Thirty-sixth music presentation session for the blind and visually handicapped took place this time in two locations. Prague: 9th of February 2022 in the presentation room of Czech agency SONS (Czech Blind United) and in Ostrava 16th of February 2022: Stará aréna Ostrava theatre . You can find the background of this project in an article about the first session here.
Prague: Congratulations to JAF 34, Itamar Borochov and David Stypka
Ostrava: Congratulations to Yemen Blues, Itamar Borochov and Marta Kloučková & David Dorůžka
|01 – There’s A Light – Elpis||2.5|
|02 – Low – Hey||2.5|
|03 – Itamar Borochov – Blue Nights (Live)||12|
|04 – Jaf 34 – Inhale Exhale feat. Viktorie Marksová||12.5|
|05 – Moonstone – Spores||4.5|
|06 – Audience Choice #1 – Vendredi sur Mer – La Femme à la Peau Bleue||5|
|07 – Marta Kloučková & David Dorůžka – White Rabbit (Live)||6|
|08 – Sanctuary – White Rabbit (Live)||1.5|
|09 – David Stypka – Marie||10|
|10 – Yemen Blues – Min Kalbi (Live)||7|
|11 – Audience Choice #2 – Dalida – Mourir sur scène (Montréal 1983)||4.5|
|12 – Bonus: Anna von Hausswolff – Come Wander with Me / Deliverance||7.5|
I love to start these events with something very energetic and I must say, I am positively surprised about some post rock/metal releases lately. I have been fan of this genres for years, but for the past couple of years, there were not many great releases. Just lately, I was blown away by a new album from Toundra, I will play Japanese Mono next time and through the label Napalm Records I discovered German talented young band There’s A Light. They recently released their second album f̶o̶r̶ ̶w̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶m̶a̶y̶ ̶I ̶h̶o̶pe̶? for what must we hope?. And I am really impressed. It works perfectly as a soundtrack for mountain hikes. Therefore it was really hard to pick a single track, but eventually returned to the first single I heard from them. The only complaint of my would be to try next time to release an album in some other month, than in December. When discovered them, I just closed the yearly list for 2021.
Check the whole post rock/metal Spotify playlist of my called A Touch Of Singularity.
I am doing my best to stay up to date and check yearly lists of awards, magazines or people I respect in that context. Full Moon is a Czech alternative music magazine I do sometimes write some interviews (Emma Ruth Rundle, BadBadNotGood, Alexis Marshall…). So when they released their yearly list, I checked a couple of items from the top spots. This way I came across an American indie rock band Low, which is active practically for thirty years. On their latest album Hey What, they managed to include ambient, indie rock, sweet melodies and a pile of effects I heard lately mainly on avant-garde dark drone works of Lingua Ignota. Track Mor that I really like, sounds like a combo of Kate Bush and a truck filled with drone effects. I went for a piece called Hey which to me represents well the whole package they offer on the new album.
For more than a year, I prepare every month a one hour show about some modern important jazz personality. For February episode I studied the work of Israeli trumpet player Itamar Borochov, who became very popular in Czech Republic since his first show promoting his debut album Outset. He released three albums so far, including a breathtaking last piece called Blue Nights. So I played a live version of the title track. It’s sometimes challenging to play modern jazz to a general public. Especially as it would be weird for me, as I was a pure rock and metal teenager. But I am happy to get to know works of artists, which provide very passionate, progressive and powerful aspects of jazz genre. Next to it, there personalities have interesting life stories and in the case of Itamar, jazz is combined with elements of world music. More about that in the second half, where I included a track from Yemen Blues project, where Itamar participated. And finally, from the reactions, I was really to hear people extremely appreciated the changing moods of this song, including some darker atmosphere building based on the band’s chemistry, including Itamar’s brother Avri on a bass.
Spotify playlist covering Itamar’s discography here
One hour show about Itamar’s career in Czech for ČRo Jazz here
During the past few years I was nicely surprised by the spectrum of interesting new acts on my home scene. One of the most interesting is an artist called JAF 34. He wrote me a personal message, which I always appreciate, compared to some general promo emails. We established a very friendly contact even though we never met personally. For his image he used a futuristic mask and an atmospheric rock sound, supported by an ambient electronic. But the main value of his activities are next to drawings very strong messages in his work. He concentrates on life & death aspects, our daily decisions, values and if we are living to our potential or wasting our lives. To make the whole concept even more cooler and to some extend cult (at such an early stage), he played a single live show and ended the project. Therefore, as a follow up check his art here. And mainly this beautiful track with guest vocals from Viktorie Marksová. If you are asking for a message of this song, JAF 34 told me this: “It’s about aging, loneliness and the fact, we are keeping somebody here under a selfish humanistic intention, who doesn’t want to be here.
