Dec 27, 2006

Stage 10, Belgium

During the Middle Ages, the Low Countries were split into many small feudal states. Most of them were united in the course of the 14th and 15th centuries as the Burgundian Netherlands. These states gained a degree of autonomy in the 15th century and were thereafter named the Seventeen Provinces.
The Eighty Years' War (1568–1648), divided the Seventeen Provinces into the United Provinces in the north and the Southern Netherlands in the south, these were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the end of the Napoleon era in 1815. Not for long when in 1830 the Belgian Revolution led to the establishment of an independent, Catholic and neutral Belgium.

The main cause of the Belgian Revolution was the domination of the Dutch over the economic, political, and social institutions of the United Provinces. The traditional economy of trade and an incipient Industrial Revolution were centred in the present day Netherlands, particularly in the large port of Amsterdam. The Belgians had little influence over this economy and resented Dutch control. At the most basic level, the Dutch were for free trade, while less-developed local industries in Belgium called for the protection of tariffs.

At the grassroots level the Belgian peoples' faith, Roman Catholicism, conflicted with that of their Dutch King, Calvinism, the Belgians saw themselves as purely Catholic and demanded a higher role for the Church (those roman catholic demons at it again), in their government. In a sense, the Belgian Revolution was a Walloon revolution, of a French-speaking upper and middle class that exchanged Dutch hegemony for Walloon hegemony. The Belgian Revolution of 1830 crystallised this antagonism, with the final arrangements favouring the French-speakers. French became the official language; Dutch was banned in schools. The Belgian Civil Code was not translated into Dutch until 1967 !!. With hindsight it's fair to say that theFlemish got the worst of two ills, and to this day they are paying, in the sense that they have to transfer 1000 euro per head to Walloon every year. Don't think there's much thanks for that, on the contrary the walloon remain as arrogant and backward as ever, nepotism rules , many have fled to Brussels region turning this once flemish city into a french speaking bastion...goodluck with asking directions in dutch.

Belgium is well-known for its fine art and architecture ever since the renaissance (1400). The region corresponding to today's Belgium has seen the flourishing of major artistic movements that have had tremendous influence over European art ever since. It supports a fine cuisine aswell and is renowned for it's chocolate. Belgium produces over 500 varieties of beer (Belgian beer) . Belgians have a reputation for loving waffles and French fries (both originated at Belgium). Yes those Belgians , Flemish in particular live the life, nowhere else is partying till dawn so common, they don't need creditcards to spend, it comes natural to them to enjoy, and they enjoy entertaining eachother. Read more @  Wiki on Belgium

When looking into the music scene i was surprised that walloons were all but absent, almost all 'exported' music comes from the Flanders/Brussels regions. It only enforces the idea that something is amiss in Walloon, having Marc Dutroux as its most known citizen paints of picture of (moral) decay and apparently a place where creativity is starved, this whilst Walloon nature presents lush landscapes with the Ardennes and the beautiful Namur valley region.

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Telex - Neurovision (1980 - * 422mb)

When radio DJ/jazz musician Marc Moulin, programmer/sound engineer Dan Lacksman and vocalist Michel Moers got together in 1978 with the deliberate goal of forming an all-electronic disco pop band, they couldn't have chosen a better (or worse) moment: after all this was a year when New Wave, guitars, seriousness and political content were ruling. Telex had a typically Belgian, self-deprecating sense of humour, they entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 1980, and performed for millions of stunned viewers a synth+vocoder song appropriately entitled "Eurovision".

Telex went on to make five albums, and many of their 12" achieved cult status in the clubs, especially in America.Telex had claimed at the time that "the best compliment anybody could pay us is that our music is disposable - that's what all music should be", and the press sometimes tended to take the same view. When i listened to Telex again i was struck by that they sounded like Belgiums version of Japans Yellow Magic Orchestra (specially late seventies YMO). Largely unknown back then. You be the judge...i'll get to Japan around March 2007.

01 - We Are All Getting Old (3:27)
02 - My Time (4:21)
03 - Tour De France (4:04)
04 - Eurovision (3:21)
05 - No Distances (3:31)
06 - Twist A Saint Tropez (3:17)
07 - Dance To The Music (4:15)
08 - Reality (3:32)
09 - Cliche (0:44)
10 - A/B (3:21)
11 - En Route (4:22)
12 - Moskow Diskow (3:14)
13 - Finale (0:21)

Telex @ Base
Telex @ Wiki
Telex @ Amazon

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Ghinzu - Blow ( 04 * 346mb)

GHINZU, formed 1999 in Brussels, released its first album, Electronic Jacuzzi in late 2000 on their own label Dragoon. Their music can be described as NOISE-POP. It contains the basic elements of pop: piano, trash synthesizers, no-wave melodies, passionate rhythms and unique melodramatic hooks. But it is ripe with experimentation : duo-bass lines, piano ballads accompanied by cut-beat drums, distortions, lyrics full of lo-fi humor and self-mockery, speed-pop and of course… the noise. Ghinzu is a brand name of Japanese knives that cut better the more you use them ( in case you wondered),  i wonder if they have any. The cover art sure is eyecatching, but to me doesnt convey their music, so don't let it turn you off. It's a great album. Early 2007 they will launch the follow up to Blow.

01 - Blow (8:54)
02 - Jet Sex (3:05)
03 - Cockpit Inferno (3:48)
04 - Do You Read Me (4:17)
05 - 'Till You Faint (3:27)
06 - The Dragster-Wave (6:10)
07 - Sweet Love (3:57)
08 - High Voltage Queen (The Reign Of) (5:15)
09 - 21st Century Crooners (3:29)
10 - Mine (5:14)
11 - Horse (2:52)
12 - Sea-Side Friends (4:30)

Ghinzu @ Base
Ghinzu @ MySpace
Ghinzu @ Wiki

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Novastar - Another Lonely Soul (04 ^ 295mb)

Novastar (Joost Zwegers) was the winner of a Rock Rally in 1996. The self-titled debut album Novastar was only released four years later, in 2000, but with success. The album reached #1 of the chart in Flanders and awarded a platinum record. Novastar was honored as best album at both the Zamu Music Awards and the TMF Awards.

Joost Zwegers intended to record his second album in the United States, but unhappy with the way he was pushed to produce hits, he returned to Belgium. He started a collaboration with the Belgian musician Piet Goddaer (Ozark Henry) and together they wrote the songs for the next Novastar album Another Lonely Soul. The album, which Piet Goddear also produced, was released in 2004, it was an immediate succes. Just as the debut album, the new cd topped the chart, was awarded a platinum record and the TMF Award for best album again.It a quite soft album with no really uptempo songs, the tracks are beautiful with a little sad touch and filled with a lot of emotions. A perfect record to enjoy the power of almost perfect popmusic on a rainy sunday afternoon.

01 - Lend Me Love (4:54)
02 - Never Back Down (4:19)
03 - Rome (4:08)
04 - Faith (5:02)
05 - When The Lights Go Down On The Broken Hearted (4:39)
06 - Lost Out Over You (3:55)
07 - Ask For The Moon (4:31)
08 - This Is A Road To Nowhere (2:47)
09 - Don't Ever Let It Get You Down (4:25)
10 - Still Learning To Fly (4:11)

Novastar @ Base
Novastar @ Wiki
Novastar @ Amazon

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Front 242 - Back Catalogue (1987 * 428mb)

Front 242 was created in 1981 in Aarschot, Belgium by Daniel Bresanutti and Dirk Bergen, who wanted to create music and graphic design using emerging electronic tools. The initial name of Prothese was changed to Front 242 because it had greater potential as a subject of graphic design. After a few singles, Jean-Luc De Meyer (vocals) and Patrick Codenys joined the group and the first album, "Geography", was released. At this stage, Dirk Bergen left the group. In 1983, Richard 23 (Richard Jonckheere) joined the group as vocalist/percussionist. With this line-up, the band released many albums of EBM-music, gaining more popularity with every release. (EBM stands for Electronic Body Music, a term invented by F242 themselves) They also established a solid live reputation, with an energetic show in para-military outfits. Read more about Front 242 @ Wiki

Front 242 - Back Catalogue    (flac 428mb)

01 - U-Men (LP Mix) (3:12)
02 - Geography II (1:08)
03 - Kampfbereit (3:18)
04 - Operating Tracks (3:48)
05 - Geography I (2:16)
06 - Take One (4:45)
07 - Controversy Between (4:54)
08 - Sample D. (3:13)
09 - Nomenklatura I (4:24)
10 - Nomenklatura II (2:10)
11 - Lovely Day (5:23)
12 - Special Forces (5:30)
13 - Commando (Remix) (9:03)
14 - No Shuffle (Single Mix) (3:45)
15 - Don't Crash (4:51)
16 - Funkahdafi (3:15)
17 - Take One (Live Chicago) (5:00)

Front 242 @ Base
Front 242 @ MySpace
Front 242 @ Amazon

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Ontayso - Re-Mixed, Re-Worked, Re-Constructed And Re-Invented, Pt 1 (2002 * 273mb)

ONTAYSO is formed by Esther Santoyo, Koen Lybaert and Dave Vanderplas, who take ideas, sounds and concepts of previous acts one step further into new creative areas. ONTAYSO brings a combination of acoustic instrumentation and fine electronics. Lofi guitars, melodic sax and subtle percussions are mixed with soundscapes of manipulated acoustic sounds, field recordings, samples, and several synthesizers. U-Cover Records worked out a remix project around their first unreleased recordings. The result is quite overwhelming... Everything from loveley ambience, subtle piano driven tracks, rythmic techy stuff, really minimal stuff, dubby, etc etc. It is quite a diverse album, allowing each of the selected artists to show off what they can do. The album starts off slow and progressively builds up as each minute passes.

