Czech Republic - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 29 - 03/02/99
Thanks to years spent behind the Iron Curtain, Czech popular music
still doesn't really have any established distribution in the West.
(Classical and folk music are a different story.) Fortunately, inroads are
being made by small independent upstart companies and this collection
is a sampler of one such company. Based in Delaware, Skoda Records is
the U.S. distributor of the band Uz jsme
doma. In addition to this band, Czeching In also contains
samples of ten other groups.
Following the opening Light Explosion by Sum
Svistu, (it's an instrumental cross between Devo's Bread and
Butter and David Byrne at his tropical best), Tichá Dohoda
(Silent Agreement) delivers Anchor and Cross. It features Blanka
Srumová's strong vocals. Waterfalls by the Go Go's
sound-alike Zuby Nehty is followed by Mnaga a Zdorp's
Sometimes. This band is best known for its unusual name and
depressing lyrics. The oriental sounding You Remain Alone by
Laura a jeji tygri isn't too upbeat either:
Hearts, brains, bodies
Blind hands, hot breath.
Same promises, same haste
what remains is
Boredom, boredom, boredom.
The rather disturbing Wolves by Tornádo Lue leads
to an even more twisted One Day by Dunaj:
Into the extinguished
Slab of your body
The slab of body mine.
Unfortunately the next track, Sto zvírat's Puppet, breaks
the mold; it is the weakest link of this album. But Uz jsme
doma's instrumental Jassica makes up for the low spot. The
liner notes contain a story of a grey whale (Jassica) who falls in love
with a sailor and gives birth to a baby giraffe also named Jassica. The
whole saga is illustrated by Martin Velísek, the band's sixth
The final two cuts bring us back to Earth (albeit slightly skewed
Earth). First, Yoyo Band unleashes No, Not That from their first
and then Buty
closes with I'd Like To Be Called John:
I'd like to be called
To be a friend of girls and ladies
To visit them uninvited
And leave unrecognized.
All of my youth,
All of my old age -
I'd like to be called John
And so, this collection takes us on a whirlwind tour, from the silly
tropical beginning to the bottom of the ocean - and back up again. Skoda
Records did an excellent job packaging this collection with pictures and
complete lyrics in Czech and English. Czeching In presents an
accurate representation of the contemporary music scene and I wish the
young company all the success.
Copyright © 1999 Ivan Sever