Mar 31, 2019

Sundaze 1913

Hello, it's that time of the year again the clock spontaneously jumps an hour and today it's into the future. Some people complained about it and the EU felt like listening to the people and decided this madness must stop, countries need to decide now how far into the future they want to live. Seriously its between dark winter mornings or long summer evenings, no contest one would think but then the agro lobby started to scream and as everybody knows that means the EU listens, more importantly it's what Germany decides, most European countries will want to sync with the economic motor of the continent and they will listen to the experts, that will be wintertime then, besides summernights after dark, who wants to wait an extra hour for that-not me. Anyway France , Spain and the Lowlands belong to the GMT but have offset their solar time to central european time which you guessed it in extra long evening summer light the brits would have joined if not for the fact that during empire days, zero hour belonged to the UK, there was plenty of resistance to that the best idea was to have the zero line through the Pyramid of Gizeh which would be a perfect way to honor that marvelous world wonder, but alas lack of imagination of snobby britain and their economic power forced it to be set on a meaningless hill in Greenwich. Now that the Brits want less to do with Europe, the EU should start a movement to take away this prestigious zero line and have the zero time set on the Great pyramid, after all the UK no longer rules the world, although there are many Brexitears that believe they can reverse time and they hate everyone that tells differently.

Today's artists are an UK collective which is a strong contender for the ultimate cult electronic band. Anonymous, uncompromising, wryly humorous and famously fond of weird album packaging, the band has grown a loyal and obsessive fan base since the original lineup of Ben Ponton, Peter Jensen and Robin Storey made their recorded debut in 1982...  ......N-Joy

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.Most prolific in 1980's and 90's, the band's discography presents an original, experimental lo-fi concoction of electronics, found sounds, assorted acoustic instruments, vocal samples, tape effects, industrial clatter and all kinds of location recordings. Sometimes it sounds like a hybrid of experimental electronics and Third World music. At others times it's almost pure industrial, forged with metallic drones and mechanical noise, as cold as stone. It's ambient music, of a kind, though some of it is too abrasive and/or energetic to really be considered as such. Zoviet France's music certainly demands much of the listener, but with listener effort comes reward. If you're intrigued, here are some suggested releases to begin exploring.

The early classic Popular Soviet Songs and Youth Music (1985) sounds - unsurprisingly - nothing like its absurd title suggests. The sprawling 3CD set is a fascinating and strangely seductive exercise in ambient noise and atmospheres with traces of melody and tonality. The sheer variety on offer is the album's greatest strength. "Decoy" resembles early German psychedelic spacemusic, its surreal beauty unanchored by beats or recognisable harmony. "Sidi" is an indescribable concoction of found sounds and fluttering bells. "Sein" is a nocturnal sound painting fashioned with eerie drones and watery effects. It's a good album for newcomers; the short track lengths mean even the most demanding moments don't last too long.

The Soviet Songs album is a Zoviet France template of sorts; many of the band's subsequent albums echo parts of it, or emphasise and further explore a certain element.

The intoxicating Loh Land (1987) and Just An Illusion (1990), for example, both have a deeply tribal current. Zither and flute melodies, exotic poly-rhythms and assorted Arabic vocal samples are electronically manipulated and woven among the grimy atmospheres and metallic rings. These albums are dark, often surreal and strangely cinematic, with definite echoes of prolific British artist Muslimgauze.

The excellent 90's releases What Is Not True (1993) and Digilogue (1996) emphasise another element: drone music, this time explored over longer distances. The 60-minute "Cyclonic Sub Alien" from the former album is a remarkable track best heard at volume in a darkened room. It flirts with muted percussion, harmonic throat singing, sustained bell tones and bright metallic washes of sound, before finally melting into a lovely harmonic drone - the last being somewhat atypical for the band, but making for a highly effective conclusion.

The band continues today, although Ben Ponton is the only remaining member of the original lineup. Some hardcore Zoviet France fans much prefer the music being released by The Reformed Faction, a group formed in 2006 by ex-members Andy Eardley, Mark Spybey and Robin Storey.

and when there's not that much to go on a good interview will do.

Interview with Ben of Soviet France, by and (C) Brian Duguid, Grand National Day, 6/4/91, shortly before the group toured North America.

Like Nocturnal Emissions, Soviet France have become a cult band. With a reputation for obscurity that would put many others to shame, they've been quietly producing their own distinctive blend of industrial sound collage throughout the last decade. Noisy and primitive material has gradually given way to, well, noisy and sophisticated material. Some of the abstract music they are now creating is minimal, ambient, unintrusive, some of it is loud and disconcerting, but it all manages to define a sonic space very much of their own. The traditions are clearly visible, both the admitted academic and rock-born sound collagists of the sixties and seventies, but Soviet France's music is distinguished by its very personal quality. A pop analogue might be The Blue Nile, who combine discordance with harmony in a wonderfully serene music that has few easy landmarks to refer to in the rest of its musical terrain.

Again like the Emissions, they started life roughly a decade ago, in the fallout from the innovative European music of the 70s and punk, and in the heyday of "industrial" music.

"None of us had any real musical background, we just decided to be in bands. Without any outside influence we very quickly decided we wanted a band that completely ignored conventional approaches to music, including the minimal amount of training we had ourselves."

Of course, at the end of the seventies everyone was forming bands (didn't you? OK, neither did I. Maybe not everyone.) But most of them seemed to find their favourite three chord thrash, get stuck there, and give up within a year or two to become accountants. Maybe it all just lies in the previous influences. Soviet France's are not that surprising when you come to listen to their music.

"We were into all the more familiar stuff, like Can, and Neu, and early Kraftwerk, all the German bands. A lot of classical stuff as well like Stockhausen, and Pierre Boulez, and Luciano Berio. It was the stuff that I personally, and I think this goes for the other members of the group, had more of an instinct for. We felt closer to it than conventional commercial music. At the same time we've got very catholic tastes, we listen to all kinds of music. We're just as much into Motorhead as we are into Stockhausen. I think the common factor in all of it is an element of noise really. Noise is a non-musical sound format, which you find in Motorhead just as much as you do in Stockhausen."

So that's the influences out of the way. But there is more to the music of Soviet France than just genre or stylistic considerations.

"I think we were searching for something else within music, something that meant a lot more to us personally than you would get being in a conventional band really. Most conventional bands are performers. They try to supply something as entertainment to an audience. We weren't interested in that at all. We were interested in a lot of the power within music for creating states of mind. and revealing parts of your own personality to yourself. Also as an avenue or a medium for accessing some of the more primitive instincts and subconscious: stuff that goes on in everybody's heads, but most people don't have an outlet for."

Soviet France certainly go some way to following up that avenue. It's generally a cyclic, abstract music, looping and shifting textures of noise around to create a soundscape that certainly doesn't exist anywhere else in this world. It's lack of obvious connections to any conventional instrumentation or sometimes any other recognisable sounds can make it sound alien and unwelcome. On the other hand, sometimes there are recognisable fragments swimming through the music, brief snatches of voice, or perhaps something else that sounds familiar but rarely identifiable. This side of the mix will inevitable trigger instinctive associations in the mind of the listener, helping to personalise it and drawing them in. It's repetitive nature is highly entrancing, very hypnotic. Although Soviet France feel their music is a highly personal expression, there is quite a lot there to attract others to it.

"We produce music all the time. The figure we always quote, and it still holds true, is that what we've actually released to the world is about 5% of what we've actually recorded. We record everything we do. Making music is an end in itself to us. We make music just because we like doing it. We have a huge archive of unreleased material. When we come to release something, on CD or whatever, the reasons for choosing that particular material is that it seems more important musically to us than anything else we have lying around at the time ...

"Making music is what I like doing more than any other serious intellectual or physical activity that I'm involved in. Anything else is subsidiary and secondary to it. I'm really into the music. We're fortunate in a way, in that because part of the way that we produce the music is to enter into a sort of altered state of consciousness, without trying to sound too pretentious. We just switch off all conscious sensory perceptions, and we start making the music. Once we've finished and we've come out of that it's very exhausting for a start, and you always feel immediately afterwards that what we've produced is a load of rubbish. Maybe two days later we listen back to it. Because we're listening to it in a different state of consciousness, it's like listening to somebody else's music. I find myself totally addicted to it. It's music I like listening to over and above any other kind of music. We're fortunate in that we can both the producers of the music and in turn the audience, without being too critical or feeling so involved in it that we are unable to listen to our music in the way that many musicians are. Having said that, we always have this problem in that actually releasing something exorcises these kinds of feelings. In many ways, to release a piece of our music really is giving something of ourselves away to people. The process of getting that music into a state where it can be released on CD or vinyl or whatever means that we have to listen to it in such a close and detailed way, through the production processes, that we take it apart. It loses all the previous relevance that it had for ourselves. I've never had any children, but the closest thing I can imagine to it is like losing a child ... it's really taking something away from us."

Regardless of the attachment that the group may have to their own music, or the feelings it can generate in open-minded listeners, its actual production comes down to what may seem like a very mundane process. Most of what the group do is improvised, and then edited to impose a coherent structure upon it. Because it isn't actually composed, it's arguable whether it's ever likely to produce a single masterpiece. Also, it means that the music is to a large extent irrepeatable. Some of the sounds and developments used in it can be reused and repeated, but because of the improvisation always involved, it can never be the same twice. Because this means there is such a huge quantity of Soviet France music, and such a seemingly huge quantity of potential music still to come, it makes brief excerpts (like albums) seem somehow less important. In conventional musical thought, if there is so much of something, then it can't really be worth anything - it's only the rarities, the one-offs, the composed masterpieces that can ever achieve true musical magnificence. This has an element of truth in it, but it ignores the fact that there is more to music than just its function as a series of works of art. Because there is so much of it, Soviet France's music achieves a far more mundane but far more significant result. It integrates itself into life more, becomes more closely entwined with the people who produce it. Compositional master-works may shine as artistic beacons of light, but they shine all too rarely, whereas Soviet France's music is a part of their day-to-day life, and with them whenever they want.