01 - Untitled (Kettel Remix) (4:25)
02 - Untitled (Cosmic Connection Remix) (4:45)
03 - Untitled (Mambotour Remix) (5:14)
04 - Untitled (Loess Remix) (7:02)
05 - Untitled (Alejandra And Underwood Remix) (2:19)
06 - Untitled (Sense Remix) (5:58)
07 - Untitled (ADN Remix) (7:03)
08 - Untitled (File 538 Remix) (6:53)
09 - Untitled (Scanner Remix) (4:53)
10 - Untitled (The Buddy System Remix) (6:06)
11 - Untitled (DJ Godfather Remix) (3:54)

Ontayso @ Base
Ontayso @ MySpace

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TooMany Dj's - Radio Soulwax pt 2 (2002 * 457mb)

Soulwax, headed by David and Stephen Dewaele, is an alternative rock band hailing from Ghent, Belgium. Even though the Dewaele Brothers have released several major albums under this moniker, including Leave The Story Untold (1996), Much Against Everyone's Advice (1999) and Any Minute Now (2004), the two are perhaps best known for their influential contributions to the bastard pop genre under the names Flying Dewaele Brothers and 2 Many DJs with the landmark record As Heard On Radio Soulwax Pt. 2. Meanwhile there's 10 parts of radio Soulwax out there, their website has lots of interesting stuff. To keep the first experience at max impact i just list the first 12:30 min from an hour of slicing powermixing.

TooMany Dj's - Radio Soulwax pt 2     re-rip 457mb

01    - Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Peter Gunn (Live)
01.1 - Basement Jaxx - Where's Your Head At (Head-A-Pella)
02    - Peaches - Fuck The Pain Away
03    - Velvet Underground, The - I'm Waiting For The Man
04.1 - Polyester - J'Aime Regarder Les Mecs
04.2 - Sly & The Family Stone - Dance To The Music
04.3 - Ready For The World - Oh Sheila (A Capella)
05    - Dakar & Grinser - I Wanna Be Your Dog
06    - Ural 13 Diktators - Disko Kings
07.1 - Bobby Orlando - The "O" Medley
07.2 - Felix Da Housecat - Silverscreen Shower Scene

2Many DJ's @ Base worth a visit !
2Many DJ's @ Wiki
2Many DJ's @ Amazon

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* All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

Dec 25, 2006

JB, his soul lives on... R.I.P.

Hello, I always liked the music of JB, even when in general soul/funk is not as much my thing as other kinds of music, as a dj i can say he always captured the attention on and off the dancefloor, he was respected thru out the music scene and audiences. As such he will be remembered as one of the greatest music artists of the 20th century, one that really did his "thang" with the full force of his convictions and being.

James Brown first recorded professionally 50 years ago and from this first session came his first million seller "please, please, Please". 30 years later when this cd was compiled he was in the charts with Unity together with electro-funkateer Afrika Bambaata , inbetween he scored a 100 us hits, 40 million sellers. JB has cut some of the deepest grooves in popular music, and carved a legendary career , the total impact and importance of which will see the appreciation now that he's no more.

JB was admitted to the Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia on December 24, 2006 after a dentist visit where he was found to have severe pneumonia. Brown died the next day on December 25, 2006, around 1:45 a.m. at the age of 73. Thusfar the response has been one of shock as nobody saw it coming, infact he had performing engagements later this week. It must have been a very virulent and nasty influenza virus..

JB 's sound, structure, the spirit of his monumental outpput was way ahead of it's time, a lot of what you hear in black music and pop offshoots is based on what JB layed down in the sixties. His self awareness, motivation and determination manifested when he assumed total command of his career in the sixties, with " I'm black and I'm proud" he showed coloured people a route out of the victimized trap.

Soulbrother # 1, Godfather of Soul , Founder of Funk and "the hardest working man in showbizz" is no more, but his soul lives on..... in many a heart around this world.

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The CD of JB (1985 * 277mb)

This polydor/philips CD is from the very earliest days of digital technology. It features 18 of James Brown's greatest songs. Interestingly, a few of the songs here are not the hit versions, but instead are alternate versions. Either way, they are all the great performances. Highly recommended.

01 - Doing it to Death
02 - Super Bad (Mono)
03 - Soul Power (Mono)
04 - Think
05 - It's a Man's World (Mono)
06 - Try Me (I Need You) (Mono)
07 - Bewildered (Mono)
08 - Out of Sight
09 - I Got You
10 - Prisoner of Love
11 - I Got the Feelin' (Mono)
12 - Maybe the Last Time
13 - Licking Stick - Licking Stick
14 - Mother Popcorn
15 - Papa's Got a Brand New Bag (Mono)
16 - Sex Machine
17 - The Payback
18 - Please, Please, Please (Mono)

JB @ Base
JB @ Wiki
JB @ Amazon

All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

Dec 24, 2006

Xmas, Detour

It's the time of the season where things get soft, at least in the snow, however, in the desert there's no such cosy pleasantries, even if we northerners pretend that one day, in a warm stables with farm animals surrounding, a child was born unto a pair of refugees on the run from the murderous army of a tyrant who'd been foretold his kingdom was in danger from one to be born soon. Sure those ordinairy folk listening to such a story knew all about murderous tyrants and warm stables. That child could have been theirs were it not that this was no ordinairy child, oh no this was the son of God, born on to the immaculately impregnated Mary, in vitro fertilisation we say these days, but lets not twist over how God managed this... Josef and Maria got an angelic warning and fled to egypt, most unfortunate though for all the innocent baby boys that got hacked up... Strange too that such a demonic infanticide campaign didn't register in the roman annals...maybe if it didnt happen ? But in the story it clearly establishes the evil of the other side doesn't it ?

Many an astronomer, working back with the latest astrosoftware, has been seeking Bethlehems star, it must have been around for months, but nothing remotely could be found that would incite magi, who were after all the learned astronomers of the day (night) to go and seek for a newborn king. Now that part of the story may have been a week link anyway.

Jesus was a carpenter, right...wrong this twisted knowledge has come about in the 17th century when the bible was translated from latin into english, the latin puts him down as a master of crafts, this in the days of witchburning sounded a bit too wizzardry so they translated it into a respectable craft of the day, carpentry, ergo Jesus the carpenter. Then there's didn't exist at the time, it first shows up on old maps from the 6th century, it's safe to say that he didnt come from there. 
But hold on here, i remember him being called the nazareen, this is an important clue because there was a healers sect that called themselves Nazareen and who held ideas very close to those been attributed to Jesus. WhatJesus message boils down to is as simple as it is difficult : "Gods temple isnt some construction build by men, but it is everymen and woman's heart and that is where one should worship God and keep Moses laws.' Thats right, don't be fooled by the middlemen, the gatekeepers, the priests..thats the core essence of the message Jesus and the Nazareen left us, and it is as valid today as it has ever been.

Keep that in mind and specially in your heart, and i wish you happy days and loving new year.

I add some Xmas goodies to entertain you these days

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Z.E.'s VA - A Christmas Record (1982 - * 58mb)
ZE Records was a New York-based record label, started in 1978 by Michael Zilkha and Michel Esteban.The music which they were listening to was a mixture of the New Wave of Talking Heads and Television, together with the disco-funk music being played in the New York clubs, at a point at which music, art, cinema, literature, and fashion were closely integrated. The pair decided to set up ZE Records, to record the new music emerging, later known generically as No Wave

Within a short time, ZE Records became the hippest record label in the world, signing up such new talent as Was (Not Was), Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Bill Laswell’s Material, and James White and the Blacks, together with more established performers including John Cale and Suicide. Many of its releases were first played at the Paradise Garage club in New York, starting point of Garage music. As it is Xmas in New York aswell ZE couldnt resist to release an alternative Xmas sampler , "A Christmas record" to showcase their artists. Here's the vinyl rip in glorious OGG.

01 - Christina - Things fall apart
02 - Suicide - Hey Lord
03 - The Three Courgettes - Christmas coming
04 - James White - Christmas with satan
05 - The Waitresses - Christmas rapping
06 - August Darnell - Christmas on riverside drive
07 - Material and Nona Hendryx - It's a holiday
08 - Was not was - Christmas time in the motorcity
09 - Davitt Sigurson - It's a big country

Z.E. records @ Base
Z.E. records @ Wiki

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Phil Spector VA - A Christmas Gift For You (1963 - * 48mb)
The Spector of Christmas 1963, back then poorly recieved, no surprise considering president Kennedy had just been assasinated. Spectors trademark at the time was his Wall of Sound, a production technique yielding a dense, layered effect that reproduced well on AM radio and jukeboxes. To attain this signature sound, Spector gathered large groups of musicians (playing some instruments not generally used for ensemble playing, such as electric and acoustic guitars) playing orchestrated parts — often using many instruments playing in unison — for a fuller sound. Spector himself called his technique "a Wagnerian approach to rock & roll: little symphonies for the kids.".

In 2003 Rolling Stone listed "A Christmas Gift For You" # 142 of the greatest albums of all time. As for Phil, he went on producing many hits and in the seventies was succesfull with Beatles' Lennon and Harrison. His marriage with Ronny from the Ronettes broke up in 74 and in 2003 his girlfriend, 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson was found shot dead at his faux-castle mansion. Phil was arrested but is out on bail, his trial is set for jan 2007.

This is a vinyl rip of the glorious 63 mono album, specially for those defenders of standards, Totally Fuzzy , A Christmas mp3 Gift For You(1963 ) aswell .

01 - Darlene Love - White Christmas
02 - Ronettes - Frosty The Snowman
03 - Bob B. Soxx And The Blue Jeans - The Bells Of St. Mary
04 - Crystals - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
05 - Ronettes - Sleigh Ride
06 - Darlene Love - Marshmallow World
07 - Ronettes - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
08 - Crystals - Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
09 - Darlene Love - Winter Wonderland
10 - Crystals - Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers
11 - Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
12 - Bob B. Soxx And The Blue Jeans - Here Comes Santa Claus
13 - Phil Spector And Artists - Silent Night

Phil Spector @ Amazon

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* All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

Dec 23, 2006

Stage 09, France, ici Paris deux

Ici Paris part 2, plenty of artists out there and my choices are but a small sample. With Alansky and Burgalat we have 2 very different anti-hero's, Ekova wouldnt have been without Paris , DJ Cam fuses Paris' streets into his music and Encre..well is our ticket out of Paris onto the skies of Normandy and into oneself again.

