Jan 31, 2019

RhoDeo 1904 Roots


Today's artist is the grand old lady of Cuban music. While her early recordings made her a star in Cuba, her participation in the 1996 album and video documentary, The Buena Vista Social Club, brought her to international attention. Her solo album, The Buena Vista Social Club Presents Omara Portuondo, released in 2000, reinforced her status as one of Cuba's greatest musical ambassadors........N'Joy

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Omara Portuonda

Born on 29 October 1930 in the Cayo Hueso neighborhood of Havana, Portuondo had three sisters. Her mother, Esperanza Peláez, came from a wealthy Spanish family, and had created a scandal by running off with and marrying a black professional baseball player, Bartolo Portuondo. Omara joined the dance group of the Cabaret Tropicana in 1950, following her elder sister, Haydee. She also danced in the Mulatas de Fuego in the theatre Radiocentro, and in other dance groups. The two sisters also used to sing for family and friends, and they also performed in Havana clubs. Portuondo and Haydee then in 1947 joined the Loquibambia Swing, a group formed by the blind pianist Frank Emilio Flynn.

From 1952–1953 she sang for the Orquesta Anacaona, and later in 1953 both sisters joined (together with Elena Burke and Moraima Secada) the singing group Cuarteto d'Aida, formed and directed by pianist Aida Diestro. The group had considerable success, touring the United States, performing with Nat King Cole at the Tropicana, and recording a 1957 album for RCA Victor. In 1958, pianist and composer Julio Gutiérrez invited Portuondo to sing for his ensemble in a series of recordings bridging jazz and Cuban music for the record label Velvet. The result was Magia Negra, her debut solo album. Haydee left the Cuarteto d'Aida in 1961 in order to live in the US and Omara continued singing with the quartet until 1967.

In 1967 Portuondo began to focus on her solo career recording two albums for Areito, Omara Portuondo and Esta es Omara Portuondo.[5] In the same year she represented Cuba at the Sopot Festival in Poland, singing Juanito Márquez' "Como un milagro". Alongside her solo work, in the 1970s she sang with the charanga Orquesta Aragón, and toured with them abroad.

In 1974 she recorded, with guitarist Martín Rojas, an album in which she lauds Salvador Allende and the people of Chile a year after the military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. Among other hits from the album, she sang Carlos Puebla's hit "Hasta Siempre, Comandante", which refers to Ché Guevara. She also recorded "Y que se sepa", with one of the most successful Cuban bands of the late 20th century, Los Van Van. Later on she performed with Juan Formell, singing Formell's song "Tal vez", a song she recorded later on with Maria Bethania. During the 1970s and 1980s Portuondo enjoyed success at home and abroad, with tours, albums (including one of her most lauded recordings in 1984 with Adalberto Álvarez), film roles, and her own television series.

In 2004 the International Red Cross appointed her International Ambassador, the first Cuban musician to hold this title, in Montreal, Canada. In 2007 she performed the title role to sold out audiences in Lizt Alfonso's dance musical "Vida", the story of modern Cuba through the eyes and with the memories of an old woman. In this same year, her performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival was released on DVD. She recorded in 2008 a duet album with Brazilian singer Maria Bethânia named Maria Bethânia e Omara Portuondo. In 2008 she recorded the album Gracias as a tribute to the 60th anniversary of her singing career. Today, Omara lives in a high-rise apartment just off the Malecón, Havana, overlooking the sea. She remains a popular fixture on the local music scene, singing regularly at the Tropicana Club, the Delirio Habanero and the Café Cantante.

Portuondo sang (duetting with Ibrahim Ferrer) on the album Buena Vista Social Club in 1996. This led not only to more touring (including playing at Carnegie Hall with the Buena Vista troupe) and her appearance in Wim Wenders' film Buena Vista Social Club, but to two further albums for the World Circuit label: Buena Vista Social Club Presents Omara Portuondo (2000) and Flor de Amor (2004). She remains a member of Buena Vista Social Club, being the only original vocalist to do so. Portuondo had settled into semi-retirement by the mid-'90s. Her plans to slow down her career were altered after Ry Cooder, who was in Cuba recording with the Chieftains, heard her sing in 1995. When he returned, the following year, to produce The Buena Vista Social Club, Portuondo was invited to become a featured vocalist with the all-star group. In 1998, Portuondo recorded a duo album, Desafios, with Cucho Valdes.

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Recorded in Havana, Cuba in 1958, this all time classic has remained in a place of preference among Omara's fans. First re-issued during the 90's in CD format by a now gone label, I think this album is of extraordinary importance since to my knowledge it is the first solo album recorded by the great Omara Portuondo, recently of Buenavista Social Club fame. The musical background is provided by another Cuban great the late maestro and composer Julio Gutierrez, it is possible that the string section of some of the songs was co-directed by the also late maestro and composer Adolfo Guzman. Classic tunes like "Magia Negra" aka "Black Magic" the album title song, Eric Madriguera's "Adios", Gilberto Valdes'"Oguere", Maria Grever's "Ya No Me Quieres", Julio Gutierrez' "Llanto de Luna", "Andalucia", "Que Emocion", Adolfo Guzman's "No Puedo Ser Feliz", etc. etc. all make this album timeless and irresistible to purchase for Omara's fans as well as Cuban music fans and collectors. This timeless classic is back and simply refuses to be shelved thanks to the efforts of many who appreciate its enormous value. Do not miss this re-mastered version. Viva Omara and her timeless hits compilation "Magia Negra!"

Omara Portuondo - Magia Negra      (flac  155mb)

01 Magia Negra 2:42
02 Adios 2:12
03 Oguere 2:59
04 Ya No Me Quieres 2:30
05 Llanto De Luna 2:35
06 Noche Cubana 3:24
07 Andalucia 3:56
08 Que Emocion 1:59
09 El Hombre Que Se Fue 2:23
10 No Hagas Caso 2:18
11 No Puedo Ser Feliz 1:50
12 Caravana 2:17

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A beautifully executed and produced album by Omara Portuando, the only woman to appear on the original Buena Vista Social Club recordings. Portuando, who is one of Cuba's most acclaimed musicians and a featured performer at the Tropicana, has shown here that, at 70, she still possesses the qualities that helped develop her stardom on her native island. This recording, which covers a variety of traditional musical styles, from son to guajira to bolero, makes it easy to see why critics have called her the Edith Piaf of Cuba and "The Fiancée of Feeling." The style, especially on the second track, "He Perdido Contigo," evokes a nostalgic, old-fashioned sentiment, and the songwriting is classic. Featured performers include Rubén González on piano, Eliades Ochoa and Compay Segundo on guitar, and a full string section including Angel and Arelis Zaldivar. The performances are lively and tight, creating an album that feels nearly perfect. A full set of liner notes, including English translations of all of the lyrics, makes the album even more accessible.

Omara Portuondo y Buena Vista Social Club - Omara Portuondo    (flac  228mb)

01 La Sitiera 3:57
02 He Perdido Contigo 3:49
03 ¿Dónde Estabas Tú? 3:47
04 Mariposita De Primavera 2:54
05 Canta Lo Sentimental 3:26
06 Ella Y Yo 3:24
07 No Me Vayas A Engañar 2:53
08 No Me Llores Más 5:00
09 Veinte Años 4:44
10 El Hombre Que Yo Amé (The Man I Love) 3:11
11 Siempre En Mi Corazón 3:43

Omara Portuondo y Buena Vista Social Club - Omara Portuondo  (ogg    95mb)

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Flor de Amor is the second World Circuit outing for Cuban diva Omara Portuondo, whose debut for the label topped the world music charts in 2000. This time out, Portuondo and producers Nick Gold, Jerry Boys, and Alé Siqueira assemble a sultry, steamy, and extremely elegant collection of love songs that are steeped in the popular Cuban bolero, rhumba, ritmo, guajira, and mambo traditions, but there is also the airiness of Brazilian pop music in the tunes produced by Siqueira. The players are from three generations of Cuban studio musicians, and include Barbarito Torres, Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez, Manuel Galbán, Roberto Fonseca, Carlos Emilio, and dozens of others, with a few Anglo players and singers as well. This is one of the most elegant recordings to come from the Buena Vista Social Club set. The album opens with the ethereal "Tabú." It is a song of longing for Africa with a gorgeous clarinet line played by Javier Zalba and a wispy backing chorus that winds around Portuondo; she blends in a Yoruban spiritual chant without breaking stride or upsetting the nocturnal balance of the tune. Jorge Chicoy's trademark electric guitar sound graces many of these tunes, with none so beautiful as "Amor de Mis Amores" ("Love of my life/Lifeblood of my veins/Give me the bloom of hope/Let me tell you the bittersweet truth/Of my suffering..."), with its chorus and entwining guitars and percussion. The classic "Amorosa Guajira" is haunting and tender; it features the singer accompanied only by Papi Oviedo's 12-string. The closing cut is written in Portuguese by Brazilian pop star Carlinhos Brown along with Junior Costa. Portuondo rises to the occasion, and sings this samba-inspired ballad with aplomb -- there is even a subtle theremin line by producer Siqueira! Flor de Amor is a wonderfully seamless, sensually charged, slow burn of an album that is nothing short of a work of art.

Omara Portuondo - Flor de Amor    (flac  243mb)

01 Tabu 4:19
02 Amor De Mis Amores 3:24
03 Alma De Roca 3:35
04 Mueve La Cintura Mulato 3:35
05 Junto A Un Canaveral 3:30
06 Hermosa Habana 3:48
07 El Madrugador 3:33
08 Amorosa Guajira 2:23
09 Habanera Ven 3:28
10 Si Llego A Besarte 3:19
11 lor De Amor 3:06
12 Juramento 3:23
13 He Venido A Decirte 3:48
14 Casa Calor 4:08

Omara Portuondo - Flor de Amor  (ogg  115mb)

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A set featuring recordings from 1997-2000 when Omara Portunondo started recording with the Buena Vista Social Club. She was nominated for a Grammy in 2004. This double CD, Lágrimas Negras (Black Tears), Canciones y Boleros, is the result of an interpretive creation full of feeling, intimacy, and naturalness. She returned to the Latin American popular classics -to Violeta Parra, to Virgilio González, to Alberto Vera, to Eusebio Delfín- with a fabulous ensemble consisting of the great Rubén González and Enriqueta Almanza's piano, Richard Egües's flute, Martín Rojas's magnificent guitar, the bass of Cachaíto, Mirabal's art in unraveling the mysteries of the brass instruments, Amadito Valdés's paila with AfroCuban rhythms and the tasty percussion of Hernán Cortés, Roberto García, and Osvaldo Rodríguez.

