Behold! The Markets Shall Erase Our History! (Nottingham Contemporary, 16 Jan to 17 April 2016)

6 Jan

Eastern Bloc Songs Sampler

Behold! The Markets Shall Erase Our History! (Small Collections Room, Nottingham Contemporary, 16 Jan 2016 – 17 Apr 2016)

Drawing together strands from a number of ongoing projects, including 723 Variations On The Same Theme, Eastern Bloc Songs and the fictional archives of the British artist Robert Holcombe, Wayne Burrows presents a display spanning both sides of the Cold War. Curated by Irene Aristizábal, Behold! The Markets Shall Erase Our History! takes in typographic consumer propaganda, erased partisan histories, fabricated Independent Group artworks and artifacts from the histories of popular music in Communist Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Eastern Bloc Songs: A Sampler, introducing loose English translations from the Polish, Czech, Hungarian and Croatian lyrics of 11 songs featured in the exhibition – all recorded between 1964 and 1981 by Filipinki, Klan, Marta Kubišová, Czesław Niemen, Hana Zagorová, Sarolta Zalatnay, Olympic, Hana & Petr Ulrychovi, Josipa Lisac, Tadeusz Woźniak and Izabela Trojanowska – is published by Nottingham Contemporary to accompany and contextualise the display and will be available at the gallery shop and elsewhere from January 15th.

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Eastern Bloc Disco with UrBororo (Nottingham Contemporary, 16 Jan 2016, 8.30pm to 11pm, free).

To celebrate the opening weekend of Monuments Should Not Be Trusted and expand on the display of Eastern Bloc 7” records in his exhibition in the Small Collections Room, Wayne Burrows will be playing soul, rock, psychedelia, pop, folk and jazz, all drawn from the surprisingly diverse output of the official state record labels of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, East Germany and the USSR between the 1960s and early 1980s.

The session will also include a live set from UrBororo, Pil & Galia Kollectiv’s new venture into “skewed filing cabinet swamp blues for corporate inflight listening” – an “objectively boring” band whose songs are made from an unlikely merger between the sounds of surf, grunge and punk and whose lyrics are all borrowed from a 1970s Management Self-Help guide.

“UrBororo are objectively boring. They also view themselves as boring. UrBororo actually refer to themselves with typically irritating self-deprecation as ‘The People Who You Wouldn’t Like to be Cornered by at a Party’. They regard most of what they do as a waste of time. Based on a managerial help book, the songs they play propose a skewed filing cabinet swamp blues for corporate inflight listening.”Pil & Galia Kollectiv (2015)

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3 Responses to “Behold! The Markets Shall Erase Our History! (Nottingham Contemporary, 16 Jan to 17 April 2016)”

  1. Christopher Bentley January 15, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    I first began to get into this scene via Hana Zagorová’s version of Middle Of The Road’s ‘Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum’,(or alternatively Sheila’s ‘Les Rois Mages’) ‘Pan Tydlitýt a Pan Tydlitát’. I haven’t been able to track that down on vinyl, but in another one of my Czechoslovak ‘disc-overies’ of the 1970s I have had the tremendous good fortune to get hold of Valerie Čižmárová’s eponymous LP from 1975 (V.Č. originating from the ‘exotic’ half of the former Czechoslovakia, Slovakia). It’s got a brilliant dance floor-filling hook line in the chorus of the track, ‘Koňskou Dráhou’. Have you got that or would you like me to take it along? (I’m only having to come in from Belper). I’ve been thinking that the sounds of the ‘Glory Years’ of Pop of the late 1960s to the early 1980s from east of the Iron Curtain could make good material for a clubbing scene (especially from the female side). You’re obviously going to be turning that thought into glorious reality tomorrow night…for which I am eternally grateful.

