Extempore

Mila Ctyr Viselcu

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Many consider Milá Ctyr Viselcu (A Beloved Girl of Four Hanged Men) to be Czech group Extempore's finest hour. This 60-minute suite is sure exciting and exposes both J.J. Neduha's taste for black humor and stage antics, and Mikolás Chadima's gloomy understanding of the world. Marta, a 14-year-old countess, is promised to Vilem. She escapes the debauchery of the mansion, hoping to live life to its fullest. She meets with a group of nomads, four army deserters and three women. Joining them, she delves into even more debauchery as these men know their end is near and transgress all interdicts. They are finally caught. In the last scene, Marta rips her clothes off and sits madly under her hanged lovers. The lead role was played by percussionist Marta Gotthard-Zelinková (the only woman in the group), while Chadima, Neduha, bassist Jerry Tomásek, and lead guitarist Jirí Mares, all standing around her performing, made the perfect hanged men. The music itself goes from fiery moments of fast-paced blues-rock to complex progressive rock sections recalling Jethro Tull circa Thick as a Brick, with an extra rock-in-opposition dimension. Most of the plot is presented through recitations with only a few sung parts, like the opener "Naposled Se Napijeme." Recorded live in February 1977, this set was officially released only in 1986 by Fist, reissued on cassette by Black Point in 1990, and on CD in 1996 in a remastered version (sound quality is pretty good for a Czech recording from that era). The booklet includes the plot in Czech in the form of a comic strip by Neduha. Recommended to fans of adventurous prog rock; essential for anyone interested in rock from Central Europe.

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