Zdeněk Liška ‎- The Cremator (2013)

Galvanising our ongoing commitment to the lost music of the Czech New Wave cinema movement from the late 1960s and 1970s, Finders Keepers Records follow up our series of previously unreleased music to Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders, Daisies, Saxana and The Little Mermaid with a short series of soundtracks for films by the country’s master of the macabre and the nation’s first point of call for freakish fairytales and hallucinogenic horror, Mr. Juraj Herz.

As another late entry to the unparalleled creative cinematic unison known in Europe as “the Czech film miracle”, Juraj Herz’s 1969 feature film The Cremator was one of a clutch of certified cinematic literary adaptations that used the apolitical subjects of fantasy and surrealist horror to evade the communist censors’ abortive measures; dodging the overzealous cutting and burning process which poetically echoed the films own macabre and fantas- tical screenplay. Unifying a cast and crew of some of the Czech New Wave’s leading lights, Herz’s macabre depiction of Ladislav Fuks’ fictional account of a local crematorium boss whose hallucinogenic burning obsession with the afterlife is ignited by the Tibetan Book Of The Dead and intensifying manipulative Nazi propaganda is undeniably one of the greatest underexposed European horror films of all time.

Drawing similarities with other stark monochrome thrillers such as Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, Herz’s comparatively untravelled classic also boasts a beguiling score and theme tune that remains one of the most memorable and spine-chilling melodic soundtracks by the country’s finest experimental soundtrack composer Zdeněk Liška (Malá Mořská Víla) providing the movement with one of its best loved signature scores. Featuring an ongoing part- nership with studio conductor František Belfín (Daisies) and soprano singer Vlasta Soumarová Mlejnková (Marketa Lazarová), Liška puts his radical con- crète and resampling techniques (see Ikarie XB1) to one side in favour of celestial choral and orchestral arrangements; menacing giallo-esque tension and recurring rhythmical motifs of Eastern bells and chimes illustrating Rudolf Hrušínský’s Kopfrkingl character’s demise into murderous infatuation and the momentary cameo shots of the hallucinogenic death figure played by Helena Anýzová (Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders/Daisies).

From a country and era when isolated soundtrack music remained commercially unreleased Finders Keepers Records are proud to rescue, remaster and reincarnate this intense and timeless score by one of Europe’s finest composers taking a rare excursion into horror territory as part of a filmography of more than 200 formerly unpressed film scores. (finderskeepersrecords)


David Jackman & Philip Sanderson ‎- 0° North (1982)

Originally released as a cassette on Aeroplane Records in 1982, this is a bleak yet satisfying collection of drones and rhythms from UK experimental synthesists. A superbly creative album, pretty much ahead of the game.


Zoltán Jeney - OM (1986)

Zoltán Jeney (ur. 4 marca 1943 w Szolnok) – węgierski kompozytor.

Studiował kompozycję u Ferenca Farkasa w Akademii Muzycznej im. Ferenca Liszta w Budapeszcie (1961–1966), następnie u Goffredo Petrasiego w Akademii Muzycznej św. Cecylii w Rzymie (1967–1968).

Przedstawiciel minimalizmu, od 1995 dziekan wydziału kompozycji Akademii Muzycznej im. Ferenca Liszta. Jego kompozycje były wydane na płytach wydawnictwa Hungaroton. Skomponował muzykę do szeregu filmów, m.in. do filmu Sindbad (węg. Szindbád) z 1971 roku. (wikipedia)

Zoltán Jeney (4 March 1943) - Composer, head of department and professor at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy, a significant figure of the Hungarian contemporary music.

He started his composing studies with Zoltán Pongrácz in the Zoltán Kodály Secondary School for Music (Debrecen, 1957-1961). Later on, he studied at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy (Budapest, 1961-1966) as pupil of Ferenc Farkas, and at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome, 1967-1968) as pupil of Goffredo Petrassi.

Returning from Rome and encouraged by Albert Simon, Jeney founded the New Music Studio with Péter Eötvös, Zoltán Kocsis, László Sáry and László Vidovszky in 1970. The studio soon became an internationally renowned workshop for composers and performers, and introduced more than 600 contemporary music works between 1972 and 1990. In 1972, Zoltán Jeney visited the lectures of György Ligeti, Mauricio Kagel, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Christian Wolff and Iannis Xenakis on the composing courses of the Darmstadt Ferienkurse für Neue Musik. Especially the personality and music of Christian Wolff made deep impact on him.

In order to research unknown connections of soundings, from 1973 he’s started to get involved in diverse non-music materials (texts, chess games, meteorological data, telexes and from 1979 even fractal lines) to rewrite them into music processes. Between 1975 and 1984 he sang in the choir of Schola Hungarica, conducted by László Dobszay and Janka Szendrei. Being acquainted with the Gregorian music praxis significantly influenced his thinking about music and composing. Based on two, each other completing antique Greek tones, he developed a so-called pseudo modal scale system (Delphi, 1978) that was first used in his composition To Apollo. In 1982 he studied computer music at the IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) in Paris.