For us poor schmucks who only buy the stuff, it can never form such an important place in our life. It's someone else's personal expression, not ours. We can only get some sort of intellectual or emotional resonance in bite-sized chunks. But that's hardly the point. The point is that what Soviet France do anyone can do: if music really can have intuitive, subconscious application, and if only music that someone produces themself is ever really going to give them the meaning that they need, then surely they should get out their and do exactly what Soviet France have done. The production process can be as mystical or as mundane as anyone wants:

"About 90% of our material is generated from acoustic sound sources. We've quite a collection between us of ethnic musical instruments, instruments that we built ourselves, or objects that we use as sound sources. That's always the starting point. We set up a few mikes around the place, wherever we decide to make the recording. We have these boxfuls of acoustic instruments, and we just improvise there on the spot. We generate about two to three hours worth of material, and then post produce it. We mix what we've got, reprocess it, and complete a finished set of recordings which maybe one day will get released. In a way, there's two very apposite sides to the production. We start by making very live recordings, very acoustic recordings. Then we process those in a very artificial way to produce what finally becomes the music."

At the time of this interview, the group had performed live less than a dozen times. Immediately afterwards they toured North America, taking in over thirty venues. Their most recent performance was due to be as part of the Eurobeat Avant-Garde event in London in October, which amongst others was due to feature Nocturnal Emissions, Konstruktivists and Morphogenesis. (This event was later cancelled). Performance is a slightly different matter to the production of a studio recording:

"The only difference is in the editing. Live performance is a continuous sort of musical production, almost identical to the way that we produce music for a recording. The only difference being that we maybe cut out and reprocess some of the stuff on its way into a recording ... In fact, although it seems quite far removed from what people hear in the releases that we make, it's still Soviet France music and very recognisable as such."

Throughout their history, Soviet France have frequently been lumped in with any number of other "industrial" or post-industrial groups, from Throbbing Gristle onwards. Having initially attached themselves to the label Red Rhino, they quickly became the label's token "weird" group, producing esoteric and obscure music that was sure to find its own cult audience but probably not get much further. It's only natural that they achieved some recognition as part of the "lunatic" fringe of the burgeoning indie music scene.

"We never felt we were in the industrial tradition which was very much the contemporary movement from which we sprang. It was round about that time where everybody seems to have arrived at the same point and started lots of things, like Nocturnal Emissions, and what Throbbing Gristle were doing, and Test Dept's early days, and everybody else ... 23 Skidoo. We were aware of what everyone else was doing, but because we were in Newcastle which is quite a cultural island in itself, we didn't feel any bonding to that at all, we didn't feel any attachment to it. We saw ourselves as very isolated and very much out on a limb. It didn't worry us, we were quite happy in that situation, quite happy to continue fiddling about with the ideas we had. We didn't feel that we had to conform to any kind of preconceptions about what we were doing at all ...

"I think there seems to have been a particular generation of people who arrived at a particular point in their own minds, post-sixties, post-early seventies, with a lot of twentieth century musical history behind them, going back to Dada and a lot of early ideas about how sound and noise could become music. It seemed to coalesce, particularly after punk. Punk was quite significant in that it opened up in a lot of people's minds a crucial idea, which was that you can obtain the means of production, and you can make your own music, and you can make it available to the general population quite easily. That also coincided with a general upgrading in technology, like the synthesiser and cassette recording technology. People realised very quickly that they could make what the fuck they like as music, call it music, and be able to spread it around and distribute it. And people would be interested in that."

I don't want to keep on mentioning our friends Nocturnal Emissions, after all they had their own interview last issue, but yet another similarity between the two groups lies in their development throughout the eighties, which parallelled the progression of various other post-industrial groups from harsh to softer noise. What was at first noisy and abrasive gradually matured into a more sophisticated sound. In Soviet France's case, the harsher cyclic music of their early albums made way for something that was smoother, easier to listen to, and as a result probably more effective in its ability to worm its way into the listener's subconscious. Part of the reason for the development is a purely technical one, a growing appreciation of how to use their instruments and recording technology. An additional reason, like N.E., was a growing appreciation that although noise had functioned well to wake people up at one point, it rapidly became a self-defeating pursuit, one that provoked a response and then left the listener hanging in mid-air. With the ability to produce something with less rough edges, it also resulted in a music that was more positive in feeling, less of a reaction and more of a contribution.

"The first two releases, they're musically very naive. We still make them available. We haven't disowned them and don't regard them as irrelevant. But compared to what we're doing now they're almost childish in their approach. It was a very important period of development, which is why we haven't disavowed them. We had to deal with that then to come to where we are now. If anything, anybody who has reviewed our music over the last ten years, the thing that would strike them is that we've probably become a lot softer in our musical approach. It's no more accessible now, in fact it's probably even less accessible than it was in the early days ...

"If you've been doing music for ten years, you do become more sophisticated, both in terms of your practical approach to making the music, and also in the ideas which you use to inform the music. In the early days the whole idea was to be confrontational. To borrow a phrase from Test Dept, it was a kind of 'shock therapy'. You use noise and extremes of noise to shock people into a new way of perceiving things, a new state of mind.

"The impact that the first Throbbing Gristle LP had on me was way beyond anything I'd ever heard. It was complementing something that I knew I had within me anyway, and at the same time it was like 'fucking hell, there's people actually doing this kind of stuff'. I know that we've had that kind of impact on other people as well. Some of the feedback we get, with people writing letters to us, it's very obvious that when people first come to Soviet France they find something, both within themselves, and at the same time so new to them that it does shock them into a new idea about music altogether."

One other thing about the band grew less extreme as the years passed, although for different reasons. At the outset, the group developed a fetishistic passion for unusual packaging for their releases, with early albums coming out in a hessian sack and packaged in roofing felt. Commercial restraints, and the amount of simple hard work that unusual packaging demands, have diminished this impulse as time has gone on. An album like Look Into Me sits in a perfectly normal CD or LP sleeve. However, Just an Illusion, released by Staalplaat, keeps up the packaging reputation by being a CD coming in a little hardwood box, with indented printing on the outside. There's more to this than just a desire to maintain some form of notoriety, of course. These products really are something special. My enjoyment of Just an Illusion was definitely enhanced by its presentation: by making the album something special, something outside the run-of-the-mill plastic CD boxes which currently fill one of my drawers, I was always going to pay closer attention to what it contains. It becomes a fetish, a unique object invested with spiritual significance, rather than just one among the many, and the effort is definitely appreciated. The band have managed to keep their visibility as individuals at a minimum level. This is, of course, an old trick by individuals anxious to either avoid or exploit the pop industry's obsession with saleable images. The Residents achieved notoriety throughout the seventies (and boredom thereafter) by refusing to allow their individual identities to become known. Test Dept, trying to present themselves as a collective unit in order to reflect their political beliefs have acted in a similar way. The band's name is known but the individuals forming it are rarely singled out for attention. Soviet France, aware of how the industry operates and trying to avoid its less pleasant tendencies, have also kept their individual identities out of the picture as far as the music is concerned, while remaining perfectly accessible to those who bother to contact them.

"We realised early on that one of the biggest favours we could do ourselves was in not creating any kind of image or allowing any kind of image to be created for us. That's the reason why we don't include any names of personnel on the records. It's not secrecy, and it's not a deliberate marketing ploy like the Residents use. Anybody who really wants to can find out who we are and talk to us personally, like you're doing. But we cottoned on really quickly to the idea of the cult of personality, and realised that it was a fundamental means of control used in the music industry, and so we deliberately set our faces against that. We set about creating a complete antithesis to it. We've never allowed photographs of ourselves to be published, or haven't until now anyway, and we've never really identified ourselves as personalities at all."

Just in case all the above makes the group seem a bit po-faced, it's worth pointing out that the music of Soviet France can actually be funny too. It's hardly laugh-out-loud stuff, but the loops and snippets of recycled sound material frequently have a playfulness to them that can be quite readily spotted.

"People do recognise the humour sometimes, maybe not as often as they should. Particularly with the early releases there was a lot of self-effacing humour, and cynical and critical humour as well. Cynical humour about the industrial movement, cynical humour about the political state of the world or this country. There was a lot of musical humour as well. We have a good laugh making it and we think other people should have a good laugh listening to it as well, if they can work out what the jokes are!"

Although the group admits to no long term plans, a whole series of short-term ones exist. A compilation CD is being compiled for release through Mute subsidiary The Grey Area; a recording of their live performance from Vienna in 1990 is being released by their own label Charrm, entitled simply Vienna Live; and Canadian label DOVentertainment (whose The Death of Vinyl compilation CD they contributed to) are releasing their latest proper album, Shadow: Thief of the Sun.

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What we have here are an arsenal of hand made instruments, mostly stringed and percussive in nature, that are squashed through various delay and echo filter machines, creating an otherworldly, timeless and overwhelming creepy atmosphere.

