Europopnewsletter April 2013



the online magazine and encylopedia about european pop and rock music


Newsletter, April 2013


"Hello Europopmusic fans..."


Music and politics. Throughout pop history the two have crossed paths more then once. Wether it is to support a campaign or to openly protest against a political decission or movement. Recent examples of the first possibility were Czech band Tata Bojs supporting one of the presidential candidates in the current elections. In Italy Sicilian music maestro Franco Battiatotook things even more seriously joined forces with Beppe Grillo's movement. A recent visit to Brussels for a show caused the artist to rand on the euro crisis and that the banks are run but a bunch of greedy managers. But then in fluent Italian (which makes it even better). Other artists just use their music to make a more general point. Like Özlem who takes up the mission to rid the world of violence against women. Or at least she tries to make people aware about the subject. Meanwhile in France Indochine uses their fame to speak out in favor of gay marriage (which is currently under vote in Paris). But we should treasure the fact that artist can speak out so freely. When we travel back to 1968 we see that it was not always like that and that freedom of speech (and music) is soemthing we should treasure.

So let us once again take you around Europe for musicnews and album reviews. With an overload from France this time which seems to release a new album by a local artist a day (we can hardly keep up). As always: ENJOY THE MUSIC.


  Music news and background articles  

Romania in 1968, Blood sweat & tears

Although Ceauşescu is nowadays as a megalomaniac and a fierce dictator he actually was one of the more popular rulers of the Eastern Bloc in the sixties. With a liberal regime on youth culture and supporting the Czechoslovakian attempt for socialism with a human face, But Ceauşescu was also a skilfull opportunist who slithered through the international and Soviet political landscape like an eel though water. His international PR was so good that nobody was actually aware that the cultural freedom in Romania was actually paperthin. Blood Sweat & Tears experienced that first hand when their 1970 tour of the country ended in chaos. When economical crisis hit the country mid seventies and Ceauşescu's conquest for his own personal paradise began to take bizarre features the fun and freedom was over. Untill the people in Timişoara (notably also the birthplace of one of the first Romanian beat groups) had enough. Read more on Romania in 1968 and how evets influenced Romanian pop culture


Özlem Tekin speaks out against the violence against women
With her new album ‘Kargalar’ (translated: the Crows) Özlem Tekin closes the gap of three years since her previous album. A period with heavy international touring. The album sees a return to the rockmusic she made earlier. Since the last album Tekin saw the world harden en turn into crisis. She especially is concerned about the increasing violence against women. A central theme on the album as she explains to Hakan Gence for Hürriyet news: "I am touched by deteriorating of the environment and world order. It is sad to see violence and useless killing of women as a common thing in our lives. Violence against women is the central theme of the album and they are in need of 'soldiers'. I invite you to become a soldier to every woman in the songs, I hope we can make a stand against the cowards." .Read the interview

Fangoria: "When we were kids, space was the future"

In the slipstream of their latest project Cuatricomia Spanish band Fangoria has been giving interview after interview. With teasing headlines like the answer why they chose to do an expensive project like this in a time of crisis. "Other people are buying cars, we prefer to invest in this" was the simple answer to that. In Público Alaska gave an interesting take to European popculture in general and Spanish popculture in particular: "Pop music does not have to be linked to cultural heritage but you do have to have a cultural basis, as you have for example in England. Lola Flores I think is not given the importance she deserves. Or Rafael, which is like Frank Sinatra, like Tom Jones or Elvis. But never recongnized as such ". We could not agree more. We chose to translate a large portion of an interview they gave to the Valencian newspaper Levante since that explained a lot about the background of the album..Read the interview

Severina speaks about her new spectaculair show and more

"In my twenties I was insecure, In my thirties I was cool. In my forties I became a mum and looking back. I’m currently at a crucial point in my life, I'm very happy". Saturday 23rd of March starts Severina's new regional tour around the album "Dobrodošao u klub" in Rijeka. Renowned Slovenian theater director Tomaz Pandur was signed as art director for the tour which will be a blend of pop music, fashion, musicals, cabaret and theater scene aka the kind of multimedia fairy tale in four acts in which Severina can play a leading role in. Pandur is considered a revolutionary art director who adapted the mise en scene of opera’s like La divina Comedia and Die Russische Mission in an unorthodox way. Past week the whole spectacle has been rehearsed in Ljubljana and Rijeka behind closed doors. Sneak previews on Youtube show a that the Croatian fans are in for a treat. We can only hope she will be taking the show to other European countries. Novilist visited the Croatian popdiva for a short interview.. Read the interview

Özlem Tekin:
Kuća časti
Black city parade
Axel Bauer:
Peaux de serpent
Ici et ailleurs
Haloo Helsinki!:
Maailma on tehty meitä varten
Liisi Koikson
Vaikne esmaspäev
Various artists- Mauro Scocco
Kom ut ikväll!
Mabel Matiz:
Yaşım Çocuk
  Europopmusic artists (added to the encyclopedia)  

Raphael (Spain)

Drama, grand gestures and a vibrato in his voice. For foreigners Raphael is the epiphany of Spanish dramatic and passionate exegurations. For people from Spain Raphael is in the same league as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Tom Jones. The all-Spanish songbook Vegas style. His stage act is build around enacting each one of his songs, emphasizing his gestures with high dramatic effect. Both images are true. But although Raphael may sound a bit over the top you have to place him in the right timeframe. For records made in the sixties his wide vocal range, easily crooning and singing over some superb orchestral arrangements make him more then just another singer interpreting the American songstyle of the fifties. He translated and transformed Spanish songtradition with elements from light popmusic from the USA and is therefor essential in the history of Spanish popular music. Without Raphael Spanish light popmusic would probably look quite different. His catalogue is huge but for the best period seek out his work from the Sixties..Go to artist page


Il était une fois (France)

I usually call them the French answer to the Carpenters. Easy breezy pop with a leading role for Joëlle light voice and the male harmonies backing her up. No rough guitars or heavy drumsolo’s. It was all fit for comfort and fun for all the family. Like watching the Disney channel decades too soon. The bittersweet touch was in the lyrics that sometimes showed hints of severe depression and heartache. Like Karen Carpenter Joëlle did not make it to a very old age adding that dramatic extra to the image of this sweet popcombo. The remaining members struggled through the Eighties while slowing disappearing into oblivion with their music regarded as elevator-muzak. Even in France it took quite sometime before this friendly band was somewhat rehabilitated. You have to have somewhat of a sweet tooth to appreciate their music. Go to artist page


The europopmusicnewsletter is published by DOUBLE BASS & PAUL ROYAL, the Netherlands
as part of the website WWW.EUROPOPMUSIC.EU. Contact us via e-mail: