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Funky Czech-In

An introduction to Czech and Slovak pop music from the sixties, seventies and eighties with a touch of funk, soul, disco and jazz.

In memoriam Dr. Gui, the funky drummer

2017-07-08

The Plookers – Back To The Egg (The Conclusion)

from CD “Das erste Mal”, 1997, Consou M’Teem Pelh Produkt CMTP9701

Plookers – Das erste Mal

left to right: Dr. Gui, Martina ThC, Felice, Anita Polverosa & yours truly

Sad news from the Funky Czech-In headquarters: on Friday, 30 June 2017, the Swiss drummer Guido Rath – also known as Dr. Gui – has died was found dead, aged 53. He was a member of three of my bands: “Felix” in 1994, then he was drumming with The Plookers from 1995 to 1997 as well as with their follow-up MØPP (Martina & Øgl Punk Project) in 1997 and 1998. Thanks to his solid backing, especially the Plookers were going pretty funky at times, even defining a new musical category called Schmuddelfunk. But not only that: Dr. Gui also happened to be the best man at my wedding! All these achievements are making Dr. Gui fully eligible for the induction ceremony into the newly created Memorial Czech-In category.

Dr. Gui of The Plooker, March 1996

Dr. Gui(do Rath) of The Plookers, March 1996

Guido Rath was born on 31 December 1964 in canton Lucerne where he lived until the 1980s. He studied pharmacology in Lausanne (yep, his doctor title was no joke!) but by the 1990s he eventually relocated to Berne where he performed with bands like The Frozen Popes. The latter also featured his fellow dr. pharm. Felix “Felice” Hasler on bass guitar who eventually was to provide his first name to the aforementioned “Felix” group (although actually led by Patrick Lerjen, d’oh) and to become another future funky Plooker. Fast forward into the 2000s when Dr. Gui continued to lend his drumming skills to several lokal groups from Berne, among others performing with the Madukas, and most recently in trio with Gold.

Back To The Egg (The Conclusion) was the closing track from the sole Plookers CD release “Das erste Mal” from 1997. The basic track was recorded in September 1996, actually at first being just a soundcheck jam-session while warming up for the upcoming CD recording session on the Wasserwerk stage in Berne. Felice improvised his bass line, with Dr. Gui spontaneously joining in on drums and Anita Polverosa hitting the cowbell while yours truly was busy attempting to capture the incoming sounds on a borrowed analog 16-track tape recorder. But this very take was then deemed too schmuddelfunky to be just ignored and ditched as an ordinary soundcheck. And thus during several overdub sessions in October and November 1996 at the Firma van Øgl headquarters, more instruments and voices were eventually added to the mix, featuring Martina ThC, Anita Polverosa, Barbara Zbinden and Hannes Meier on vocals and handclaps, yours truly on lead vocals, guitars and Farfisa Syntorchestra (an “antique” instrument owned by Dr. Gui, nota bene), also featuring special guest (and sadly another Memorial Czech-In member) Dänu “Sleepy Dan” Boemle with a couple of preliminary words to the world, and last but not least introducing Anita’s underage son Michi on additional random voice effects.

There are still a couple of CD copies available, so if you like what you hear, feel free to order one:
discogs.com/sell/release/1743303

And have a drink on Dr. Gui. He’s now back in his cozy egg until the end of The Universe As We Know It™. Cheers, doctor!

Interlude: Vampi Czech-In, parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

2016-02-17

We’re back, baby.
That is, we’ve never been too far away in the first place.
Just temporarily busy doing other things and stuff.

So, to catch up, here’s a couple of quick links for a start.

Vampi Czech-In, part 2:
Jakoby nic

Vampi Czech-In, part 3:
Pochod zlochů

Munster Czech-In, part 4:
Magical Nights

Munster Czech-In, part 5:
Get Down From The Tree!

