I soon realized that the quality of these “free” discs that come with many music glossies is far superior to similar issues stateside—and well worth the 100 Kč or so price tag for the mag (especially when import releases priced at 500 or 600 Kč keep the average Czech fan from supplementing his or her collection the “normal” way). As for the glossies themselves, they’re heavy with photos of pie-eyed, glow-stick-clenching teens, but the reviews of new vinyl, new bands and new recreational drugs are informative.
The leader in Czech club-scene reportage is iMedia’s Xmag (known until recently as Tripmag). Edited by Béla Nemeshegyi, the monthly is always accompanied by a full-length disc of electronic beats. Past highlights include Czechoslovak Sound System Vol. 1, 2 & 3, which showcased several regional artists who went on to wider success (Floex, The Tchendos, DJ Neo). There’s also been a couple of solid chill-out discs (Selections from the Café Del Mar series and local DJ Significant Brother) and a tight breakbeat set from UK DJs The Drummatic Twins.
iMedia also publishes the slightly more accessible Ultramix, edited by Radek Lacina. This Slovak-born club zine is now widely available in Prague. While some of its comps border on monotony, Ultramix has released fantastic collections from British label Pork and German label Compost. Both offer superb downtempo singles and back-catalogue samplings from Fila Brasilia, Leggo Beast and A Forest Mighty Black. The labels usually license the tracks for free or for advertising space, this being a small market with a relatively large club-going population that will theoretically chase down the artists’ full-length releases. But most seem content to wait for what the magazine doles out the following month.
Last but certainly not least in the local freebie-thon is the superbly conceived art and culture magazine Živel, edited by Ivan Adamovic. This forward-thinking publication, issued more or less bi-monthly out of Prague 10, is consistently augmented with collections of unique sounds from all corners of the globe. I have never missed an issue of Zivel, and I’ve never been disappointed with what I found inside.
The recent issue #22 includes the disc Reykyavik Sound, featuring cuts from GusGus, Blake, DDD and Daniel Agust. Past releases feature the historic Kid Loops, Funky Porcini and Omni Trio as well as local artists Mr. Cucumber, Ohm Square and The Ecstasy of St Theresa. Next month’s is slated to include a fantastic electroclash mix (see Pill #27)! The meticulous attention to quality with which Živel puts together its comp discs is an extension of the publication itself, which embraces technology through minimal yet clever design.
Most surprising is the wide availability of unsold stock of all these titles at book and calendar likvidaces for as little as 30 Kč. I was shocked to find pallet-loads of shrink-wrapped, disc-stuffed magazines at both Václavské náměstí and Na příkopě locations. You know what to do.
Timmy’s Top 5 Complimentary discs
•Ocu rec / Živel #2
•Peep Sound / Živel #21
•Chill Out System (Significant Brother) / Tripmag, August 2001
•Pure Future 2003 (Drumattic Twins) / Xmag, December 2002
•Slice of Pork / Ultramix #03
You can hear breaks, bossa and rare groove on the High-Fidelity broadcast every Friday from 8 to 11 pm on Radio One 91.9 FM. Tim Otis is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Foo Fighters to play Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
American alternative rock band is ending its indefinite hiatus
The Beach Boys to play Prague's Congress Center by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The California rock band is back after half a century but with just one original member
The Pigeon Detectives will investigate in Prague by Fource - Prague.TV
24. 3. 17 @ Chapeau Rouge, Prague
Alter Bridge to play Prague in June by Andres Bermudez - Prague.TV
The band is supporting their latest album The Last Hero
O.R.k. to play Lucerna Music Bar by Andres Bermudez - Prague.TV (Foto: O.R.k. FB)
King Crimson meets Porcupine Tree in a prog-rock supergroup
Metronome to feature Sting, Kasabian by Andres Bermudez - Prague.TV
The new summer outdoor festival in Prague has announced some headliners
Nick Cave coming back to Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The singer and songwriter wrote a song about the city but he is unlikely to perform it
Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds to play Karlín by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The two members of the Dave Matthews Band promise an intimate acoustic show
Jason Mraz returns to Prague by Fource - Prague.TV
This time with a very special intimate solo performance @ Forum Karlin on March 20
Agnes Obel and her world of melancholy returning to Prague by Fource - Prague.TV
26. 5. 17 @ Palác Akropolis, Prague
Concert Tickets for Prague and Czech Republic
Don’t miss out on historical low Czech mortgage rates!
27 taps with excellent craft beers and ciders in the center...
Kids Indoor Playground in Prague 5, OC Zlicin
Find other singles quickly and face to face
Music club in Prague 1. We celebrate life every day!
Eighties-inspired café-restaurant & music club
British style Bar in Prague 1