In 1985 he was research professor for four months at the Columbia University, New York. From June 1988 he was scholarship holder of DAAD in West Berlin for a year. From 1986 he’s been teaching at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy. First he taught practical skills of composing, and then in 1995 he became head of the composing and conductor-training department. Since 2002 he’s been head of the doctoral school as well. In 1999 he taught as guest professor at music department of the Northwestern University, Chicago (School of Music). In 1993 he was elected to member of the Széchenyi Academy of Literature and Art – his inaugural concert was in October, 1996. He was chairman of the Association of Hungarian Composers (1993-1996), board member of the ISCM, International Society of Contemporary Music (1993-1999), and in frames of the latter organization he was also vice president between 1996 and 1999.

Among his works we can find orchestral compositions, chamber works, songs, choir works, electronic and computer music works, co-operations with other composers and incidental music (theater, movie). He permanently worked with Gábor Zsámbéki and Zoltán Huszárik (Jeney composed the soundtrack of Huszárik’s movie, Sindbad). With László Vidovszky he composed music for the Hungarian pavilion of the Sevilla World Expo in 1992. In 2005 he finished his monumental oratorio, Funeral ceremony, which he had permanently worked on since 1987. The premiere of the six-piece work was held 22 October, 2005, in the Palace of Arts with the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Zoltán Kocsis.

Many of his works premiered abroad as well. He’s been regularly invited to Ny Musik of Boras. In frames of a ten-concert series, the orchestra introduced more than thirty works by him in Sweden, 1984. A number of his CDs were published by Hungarian and foreign record companies. In 1979 he received the Kassák Prize from the literary periodical Magyar Műhely that was published in Paris.

He was honored with the Ferenc Erkel Prize (1982), the title Merited Artist (1990), the Kossuth Prize (2001), the Artisjus Music Prize (2001) and the Aegon Art Co-Award (2006). He also received the Bartók-Pásztory Award two times (1988 and 2006). (info.bmc)


Kluster - Zwei-Osterei 1971 (1996)

Some bands sell their souls to the devil, Kluster sold theirs to the church. This is probably another of those albums best enjoyed by those of us who speak little German. You see, Kluster were only able to get this and their previous record released by using a Christian label, the deal being that one side would have a religious voiceover.

It must have been a pretty liberal church, though, because those Kluster boys are banging away at the limits of sound in the background on ‘Electric Music and Text’. The authoritative voice sitting right on top of the mix with the strange, atonal electronics in the background.

Cluster fans coming here to check out the early works of Moebius and Roedelius may be a little underwhelmed at first but fans of Conrad Schnitzler will find themselves in the right place right away.

They work up an isolated cacophony of what sounds like a dieing robot flute player, a lunatic sawing at a cello and humming electrics. When it fades down to ghostly echoes and the voice returns, he has an air of told you so about him. Perhaps the band had been asked to literally raise Hell?

Then comes a wave of deep echoes that foreshadow ‘Cluster II’ but with the Schnitzler abrasiveness. However, the voice returns and by now he is really starting to sound hacked off about something. Perhaps he is cross about people who spoil great avant garde records with their pompous prattle?

Over on the second side, you get “Kluster 4″ which features some of the most depraved, insane, devilish flute playing ever. It sounds like they’re on flute, guitar and percussion and abusing all three mightily. The guitar sounds like it’s being wrestled with by a gorilla on ketamine, the “percussion” is someone chucking about blocks of wood and then adding so much reverb and effects that makes it sound like a robot throwing up its own innards. It is, of course, bloody great fun.

The track then descends into ghostly echoes and tappings, like a seance gone wrong. There are foreshadowings of the abstract industrial sound of David Lynch’s “Eraserhead” soundtrack, especially towards the climax of almost mechanical dissonance.

Its hard to imagine people ever doing acid to this album and coming out unscathed. This is what sets Conrad Schnitzler’s discography apart from most of what we call “krautrock”. This is not mellow ambient music or trippy electronics. This is brave, fearless experimentalism. Not to say that this is difficult, joyless music – I get a lot out of it – but just to make clear that listening to Cluster or the second half of ‘Tago Mago’ in no way prepares you for this. This is the hard stuff. (wasistdas)


Henry Wolff & Nancy Hennings - Tibetan Bells II (1979)

