Monday, October 19, 2009

Iva Bittová / Dunaj

Iva Bittová was here at Mills College this past Thursday, so it seems like a good time to post this, which I've had ready for awhile. In the mid 90's the possibility arose of reissuing Dunaj's first album, from when they were Bittová's backing group. The principals involved decided that while the songs were good, they were not happy with the recording quality. Instead of reissuing the record, Bittová and original drummer, Pavel Fajt, joined with the then current lineup of Dunaj, the late Jiri Kolsovsky, Josef Ostransky, Vladimir Vaclavek and Pavel Koudelka, to re-record almost the entire album plus some additional tracks and release it under the monicker, Pustit Musis, the refrain lifted from the song Roztocena. Only Sen and Kobylky were not re-recorded, although by then Dunaj without Iva had already re-recorded the latter twice, for Rosol and IV. They then did a few gigs together. In the comments I will post links to Youtube clips of two songs which appear here.

The recording is a bit primitive in spots. I can understand why they were not satisfied with it and felt they could do better. Still, it shows a group fully formed, with excellent songs and arrangements and superb musicianship on their debut recording. The Dunaj stamp of emotionally charged minimalism, simple parts overlapping in rather surprising rhythmic patterns, is already apparent. We find them already collaborating with lyricists Karel David, and Vladimir Kokolia, who also did the cover art and worked with Vaclavek and Ostransky in E. For all its rather unsympathetic production, it was still one of 1988's most stunning rock albums. The Czech indie scene, which came into its own in the 1990's, begins here.

01. Ouvertura 1:31
02. Kase 2:31
03. Dunaj 3:07
04. V Bilem 4:39
05. Bumerang 2:59
06. Sen 2:37
07. Dvoka Svine 2:30
08. Zrcadlovy Sál 2:51
09. Kobylky 5:52
10. Rukama 3:24
11. Roztocena 3:54
12. V Cernem 3:39

Iva Bittová - Vocals, Percussion
Vladimir Vaclavek - Bass Guitar, Percussion, Guitar, Vocals
Pavel Fajt - Drums, Percussion
Jiri Kolsovsky - Guitar, Vocals, Percussion
Josef Ostransky - Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
Pavel Richter - Guitar
, Percussion, Vocals

Kobylky - Grass Hoppers

Like grass hoppers, like horses
like locusts, like mange
like cholera, and like a storm
I'll give it to you one day!

Look and seek
Listen and sniff
Pour water into holes
unleash blood/hounds

Like grass hoppers and like horses
like a pack of rats and like a stench
like a pale moon on the bottom of the sea
I'll give it to you one day!

-Pavel Fajt

download | Vinyl rip | mp3-320kpbs | 84 mb | Scans |


gidouille said...

Pustit Musis 1996, from the Czech tv archives on Bittová's Superchameleon DVD.



Anonymous said...

thanks gidouille - another brilliant post, and your knowledgable writing makes it just that more special!

vaubu said...

Thanks gidouille,

This looks like an interesting recording. There seems to have recently been an influx of interesting Bittova posts. I too have one in the waiting. I'm curious what your current activities at Mills are.

Godard said...

Lovely, thanks gidouille. Would have loved to have been at Mills, I gather she was playing solo also. Frith was playing or is soon to play with Evan Parker in New York, a rare event in itself!

gidouille said...

Lucky, you're welcome, hope you enjoy it. Sorry about track 10, but it looks like there is gravel embedded in the Panton vinyl pressing on that one.

Vaubu, I have no current activities at Mills, but I occasionally attend concerts there. The Arditti String Quartet in March, Frith's 60th Birthday concert in April and this recent one by Bittová.

Godard, yes it was solo with no amplification. I believe Frith was playing in NY this past week while Bittová was here. She's supposed to be back here next week I believe as a guest with Don Byron and others for one of the SF Jazz Festival gigs and is duetting with Cutler in Ontario sometime soon, may be this week. She moved to the Hudson River Valley with her son in 2007, so she plays more frequently in the US and Canada these days.

Off topic, but possibly of interest. This past Friday there was a Futurist noise concert here, conducted by Luciano Chessa. Chessa, a musicologist and Luigi Russolo scholar, oversaw the reconstruction of 16 of Russolo's Intonarumori and with members of a local chamber group called the Magik Magik Orchestra performed a piece by Russolo, as well as newly commissioned works by Chessa himself, Mike Patton, Ellen Fullman, Elliott Sharp, Carla Kihlstedt w/ Matthias Bossi, John Butcher, James Fei, Blixa Bargeld, Theresa Wong, Ulrich Krieger and a couple others.

The pieces were brief, quite varied in approach, some included intoning vocals, and were mostly rather quiet and subtle, especially considering their mechanical source. Current noise musicians could learn something from these hundred year old approaches to mechanical sound.

Astrognome said...

Thank you! Actually better (rougher, more daring) than the Pustit Musis re-recordings.

Anonymous said...

the zip file will not extract..

gidouille said...

I'm not sure what the issue could be. I tested the original file and it unzips fine for me. It's been downloaded 234 times and you're the first to indicate a problem. Perhaps, something happened during the download itself, or it may be an issue with your winzip program or its equivalent. I've occasionally run into an issue like this and after downloading it again it works.

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