Mikolás Chadima

Tagesnotizen

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Tagesnotizen is a cycle of songs written by Czech musician Mikolás Chadima (ex-Extempore) over words by East German poet Jürgen Fuchs. Both men share similar biographies in their "subversive" activities (as judged by the Communist authorities) in their respective countries. Back in the mid-'80s, the saxophonist/guitarist had set a couple of Fuchs' poems to music and met him in the flesh following the Czech revolution of 1989. The death of the poet a decade later provided the impetus to work on more poems, mostly excerpts from the collections Daily Notes (1979) and Bonny Companion (1981). The music is performed by Chadima's MCH Band, thus making Tagesnotizen the official follow-up to the group's 1999 CD, Carnival. Chadima excels in oppressive atmospheres. Of the pre-1989 era he has retained a taste for bleak songs, inflated vocals, and disquieting moments when you don't know if things are stopping or just taking a rest to better leap at your face. Fuchs' words fit the mood perfectly (yes, it should be the other way around, but it really feels like the words were adapted to the music). Chadima sings them in the original German -- Czech and English translations and notes are provided in the booklet. The music stands among the composer's best post-Extempore pieces. "Treue" and "Ich Weiß" have those heavy avant-prog rock stylings that provided the best moments of his previous albums. Recommended, although this album can seriously endanger a sunny day.

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