Red Hot Chili Peppers guest on "What It Is." In spite of some bombastic excesses, it's a neurotically humorous and somewhat enjoyable endeavor. True enough, the lead-in track 'New York New York' did become a solid hit in contemporary discotheques for some time, but that's about it. The theatricality and conceptuality of the album might still be Nina Hagen, but the music is entirely Giorgio Moroder, and that makes me wonder how seriously was Nina actually involved in the musical component of her early classic German records.

Nina Hagen - Fearless (flac 285mbmb)

01 New York New York 5:16
02 My Sensation 4:04
03 Flying Saucers 3:11
04 I Love Paul 3:50
05 The Change 4:40
06 Silent Love 4:07
07 What It Is 4:18
08 T.V. Snooze 3:58
09 Springtime In Paris 3:35
10 Zarah 4:38

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It's pretty useless to ask Nina Hagen to have a point, much better to just dig in the songs. 'Universal Radio' is the "dance hit single" here (also available in an enormous seven-minute extended club version as a bonus track on the CD), and it's an excellent chunk of electronic funker that beats the shit out of any given Madonna song. You wanna have an adrenaline-raising synth-popper to blow your brains away? 'Gods Of Aquarius' will do just that, with its unbeatable 'love, love, never get enough' chorus. Or maybe you just want some good old hard rock? '1985 Ekstasy Drive' is easily the heaviest song recorded by Nina in all, with chuggin' Budgie-like guitar riffs and a little bit of hair metal guitar soloing to boot. 'Prima Nina In Ekstasy' is a little bit of spoofing on Hagen's much-hyped status as the "Mother Of Punk" - you could never tell whether she's actually flattered by the title or ridiculing it by merely listening to the tune (which isn't actually punky at all, but given the constant refrain 'I'm the mother of punk, so what the funk?', that's not too surprising).

In short, quite a glorious collection of grooves, except that if you're a serious dude, you'll never think of Nina Hagen as anything more than a trashy kitsch artist if this is your first acquaintance with the album. There's none of the complexity of Unbehagen here, nor of the angry post-modernist sinner-saint musical philosophy of Nunsexmonkrock. I mean, heck, it's all in the title, it's Nina Hagen In Ekstasy. When you're in ecstasy, you don't care much about controlling whatever you're doing, and she lets her hair down on the album in a way she never did before.

Nina Hagen - In Ekstasy (flac 243mb)

01 Universal Radio 3:34
02 Gods Of Aquarius 3:28
03 Russian Reggae 4:36
04 My Way 4:27
05 1985 Ekstasy Drive 3:21
06 Prima Nina In Ekstasy 4:30
07 Spirit In The Sky 5:14
08 Atomic Flash Deluxe 4:06
09 The Lord's Prayer 3:21
10 Gott In Himmel 1:15

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elsewhere re-rip

Nina Hagen Band - Nina Hagen Band  (flac  261mb)

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Louis Bova said...

What are the chances of re upping all of Nina Hagens work ?

apf said...

Thank you Rho!