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Jay Alansky - Les yeux crevés (2002) Flac 325mb)

Jay Alanski is one of the most prolific French songwriters of the 80s, the man behind a whole string of chart hits for a host of stars. However, Jay grew tired of the showbiz world and became a recluse in the 90s, locking himself away in the studio to experiment with trip-hop and ambient sounds. Greying at the temples, Alanski totally reinvented himself and signed to Éric Morand and Laurent Garnier’s hip indie electro label F-Com. After earning a cult reputation with his Reminiscent Drive albums, he has now moved on to what he himself admits is a moodier, darker sound. "Well, my new album does follow a period of crisis in my life," he says, " I’d just been through a lot of doubt, questioning myself about where I was going, I’ve always tried to translate those kind of emotions into my art as a way of working them through in some way."

With Les yeux crevés Alanky takes us into a world of crispy warm elektronic sounds. At times there's a real germanic feel to his analog assembled sound aesthetics. Alansky creates a melancholic sometimes pathetic then again ironic electronic album that will do nicely on a crisp winter morning aswell as a brighter spring day .Im not sure if your eyes will pop or burst as the title announces, i guess it reflects his own feeling staring at the layers of screens when creating this album.

01 - Un Maximum De Lumière (6:32)
02 - The Captain Of My Ship (5:01)
03 - Compassionate (4:23)
04 - Special Contract (4:32)
05 - Les Yeux Crevés (3:32)
06 - Schmaltz (4:16)
07 - My Life On Porn (1:57)
08 - Manipulate (5:27)
09 - Sir Robert (2:17)
10 - Nan (5:37)
11 - Free At St Pete (11:32)

Alansky @ Fcom

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Ekova - Soft Breeze and Tsunami Breaks ( 99  flac  452mb)

"I think Paris is the most extraordinary city. I mean, every culture has its own history but what's really amazing about Paris is that you get to see living cultures - some of them thousands of years old - existing side by side and influencing one another. I love the idea of this process of mixing and exchange going on right under our noses. And I think it's fair to say that if it hadn't been for Paris, Ekova might never have existed at all!"-Dierdre Dubois

This Paris-based trio - which doesn't contain a single Frenchman, draws its name from a word coined by American-born singer Dierdre Dubois, echo and ova, signifying the feminine side. Dubois, despite her Celtic and French name, was raised by her Italian-American mother in Northern California, and has lived in Paris long enough that her English is noticeably accented. Like the name of the band Dierdre creates words as sounds, she creates her own improvised language, a kind of multicultural glossolalia that is as mysterious as it is musical. "I don't understand it all myself," she acknowledges. "It just comes out by itself. But I like that sense of mystery about it." The other two members of Ekova,Iranian percussionist Arach Khalatbari and Algerian guitar/lute player Mehdi Haddab, have invented a musical language to match. Khalatbari is from Tehran but has lived and worked in Paris since the Islamic revolution in Iran. And Haddab is half Algerian, half French; born in Algiers, he lived in Burundi in Central Africa before finally making his way to Paris. Freed from the weight of any of their individual traditions, Khalatbari and Haddab weave together strands of Celtic and African music, inspired by many of the world's music traditions without literally drawing on them, Ekova has created a sound that is at once elusive but familiar.

With their debut album "Heavens Dust" they released a classic, that deserved more attention than it got, even though many were raving about it. ( politically incorrect lined-up perhaps ?). Happy to experiment and fuse further Ekova offered their album up for remix, the result "Soft Breeze and Tsunami Breaks" was released one year later, it was a bold choice as these electronica remixes wouldnt perse suit their first fans. And admittedly it veeres off widely from the more acoustic original and presents us with a jazz-electro downtempo dub album that firmly stands on its own.

In 2001 Ekova released "Space Lullabies and Other Fantasmagore" , they went on some extensive touring but to date haven't released any new material.

Ekova - Soft Breeze and Tsunami Breaks (flac 452mb)

01 - In My Prime (Gekko From Ekovaland)
02 - Helas And Reason (Jérôme Pacman - Neti Neti Remix)
03 - Starlight In Daden (Da Lata-Aurora Remix)
04 - Temoine (Farmakit Extended Remix)
05 - La Nef Des Fous (Niktus Design Size Remix)
06 - Taksim (Popodi - Un Taksim Pour Tobruk)
07 - Sister (Lofofora - Tsunami Sister Remix)
08 - Venus And One (Boscheron, Smadj - Reconstruction)
09 - Todosim (Roudoudou - Ali Baba Remix)
10 - Sebrendita (DJ Cam - Dark Jazz Remix)
11 - Ditama (Bab & F2F - Kalenda Remix)
12 - Sabura (Max Pashm - Desert Delight Remix)
13 - Chant Of Diem (Doctor L - Golden Days Remix)

Ekova @ Label
Ekova @ Amazon

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DJ Cam Substances (96 flac 252mb)

DJ Cam (born Laurent Daumail in 1973) is a French DJ. After trading his instruments for a set of turntables he spend his days listening to the likes of Eric B and specially Public Enemy At 16 Laurent created his own place hitting bars and clubs with his Bomb Rush . At 20 he started his own label to release himself, undettered by the absence of initial succes he recorded his first LP was "Undergound Vibes" in 1994. It was revolutionary for it's time, featuring familiar jazz samples and loads of vibe samples and heavy hip-hop influences, "Undergound Vibes"got him noticed by the international music press. DJ Cam's style coined as abstract hip hop merges blunt street rhythms with languid samples and atmospheric soundscapes.

"Substances" experimented with a change of direction from DJ Cam's previous albums. The tracks on "Substances" were more melancholy in feel than usual, featuring a variety of slick cool-jazz samples from the likes of Alice Coltran. Cam fused his smooth easy-listening jazz samples with the usual hip hop rhythms, but this time round the emphasis was definitely on mellow - listen to the soft, velvet vocals of the Indian singer Kakoli Sengupta on the track "Meera" . "Substances" feels like a late night trip thru the streets and bars of Paris ending at the Arc de triomph in the early morning twilight, unsure about what it means you experienced but content. Life's a stream, it goes on.

Dj Cam was on the map and in demand to produce ever since releasing a string of ep' .s albums and projects with jazz artists or the likes of bill Laswell too much to get into here, his latest 2006 release a remix project DJCam revisted .

01 - Intro (0:13)
02 - Friends and Enemies (6:25)
03 - Essence Part One (0:38)
04 - Meera ft- Kakoli Sengupta (7:15)
05 - Essence Part Two (0:33)
06 - Sound System Children (6:47)
07 - Alexandra's Interlude (0:46)
08 - Innervisions (4:40)
09 - Essence Part Three (0:40)
10 - Hip Hop Pionneers (4:23)
11 - Essence Part Four (0:33)
12 - Lost Kingdom ft- Kakoli Sengupta (4:00)
13 - Essence Part Five (0:32)
14 - Angel Dust (6:25)
15 - Essence Part Six (0:34)
16 - Twillight Zone (4:46)
17 - Outro (0:46)

DJ Cam @ HisSpace
DJ Cam @ Amazon

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Bertrand Burgalat - Sssound of Mmmusic (2000 * 102mb)

Bertrand Burgalat, the epitomy of "the trendy Parisian", whilst tapping into the glamorous easy-listening groove of the 60s and mixing it with electro beats, has established a reputation as an avant-garde pioneer. The multi-talented Burgalat, whose inspiration ranges from the classical compositions of Ravel to the early electronica of Kraftwerk, has worked as an arranger, composer, producer, soundtrack writer and remixer.Bertrand Burgalat was born in the Corsican town of Bastia in 1963, the Burgalat family moved several times in the course of Burgalat senior's career so young Bertrand grew up in several different French towns.

Coming from a well-to-do, bourgeois background, Bertrand was introduced to classical music at an early age and began taking piano lessons at the age of 6. A few years later his musical tastes would change dramatically, however. After seeing a Pink Floyd concert at the age of 10, Bertrand opened his mind to a whole range of other musical possibilities. The budding young musician went on to set up his own rock and jazz bands. But one of the most formative influences throughout Bertrand's teens in the 1970s was his discovery of the work of cult German electro pioneers Kraftwerk.

Burgalat went on to launch his own career in the music world in the 1980s, starting out as a producer and an arranger. Steering away from the musical mainstream, Burgalat marked himself out as a man with alternative interests, producing an album by Slovenian 'electro Goths', Laibach, when he was just 25. He went on to work with a host of other major underground stars such as the German band Einstürzende Neubauten .

In the early 90s Burgalat became increasingly involved in the easy-listening movement. Fusing the best of 60s and 90s electronica with layers of smooth, slick strings, revolving around a light, upbeat sound. The vogue was perfectly suited to Burgalat's own interest in the aesthetic and music of the period, most notably theme tunes from kitsch TV series.

In the 90s Burgalat's career largely revolved around his production work for artists such as Jad Wio , Julien Baer and Japanese electro/pop diva Kahimi Karie. Meanwhile, Burgalat also continued a parallel career as a musical arranger, working with the likes of Ollano, Mick Harvey, the Japanese group Pizzicato Five, and the Australian star Nick Cave.

In 1992 Burgalat branched out in a new direction, working on the soundtrack of Cyril Collard's film "les Nuits fauves". Five years later Burgalat turned his hand to film composition once again, writing the entire soundtrack for Valérie Lemercier's movie "Quadrille". Meanwhile, advertising creatives also came knocking at Burgalat's door, asking him to compose the music for various ad campaigns for luxury brands such as Yves Saint-Laurent.

Burgalat also found himself in demand on the remix front and went on to cook up a series of cutting-edge remixes for mainstream stars such as Jamiroquai, Soul II Soul, Depeche Mode ("Easy Going") and hip French electro outfit Air ("Sexy Boy"). Renowned as a brilliantly creative musical mastermind with a certain air of mystery about him, Burgalat soon found himself dubbed "the French Phil Spector."

TricatelWhen "France's answer to Phil Spector" set up his own record label, Tricatel, in 1995. he established himself as a key player on the French music scene. Positioning itself at the musical cutting-edge, Tricatel soon showed itself to be an innovative force, promoting original, up-and-coming talents from a broad range of musical backgrounds. Meanwhile, Burgalat was also extremely active on the home front. In 1996 he produced the album "Valérie Lemercier chante" for singer and French comedian Valérie Lemercier (also his partner in real life). Then in 2000 he went on to mastermind "Présence humaine", an album recorded by controversial French author Michel Houellebecq. These two albums – deemed exciting and original by fans, and dismissed as trendy and "snobbily intellectual" by critics – appeared to sum up Burgalat's image in the public eye.

