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Saturday 5 January 2013

Bratislava Boogie

It's Saturday night. If you are getting ready to go out dancing, here is a little something to get you in the mood - some fine slices of Slovakian disco, courtesy of Mr Brano Hronec and his Branjo Sound.

Both tracks come from their seminal 1977 album "I Wanna Dance Bump". I had hoped to include a picture of the cover here, as that contributes significantly the album's unique charm, but there seem to be some new problems with uploading photos on Blogger unless you have a Picasa Web album (what I don't). But I would encourage you to click on this link to see for yourselves.

Let's pause for a moment while you do that...

As you will have seen, someone in Hungary wants €21 for that copy. While it would be worth every cent, I only paid €1 in a second-hand record shop in Halle for mine, so got an even better deal.

As well as the cover and the music, the album boasts excellent English language sleeve notes by one Lubos Zeman. He explains that Brano Hronec started out as a jazz musician and composer, and you sense that Lubos doe not entirely approve of the move to disco. Is it just me, or is there an undertone of regret when he notes that "bump, hustle and disco seem to be heard all over the world, and clubs are filled with young people dancing. This is a social phenomenon which has acquired also a musical expression, and the history of pop music will have to register it".

Whatever his views on disco, Lubos makes it clear that Brano's music remains "on an admirably professional level, maintaining high aesthetic criteria and laying stress upon the synthesis of art and entertainment". Cynics may think this is a bit excessive when referring to tracks such as "Cock A Doodle Do" - on which a woman sings "cock a doodle doodle do" over and over again on top of a Silver Convention type beat - but to them I say (paraphrasing David Christie): Get off your high horse and ride!

"I Wanna Dance Bump" - Branjo Sound

"Wind Is Blowing" - Branjo Sound

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