As the last living of the original buena Vista Social Club, Omara Portuondo wears a heavy legacy. With her now 85 years, she tours the world and spread the charm of Cuba. Here are 2 CDs with older and newly recorded recordings together. Of course, this can never do justice to a career of more than 60 years, alas most of her recordings slumber in Cuban archives but is a nice start. If you want to "hear" more from the Grande Dame then you should look for the few original albums, where Omara reveals her versatility and her talent which makes her so unique.  "Lagrimas" receives an absolute thumbs up recommendation as an introduction to the musical soul of Cuba.  And if you have the chance to experience Omara live, you should not miss out on this one because likely you will never again!

Omara Portuondo - Lagrimas Negras    (flac  243mb)

01 Increíble 3:53
02 Quiero Hablar Contigo 2:55
03 Te Quería 5:19
04 Libre de Pecado 3:57
05 Campanitas de Cristal 3:07
06 Nosotros 3:18
07 Cómo Es Posible 3:33
08 Vieja Luna 3:09
09 Confidencia de Amor 3:26
10 No Te Quejes 2:39
11 Le Dije a una Rosa 2:58
12 Y Tú Qué Has Hecho 2:29
13 La Última Noche 4:03

Omara Portuondo - Lagrimas Negras  (ogg  113mb)

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Jan 30, 2019

RhoDeo 1904 Aetix


Today's artist is an English reggae-influenced punk rock band, notable for the 1979 UK Top 10 hit "Babylon's Burning", and an earlier single "In a Rut", which was not a hit but was highly regarded and regularly played by BBC Radio 1 disc jockey John Peel.  .. ......N'Joy

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With their unique blend of raucous punk rock laced with reggae and dub, the Ruts were one of the most exciting bands to emerge from Britain's late-'70s scene. Their career was cut cruelly short by the death of their singer in 1980, but still the group released six crucial singles and a seminal album in their short lifetime, while the surviving members soldiered on as Ruts D.C. They were also a powerful force within Britain's Rock Against Racism movement, ensuring a political legacy at least as vital as their music. On classic tunes like "Babylon's Burning" and "In a Rut," the band delivered rough-and-ready punk rock as strong as any of their peers in the first wave of U.K. punk, but "Jah War" showed they were similarly expert with reggae rhythms and dubwise production, and "Staring at the Rude Boys" showed they could blend punk sounds and West Indian themes, honoring each side equally.

Formed by four West London schoolmates in early 1978, the quartet of vocalist Malcolm Owen, guitarist Paul Fox, bassist John Jennings, and drummer Dave Ruffy initially gigged around their neighborhood with a fairly unremarkable post-punk/early Oi!-ish set. However, the rise of the neo-Nazi National Front and its deliberate recruitment of young people saw the bandmembers take on an increasingly political stance of their own, adding their own voice to the growing grassroots opposition to the fascist threat.

It was from this grassroots response that Rock Against Racism sprang, informing and raising political awareness via musical events. The Ruts plunged into the organization very early on in their career, playing benefit shows and festivals, and it was at one such event that the group was introduced to the South London reggae band Misty in Roots. It was through Misty's own People Unite label that the Ruts' debut single, the driving "In a Rut"/"H-Eyes," was released in late 1978.

The single barely hinted at what was to come, and when the group performed a radio session for Radio 1 DJ John Peel a few months later, the song didn't even appear in their set. Even so, Virgin Records was one of several labels that recognized the Ruts' potential and signed the band in the spring of 1979.

They were immediately rewarded when the group's next single, "Babylon's Burning"/"Society," seared its way into the U.K. Top Ten. Inspired by the political and societal upheavals taking place across the country, the song perfectly caught the mood of rage simmering just below Britain's surface. Following a national tour supporting the Damned and the release of their Top 30 follow-up single, the rabble-rousing "Something That I Said," the Ruts' debut album, The Crack, arrived in October 1979. With its seminal blend of punk, roots reggae, dub, and hard-rock-meets-hardcore sound, the album slammed its way to number 16 and into the national musical lexicon.

Pulled from the album as their next single was the seminal "Jah War." Written in response to the riots that had ripped across London's Southall neighborhood the previous April, resulting in one death and numerous injuries, the song was a masterpiece of deep dub, a righteous riff, and an anthemic chorus. Filled with fury and despair, it encapsulated a bitter moment in Britain's history, much as the Specials' "Ghost Town" would do with equal brilliance the next summer.

Amazingly, the single didn't chart; the song touched too raw a nerve and was thus informally banned from Britain's airwaves, but this disappointment didn't slow down the band. A headlining tour was followed by the quartet joining Jamaican ska legend Laurel Aitken for his first new U.K. single in years, "Rudi Got Married." The Ruts themselves reentered the Top 25 in April 1980 with "Staring at the Rude Boys," their own expedition into 2 Tone territory, albeit on a lyrical, not musical, journey.

The Ruts were preparing to begin work on their second album, an American tour was also in the works, while their latest British outing was sold out long in advance. Life should have been good, but Owen's own was in tatters. His marriage had fallen apart and his longtime heroin habit now raged out of control. The Ruts were forced to cancel a number of U.K. tour dates, and in desperation opted for a tough-love approach. They fired the singer, shortly after completing work on their proposed next single, "West One."

This wake-up call seemed to work -- Owen cleaned up and met with his bandmates to discuss a reconciliation. The meeting was a success, but Owen's own resolve was weaker. On the weekend of July 11, 1980, Owen returned home, got high, and suffered a fatal overdose. The remaining trio would continue on without him as Ruts D.C. (from the Italian "Da Capo," meaning "from the beginning"), but in a decidedly different musical vein. However, the Ruts' legacy lived on. A month after Owen's death, "West One" broke into the U.K. chart. Virgin began collecting up outtakes and non-album cuts for the Grin and Bear It album, which also appeared later in the year. Ruts D.C. released a pair of albums, 1981's Animal Now and 1982's Rhythm Collision, the latter produced by noted dub artist Mad Professor. Ruts D.C. folded in 1983.

In 1987, Strange Fruit gathered up the group's three Radio 1 sessions for The Peel Sessions Album, as another reminder of the band's impact; it was reissued on CD in 1990. The following year brought BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert (Windsong), a much preferable live set to The Ruts Live and Live and Loud!, which both appeared in 1987. In 1995, Caroline released the compilation album Something That I Said. An essentials collection, tribute album, and more live recordings followed into the 2000s, as well as a collection of unreleased early demos, 2000's In a Can.

On July 16, 2007, the band re-formed for a benefit concert in honor of Paul Fox, who had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Henry Rollins filled in on lead vocals, and the Damned, Tom Robinson, and Misty in Roots were among the opening acts. This inspired the band to return to the studio, with John Jennings and David Ruffy joined by guitarist Leigh Heggarty. In June 2008, another compilation, Original Punks, was released by Music Club Deluxe in the UK. The two-disc set included demos, alternate versions and live tracks plus songs recorded by Ruts D.C. They would record material over the next five years at Mad Professor's studio; Rhythm Collision, Vol. 2 arrived in 2013. A concert album, Live on Stage, appeared in 2014, while a new studio album, Music Must Destroy, arrived in 2016, with Henry Rollins performing guest vocals on the title track and Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers and Kirk Brandon of Theatre of Hate and Spear of Destiny appearing on "Kill the Pain." The same year saw another Ruts compilation, Babylon's Burning, which repackaged the Live and Loud! and In a Can albums as a two-LP set.

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Early punk's greatest glory, and greatest flaw, was that most of the bands were signed before they'd reached true musical proficiency. No wonder they sounded so unique -- they weren't capable of imitating their influences yet. Not so with the Ruts, who were able to deliver a powerful musical punch with their debut album, something virtually unique among old-school British punk bands. Easily able to recreate not just first-wave punk stylings, but classic rock as well, the Ruts' influences ran the gamut of genres from Motörhead to Marley, the New York Dolls to the Banshees. Thus, The Crack was one blindingly original album, far removed from its contemporaries. At the core, the quartet's sound was based primarily on '70s rock, played fast and hard, bringing them into the sphere of the street punks, an evolving genre later tagged Oi!, and eventually mutating into both speed metal and hardcore. The album features a clutch of headbanging pogo-til-you-puke blasts of fury, anthemic shout-alongs one and all. But the Ruts were capable of much more than simplistic punk-rockers in a metal mode. Some songs feature a wondrous gothic drone; "It Was Cold" was indebted to both Magazine and the Police, while other tracks give nods to pub rock and R&B. Out of this mass of sounds and styles, the Ruts hammered out intriguing hybrids, darkly shadowed, but occasionally emerging into the pop light. "Dope for Guns," for example, weds a hard rock verse to an anthemic poppy chorus, then ties the knot with a reggae riff, while "Is It Something That I Said" pushes toward Buzzcocks territory. The seminal "Jah War," inspired by the Southall riots, is simmering roots reggae/dub, but seared by classic rock guitar leads, totally redefining the rockers genre. The group was, if anything, even stronger lyrically. "Babylon's Burning" turns a powerful punk-rocker into an epic, with singer Malcolm Owen capturing the anger, frustration, and horror of anyone caught up in a riot. On "Jah War," he deliberately cools his passions, giving the words more nuanced power than if he allowed his anger to break free. On the sinister "S.U.S.," a response to England's infamous stop and search law, the group combines to create an ominous atmosphere of paranoia, a sound more chilling than that of any modern black metal band. The CD reissue also includes the B-sides from the group's three singles, the dub-heavy "Give Youth a Chance," the slamming, if somewhat silly "I Ain't Sophisticated," and the jokey "The Crack," where more excellent dub is interspersed with the group's rather amusing take on early rock & roll.

 The Ruts - The Crack (flac  461mb)

01 Babylon's Burning 2:35
02 Dope For Guns 2:11
03 S.U.S. 3:49
04 Something That I Said 3:53
05 You're Just A...  2:55
06 It Was Cold 6:48
07 Savage Circle 3:05
08 Jah War 6:55
09 Criminal Mind 1:34
10 Backbiter 3:02
11 Out Of Order 1:50
12 Human Punk 4:34
13 Bagylon´s Burning (7´´ Version).2:33
14 Society (Bonus) 1:56
15 Something That I Daid (7´´ Version) 3:06
16 Give Youth A Chance (Bonus) 3:12
17 Jah War (7´´ Version) 3:37
18 I Ain´t Sofisticated 2:19
19 The Crack 5:49

 The Ruts - The Crack  (ogg   160mb)

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Grin and Bear It, the second album by the Ruts, was hastily cobbled together in the wake of frontman Malcolm Owen's death, a ragbag of material that reached from their "In a Rut" debut single through to an alternate mix of their "West One" swan song (via their final John Peel session) and three live tracks. It was a shambolic offering -- the Ruts deserved far more. However, Grin and Bear It lines up alongside their debut album, the rest of the Peel sessions, and assorted live recordings to remind listeners that, though the Ruts never came close to fulfilling their promise, the promise itself was spellbinding.

