Music For The Blind – Session 32

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Thirty-second music presentation session for the blind and visually handicapped took place this time in two locations.  Ostrava: 13th of October 2021 in Stará aréna Ostrava theatre and Prague: 19th of October 2021 in the presentation room of Czech agency SONS (Czech Blind United). You can find the background of this story in an article about the first session here.

 

Ostrava: Congratulations to Zea, Tremonti, Mathias Eick

Prague: Congratulations to Zea, Steven Wilson and a third place shared between BadBadNotGood & Mathias Eick

 

Ostrava playlist:

Songs Score
01 – Tremonti – Marching In Time 21.5
02 – Amenra – To Go On.: And Live With. Out (Live) 15
03 – BadBadNotGood – Confessions (Live) 14
04 – Mathias Eick – Caring 18.5
05 – Zea – Hold Me ft.Milan André (Live) 24
06 – Audience Choice #1 – Mario Šeparović – Palestina 6
07 – Tesseract – Nocturne (Live) 17.5
08 – Flying Lotus – Your Screams, Hiding in the Shadows & Your Armour 7
09 – The Envlps – Midnight 13
10 – Rambo Amadeus – Euro Neuro (Live) 2
11 – Audience Choice #2 – Anathema – Suicide Veil 8
12 – Bonus: Fela Kuti – Zombie 9

Ostrava’s playlist was expanded by a concept tips for the region for an upcoming month.

 

American guitarist Mark Tremonti is one of the most respected metal guitar players of all time. He made a great career with Creed and a lot of briliant albums with Alter Bridge. Plus there is Myles Kennedy behind the microphone, who is also singing with Slash and has a very solid solo career. But to be honest, the latest Alter Bridge albums do not click with me, second Myles’ album didn’t reach the level of an amazing debut and Slash’s latest release also misses the drive of the earlier stuff. The only item I would honestly recommend lately from this whole package would be Mark’s solo stuff. It’s packed with energy, ideas and an ideal portion of frustration. This single is reaching the level of masterpieces as Blackbird.

Interview with Mark from 2017 here

Interview with Myles from 2018 here

 

 

Since I discovered Cult Of Luna’s Mariner album, they became one of the most important bands for my mind wellness. It’s sometimes very hard to explain it to the general public, but that darkness and intensity is having incredibly positive effect on my mind. Same compliments go to Amenra, which I also heard for the first time a couple of years ago, but just lately I fully understood their power, after my system was prepared by Cult Of Luna. It’s hard to explain, but fascinating and beautiful, if you are able to connect to that level of intensity and darkness. But I don’t consider it scary or related to some lame horror movies. I feel an absolute honesty and emotions expressed to the core by them. I always remember a quote from Interstellar: “Cooper: You don’t think nature can be evil? Brand: No. Formidable, frightening, but… no, not evil.” With this sort of music I imagine the power of physics and nature. Mainly the energy in the black hole or the powers of our planet (conditions in the core, strength of roots or a power of elements). Next to it, I went recently to see their acoustic live show. Local promoter Obscure Promotion wrote a FB status: “This might be the last show of the fall season. Please come to support us.” I didn’t hesitate for a second. It was simple beautiful acoustic concent and so much needed by the local fans. All of us in Amenra, Cult Of Luna, Tool t-shirts and afraid to clap, not to ruin the mood. So powerful.

 

44:10

 

I discovered this Canadian progressive jazz band through Spotify recommendations and a live track called Putty Boy Strut (Flying Lotus cover). Since then I gladly invested many hours checking works of this band as well as side projects of their saxophone player Leland Whitty. I especially love his guest solos on albums of Canadian singer Charlotte Day Wilson. Check mainly the track called Funeral. They studied jazz, but became extremely respected as a studio band for hip hop icons. They also continuously managed to build a strong position with their own albums, especially in 2016 with album IV. However, their latest album Talk Memory presents them as an extremely mature band with breathtaking capabilities and a taste for arrangements, melodies, strong structure and minimalism at the same time. Next to phenomenal album, check also their videos, as they prepared with guest directors, a video for each track. Next to Signal From The Noise, my most favorite is Talk Meaning. But I wanted to give an audience a simpler and very powerful intro, so I went for this live track.