Zoviet France are classed as Industrial Ambient, where in later years they become more 'Drone' and electronic. After the smooth opening, alien sounding 'Smocking Erde' there's some very weirdly plucked chinese sounding strings on 'Palace Of Ignitions'. This is followed by massive echo used on bizarre twanged oddities that pulsate and mutate over almost 9 minutes and is basically a continuation of 'Smocking Erde' only much fuller and denser in direction. 'Revenue of Fire' is more 'traditional' Zoviet France with that minimal tribal percussion feel that they used to be most well known for. A lot of the instruments sound ethnic in nature and it's not until they're forced through various effect units that they lose any sense of definition.The next few short tracks sounds pretty much like scenes from 'Aguirre Wrath of God' as Klaus Kinski goes stir crazy on that raft in the Amazon. Funny pipes are blown and all the while loops and indescribable drones rummage and grumble from ear to ear. The music gets stranger by the minute with a repetitive speeded loop of a high pitched voice on 'Carole the Breedbate' which is guaranteed to leave you disorientated. (Don't ask where they got those title names - Your guess is as good as mine).

More airy organic flesh pipes of extraterrestrial origin have wind blown through them reminding me of HP Lovecrafts 'At the Mountains of Madness' where that creature chases humans through a labyrinth of ice tunnels. Here we finally reach the two centre pieces of this 1987 recording which was their 4th album of this, their most prolific year. 'Shamany Enfluence' clocks in at a whopping 21 minutes. Here things sound much more laid back where space between notes is used beautifully throughout. Extreme delay is used on what sounds like someone blowing through a car exhaust pipe with pursed lips while 'almost' keyboard sounding walls of tone are stretched and manipulated in the background. Vaguely sounding like what's gone before, but pulled together in the most artistic of manner. 'Shouting at the Ground' showed a dramatic improvement in sound quality and production from their earlier albums - all of which, by the way, are excellent in their own right.

Zoviet France - Shouting At The Ground ( 320mb)

01 Smocking Erde 2:53
02 Palace Of Ignitions 2:13
03 Come To The Edge 8:48
04 Revenue Of Fire 2:06
05 Dybbuk 1:25
06 Camino Real 1:50
07 Stocc Blawers 2:21
08 Fickle Whistle, Hand Over Your Ears 3:30
09 Carole The Breedbate 1:51
10 Marrch Dynamic 2:47
11 Wind Thief 1:31
12 Shamany Enfluence 20:55
13 The Death Of Trees 15:06

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Presented in a spectacular wooden cigar box, 'Just An Illusion' is a box I would never dream of putting a cigar in. It's too precious to me. 'Just An Illusion' Is a conglomeration of 'Musique Concrete' and Ambient music. It's much softer but still as weird as any of Zoviet France's previous recordings. Playful, Sprightly oriental strings and ethnic vocals appear on 'Lief Lulla' which sounds like it could originate anywhere from Helsinki to Vladivostok. Being heavily mixed through a delay filter makes this all the more difficult to comprehend. The American spoken vocal 'But Is it all just an illusion' is almost the only vocal you'll hear on this entire album. It's also used in ''Nachtmaal' - a track that sounds like a scene from the David Lynch film 'Eraserhead' - where an unimaginably stretched out vocal pours over an outstretched drone.

Pottery clay work and wooden objects pitter patter as extremely unusual strings play in the track 'Wood Stock'. This is a hypnotic tune that segues into the even more dreamy 'Nature But Not', with it's odd twangy thrumming and quietly industrial pumps and squeaks. The beautiful 'Ascend A Fall' follows with echoed chiming metal bars immersed in very pretty filtered vocals. Undoubtedly the best tune on the album, it spans over 7 minutes. Every second is bliss to my ears. It's so beautifully slow and unaware of time, where everything is stripped to an absolute minimum, as gorgeous horn like objects recite a tune while fluttering percussion occasionally passes by. Easily one of Zoviet France's most memorable tracks. Fans of Harold Budd and Eno will love this. The more repetitive 'Caught in a Square' revolves and mutates around a single chord that sweeps and morphs in a dizzying manner from ear to ear. It lifts imperceptibility to an altogether higher plane of ghostliness as curious twangs, throbs and ululating male vocals are threshed through God knows what effect units. It leaves you with a completely alien sounding medley of circular devolving loops that deteriorate into a thing of beauty with 3 minutes to go during this 14 minute track. Clearly Zoviet France had no idea of pace or tune. Everything was allowed to develop at it's own unearthly pace. It all sounds so natural and beautiful. Where every chime and pulse is where it's meant to be.

Sounds from the Pittsburgh steelworks follow where looped metal and whines are delicately played in a very pretty track named 'Swelled Out Downward'. An industrial recording with a difference in that it's very clearly recorded and is easy on the ears. Larger percussive loops which are deliberately out of synch bring forth a more doom laden atmosphere in 'Signing Papal Briefs'. Replete with haunting high pitched vocals. This is sure to give any listener shivers up the spine. It's very David Lynch ' Twin Peaks' - style, where, sickening grumbles and backwards slabs of noise and vocals pulse. This ever threatening track continues for 5 minutes. Plucked home-made strings and horns that defy description play around in 'Mute Moon'. This sounds as much 'Cherokee' Indian as it does 'Aborigine Australian'. Two short bizarre tracks are tagged on at the end. Both are excellent, one is instrumental and the other is an ethnic sounding Red Indian chant where seriously damaged vocals are repeated with huge echo to fade.

Zoviet France - Just An Illusion ( 291mb)

01 Lief Lulla 3:03
02 Nachtmaal 3:52
03 Wood-Shock 2:54
04 Nature But Not 4:01
05 Obscurity On The Line 2:05
06 Ascend A Fall 7:15
07 Caught In The Square 14:44
08 Rays Parallel 4:24
09 Swelled Out Downward 4:08
10 Signing Papal Briefs 4:40
11 Is It? 5:52
12 Mute Moon 4:12
13 Suspicious Stare 1:11
14 Lief Kirn 2:26

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Released just before a four-year layoff, Shadow, Thief of the Sun is both one of :zoviet*france:'s better releases as well as one of its rarer albums (the label it was on, Death of Vinyl, had limited distribution and eventually went out of business). While :zoviet*france: often wanders out into fairly random soundscapes, most of the material here is grounded by a drone of some sort, with atmospheric chanting and other instrumentation designed to complement the drone. The drones aren't particularly heavy-handed, and sometimes it even threatens to float away altogether, as on the 20-minute-plus "Come Infinite," which knits together the delicate threads of scattered percussion and woodwinds. About the hardest edge here is the percussion-heavy "Cahi-Yn-Yan," but even that percussion has so much echo that it seems almost gentle, too. It's not as if stuff like this hasn't been done before -- indeed, in places it's very reminiscent of early Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream. About the only real complaint that you could aim against Shadow, Thief of the Sun is that it runs over an hour, thanks to the many lengthy tracks here, but for those who love industrial drones, that just means there's that much more material to submerge yourself into. Definitely recommended.

Zoviet France - Shadow, Thief of the Sun ( 283mb)

01 The Silver Gate 1:03
02 In My Secrecy I Was Real 8:14
03 Feel The Warmth 3:48
04 This Moment Obscure 8:06
05 A Democratic Smirk 3:05
06 Come Infinite 20:46
07 Thin Air 8:15
08 Cahl-Yn-Yan 5:35
09 Static Fields 7:08
10 Ciels Ténébreuse 5:01

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Many ardent fans of the earlier :z*f: releases will claim the group sold out when they made the switch from recording their work on analogue to digital, they felt that the charm in the music lay in the decay of the formats in which they were presented, showing how finite and corruptible the medium and indeed the music was. I understand the reasoning because analogue is inherently as flawed as digital, but when digital is corrupted it is not appealing or as interesting to listen too. Thus the theme of the album comes into play: Two worlds colliding and melting into one another. Digilogue is a set of extremely dark and somewhat convoluted minimalism , the combinations of experimental and conventional sounds create massive clouds of sinister atmospheres. The layered textures increase the tensions of exotic darkness. This music is definitely exotic and definitely erotic -- not pleasantly but disturbingly. The sinister timbres are seductive and jarring. It is a shocking sample of an alternate reality. This album will appeal to fans of Darkroom, Lustmord, Lászlo Hortobágyi, and Jeff Greinke. Even though it is disturbing, it is
an excellent disc.

Zoviet France - Digilogue ( 329mb)

01 Alchemagenta 14:07
02 Haze Polder 10:36
03 Soft Helion 5:44
04 Another Soft Helion 8:09
05 Angel's Pin Number 6:07
06 Carbon 1:44
07 Amber 6:34
08 Init 14:46

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Mar 29, 2019

RhoDeo 1912 Grooves


Today's Artists are an American funk and soul band signed to Daptone Records. They are part of a revivalist movement recreating mid-1960s to mid-1970s style funk and soul music. However this isn't just an imitation of the real thing. This IS the real thing! It's vital, it's passionate, and above all it's thoroughly contemporary. ... N Joy

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 By the sound of them, you would have thought Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings started making funk-threaded soul music together in the 1960s. Few devotedly retro acts were as convincing. Few singers as skilled as Sharon Jones at stuffing notes with ache and meaning would be willing to invest in a sound so fully occupied by the likes of Bettye LaVette and Tina Turner in the Ike years, too. But what Jones brought to the funkified table had legs of its own -- eight of them, to be exact -- and they belonged to Binky Griptite, Bugaloo Velez, Homer Steinweiss, and Dave Guy -- her Dap-Kings.

Jones, like James Brown, was born in Augusta, Georgia; there she sang in her church choir, and from fellow parishioners picked up the kind of back-patting she needed to convince her to go mainstream. As a teenager, she moved with her family to Brooklyn, where she immersed herself in 1970s disco and funk with an eye toward cutting a record of her own. Instead, studios came calling and with them steady work -- by her twenties, Jones was turning in backup vocals for gospel, soul, disco, and blues artists, most of it uncredited. In the '80s, however, Jones' sound was deemed unfashionable, and instead of pushing ahead with her soul diva's dream she went back to church singing. She also took a job as a corrections officer at New York's Rikers Island.