 The Ruts - Grin & Bear It (flac  347mbmb)

01 West One (Shine On Me) 5:39
02 Staring At The Rude Boys 3:10
03 Demolition Dancing 2:34
04 Secret Soldier 2:16
05 H-Eyes 2:47
06 In A Rut 3:39
07 Love In Vain 4:08
08 S.U.S. 3:20
09 Babylon's Burning 2:18
10 Society 1:42
11 West One (7" Version) 2:57
12 The Crack 5:49
13 Denial 3:05
14 Stepping Bondage 2:37
15 Lobotomy 2:10
16 Rich Bitch 2:02

  The Ruts - Grin & Bear It    (ogg   123mb)

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As the title suggests, The Peel Sessions: The Ruts bundles up all the Radio One sessions the band recorded for DJ John Peel. The group performed three times for the show between 1979 and 1980, and, in a way, this album gives a more rounded picture of the Ruts than their studio album does. For their first session, in January 1979, the band focused on a diverse group of songs, three of which would later appear on their debut album. Among these was a steaming version of "Babylon's Burning," the song that slammed them into the U.K. Top Ten later that summer. The Ruts were fast evolving beyond the hard-hitting punk-rockers of just a few months before, and were now introducing roots reggae and dub into their sound. The changeover in styles is evident on "Dope for Drugs," emerging into full-blown reggae purity on "Black Man's Pinch." The group's second session, in May, zigzagged like a Ping-Pong ball. They kicked off with the paranoiac "Sus" (retitled "S.U.S." on The Crack), then launched into a pair of rapid-fire bursts of warp-speed punk, with "Society," in particular, acting as a blueprint for all future melodic hardcore bands, then tumbled into the glacial drifts of "It Was Cold," and finished with a twist of pop-punk. Only "Society" was not included on their debut album, and the versions here are remarkably similar to the finished ones. The Ruts returned for their final session in February 1980, and this time opened with a steaming version of their latest single, "Staring at the Rude Boys." Keeping the pop mood intact, the group then kicked into "Demolition Dancing," the Sweet go punk, then stunned listeners with a seething, totally transformed "In a Rut," before ending with the oppressive "Secret Soldier." Judging by this display, the group seemed set to become one of the most inspired bands of the '80s, with the growing inclusion of poppier elements into their harder-rock stylings opening up vast new musical vistas. But it wasn't to be. Five months after their last session, singer Malcolm Owen was dead, and the Ruts were no more. This album remains a poignant reminder of the band's power and of a great potential cut short.

 The Ruts - John Peel Sessions   (flac  376mb)

01 Savage Circle 2:55
02 Babylons Burning 2:30
03 Dope For Guns 2:30
04 Black Man's Pinch 3:10
05 Criminal Mind 1:35
06 Sus 3:15
07 Society 1:50
08 You're Just A...2:40
09 It Was Cold 5:10
10 Something That I Said 3:10
11 Staring At The Rude Boys 3:20
12 Demolition Dancing 2:35
13 In A Rut 3:10
14 Secret Soldiers 2:16
bonus BBC In Concert July 1979
15 Your Just a... 3:02
16 It Was Cold 4:29
17 I Ain't Sofisticated 2:18
18 Dope for Guns 2:23
19 Sus 3:32
20 Babylon's Burning 2:35
21 Jah Wars 3:11
22 Criminal Minds 1:56
23 In a Rut 4:16

 The Ruts - John Peel Sessions    (ogg  162mb)

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They didn't reach stadium-level superstardom like the Clash and the Police, but few contemporaries could hold a candle to the punky reggae of the Ruts. Nearly equal parts righteous dread and six-string fury, the London quartet was one of the most important bands to emerge during punk's second wave, and this collection expertly compiles the finest moments of the Ruts' too-short career. This  comprehensive 2008 two cd retrospective features superb original demos and alternate versions of some of their biggest hits, classic album tracks and B-sides, plus a stunning live performance that captures all their raw Punk power. Formed in early `78 Punk/New Wave group the Ruts quickly proved an incendiary live outfit with a political agenda tied to the fledgling Rock Against Racism organization. As a consequence their debut 45, In A Rut much championed by John Peel appeared on fellow RAR activists Misty In Roots own People Unite label. They subsequently signed to Virgin in the spring of 1979 and by the autumn had turned in an excellent long player, namely The Crack and were in the midst of a run of six excellent singles. Sadly by July 1980 it was all over as lead singer Malcom Owen tragically died of a heroin overdose. This collection brings together demo's, alternate versions and some great live performances that really capture this short-lived group's appeal, which lasts to this day. 35 tracks.

 The Ruts - Original Punks    (flac  358mb)

01 In A Rut
02 H-Eyes
03 Babylon's Burning
04 Give Youth A Chance (Blackmans Pinch)
05 Dead Man's Dream
06 Whatever We Do
07 Something That I Said
08 West One (Shine On Me)
09 Love Blind Fools
10 Jah War
11 Rich Bitch
12 Savage Circle
13 You're Just A...
14 Criminal Mind
15 Stepping Bondage
16 Babylon's Burning

 The Ruts - Original Punks    (ogg  133mb)


 The Ruts - Original Punks    (flac  439mb)

01 Something That I Said
02 H-Eyes
03 Stepping Bondage
04 I Ain't Sophisticated
05 Sus
06 Dope For Guns
07 Criminal Minds
08 Babylon's Burning
09 Back Biter
10 Jah Wars
11 You're Just A...
12 It Was Cold
13 In A Rut
14 Society
15 Whatever We Do (Dub)
16 Different View
17 Last Exit
18 Out Of Order
19 Lobotomy

 The Ruts - Original Punks    (ogg  163mb)

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Jan 29, 2019

Supernatural 14

Hello, oops forgot to post on time

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James John Herbert, OBE (8 April 1943 – 20 March 2013) James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction. He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his 19 novels have sold more than 54 million copies worldwide.

As an author he produced some of the most powerful horror fiction of the past decade. With a skillful blend of horror and thriller fiction, he explored the shaded territories of evil, evoking a sense of brooding menace and rising tension. He relentlessly draws the reader through the story's ultimate revelation - one that will stay to chill the mind long after the book has been laid aside. His bestsellers, THE MAGIC COTTAGE, HAUNTED, SEPULCHRE, and CREED, enhanced his reputation as a writer of depth and originality. His novels THE FOG, THE DARK, and THE SURVIVOR have been hailed as classics of the genre. A full-time writer, he also designed his own book covers and publicity. His books have sold 54 million copies worldwide, and have been translated into 34 languages, including Chinese and Russian. On 20 March 2013, Herbert died suddenly at his home in Sussex a few weeks before his 70th birthday. No cause of death was given but a spokeswoman for the publisher said he had not been ill. He is survived by his wife, Eileen, and three daughters.

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From the back cover: "We thought we'd found our haven, a cottage deep in the heart of the forest. Quaint, charming, maybe a little run-down but so peaceful. The woodland animals and birds couldn't have been more neighbourly. That was the first part of the Magic. Midge's painting and my music soared to new heights of creativity. That was another part of the Magic. Our sensing, our feelings, our love for each other - well, that became the supreme Magic. But the cottage had an alternative side. The Bad Magic. What happened to us there was horrendous beyond belief. The miracles, the healings, the crazy sect who wanted our home for themselves, the hideous creatures that crawled from the nether regions and the bats - oh God, the bats! Even now, those terrible things seem impossible to me. Yet they happened..."


Mike, Kim Wall
Midge, Katherine Schlesinger
Mycroft, Kerry Shale
Hub, John Sharian
Val, Jenny Lee
Bob, Gerard McDermott
Jilly, Sarah Rice
Reverend Sixsmith, Christopher Wright
Bickleshift, Alastair Danson
Ogbourne, John Rowe

Dramatised By Gregory Evans
Music Mitch Dalton
Director David Blount

James Herbert - The Magic Cottage ( 83min mp3     57mb).

Flora Chaldean's 'roundhouse' is the idyllic home that Mike and Midge have longed for. The  cottage was found in the heart of the forest. It was charming, maybe a little run-down, yet so peaceful--a magical haven for creativity and love. But the cottage had an alternative side--the bad magic. What happened there was horrendous beyond belief. And who is the figure lurking in the woods, and how did Flora die?

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Robert Westall - The Stones of Muncaster Cathedral ( 87min mp3  60mb)
Robert Westall - The Wheatstone Pond ( 60min mp3  39mb)
Victor Pemberton - Dark. ( 86min mp3  60mb)
Scott Cherry - The Book of Shadows ( 78min mp3  60mb)
Koji Suzuki - The Ring ( 78min mp3  60mb)
Wilkie Collins - The Haunted Hotel ( 60min mp3  38mb)
JCW Brook - Jonas ( 60min mp3  60mb)
Stephen Sheridan - The House at Worlds End   ( 44min mp3  30mb)
Nigel Kneale - The Stone Tape ( 56;30 min mp3  38mb)
Gregory Evans - The Hex ( 51;12 min mp3  35mb)
Mary Shelley - Frankenstein pt 1. ( 52min mp3  67mb)
Mary Shelley - Frankenstein pt 2. ( 60min mp3  79mb)
Daphne Du Maurier - Dont Look Now. ( 57min mp3  38mb)
Bram Stoker - The Lair of the White Worm. ( 57min mp3  39mb)
Anita Sullivan - Rock of Eye. ( 44min mp3  30mb).

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Jan 28, 2019

RhoDeo 1904 Re Up 174

Hello,  i'm dissapointed after years of posting on when to ask for a re-up, after 12 months have gone by since posting or a previous re-up which should be easy enough tp deduce from comments or check the host, most give a posted date from which it's easy enough to check if it's up for a re-up. That said i had no less then 6 too early requests this week and from now on i will remove these tp prevent confusion later, but really it's pure lazyness by these visitors..

12 correct requests for this week, 2 cloudy re ups, 6 too early , whatever another batch of 41 re-ups (13.3 gig)

These days i'm making an effort to re-up, it will satisfy a smaller number of people which means its likely the update will  expire relatively quickly again as its interest that keeps it live. Nevertheless here's your chance ... asks for re-up in the comments section at the page where the expired link resides, or it will be discarded by me. ....requests are satisfied on a first come first go basis. ...updates will be posted here remember to request from the page where the link died! To keep re-ups interesting to my regular visitors i will only re-up files that are at least 12 months old (the older the better as far as i am concerned), and please check the previous update request if it's less then a year old i won't re-up either.

