Saturday, June 23, 2012

Steeleye Span - Sails Of Silver (England 1980) @320


The album was produced two years after the band's ostensible break-up, at the request of Chrysalis Records. Peter Knight and Bob Johnson both returned, replacing their own replacements Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick, who had departed after the release of Live at Last. However, although Chrysalis had prodded the band to reform and release the album, in practice the label proved much more interested in promoting rising acts like Blondie than a reformed band that hadn't hit a real hit in four years. Despite being produced by Elton John's producer Gus Dudgeon, Sails of Silver was a commercial failure, and this proved a final straw for Tim Hart, who departed the band, leaving Maddy Prior as the band's sole remaining founding member.

Although the band now sported the same line-up that had brought it to the height of its success, Sails of Silver has often been seen as embodying a different spirit from their classic albums of the 1970s. Prior to 'Sails', the band had always performed songs written by other people, predominantly traditional songs, but also a few 20th century pieces, such as the two Brecht songs on Storm Force Ten. But on this album they included several songs they had written themselves, including 'Let Her Go Down' and 'Senior Service'. This was the beginning of a trend that continues down to the present. Every album they have released since 'Sails' has had at least one song written by band members, and Back in Line and Bloody Men were predominantly the band's material.

Maddy Prior has said that, although she likes the album and finds it accessible, the band was in her words "lost" and not particularly confident of the material it had put together. Fans found the album jarring, although they were pleased that the band was touring again, and the band's shows always included their earlier material.

01. Sails of Silver (3.27)
02. My Love (2.53)
03. Barnet Fair (4.34)
04. Senior Service (3.31)
05. Gone to America (4.21)
06. Where Are They Now (4.11)
07. Let Her Go Down (3.36)
08. Longbone (3.58)
09. Marigold / Harvest Home (3.05)
10. Tell Me Why (3.56)

Maddy Prior: vocals
Tim Hart: vocals, guitar
Bob Johnson: vocals, guitar
Rick Kemp: vocals, bass
Peter Knight: vocals, keyboards, violin
Nigel Pegrum: drums, percussion, woodwind

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Márta Sebestyén - Apocrypha (Hungary 1992) @VBR>224

If anyone could be described as the Hungarian equivalent of Enya, it would be Marta Sebestyen. Many of the songs on this best-of CD, which was released in 1992 and focuses on her innovations of the mid- to late 1980s, have a tranquil quality not unlike what you'd find on one of Enya's albums. New age audiences seemed to appreciate the tranquil nature of "Ne Menj, Szivem," "Szerelem, Szerelem," "Hegyen, Volgyon" and other songs that used synthesizers and electronic instrumentation extensively. And yet, it would be misleading to label Sebestyen a new age artist. Not only is Apocryha much meatier than a lot of the music labeled new age, but also, these songs are based on traditional Hungarian folk melodies. Sebestyen and her arranger Karoly Cserepes (who plays most of the synthesizers and is also heard on flute) have taken Hungarian musical traditions and done something very fresh-sounding with them. For those exploring Sebestyen's music for the first time, Apocryha would be the most appropriate starting point.
Alex Henderson (AMG)

01. Tavasz tavasz 4.45
02. A piac közepén 5.02
03. Zúgadoz az erdõ 3.52
04. András 6.09
05. Betlehem, Betlehem 4.25
06. Ne menj, szivem 3.58
07. Hegyen-völgyön 3.54
08. Apokrif 7.16
09. Szerelem, szerelem 4.46
10. Elment az én rózsám 3.07

Márta Sebestyén: vocals
Karoly Cserepes: synthesizer, flute, computers, tilinka, duduk
Tibor Donasz: drums
Janos Hasur: violin
Lászlo Hortobágy: chimes, bells
Mihály Huszár: double bass
Ferenc Kiss: recorder
Szabolcs Szoranyi: bass, bass guitar
Anna Cserepes: h. vocals
Levente Szörényi: h. vocals

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Laïs - Dorothea (Belgium 2001) @320

Belgium sometimes sends us atypical artists whose charm attains fast the heart of the public. This time, honour to the ladies with the trio of vocal polyphonies.
Laïs - Dorothea, their second album, constituted by traditional songs or of original compositions is interpreted in Flamish and in French. Nothing very amazing when they know the bilingualism of the flat country.
These three crystalline voices coated with a resolutely modern production transcend pieces that they had no more habit to hear around fires of camps néo.
Melodies are very nice and attractive. Voices are splendid. Recommended Folk music for all music lovers....

01. Doran 03:44
02. Belle 02:27
03. (Houd Uw) Kanneke 03:50
04. Benedetta 03:05
05. Le grand vent 03:19
06. Les douze mois 05:29
07. De valse zeeman 04:01
08. Marider 04:29
09. Comme au sein de la nuit 02:18
10. Dorothea 03:27
11. Klaas 02:57
12. De wanhoop 03:01
13. Tina vieri 04:13
14. Le renard et la belette 03:17
15. Le grand vent (a capella) 18:01

Annelies BROSENS: Voix
Nathalie DELCROIX: Voix
Fritz SUNDERMANN: Guitare acoustique, Guitare électrique, Charango,Harmonium, Guitare, Basse, Mandocello
Hans QUAGHEBEUR: Vielle à Roue [Hurdy-gurdy], Accordéon, Accordéon diatonique, Fifre
Ronny REUMAN: Drums, Percussion
Bart DENOLF: Contrebasse, Basse électrique
Michel SEBA: Percussion
François VERRUE: Basse électrique
Bart DE COCK: Nyckelharpa [Key fiddle]
Ludo VAN DEAU: Voix

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