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Prazsky Vyber - Prazský Výběr [aka Straka v hrsti] CD (album) cover


Prazsky Vyber

Eclectic Prog

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Marty McFly
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Before you start considering this album, I have to warn you that this is quite dark record. Perfect, but not optimistic, or pleasant (like symphonic prog). More like furious, full of ideas, promising, but also devastating. But well worth of your attention and money

Strange that the probably best decade for prog music in Czech Republic are 80's. Not so strange, when you consider "shift", we were quite slowed down here, having things released later, genres introduced very later (60's were also little bit swing era), because of WW2 and then

Let's start with statement, that everything is unbelievable insane here Hrabě X ("Count X") starts with psychedelic spoken words (by guitarist's little son actually), them followed by hell interesting and simply riff accompanied by sinister (parodying Dracula) vocals. It's song about weird man misunderstood by everyone, because of his vampiric habits (that are named here). Not crazy enough for you ? We'll get more of these. Watch for little, short parts of this song, as 2:56-2:3:03 (drums with keyboard), really reminding me Beardfish. No, there's no way how could BF be inspired by this.

Na václavském Václaváku ("On Wenceslavic [adjective] Wenceslaw Square"), with full presentation of Vilém Čok's vocals that can almost yodel. Well, it's about little boy lost in Prague, the biggest and quite overcrowded city. Considering the form in which it's made. Furious guitar riff that again, serves only as background for imagination (keyboard mastery, both by skills and ideas). Even solos are fast here and you'll have hard time to keep track with this song I suppose. My suggestion is just to enjoy it.

Straka v hrsti ("Magpie In Hand") starts with crazy introduction (sadly, you don't get chance to see Michal Kocáb on wheelchair with keyboards strapped to it, Michal Pavlíček in crazy hat and shirt with punkish looking (singer from second track) Vilém Čok doing bass quite furiously (he's little bit crazy, but that's advantage in this band).

And others are great too, I said enough.

5(+) without doubts, without bad things, simply pure dark prog psychedelic-crazy rock. Get it if you can (and I suggest you to find it even if you can't). It's the best thing you can get from Czech Republic (or one of the top10 at least)

Report this review (#236423)
Posted Wednesday, September 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Oh my goodness,people wake up and hurry to get this jewel of rock music!!! For the world this band is unknown and that is too bad.In Czech rep ,Straka v hrsti won no.1 record of all times in some polls. Guitarist Pavlíček played one song on stage with Frank Zappa,he is one of the best payers(the best one is probably Hladík with his band Blue effect) of all time in Czech rep,Vilém Čok ,ex-Zikkurat bass guitar player,was the craziest guy of czech scene in late 70's,Klaudius Kryspín drummer and controversial Michael Kocáb, vocalist and keyboard player, who helped czech goverment to send russians back home,famous for being very close to Frank Zappa ,composing some music with him,also helped to organize arrival of Zappa to Czechoslovakia and now is getting a lot of criticizm for being'' gypsy king ''in goverment battle for minority rights(especially Romes aka gypsys).In early stage influenced by jazz and then quickly changed to rock with some elements of parody,new wave,punk and Pere Ubu(Modern dance era) maybee it has some moments from Captain Beefheart's music as well.In early 80's Prazsky vyber aka Prague selection was hugely popular and performing crazy shows,singing in their special language svahilstina for example Bangabasava,zupá.In 1982 they made their first record Straka v hrsti on vinyl,which was immidietly banned.It is an album wich is not prog at all in my mind but wild extempore of very skilled musicians,combining funny lyrics(they are very important to understand this music),hard driving theatrical dada rock but somehow it belongs here and deserves very sunny place on this prog site.Listen this album very loudly and you will find out that it is one of the most crazy music you ever heard.
Report this review (#293464)
Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album isn't bad. They have very good parts, but some of it can get pretty tiring. It might change my perspective if I was able to understand the language, but not only does the instrumental component get a little tiring, but also the way in which some of the numbers are sung is just overdone. I feel almost as if they are trying a little too hard on the singing. It gets irritating for me.

There are really groovy parts like the song: " Můj koníček" has a very great bass line in the beginning, but as the song progresses, the singing and high-pitched guitar riff get repetitive. I can totally appreciate the effort that was made in putting the album together, but is it worth five stars, or essential for a progressive rock collection? I don't think so.

But, I really think they are worth giving a listen. I just wish they could take the singing more seriously.

Bangabasava sounds a little bit like Police.

Report this review (#411322)
Posted Saturday, March 5, 2011 | Review Permalink

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