Looka here , requests fulfilled up to January 27th... N'Joy

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3x Grooves Back in Flac (Curtis Mayfield - Curtis , Curtis Mayfield - Curtis Live, Curtis Mayfield - Roots )

3x Sundaze Back In Flac (Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Trout Mask Replica , Captain Beefheart - Doc At The Radar, Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band - A Carrot Is As Close As A Rabbit Gets To A Diamond )

5x Aetix Back In Flac (Chris & Cosey - Songs of Love and Lust, Chris And Cosey - Exotika + Take Five, Chris and Cosey - Obsession EP, Chris and Cosey - Trust, Cosey Fanni Tutti - Time to Tell)

4x Grooves Back in Flac (A Certain Ratio – Early, A Certain Ratio – Rarities & Sessions, A Certain Ratio – acr:mcr, A Certain Ratio – Mind Made Up)

3x Aetix Back in Flac (The Smithereens - Especially for You, The Smithereens - Green Thoughts, The Smithereens - 11 )

4x Aetix Back in Flac (Stiff Little Fingers - Inflammable Material, Stiff Little Fingers - Nobody's Heroes, Stiff Little Fingers - Go For It, Stiff Little Fingers - Now Then)

2x Beats Back in flac (I-f - Mixed Up In The Hague Volume 1, still in ogg I-f - Mixed Up In The Hague Volume 2)

4x Aetix Back in Flac (Rocket From The Tombs - Rocket Redux, Rocket From The Tombs - The Day the Earth Met the Rocket, Dead Boys - Younger, Louder, Snotty, Dead Boys - Night Of The Living Dead Boys)

4x Alphabet soup U Back in Flac (Uriah Heep - Live, Unknown Cases - Cuba, Unkle - Never Neverland, Unkle - Never Neverland Revisited )

4x Sundaze Back in Flac (Sakamoto-Merry Xmas Mr.Lawrence, Ryuichi Sakamoto - BTTB, Fennesz, Sakamoto - Cendre, Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto - Vrioon)

3x Sundaze NOW in Flac (Youth - A New Chapter in Dub Vol 2, Youth - VA - Ketama Live , Youth - VA-Ketama Vision)

cloudy files re-ups

1x Aetix NOW in Flac ( VA ‎– New Beat , Take 4 )

1x Sundaze NOW in Flac ( Harmonia and Eno - Tracks and Traces)

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Jan 27, 2019

RhoDeo 1904 Sundaze

Hello, Today's band band took its name from the Popol Vuh, a manuscript containing the mythology of the Post-Classic Quiché Maya people of highland Guatemala and southeast Mexico; the name translates roughly as "meeting place". In the Quiché language Popol Vuh translates as: "Book of the Community", "Book of Counsel", or more literally as "Book of the People".

Today's Artists were a German electronic avant-garde band founded by pianist and keyboardist Florian Fricke in 1969 together with Holger Trülzsch (percussion), Frank Fiedler (recording engineer and technical assistance) and Bettina Fricke (tablas and production). Other important members during the next two decades included Djong Yun, Renate Knaup, Conny Veit, Daniel Fichelscher, Klaus Wiese and Robert Eliscu. The band influenced many other European bands with their uniquely soft but elaborate instrumentation, which took inspiration from the music of Tibet, Africa, and pre-Columbian America. With music sometimes described as "ethereal", they created soundscapes through psychedelic walls of sound, and are regarded as precursors of contemporary world music, as well as of new age and ambient. .......N'Joy

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A changeable line-up of musicians led by mystic and keyboard player Florian Fricke (1944-2001), Krautrock icons Popol Vuh were one of the great innovators of world music and exotic ambient.

Known very unfairly in some quarters as purveyors of sitar-heavy "raga rock", the band's sonic trademarks are far more diverse: abstract electronica, devotional music, progressive rock, eclectic vocal blends and pioneering ethno-ambient fusions. You may have already heard their music without realising it: German director Werner Herzog has used it to mesmerising effect in some of his films from the 70's and 80's, most notably Aguirre Wrath Of God and his extraordinary 1979 remake of the silent vampire classic Nosferatu.

Fricke was a brilliant, intuitive musician and one of the first Westerners to seamlessly blend Eastern and Western sounds, in both a traditional rock band context and in a more ethereal and meditative vein. But he didn't do it alone. Guitarist and drummer Daniel Fichelscher - the only other stable longtime member of the group - also made outstanding contributions. He was a supple, melodic guitar player who brought a rock-like accessibility to Popol Vuh's sound and without whom a large portion of the band's music would have been a very different thing. He was also a fine singer, making substantial contributions to the group vocals and chants that became pronounced in the band's music after the mid 1970's.

Where to begin?

At the time of Fricke's death more than two dozen original albums and film soundtracks of varying quality had been released and many more compilations as well. Wading through them can be a maddening experience. There is a tendency to repeat or re-record tracks on successive albums for no apparent reason, not to mention a lot of previously released music turning up on the film soundtracks. The less-than-hi-fidelity sound of some productions also takes a little getting used to. Until very recently the band's back catalogue was a shambles: some put that down to Fricke's personal quirks and aversion to the music business, while Fricke himself on at least one occasion (in a rare 1996 interview) blamed the record companies.

Popol Vuh's earliest music dates from the late 1960's and early 70's and is fairly typical of the exploratory, abstract electronica in vogue among German bands at the time. The second album In The Gardens Of Pharao (1971) is a classic; an intense, eerie melding of electronic tones from the Moog synthesiser and organ with cymbals, vocal tones and half-submerged tribal instruments. That it recalls early period Tangerine Dream is not surprising when you consider it was Fricke who introduced that very band to the Moog synth as a guest player on their album Zeit (1972). But In the Gardens of Pharao is a more deeply sacred music than TD, reflecting his keen interest at the time in Mayan Indian culture and his lifelong spiritual leanings in general.

At one end is the 20-minute "Spirit Of Peace", a spacious and deeply personal creation for solo piano. At the other end is the stunning main theme from Werner Herzog's film Aguirre (ignore the patchy Aguirre soundtrack album released 1974). On this track Fricke reaches the apogee of his work with electronic synthesis. It's breathtakingly, jaw-droppingly beautiful: a six minute sepulchral drone that blends angelic vocal samples played on a Melotron-like keyboard with deeply trance-inducing colours and pulses from the synthesiser. A milestone in ambient sound, "Aguirre" (also known as "Lacrime Di Re") also marks the end of Fricke's short love affair with electronics. A certain vocal sound he'd been attempting to find with electronics unexpectedly turned up in the form of a Korean vocalist named Djon Yon, who would feature prominently on Popol Vuh's next album Hosianna Mantra (1972).

Almost an antithesis to what came before, Hosianna Mantra favours mostly acoustic music that's devotional but doesn't sit within any single religious tradition. It's a timeless, beatless neo-classical blend of Yon's ritual-like vocal improvisations blended with Fricke's piano, silky electric guitar by one Connie Veit (with lots of sustain and echo), sweet oboe by Robert Eliscu of the pioneering world music band Between, and subtle touches of droning tamboura.

Meeting guitarist Daniel Fichelscher around this time radically changed Fricke's musical world yet again. In the next few years there appeared a series of forward-thinking albums made by what superficially appears to be rock line-up but which doesn't sound quite like any other rock music of the 1970's.

Seligpreisung (1973) is the greatest of these, a masterpiece of ambient rock jamming, jazz-style improvising and lovely duets for oboe and piano. The changing time signatures within many tracks are brilliantly handled, the flow uninterrupted. It marks the first appearance of Popol Vuh's trademark jangling guitar and piano combination, a luminous ambient sound that came to define the band's very soul. Fricke's wordless vocals here - usually not part of the PV sound - seem to anticipate the visionary style of Stephan Micus a decade later, being all about sound rather than lyrics. Seligpreisung also displays the band's mysterious brilliance for being able to sound non-Western with little actual reliance on exotic instruments.

Three other albums recorded in this quasi-rock style in the mid 1970's also rate essential listening and two of them feature the welcome return of Djon Yon's vocals.

Das Hohelied Salomos (1975) echoes the sound of Hosianna Mantra but with the additional of drums and more intensely layered rhythm and lead guitars, giving the album a more rocking feel. Some impressive group vocal chants start to appear at this point in the band's career, a direction which would come to full flower in the next decade. For the first time Indian sitar sits upfront on several tracks but it doesn't radically alter the groups sound - suggesting an earlier mastery of Indian and Mid Eastern modes before they ever relied on the actual instruments. The album Letzte Tag Letzte Nachte (1976) is similar, if even more intense at times in its psychedelic rock gestures, and some of Yon's most powerful singing can be heard here. Rounding out the trio is the film soundtrack Coeur De Verre/Herz Aus Glass (1977) which is completely instrumental, allowing Fichelscher to really let fly with some his most celestial, probing guitar playing.

Having explored the possibilities of what a full-time rock combo could sound like, the band moved on once again and by the late 70's was charting increasingly quiet and contemplative waters. The music recorded for Werner Herzog's hypnotic vampire film Nosferatu is actually spread across two different albums released in the same year: the official soundtrack album Nosferatu (1978) plus Bruder Des Schattens Sohne Des Lichts (1978).

The recent CD re-issue of Nosferatu by SPV Recordings compiles all of the music from both earlier releases and is the logical purchase. On these releases the band downplays its penchant for progressive rock jamming to include beatless mood pieces and atmospheric ethno-ambient stylings. Some moments date back to the sessions that produced the eerie electronica of In The Gardens of Pharao; some pieces exist within the classic Popol Vuh blend of piano and guitar; others manage the not inconsiderable feat of making Indian sitar and tambour drones sound rather tense. Towering above them all is Nosferatu's main theme "Brothers Of Darkness Sons Of Light", an example of Fricke's growing sophistication in use of vocals. It opens with dark male vocal chants that seem to blend Tantric, Buddhist and Christian traditions, building slowly with sad oboe and crashing Tibetan cymbals before spilling over into a slow instrumental jam as openly loving and joyous as anything you'll hear from the band.

Consistent with the feel of the previous two albums is the magnificent Tantric Songs (1979/1981) which - just to keep things confusing - currently exists in two different versions. It demonstrates the band's extraordinary gift for tapping a deep, mystical, intangible power and turning it into music without pomp or pretension. The album offers some the moodiest and most ambient of Popol Vuh's music: Fricke's shadowy gothic piano figures, Fichelscher's glittering acoustic and electric guitars, some lovely oboe and touches of Indian instrumentation. It's music unanchored to any particular time period in musical history and awash with religious atmosphere, carried by subtle shifts of light and shade. The original version of Tantric Songs emphasises a slightly wider range global exotica than Celestial Harmonies U.S. version. The latter is more of a "best-of" collection of late 70's material which deletes a handful of shorter tracks to make room for the aforementioned 18-minute classic "Brothers Of Darkness Sons Of Light".