Straddling the divide between kitsch, old-fashioned "variété" sounds and avant-garde electro, Burgalat forged a reputation for top-quality production work, but his music was often considered overly elitist (a criticism which, incidentally, Burgalat was only too happy to have levelled at his work!) Burgalat also got something of a reputation for his extravagant parties, which he liked to organise in unusual, off-beat settings such as empty swimming pools and bowling alleys.

The Ssssound of music
Finally, after decades of working for other people, Burgalat went into the studio on his own account. His debut solo album, "The Ssssound of music", was released in 2000 under the name Bertrand. This album, which Burgalat had, in fact, been working on since setting up his own label in '95, contained the usual Burgalat inspirations – i.e. a healthy dose of electronica, pop culture and psychedelia, soaring backing choruses and string sections and some beautifully-crafted melodies. Infused with a "private joke" sense of humour, "The Ssssound of music" made no attempt to win over fans on the musical mainstream, but brandished its difference loud and clear. Besides featuring numerous instrumental tracks, "The Ssssound of music" also found Burgalat trying his hand at vocals or inviting close friends such as Katerine and Michel Houellebecq to guest on certain songs, but it was Burgalat's group, A.S. Dragon, which lent musical coherence to the whole.

Bertrand Burgalat - Sssound of Mmmusic    flac 398mb

01 - Pas Perdus (0:42)
02 - Tsom (2:57)
03 - Ok Skorpios (4:10)
04 - Aux Cyclades Electronique (3:36)
05 - Ma Rencontre (5:38)
06 - Ile De Beton (5:37)
07 - Attention Amiante (4:16)
08 - Chaque Jour (2:52)
09 - (Come Potrei) Scordare (3:05)
10 - 14 H (0:36)
11 - Nonza (4:31)
12 - Sunshine Yellow (5:43)
13 - Gris Metal (3:40)
14 - Des Yeux Roses (1:29)
15 - L'Observatoire (3:23)
16 - Le Pays Imaginaire (2:30)
17 - Coeur Inapaise (4:00)

Burgalat @ MySpace
Tricatel @ Base
Burgalat @ Wiki
Burgalat @ Amazon

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Encre - Flux (02 ^289mb)

For my last post en France, we leave the pressure cooker Paris to seek some quiet and solitude in the Normandy, a place where one can get in touch with nature and oneself again. Yann Tambour, the author/composer/performer who hides behind the Encre project, was born in 1978. He grew up in Courtances, Normandy, in a family with little love of music. At the age of 7 he learnt classical guitar. At high school, he set-up different pop groups, in which he sang in both French and English. It was through his friends that he got his musical education, discovered Joy Division, the Velvet Underground, Nick Drake and Palace. On returning to the faculty, he found himself alone to record pieces on his 4-track recorder, with some little synthesizers on which he put French lyrics.

He next moved to technology, first using a family computer, on which he installed music software and directed himself progressively to the composition of instrumentals, like his first single “Pente est” released on the label Active Suspension under the name of Encre. Yann continued to refine his writing up until June 2001, and the publication of the first eponymous Encre album on French label Clapping Music. Lasting 33 minutes, he performs 8 pieces on 2 instruments, from dark pop to obsessive spoken-song. The music is constructed by a guitar (acoustic or electric) and samples (a range of samples of songs which already exist) diverse: drums, strings, brass, piano and various noises. Despite this Yann Tambour refrains from making electronic music, arguing that the fact of using a sequencer doesn’t place his music automatically in this category, and that according to him “generating sounds from a computer or an instrument comes out the same…”. On ‘Flux’ Encre weaves organic sounds with precise programming to deliver ambitious electronica that fluctuates in intensity throughout. The title track is a perfect example. Starting with a melodic acoustic guitar and whining keyboards, the track adds processed violin and builds into a complex myriad of isounds that increase in concentration until its unfurling finale.

01 - Flux (4:44)
02 - Marbres (4:42)
03 - Hassan (6:47)
04 - Us (8:39)
05 - Galant(es?) (5:36)
06 - Sèves (5:39)
07 - Missive Bis (3:07)
08 - Plexus (5:58)

Encre @ Base
Encre @ Amazon

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* All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

Dec 20, 2006

Stage 08, France, ici Paris

Hasta la vista , Spain, Portugal, we return to France en route a Paris. We're not in Paris yet, first stop here is Lyon, my turntable prevented ripping this vinyl last time. So an extra this time.

Carte de Sejour - RhoRhoManie (1984 - * 71mb)

Rachid Taha grew up in France in the poverty-stricken, working-class immigrant community that had sprung up in Lyons. From an early age, music was his lifeline against the hopelessness of immigrant life. He sang, and also DJ'd in clubs, spinning an international blend of sounds that would presage his career. "I played a real patchwork," he recalled, "Arabic, salsa, rap, funk, anything you could dance to."

But the records didn't say what was in his heart, the conflict of being an outsider, his Algerian roots pulling against the tug of European culture. Rachids music career began with his Maghrebi punk trio Carte de Séjour (Green Card) in 1981 (the name refers to the temporary work visas issued to Maghrebis - North African Arabs - coming to France).Their music burned with the fire of a young immigrant generation, following the lead of their heroes, the Clash. Carte de sejours first album Rhorho (2nd generation arabs) manie was produced by Steve Hillage, a working friendship that continues till this day.

It was Carte de Séjour's second album, "Deux et demi", which would really catapult the group to the forefront of the French music scene. For this album, released in 1986, featured Carte de Séjour's highly controversial single "Douce France". With hindsight it burnt them out so they called it quits in '89. Taha has pursued a solo career that has incorporated the fury of rock, the heat of Mexican mariachi music, the trance state of techno and of course Arabic sounds - raï (the Maghrebi salsa, if you will) and the coarser, bluesy chaâbi.

01 - Rhorhomanie
02 - Chemis Ou Nemja
03 - Zamana
04 - Nar
05 - Desole
06 - Ouadou
07 - Blue de Marseille
08 - Habibi
09 - Sounefir
10 - Mirage

Rachid Taha @ Base
Rachid Taha @ Wiki
Rachid Taha @ Amazon

Taha Rocks el Casbah in quicktime
Active Taha Fan Blog

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Vitalic - Ok Cowboy (flac * 360mb)

A few hundred km north of Lyon lies Dijon, home to Vitalic, the musical personality of the Frenchman, Pascal Arbez-Nicolas, whose experimental form of electronic dance production is increasingly stirring the waters of the DJ scene. Rather than sampling musical instruments or the vocals of 1980s power-ballads, Vitalic relies on an innovative use of the synthesizer and therefore is a new advert for the creative talents of dance production.

Vitalic certainly managed to uproot some dancefloors with his dj style, which quickly got him noted by the music press, always on the look out for the latest phenomenon but he managed to evade the press's electroclash label. The last 3 years before releasing his first album he spent djíng on weekends, and technorocking weekdays in his homestudio assempling Ok Cowboy.

From the opening track, 'Polkamiatic', Vitalic's musical art effectively drags the listener into a chaotic circus of electronic sound. However, Ok Cowboy rapidly descends into an underground of industrial techno, epitomised by the dark and sinister undertones of 'Poney Part One' and 'La Rock 01'. Even so, Vitalic's experimentation is notably effective in 'My Friend Dario', a pulsating electro-rock anthem which would shake the foundations of any euphoric dance theatre. A must for budding DJs and underground dance enthusiasts, Ok Cowboy rebukes the notion that dance music is dead.

01 - Polkamatic (1:52)
02 - Poney (Part 1) (5:22)
03 - My Friend Dario (3:37)
04 - Wooo (3:52)
05 - La Rock 01 (5:25)
06 - The Past (4:27)
07 - No Fun (3:36)
08 - Poney (Part 2) (5:12)
09 - Repair Machines (3:45)
10 - Newman (4:50)
11 - Trahison (4:31)
12 - U And I (3:39)
13 - Valletta Fanfares (2:24)

Vitalic @ Base
Vitalic Forum Portal !
Vitalic @ Amazon

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The City of Paris ( @ Wiki) is the most densely populated area in the Western World, excluding the outlying woodland parks of Boulogne and Vincennes, its density in 1999 was 24,448 inh. per km² =40m² per person, 10 million lives make do with that in the city of lights.

Paris derived its name from a celtic tribe the parisii who found some highground hills surrounded by marshes a very good and safe place to live. As did unnamed predecessors from 4,000 bc onwards, btw some claim Paris got its name because of a temple erected to the goddess Isis (mother mary's precurser) at Isis or par Isis who's to say, par ici (this way) sounds find to me aswell as everything/one moves thru and to Paris.

After Hausmann restructured Paris in the latter half of the 19th century, Paris managed to keep it's charm, it survived the worldwars unscaved and these days is mainly under threat from modernist and pretentious architects trying to out do eachother in the spirit of that well known french trait....grandeur..luckely space is limited. The city of Paris remains an attraction for tens of million tourists, aswell as to those that want to live and experience one of the worlds culturally most dynamic cities.

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Motorbass - Pansoul (96 -  405mb)

In 1996, even before the massive success of Daft Punk's debut album "Homework", there were two French dance albums, that were on every discerning dance fan's shopping list, Etienne de Crecy's "Superdiscount" and his collaboration with La Funk Mob member Philippe Zdar under the Motorbass alias. "Pansoul" was widely considered the body of work that kick-started an entire wave of French dance artist albums, and even now, is referenced as a "lost" classic. Pansoul is "The" seminal record of the so called French Touch that has quickly been recycled and used to the bone by bunches of weak producers looking for club hype. It almost instantly became a reference in 1996 as its sound, a mixture of hip-hop, raw funk and house was incredibly innovative at the time and still escapes all types of classification. Etienne De Crecy and Philippe Zdar created an unique, deep and sensual, sometimes unreal soundscape with an incredible hypnotic power.