It wouldn't be until 1996 that Desco Records would rediscover Jones' sweat-basted, lived-in talent. With that label's house band, the Soul Providers, Jones released several singles in the late '90s; their warmth and genuineness propelled the act across the Atlantic, and Jones picked up a moniker -- the queen of funk -- that stuck. Jones released her first full-length with the Dap-Kings, Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, after signing with Daptone Records in 2002. Years of touring behind it, as well as cutting singles with other artists (including Greyboy) ensued. In 2005, Jones re-teamed with the Dap-Kings for the winking groovefest that is Naturally, following it up two years later with 100 Days, 100 Nights. Jones also had a bit part in The Great Debaters as the singer Lila. A new studio effort, I Learned the Hard Way, appeared in 2010.

In 2013, Jones revealed that she had been diagnosed with cancer -- initially in the bile ducts, and later stage two pancreatic cancer -- but she continued to perform as often as her therapy schedule would permit, sometimes appearing on-stage with a bald head after chemotherapy caused her hair to fall out. In late 2013, Jones was well enough to complete work on the next Dap-Kings album, and Give the People What They Want appeared in 2014. Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple premiered a film about the vocalist, Miss Sharon Jones!, at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival; Jones was in attendance for the debut screening, and revealed that her cancer had returned but defiantly added, "I'm gonna keep fighting, we got a long way to go." Fittingly, the determined Jones and the Dap-Kings returned in October 2015 with a collection of Christmas and Hanukkah tunes titled It's a Holiday Soul Party. As the film Miss Sharon Jones! was poised to go into theatrical release, in August 2016 Daptone Records released an original soundtrack album. The Miss Sharon Jones! album featured a selection of Jones' most memorable performances along with a new track, the autobiographical "I'm Still Here." Sadly, however, she would lose her valiant battle with cancer, which took her life, at age 60, in November of that year. Shortly before her death, Jones completed vocals for a final album with the Dap-Kings. That album, Soul of a Woman, was released in November 2017, a year after her death. No specific announcement has been made regarding the band's future; however, The Dap-Kings have subsequently performed at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in 2017.

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Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings have developed an international reputation as the No. 1 group on today's- soulscene.- Soul- Time! is an exploration of the full range of their dynamic sound through twelve songs hand picked by the Daptone Records gang, each one a precious exclusive. From the first note to the last,- Soul- Time! confirms- this band's place at the head of the table as the world's greatest funk and- soul- showband. Whether you're a lifetime fan, or just getting turned on, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings have yet again made a record that will blow your mind. Soul Time!, their fifth album collects tracks that previously only appeared during the group’s famously awe-inspiring live shows, and that should tell you something. What we’ve got here are Sharon Jones, a woman born perhaps a generation late, and the Dap-Kings, led by Boscoe Mann and sought after to back anyone looking to get funky (including the late, great Amy Winehouse), turning in a collection of crowd-pleasers in fine form. It could be argued that Soul Time! itself is nothing new within the Dap-Kings catalogue, made up as it is of old tunes (Longer And Stronger, for instance, was written to celebrate Jones’s 50th birthday in 2006), but these favourite oldies are collected here for the first time, and that’s really something. Album closer Inspiration Information (a Shuggie Otis cover) accomplishes something more soulful and genuine than any autotuned, computerised R&B performer working today could even dream of handling; there are no loops and very little in the way of a safety net. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings are the real deal, and they’re still exemplary torchbearers even as the soul revival seems to be winding down.

 Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Soul Time ! .. (flac   260mb)

01 Genuine Pt. 1 3:58
02 Genuine Pt. 2 3:04
03 Longer And Stronger 3:40
04 He Said I Can 2:49
05 I'm Not Gonna Cry 3:24
06 When I Come Home 2:54
07 What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes? 4:40
08 Settling In 2:48
09 Ain't No Chimneys In The Projects 2:21
10 New Shoes 2:16
11 Without A Trace 3:51
12 Inspiration Information 4:21

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Soul Time ! .. (ogg    92mb)

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Slowly rising to power over the course of sporadically released albums and years of touring, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings grew into one of the most rock-solid conglomerates of classic soul revivalism, making it look easy as they turned in increasingly exciting albums. With a fifth album of new studio material, Give the People What They Want, Jones and company are in top form, delivering a collection of classic Northern soul, deep funk groovers, and heartstring-tugging balladry. Tracks like "Now I See" and the burning album opener "Retreat!" slink along with a creeping shuffle reminiscent of the more cracked Supremes hits, while the greasy tremolo guitar and handclap-heavy beat of "Long Time, Wrong Time" call on a more swampy Southern soul influence. Jones' voice is the true star of the show, as usual, soaring and coasting with complete command and never sacrificing any character or nuance for the sake of sounding more like any of her '60s reference points. While Give the People What They Want is somewhat brief by 2014 standards, clocking in at just over half an hour, if it had been released in 1966, it would be regarded as a picture of soul perfection. Jones and her band manage to touch on everything from early-'60s horn-heavy dance-craze soul sounds to the slightly psychedelic flutter of the sublime lazy Sunday ballad "Making Up and Breaking Up (And Making Up and Breaking Up Over Again)." These ten songs sound almost designed to be played on repeat, and keep with the always colorful and ecstatically fun sound audiences have come to expect from one of the best acts going in retrofitted classic soul. In December 2014, the band was nominated for a Grammy, in the category Best R&B Album of the Year for Give the People What They Want. Yeah

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Give The People What They Want (flac   217mb)

01 Retreat! 3:32
02 Stranger To My Happiness 3:31
03 We Get Along 3:03
04 You'll Be Lonely 3:45
05 Now I See 3:11
06 Making Up And Breaking Up (And Making Up And Breaking Up Over Again) 2:24
07 Get Up And Get Out 3:27
08 Long Time, Wrong Time 3:22
09 People Don't Get What They Deserve 3:25
10 Slow Down, Love 4:03

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R&B siren Sharon Jones and her band the Dap-Kings are ready to help you throw the coolest holiday party of the year with their first yuletide album. It's a Holiday Soul Party features eleven tunes that honor Christmas (and Hanukkah) with an old-school soul groove, featuring seasonal classics like "White Christmas" and "Silver Bells," reworkings of Christmas favorites such as "Funky Little Drummer Boy" and "God Bless Ye Merry Gents," and rollicking originals including "8 Days (of Hanukkah)," "Big Bulbs," and "Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects." As usual, Jones is in fine form, bringing the songs plenty of fire while also sounding sincere as she sings of the holiday spirit, and the Dap-Tones evoke the classic sounds of the '60s soul era with style, swagger, and enough imagination to give this music a feel all its own. If you're looking for something cool and groovin' to put under your tree or to slap on the stereo while you and your friends knock back some eggnog, It's a Holiday Soul Party is a hip, stylish, and rollicking good time.

 Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - It's A Holiday Soul Party (flac   245mb)

01 8 Days (Of Hannukah) 3:42
02 Ain't No Chimneys In The Projects 2:22
03 White Christmas 2:17
04 Just Another Christmas Song 3:08
05 Silent Night 4:16
06 Big Bulbs 2:56
07 Please Come Home For Christmas 2:58
08 Funky Little Drummer Boy 3:18
09 Silver Bells 3:19
10 World Of Love 3:19
11 God Rest Ye Merry Gents 2:17

 Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - It's A Holiday Soul Party (ogg   74mb)

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Sharon Jones was 45 years old when she cut her first single with the retro-soul combo the Dap-Kings in 2001. She'd been trying to find a way into the music business for years before her partnership with the Dap-Kings unexpectedly made her a star, but it was obvious that once the right people heard her, they knew she one of the great R&B singers of her generation. Once the door opened for her, she didn't look back for a second. While Jones had beat cancer once, she wasn't as lucky when the disease reappeared in 2015, and through 2016 she played shows and recorded session in between rounds of treatment, with cancer finally claiming her life in November of that year. Some artists, knowing they have only so long to live, use their final recordings to sum up their lives and careers, but that was clearly not the case for Jones. Soul of a Woman, recorded during the last months of her life, is not an album about mortality; instead, this is the work of a woman who was determined to make the most of every moment allotted her. Soul of a Woman is a superb exercise in deep soul big-city style, and if Jones was ailing when she recorded her vocals, you would never guess to listen to the finished product. She's at the top of her game here, with her voice in fine shape and her phrasing and delivery on point, finding the right emotional details in the songs and working beautifully with the musicians, delivering powerful work on every cut. The Dap-Kings stepped up their game on Soul of a Woman as well; even more than on their previous work, the band evokes the sound and feel of another era without sounding mannered or mired in nostalgia, and this is an uncommon meeting between passion and precision. But the Dap-Kings clearly put their music at the service of their lead singer when they made this album, and they made the right choice. From the taut grooves and conscious lyrics of the opening cut, "Matter of Time," to the gospel-infused curtain call "Call on God" (written by Jones), Soul of a Woman is a rich, life-affirming work from an artist who valued her life and her music too much to not make the most of them up to the very end. This isn't just a fitting farewell to Sharon Jones; it's one of the best albums of her career.

 Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Soul of a Woman (flac   213mb)

01 Matter Of Time 3:22
02 Sail On! 3:00
03 Just Give Me Your Time 2:29
04 Come And Be A Winner 2:56
05 Rumors 2:33
06 Pass Me By 3:20
07 Searching For A New Day 3:14
08 These Tears (No Longer For You) 3:35
09 When I Saw Your Face 3:23
10 Girl! (You Got To Forgive Him) 4:09
11 Call On God 3:37

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Mar 28, 2019

RhoDeo 1912 Roots


Today's artist was a top-notch pianist/composer/arranger, he was the musical director of nightclub shows at the Tropicana in Havana by 1948. Very active in the 1950s, he was considered one of the giants of Cuban music, arranging many recordings, composing mambos, and organizing Afro-Cuban jazz jam sessions. He defected from Cuba in 1960 and by 1963 had settled in Stockholm. In 1994, after 34 years off records, he cut Bebo Rides Again for the Messidor label, not only playing piano but composing eight numbers and arranging 11 songs in the 36 hours before the first session; he was 76 at the time......N'Joy

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Bebo Valdés was born Dionisio Ramón Emilio Valdés Amaro on October 9, 1918, in the village of Quivicán, Cuba, near Havana. He started his career as a pianist in the nightclubs of Havana during the 1940s. He replaced René Hernández as pianist and arranger in Julio Cueva's band. In October 1946 the band recorded "Rareza del Siglo", one of Bebo's most famous mambos. From 1948 to 1957 he worked as pianist and arranger for the vedette Rita Montaner, who was the lead act in the Tropicana cabaret. His orchestra, Sabor de Cuba, and that of Armando Valdés, alternated at the Tropicana, backing singers such as Benny Moré and Pío Leyva. Valdés played a role in the adaptation of the mambo into the big band format (it was previously performed by charangas) during the late 1940s and 1950s, and developed a new rhythm to compete with Perez Prado's mambo, called the batanga. Valdés was also an important figure in the incipient Afro-Cuban jazz scene in Havana, taking part in sessions commissioned by American producer Norman Granz during 1952. These sessions yielded the famous improvised piece "Con Poco Coco" among others, which served as a precedent to Panart's descarga sessions (with one exception). In the late 1950s he recorded with Nat "King" Cole. In 1960, accompanied by Sabor de Cuba's lead vocalist Rolando Laserie, Bebo defected from Cuba to Mexico. He then lived briefly in the United States before touring Europe, and eventually settled in Stockholm, where he lived until 2007. In Sweden he was instrumental in spreading the techniques of Cuban music and Latin jazz.

Valdés' career got a late career boost in 1994 when he teamed up with saxophone player Paquito D'Rivera to release a CD called Bebo Rides Again. In 2000, the film Calle 54 by Fernando Trueba brought his piano playing to a wide audience. In 2003, he and Diego El Cigala, a famous Spanish cantaor (flamenco singer), recorded the album Lágrimas Negras (Black Tears), a fusion of Cuban rhythms and flamenco vocals. During his career, Valdés—one of the founders of Latin jazz, and a pioneer in bringing Afro-Cuban sacred rhythms to popular dance music—won seven Grammy Awards: two for El Arte del Sabor (2002), one for Lágrimas Negras, and two for Bebo de Cuba in 2006 (in the categories "Best Traditional Tropical Album" and "Best Latin Jazz Album").

His last musical production was one fittingly recorded with his son: Bebo y Chucho Valdés: Juntos para Siempre (Together Forever 2008),[10] winner of the Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards in 2010; they also won the Latin Grammy Award on the same field. In 2004, he was again filmed by Trueba, in El milagro de Candeal in Brazil, and later composed a score for Trueba's 2010 film Chico and Rita, which included bits from his own life. Chico and Rita ends with the dedication "a Bebo". In May 2011, Bebo Valdés was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music.

Valdés was married to Pilar Valdés. This marriage produced five children, one of whom is the pianist Chucho Valdés. In 1963 he stopped in Sweden on a tour with the Lecuona Cuban Boys. There he met the 18-year-old Rose Marie Pehrson (August 28, 1928), a cavalry officer's daughter. They got married the same year and he settled in Sweden. He described it as the most important moment of his life: "It was like being hit by lightning," he said. "If you meet a woman and you want to change your life you have to choose between love and art." They remained together until her death in 2012. Valdés was in the middle of the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, which he had suffered for several years, when he died in Stockholm, Sweden, on March 22, 2013, aged 94.

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Lágrimas Negras (Black Tears) is a collaborative effort between the octogenarian Cuban piano master Bebo Valdés and the reigning Spanish flamenco cantador, Diego El Cigala. Recorded for Fernando Trueba and Nat Chediak's Calle 54 label, the sessions took place in Madrid between September and December 2002. Maestro Valdés (born in 1918), the father of the jazz pianist Chucho, has a long history as an innovator in Cuban music. He recorded the first Afro-Cuban jazz session in 1952, and was a tutor to the great bandleader Beny Moré, writing early charts for him. Valdés is also a world-class arranger. Diego El Cigala was born in 1960, and has become the undisputed king of Spain's flamenco singers. This recording features nine tracks that meld together cooking son, jazz, Afro-Caribbean, and flamenco rhythms, in tunes by composers such as Lolita de la Colina, Virgilio and Homero Expósito, Ramón Perelló, the grand team of Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes, Caetano Veloso (who makes a guest appearance), Maria Teresa Vera, Miguel Matamoros (who composed the title track), and others. Most are Cuban ballads. Guests such as Veloso, Paquito D'Rivera, Pancho Terry, Tata Güines, and El Niño Josele fall by on different tracks. And while the tunes are top-shelf and the guests make this a very special and historic occasion, it is the unusual dynamic and the integrity with which it is employed that makes this set so unique. Valdés' style is an elegant one; his rhythmic left hand accents rhythms and shifts them effortlessly, adding street and nuance here, space and tension there. Always his notes are sure, precise, and solid. El Cigala's voice is a true cantador's; he wavers, lilts, growls, and gutturally moans; he slips between rhythms and melodies, underscoring first one and then another, using the rhythms to sing counterpoint to the piano's stridency and sheer graceful approach in the ballads, shouting assent and further challenges on the uptempo sons. Together, the combination is its own moving poetry, meeting in the middle of a tradition as old as flamenco's "cante jondo" and as integrated as Cuba's. The sacred and profane dine and drink together and no one will say which is which. All nine songs offer differing emphases on lyric and rhythm, all offer variant harmonic concerns, but they all contain the spirit of the "duende." While there isn't a mediocre second on this album and all of the performances are breathtaking, "Lágrimas Negras" and "Corazón Loco" are clear standouts. This is destined to be a classic, and hopefully a gateway to more experiments like this one. The double platinum Lágrimas Negras (Black Tears) won 5 Spanish and 2 Latin Grammys.

 Bebo Valdes y Diego El Cigala - Lagrimas Negras    (flac  205mb)

01 Inolvidable 3:20
02 Veinte Años 4:03
03 Lágrimas Negras 5:31
04 Nieblas Del Riachuelo 3:07
05 Corazón Loco 3:54
06 Se Me Olvidó Que Te Olvidé 3:15
07 Vete De Mí 2:56
08 La Bien Pagá 8:58
09 Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar / Coraçao Vagabundo 4:19

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If you liked their previous work, you have to listen to what they accomplish live. In one word: sensational! This concert has been touched by His Noodly Appendage. All is bliss.

The Academy Award winning Spanish film director Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque and Calle 54) arranged for the exiled Cuban pianist Ramon 'Bebo' Valdes and Spanish flamenco singer Diego 'El Cigala' Salazar to collaborate on a cross-cultural recording. The double platinum Lágrimas Negras (Black Tears) won 5 Spanish and 2 Latin Grammys. The recording, with a guest appearance by saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera, draws from the music of Cuba, Spain, Central and South America. The director has assembled the musicians once again for Blanco Y Negro: Bebo & Cigala En Vivo (Black & White: Bebo & Cigala Live) a live concert filmed in Mallorca Spain. With 5.1 Dolby Digital sound and English (or French) subtitles, the experience is enhanced and the emotion of the music is given priority.

The 19 tracks include all the music from Lágrimas Negras plus much more. Bebo Valdes, the Sweden-based pianist was the house bandleader in the pre-Castro Tropicana Nightclub. His playing carries with it the Havana mambo mixed with Gershwin's New York. At 85 years young he might just be the Cuban Hank Jones. The Music of the Americas that Valdes expresses through his piano doesn't seem, on paper, to match with the guitar-led music of Cigala's flamenco. Even the 50 years difference in age stands in their way! But beauty is in the new flavors and textures that are created when these cultures collide. Cigala, whose ancient Roma gypsy flamenco art, resembles a young Tom Waits as a storyteller. You cannot be anything but stirred by his gritty emotional singing.

Bebo Valdes & Diego El Cigala - Blanco y Negro Live    (flac  410mb)

01 Hubo Un Lugar: Cuba Linda 8:10
02 Inolvidable 3:08
03 Se Me Olvidó Que Te Olvidé 3:48
04 Veinte Años 3:20
05 La Fuente De Bebo 2:28
06 Niebla Del Riachuelo 3:11
07 Corazón Loco 2:48
08 Lágrimas Negras 5:20
09 La Caridad 1:25
10 Americana 7:36
11 Amar Y Vivir 3:21
12 Vete De Mí 2:56
13 La Bien Pagá 5:53
14 Suspiros De España 2:51
15 Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar 4:01
16 Tu Sonrisa 0:56
17 Obsesión 4:40
18 En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor-De La Mano Del Viento 4:06

Bebo Valdes & Diego El Cigala - Blanco y Negro Live  (ogg    184mb)

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Juntos Para Siempre ("Together Forever") is the title of a studio album released by father and son (both born on the 9th of October) Bebo and Chucho Valdés on November 11, 2008. Bebo Valdés along with his son Chucho, play on their pianos classics songs of Latin American music, "Tres Palabras", "Son de la Loma", "Sabor a Mí", "Lágrimas Negras" and "La Gloria eres Tú", along with some original songs.The album was recorded after the performers were separated for several years. Bebo Valdes stated that he thought that he would never see his son again, but when finally they had the opportunity to be together and record it; it was a "reward for all those years of uncertainty." Bebo Valdés and Chucho Valdés received the Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards in 2010; they also won the Latin Grammy Award on the same field.

