Europopmusic

 

the online magazine and encylopedia about european pop and rock music

   
 

Newsletter, October 2012 Bookmark and Share

   
       
 
 

"Hello Europopmusic fans..."

 
 

Imagine a TV station that specializes in broadcasting music video. And this station broadcasts on a pan-european level. Now imagine that TV station holding an event under the name of an European award show. It would sound like a great opportunity to deliver a platform to promote European popular music internationally. And what do you know, such an event actually exists. Fact is that the MTV European Music Awards are mainly a celebration of the same Anglo American pop uniformity we can hear all year round. Oh yes, locally you can vote and listen to your own local favourites on the MTV website but these webpages are confined to your own little territory. Time to set that straight and gather all those local nominees together in one place. And so we did just that, thanks to Youtube and some creative browsing. Be sure to check them out on our special MTV EMA European nominees page. There's something for everyone. From rap to alternative rock, from dance to singersongwriter.

And of course there's more. We enhanced our encyclopedia recently with a whole new country section dedicated to Portugal. Be sure we're gonna add a lot of profiles in the coming months. Talking about adding profiles, we've been really busy and added six new artist profiles in the past month. We also can offer you a small talk with Polish diva Justyna Steczkowska, a trip down memorylane with Aura Urziceanu from Rumania and reviews from the latest releases. As always: ENJOY THE MUSIC.

DOUBLE BASS & PAUL ROYAL

 
         
  Music news and background articles  
 


MTV EMA 2012; Who and where are the European nominees?

On the 11th of November it is the time for the yearly MTV 'European' Music Awards. Although it will probably be a exuberant television event which will offer you entertainment just take a second to think where that entertainment comes from. As every year you can vote on artists seperated over several categories. But where do these artists come from? For 85% they are all American artists. So why call them the European music awards is the question we ask ourself each year. And yes, there is one category of the 16 reserverd for European acts. But you cannot vote nor listen to what Italy, Spain, France, Norway or any other country has to offer. So it is not only an event which celebrates Anglo-American culture on European soil, it also misses out completely on the opportunity to promote local Europop and rock. To fill that gap, we browsed all the seperate MTV websites and gathered the local nominees. It was a tedious job but someone has to do it. For your listening pleasure and musical exploration you can now check out the true European nominees for an MTV EMA award 2012.. Read the article

 
     
 


Justyna Steczkowska speaks; "The power of music is in its creator"

Polish singer Justyna Steczkowska is currently celebrating her career with a new double album, on which she gives some of her classics a makeover, a tour and numerous TV performances. In between she found the time to speak to Marlena Wieczorek of Meakultury and answer some burning questions about herself. But she also takes a look at the state of Polish popmusic in general. Since a few years Poland holds a domestic music quotum obligating the media that 30% of theur broadcasted music has to be Polish. Justyna openly doubts if this is helpfull from the perspective of international competition or not: "The power of music is in its creator. ... If you do not learn to appreciate your own culture, others will not appreciate it for us." A true word. You can read the translated interview here.
 
     
 


Portugal added to our musicmap

Mapping out the history of popmusic per country is a lot of work. The more obvious countries like Italy, France and Germany were easy but the deeper we got the more complex it got. A big omision on our website was that we gave no information on Portugal. After e-mail number 50 about this we thought it was high time we'd fill that gap. And we were in for some suprises while mapping Portugal out. To help you kill one of the clichés, Portugal makes more then just fado. Excellent progrock albums and a innmovative folkscene, let alone the pop and rock music. Portuguese popmusicians feel themselves mangled between Latin pop and Brazilian Jazz and the international expectancy for them to make fado. In that friction some great music was and is created. Go to the page on Portugal.
 
     
 

Aura Urziceanu's memories from the Knokke festival 1971

Our online encyclopedia is one of the few places (if not the only one) that documents the Belgian European Cup for vocal recitation or simply the Knokke - Heist songcontest held in the Sixties. Most of the material (pictures, video) is probably lost so we're extremely proud when one of the old contestants sends us a mail for inquiries. And so Rumanian jazz singer Aura found her way to us. For our small section on Knokke we asked to write a small diary of what she remembered of the festival. You can read her full diary here.

