Doom & Gloom - Early Songs of Angst and Disaster 1927-1945

In Prison: Afroamerican Prison Music from Blues to HipHop

Black & Proud - The Soul of the Black Panther Era - Vol. 1 & 2

Globalista:  Import-Export


  Germany's Trikont label has been putting out some of the best thought-out compilations of the past decade.  They've released collections dedicated to soul, boleros, folk, psychedelic music, world, klezmer.  In fact, there are very few areas that they're afraid to dive into.

"Doom & Gloom" heads into music that was inspired by disasters - man-made and natural.  Everything from drought, flood, train wrecks, tornados or zeppelin accidents gets a fair shake.  The cross-section on the album is quite spectacular.  Most of these artists come from blues and blue-grass tradition - early roots of country and American folk music.  Blind Willie Johnson starts off the proceedings with the very moving guitar eulogy "God Moves on the Water", which is followed by one of country's big superstars Roy Acuff & his Crazy Tennesseeans, and their tribute to car crashes "Wreck on the Highway".  In fact, everywhere you turn, there are train-wrecks, floods, fires and ultimately deaths.  Take a reading of the titles and this alone is enough to give you a scare.  "That Crazy War".  "Back-Water Blues".  "The Great Ship Went Down".  "When the Levee Breaks".  "Sinking of the Titanic".  "That Crazy War".  All twenty four tracks are programmed in such a way as to make you think that the late 20's to mid 40's were overflowing with dire events.  The artists are the cream of the crop of the popular crowd - from The Carter Family, Charlie Poole to Bessie Smith and Joe Williams.  Wonderful record, one that seeps right into your veins as time goes by.

According to Alan Elsner, "If a nation was defined by what it produced, the United States had become a prison nation".  About half of the prison population in the US is made up of African-Americans.  With such a huge disproportion, "In Prison" addresses the music that is made about incarceration and ultimately deals with the state of people when they are thrown behind bars. The mix is somewhat wider than on the previous compilation as artists from all fields of music are included - from soul, blues, rap to hip-hop.  Some of the highlights include Bobby Womack doing a gut-wrenching take on "Arkansas State Prison", Nina Simone busting out the blues with her powerhouse voice on "Work Song" and 2 Pac with his no-holds barred "16 on Death Row".  The Temptations work their magic with "Run Charlie Run", while Dead Prez rhymes away on "Behind Enemy Lines".  With each track, one gets an impression there is a ton of freedom and hope being shared with those on the inside.  Without a hint of a doubt, this is one very solid album indeed.

No matter how obvious this sounds, everyone knows the 50s onwards was a time of major civil rights movements across the US.  Segregation was battled. Equality and fair treatment were human dignities that were fought for.  Two volumes of "Black & Proud" encapsulate that era perfectly.  Across two discs, the music generates a lot of socio-political heat and scurries up feelings shared by all African-American population at the time [and many in the present].  "Black & Proud" has a simple mandate - to give voice to the oppressed, to let their voices be heard loud and proud.  Many of these artists were flatly banned from the air-waves due to the political views expressed in their songs.  Let's be fair, how many times have you heard Gil Scott-Heron [who is represented here on three tracks] on public, commercial-radio air-waves?  Barely anyone out there has the gull to play his music due to political outrage and blatant honesty in his songs.  Same goes for Derrick Harriott, who sings the angry "Message from a Black Man" and Last Poets who prophesize on "Black Wish".   Curtis Mayfield sings the very appropriate "Ghetto Child", while Chuck D guests stars as his usual pissed-off self along Last Poets on "Down to Now".  Even The Main Ingredient strikes the mark with their uplifting "Black Seeds" as do Staple Singers on their revolutionary "Respect Yourself".  When you're down and out, you need a spiritual and humane lift.  "Black & Proud" does just that.

Born out of a German multi-cultural radio station, WDR Funkhaus Europa, "Globalista: Import-Export" was meant to serve as a showcase of the station's wealth of programming.  Breaking all physical boundaries, the compilations travels between Russia, Poland, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Algeria, India, Turkey, Mali, Jamaica, China, Lebanon, Mexico and a few other countries to make around-the-world journey an exciting one in terms of musical abundance of materials.  There's head-bopping, hip-shaking Rai music courtesy of Sahraoui, which is then followed by bhangra from Panjabi MC.  One of the personal stand-outs is Trebunie Tutki & Kinior Future Sound, which melts traditional Polish mountain music with techno, with highly successful effect.  Another success story is Senegalese singer Mohammed, who contributes a tasty reggae treat.  As some old saying goes, "Have patience, for the deeper you dig, the more treasures you're bound to find".  

- Tom Sekowski

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+ Voice_Electronic Duo - Ved
+ Alfredo Costa Monteiro - Anatomy of Inner Place
+ Francisco Lopez - Live in Auckland
+ Peter Brötzmann/Han Bennink - Total Music Meeting. Berlin 1977
+ Sunburned Hand of the Man - Fire Escape
+ Troum - DARV? SH/AJIN
+ Wooden Wand - James & the Quiet
+ Jackie-O Motherfucker - Flags of the Sacred Harp / Jackie-O Motherfucker - Valley of Fire
+ Maquiladora with Makoto Kawabata - Kiss Over
+ Landfall - Landfall (The Frogression Tapes, vol. 2)
+ Vive La Fete - Jour De Chance
+ Duncan/Kontakt Der Jünglinge/Hausswolff - Untitled
+ Trouble Over Tokyo - Pyramides
+ Matthias Tanzmann - Restless
+ Kuniyuki Takahashi - All These Things
+ System 7 - Phoenix
+ DJ Donna Summer - Panther Tracks
+ Poker Flat Vol. 6 - Dead Man's Hand
+ Organum - Omega
+ The Orb - The Dream
+ Now
+ Bärchen: Songs For Bruno, Knut & Tom
+ Back To Back Vol. 2 - Compiled & Mixed By Gummihz
+ Little Annie & Paul Wallfisch - When Good Things Happen To Bad Pianos
+ Justus Köhncke - Safe And Sound
+ Dinner Music For Clubbers - Peter Grummich Plays Staubgold
+ Martin Eyerer - Word Of Mouth
+ Roger Doyle - The Ninth Set
+ Jay Denham - The Truth
+ Daedelus - Live At Low End Theory
+ Current 93 - Of Ruine Or Some Blazing Starre
+ Claro Intelecto - Metanarrative
+ Borko - Celebrating Life

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+ GEORGE & CAPLIN - He Really Got Through to Advertising / PELOTON - Selected Recordings / MANPACK VARIANT - Sticky Wickets / NICOLE MITCHELL'S BLACK EARTH ENSEMBLE - Black Unstoppable CD / DVD / MANIACS DREAM - Turku Hold'em / FLOWRIDERS - R.U.E.D.Y. / SNOLEOPARDEN - Snöleoparden / BLOOD ON THE WALL - Liferz / BAKER / HUNT / SANDSTROM / WILLIAMS - Extraordinary Popular Delusion / VARIOUS ARTISTS - Craze - FabricLive 38 / ROBERT OWENS - Night-Time Stories / JACK MARCHMENT - Corydon and Manjrekar / FLUORESCENT GREY - Gaseous Opal Orbs / M.B. + E.D.A. - Regolelettroniche / S.T. MIKAEL - Mind of Fire / FERVENT - Conjestion / LACONIC ZERO - Tribeca / ROB BROWN ENSEMBLE - Crown Truck Root Funk / THE GARIFUNA WOMEN'S PROJECT - Umalali / THINK OF ONE - Camping Shaâbi / ROBBIE AVENAIM / DALE GORFINKEL - Sonic Systems Laboratory / MOLJEBKA PVLSE / SEVENTEEN MIGS OF SPRING - Ravha / Electricity Gardens / ZAVOLOKA - Viter / THEE SILVER MT. ZION MEMORIAL ORCHESTRA & TRA-LA-LA BAND - 13 Blues For Thirteen Moons / NOSTALGIA 77 - One Offs, Remixes & B-Sides / GOLIATH BIRD EATER - Blood Venus / MICHAEL BLAKE SEXTET - Amor de Cosmos / AXEL DORNER / DIEGO CHAMY - What Matters to Ali / EARTH - The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull / TAUNUS - Harriet / ULAAN KHOL - I / STEVE MACLEAN - Bridges / ROSIE BURGESS - Humble Pie / GYLDENE TRION - Live at Glenn Miller Café / KIDSOK NUIT - Lo Spazio Delle Fasi / BOB JAMES TRIO - Explosions / VARIOUS ARTISTS - Euro Groove / FREE FORM FUNKY FREQS - Urban Mythology, Volume One / NIK BARTSCH'S RONIN - Holon / THE LORDS OF OUTLAND - You Can Sleep When You're Dead
>> VARIOUS ARTISTS - Doom & Gloom - Early Songs of Angst and Disaster 1927-1945 / VARIOUS ARTISTS - In Prison: Afroamerican Prison Music from Blues to HipHop / VARIOUS ARTISTS - Black & Proud - The Soul of the Black Panther Era - Vol. 1 & 2 / VARIOUS ARTISTS - Globalista: Import-Export
+ TULLY - Sea of Joy / FARM - The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun / THE TIM GAZE BAND - Band on the Run / PETER MARTIN & FINCH - Drouyn / TAMAM SHUD - Evolution
+ EVANGELISTA - Hello, Voyager
+ SETH NEHIL - Amnemonic Site
+ ARTUR DYJECINSKI - A Year and a Half of Rain
+ UT GRET - Recent Fossils
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Poor Boy: Songs of Nick Drake
+ MARK O'LEARY - On The Shore

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+ Wolę być didżejem - rozmowa z Matthiasem Tanzmanna [+ KONKURS!]