Interview coming soon

One hour profile about Leland in Czech here

Extensive Spotify playlist on Leland’s works here

 

 

I came across the latest album by respected Norwegian trumpet player Mathias Eick, as he was planning a show in Czech Republic and I was recommended by my colleague from Czech classical/jazz/world music magazine Harmonie to check his album When We Leave for an interview. To be honest, I truly love those new interactions and discoveries from a blank spot. I started listening to this album, walking in our village, diving into its atmosphere and slowly coming up with questions. When I checked his discography more carefully in order to expand the questions I already have and see, if there might be some surprise, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was cooperating with bands I was listening when I was a teenager like The Gathering, Ulver & Arcturus. Till now, I love albums he was on and older I get, I respect them even more or come back to them, as I study a progress of those bands, especially Ulver. I had so much respect for those trumpet parts and I had no idea, who played them. They were so good and I didn’t have that lame teenage reaction: “Trumpet in metal wtf?” When I discovered that, I downloaded a couple of more albums on my Spotify and went for another, longer walk. Masterpieces Ulver – Shadows Of The Sun & The Gathering – Souvenirs suddenly received an extra level. I was ready for that interview like a beast. However, as it happens, there are surprises every time. First of all, Mathias was sick. I know how it sucks, when you don’t feel good and all you want is to have a soup/tea/snack and lie down watching your favorite show. He was honestly happy that we postponed it. On the day of the interview, we had to postpone it once more, as he had a plumbing issue. Also understandable and during our interview it turned out as a great opener, as they had rats issue in the basement. I hate to have “dry” interviews which look more as a rewritten press releases. It was a great friendly chat about rats, metal, Norway, new album and many more topics. Editor-in-chief appreciated this freshness and natural feel of the interview. I even sent a friend to his show in Brno, as I wouldn’t make it from Prague. Thanx Mathias.

Interview with Mathias in Czech here

 

 

As I had a pure metal puberty and still have a respect for heavier genres, especially within atmospheric progressive metal, I also love listening to modern jazz, world music (especially Balkan music), but I also can listen to some quality intelligent R&B/soul music. It all started with Mac Ayres debut album. Since then, Spotify started giving me many great tips. One of them was a song from female singer called Zea. I liked her track Hold Me (feat. Milan André) instantly and placed it in a playlist and moved on. I might have enjoyed it a couple of times, but kept it aside. Suddenly, not so long ago, I came across an upcoming show of Madison McFerrin with Zea as an opener act, as I am taking care of Český rozhlas Jazz FB page and check local jazz events. I couldn’t believe it, as it was a “random” track I really liked from Spotify, plus a R&B song in Jazz Dock? Then I realized she is Slovakian. Plus a model and an actress. For some reason I thought she might be Canadian, Australian or French. I did also let the audience try to guess it in both locations. In general, an incredible talent, I am happy to promote everywhere I can. I knew the technician who is helping me with this website is fan of this genre and he turned out to be a fan, when I sent it to him. My friends own a place where she celebrated a release of her album during summer – design store in Prague called Artisème. Plus I gladly recommended this track to my English student, eleven year old Zinka from Frýdek Místek. Incredibly smart and hard working girl with a love for R&B/pop music. It might sound cheesy, but Zea and Zinka are a proof, nothing is impossible.

 

 

Audience choice #1

As the first choice from an audience, in Prague one of the visitors placed shyness on a side and asked for this track which is helping her (not only) to find energy in the morning: Ayla Schafer – Vuela con el Viento. In Ostrava, my parents who came for the first time, wanted to share a song from an extremely talented singer and a guitar player Mario Šeparović. Yugoslav origin, living in Czech Republic, often called “Balkan Eric Clapton”. One of the best music acts you can check in Ostrava.

 

 

Prague setlist:

Songs Score
01 – Tremonti – Marching In Time 5.5
02 – Amenra – To Go On.: And Live With. Out (Live) 7.5
03 – BadBadNotGood – Confessions (Live) 8.5
04 – Mathias Eick – Caring 8.5
05 – Zea – Hold Me ft.Milan André (Live) 11
06 – Audience Choice #1 – Ayla Schafer Vuela con el Viento 4
07 – Tesseract – Nocturne (Live) 0
08 – Flying Lotus – Your Screams, Hiding in the Shadows & Your Armour 0
09 – The Envlps – Midnight 7.5
10 – Rambo Amadeus – Euro Neuro (Live) 3.5
11 – Audience Choice #1 – Steven Wilson – Deform To Form A Star 10
12 – Bonus: Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life 7.5

 