01 - Fabulous (6:10)
02 - Ezio (8:39)
03 - Flying Fingers (4:49)
04 - Les Ondes (7:48)
05 - Neptune (6:03)
06 - Wan Dence (7:51)
07 - Genius (5:50)
08 - Pariscyde (7:06)
09 - Bad Vibes (D.Mix) (5:18)
10 - Off (indeed ) (0:55)

Motorbass - Early Works (Flac 352mb)

EP1 (1992)
01 Visine 9:48
02 Deux Trente Trois 2:36
03 Stereogramm Gelato 3:55
04 Tournerie Vibrator 6:35
05 D. T. T. (2 Ray Mix) 2:36
Transphunk EP (1993)
06 Open Sesame 6:18
07 La Doctoresse 5:04
08 Flying Fingers 4:57
09 Home 7:13
10 Soixante Six 5:20
11 Suce Mon Son 1:25

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Avril - That Horse Must Be Starving (02 ^ 311mb)

Avril Fred ‘Magnon’ Avril was awarded the Prix Constantin in 2002 - the French equivalent to the UK's Mercury Music Prize.
That Horse Must Be Starving (title inspired by a dream) has all the elements of a solidly entertaining chilled-out electronic experience: ambient guitars, rhythmic static, blips, bloops, some throbbing beats sufficient for head bobbing, and even mellow vocals that slide between speakers to create an effective stereo experience. And I guess the point of listening to a mellow album is to be … mellow. Avril may well not be the decadent crooner he thinks he is, nonetheless, despite some flaws, this debut Lp has some suprises, the splendid baroque patterns of underground hit Velvet Blues or the intriguing Lil Louis reprise are quite an exception on an LP that verges on electro-pop. Granted the line between twisted fun for the sake of it and musical brilliance is quite thin but relaxation doesn't mean boredom, with these promising combination of sounds. In 2004 Avril released an excellent breakbeat/electro/downtempo follow up album"Members Only", which seems to have met an exclusive death as it's sparsly available, gosh those samples...

01 - Double Mind 4:45
02 - The Date ( Voc - Ana Rago ) 4:57
03 - Eye World 4:32
04 - Like Everybody Else 5:29
05 - French Kiss 8:16
06 - Helium Life Boat (Voc - Beth Hirsch) 5:41
07 - Velvet Blues 3:41
08 - Global Headphones 7:24
09 - Arlanda Epilogue 4:37

Avril @ Base

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Ethnician - Ethnician (1999 -  393mb)

Ethnician is the band formed by Yvo Abadi (Percussion/Drums), Miguel Saboga (vocals and Percussion), Igor Nikitinsky, Garbis Baharian (Samplers) of Dirty District. their music falls into the category of World Music, Dub and Drum and Bass but also goes into Metal, Reggae and Dance styles also. Discovered by the Printemps de Bourges Festival Network, the band choose to record their first album in an abandoned movie theater located in the African district of Paris. The On U feel is there, if only they could have gotten Adrian Sherwood to produce this, what a cracker it would have been.   The name Ethnician was chosen basically because each Each is from a different ethnic background: Miguel was born in Portugal, Igor was born in Russia, Garbis is from Armenia and Yvo is from Egypt. Recently the band has apparently split and Miguel and Yvo are currently in another Ethnician type band, the heavy percussion-based BOX OHM Station

01 - U.S.S.
02 - Moussaï
03 - Growing Seeds
04 - Dynamite #3
05 - Medicine Man
06 - Think Positiv
07 - A Test
08 - Dub #2
09 - Complaint
10 - Welcome to Fantasy Land
11 - Dynamite
12 - Ate Pode Aleijar

@ MySpace

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VA - Rue Martel - Ya Basta (1999 - * 327mb)

French label founded by Philippe Cohen-Solal (Gotan Project). Christoph H. Müller

The French producer Philippe Cohen Solal started out as a music consultant for leading European film directors such as Lars von Trier and Bertrand Tavernier in the Nineties. He contributed to the first French Touch compilation in 1991, and worked with French electro pioneer Pierre Henry. Müller was a well-known figure on the Swiss electro scene before moving to Paris where he met Cohen Solal (in 1995) and formed the dance imprint ¡Ya Basta!. A number of side projects emerged such as Boyz from Brazil, Stereo Action Unlimited, and Fruit of the Loop. The unifying factor was the duo's love of Latin music and various styles of left-field electronica. Of these creative projects, the one they thought would have least success was Gotan Project: a collaboration with the Argentine guitarist Eduardo Makaroff that attempted to update the tango sound.

"We were doing Brazilian hybrids and other bits and pieces where there was more opportunity to expand," says Müller. "But with Gotan Project there was no flexibility. Tango had a bad image at that point. People thought it was music for old people - boring and rather corny." They turned this outmoded perception on its head by adding beats and visuals to coincide with the highly charged, sensual nature of tango dance steps." They released the album La Revancha Del Tango in 2001 and, much to their surprise, it was an international success. Even Argentina embraced this reworking of the tango sound, coining the phrase "electro-tango".

After moving to Paris ("it's the second capital of tango music"), Makaroff became the conductor of the Club Tango Orchestra at La Coupole, the legendary brasserie. He added milonga (an older variation of the tango) and various folkloric guitar styles to Cohen Solal's and Müller's beefed-up tango concoctions, "The thing about tango is that there's so much material still left to explore," continues Müller. "Like jazz, it's one of the great musical styles of the 20th century. It's as big as pop or rock. The first album just touched the tip of the iceberg. There's the whole folkloric side of the music as well. It's tango with a big T."
On this Ya basta label sampler we find the duo in a number of disguises displaying their explorations into electro-jazz.

01 - Stereo Action Unlimited - Hi-Fi Trumpet (Boyz from Brazil Mix)
02 - Gotan Project - El Capitalismo Foraneo
03 - The Boyz from Brazil - S´Amor (Intense Mix)
04 - The Boyz from Brazil - Boyz from Brazil Theme
05 - Gotan Project - Vuelvo Al Sur
06 - PCS Mind Food - PCS Mind Food
07 - Fruit of the Loop - SxExplore (Boy You Turn Meex)
08 - The Boyz from Brazil - O Nosso Amor (Armada Mix)
09 - Stereo Action Unlimited - Hi-Fi Trumpet (Rio C. Mix)

Gotan @ Base
Gotan Project @ Amazon

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* All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !r

Dec 16, 2006

Stage 07, Spain & Portugal

My second visit to the Iberian peninsula, brings me to Granada, the southernmost point of Spain, the northern harbour town of Gijon before moving to Portugal.

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Amparanoia - Rebeldía con alegría (113mb)

Amparanoia's frontlady, Amparo Sánchez, heads her group with gutsy vocals and frank lyrics borne of the merging of musical styles, a passion in campaigning for women's rights, human rights, and probably to no small extent her involvement in the Mexican Zapatista movement. Born in Granada, Spain, in 1970, Amparo Sánchez joined her first band, the Correcaminos (Roadrunners) at 16, a year after apparently becoming a mother for the first time. With Billie Holiday as her chief inspiration, her ability at singing blues, soul, rock, and jazz quickly established Sánchez as the foremost vocalist in the region. Starting in 1995, she spent 18 months developing an enthusiastic following playing around the Spanish capital's club circuit. She also expanded her musical range by absorbing classic Cuban forms through exposure to Madrid's healthy Latin music scene while Manu Chao schooled her in other Caribbean styles.

Rebeldia con Alegria, loosely translated as 'rebellious fun' is a compilation taken from the last four albums of a band best known for their furious live performances, and this release retains much of the renowned on-stage energy. From the first trilingual track 'En la Noche' in English, Spanish and French the band's trademark fiesta style is marked. Several of the tracks have a punky feel, as well as obvious Latin American, French and North African influences, blending a mestizo style, a term which if a label is demanded of this music is particularly fitting.

Amparanoia - Rebeldía con alegría 01-08
01 - En La Noche
02 - Mar Estrecho
03 - Somos Viento
04 - Don't Leave Me Now
05 - Ella Baila Bembe
06 - Dolor, Dolor
07 - Hacer Dinero
08 - La Fiesta

Amparanoia - Rebeldía con alegría 09-16
09 - Caravane
10 - Dos Gardenias
11 - Si Fuera
12 - Trabajar
13 - Buen Rollito
14 - Pueblo Joven
15 - Alerta
16 - Pregonando

Amparanoia @ Base
Amparanoia @ Wiki
Amparanoia @ Amazon

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Radio Tarifa - Rumba Argelina * (1995-90mb)

Rumba Angelina is a fantastic journey into the past, Radio Tarifa succesfully manages authenticity which is a tricky construct in popular music.Radio Tarifa derived their name from the Cape Tarifa region of southern Spain which is the closest point on the Iberian peninsula to Africa. On Rumba Argelina their first album, guitarist and composer Fain Dueñas, wind player Vincent Molino, and vocalist Benjamin Escoriza, the core of the Spanish group Radio Tarifa, blend traditional North African music, flamenco, and a dash of rhythms from the New World, with a contemporary pop sensibility. The results sound organic--even when some of the mixes take disorienting turns, this is border music, the music of an imaginary radio station in Tarifa.

There is not a weak song on the album and each has a unique flavor reflecting the sounds of Moorish culture, flamenco, the new world, and even the Medievel period are all brought together. The music is mezmerising and ambient, a remarkable combination of instruments, coming together to create a synthesis of sound reflecting the diversity of Spanish culture.

01 - Rumba Argelina
02 - Oye China
03 - Lamma Bada
04 - Manana
05 - La Canal
06 - El Baile de la Bola
07 - Soledad
08 - La Mosca
09 - Tangos del Agujero
10 - Nu Alrest
11 - La Pastoria
12 - Ronda de Sanabria
13 - Bulerias Turcas
14 - Nina

Radio Tarifa @ Base
Radio Tarifa @ Wiki
Radio Tarifa @ Amazon

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Manta Ray - Esperanza * (2000-86mb)

Most of you know what a manta ray looks like- a big gracious underwater 'flyer', no surprise here they chose the name for the band with it in mind. Manta Ray are a band rooted in Northern - Spain (Gijon-Asturias). These Spanish indie rockers pursued a restlessly experimental approach for most of their career, starting out as a bluesy noise-rock band and drifting farther and farther into avant-garde territory."Post-Pop" or "Post-Punk" would be easy labels to define Manta Ray's sound, or to compare them with bands like Tortoise, Mogwai or instrumental Radiohead but their sound is unique, personal, challenging, experimental, but still accesible to the average Indie-Pop listener .