Although output of new material slowed in the 1980's, the decade remains significant for Popol Vuh's exhilarating distillation of vocal sounds - chants, mantras and choral singing - from different ages and cultures.

The film soundtrack Sei Still Wisse Ich Bin (1981) is an "oratorio" that finds the band working with large scale choirs and group vocals. Anyone with a fondness for the soulful qualities of human voice should be suitably knocked out. Backed by flowing piano, guitars, tribal drums and shimmering percussion, the swelling chorales and chants are by turns mournful and joyous, dark and euphoric, dramatic and gentle. The vocal sources are varied - operatic, South American, Christian, Tibetan elements and more. This is profound music, human and divine at the same time, and its rough edges and looseness make it all the more appealing. With perfect understatement, his friend and Celestial Harmonies Records boss Eckart Rahn once said to me in an interview about Fricke: "He knew something". Yes he did, and he managed to get it down on spellbinding records like this.

Four more original releases from the same decade also rate highly. Agape Agape (1983) and Spirit Of Peace (1985) don't consistently scale the heights of Still Wisse Ich Bin with their vocal work but are still essential releases. "Why Do I Still Sleep" is a cluster of simple piano figures so gentle and expansive you may get carried away on its ravishing melody and not return for several hours. Some of the layered vocal chants like "Agape Agape" and "We Know About The Need" are extraordinarily beautiful, while the gentle group jam "Take The Tension High" casts its slow mantra-like spell over 18 minutes. The film soundtrack Cobra Verde (1987) also contains several similar folksy vocal mantras alongside some surprising beatless, string-laden landscapes - the latter more traditionally filmic and not typical of the band, but fantastic and darkly beautiful all the same.

The 90's proved to be creatively far leaner than previous decades, with only For You And Me (1991) proving to be an impressive work. Its clean, crisp production is something of a shock if you previously waxed ears on the band's earlier material. Was the softer lo-fi sound of yore deliberate? Quite possibly.

Certainly the band's creative dynamic was now different. What is not widely known is the reason: Fricke sustained a serious hand injury at some point in the 80's - losing at least one finger to gangrene after a trip the Himalayas, according to Eckart Rahn - and tragically could no longer play the piano. So new member Guido Hieronymus took over the piano playing and also shared the creative duties, a move that fundamentally changed Popol Vuh, with Daniel Fichelscher now less involved than before.

The overall effect of the clean sound on For You and Me seems somehow less mystical but the album is still a lovely, engaging and mostly upbeat collection of world music fusions with just a touch of synth pop. The classic blend of ringing guitars and glowing piano still binds everything together, however, and some of the small group choral arrangements are striking. The band's past resurfaces on the 4-part suite "Om Mane Padem Hum" on which Fricke cleverly reworks the brighter moments from his classic "Brothers Of Darkness Sons Of Light" into something new but equally as warm and optimistic.

With the non-essential City Raga (1995) and Shepherd's Symphony (1997) the influence of Hieronymus on keyboards and arrangements has become overt, with the band now hopping on board the 90's ambient dance bandwagon. At the time many fans were aghast, but in retrospect neither of these are horrible records; they're just underwhelming next to ethno-ambient efforts by more dance-savvy acts of the period like Mayko, Loop Guru, Deep Forest and Delerium. Daniel Fichelscher - sidelined after the arrival of Hieronymus - was unimpressed with all the sequencers and drum machines; he left the band soon after City Raga after contributing guitar to just one track.

The final album before Fricke's death in 2001 was an interesting but unexceptional mix of ambient drones and poetry for an art installation called Messa Di Orfeo (1999). It's significant only in that it suggests Fricke had come nearly full circle to once again embrace the abstract electronica of his earliest work.
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Affenstunde (Monkey-Time) is the debut recording by composer and multi-instrumentalist Florian Fricke's Popol Vuh, named for the sacred Mayan text. It was issued on the Liberty label in Germany in 1970 and has been in print, off and on, in Europe, Japan, and even in the United States sporadically since that time. For those completely dislocated by Tangerine Dream's early experiments in sonic terror and dynamics, Affenstunde is somehow akin yet very different. Fricke's synthesizers are more interested in pulse and circularity, not utter dislocation and shock. The music here all seems of a piece, despite the different selection titles and the single percussion piece on the set, "Dream, Pt. 5" -- primitive hand drums run through the middle of the mix. Other than this selection, the entire album would have made a fantastic soundtrack for Andrei Tarkovsky's film Solaris. The sheer momentum of the title cut, which closes the album and integrates spacious electronic soundscapes, ever deepening tonalities, found taped choral vocals whispering in the background, and percussion is one of the most provocative pieces to come from the Krautrock generation. This is an auspicious debut, which holds up wonderfully in the 21st century.

Popol Vuh - Affenstunde (flac  228mb)

01 Ich Mache Einen Spiegel - Dream Part 4 8:44
02 Ich Mache Einen Spiegel - Dream Part 5 4:41
03 Ich Mache Einen Spiegel - Dream Part 49 7:43
04 Affenstunde 18:30
05 Train Through Time 10:30

Popol Vuh - Affenstunde     (ogg  105mb)

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"In Pharaoh's Garden" was the first true work of "sacred music" by Florian Fricke, guiding light of the mythical group Popol Vuh. Consisting of two extended works, his mixture of electronics and church organ with assorted winds and percussives, conjures up visions of the celestial light. Deeply emotional and filled with mysticism, this album marked the dawning of new age music, and still today is a wonder to behold.

 Popol Vuh - In Den Garten Pharaos    (flac 290mb)

01 In Den Gärten Pharaos 17:38
02 Vuh 19:51
03 Kha-White Structures 1 10:14
04 Kha-White Structures 2 10:09

 Popol Vuh - In Den Garten Pharaos     (ogg  131mb)

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Florian Fricke pioneered the use of synthesizers in German rock, but by the time of Hosianna Mantra he had abandoned them (eventually selling his famous Moog to Klaus Schulze). While In den Gärten Pharaos had blended synths with piano and African and Turkish percussion, Hosianna Mantra focuses on organic instrumentation. Conny Veit contributes electric guitar, but other than that, Fricke pulls the plug and builds the album around violin, tamboura, piano, oboe, cembalo, and Veit's 12-string, often with Korean soprano Djong Yun's haunting voice hovering above the arrangements. As the album's title suggests, Fricke conceived of Hosianna Mantra as a musical reconciliation of East and West, a harmonization of seemingly opposed terms, combining two devotional music traditions. That notion of cultural hybridity resonates throughout. On "Kyrie" droning tamboura, simple piano patterns, ethereal, gull-like guitars, and yearning oboe ebb and flow before coalescing in a passage of intensity and release. The epic title track adds another dimension to the fusion, emphasizing a Western rock sound with Veit's spectacular playing to the fore, simultaneously smoldering and liquid, occasionally yielding to Djong Yun's celestial vocals. Above all, Fricke envisioned this as sacred music, intimately linked to religious experience; however, as his musical synthesis of disparate religious traditions indicates, he was seeking to foment a spiritual experience beyond the specificity of any particular faith. Indeed, Fricke called this album a "mass for the heart" and that aspect can be heard most succinctly on the melancholy "Abschied" and the gossamer-fragile "Segnung," which blend an austere hymnal sensibility with a more mystical vibe. Julian Cope has said that Hosianna Mantra sounds like it was made in a "cosmic convalescent home" -- an excellent description underscoring the timeless, healing quality of this music, which is far removed from the everyday world and yet at one with it.

Popol Vuh - Hosianna Mantra (flac  173mb)

Hosianna - Mantra
1 Ah! 4:49
2 Kyrie 5:27
3 Hosianna - Mantra 10:22
Das 5. Buch Mose
4 Abschied 3:18
5 Segnung 6:12
6 Andacht 0:46
7 Nicht Hoch Im Himmel 6:23
8 Andacht 0:44

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Released in 1973, Seligpreisung was, if anything, a complete shock after the gorgeous "religious" rock of Hosianna Mantra. Gone are the hypnotic Gregorian chants and overtone layers of drone. In their place is a kind of shimmering, spacy jazz-rock where, despite a few instances of Florian Fricke chant-singing, the effect is one where his piano becomes the steadiest backdrop, playing hypnotic, repetitive chords and phrases while Conny Veit improvises with David Gilmour-like blues guitar phrases over the gently swirling music. Elsewhere, the rest of the group (the same cats who played on Hosianna Mantra) is heard in classically tinged miniatures that float through the mix with a kind of meandering insistence on instantly recognizable Western thematics and standard conceptions of beauty rather than confrontations -- however subtle -- with the East/West space-time continuum. This is not to say that Seligpreisung is a disappointment; rather, it is only a shock for its giant step backward into the realm of the conventional. Perhaps Hosianna Mantra presented an abyss, and as Fricke looked over it musically, he realized that its beauty was unbearable. For whatever the reason, Seligpreisung is a meditative, generally quiet, and lovely album, but it doesn't go near the precipice.

Popol Vuh - Seligpreisung (flac  162mb)

01 Selig Sind Die, Die Da Hungern 6:00
02 Tanz Der Chassidim 3:15
03 Selig Sind, Die Da Hier Weinen 5:08
04 Selig Sind, Die Da Willig Arm Sind 3:12
05 Selig Sind, Die Da Leid Tragen 3:39
06 Selig Sind, Die Sanftmütigen 2:31
07 Selig Sind, Die Da Reinen Herzens Sind 2:33
08 Ja, Sie Sollen Gottes Kinder Heissen 2:42
09 Be In Love 2:42

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Released in 1974, Einsjäger & Siebenjäger (Earth & Sky) is a further rock entrenchment for Popol Vuh. Florian Fricke's piano is more percussively present with its runs and large chord voicings rippling throughout each composition. In addition, Daniel Fichelscher's electric guitar picks up where Conny Veit's left off, taking the bluesy space rock solo style into new territory by incorporating Eastern scales into the main body of his blues phrasing. There are five short compositions on the first side, which merely prepare the listener for the mind-blowing title cut, which takes up the entirety of side two. Here, in addition to the swirling organic percussion and pianism of Fricke and the loping, often singing guitar lines that repeat hypnotically with rock & roll tension, the vocals of the amazing Djong Yun become the catalyst for the other musicians to spiral off into extended improvisations. This is certainly one of the most beautiful albums Popol Vuh issued in the 1970s, and remains a watermark for their trademark of melding beauty and free-flowing composition.