After The Break

British band Tesseract means a lot to our group. I discovered them shortly after a release of their debut album One in 2011. It was a great combo between Meshuggah rhythmics, melodic arrangements and a great vocal. Not denying, I was really into the whole djent movement. I felt like a teenage girl, when Tesseract announced a show in my hometown Ostrava. Unfortunately the show was cancelled as their replacement singer didn’t manage to catch a plane. Since then I interviewed a majority of the band and followed them in other projects including Dan’s cooperation with Indian ambient metal band Skyharbor. Tesseract are still active and did the best they could during pandemic, as they recorded an amazing live show. I have to compliment the whole band for the performance, but I am mainly glad Dan pushed more energy into the screams. He also did an impressive job in songs like Nocturne, which were written for a vocalist Ashe O’Hara. In the peaks of the songs Dan is missing those 3 or 4% of the high notes for a perfection #couchexpertspeaks, but still did an impressive job. However the main compliment goes to a drummer Mike Malyan (drummer of Monuments), who replaced Jay Postones because of the covid-isolation. Incredible performace by Mike. There was a lady in Prague, who asked me, to let her know, if there would a video with intensive visual effects, which might cause her an epileptic shock. This was a case to be careful. Otherwise spectacular show.

Interview with Amos Williams in Czech and in English

 

 

To be honest, I am far from being an expert on Flying Lotus discography. I came across him through Thundercat that I follow for a couple of years now. But from the first moment I heard soundtrack for Yasuke, including Thundercat’s guest vocals in one track, I was fascinated with this collection of tracks used for the Netflix anime series. That’s actually a huge paradox. I was never a fan of anime. I saw bits and pieces through my friends, but I never watched it before. After being obsessed with the soundtrack for months, I decided to watch it. Suddenly those ambient masterpieces, as well as energetic rollercoasters, made even more sense. “It’s not the best anime, but the soundtrack is really good. You have chosen a good thing to start with,” said one of my good friends, an expert on this genre. It didn’t convince me to check other anime series and movies, but I got a red vinyl edition for Christmas and I will gladly fully dive into Flying Lotus discography.

 

 

Throughout the years I received a huge number of interview/review requests and I gladly help. But I hate when I get a general email or even worse, when my name is in a different font or style compared to the request. I honestly try to answer to every email I receive which is written personally and not some lazyass copy paste thing. It took me some time to answer, but a sound of Czech / Tunisian-Swedish indie synth pop duo from Prague really fits my 80’s synth pop fascination. They have an incredible sound and I hope they will manage to tour soon again.

 

 

For the world music section, which I usually give to Balkan artists, I went for a very specific Montenegrian artist called Rambo Amadeus. Behind a very weird name is a very weird artist. Well, on the first sight. For years, I have been following his music, interviews and I must say, he is one of the most unique and the best artists from that region. He can play rock, jazz, avant-garde music and has a good understanding of evils of local pop folk production, as well as traditional music. He has that “not-give-a-f*ck” attitude, but behind that is a careful critic of local extremes. From one interview, I love his non-forcing support for his student to check the world abroad and lose that hate for western world, with Rambo’s understanding of how to a talk to a person surrounded by prejudice. Interview in Serbian 28:20. Impressive social criticism with humour could be also seen in his performance in Eurovision (One of the very rare cases I had a motivation to watch this show) with a song called Euro Neuro. He also inspired me to a name a series of phonetic aspects of Serbian language “Drastik Fonetik“.

 

 

Audience choice #2

As the second choice from an audience, in Prague one of the most stable guests asked for a song from Steven Wilson, who is one of the most long term favorite artists. In Ostrava, a father of one of my best friends has asked for a song from Anathema. Majority of my friends and audience love late Anathema, but it was cool to provide them something from an early (not the doom/death earliest) days.

 

 

Bonus

I usually have a same bonus for both locations. But this time I had to make an exception. As I have seen during a previous events, world music elements work really well with the audience. Especially if it’s connected to our multi-genre vinyl sessions Stop, Look & Listen. Especially the Colombian element worked really well.  I remembered a few days before the first event, two guys from our crew were telling me, they did a special on African music. They concentrated on legendary Fela Kuti. In Ostrava I played a video for a track called Zombie with an extremely strong story in the subtitles. In Prague, as the majority of the audience has a visual handicap, I approached the bonus as the third audience choice. My good Friends Vladimir has asked for In My Secret Life song from Leonard Cohen.

 

Next sessions: Prague – 9. 11. 2021 & Ostrava – 24. 11. 2021

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