Saturday, March 21, 2009

The soul of pleasure

When communism ruled in Czechoslovakia, rock groups were forced to please the party with their albums - or face obstruction - or worse. One of the more artistically successful bands of that time was Skupina pro Dustojny Zivot, a quintet from Presov, who have now reformed under the translated English name Party for Dignified Life, aiming at an international career. They have re-recorded their greatest Czech hits of the eighties in English versions, and although some couleur locale is lost this way, the results are still very interesting. Their sound is perhaps best characterized as new wave with plenty of synthesizers, rocking guitars and a drum machine that sounds terribly dated, but in a cute way. The songs deal with typical themes of the life in communist times, and one cannot help but feel that there is more than a bit of tongue-in-cheek in these reissued versions. An interesting addition to any collection, if not essential.

The idea of this little game is to create an album cover for an imaginary artist/group, as well as an imaginary review, following these instructions:

[1] The artist/group: go to the wiki random page generator. The first random Wikipedia article obtained this way is the name of the band or performer. In this case, I ended up with Party for Dignified Life.
[2] The title: go to the random quotations site. The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of the album. The random quote that came up was by Aphra Behn: Variety is the soul of pleasure.
[3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, Communism in Presov, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were Monotype Corsiva 85 Gold Metallic and Rebecca 60 Silver, respectively.

Note: this is a variation on the "Debut album game" that has been making its rounds around bulletin boards and blogs for some time now - the original version called for a random Flickr Explore photograph to be used as the cover. I have been trying to find out who had the original idea, but so far no success.