I came across Polish psychedelic doom rock/metal band Moonstone also through a honest message. They were recommended to me by my good friend Jerry from the band The Screaming. Moonstone’s discography was a perfect soundtrack for my usual trips outside of Prague. I like to go outside of Prague on Tuesdays as it’s not crowded at all. This time I chose woods around Choceň. There was still some snow and it created an ideal setting. I went for a track called Spores from their latest EP 1904 and backed it up by my pictures from the trip.
Interview coming soon
Audience choice #1
As the first choice from an audience, in Prague a friend of mine Adéla, which enhanced the second half with an emotional memory on Czech singer and songwriter David Stypka asked for an interesting modern song La Femme à la Peau Bleue from Vendredi sur Mer.
In Ostrava one of the new guests asked for Something 2 Say track from Ida Nielsen.
|01 – There’s A Light – Elpis||12|
|02 – Low – Hey||11.5|
|03 – Itamar Borochov – Blue Nights (Live)||19.5|
|04 – Jaf 34 – Inhale Exhale feat. Viktorie Marksová||9|
|05 – Moonstone – Spores||15.5|
|06 – Audience Choice #1 – Ida Nielsen – Something 2 Say||8|
|07 – Marta Kloučková & David Dorůžka – White Rabbit (Live)||16.5|
|08 – Sanctuary – White Rabbit (Live)||3|
|09 – David Stypka – Marie||15|
|10 – Yemen Blues – Min Kalbi (Live)||25.5|
|11 – Audience Choice #2 – Roots – Foundations of Freeskiing||4.5|
|12 – Bonus: Anna von Hausswolff – Come Wander with Me / Deliverance (Live)||13.5|
I usually also start the second half with something energetic. But this time I did the opposite, as I wanted to show a proper genre difference on a legendary Jefferson Airplane’s track White Rabbit. This LSD hymn was covered lately by a very busy Czech jazz guitarist David Dorůžka from a highly musical family and one of the most talented young singers Marta Kloučková.
Second one was from legendary power/thrash metal Sanctuary which just recently released 30th anniversary edition of their Into The Mirror Black album from 1990. I am a proud owner of 3LP edition. Amazing album and especially never before released full live album showing the band in an incredible form. I will never forget when I first saw Warrel Dane in the Final Product video from his following band Nevermore. I was literally scared and I will forever find him as one of the best vocalists. His solo album Praises to the War Machine is my absolute favorite album to drive a car with. Miss you Warrel!
Next track was another important memory. To be honest, mainstream pop scene of my country is mainly rubbish. National mainstream music awards were always a pain in the ass and finally lately the situation is getting better. One of the most promising figures was singer and songwriter David Stypka who was slowly reaching the broader reach. In his case, I was finally hearing that melodies and lyrics were truly honest and everything made sense. He passed away a year ago, his last album Dýchej was chosen as an album of the year by platforms I respect and I realized how many of my friends respect him and even know him personally. Therefore I wanted to include a song, which I loved the most from his last album called Marie with guest vocals by Kateřina Marie Tichá. In Prague, it was very emotional as my friend Adéla prepared some stories from the time they spent together. Plus she asked me to play also a live version of the very short track called Tvoje Oči. Check the live footage here. For Ostrava she even recorded a short video to sum up her thoughts. It was really beautiful. However in Ostrava, at this point, we were dealing with some technical issues. Thank you guys once again for being so supportive and tolerant.
Every time, I am trying to include a world music song. Within Itamar Borochov’s discography I was truly impressed by a project called Yemen Blues. Insane energy and impressive arrangements throughout a majority of band’s discography. No wonder a piece called Min Kalbi won the final vote in Ostrava.
Audience choice #2
As the second choice from an audience, in Prague a regular guest Mrs. Vondráčková asked for an older song. Dalida’s Mourir sur scène from Montréal 9th April 1983.
In Ostrava, my good friend Barbora asked for a track from skiing compilation video called Roots – Foundations of Freeskiing.
Bonus: Anna von Hausswolff – Come Wander with Me / Deliverance
Swedish singer, songwriter and organ player Anna von Hausswolff is part of the playlists lately somewhat regularly, but there are very good reasons for it. I went recently to her organ show in Prague’s St. Salvatore during late November where she concentrated on her latest album All Thoughts Fly. It was a breathtaking experience. During her career, she was performing at Nobel Prize awards, cooperating with black metal band Wolves in the Throne Room, as well as with drone icons Sunn O))). Drone is actually very big part of her discography, considering her side project BADA. However just recently she released a live album from her Montreux Jazz Festival performance. I would die for Ugly and Vengeful track, which was pushed into a perfection compared to already breathtaking older video version. But the last track from that album called Come Wander with Me / Deliverance is my new favorite. Incredible performance. Check for yourself.
Remember movie Ray and the scene with wrist?
9th of March – Ostrava
16th of March – Prague (SONS)
And for the last week of March I am extremely honored, I was invited by National library of Czech Republic to make a first music presentation there.