Welcome to "Czech Up! Vol 1: Chain Of Fools", the first installment of random gems from the Supraphon vaults. It's a compilation concept we've had in mind ever since we began our collaboration with Supraphon several years ago, but which wasn't initially possible to accomplish due to - luckily temporary - licensing restrictions. For that reason, at first we focused on retrospective albums by Czech artists such as Marta Kubišová, Emil Viklicky, The Matadors and Olympic. However, in the meantime, just as Supraphon is steadily progressing with revalidating their immense back catalogue, we can now finally move along with them, picking up their cherries as they keep popping up on the notional surface.
The Supraphon label was established in the former Czechoslovakia and has continuously been active since the early 1950s. While it has always been highly esteemed by music connoisseurs for its excellent classical music releases, Supraphon's pop, rock and jazz music catalogue is internationally less known, although it's in fact even larger, comprising around 60,000 unique tracks. Today it also incorporates the complete back catalogue of Panton, also a Czechoslovak label launched in 1967 that existed independently until the late 1990s.
"Czech Up! Vol 1" highlights a collection of tracks that were originally released in Czechoslovakia between 1966 and 1978 on the Supraphon and Panton labels. Several psychedelic freakbeat favourites were chosen by Vampisoul's Iñigo Munster, whereas the regular associate and expert on Czechoslovak music, Lukáš Machata of the "Funky Czech-in" website at blog.loukash.com, has selected a variety of grooving soul, jazz and pop nuggets. Lukáš Machata - a longtime sound engineer and graphic designer - is also responsible for the carefully processed digital remasters and for the retro-style cover artwork.
And so the compilation's huge range goes from the never reissued fuzz-soul of Komety and the lush downtempo disco by Bezinky, to the Afro-influenced pop hit of Eva Pilarová and the fierce Jazz Cellula funk, over to Gondolán Brothers' Gypsy beat introducing Jitka Zelenková, to the frantic garage rock with Blue Effect, Flamengo and George & Beatovens, through to schlager music star Karel Gott's atypical R&B outing and to Mahagon's hypnotic fusion jazz-funk, up to the arousing 'Barbarella' interpretation by the incomparable idol Waldemar Matuška. We're commemorating well known classics by the Golden Kids supergroup comprising Václav Neckár, Marta Kubišová and Helena Vondrácková, by the accomplished vocal acrobat Karel Cernoch with his Stevie Wonder cover version, or by Michal Prokop's confidently soulful Framus Five combo. We've dug out undeservedly neglected bijoux by the graceful Helena Blehárová with the Gustav Brom Orchestra, the almost avant-gardist Petr & Jan Spáleny? from Apollobeat, the ex-Matadors shouter Viktor Sodoma, the sympathetic Pavel Novák & his Vox group, the trumpet virtuoso Václav Ty?fa with Josef Vobruba's all-star jazz-rock ensemble Konstelace, the studio group Discobolos, the extravagant Josef Laufer & Their Majesties, by the enigmatic Bluesmen, and by jazzman Karel Ružicka with the Ferdinand Havlík Orchestra. Last but not least, we're also presenting teaser tracks from our upcoming retrospective albums by the funky Flamingo group featuring Petr Nemec with "lady soul" Marie Rottrová, and by the psychedelic pop band Atlantis fronted by the siblings Hana & Petr Ulrych.
We have grooves you can dance to, songs you can chill to, breaks you can rap to, or simply 25 tracks you should listen to. So… czech up, and get down!
Listen to a Supraphon and Panton sampler here https://open.spotify.com/user/munster-vampisoul/playlist/4ATpzv8qawubyt20FN8FCV