Munster Czech-In, part 6:
Everybody! (Thoughts Of A Foolish Boy)

And last but not least Vampi Czech-In, part 7, a.k.a.:
Czech Up! Vol. 1: Chain Of Fools

VAMPI 167

Vampisoul VAMPI 167 (2LP) + VAMPI CD 167 (CD digipak)

Interlude: Vampi Czech-In, part 1

2009-09-19

It’s been a long time in the making… Almost two years, to be precise. So, in case you were already wondering what the author of this blog has been doing during the past twelve months, here it is:

On October 5, 2009, Vampisoul Records is releasing the first two compilations conceived, researched, selected, compiled, documented, designed and laid out by yours truly

Ne! The soul of Marta Kubišová

The soul of Marta Kubisova

Vampisoul VAMPI 114 (2LP) + VAMPI CD 114 (CD digipak)

Tracks:  Tak dej se k nám a projdem svět, Svlíkám lásku, Já tu s tváří neměnnou, Bílý stůl, Tvůj krém tvůj nůž tvůj růženec (You Came You Saw You Conquered), Kdo ti radu dá, Tajga blues ’69, Hare Krišna (Hare Krishna), Chci právo trubky mít, Legendy, Já cestu k tobě najdu si, Tys bejval mámin hodnej syn, Ne, Jakoby nic, Nepiš dál, Ten zlej páv, Modrej vřes, Zlý dlouhý půst, Ten druhý v nás, Balada o kornetovi a dívce, Na co tě mám, Vrba, Pojďte pejskové, Nejsi sám kdo doufá (Face It Girl It’s Over), Červencové ráno.
Featuring Marta Kubišová with the Golden Kids Orchestra, Mefisto, Waldemar Matuška and others. Twenty of these songs are being reissued on vinyl for the first time.
From our promo material: “Marta Kubišová was the most popular Czechoslovak female singer of the late 1960s, heading for an international career but banned by the communist regime until 1989. Compiled from the Supraphon archives, this 1966–1970 selection focuses on her roughest songs, with plenty of fuzz guitars and funky beats, punchy horns and razor-sharp organs underlying her deep and soulful voice.”

The funky way of Emil Viklický

Funky way of Emil Viklicky

Vampisoul VAMPI 115 (2LP) + VAMPI CD 115 (CD digipak)

Tracks: Trochu funky (The Funky Way), Týden (Week), Ještě jednou slunce (Once Again Sun), Květen (Maytime), Kam s tím blues (Chega de Saudade), 70. východní (East 70th Street), Boston, Zelený satén (Green Satin), Hromovka (Thunderhouse), Země plná lásky (A Land Full Of Love), Zase zapomněli zavřít okno (They’ve Left The Window Open Again), Siesta, Jumbo Jet, Ráno (Part 1 Kash Edit) (Morning).
Featuring Viklický/Frisell/Driscoll/Johnson, Karel Velebný’s SHQ, Eva Svobodová, Energit, Emil Viklický Studio Big Band. All tracks are being reissued on vinyl for the first time, SHQ and Eva Svobodová also for the first time on CD. Four tracks by Emil’s big band are even previously unreleased!
From our promo material: “Emil Viklický is one of the most renowned Czech jazz musicians and composers. This focused-on-funk selection was recorded between 1975 and 1987 in Czechoslovak studios. Be it with the legendary SHQ or with Energit, accompanying Eva Svobodová, conducting a tight studio big band or collaborating with fellow Berklee College students Frisell/Driscoll/Johnson, Emil knows how to funk up his keys all the way through.”

All tracks have been carefully digitally remastered from 24-bit transfers of the original analog master tapes by fellow blogger and “anti-loudness-warrior” Ian Shepherd.

The records should be available in good record stores near you. In case you should have difficulties to obtain them, be it on vinyl or CD, please let me know.

Recent posts

2017-07-08: In memoriam Dr. Gui, the funky drummer
2017-02-12: In The Game Preserve
2016-02-17: Interlude: Vampi Czech-In, parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7
2009-09-19: Interlude: Vampi Czech-In, part 1
2008-08-31: Mercy Mercy Mercy

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Disclaimer

The audio samples are presented as a “specimen” to encourage readers to buy the artists’ albums. Many of the tracks presented herein are available for purchase in MP3 or FLAC format at supraphonline.cz.

Copyright

All written content is © 2006– by Lukáš Machata (Lou Kash). Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. If you’d like to use portions of my articles, please contact me first.