 Popol Vuh - Einsjäger and; Siebenjäger (flac   249mb)

01 Kleiner Krieger 1:04
02 King Minos 4:24
03 Morgengruß 2:59
04 Würfelspiel 3:08
05 Gutes Land 5:13
06 Einsjäger & Siebenjäger 19:23
07 King Minos II 1:55
08 Wo Bist Du? 5:42

 Popol Vuh - Einsjäger & Siebenjäger  (ogg  101mb)

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Jan 25, 2019

RhoDeo 1903 Grooves


Today's Artist is a French-born English disc jockey and record label owner in England. His labels have included Acid Jazz, Talkin' Loud, and Brownswood Recordings. Peterson has been associated with the careers of artists of the 1990s, such as Erykah Badu, Roni Size, and Jamiroquai.Compilation albums have also been a constant throughout his career from the very beginning, as often having access to rare or hard-to-find records, as well as unsigned artists, has meant being able to share such finds with a wider audience.  ....N Joy

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Gilles Peterson'(born 64) attended The John Fisher School, in the mid- and late- 1980s, living among the South London suburban soul scene in the early eighties, Gilles would avidly listen to listening to Level 42, Earth Wind & Fire, Central Line and the heavier, deeper pirate stations such as Radio Invicta. This inspired him to set up his own station - literally an aerial suspended between a tree and a phone box - playing an eclectic mix of jazz, funk, reggae, soul and early electro. By a stroke of luck, Radio Invicta needed a new transmitter, so Gilles swapped his for a regular show on the station.

At the same time, Gilles was a regular shopper at DJ Paul Murphy's Palladin Records. Murphy also DJ'd at Camden's Electric Ballroom, and his knowledge of rare, killer power jazz tunes and rare Afro-Cuban fusion was further inspiration for Gilles, who took over the decks when Paul left. Once ensconced upstairs in the Electric Ballroom, Gilles' understanding and insight into jazz, funk and soul grew exponentially. Gilles soon began to play at Nicky Holloway's Special Branch night at The Royal Oak.

1985 saw Gilles releasing the Jazz Juice (streetsounds) compilation series, collecting together many of the jazz tracks Gilles had been playing over the past few years. EMI Records soon called on Gilles to put together a series of inspired collections showcasing jazz label Blue Note's best artists resulting in 'Blue Bossa Vols. 1 & 2' and 'Baptist Beat' , which became the motivation for the hugely popular 'Blue' series of Jazz compilations.

During this period, Gilles had also been working on new pirate radio projects before 'going legit' with the BBC Radio London which was the first legal station he worked for, hosting a show called 'Mad On Jazz'. After leaving Radio London in 1986, Gilles started his Sunday sessions - 'Talkin' Loud' & 'Saying Something' - at Camden's Dingwalls. Co-hosted by Patrick Forge, these ran for five years. Coinciding with the emerging acid house scene, the sessions became a natural magnet for post clubbing come-down kids.

Shortly afterwards, Gilles started the Acid Jazz label, but after two years he felt the sound, the music and name was becoming a mod thing, a retro thing.' And so the approach from Phonogram was welcome , and he set up a new label Talkin' Loud records in 1989 . Gilles got the chance to echo his own diverse tastes and the label saw releases from the likes of Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, the Galliano.

Back on air, Gilles' show on London's Jazz FM was axed in 1990 after he played 'inappropriate' music and made statements supporting peace during the Gulf War. Soon after, he joined the newly-legalized Kiss FM. His Sunday evening WorldWide slot proved one of the most popular on the station and he stayed there for eight years until he joined Radio 1 in 1998. From 1998 to the present, through his BBC show Worldwide, Peterson has continued to stretch the musical boundaries. The show has always highlighted both new, but more importantly for the audience it is supposed to serve, older and often very rare records from the late-1950's to 1980's. In fact every three months or so, Gilles dedicates a whole show to older vinyl releases in a special version of his show he subtitles a Brownswood Basement.

In 2002 he released a compilation album, Impressed with Gilles Peterson, featuring rare and forgotten British Jazz from the 1950-1960s, that Peterson had collected over the years. This led to many of the records being re-released to a new audience. This in turn led to a series of concerts featuring some of the artists and a documentary about the history of British jazz (Jazz Britannia)

 In August 2004 the show moved from Wednesday (midnight til 2am) to an earlier Sunday slot (11:00 to 01:00) In September 2006, Peterson's show on Radio 1 was moved from Sunday night to Wednesday night (more precisely the early hours of Thursday morning), 02:00 to 04:00 (GMT) where you can pick him up every week and not to worry.

Widely acclaimed as a musical tastemaker, Gilles spreads his influence on music listeners around the world mostly through the Worldwide radio show on BBC Radio 1 and besides he also does another version of the show which gets syndicated to radio stations all over the world. Parallel to this, his frequent DJing gigs around the world also have cemented a worldwide following. In 2006 Gilles and Freshly Cut, a French event production company from Montpellier, collaborated to create the unique Worldwide Festival. This started out as a small intimate festival during the summertime in the coastal town of Sète in France. Meanwhile it hasbeen expanded to three festivals, in London, Shanghai and Sète in 2007. In 2008 it will have expanded to take place in London, Beijing, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Singapore and Sète.

In late 2011 Peterson announced that after 13 years at the station he would be leaving BBC Radio 1, following his last show in the early hours of Wednesday 28 March and moving to a new show on BBC Radio 6 Music.
Following his departure from Radio 1, Peterson started a new three-hour Saturday afternoon show on BBC Radio 6 Music, beginning on Saturday 7 April 2012, running weekly from 3 to 6 pm, and giving him an extra hour of broadcast time. Like his previous Radio 1 programme, it is made by independent production company Somethin' Else for the BBC.

Peterson has been producing and broadcasting original radio shows for Japan. He had daily 15 minute music program on J-WAVE (81.3FM), Tokyo’s Finest FM Station. Daily program “Worldwide 15” run Mondays–Thursdays from 4:05 to 4:20 pm from 2005 to 2011. The show was highly received and made many radio hits. Music event of the program "Worldwide Showcase” became annual events and each year which featured DJs and Live acts from Japan and international. The event was curated under particular theme each year.

Peterson has been involved in founding four record labels. In 1987, together with DJ Baz Fe Jazz, he was recruited by Ace Records to create the soul, funk and jazz dance sub-label BGP Records.[10] In 1988 he and Eddie Piller founded Acid Jazz Records, a label whose roster included the Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, Corduroy, the James Taylor Quartet and Snowboy. After growing disillusionment with the scene that grew up around the label, he went on to run Talkin' Loud, enlisting the help of fellow DJ Norman Jay, who formed his own Global Village label. The Talkin' Loud roster included Nuyorican Soul (a side project of the producers Masters At Work), Courtney Pine, MJ Cole, Young Disciples, Incognito, Terry Callier, The Roots, Galliano and Roni Size's project Reprazent.

Peterson's most recent record label, Brownswood Recordings, was launched in 2006. The label's early releases includes the likes of British singer/songwriter Ben Westbeech, 45-piece orchestral ensemble The Heritage Orchestra, Japanese punk jazz band Soil & "Pimp" Sessions, Brooklyn-based pianist Elan Mehler and jazz vocalist José James. More recently, they've released music by Zara McFarlane, Ghostpoet's Mercury Prize-nominated debut and their long-running compilation series, compiled by Peterson, called Brownswood Bubblers.

In 2011, he founded the Steve Reid Foundation in memory of the legendary jazz drummer. Having witnessed Reid’s suffering with illness and hardship, Gilles set up the charity to raise money for musicians in need. Since then, they’ve collaborated with Help Musicians UK to help musicians who are in need of support. More recently, a collaboration with the PRS Foundation has seen grants and mentoring provided to new artists. Gilles ran the 2011 London Marathon, raising just under £7,000 for Help Musicians UK, followed by the 2016 New York Marathon, where he raised over $21,000 for the Steve Reid Foundation.

Released in May 2014 via Talkin’ Loud / Virgin EMI, Sonzeira's Brasil Bam Bam Bam is a journey through the different flavours of authentic Brazilian music culture. Sonzeira is the collective name for the group of Brazilian artists who feature on the album. Peterson turned from DJ to producer for this ambitious venture, settling in Rio de Janeiro with young UK production associates Sam Shepherd (Floating Points); Dilip Harris and Rob Gallagher from 2 Banks of 4; and Kassin from Rio collective Orquestra Imperial. The album features Brazilian artists such as Seu Jorge and Elza Soares.

Along with the album, there was a documentary film celebrating the creation and release of “Sonzeira: Brasil Bam Bam Bam". Titled “Bam Bam Bam: The Story of Sonzeira”, this two-hour documentary was directed by Charlie Inman and Ben Holman and shot in 2014 by Mother London and Rio de Janeiro’s Beija Films. The film was also distributed in Tokyo, Japan by Sha-la-la Company and raised money for Fight For Peace (Luta Pela Paz), organization founded in Complexo da Maré, Rio de Janeiro, as a direct response to youth-involvement in drug-related crime and violence.
Havana Cultura

2009 saw the birth of a new collaborative project and long-term partnership between Peterson and Havana Club or "Havana Cultura". Havana Cultura is a global initiative developed by Havana Club International that gives a platform to Cuban artists from all disciplines. The website, www.havana-cultura.com, was launched in 2007.
Peterson and Brownswood's involvement began two years later, resulting in four album releases and three international tours.

Havana Cultura: New Cuba Sound was the first album to come out of the project, released in 2010. Travelling to Cuba in 2009, Peterson teamed up with the award-winning Cuban jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca to find the best up-and-coming musical talent in Havana. The double album was a celebration of Cuba’s musical forces spanning Latin, Afro jazz and fusion to hip-hop, funk, reggaeton and soul.

In support of this project, Peterson began a European tour in June/July 2010, accompanied by Fonseca, his band and vocalists Danay Suarez, Ogguere and Obsesión. This was the first of three tours organised in close collaboration with Havana Club. The Gilles Peterson Havana Cultura band has now travelled through Europe and beyond with shows in London (Barbican), Paris, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Berlin and Madrid, as well as many festivals.

Travelling with the rest of the 2011 crew, Mala (Digital Mystikz) was also invited to Cuba with Peterson to record and collaborate with local musicians as part of the ongoing Havana Cultura project. The results are found on the album Mala in Cuba, which was released on Brownswood Recordings in partnership with Havana Cultura on 10 September 2012.

A new global music-radio platform launched by Gilles Peterson in September 2016. Following the success of the Grand Theft Auto V in-game radio station of the same name, WorldWide FM has expanded into the real world with Peterson and Thris Tian hosting shows alongside a hand-picked roster of the finest DJs and selectors from five continents. Since the launch, the station has gone out on the road broadcasting across Europe, the US and Asia, with pop-ups in Amsterdam (ADE), Los Angeles (How We Do LA), Marseille (Le Gallette), Milan (Jazzmi Festival), Paris (Le Mellotron), Tokyo (HMV Shibuya), and closer to home, at the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (Somerset House). The station is Powered by WeTransfer and broadcasting from The Pyramid radio studios in north London.

