Michael Kocáb (b.1954) on keyboards and Michal Pavlícek (b.1956) on guitar were members of Czech jazz-rock fusion band Mahagon, founded by Petr Klapka in 1973. Also featuring virtuoso guitar player Jirí Jelínek, the band released 3 LPs between 1977 and 1980. After the demise of Mahagon, Kocáb and Pavlícek formed the Prazsky Vyber duo in 1982, whose 1st LP was blacklisted by the Communist regime. In 1990, Michael Kocáb was one of Václav Havel’s political advisers and started a political career as well, serving as a Czech MP for 2 years. Since 2009, he is Minister for Human Rights and Minorities of the Václav Klaus government. The second album of the Kocáb/Pavlícek duo, Černé Světlo (or Black Light) was recorded in 1987 and the final mix-down completed in 1988, but the LP wasn’t released until 1990 by Bonton, when the fall of the Communist regime brought a flood of previously banned releases on the market – like the Václav Havel Audience theater play I posted earlier this year.
♫ Černé Světlo is a dark electronic travelogue, a collection of minimal, instrumental semi-improvisations with Pavlícek on Roland GR-700 guitar synth and Kocáb on Yamaha DX-7 synth and Mirage Ensoniq sampler/sequencer keyboard, both using heavy doses of Roland DEP-5 and Yamaha SPX-90 multi-effect processors. This soundtrack to a nightmare is also a concept album of sorts, starting with the undisturbed, lulling first track titled “White Light Inside Womb” and going to the dismal “Black Light” epic. The music has hints of Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack as well as King Crimson’s Discipline period, but the album really stands on its own as a coherent, if bleak, electronic voyage.
01 Bílé Světlo v Matce [White Light Inside Womb] (9:17)
02 Osiřelá [Orphan] (11:20)
03 Vnímání [Perception] (3:58)
04 Crack (3:06)
05 Černé Světlo [Black Light] (15:40)
06 Světlu Vstříc [Towards The Light] (2:12)
Total time 45:30
LP released by Bonton, Czechoslovakia, 1990