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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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Niebiesko-Czarni: Nie pukaj do moich drzwi (Pronit, 1967)

10 Aug

Nie pukaj do moich drzwi (Don’t Knock On My Door) was written by Czeslaw Niemen and Jacek Grań, both of whom have cropped up here in previous entries, Niemen as a solo artist, and indisputably one of the key figures in Polish music of the period, and Jacek Grań as lyricist on several songs associated with Tadeusz Nalepa and Mira Kubasinska’s blues-rock outfit Breakout. It’s also worth noting the importance of Niebiesko-Czarni (The Blue-Blacks) themselves, since they were, along with Czerwono-Czarni (The Red-Blacks), one of the first beat groups to form and tour in Poland. In their early days, they proved something of a laboratory in which many future talents were nurtured, the roster of members on their debut LP having included Stan Borys, Michal Burano, Helena Majdaniec and Czeslaw Niemen, among others. By 1967 the membership seems to have settled, with Ada Rusowicz and Wojtek Korda alternating on lead vocals and Nie pukaj do moich drzwi  is very much one of Ada Rusowicz’s moments in the spotlight. While she often (like Niemen and Borys) brought American soul and r’n’b vocal styles into the Polish context, the primary influences in this particular song seem drawn more from beat sources, not least the Beatles of Rubber Soul and A Hard Day’s Night. Both band and song also appeared in the 1966 film comedy Mocne Uderzenie and it’s worth noting that the ‘live’ version featured there has a much harder edge than its studio equivalent, as featured on the Alarm! LP the following year.  It seems that at this stage bands like Niebiesko-Czarni were primarily considered (and considered themselves) as live entities, with recordings produced almost as an afterthought – albeit a frequently high-energy and persuasive afterthought. By 1968, more time and resources were being spent in studios developing material designed to be heard on record, but as late as 1967 the approach still seems to have been to try and capture something approaching a band’s live sound with few frills. Nie pukaj do moich drzwi can be heard here, accompanied by some very low-resolution footage from Mocne Uderzenie, and a transcript of the Polish lyric can be read here.

Nie pukaj do moich drzwi (Don’t Knock On My Door)

(after Jacek Grań/Czeslaw Niemen, 1967)

You said that you’d love me forever,
that you’d never, ever, love another.
So tell me, was it a sudden wind
that yesterday took your heart from me?

I’d have told you I wanted to be alone
but you never once came to knock on my door.
I heard you, but it was just the wind –
only the wind, then the wind again.

You said that you’d like me forever,
that you’d always like me more than the rest.
Today it seems I’ve been cast away
like a handful of grass released on a breeze.

Maybe I didn’t keep watch in my house,
left it unlocked, so someone stole you away?
I’d have told you I wanted to be alone
but you never came by to knock on my door.

I heard you, but it was just the wind,
only the wind, then the wind again.
Yes, I heard you, but it was just the wind,
only the wind, then the wind again.

You said that you’d love me forever,
that you’d never, ever, love another.
So tell me, what was this sudden wind
that yesterday carried you away from me?

I know all your words. I know them well.
There’s a word I’d like to say to you.
I want to tell you how much I want to be alone
but you never come to knock on my door!