After being hailed spains best national act of the 1999, Manta Ray recorded Esperanza in 2000. The album starts off in an almost casual way taking the listener with them passed 10 largely instrumental soundscapes.

01 - Rita
02 - Soy Quien No Fui
03 - La Vida Continua (Zu Gabe)
04 - Esperanza
05 - Nachtfrost
06 - The Dirty Blues
07 - If You Walk
08 - No Me Dicen Nada
09 - The Ground Is Wet
10 - Cartografies

Manta Ray @ Base
Manta Ray @ MySpace
Manta Ray @ Amazon

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Portugal came into existence as an independent nation on June 24, 1128, when Afonso Henriques, Count of Portugal, defeated his mother, Countess Teresa, and her lover, in battle - thereby establishing himself as sole leader. He proclaimed himself king of Portugal on July 25, 1139. Afonso and his successors, aided by military monks, drove out the Moors.

In 1415, the Portuguese empire arose when a fleet conquered Ceuta, a prosperous Islamic trade center in North Africa. There followed the first discoveries in the Atlantic: Madeira and the Azores, throughout the 15th century, Portuguese explorers sailed the coast of Africa, establishing trading posts as they looked for a route to India and its spices, which were coveted in Europe. In 1498, Vasco da Gama finally reached India and brought economic prosperity to Portugal. In 1500, Pedro Cabral landed in Brazil and claimed it for Portugal for the next 322 years. After Brazils independance Portugal had to wait till 1974 before the people could freely aspire prosperity again.

These days 10 million Portugese live in a democratic nation, member of the EU and part of the eurozone. The north is still fiercely catholic, certainly compared to the anti-clerical south, but then they hadn't a visit from Madre Deus (virgin Mary).

Between May and October of 1917, three shepherd children, Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto reported visions of the Virgin Mary in the Cova da Iria fields outside the village of Aljustrel, very close to Fatima, Portugal. They had this experience on the 13th day of each month at approximately the same hour. The last time on October 13, 1917, the final in the series of the apparitions of 1917, a crowd believed to be approximately 70,000 in number stood in the pooring rain seeing how the clouds broke as an opaque disk spinning in the sky and radiating various colors of light upon the surroundings, appeared to detach itself from the sky and plunge itself towards the earth in a zigzag pattern, finally returning to its normal place, and leaving the people's once wet clothing now completely dry. The event is known as the "Miracle of the Sun" Well, sounds like a close encounter of the 3rd kind to me.

Time for some music by a band that unashamedly named itself Mother of God.

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Madredeus - Electronico (2001 - 115mb)

Madre Deus (Mother of God) is a group from Lisbon whose music combines fado influences with modern folk music.Their whole foundation which they have nurtured over the years, is their unique acoustic style and old-world charm, very heartfelt and emotional.

This album is quite different and certainly caused some dismay between their fans, "whats this ?. A cacophony of clips and snips of noise !" Well it may sound so to the unaccustomed ear but it aint. It was a daring step to take to broaden their horizon, admittedly choosing to have different remixers for everytrack is probably stretching it, and yet Madredeus's beautifully mysterious sound still lets you get pulled in by Teresa Salgueiro's vocals. So hold your horses because the harmony and feeling are still there, it's still Madredeus.

Madredeus - Electronico 01-06
01 - Haja o Que Houver (Lux Mix)
02 - Vem (Além de Toda a Solidão) (Alpha Remix)
03 - Ecos Na Catedral (Sunday Best Remix)
04 - O Paraíso (Buscemi's Afro Mix)
05 - O Mar (Moana Maru Remix Banzai Republic)
06 - O Sonho (Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band)

Madredeus - Electronico 07-13
07 - A Lira - Solidão no Oceano (Afterlife Mix)
08 - A Andorinha da Primavera (Dusted)
09 - Oxalá (Telepopmix Telepopmusik)
10 - Ao Longe o Mar (Astro's Reflect and Chill Mix)
11 - Ainda (Insect Harmonic Mix David Bridie & Christian Scallan)
12 - Anseio (Fuga Apressada) - Anseio 2 (Craig Armstrong Remix)
13 - Guitarra (Manitoba Remix)

some great videomaterial available at Madredeus @ Base
Madredeus @ Wiki
Madredeus @ Amazon

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Moonspell - Wolfheart * (1995 - 70mb )

Moonspell is a Portugese goth band, native influences can be found in their music, mostly through lyrics. Although most of their songs are in English, "Trebraruna", "Alma Mater" and "Ataegina" here on "Wolfheart" are in Portuguese or feature parts in Portuguese, they even covered a Madredeus song "Os Senhores da Guerra" (The War Lords).

Although they had been playing since 1989 under the name of "Morbid God", the band became Moonspell in 1992. After the release of mini-CD Under the Moonspell, Wolfheart was recorded in Germany with producer Waldemar Sorychta and was released in 1995 and followed by an European tour. Although the album had little or no recognition at the beginning, it was later recognized as a "milestone" by heavy-metal reviews site

01 - Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade)
02 - Love Crimes
03 - ... Of Dream And Drama (Midnight Ride)
04 - Lua D'Inverno
05 - Trebaruna
06 - Vampiria
07 - An Erotic Alchemy
08 - Alma Mater

Moonspell @ Base
Moonspell @ Wiki
Moonspell @ Amazon

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Rui da Silva - Compilation (137 mb)

Rui da Silva started producing house music in 1992, just as club culture was getting established in Lisbon. Rui’s debut release in ’92 was experimental to say the least. Rui admits, “I was into things like Japan, David Sylvia, Brian Eno and Sonic Youth. The first record I did was the result of some experimental jamming sessions. From those humble beginnings tinkering with electronics, Rui teamed up with DJ Vibe to form Kaos Records, the first label in Portugal specialized in house and electronic music. His first major hit (and Kaos' first release) was "Não", a track that sampled vocals from a Xutos & Pontapés track, released under the alias Doctor J. With DJ Vibe, he also formed the Underground Sound of Lisbon project, in 1993. During his years at Kaos, Silva also worked with several artists.

In 1999, he left Lisbon for London, in order to move from producing to DJing, and also to start working under his own name. Silva left Kaos Records, in the UK, he founded Kismet Records ('Kismet' is a Turkish word for 'fulfillment of destiny' ), where he began producing a more progressive sound. He has released a number of tracks under his own name, as well as collaborative efforts with Chris Coco and Moshic.

Rui da Silva's single "Touch Me" (featuring the vocals of Cassandra Fox) topped the UK Chart in 2001. At the time, he was the only Portuguese musician to have a UK hit and hence was the first to score a UK number one, this made him one of Portugal’s most precious exports. The gargantuan number 1 hit single ‘Touch Me’ has shot him up to stellar proportions as one of the world’s best tribal/progressive DJs and producers, aswell as a 100,000 pounds (180,000 us$) rip-off by BMG extortionists for using a sample from an early eighties UK # 3 hitsong by Spandau Ballet - Chant no1(I don't need this pressure on). Greed is go(o)d !. I wonder who tipped them.

Apparently Rui finished his Four Elements but i couldnt find 'air', you'll have to make do with the other 3 here. Most on this compilation from a compilation is Rui's work topped up with 3 prod/remixes and a coproduction with friend Chris Coco.

Rui da Silva - Compilation 01-05
01 - Earth (the Four Elements) 10:46
02 - Obeah Dance (Obeah Men = Rui) 8:21
03 - Badagry Beach (Ben Onono, Rui prod & mix) 7:48
04 - Touch Me (Rui goo y mix) 8:33
05 - Saudade (Coco & da Silva) 7:08

Rui da Silva - Compilation 06-09
06 - Kids (Kelli Ali -Sneaker Pimps, Rui prod & mix) 10:01
07 - 77th High (double 99- Sneaker Pimps, Rui prod & mix) 10:19
08 - Fire (the Four Elements) 11:11
09 - Water (the Four Elements) 5:50

Rui da Silva 2003 Interview (en)
Rui da Silva @ Wiki

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* All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

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On my next stage we'll be swerve up north again to explore some of Paris' rich music scene.

Dec 13, 2006

Stage 06, Spain

Spain is regarded as probably the most decentralized State in Europe at the present moment, with all of its different territories managing locally their Health and Education systems (just to mention some aspects of the public budget) and with some other territories (the Basque Country and Navarre) even managing their own public finances without hardly any presence of the Spanish central government in this regard or, in the case of Catalonia and the Basque Country, equipped with their own, fully operative and completely autonomous, police corps which widely replaces the State police functions in these territories. Currently Spain resides in the top 10 of best countries to live. It has transformed itself again with help of the EU, after decades of dictator Franco rule. There's much to tell about Spains very rich history i would suggest a lookin @ Wiki

In Spain several very different cultural streams came together in the first centuries of the Christian era: the Roman culture, which was dominant for several hundred years, and which brought with it the music and ideas of Ancient Greece; early Christians, who had their own version of the Roman Rite; the Visigoths, a Germanic tribe that overran the Iberian peninsula in the fifth century; Jews of the diaspora; and eventually the Arabs, or the Moors as the group was sometimes known. Determining exactly which spices flavored the stew, and in what proportion, is difficult after almost two thousand years, but the result was a musical style and tradition considerably different from what developed in the rest of Europe.

For many people, Spanish music is virtually synonymous with flamenco, an Andalusian genre of music. However, regional styles of folk music abound, and these days pop, rock and hip hop are also popular, nevertheless the flamenco guitar seems never far away. Flamenco is an Andalusian traditional folk music. It consists of three forms: the song (cante), the dance (baile) and the guitar (guitarra). First reference dates back to 1774, from Cadalso's "Cartas Marruecas". Flamenco probably originated in Cádiz, Jérez de la Frontera and Triana regions.
Time now to start with the sixth leg of my euro tour, crossing the mediterranean from French Corsica my last stop , towards Spanish Ibiza.

