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flag Czech Republic - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 15 - 01/12/98

Various Artists
Pro postizene zaplavami
Bonton

This Bonton Music's For the Flood's Victims compilation was released by the Czech Republic's largest entertainment conglomerate in response to the catastrophic floodings this past summer. All the sale proceedings were donated to the flood victims.

Compiled by Martin Simandl, these 17 cuts represent some of the greatest stars of the Czech pop scene. Lide jsou nekdy zli (Sometimes People Are Mean) by Ota Balage sets an appropriately somber mood with acoustic guitar, piano and a soprano saxophone, and thanks to interesting synthesized sounds and some awkward lyrics, the next cut Maksimig by J.A.R. turns out to be a rather charming rap (isn't that an oxymoron?)

However, the next selections get annoying very fast. First Karel Strihavka + No Guitars' D.J. Zdenda which contains mostly acoustical instruments and badly rapped verses. Then Rano (Morning) by Laura a jeji tygri would be a passable bluesy harmonica shuffle, but K. Sucha's imitations of Mick Jagger mannerisms get in the way. And Naceva's Zelenej drak (Green Kite) is just plain stupid. Hey, hey, hey.

Then comes Eben Brother's be-bop Chuze (Walk) and a madrigal Jeden dzban (One Pitcher) by Hruby, Mustill, Prokop a Skoumal. Berkeley by BSP tries to rock, while Ivan Hlas' nostalgic Takova kouzelna noc (Such A Magical Night) round off this very eclectic section of the album.

Not surprisingly, Janek Ledecky can't make any sense out of Pena dni. Does 'Foam Of The Days' make any sense to you? And the next three cuts are too embarrassing to even mention. Then the instrumental 911 by Dusan Antalik is a simple, long and boring guitar exercise and Hudba Praha's Divoky srdce (Wild Heart) isn't any better.

So is there any hope for this collection? The excellent title cut from YoYo Band's album Gejza is here ('Women who look like the Michelin man/With red hair coloring and plump laps/Traipse up and down the staircase/And the cheep booze gives them a really bad breath') and the reconciliatory Indianska dymka miru (The Indian Peace Pipe) by Zluty pes ('Live the best you can/Light up that old Indian Peace Pipe/I hope you'll like us/And forget about the tomahawk') close the album.

Other than the qualitative and stylistic variety, there is nothing unifying about these selections. On the other hand, Pro postizene zaplavami represents an artistic and corporate social responsibility that was until now generally unknown in the former East Europe.

Copyright © 1997 Ivan Sever e-mail address

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