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Jan Brabec & Leština, Brukner, Landovská - Z Jedné Strany Na Druhou (1999)

Recorded with very little means in 1986 and released as a samizdat (illegal) cassette the same year, Z Jedné Strany Na Druhou is a stunning work. For his first solo effort, Plastic People of the Universe's drummer Jan Brabec wrote an assortment of beautiful, languid acoustic songs. Ladislav Lestina plays violin, Brabec and Andrea Landovská sing, and all three plus Vít Brukner alternate with one another on piano, xylophone, drums, and small percussion (mainly bells and cymbals). The breathing tempos, romantic piano lines, and singing style all relate to the form of the art song, bringing to mind Dagmar Krause's Commuters project and News From Babel, but also the 20th century American contemporary songs of Ernst Bacon and Jack Beeson. But this album also projects an uncanny solemnity that fans of Plastic People of the Universe will recognize, only it is not coupled with gloomy music, but instead with very elegant melodies and sparse arrangements. Landovská's voice, although not that of a thoroughly trained classical singer, stays on pitch and conveys enough emotion to seduce, while forming a perfect pair with the exacerbated lyricism of the violin ("Tlukot" stands out in that regard). It seems the album has been recorded with only a couple of microphones picking up the ambient sound. The piano comes from afar and is not particularly well tuned, while some of the subtleties of the percussion work get lost before they reach a microphone, but for the lack of hi-fi quality the listener gains an intimate atmosphere that works admirably well for this particular music. Reissued on CD in 1999 as part of Black Point's Archiv series. (allmusic)

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Na półeczce z ukochanymi Czechami dumnie stoi sobie cała seria Archive praskiej Black Point. Szkoda, że seria ta już nie jest kontynuowana i jedynie intrygującym kawałkiem historii. Swego czasu przypomnieliście Elektrobus, ale warto też dokopać się do nagrań Extempore, Narodni Trida, Dvouleta Fama, Svehlik i Marno Union. Do pogrzebania w historii czeskiego podziemia wygodne narzędzia to katalogi takich wytworni jak Guerilla Records i Anne Records



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