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Some mixes create a mood; the best ones force the listener to pack up their mind and take a journey. One of the most cultivated DJs in all of England, Gilles Peterson blends the finest rare-groove, hip-hop, Northern soul, jungle, jazz, and every shade in between. Subtle sounds demarcate every twist and turn of this piece; listen for interesting sprinkles of Mark Murphy, Rotary Connection and Roy Davis, Jr. tastefully flavoring some of their songs. Look out for the funky version of "A Love Supreme" by Ballistic Brothers and the ultra-rare track "What's Wrong with Groovin'" by Letta Mbulu. For anyone who's never heard this man spin live -- this is as close to his musical heaven as you'll get.

 Gilles Peterson - Desert Island Mix (flac   516mb)

01 Mark Murphy - Dingwalls 3:16
02 Letta Mbulu - What's Wrong With Groovin 2:48
03 Pnu Riff - Comfy Club 5:30
04 Juryman vs. Spacer - Submersible 4:16
05 Ballistic Brothers - Love Supreme 4:55
06 Buscemi - Yves Eaux 5:09
07 Jazzanova - Fedime's Flight 6:49
08 Kevin Yost - One Starry Night 4:03
09 Los Quatros Diablos - Carnival Supreme 1:29
10 Roy Davis Jr. With Peven Everett - Gabrielle 5:49
11 Blaze - My Beat 5:08
12 Bel Air Project - Jazz With Altitude 4:09
13 Breakbeat Era - Breakbeat Tera 6:04
14 Roni Size - It's Jazzy 3:50
15 High Priest - Disorientation 3:44
16 I:Cube - Ding Ding Ding 0:44
17 Smoke No Bones - Wondering 4:33
18 Rotary Connection - I Am The Blackgold Of The Sun 5:41

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A new Gilles Peterson compilation is always a source of excitement for jazz, world and soul aficionados the world over. This Worldwide Exclusives set is doubly thrilling as it translates into 14 tracks from some of the world's hottest acts, unavailable anywhere else. Starting the set are long-time Peterson faves Cinematic Orchestra, with the slow and sassy "Wheel Within a Wheel". It's not their most rhapsodic work, but it's a gem and perhaps heralds a new direction for the crew. Umod (the alter-ego of Domu) appears with a quirky, Mr Scruff-esque tune called "Puffin Dance"; NSM posits more of his sparse phuture-soul on "The Show"; and Nicola Conte plies some sophisticated jazz moods on "Waning Moon". Add the incredibly authentic Cuban trip of Seiji's Pata Cumbele and the syncopated beats 'n' bass offerings of Jazzanova and Herbert and you have yet another impeccable Gilles collection

Gilles Peterson Worldwide Exclusives (flac   436mb)

01 The Cinematic Orchestra - Wheel Within A Wheel 6:41
02 Umod - Puffin Dance 4:22
03 NSM - The Show 4:45
04 Ty - Sophisticated & Coarse (Everyday Thoughts) 4:33
05 Eric Roberson - Couldn't Hear Me 4:16
06 Nicola Conte - Wanin' Moon 4:48
07 Build An Ark - The Blessing Song (Take 1 Mix For Worldwide) 6:24
08 Deadline vs. Batacumbele - Batacumbele 5:56
09 Jazzanova - Boom Klicky Boom Klack (That's What We Do) 6:23
10 Outlines - A Matter Of Time 6:42
11 Matthew Herbert & Róisín Murphy - The Night Of The Dancing Flame 3:15
12 Two Banks Of Four - Brilliant Circles 6:41
13 Gotan Project - Paris Texas 6:43
14 Roy Ayers - Reaching For The Highest Pleasure 6:16

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Gilles Peterson had been the host of the BBC's Worldwide Show for roughly five years when this collection of live-in-the-studio recordings was released. During that period he had adopted a practice somewhat like that of the legendary John Peel, who had become famous in the 1980s for inviting cutting-edge pop, punk, and new wave bands to come play live broadcasts in the Maida Vale studios; the resulting EPs and compilations subsequently became staples in the record collections of many Generation Xers. Peterson's take on the same approach yielded this generously packed, if quite uneven, two-disc collection of live tracks by the likes of the Roots, N.E.R.D., Roisin Murphy, and Amp Fiddler. The program leans heavily toward progressive hip-hop and nu-jazz, and the best of the performances are impressive indeed: Björk (OK, so it isn't all nu-jazz and hip-hop) delivers a brilliant beatbox-accompanied performance on "Who Is It," Matthew Herbert's "Audience" is excellent as well, and the Roots' rendition of "Melting Pot" is a masterpiece, a triumph of high-energy, organic live hip-hop. Unfortunately, the highlights are outnumbered by such pedestrian fare as Beck's enervated "Round the Bend," Steve Reid and Four Tet's abstract and self-indulgent "Knives and Forks," and Cody Chestnut's egregiously nasty and lyrically ridiculous "The Seed." But rip the best ones to your iPod and you'll be grooving along happily for at least an hour.

Gilles Peterson Presents The BBC Sessions, Vol. 1 1 (flac   420mb)

01 Heritage Orchestra - Intro 0:21
02 The Heritage Orchestra - Telescopic 9:51
03 The Matthew Herbert Big Band - The Audience 6:07
04 Björk - Who Is It? (Carry My Joy On The Left, Carry My Pain On The Right) 3:46
05 Beck - Round The Bend 6:18
06 Roots Manuva - Dreamy Days 5:40
07 Peven Everett - Gabrielle (Words To Give By) 6:12
08 Spektrum - Kinda New 5:57
09 Beth Gibbons - Romance 5:11
10 Nitin Sawhney - Gilles Smiles 4:44
11 Plantlife - Why'd You Call Me? (3am) 7:15
12 Jazmine Sullivan - Braid Your Hair 4:25
13 Fat Freddy's Drop - This Room 5:51
14 NERD - Improvised Jam 7:35


Gilles Peterson Presents The BBC Sessions, Vol. 1 2 (flac   454mb)

01 The Roots - Meltin' Pot 3:01
02 Heavy - Unbelievable 3:24
03 Amp Fiddler - I'm Doin Fine 7:08
04 Zero 7 - This World 6:31
05 Bilal - Sometimes 7:16
06 Jade Fox - Grace Under Pressure 5:59
07 Dwele Feat. Roy Hargrove - Red Clay Revisited 6:14
08 NSM - Don't Say It 4:47
09 Roisin Murphy - Sow Into You 4:30
10 Homelife - Seedpod 5:19
11 Cody ChesnuTT - The Seed 4:06
12 Common - The Corner 4:06
13 Jamie Cullum - Frontin' 3:59
14 Kieran Hebden AKA Four Tet And Steve Reid - Knives And Forks 8:55

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Jan 24, 2019

RhoDeo 1903 Roots


Today's artist is one of Cuba’s most influential bands. Founded in 1973, they created a sound that mixed jazz, European traditional music, rock, funk with the rhythmic Cuban tradition, enriched with Afro-Cuban and electronic influences. Many of the best Cuban musicians have played in the band during the past decades. .......N'Joy

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Irakere (faux-Yoruba for 'forest' is a Cuban band founded by pianist Chucho Valdés (son of Bebo Valdés) in 1973. They won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Recording in 1980 with their album Irakere  They were a seminal musical laboratory, where historic innovations in both Afro-Cuban jazz and Cuban popular dance music were created. The group used a wide array of percussion instruments like batá, abakuá and arará drums, chequerés, erikundis, maracas, claves, cencerros, bongó, tumbadoras (congas), and güiro.

"Jazz bands" began forming in Cuba as early as the 1920s. These bands often included both Cuban popular music and popular North American jazz, and show tunes in their repertoires. Despite this musical versatility, the movement of blending Afro-Cuban rhythms with jazz was not strong in Cuba itself for decades. As Leonardo Acosta observes: "Afro-Cuban jazz developed simultaneously in New York and Havana, with the difference that in Cuba it was a silent and almost natural process, practically imperceptible" (2003: 59). Cuba's significant contribution to the genre came relatively late. However, when it did come, the Cubans exhibited a level of Cuban-jazz integration that went far beyond most of what had come before. The first Cuban band of this new wave was Irakere.

With Irakere, a new era in Cuban jazz begins in 1973, one that will extend all the way to the present. At the same time, this period represents the culmination of a series of individual and collective efforts from our so-called transition period, which will end with the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna. Irakere was in part a product of the Moderna, as its founding members completed their musical training in that orchestra and also played jazz in the different quartets and quintets that were created with the OCMM. Among the founders of Irakere were pianist Chucho Valdés, its director since the beginning; saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera, who acted as assistant director; trumpet player Jorge Varona; guitarist Carlos Emilio Morales; bassist Carlos del Puerto; drummer Bernardo García; and percussionist Oscar Valdés II, also a singer—Acosta.

That was a time where jazz music was a four-letter word in Cuba – literally! After many years of that thought, in 1967, they decided to create the Orquesta [Cubana de Música Moderna]. There were a lot of left wing people going to Cuba, attending congresses and visiting. So the government decided to create an image that jazz was not forbidden and that nothing was forbidden there. So they created the Orquesta to play American music – that is incredible. It was to create a different image than what they had created all those years. So they created the Orquesta. I directed the band for two years. . . . When I decided that I wanted to play only jazz in the Orquesta, then I got fired . . . . and after a while, the Orquesta ceased to achieve the function that it was created for and it disappeared—D'Rivera

Irakere, which was founded by members of the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna, has always been an eclectic band. From the beginning, the group showcased the scope of their uniquely Cuban music education: Afro-Cuban folkloric music, Cuban popular dance music, funk, jazz, and even classical music. The early years saw a lot of experimenting, with the mixing these different genres in original ways. From the vantage point of today, some of Irakere's early experiments sound awkward and don't mesh. On the other hand, some early experiments by the group were musical landmarks, that began entirely new traditions.
"Cubanized" bebop-flavored horn lines

"Chékere-son" (1976) for example, introduced a style of "Cubanized" bebop-flavored lines, that departed from the more "angular" guajeo-based lines typical of Cuban popular music. The horn line style introduced in "Chékere-son" is heard today in Afro-Cuban jazz, and the contemporary popular dance genre known as timba.