 Bebo Valdes y Chucho Valdes - Juntos Para Siempre ("Together Forever")    (flac  204mb)

01 Preludio Para Bebo 5:04
02 Descarga Valdés 4:49
03 Tres Palabras 4:43
04 Rareza Del Siglo 4:11
05 Tea For Two 5:04
06 Son De La Loma 3:29
07 La Gloria Eres Tú 3:46
08 A Chucho 4:53
09 Sabor A Mi 5:29
10 Perdido 3:12
11 Lágrimas Negras 3:44
12 La Conga Del Dentista 3:21

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The Oscar-nominated animated film Chico & Rita is, on the surface, a standard boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, will-boy-get-girl-back? movie. It starts in the late ’40s, and tells the love story between a pianist and a singer, following them through their early struggles, success, heartbreak and final triumph, from their native Havana, Cuba, to New York, Las Vegas and back.

But the real focus of Chico & Rita-the creation of a Spanish team comprising Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba, illustrator Javier Mariscal and director Tono Errando-is the music. “The love story is [a plot device], a pretext to tell the history of the music of those days-the rise of bebop, the rise of Afro-Cuban jazz,”
"I think Chico is not Bebo," he says. "Chico is a tribute to all the Cuban musicians of that era. You can find things from Bebo, you can find things from Ruben Gonzalez, or this generation of guys, some of them stayed in Cuba, some of them left. Chico is both of these things: he goes to America, but then in the end he has to go back to Cuba, so he participates in both these kind of lives. But if Bebo had not been such an important part of my life all these years, then maybe this movie would not exist. I wrote parts of the script with Bebo’s music in my head. He has been a strong inspiration, and then our score is by him, and we’re going to dedicate the movie to him. So the spirit of Bebo is all over Chico & Rita." Towards the end of the film, Chico gets a new lease of life when flamenco singer Estrella Morente arrives in Havana, looking to discover authentic original talent for a musical collaboration. Trueba was able to persuade the real-life flamenco star, who has been performing since the age of seven, to participate in the film. He says, "I’ve loved Estrella since she was very young. She has one foot in the 19th century and one in the 21st century; she doesn’t belong to the 20th century. She’s so profound and so ancestral and at the same time so modern. It was beautiful to have her as a real character and a real person in the film."

After completing the film, and before the official premiere, Trueba traveled to Málaga, in the south of Spain where Valdés lived, and rented a movie theater to show it to the maestro and to flamenco singer Estrella Morente, who stars as herself in the movie and, as it turns out, also lives in that city. “Bebo came with Rosemarie [his wife, who has since passed too] and Estrella with her husband, Javier. And the four watched in the empty theater and at the end, they were all crying. I had never seen Bebo cry. And when he sees me, he kisses my hand and hugs me and says, ‘When I’m gone, the people will still watch this movie and will hear my music.’ And that’s when I understood that for Bebo, as a musician, that was the greatest gift of this movie. For me, that was a moment of pure happiness that I’ll never forget.

Fernando Trueba - Chico & Rita    (avi  1400mb)

Cuban jazz legend Bebo Valdés is in charge of this wonderful soundtrack for Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal's animated film about the romance between a singer and a pianist, set in La Havana and New York of the '40s and '50s. In addition to Valdés, the main performers include Freddy Cole, Jimmy Heath, Idania Valdés, Germán Velasco, and Amadito Valdés, in a collection of both originals and jazz and bolero standards arranged by Michael Philip Mossman. Estrella Morente sings the main title song, "Lily."

Bebo Valdes - Chico & Rita (OST)    (flac  380mb)

01 Cachao creador del mambo
02 Blues for André
03 Besame mucho
04 Con un poco de coco
05 Ebony concerto
06 Persecucion
07 Celia
08 Paran pan pan
09 Sabor a mi
10 Ay que mala é
11 Sabor a mi
12 A Mayra. Desamor and coda
13 A Mayra. Descarga
14 A Mayra. Sad Walk
15 Chico's dream
16 Ecuacion
17 Tin tin deo
18 Chano Pozo
19 Nocturno en batanga
20 Nocturno en batanga
21 Love for sale
22 Love for sale-Reprise
23 Lily
24 Stardust
25 A Mayra
26 Vanguard Strings
27 Mambo herd
28 Deportacion
29 Lily
30 La bella cubana

Bebo Valdes - Chico & Rita (OST)    (ogg  157mb)

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Mar 27, 2019

RhoDeo 1912 Aetix


Today's artists are pioneers of the New Romantic movement, the synth pop group emerged in 1978 from the London club Blitz, a neo-glam nightspot which stood in stark contrast to the prevailing punk mentality of the time. Spearheading Blitz's ultra-chic clientele were Steve Strange, a former member of the punk band the Moors Murderers, and DJ Rusty Egan, onetime drummer with the Rich Kids; seeking to record music of their own to fit in with the club's regular playlist (a steady diet of David Bowie, Kraftwerk, and Roxy Music), .  ......N-Joy

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Founding members Steve Strange and Rusty Egan were hosting David Bowie and Roxy Music club nights at Billy's nightclub in London's Soho district at the time and were eager to find new music to play, ultimately opting to create music themselves. Strange had briefly been in the punk/new wave bands The Moors Murderers and The Photons, and Egan was working with Midge Ure in the band The Rich Kids. The trio recorded a demo which included a cover of the Zager and Evans hit "In the Year 2525". The Visage line-up was completed with the addition of Ultravox keyboardist Billy Currie and three-fifths of the post-punk band Magazine – guitarist John McGeoch, keyboardist Dave Formula and bassist Barry Adamson (who left the band after playing on its debut single, but who would return as a session musician). Producer Martin Rushent had heard some of the band's material at Billy's nightclub and financed further recordings with a view to signing the band to his new Genetic Records label. Visage recorded their first album at Rushent's home studio in Berkshire, but Rushent's label collapsed before it had gotten off the ground[citation needed] and the band instead signed to Radar Records, a new independent label run by Rushent's former colleague Martin Davis (the pair had worked together at United Artists Records). Visage released their first single "Tar" on Radar in September 1979, though the single failed to chart. By this time, however, Strange and Egan had relocated their themed club nights to the Blitz club in Covent Garden and the New Romantic movement had begun in earnest. In mid-1980, David Bowie himself visited the club and asked Strange and three other regulars to appear in the video for his single "Ashes to Ashes", which helped to propel the New Romantic movement into the mainstream.

Although Visage's self-titled debut album had been completed for several months, it was not released until November 1980 when the band was now signed to the major label Polydor Records. The band's second single, "Fade to Grey", was released at the same time. The single became a huge hit in early 1981, making the top ten in the UK and several other countries, and reaching no. 1 in Germany and Switzerland. The album also became a Top 20 hit in the UK and was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry. After further hits with the singles "Mind of a Toy" and the title track "Visage", Strange struggled to reunite the band's members again to record a second album because of their commitments with their respective bands (Ure had now joined Currie in Ultravox, Formula and Adamson with Magazine and McGeoch with Siouxsie and the Banshees). In the autumn of 1981 Visage went into the studio again and recorded The Anvil as a five-piece band without McGeoch and only limited guest work from Adamson. The album, which was named after an infamous gay nightclub in New York City, was released in March 1982 and became the band's only UK top-ten album, producing two top-twenty singles with "The Damned Don't Cry" and "Night Train". Like their first album, The Anvil earned a Silver disc in the UK. Following this, Ure left the band to concentrate on his work with Ultravox, who were now even more successful than Visage. Creative differences with Strange and Egan were also cited as reasons for his departure at the time.

    "The trouble with Visage was that there were too many chiefs, six characters all wanting an equal say without putting in an equal amount of work. I was doing most of the writing and producing, and we all knew Steve [Strange] was the frontman, but when it became successful, jealousy and the nasty side of the business crept in. That was never the way it was intended.
    Midge Ure, 1983

Visage, now without Ure, McGeoch and Adamson (who continued collaborating with Pete Shelley, and joined Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) but now with the addition of bassist Steve Barnacle, recorded the stand-alone single "Pleasure Boys", which was released in October 1982. The single failed to prolong their string of hits and peaked just outside the UK top 40.
Although still recording, Visage then took a two-year hiatus from releasing any new material due to contractual difficulties with their management company. Polydor issued a "best of" compilation, Fade to Grey – The Singles Collection, which included all of the singles released to date and the previously unreleased "In the Year 2525". Although the album was certified Gold in the UK for pre-release sales to stores, it only peaked at No. 38 after its release in November 1983.

In 1984, with their contractual problems resolved, Visage returned with their third album, Beat Boy. Released in October 1984, the album was a critical and commercial failure, peaking at No.  79 in the UK. Two singles from the album, "Love Glove" and "Beat Boy", also failed to make the UK top 40. By this time, Billy Currie and Dave Formula had also left the band (though they received a "special thanks" credit on the album sleeve for their input), leaving only Strange and Egan from the original line-up along with Steve Barnacle and new recruits Gary Barnacle (Steve Barnacle's brother) and Andy Barnett who also was a member of FM and ASAP. A decision to make Visage a live band instead of a strictly studio-based project also failed to meet with success and the band split in 1985. Their final release was a Visage video compilation of the band's renowned promotional videos and other footage, including Strange's trip to North Africa the year before. The compilation does not, however, include the original video for the "Love Glove" single which was filmed at a late-night Dockland location in London in 1984.

Following the demise of Visage, Strange then formed the short-lived band Strange Cruise, though this too proved unsuccessful. Visage returned to the charts once more when a Bassheads remix of "Fade to Grey" was a UK Top 40 hit in 1993.

