April 2011
  Newsletter   # 27, June 2011  

"Hello Europopmusic fans..."


Oh dear, we let you down big time with not informing you on the latest news in the month May. We blame it all on the holiday to Italy. On our return there were so many releases to review we hardly found the time. As you can see in the colomn on the right. And that is by far not all. May turned out to be a busy month for the record companies.

But we survived the Napolitean piles of garbage and were not tempted to stay at in beautifull Puglia. Instead we've spend afternoons in dusty basements and neon lit FNAC's digging for those great old and new releases. At first the sellers gave us puzzled looks when we asked for Le Orme, Gianna Bella or Nada but soon the vaults (read dusty boxes from the attic) opened for us.

In the meantime we also continue our research on 1968 in Europe and you can read about Czechoslovakia below. I'm currently working on West & East Germany which will be up soon. And we found that there are currently over 300 individual artist entries on the site! Phew a lot of work.

So we leave you with the reviews and articles for this month. As always, enjoy!


  1968 in Europe, focus on Czechoslovakia  


As said on our introduction page we define European pop music by the unique social-cultural elements present in each European country. Language is the main focus but sometimes these elements can also be found in the instruments or arrangements that are being used. In describing the individual music scenes we also found that the political situations in a country were often of influence on the development of a musical identity. Like a match held to a can of gasoline. Especially one year seems to form a turning point, even a starting point for many countries to develop a local pop/rock scène. It was a year that Europe burned with riots and student protests. That year was 1968.

After France we zoom into that other great catalyst in Prague. When Dubcek annouced his reformplans in Czechoslovakia it created a whole chain of events. Political but also cultural. With an impact that would go crossborder. Go to the article.

  Gems from the basement: Gubec-Beg, a Yugo rock opera  


In this section we present albums we find in our relentless search through dusty basements and even more dusty attics. Yes, finding those Europop gems is a hard job.

During a recent expedition I found this album somewhere tugged away in a crate. The cover was made of sackcloth with just the title printed on it. Inside I saw the names of the composers, Krajač - Metikoš - Prohaska. Now, dedicated fans will recognise the name of Metikoš linked to Croatian singer Josipa Lisac. And indeed she is also present on the project. With the help of our friend Sasha we were able to deduce what this project is about. Apparently it was the first rock-opera in former Yugoslavia. It was based on real historical facts from 1573 when poor and unarmed villagemen under leadership of Matija Gubec rebelled against cruel aristocrats/landowners. Gubec eventually died a gruesome death (crowned with a redhot lead crown) but his life was immortalized in the 1877 novel 'Seljacka buna'. This again led to the rock opera from 1975. A unique situation because glorification of local history wasn´t really welcomed in the former Eastern bloc. Maybe the proletaric theme made it pass censors. It was a big succes - it was even performed outside of country - and non-theatrical stars as Josipa Lisac in the main female role provided another sensation. She played the part of Lana, a village girl who becomes crazy after being raped by a sadistic aristocrat. Branko Blaće with his booming baritone and big physique played the title role of the ill-fated village leader. This rock opera was so closely connected with its stars that it was difficult to stage it later.There were some TV concerts performed with symphonic orchestra and rock stars but in general nobody dared to stage it again. Some 16 years later,during the war, Josipa's anthem from the show "Ave Maria" was often played on the radio as a plea for peace during air raids

  Jacno future out now  


In France the recordcompanies have a busy time this year paying tribute to their deceased artists. Leave it to the French not to come up with a cheap compilation but make an effort in the hommage. We already had a deluxe box for Gainsbourg and a tribute-album for Bashung. In June a tribute album will be added to the list dedicated to the cult Parisian electro pioneer Jacno.

Acte de presence will be given by Etienne Daho, Jacques Higelin, Benjamin Biolay, Dominique A, Miossec, Arthur H, Brigitte Fontaine and many more will cover a Jacno song for "Jacno Future". For more info about Jacno go to his page. And check the teaser single, a rework of "Amoureux Solitaires" (which became a big hit for Lio once) sung by Daho and featuring Jacno's daughter (Calypso Valois).

  Monica Naranjo goes Ibiza  

AnneSpanish singer Monica Naranjo is currently touring with her 'Madame Noir' tour. Some fans find the tribute to old songs a bit hard to chew. For them and all other partygoers that hit Ibiza this summer Monica has a surpise in store. Together with DJ Brian Cross she will host a special musical show at the Amnesia on August 14. Two new tracks are composed by Monica Naranjo especially for the occasion and produced by Brian. According to the pressrealease it all "sounds incredibly avant-garde, it will vibrate to thousands of people at the prestigious Ibiza Amnesia.". We'll see.



In this newsletter...
Latest album reviews
Newly added artists pages
1968 in Europe
Avant-garde artist Agnieszka Szczepaniak teams up with Justyna Steczkowska
Raf speaks

Gubec-Beg, a yugo rock opera
Special show of Monica Narajo at Amnesia
Tribute to Jacno


  Latest album reviews  


  Catherine Ringer:
Ring n' Roll
  Miguel Bosé:
Cardio Tour cd + dvd
  Véronique Rivière:
Los Veranos y los días
  Donatella Rettore:
Caduta Massi
Aşk & Gurur
  Giuni Russo:
A casa di Rubinstein 2011
  Brigitte Fontaine:
L'un n'empêche pas l'autre
  Antònia Font:
  Sandra Kim:
Make up
Avant-garde artist Agnieszka Szczepaniak teams up with Justyna Steczkowska

Polish pianist and composer Agnieszka Szczepaniak (not to be confused with the supermodel with the same name) has been constructing a musical project in which she incorprates elements of tango, drum'n'bass, Chopin, mazurka and dark trip-hop. The project dubbed 'Szopa' (meaning Crib) was first performed for radio Troika in 2010 but since then Agnieszka has been adding and deleting elements. Last May 18 it finally got a theatre release at the Warsaw Paladium. Singers on the project were Justyna Steczkowska, the First Lady of Polish jazz, Urszula Dudziak and hiphop artist Tomasz "Tomson" Lach. The next step is a genuine album release which is in the making (see cover above). We only heard bits and pieces of the project and they sound very promising. Can't wait.

Raf speaks

Anne"Nowadays we think in terms of numbers and less in human factors":

On Italian pop-singer Raf new album it's all about numbers. The actual ones and the ones they symbolize. Julia Zichella spoke to him about his vision on the latest developments in music and how he looks back on his own career. And of course his new album 'Numeri'. Read on.

  Newly added artists pages  

We add new artists pages to our website regurlarly. Recently added artists pages (click to link directly to the page):

Nynke Laverman (Netherlands)
Fabrizio De André (Italy)

  Any comments?  

Naturally, all opinions are 100% subjective and strictly our own. However, we do our utmost best to present you the information as correctly as possible. Should you have any comments on this website, please let us know via e-mail: info@europopmusic.eu. Any comment that might help the evolution of this website is highly appreciated. We look forward hearing from you!


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