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B-Tribe - Suave Suave * 334mb

Well B-Tribe (flamenco-dance-new age) was initially thought as an chill out Ibiza introduction to Spain, B-Tribe previously known as the Barcelona Tribe of Soulsters set the standard for world fusion, with its unique mix of Gypsy wailing, flamenco guitar, breathy female vocals, Germanic techno/house beats, and brain-cooling keyboard ambiance. Now when Wiki confirmed B -Tribe to be a spanish band i thought nothing of it , certainly when looking at the cover/info. However when researching for this post it turned out that the main man is a german living in Ibiza for 20 years, Claus Zundel, here he's accompanied by Brazilian diva Deborah Blando and Antonio Machadol (spoken/ vocals). Enigma and flamenco music, a great cover of Fleetwood Macs Albatross and what do you get ? A laidback and enjoy the sunset /rise album, with a cool drink around feeling content with the world. Moodmusic.

Alas currently the northern hemisphere has to make do with Xmas muzak and chills of the other kind, so to those enjoying summer now pick this up, northerners will have to wait 6 months to get intouch with it. Well this is a copy of the original euro-release in 1995 with a completely different cover than the subsequent US release which does have an extra track.

01. Suave Suave
02. Que Mala Vida
03. Sensual
04. Ahoy
05. Hablando
06. Interlude
07. Albatross
08. Te Siento
09. Nanita (A Spanish Lullaby)
10. Poesia (Poem By Antonio Machado)
11. Yo Quiero Todo

B-Tribe @ Amazon

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Ojos De Brujo - Bari  (flac 326mb)

Ojos de Brujo ("Wizard's eyes" in Spanish) is an eight-piece band from Barcelona, who describe their style as "hiphop flamenkillo" (hip-hop with a little flamenco) The band sold over 100,000 copies of their self-produced Barí album, and has received several awards, among these the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award for Europe in 2004 Their success is also notable for being achieved without the aid of label backing; they set up their own label, La Fábrica de Colores, to get complete artistic freedom for Barí, away from the pressure they perceived from their record company Edel for their debut Vengue

Flamenco is clearly central to their sound; Ramón Giménez observed "the magic lies in the flamenco... that is the heartbeat of Ojos de Brujo's songs" However, they are definitely not pure flamenco. Xavi Turull said: "...we don't pretend to do flamenco. What we are doing is using the richness of flamenco and the richness of other music to build up something different. Maybe sometimes I would say that flamenco is the strongest ingredient, but we don't pretend to be doing flamenco." Flamenco is combined in their music with other influences including Afro-Cuban, the rap and scratching / turntablism of hip-hop, and Indian music.

01 - Intro (0:43)
02 - Tiempo De Soleá (Soleá Time) (3:07)
03 - Ventilaor Rumba (Ventilator Rumba) (3:22)
04 - Naita (Nothing) (3:46)
05 - Quien Engaña No Gana (Cheats Will Never Win) (3:20)
06 - Zambra (Gypsy Party) (6:47)
07 - Ley De Gravidad (Law of Gravity) (3:51)
08 - Memorias Perdías (Lost Memories) (3:22)
09 - Tanguillo De María (Marijuana Tanguillo) (3:29)
10 - Bulería Del Ay! (Ay Buleria!) (3:28)
11 - Calé Barí (Barî Gypsy) (5:17)
12 - Acción Reacción Repercusión (3:24)
13 - Rememorix (8:59)

Ojos de Brujo @ Home
Ojos de Brujo @ Wiki
Ojos de Brujo @ Amazon

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Schwarz - Arty party * (flac    322mb)

After having a ibiza german pretending to be spanish we have a spanish band from Murcia confusing the public with a german name like Schwarz (=black), the first big brake they got was when they managed to sell the cover painting for some 500,000 euro (apparently ). This album has no presence outside continental europe and is as such testament to UK/US musicimperialism, im sure it would have made a splash had these guys come from New York or Manchester but Murcia ?

To the music now, is the music of Schwarz Arty'? Well, let me think. Pretentious, not really, but it ís 'arty' like Kraftwerk or Velvet Underground. Party then ? Late night ones, when the head moves but the legs folded. Confused ? Well its arty and party it starts off with an OMD/Kraftwerk with a droning organ title track It continues with songs vaguely reminiscing of Jesus and Mary Chain/Stereolab but then there's shoegazer Stooges droning aswell. Can all these two elements co-exist on a record without getting schizophrenic or, in the best case, slightly confused? Answer: yes, if life is full of contradictions, why shouldn't this record be?

Februari 2007 will see the release of "Heavengazer" on the BlueNoise label.

01 - Arty Party
02 - Hipnohimno
03 - Nouvelle Vague
04 - Beauty Must Die
05 - Specimen 3
06 - Droning Forever
07 - Raining Stars
08 - 100% Fun-Free
09 - Psychotic Hypnotic

Schwarz @ Home
Schwarz @ Myspace

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Ketama - Songhai * (flac 189mb)

A trio, featuring brothers Antonio and Juan Miguel Carmona and their cousin, Juan Carmona, Ketama is one of the leading groups of the "new flamenco" movement. Since releasing their self-titled debut album in 1985, the trio has directed the evolution of flamenco as a world-savvy music. In addition to their own albums, which fuse flamenco with salsa, Brazilian, reggae, pop, funk, jazz, and hip-hop influences, Ketama has collaborated on two albums -- Songhai 1 and 2 -- with Malian multi-instrumentalist Toumani Diabate. Describing Ketama's sound, Folk Roots wrote, "harmonies masterful....melodies exquisite....pace and timing deeply satisfying....reaching points of the brain/body most music snoozes past.

A chance meeting at a London house party led to this melodious collaboration between Mali kora virtuoso Diabate and the young, flamenco-based Spanish group Ketama. While Diabate's dazzling runs often give the impression of several instruments being played at once, Ketama is a group with the focus of a single mind. Together, their music drifts up and down the African continent, ranging from the relatively relaxed, repetitious groove-oriented music of West Africa to the occasionally blistering, speed-clapping, and Islam-tinged sound of Iberia.

01 - Jarabi
02 - Mani Mani Kuru
03 - Caramelo
04 - A Toumani
05 - Vente Pa Madrid
06 - Africa
07 - A Mi Tia Marina
08 - Ne Ne Koitaa

Ketama @ Casa
Ketama @ Wiki
Ketama @ Amazon

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* All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

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Some of you may have read about the Velvet Undergrounds first albums pre lacque master had been sold at ebay for 155,000 dollar. Meanwhile the seller of the rare Velvet Underground record has revealed that the final bid by a person known only as mechadaddy has turned out to be fake. The seller of the unique acetate, Warren Hill, has said that the sale didn't work out as planned, he added that despite the setback he was "still interested in selling the acetate, for those interested in how it sounds there's a 320k quality download available @ Ape Shall Never Kill Ape , first link is dead, has been upped again see their comments.

Dec 9, 2006

Stage 05, France

Vive la France, home to revolutionairies and poets and one of the most centralised countries in europe. France is known around the world as a diverse country in its people, architectures and landscapes. About 9.6% of the French population is foreign either by nationality or by origin as of the 1999 Census [1] , which makes France one of the most diverse countries on the continent with old and more recent immigrants coming mainly from Europe and the former French colonies. xtensive highway network (for example: France has a great infrastructure highways, (hi-speed) trains) and it has the fastest average internet connection speed and in 2004, for the 3rd time in a row, the French healthcare system has been ranked number one in the world by the World Health Organisation. Viva la republic indeed. France @ Wiki

Paris sucks in artists and ideas for breakfast, lunch and diner, no wonder then that Paris's nightlife is so famous. 10CC sang in 76 "One night in Paris is like a year in any other place", yes things move fast in this melting pot (tumbler ). For my first visit to France i decided to stay away from Ile de France (Paris region) , not to worry we'll get to Paris soon enough.

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Miss Kitty - Electroclash (Berlin is burning )

Miss Kittin (real name Caroline Hervé) is an electronica vocalist and DJ. She was born in Grenoble, France in 1973. Caroline studied both contemporary and graphic arts. As time progressed, however, she found herself developing an interest in musical genres ranging from classic, jazz, funk, and disco to english pop. Finally finding her sweet spot in electronic music in 1991, she raved all around the country before doing her first mix in april of 1993. .In pursuit of other opportunities, after she and The Hacker recorded "Frank Sinatra" for DJ Hell's label, Kittin left France in 1996 and relocated to Geneva, Switzerland where she would join the Mental Groove Record Posse. More and more dj gigs and some EP's with the hacker until they released their first album on gigolo. In 2002 miss K moved to Berlin where she was requested to do an electroclash mix album for MUZIK magazine, august's 2002-bonus disc, thus not for sale but you can get it here. Since she released a solo album "I Com", mix sets and albums, i'd advise a visit to her website , where she speaks all out (just like a woman).

Miss Kitten - Electroclash  (flac 443mb)

01 - Miss Kittin - Who Am I (Vocal Intro)
02 - Arpanet - Wireless Internet
03 - System 01 - Drugs Work
04 - TGV - Fools Gold (Vocals - Miss Kittin)
05 - M. Mayer - Love Is Stronger Than Pride
05 - David Carretta - Vicious Game
06 - DHS - House Of God (2000 DHS Remix)
07 - Dot Allison - Substance (Felix Da Housecat Remix)
08 - T.Raumschmiere - Energiekriese
09 - Audible - Estress Audio
10 - Panasonic - Teurastamo
11 - Golden Boy With Miss Kittin - Rippin Kittin (Ellen Allien Remix)
12 - A Number Of Names - Shari Vari (Ectomorph Remix)
13 - Miss Kittin & The Hacker - Frank Sinatra 2001
14 - Carsten Jost - A Certain Kind
15 - Ellen Allien - Stadtkind (Barbara Morgenstern Remix)
16 - Ultra-Red - A16
17 - Zoot Woman - Living In A Magazine (Paper Faces Remix)
18 - Thomas Brinkmann - Klicks
19 - Miss Kittin - Berlin Is Burning (Vocal Outro)

Miss Kitten @ Home
Miss Kitten @ Wiki
Miss Kitten @ Amazon
Miss Kitten @ YouTube

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Lizzy Mercier Descloux - Press Color extended    ( flac 302mb)

Born in Paris, after a brief stay at art school drawn by the big apple, where she met Michael Estaban who'd become a life long friend and who introduced her to the New York '76 underground scene. Lizzy published "Desiderata" illustrated by Patti -Horses- Smith, bought a guitar, did the rounds around the NY art scene, and in 1979 she recorded Press Color with Estaban. Not being one to stay too long in one place she started travelling , recording Mambo Nassau in the west indies, a world promo tour, followed by travels thru Africa, there's an extensive bio and more Lizzy Mercier Descloux albums @ not-rock-on

Beginning of this century she moved to Corsica where she would die of cancer april 2004, i'd like to think that one of the reasons she settled there, besides the beautiful rugged nature, was the emotional, local polyphonic music posted elsewhere here.

Press Color is a late seventies NY timepiece, it clocks in at 23 min, by that time we've moved thru some wide ranging moods , the percussive mission impossible still hits as hard as it did 27 years ago. This is a vinyl rip, meanwhile remastered versions are available @ Amazon

Lizzy Mercier was the kind of woman feminists can only aspire to become, i end with a quote from her "Why live down on earth when the sky is so vast and so blue and all is pointless but desire."

01 - Jim On The Move (2:29)
02 - Aya Mood 3.5 (2:50)
03 - Torso Corso (1:48)
04 - Wawa (2:18)
05 - Fire (5:11)
06 - Mission Impossible (2:35)
07 - No Golden Throat (2:38)
08 - Tumour (2:57)
Bonus Track
09 Lizzy Mercier Descloux Mission Impossible 2.0 2:22
Rosa Yemen
10 Rosa Vertov 1:40
11 Decryptated 1:19
12 Herpes Simplex 2:01
13 Larousse Baron Bic 1:33
14 Tso Xin Yu Xin 1:20
15 Nina Con Un Tercer Ojo 0:55
Bonus Tracks
16 Birdy Num-num3:33
17 Hard Boiled Babe 4:25
18 Morning High (With Patti Smith) 3:03
Lizzy @ ZE rec
Lizzy @ Answers

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Penumbra - Seclusion (flac  334mb)

Gothic metal makes heavy use of atmospheres in its music, which are commonly tailored to fit the song; warm and energetic, empty and enclosing. The experience of hearing this record is something out of this world, the choirs, the intricate compositions. On their third album Penumbra has matured as a band, the compositions are more diverse, the bombastic choirs has been replaced by less frequent Gregorian chants. The four voices, the female, the male, the Black and the Death one intertwine in perfect harmony all through the record. On the album the tale is told of a love story between an angel and a mortal. (as if ordinairy relationships arent inspiring/hard enough.). Penumbra finally found their way here, excellent songs some "timeless" elements like bagpipes in the title track "Seclusion" , in short one of the best goth albums from 2003.

o1 - Tragical Memories
02 - Cursed Destiny
03 - Seclusion
04 - Prophetess
05 - Hope
06 - Crimson Tail
07 - Conception
08 - Enclosed

their website is unavailable , but their label 'season of mist' is worth a look

Season of Mist
Penumbra @ Wiki
Penumbra @ Amazon

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M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts +bonus   (flac  599mb)

M83 originate from Antibes at the Cote d'Azur, the french duo Nicolas Fromageau and Anthony Gonzalez farm lush expanses of synthesizer and electronic foliage with assured, emotive precision and care. Although at times M83 evoke Jean Michel Jarre or Air, this is far from being an album of Franco-synth by numbers. No they recall the best moments of Boards of Canada without all of the hip-hop beats. M83’s melodies take time to develop and unfurl into stately crescendos of sonic bliss and dense walls of white noise and melody using only old synthesizers and minimal but well-employed guitar, not unlike those of Slowdive and Sigur Ros. The ambient qualities owe a debt to Brian Eno’s Music for Airports. M83 takes all of these elements and blends them into a perfect example of how electronic music influenced shoegaze and now shoegaze is influencing electronica.

01 Birds (0:53)
02 Unrecorded (4:11)
03 Run Into Flowers (4:09)
04 In Church (3:58)
05 America (3:06)
06 On A White Lake, Near A Green Mountain (4:43)
07 Noise (3:54)
08 Be Wild (3:19)
09 Cyborg (3:48)
10 0078h (4:01
11 Gone (6:07)
12 Beauties Can Die 11:20)
13 Tsubasa 4:09
14 God Of Thunder 5:54
15 In Church (Cyann & Ben Version) 7:05
16 Gone (Live) 5:50
17 Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts 17:43

M83 @ Home
M83 @ Wiki
M83 @ Amazon

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"If music cannot change the world, what use does it have?"

This is the question raised by Hector Zazou, one of the most innovative and unpredictable French composers, as the versatility of his career demonstrates: rock music (the band Barricades), French impressionist music (the duet ZNR) or traditional African music (three albums with Bony Bikaye)... Hector Zazou has a surprise waiting with each new composition. Whether it be for string quartet, wind instruments, classical voices or synthesizers, all illustrate his passion for the most unexpected inventions.Born of a French father and Spanish mother in pre-independence Algeria, Hector Zazou first recorded in the mid-'70s under the name ZNR.Throughout the rest of the 1970s and into the early '80s, Zazou's musical efforts (whatever they might have been), are not represented by any readily available recordings, but some experiments in musical erotica were conducted under the name La Perversita...! In the 80's he made three albums with electronic African music with Bony Bikaye..

Zazou / Bikaye - Guilty * (1988 flac 313mb)

01 - Guilty (4:16)
02 - No Secret (4:27)
03 - Binagwe (4:32)
04 - Ba Wela (5:56)
05 - Kinshasa (4:19)
06 - My Shoes (5:43)
07 - Sans Musik (6:56)
08 - It's A Man's Man's World (4:44)
09 - Zuwa (6:14)
10 - Na Kenda (5:34)

Hector Zazou has a surprise waiting with each new composition. Whether it be for string quartet, wind instruments, classical voices or synthesizers, all illustrate his passion for the most unexpected inventions. The album "Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses" (1991- is yet another successful experiment blending century-old a-cappella songs with shades of contemporary music. The following year Hector's "Sahara Blue" was released: the album, based on the work of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud and performed by the Sahara Blue Orchestra stars David Sylvian, Bill Laswell, Khaled, Dead Can Dance, Gérard Depardieu among other guests. Inspired by the musical folk traditions of the Northern Hemisphere, Hector's next adventure was "Songs From The Cold Seas" (1995), a literal journey through Siberian Shamanism, Scandinavian folk songs, Japanese ballads and Greenland mythology featuring an impressive cast of musicians including Värttina, Tokiko Kako, Suzanne Vega, Björk, Siouxsie and Jane Siberry. Released in 1998, "Lights In The Dark" – an exploration of ancient sacred Celtic music from the XIIth century featured some of the most beautiful Irish voices (Katie Mc Mahon, Breda Mayock and Lasairfhiona Ni Chonaola), a gospel choir and guest appearances by Mark Isham, Carlos Nuñez, Caroline Lavelle or Peter Gabriel. A successful tour followed in France, Italy and Switzerland. Recorded with American singer Sandy Dillon, "Las Vegas Is Cursed" (2001) a baroque opera, mixing electronic rock and altered chamber music, saw the return of Hector Zazou to electricity and experimentation.

Hector Zazou - Sahara Blue  (92 flac 320mb)

01 - I'll Strangle You (5:12)
02 - First Evening (6:31)
03 - Ophélie (6:20)
04 - Lines (3:33)
05 - Youth (5:34)
06 - Hapolot Kenym (4:59)
07 - Hunger (4:38)
08 - Sahara Blue (Brussels) (6:05)
09 - Amdyaz (5:31)
10 - Black Stream (3:57)
11 - Harar et les Gallas (4:28)
12 - Lettre au Directeur des Messageries Maritimes (4:41)

In 2003 Hector Zazou composed an original soundtrack for Carl-Théodor Dreyer’s “la Passion de Jeanne d’Arc” while his new album “Strong Currents” was released, a collection of acoustic songs that was the fruit of several years of work (with Jane Birkin, Lisa Germano, Laurie Anderson…). Spring 2004 saw the release of “L’Absence”; an electronic twin of “Strong Currents”. He was then commissionned (by ciné-mix and Le Forum Des images in Paris)to compose another original soundtrack, this time for Robert Flaherty documentary “Nanouk Of The North”.
Hector Zazou has proven himself as a creative force behind several unsual projects, as a unique musical arranger and producer called upon for his constant capacity of innovétion. He has been commissionned to write pieces for strings ensembles (By the Balanescu Quartet), contemporary dance performances or for the opening night festivities of the 1998 football world cup.
Zazou’s inventiveness as a producer has lead him to work with numerous artists among them Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo (Real World Records), Galician bagpipes player Carlos Nuñez,, Uzbek singer Sevara Nazarkhan (Yol Bolsin, Real World Records) , Italian band PGR (“Per Grazia Ricevuta”, released by Universal, was hailed as a masterpiece by the Italian press) and among others. His latest project, a CD/DVD titled Quadri [+] Chromies, result of a two years collaboration with French digital painter Bernard Caillaud was released early 2006...

This amazingly rich and eclectic career brings to light the pioneering aspect of Zazou's unique approach and confirms his position in the foreground of the world music scene.“In England they have Peter Gabriel, in America they have David Byrne, in France we have Hector Zazou” (Jean-françois Bizot)

Zazou @ Wiki
Zazou @ Amazon

Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses avec H Zazou * (flac 355mb)

The album "Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses" (1991- is yet another successful experiment blending century-old a-cappella songs with shades of contemporary music performed by Zazou and occasional collaborators such as Jon Hassell, Manu Di Bango, Richard Horowitz, Ryuichi Sakamoto and John Cale. This is based on traditional Corsican choral music, influenced by the sea and solitary island life. Beautiful, quality, haunting, - good listening when you want to chill out or be thoughtful.

01 - Giramondu
02 - Eramu In Campu
03 - Onda
04 - Acqua Chi Balla
05 - Chi Lu Tempu
06 - Moita
07 - Terra Brusgiata
08 - Nanna
09 - Anima
10 - Memoria
11 - Veni
12 - Lettera A'Mamma
13 - Bambinellu
14 - In La Piazza
15 - Serinatu
16 - Rosula D'Orienti
17 - Notte

Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses @ Amazon

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