Another important Irakere contribution is their use of batá and other Afro-Cuban folkloric drums. "Bacalao con pan" is the first song recorded by Irakere to use batá. The tune combines the folkloric drums, jazzy dance music, and distorted electric guitar with wah-wah pedal. According to UC Irvine musicologist and Irakere expert Raúl A. Fernández, the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna members would not have been allowed by the orquesta to record the unconventional song. The musicians travelled to Santiago to record it. "somehow the tune made it from Santiago to radio stations in Havana where it became a hit; Irakere was formally organized a little bit later"

Ironically, several of the founding members did not always appreciate Irakere's fusion of jazz and Afro-Cuban elements. They saw the Cuban folk elements as a type of nationalistic "fig leaf," cover for their true love—jazz. They were obsessed with jazz. The fusing of Afro-Cuban elements with jazz in Irakere is a direct consequence of the poor relations between the Cuban and United States governments. Cuba's Ministry of Culture is said to have viewed jazz as the music of "imperialist America." Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval states: "We wanted to play bebop, but we were told that our drummer couldn’t even use cymbals, because they sounded 'too jazzy.' We eventually used congas and cowbells instead, and in the end, it helped us to come up with something new and creative" (2007: web).[8] Pablo Menéndez, founder of Mezcla, recalls: "Irakere were jazz musicians who played stuff like 'Bacalao con pan' with a bit of a tongue in cheek attitude—'for the masses.' I remember Paquito d'Rivera thought it was pretty funny stuff (as opposed to 'serious' stuff)" (2011: web).[9] In spite of the ambivalence by some members towards Irakere's Afro-Cuban folkloric/jazz fusion, their experiments forever changed Cuban popular music, Latin jazz, and salsa. As D'Rivera states: "We didn’t know that we were going to have such an impact in jazz and Latin music around the world. We were just working to do something good" (2011: web).[10]

In 1977 Irakere performed at two jazz festivals held in the "Eastern Bloc"—the Belgrade Jazz Festival and the Warsaw Jazz Jamboree. The group had the opportunity to play along with jazz artists Betty Carter, Mel Lewis and Thad Jones. That same year several jazz legends including Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, and Earl Hines travelled to Cuba on a "jazz cruise." This was the first time since the break in relations between Cuba and the United States that a group of jazz musicians from each country were able to play together. In Havana, members of Irakere had the good fortune to jam with Gillespie and Getz. Gillespie later told the press that he had fulfilled a long-standing wish to visit the island, homeland of his close friend and partner Chano Pozo. In 1980 Irakere appeared at both the Newport Jazz Festival in New York City and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Columbia Records edited an album of five tracks recorded at the two festivals. The LP was titled Irakere, and was released by both CBS Records and EGREM. The album had two sets of liner notes, one by the North American John Storm Roberts and the other by Cuban Leonardo Acosta. Irakere won a Grammy in 1979 for the best "Latin" music recording in the United States. Following this success, the band participated in the most important international jazz festivals. At the 1995 Afrocubanismo Festival at the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada, Irakere performed their piece "Xiomara" live on stage with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Changuito (!Afrocubanismo Live!).

In the 1980s Irakere recorded dance music, rhythmically akin to the contemporaneous style known as songo. This body of material can be seen as a type of bridge, connecting the songo era with the timba era which began in the early 1990s. One of the more popular Irakere dance tunes is "Rucu rucu a Santa Clara" (1985), written by José Luis Cortés "El Tosco," who would later found NG La Banda, and launch the timba movement. Trumpeter José Crego "El Greco," and saxophonists Carlos Averhoff and Germán Velazco, are heard playing the bop-like horn lines in this dance music. The three wind players would later go on to become part of NG La Banda's "metales de terror" horn section, the basic template for timba horns. Irakere continued recording dance pieces into the 1990s.

With Babalú Ayé (1997), the band fully embraced timba, the new genre which had directly resulted in part, from Irakere's innovations two decades earlier. The CD, which was nominated for a Grammy, features singer and timbales player José Miguel. In contrast to the impeccably executed dance music on the CD, Babalú Ayé also contains a long "bonus track"—"Babalú Ayé'," a loose folkloric/jazz experiment featuring the legendary lead vocalist Lazaro Ros. In 1997 Chucho Valdés left the group, and Chucho's son Chuchito took over the piano chair and the role of director between 1997 and 1999.

Irakere's jazz legacy

Paquito D'Rivera defected to the United States in 1980. Arturo Sandoval left the group a year later, and then defected to the United States in 1990. Both musicians have commented on the joy they felt, at being able to finally pursue jazz careers in the United States, and the honor of playing alongside their jazz heroes. As is typical of Cuban jazz musicians who defect to the U.S., their jazz playing fully matured when they moved to the country where jazz was born. As time went on, D'Rivera began looking back, and gained a deeper appreciation for the music of his first home. In 1994 he stated that he fell in love with Cuban music again on the shores of the Hudson River. Since he left Cuba, D'Rivera has recorded several albums with Cuban themes, including La Habana-Rio Conexión (1992), 40 Years of Cuban Jam Session (1994), Habanera Absolute Ensemble (1999), and Tropicana Nights (1999). Sandoval, who was once threatened with imprisonment by the Cuban government for listening to American jazz on the radio, has recorded albums of both straight-ahead jazz, and jazz with a strong Cuban influence. Chucho Valdés has also pursued a successful jazz career, recording for the prestigious Blue Note jazz label.

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The sudden breakout of Chucho Valdés as a solo artist in North America in 1998 was no doubt the leverage behind the new billing of his band, "Irakere featuring Chucho Valdés," and the large amount of exposure that his piano fireworks get here. The band sometimes doesn't sound all that electrified by the prospect, though ultimately they do take us on a wide-ranging tour of acoustic and electric Latin jazz idioms and grooves. "Mister Bruce" most emphatically features the leader, a tour de force for Valdes who unleashes a torrent of notes (not always coherently) over percussion, bass and drums. "Santa Amalia" is straight ahead Latin jazz with lots of Valdes, hot horn solos and a flourish of vocals at the close, yet for all of its 13 minutes, it doesn't totally ignite. "La Explosión," with quotes from "Love for Sale" near the end, presents a multi-sectioned serpent of funk, bop and mambo -- nothing really fused since the grooves appear in sections -- while "San Francisco" is a fine, barely updated Latin boogaloo. "Son Montuno," which also appears on Valdes' Bele Bele en la Habana solo album, is blown open by some rough rock guitar, the old freewheeling Irakere spirit at work. Though Yemayá has its big moments, Valdés seems to have saved his most heated inspirations of the late '90s for his own solo work.

Irakere - Yemaya    (flac  361mb)

01 Danza De Los Ñañigos 5:18
02 Chorriño 6:58
03 Yemayá 7:39
04 Mister Bruce 9:53
05 Santa Amalia 13:04
06 La Explosion 8:18
07 San Francisco 4:08

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2004 album of re-recorded hits taken from the Cuban jazz legends' over thirty years of music making. The songs cover a broad scope, as you might imagine: 70s ("100 Años De Juventud") and 80s ("Estrella Va A Estellar"); danceable fusion ("Juana 1600") and jazzy meditations ("Nothing Personal"). There's more of Morales on guitar than we'd heard in ages ("Bacalao Con Pan"); Velazco also returned for this album, and contributes his usual soprano stylings to "Zanaith." Impeccably arranged, performed and recorded. The album was produced by Chucho Valdes along with Cesar Lopez and Alexis Bosch and won the 2004 Cubadisco award for Best Jazz Album.

Irakere - 30 Años    (flac  309mb)

01 Juana 1600 8:25
02 Nothing Personal 6:28
03 Zanaith 5:28
04 Drume Negrita 3:56
05 100 Años De Juventud 6:12
06 Estella Va A Estallar 11:56
07 Changó 5:54
08 Bacalao Con Pan 5:29

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The Irakere Group was composed of Armando Cuervo (Percussion), Oscar Valdés (Vocal and Percussion), Jorge "el niño" Alfonso (Congas), Enrique Plá (Drums), Carlos del Puerto (Bass), Jorge Varona (Trumpet), Arturo  Sandoval (Trumpet), Carlos Averhoff (Saxo Tenor), Paquito D'Rivera (Alto Saxo) and Carlos Emilio Morales (Guitar).  His repertoires over the years have been a clear and defined combination of jazzy, experimental and danceable themes;  with elaborate arrangements that allow us to appreciate the virtuosity of the soloists and the quality of the compositions.  All of them are a mix that have made the presence of Irakere on stage a must-attend event in any world jazz event.

 The impressive sound of Irakere has impacted very diverse audiences, demonstrating in each presentation the physical and cultural stature of these men, where the maestro of the piano, Chucho Valdés, stands out in a singular way, that for his extraordinary contributions to the modern variants of the Jazz and  his quality as a pianist is considered the world leader of this musical genre.  In Irakere live the percussionists of Africa, but also the metals of Cuba and the keyboards of Valdés, a piano teacher, virtuoso in his instrument, and a true school of unquestionable musical quality.  Son of Bebo Valdés, Chucho has taken his musical heritage to the front of Irakere for the most demanding and varied scenarios of the entire world.

Irakere - Jazzcuba Vol 5    (flac  350mb)

01 Adagio Para Clarinete
02 Chekere Que Son
03 38 У Medio
04 En Nosotros
05 Juana 1600
06 Moja El Pan
07 Este Camino Largo
08 Xiomara Mayoral
09 Iya
10 Summertime

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The album Cuba Libre was originally released in 1980 as exclusive Japanese vinyl LP and composed, arranged and produced by Japanese musician Chikara Ueda.  To prevent this unique album from the Cuban band Iraqi from falling into oblivion, Joe Davis of Far Out Recordings has conjured Cuba Libre from the dusty record archives and re-released it with great enthusiasm.

 With almost the complete original line-up, including Chucho and Oscar Valdes, Arturo Sandoval and Jorge Alfonso, the multiple Grammy-laden band on this album shows why they are seen as one of Cuba's most influential bands.  Irakere was founded in 1973 by a group of talented young musicians.  The band combined the Cuban rousing rhythms with the free expression of American jazz and created a new music movement in Cuba.  Chucho Valdes, Arturo Sandoval and Paquito D'Rivera (on this album replaced by German Valazco Vrdeliz) have all become very successful in the United States and Iraqi has always been leading for the new Cuban class of musicians.

The fun of playing really falls off from Cuba Libre.  The title song Cuba Libre clearly forms the excellent foundation of the album.  The song gives the go-ahead for forty minutes of Latin jazz on the top shelf and the reprise finishes the album nicely.  In between, Iraqi old-fashioned is well under way with powerful brass work in Gospelanza, is there room for relaxation in the sunny sounding and dreamy Sea Mail, is jubilant in the swinging Encuentro and is it carefully constructed and melodic Que Pasa?  for a good balance between quiet and up-tempo numbers.

Irakere - Cuba Libre    (flac  265mb)

01 Cuba Libre 12:53
02 Sea Mail 6:55
03 Encuentro 7:37
04 Que Pasa? 5:26
05 Gospelanza 6:00
06 Cuba Libre (Reprise) 1:07

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