Second incarnation (2004–2010)

Steve Strange reappeared on the music scene in 2002, after several years of battling a heroin addiction and other personal problems. He performed several Visage songs on the Here and Now Xmas Tour – a revival of 1980s pop acts. Some time after the performance, Strange decided to create a "Mark II" of Visage with people from several electronic bands and projects: Steven Young, Sandrine Gouriou and Rosie Harris from Seize and Ross Tregenza from Jetstream Lovers/Goteki. After the announcement of the formation of the new line-up and several television appearances, plans for reworking old material and releasing a new record made slow progress. An updated version of "Fade to Grey" was produced in 2005. In 2006, Strange also collaborated with the electronic duo Punx Soundcheck and provided vocals on the track "In the Dark", which was included on the duo's debut double album When Machines Ruled the World. The first Visage mk II track was released in 2007, entitled "Diary of a Madman". Written by Strange with Visage mk II member Ross Tregenza, the track was co-produced by original Visage member Dave Formula. This song was made available for download from their official website in return for a donation to the charity Children in Need. However, no further new material surfaced from this line-up.

In 2008, Strange (and Visage II keyboardist Sandrine Gouriou) made an appearance in the BBC drama series Ashes to Ashes which is set in 1981. In it, they performed the song "Fade to Grey" in a scene set in the "Blitz" nightclub. In 2009, Strange and Egan appeared in Living TV's Pop Goes the Band, a series in which pop stars from the 1980s are given a complete makeover in return for a one-off performance. The Visage episode aired on 16 March 2009, and was the first time that the two men had spoken in over 20 years. The episode focused (like others in the series) more on getting them fit in the gym than on the current state of their relationship, though they appeared to get on well enough. At the culmination of the episode, they performed "Fade to Grey".

Final incarnation (2012–2015)

On 8 January 2013, Strange appeared as a guest on the Channel 4 News programme to discuss the forthcoming David Bowie album The Next Day. During the interview he mentioned that a new Visage album was also due for release in Spring 2013. Also on 8 January 2013, Visage launched their new website, Twitter, Facebook and Soundcloud accounts and announced their new line-up to consist of Steve Strange and Steve Barnacle along with Robin Simon (former guitarist in Ultravox from 1978–79 and Magazine in 1980) and Lauren Duvall on vocals.  The band's new album, Hearts and Knives, was released on 20 May 2013. A second single from the album, "Dreamer I Know", was released in July 2013, and a third single, "Never Enough", was released in December. Throughout the second half of 2013, the band also embarked on a series of live dates in the UK and Europe. "Hidden Sign" was the fourth single to be taken from Hearts and Knives, released in May 2014 and "She's Electric (Coming Around)" was released as the fifth and final single in August 2014.

In December 2014, Visage released Orchestral, a mostly live album containing twelve Visage songs remade with a symphony orchestra. A single of the orchestral version of "Fade To Grey" was released ahead of the album in November 2014. On 12 February 2015, frontman Steve Strange died of a heart attack while on holiday in Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt. While Strange's death ultimately meant the end of Visage, the band opted to complete the album they had already been working with Strange on prior to his death. On 2 September 2015, an organisation known as The Steve Strange Collective was announced. Run by Strange's friends and relatives, they oversaw the release of the final Visage album, Demons to Diamonds, which was released on 6 November 2015, with the companion release, Darkness to Diamond, following a few months later in early 2016.

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With apologies to Spandau Ballet, Ultravox, and even Duran Duran, this is the music that best represents the short-lived but always underrated new romantic movement. That's fitting, because Visage's frontman, Steve Strange, was the colorfully painted face of the movement, just as this album was its sound. Warming up Kraftwerk's icy Teutonic electronics with a Bowie-esque flair for fashion, Strange and the new romantics created a clubland oasis far removed from the drabness of England's early-'80s reality -- and the brutality of the punk response to it. And no one conjured up that Eurodisco fantasyland better than Visage, whose "Fade to Grey" became the anthem of the outlandishly decked-out Blitz Kids congregated at Strange's club nights. With its evocative French female vocals, distant sirens and pulsing layers of synthesizers, "Fade to Grey" is genuinely haunting, the definite high point for Visage and their followers. But the band's self-titled debut is a consistently fine creation, alternating between tunes that share the eerie ambience of "Fade to Grey" ("Mind of a Toy," "Blocks on Blocks") and others that show off a more muscular brand of dance-rock (the title track, filled with thundering electronic tom-tom fills, and the sax-packed instrumental "The Dancer"). Strange and drummer/nightclub partner Rusty Egan had wisely surrounded themselves with top-level talent, primarily drawn from the bands Ultravox and Magazine, and the excellent playing of contributors like guitarists Midge Ure and John McGeoch, bassist Barry Adamson, synthesist Dave Formula, and, especially, electric violinist Billy Currie, all of whom give the album a depth unmatched by most contemporaneous techno-pop. And despite the group's frequently dramatic pose, Strange and his bandmates were hardly humorless; the first single, "Tar," is a witty anti-smoking advertisement, while the Eastwood homage "Malpaso Man" adds some incongruous cowboy twang to the dance beats. Only the closing track, the instrumental "The Steps," is inconsequential -- the rest of Visage proves the new romantics left a legacy that transcends their costumes and makeup. [Note to collectors: The 1997 One Way reissue of the album adds a bonus track, the longer (and far superior) dance mix of "Fade to Grey." Opening with the tune's arresting synth-bass riff, and featuring a extended fade marked by exploding backbeats, it heightens the song's moody atmosphere, and is the way this club classic was meant to be heard.]

Visage - Visage ( flac  305mb)

01 Visage 3:52
02 Blocks On Blocks 3:41
03 The Dancer 3:57
04 Tar 3:31
05 Fade To Grey 3:59
06 Malpaso Man 4:04
07 Mind Of A Toy 4:36
08 Moon Over Moscow 3:44
09 Visa-age 4:32
10 The Steps 3:14
11 Fade To Grey (Extended Mix) 6:43

Visage - Visage (ogg  122mb)

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When they recorded the follow-up to their surprisingly successful debut, the members of Visage appeared to be dealing from a position of strength. But the dance club-fueled, style-obsessed new romantic movement that had propelled the group to success in England was already crumbling, and frontman Steve Strange had begun to take his role as the movement's figurehead a little too seriously. The Anvil, rumored to be the subject of a multi-million dollar feature film (a project that never materialized), emphasizes Strange's penchant for melancholy and melodrama. Where the band's debut undercut such pretensions with humorous tracks like the twangy "Malpaso Man," only one tune here -- "Night Train," with a rubbery bassline and blasts of brass backing a tongue-in-cheek tale of intrigue -- dares to take liberties with Visage's moody image. Still, with backing from the same core of post-punk all-stars (Ultravox's Midge Ure -- who co-produced the album -- and violinist Billy Currie, as well as Magazine keyboardist Dave Formula), Strange and drummer Rusty Egan sound just as good as before, and despite once again closing an album with a forgettable instrumental ("Whispers"), almost all the band's efforts on The Anvil are extremely well-crafted synth pop. Two, in fact, are essential new wave artifacts. The title track takes a despairing look around clubland, setting Strange's best-ever lyric to a grim parody of a hit in the meatmarket disco it describes; it suggests he'd become disillusioned with the scene that had spawned Visage. "The Damned Don't Cry," meanwhile, is even better, a ghostly groove that comes closer than anyone would have thought possible to recapturing the haunted magnificence of "Fade to Grey," the band's signature hit. [Note to collectors: The 1997 One Way reissue appends two bonus tracks to the running order. Welcome is the rocked-up remix of "We Move," one of Visage's best singles. The dance mix of "Frequency 7," a bleeping and buzzing electro-instrumental, is fun but nonessential.]

Visage - The Anvil ( flac  305mb)

01 The Damned Don't Cry 4:43
02 Anvil (Night Club School) 4:39
03 Move Up 4:25
04 Night Train 4:29
05 The Horseman 4:41
06 Look What They've Done 4:49
07 Again We Love 4:44
08 Wild Life 4:24
09 Whispers 5:39
10 We Move (Dance Mix) 6:28
11 Frequency 7 (Dance Mix) 5:02

Visage - The Anvil  (ogg  123mb)

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The third and final album from new romantic icons Visage found foppish frontman Steve Strange and drummer Rusty Egan almost completely without most of the high-profile sidemen -- like Midge Ure, keyboardist Billy Currie and bassist Barry Adamson -- who'd played such a big role in crafting the group's lush, haunting synth pop. Undeterred, Strange and Egan recruited a new lineup that gave a prominent role to saxophonist Gary Barnacle. But the real shock to fans was the shrieking, metallic guitar that appeared on most cuts, an intrusion that seemed completely at odds with the suave, continental image suggested by past hits like "Fade to Grey" and "The Damned Don't Cry." In fact, the guitar muscle worked surprisingly well when simply overlaid atop the group's familiar dance pulse, as on the title track and "The Promise." But straight-up rockers like the endless "Only the Good (Die Young)" and "Casualty" featured a lethal combination of ham-handed riffs and dumb lyrics, thoroughly alienating the blitz kids who'd once packed the London discos Strange and Egan ran. Those fans made a club hit of the melodic "Love Glove," the closest thing here to Visage's classic sound, but ignored the rest, making Beat Boy a disappointing swan song for the group. Yet despite the uneven songwriting, hindsight showed that Strange's ear for the next big trend hadn't deserted him. The next year, the success of Duran Duran offshoot the Power Station had synth poppers on both sides of the Atlantic scurrying to rough up their dance tracks with heavy guitar. Perhaps in this case, the colorfully costumed Strange -- who later displayed his sartorial sense in a new band, Strange Cruise, before largely bowing out of the music biz -- was just too far in front of the fashion curve.

