Saturday, September 26, 2009

V.A.- Surfbeat Behind The Iron Curtain Vol.2 2004

SPECIALLY  FOR - fernando--

Second compilation of raunchy & extravagant instrumental music recorded during the Cold War. 24 tracks of demented sounds created in extremely difficult conditions by the youth of Eastern Europe. AIP. 1999.

Part one of this series got a little flak because about half the tracks were recorded by bands that were not from behind the Iron Curtain. No such problem with the follow-up; all 24 cuts were done by groups from East Germany, Russia, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Poland between 1963-1967. Many of them are instrumental, and despite the "Surfbeat" in the album title, it's striking how much they're influenced not by surf music or the Ventures, but by the Shadows. Those galloping rhythms, the tremolo-laden sound with hints of country and Hawaiian music -- it's beyond a doubt that the Shadows, through radio broadcasts or clandestine means, were getting heard in Eastern Europe. Of course the recording conditions and execution were more primitive in these socialist lands, which puts on a layer of spookiness that gives it a certain charm. There are also some vocal numbers that show the more expected British Invasion influence, like the Olympics (from Czechoslovakia) singing in very clumsy English on "Story of the Girl with the Bass Guitar"; the East German Team 4, who sound like a credible American folk-rock garage band; and Romania's Mondial, who do a song that quite resembles Paul Revere & the Raiders' "Just Like Me." Oddly, the T. Schumann Combo (from East Germany) do a pretty faithful and competent cover of Booker T. & the MG's "Hip Hug-Her.


1. Singing Guitars - Torrero (1:03)
2. Singing Guitars - Perfidia (2:18)
3. Hungarian Ensemble - Koncert A Marson (3:05)
4. Satelliten - Scary Night (1:51)
5. K. Duba & Guitarmen - Winnetou (2:28)
6. Sputnicks - So Much Love (1:36)
7. Mefistos - I Am Coming Home Baby (2:57)
8. Taifuns - The West Wind (2:33)
9. The Olympics - Story Of The Girl With The Bass Gu (1:55)
10. Sputniks - Spanish Gypsy Dance (1:51)
11. Karel Duba & His Big Beat Band - Steps Inthe Sand (2:50)
12. T. Schumann Combo - Pussta Beat 45s Version (2:20)
13. Cornel Fugaru & Sincron - The Joddler From Gorj (2:31)
14. Studio 6 - Party Time (2:44)
15. Illes - Oh Mondd (2:23)
16. Hungarian Ensemble - Rollin, Rollin (2:24)
17. Team 4 - Ich Hab Ihr Ins Gesicht Gesehn (3:40)
18. Sincron - Play With The Maiden (2:55)
19. The Olympics - Mary Mary (2:17)
20. T. Schumann Combo - Hackepeter Hip Hug Her 60' (2:47)
21. Amigos - Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand (2:21)
22. George & Beathovens - Lez Blazniveho Basnika (2:34)
23. Monodial - Omule (3:00)
24. Monodial - Orbul (3:27)
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