The original release of this album, in the autumn of 1979, included a description of what you were about to hear. "Tibetan Bells II is a space-poem in two sections," wrote Wolff, describing the two sides of the LP. "Journey To The End and The Endless Journey. The music charts the progress of an individual soul or spirit as it proceeds through the last recognisable phases of existence …" So, right away, we know we're some way off the usual roadmap here. Wolff and Hennings first LP, Tibetan Bells I, had been a seriously popular gateway record into the emergent New Age and yogic musics back in 1972. Building upon the resonant, rubbed tones of Tibetan Singing Bells and Bowls, instruments that had been used for centuries as an aid in to spiritual discipline, the pair created new compositions that avoided traditional styles and used the most modern recording techniques available while aiming for something deeper and more esoteric. There certainly is a complex and questing sense of spirituality here, the pair are clearly reaching for something that's situated within an unimaginably vast and inky blackness, but the care and space they give each note means this remains a warm, enveloping album. There is a world of utterly brilliant, largely home-produced, often fantastically odd New Age music made between the early 70s and the mid-80s, music that is a long way from the washed-out blandness that term has come to represent. Hopefully we'll get a chance to return to records by Constance Demby, Kay Gardner and Peter Michael Hamel, but for now let's sink into Tibetan Bells II, as powerful an experience today as it ever was. (theguardian)


Áron Szilágyi - Doromb On (2005)

Áron Szilágyi was born in 1977 as the first son of Zoltán Szilágyi, the only one Jew's harp maker in Hungary. He could play the instrument, when he was three but started to take it seriously at the age of 16.

Since 1997 Áron has been an active member of the international JH movement and has been a regular guest of the international festivals. At these festivals he was deeply inspired by the different styles and playing techniques of the other virtuoso players. Especially learnt a lot from the Swiss Anton Bruhin. His creativity and extravaganza with this instrument has given Áron a great push in developing his own style. He also got a deep inspiration by the spiritual JH music of the Yakut Spiridon Shishigin.

Áron Szilágyi performed at the International Jew's Harp Festival with Alex Horsch in Molln, Austria in 1998. Their performance was published on the compilation CD of the festival. The Hungarian national TV channel, MTV also published a program on the festival and made a video footage of Áron and Alex's performance.

He was also invited to the 5th North American JH Fest, Oregon, USA 1998. That performance was released on a compilation CD, too. In 1999 he played in Molln again and founded the electronic world music band, Navrang. In 2000 Áron moved to Ireland. In the summer 2000, Navrang had their first international appearance in Molln again where they earned a big success. In october they made their first CD.

In 2001 he has given concerts in Dublin with Kai Band jazz band and had solo performances and workshops too in Ireland and London. In the year of 2002 he organised a festival in Hungary where JH players and other "underground" musicians came to play from 10 different countries. Áron was invited to the International JH festival in Norway. Still in this year he started the auralinstruments.com business that is selling traditional hand made woodwind instruments of the Eastern-European region.

In 2004 he was seen on most of the nation-widely receivable Hungarian TV channels as a JH expert. His band, Navrang got an invitation to the International Donaufest, Ulm, Germany. The festival organisers published a concert CD of Navrang and it was a huge success. They also found a record label which published their new CD, Pangea. His solo track, Dervish and the other songs on the CD can be heard more and more on radio stations.

In October 2004 Leo Tadagawa, the head of the Japanese JH society, invited Áron to Tokyo. He gave four concerts and two workshops in Tokyo and Yugawara. They are filming the video for the Navrang track, Pangea (same title as the album) in winter 2004.

Áron Szilágyi's first solo album, DOROMB::ON, came out in 2005, published by G50 Records. In this year, he joind the band Flótás, who play Moldvan Chango traditional music. The only Hungarian region, whre Jew's harp is traditional.

Took part at the Marranzano Festival in Catania, Sicily. 2005 and was the first Jew's harp player at the Izraeli Didjeridoo Festival in 2006 where he had an outstanding success.

Organizer of the Hungarian Jew's harp festivals in Kecskemét, Hungary. These festivals are held and co-organized by the Kecskemet Youth Centre every year in September. These lively events represent the Hungarian Jew's harp scene and also pay attention to introduce the internationally acknowledged "top" Jew's harp players to the Hungarian audience.

In 2006 Áron was the one of three members of the program committee of the International Jew's Harp Festival in Amsterdam and was also elected as a board member of the International Jew's Harp Society.

Still in 2006 he was assigned as the leading project manager of "20 years later..." animation film making project, supported by Bipolar German-Hungarian cultural funds.

In 2007 he established NGO Eurokult, that will realize international Jew's harp events in the future. (The 2010 International Jew's Harp Festival in Kecskemét, Hungary, too.)

In spring 2007 he founded a new project called Airtist. With one of the best didjeridoo player in Europe, Markus Meurer and the beatbox champion Tamás Dömötör he makes purely acoustic, ancient trance music. They recorded their first EP, Turbolence in 2007, published by Áron's record label, Aural Records. (jewsharpsociety)

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