    As for my latest ‘disc-overy’ from the ‘exotic’ half of Czechoslovakia, the talented, glamorous, tragic Eva Kostolányiová (the ‘Twiggy Of Slovakia’)…well what can I say? Bowie got to 69, Valerie got to 53, but Eva only got to 32….and guess what, she clearly picked up on the potential of the B-Side of MOTR’s ‘Soley Soley’, ‘To Remind Me’, since that’s on her eponymous LP from 1973 (as ‘Kade chodieva láska’). I think I might just get hold of that too. Does that mean anything to you?

    MOTR’s European connections (and beyond) are amazing – an underrated, highly culturally significant group. They even got covered in El Salvador by Glenda Gaby.

    • wayneburrows January 15, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

      Hi, thanks for the comment, & yes, be good to see you at Nottingham Contemporary tomorrow night! Agree on Hana Zagorová as an early gateway – she did some superb tracks (not so much MOTR related, for me, but original songs like Rokle, Svatej Kluk & lots of others often with lyrics written by herself). I know some Valerie Čižmárová, though not Eva Kostolányiová – will look out for her records. Been collecting records from the old Eastern Bloc since around 2000 and still constantly finding good things I’d not heard of…you’re right about the amazing female artists too. From staple figures like Marta Kubišová, Hana Ulrychová & Eva Pilarová to the likes of Vera Spinarová (the Andromeda LP, with its amazing Floyd-ish title track and cover of The Zombies’ ‘She’s Not There’ among other things) and Marcela Laiferová (whose ‘Mlc’ is a great cover of ‘Hush’) there are so many great things out there – and that’s just pop singers in the former Czechoslovakia, one of the dozen ex-Communist states and many musical styles we’ll be trying to cover.

      • Christopher Bentley January 15, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

        Many thanks for your prompt reply, Wayne. That’s incredible about Marcela covering ‘Hush’. I had no idea about that. I once had that on ‘Shades Of Deep Purple’ back in the days when I was more Headbanger than Northern Soul fan (ironically, when Northern Soul was at its zenith) but gave it away foolishly when I ‘burned my bridges’ in the late 1970s in the wake of getting into the nascent Mod Revival…because it has subsequently occurred to me that it is sort of Mod Heavy Rock, if that doesn’t appear a contradiction in terms.

        I’ve been particularly excited about her because (a) she’s from the Slovak part of the former Czechoslovakia and (b) her birthday is very close to mine…but apart from her cover of The Three Degrees’ ‘Woman In Love’, nothing has really been lighting anything up, musically speaking, which has been a bit of a disappointment…until now! So thanks for that snippet of info.

        Birthdays is how I got into all this, BTW, since about a decade back I found a lot of old ‘Paris Match’ magazines in the attic and one (from November 1976) had a photo in of a mysterious Pop Star by the name of Carene Cheryl, who was apparently known in this country. Wondering why I’d never heard of her I went digging into her life story and found that we shared the same birthday and found out that she’d covered Jimmy James and The Vagabonds’ ‘I’ll Go Where Your Music Takes Me’ (as ‘Ne raccroche pas, je t’aime’), amongst other things and later changed her image and stage name to the more ‘American’ Karen Cheryl. Anyway, on Radio Derby back in November the year before last that JJ&TV record was played, which got me thinking ‘Carene thoughts’ and it became obvious to me that we were approaching the fortieth anniversary of the beginning of her recording career (January 1975) so I thought I’d better start buying her records on-line to celebrate this, which at length gave me the confidence to start looking not only over the English Channel but over the former Iron Curtain. In between these two times I’d also been looking into MOTR’s connections and had uncovered Sheila’s and Hana’s versions of ‘Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum’. Since Sheila had been a label mate of Carene’s that playing of that JJ&TV tune also, at length, revived my ‘Sheila/Hana thoughts’, so, about half-way through last year I got to thinking, “now, back in the Winter I found out all these amazing things about Carene via YouTube etc…you know that Hana Zagorová I first encountered a couple or so years’ back? What about her?” .The rest is history!

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