 
     
  Reviews  
 


'Lidia Damunt
Viglio del fuego
♪♪♪
-M- (Matthieu Chedid)
Îl
♪♪♪♪♪
Marc Lavoine:
Je descends de signe
♪♪♪½
Barbara Moleko
Lykken er...
♪♪♪
Alice:
Samsara
♪♪♪
Renata Przemyk Akustik Trio:
Renata Przemyk Akustik Trio
♪♪♪♪
   
 
  Europopmusic artists (added to the encyclopedia)  
 

Christophe (France)

This is an artist I only started appreciating while backtracking his catalogue. I first noticed him on the Bashung and Jacno tribute cd’s where his weird airy nasal voice and meddling with experimental electronics sucked me in. Then I became familiar with his earlier electronic albums which are as strange as alluring. Like a post modern druid he sings and speaks his intoxicating texts over structures of sound. It is quite a leap when you continue to his seventies material. First of all the cover art changes to a distasteful level. But do step across the initial feeling that an album looking like that can’t be any good. It actually is and he actually made some great songs in the seventies that already hint to his more hypnotically electronic style later on. And finally you end up with his first hit 'Aline'. Great track and you probably know this from French sixties pop compilations but never knew who it was. Christophe is one of these artists that are a well kept secret from foreigners. For any international reference, any fans of Scott Walker’s musical course over the years should listen to Christophe. Go to artist page

 
     
 

Grupo Novo Rock (Portugal)

One of the most popular rockbands in Portugal they changed musical styles as much as they changed band members. All within the segment of alternative poprock they sway from new wave punk in the 80's to sophisticated pop in the 00's. It says something of the craftsmanship in the band that it actually does not matter which era you chose. They seem to soak up what's in vogue at the time and give it an alternative Portuguese make over. Go to artist page

 
     
 

Európa Kiadó (Hungary)

Is it a band or more a collective? With people active in the Hungarian new wave and punkscene hopping in and out. You can track down people who played or would play in bands like Kontroll Csoport and Sziámi. But this irradicate line up did not result in a consistant sound. Their debut can be regarded as a true band effort, the following output is a mixup of styles, bandmembers and live recording techniques. But, with the communist era breathing its last breath the first two albums also have a sense of urgency, like they're trying to make up for lost time in an anarchistic pop manor. For their keyrole in Hungarian alternative underground of the Eighties they are worth digging into. Go to artist page

 
     
 

Fausto (Portugal)

If there is such a thing as typical Portuguese folkrock Fausto is the one you’re looking for. His albums do have that folksound but in the arrangements he also using typical techniques from the pop and rock idiom. Mind you, Fausto isn’t the light of the party. His lyrics and intonation sound very serious and the thematic on his albums are not to be taken lightly. But his goal to create and preserve Portugues popular culture is something he should get a medal for. Classic stuff in which he puts himself on the same level as troubadours like Fabizio de Andre and Serrat. If you're into serious and engaged European popular music be sure to check his 1982 album 'Por este rio acima'. Go to artist page

 
     
 

Vajta & Teška industrija (Bosnia / Herzogovina)

Maybe not the topnotch of ex-yugo progrock acts but definitely an act is in the top ten and should be present in your collection. Vajta's output became more and more poppy over the years also due to the musical partners he chose. I think you can see the gradual 'originality' in album-titles (or rather the lack off) as an indication of what to expect. The Teška industrija albums of the seventies may sound a bit chaotic and suffer from the fact that recording techniques were probably not state of the art in Sarajevo. But between the somewhat brackish recordings there is raw and innovative energy that still holds an allure. Even after so many years. Go to artist page
 
     
 

Diana Express (Bulgaria)

You could label Diana Express as a demo version of Uriah Heep (no wonder they teamed up with Lawton) or a soft Deep Purple. But then you wouldn’t do justice to the inventive way they created the sound in a time when financial and technical means were scarse and the political system wasn’t to keen on Western music, let alone hardrock. With that in mind the first two albums sound really impressive. Naydenov’s had succesfull career after Diana Express with hitalbums and probably the most awfull recordcovers that side of the contignent. Vassil went for succes and pleased the Bulgarian softrock market in the Eighties with simple popsongs, artistically his contribution to Diana Express stands out as more interesting. 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: info@europopmusic.eu