Freitag, 30. Januar 2015

The Foreign Corresondent Returns - Stories About German (Rock) Music # 48

Shiny Gnomes were a Psychedelic/garage band from Nuremberg. They were called earlier than German "The Jesus and The Mary Chain". Their music connects psychedelic rock, the 60s beat and folk keen to experiment with the floating, ethereally active voice of the singer Limo. In a criticism her style became as a "wild garage sound between pop and experimental noise". Rolling Stone once written about them: "... the beaming Gnomes may keep to have put down at that time the probably most pioneering garage punk and Psychedelia album maggot in Germany. If the Farfisa organs whine, the guitars the melodies shreddern and the drummers behind his Kit hyperventilates, then the lift-off factor, measured in US icons lies like the 13th Floor Elevators or The Electric Prunes at least on the same height... Shine On, you crazy Gnomes." And I can't describe it in better words. The Shiny Gnomes could have made it big! Their technical abilities on the instruments and the composition gift absolutely corresponded to an international level. I saw them a few times live and it was always a big pleasure.

Shiny Gnomes - Love Torture
Shiny Gnomes - Temple Balls
Shiny Gnomes - Lazing At Dessert Inn


Donnerstag, 29. Januar 2015

My Baby Don't Understand Me

Some days ago the Cleveland born and meanwhile living in Nashville Natalie Prass released her new album. First I thought, it would be a furthermore a singer/songwriter album with Country loans. When I have listened some of her songs I was surprised that nowadays such a sound is still made. The music is to be described almost with a Big-Band on soul - with flutes, string players, brass players and all what belongs to it so and Natalie's songs with this muggy, syrup-like Swamp feeling equip as if not a young newcomer, but Dusty Springfield or Sandie Shaw stood in the mike. So wisely and points, thus longing and mellow at the same time, this music indulges itself in the everlasting failure of the love. The perfect teamwork between juicy soul Big-Band and her peeping voice makes the charm of the album. When the band starts playing forward, one expects one of these typical thundering voices, but the more the music rises, the more Natalie Press takes itself back. I think her songs will be played often - even at main stations.

Mittwoch, 28. Januar 2015


Any time there were labels one could count on. There were Sun Record, Chess and Motown in America and Island and Stiff in Great Britain. From the late 70s to the early 80s I bought a lot of albums released by Stiff Records because they have very often met my taste. In 1980 they released an album by an artist they signed from the United States. Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns appeared on the scene as the reincarnation of Sir Douglas Quintet with their Tex-Mex sound. I loved they weired mixture of Tex-Mex, Rock and Roll, New Wave and Garage Rock played with passion. It was the sound of the summer and played on almost every party. And I think that's what they stand for: having fun and making you a good time. And by the way: He had later Michael Jackson on backing vocals on a song.

Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns - Caca De Vaca
Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns - I Get My Kicks On You
Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns - Nervoused Out
Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns - Susan Friendly

Dienstag, 27. Januar 2015

Twanging Tuesday # 51

This clip is from a Russian rockabilly band called Akaga & Roussinoff. I don't know any details about them but even in Russia the are able to play this music. And you don't need much more than a few chords on the guitar, a straight bass and a horn section to make a sound like this.

Montag, 26. Januar 2015

Demis Roussos 1946 - 2015

Just heard the news that Demis Roussos died yesterday. Not that I was a huge fan of him but he's a one I should write some words about him. He was known in Germany as a one that sung the so called 'Schlager' in the 70s. But back in his origin he used to sing in a progressive rock band - 'Aphrodite's Child' which he founded together with Vangelis. What will be his legacy is the album 666 in which Aphrodite's Child made an adaption of Biblical passages combined with experimental sounds. Their biggest hit was the added video from 'The Four Horsemen'.


And this song is really experimental song on which a female orgasm is simulated by the Greek actress Irene Papas, who repeated the words 'I was, I am, I am to come' over a sparse percussion track.

Puta's Fever

Back in 1987 Manu Chao, his brother Antoine and his cousin Santiago Casariego founded Mano Negra in Paris. Mano Negra mixed a number of styles: punk rock, flamenco, ska, rai, salsa, reggae and African rhythms as well. For me it was the kind of mixing all the styles to a very own special sound.

The name 'La Mano Negra' (The Black Hand) was a supposed secret and violent anarchist organization that was founded in Andalusia, Spain, at the end of the 19th century. The Spanish Nationals Police accused most of the Spanish anarchists of being part of the organization. In the 1880s, Andalusia had experienced a serve economic crises. Due the resulting misery and famine, farm workers revolted, burning and looting bakeries and numerous orchards. The led to the authorities' carrying out mass arrests and public executions. Despite the debates that took place, for years concerning the existence of this organization, it is now widely recognized in academic circles that was a type of 'false flag' invention by the Sagasta government, in order to suppress peasant revolts in the south of Spain. Chao's parents were political exiles from Span who moved to France, escaping persection from the dictatorship of Franco.

I ever loved their music and it's not important what political statement they did. Their main influence to non English-speaking band in continental Europe was immense. I've been with my brother to their concert promoting Puta's Fever. And I've to say that it was one the best concerts I've ever been. Seldom seen any appearance on stage like they did. All in all it was superb listening to them - unforgettable.

It's the different kind of styles the play and changes by every song. What an array of of styles - calliope-like keyboards, Latin grooves, gospel chorus and dub reggae on one record. Sometimes it happens that you can get it on one record.

Mano Negra - Guayaquil City
Mano Negra - Patchanka
Mano Negra - The Devils Call
Mano Negra - Peligro
Mano Negra - Voodoo

Sonntag, 25. Januar 2015


Yesterday my youngest brother living in Mannheim visited me on his way back from Munich. I was really happy to see and talk to him. Because he's also addicted in music we talked about what was new and impressive during the last year. Then he played an artist that I really forgot over the years. Ben Watt is known as a part of Everything But The Girl with his wife Tracey Thorn. After working with EBTG Watts immersed himself in the world of underground electronic music both as a DJ and a recording artist/producer. Searching for his musical output I found this House track that was played in some clubs I used to got:

Another project was releasing some so called Deep Folk mixtapes. Mostly based on acoustic instruments he made compilations that lasted about 30 minutes and it is a more than relaxing music.

In 2014 he returned to his jazz-folk roots and released his first solo record since 1983 Hendra together with Bernard Butler formerly of the band Suede. I don't know why almost no one named this record last year although is is full of dark, relaxed and inspired folk music played on a very high level.

Thank you, Martin.