Visage - Beat Boy ( 338mb)

01 Beat Boy 6:49
02 Casualty 5:33
03 Questions 6:14
04 Only The Good Die Young 6:02
05 Can You Hear Me 6:32
06 The Promise 4:03
07 Love Glove 4:47
08 Yesterday's Shadow 6:37
09 Beat Boy (Dance Dub) 5:22

Visage - Beat Boy (ogg  129mb)

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Peter Godwin seemingly appeared out of nowhere when he released the single "Images of Heaven" in 1982. However, by that time he had already been recording music for more than half a decade. He began as a member of a group called Metro, who recorded its self-titled debut in 1976. Metro briefly changed their name to Public Zone and released a single with the Police's Stewart Copeland on drums. After Metro recorded New Love in 1979 and Future Imperfect a year later, they broke up. Godwin went solo, releasing the mini-album Images of Heaven in 1982. The synth pop title track became a cult favorite on new wave radio stations, and a provocative version of its video received controversy because it presented naked women in crucifix poses. David Bowie covered Metro's "Criminal World" on his Let's Dance album in 1983, renewing interest in Godwin's old group. But 1983's Correspondence would be the last time fans would hear from Godwin until 1998's Images of Heaven: The Best of Peter Godwin, a retrospective of his career that featured three new songs. During his absence Godwin wrote for other musicians and even acted in films.

Oglio's Images of Heaven: Best of Peter Godwin features the original 1982 album Images of Heaven, with slight differences, plus three remixes and three new songs that have not been released in America before this disc. The three new songs begin the disc, which is a little disconcerting, but they're strong songs, especially "Rendezvous," and Godwin's attempt a Serge Gainsbourg-Jane Birkin duet. The album itself, Images of Heaven, is a fairly solid collection of '80s synth-pop, driven by texture as much as melody. Every instrument on the album is synthesized, which means it sounds a little dated, especially since the beats are regimented and mechanical. Nevertheless, Godwin has the nervous voice (slightly similar to David Byrne or Bryan Ferry) right for this material, and he can write a solid hook, especially on "Baby's in the Mountains," "The Dancer" and the title track. However, he's at his best on moody numbers like "Torch Songs for the Heroine" or his version of his old band Metro's "Criminal World," where the dance beat is subdued and the melodies are in minor keys, creating an eerie appeal. Those moments don't arrive often enough on Images of Heaven, and a few of the tracks are too stiff or slight to really register, but the record remains an interesting synth-pop artifact. Oglio's edition substitutes the single version of "Torch Songs for the Heroine," the 12-inch EP version of "Emotional Disguise," and the full-length version of "Images of Heaven" for the original album versions.

Peter Godwin - Images of Heaven (the best of) ( 466mb)

01 Rendezvous 4:51
02 Another World 4:30
03 Naked Smile 2:59
04 Baby's In The Mountains 4:13
05 The Art Of Love 4:53
06 Young Pleasure 4:24
07 The Dancer 3:41
08 Torch Songs For The Heroine (Single Version) 4:04
09 Emotional Disguise (12" EP Version) 4:15
10 Images Of Heaven (Full-Length Version) 5:01
11 Cruel Heart 3:13
12 Gemini (Metro) 5:01
13 Criminal World (Metro) 5:26
Bonus Remix
14 Images Of Heaven (Razormaid Version) 6:08
15 Baby's In The Mountains (John Luongo Mix) 6:46
16 Rendezvous (French Remix) 4:59

Peter Godwin - Images of Heaven (the best of) (ogg 173mb)

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Mar 26, 2019

RhoDeo 1912 Omens 5

Hello, yes it happened for the first time..i simply forgot to post, oh well 12 hours later then..

a tale of the bungling of Armageddon, featuring an angel, a demon, an 11-year-old Antichrist, and a doom-saying witch, crazy stuff right in sync with the crazy Trump age, still a few months before it premieres end of May at Amazon, so why not get prepared and listen to what BBC radio 4 made of this....

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It is the coming of the End Times: the Apocalypse is near, and Final Judgement will soon descend upon the human species. This comes as a bit of bad news to the angel Aziraphale (who was the guardian of the Eastern Gate of Eden) and the demon Crowley (who, when he was originally named Crawly, was the serpent who tempted Eve to eat the apple), respectively the representatives of Heaven and Hell on Earth, as they have become used to living their cosy, comfortable lives and have, in a perverse way, taken a liking to humanity. As such, since they are good friends (despite ostensibly representing the polar opposites of Good and Evil), they decide to work together and keep an eye on the Antichrist, destined to be the son of a prominent American diplomat stationed in Britain, and thus ensure he grows up in a way that means he can never decide between Good and Evil, thereby postponing the end of the world.

In fact, Warlock, the child whom everyone thinks is the Anti-Christ, is a normal eleven-year-old boy. Due to the mishandling of several infants in the hospital, the real Anti-Christ is Adam Young, a charismatic and slightly otherworldly eleven-year-old living in Lower Tadfield, Oxfordshire, an idyllic town in Britain. Despite being the harbinger of the Apocalypse, he has lived a perfectly normal life as the son of typical English parents, and as a result has no idea of his true powers. He has three close friends - Pepper, Wensleydale and Brian - who collectively form a gang that is simply referred to as "Them" by the adults.

As the end of the world nears, Adam blissfully and naively uses his powers, changing the world to fit things he reads in a conspiracy theory magazine, such as raising the lost continent of Atlantis and causing Little Green Men to land on earth and deliver a message of goodwill and peace. In the meantime, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse assemble: War (a female war correspondent), Death (a biker), Famine (a dietician and fast-food tycoon), and Pollution (a young man--Pestilence having retired after the discovery of penicillin). The incredibly accurate (yet so highly specific as to be useless) prophecies of Agnes Nutter, 17th-century prophetess, are rapidly coming to pass.

Agnes Nutter was a witch in the 17th century and the only truly accurate prophet to have ever lived. She wrote a book called The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, a collection of prophecies that did not sell very well because they were unspectacular, cryptic and all true. She, in fact, decided to publish it only so she could receive a free author's copy. This copy is passed down to her descendants, and is currently owned by her multi-great granddaughter Anathema Device. Agnes was burned at the stake by a mob; however, because she had foreseen her fiery end and had packed 80 pounds of gunpowder and 40 pounds of roofing nails into her petticoats, everyone who participated in the burning was killed instantly.

As the world descends into chaos, Adam attempts to split up the world between his gang. After realizing that by embracing absolute power, he will not be able to continue to grow up as a child in Lower Tadfield, Adam decides to stop the apocalypse.

Anathema, Newton Pulsifer (one of the two last members of the Witchfinder Army), Adam and his gang, Aziraphale and Crowley gather at a military base near Lower Tadfield to stop the Horsemen causing a nuclear war and ending the world. Adam's friends capture War, Pollution, and Famine. Just as Adam's father, the devil, seems to come and force the end of the world, Adam twists everything so his human father shows up instead, and everything is restored.

Gaiman and Pratchett had known each other since 1985. It was their own idea, not that of their publisher, to collaborate on a novel. According to Gaiman, he originally began the book as a parody of Richmal Crompton's William books, named William the Antichrist, but it gradually outgrew the original idea.
Pratchett and Gaiman planned the novel together over lengthy phone conversations, and shared their writing by mailing floppy disks (remember floppy disks?) back and forth.

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According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, the world will end on a Saturday. A Saturday quite soon,...

Events have been set in motion to bring about the End of Days. The armies of Good and Evil are gathering and making their way towards the sleepy English village of Lower Tadfield. The Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse - War, Famine, Pollution and Death - have been summoned from the corners of the earth and are assembling.

Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell and his assistant Newton Pulsifier are also en route to Tadfield to investigate some unusual phenomena in the area, while Anathema Device, descendent of prophetess and witch Agnes Nutter, tries to decipher her ancestor's cryptic predictions about exactly where the impending Apocalypse will take place.

Atlantis is rising, fish are falling from the sky; everything seems to be going to the Divine Plan. Everything that is but for the unlikely duo of an angel and a demon who are not all that keen on the prospect of the forthcoming Rapture. Aziraphale (once an angel in the Garden of Eden, but now running an antiquarian bookshop in London), and Crowley (formerly Eden's snake, now driving around London in shades and a vintage Bentley) have been living on Earth for several millennia and have become rather fond of the place. But if they are to stop Armageddon taking place they've got to find and kill the one who will the one bring about the apocalypse: the Antichrist himself.

There's just one small problem: someone seems to have mislaid him...

Dirk Maggs, best known for his adaptation of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, adapted and directed the radio dramatization along with producer Heather Larmour and, of course, Neil Gaiman himself.

Josie Lawrence as Agnes Nutter and Paterson Joseph as Famine, as well as Game of Thrones actor Clive Russell, Julia Deakin, Louise Brealey, Simon Jones, Arsher Ali, Phil Davis, and Mark Benton. The two lead roles of Aziraphale and Crowley will be voiced by Mark Heap (Spaced) and Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy), respectively. And, on top of all that, we can expect to hear cameo appearances from both Pratchett and Gaiman themselves.

Gaiman and Pratchett - Good Omens - Episode 5 ( 28min mp3     31mb).

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Gaiman and Pratchett - Good Omens - Episode 1 ( 28min mp3     33mb).
Gaiman and Pratchett - Good Omens - Episode 2 ( 28min mp3     33mb).
Gaiman and Pratchett - Good Omens - Episode 3 ( 28min mp3     33mb).
Gaiman and Pratchett - Good Omens - Episode 4 ( 28min mp3     26mb).

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