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Eastern Bloc Disco at Centrala (Playlist for Feb 3, 2017)

4 Feb

Generic Sleeve [Pronit, Poland, 1960s]

The second Eastern Bloc Disco event took place yesterday evening at Centrala, Birmingham, as part of the monthly Digbeth First Friday, and this set ran from around 8pm until 10.40pm (after which a pre-prepared short mix featuring a few other songs, also listed below, saw the event through to its end, more or less). A further collaboration with Centrala, on an archival exhibition and series of events exploring the history, ephemera, design, film and wider political and cultural contexts surrounding some of these artists and sounds, is currently in development for the Summer of 2018. [Watch this space].

Grupa 220: Negdie Postoji Netko (Yugoslavia, 1968)
Koncz Zsuzsa & Illés Együttes: Fáradt Vagyok (Hungary, 1967)
Izomorf 67: Barwy Dzwieku (Poland, 1967)
Karel Černoch: Snídaně v Trávě (Help) (Czechoslovakia, 1971)
Marta Kubišová: Balada o Kornetovi a Divce (Czechoslovakia, 1969)
Blackout: Powiedz Swoje Imie (Poland, 1967)
Polanie: Dlugo Się Znamy (Poland, 1968)
Karel Kahovec & Flamengo: Poprava Blond Holky (Czechoslovakia, 1968)
George & Beatovens: Lez Blazniveho Basnika (Czechoslovakia, 1968)
Sarolta Zalatnay: Betonfej (Hungary, 1968)
Koncz Szusza: Visz a Vonat (Hungary, 1970)
Petr Spaleny & Apollobeat: Kdybych Ja Byl Kovarem (Czechoslovakia, 1969)
Vaclav Neckar & Golden Kids: Goo-Goo Barabajagal (Czechoslovakia, 1969)
Breakout: Pozlabym za Toba (Poland, 1969)
Illés Együttes: Nehez Az Ut (Hungary, 1968)
Janko Nilovic: Xenos Cosmos (Yugoslavia/France, 1974)
Czerwono Czarni: Lot na Wenus (Poland, 1969)
Hana & Petr Ulrychovi: A Co Ma Bejt (Czechoslovakia, 1970)
Angelika Mann: Wenn Ich Mal (DDR, 1974)
Hana Zagorová: Svatej Kluk (Czechoslovakia, 1968)
Chris Doerk: Glaub Nicht (DDR, 1974)
Czeslaw Niemen & Akwarele: Baw Się W Ciuciubabkę (Poland, 1969)
Josef Laufer & Their Majesties: Útěk z Hladomorny (Czechoslovakia, 1969)
Grupa ABC: Za Duzo Chcesz (Poland, 1970)
Jana Kratochvílová & Discobolos: Kyvadlo (Czechoslovakia, 1978)
Bemibem: Podaruj Mi Trochę Słońca (Poland, 1973)
Alibabki: Slonce w Chmurach Lazi (Poland, 1969)
Drugi Nacin: Zuti List (Yugoslavia, 1975)
Olympic: Tobogan (Czechoslovakia, 1970)
Emil Dimitrov: Scherazhade (Bulgaria, 1972)
Arp-Life: Baby Bump (Poland, 1976)
Walter Kubiczeck: Tentakel (DDR, 1979)
Grupul Stereo: Coloana Infinită (Romania, 1984)
Marta Kubišová: Tak Dej Se K Nam A Projdem Svet (Czechoslovakia, 1969)
Eva Pilarova: Ohen a Led (Czechoslovakia, 1970)
Izabela Trojanowska: Jestem Twoim Grzechem (Poland, 1981)
Grupul Stereo: Plopii Impari (Romania, 1984)
Manaam: Stoję, stoję, czuję się świetnie (Poland, 1980)

Prepared Mix:

Olympic: Ikarus Blues (Czechoslovakia, 1968)
Sarolta Zalatnay & Metro: Fekete Beat (Hungary, 1973)
Filipinki: Nie Ma Go (Poland, 1967)
Halina Frąckowiak: Wodo, Zimna Wodo (Poland, 1974)
Kovács Kati: Add Már, Uram, Az Esőt (Hungary, 1972)
Marta Kubišová: Svlikam Lasku (Czechoslovakia, 1969)
Czeslaw Niemen: Enigmatyczne Impresje (Poland, 1971)
Omega: Gyöngyhajú Lány (Hungary, 1969)
Locomotiv GT: The Worlds Watchmaker (Hungary/Poland, 1974)
Tadeusz Woźniak: Zegarmistrz Światła (Poland, 1972)

Various Artists: Privni Pantoniada (Panton) [7

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Josipa Lisac: Ne Prepoznajem Ga (Jugoton, 1973)

18 Jun

Taken from side two of Josipa Lisac’s concept album Dnevnik jedne ljubavi (Diary of a Love), released in 1973 on the Zagreb-based Jugoton label, the State record label of the former Yugoslavia, Ne Prepoznajem Ga is a lengthy, elaborately arranged track dramatically evoking one of the later stages of the relationship whose beginnings and ending are traced across the album’s ten songs. It might best be understood as a version of the same idea of writing about adult relationships that had also underscored Marvin Gaye’s similarly-themed  Let’s Get It On (an LP released on Motown in the West around the same time as Lisac’s LP appeared in Yugoslavia) and perhaps there’s a similar impetus here to that behind Halina Frąckowiak’s Idę Dalej, released in Poland in 1974, too. Whatever drove this series of adult themed recordings in the early 1970s, there’s little doubt that Lisac’s material – written and composed by the songwriting team of Ivica Krajač and Karlo Metikoš, with arrangements by Brane Živković – is the equal of anything produced elsewhere in Europe or America in the period (many thanks are due to Simon Norfolk for both alerting me to the quality of this LP and supplying me with a copy). The song itself can be heard here.

Ne Prepoznajem Ga (I Don’t Recognize This)

(after Karlo Metikoš/Ivica Krajač, 1973)

I go with him silently through the city.
Everything seems like it used to be
but I feel, in my heart, it’s not the same.
His movements: I don’t know.
His gestures: no, I don’t know them.

He is walking faster than before.
His handshake is no longer hiding things.
Of his loving touch, whose gentle warmth
was once my refuge and shelter,
I ask: are these the hands that protect me now?

I follow his gaze but he remembers nothing,
not the table, the coffee, even my name.
He buys me five carnations,
forgets I don’t like them at all.
He whispers another name, not mine.

I follow in his steps as he walks away
but he’s going nowhere, everywhere,
down roads I’ve never seen before.
He pours me whisky with ice.
I can’t see myself in his eyes anymore.

I go with him silently through the city.
I don’t understand him or even know myself.
Everything seems like it used to be
but I feel, in my heart, it’s not the same.
This man I follow is a man I don’t know…