Introduction: Zagreb

Have you ever heard of or maybe watched Lucky Kid (Sretno dijete)?

That was a story about lucky Yugoslav kids immersed in skinny tie new wave and punk rock! They were charming and defiant, silly and wild and everything that the young age brings. It’s hard not to like them.

However, if that was a story about lucky kids then the outlines of the story portrayed on this site will be mainly concerned with later happenings and with unfortunate children of the “dark wave”. The darkness indeed fell on the city of Zagreb and the whole country (YU) when the austerity measures (power cuts) were passed. Folks got back to regular routine living and slowly sank into even deeper recession as energy crises turned into full blown economy crises. Here it comes – the decline and fall. Here comes the dark-wave!


It was about that time when Pingvinovo potpalublje left practice space, climbed the small club stages and started gigging regularly with their (now better known) cult comrades SexA and Trobecove krušne peći.

Two major Zagreb based record labels Jugoton and Suzy were initially supportive of new wave and punk acts from the city and beyond. Such bands also enjoyed partial creative freedom since they seemed profitable at least for a moment. So, new wavers riding on the zeitgeist and armed with a potential “hit” single often rose to the surface either on their own or when labels pulled strings.

Zagreb was never a punk rock city in the caliber of Rijeka. Its arty character was more like a bipolar schism of the light (lite punk / new wave, new romantic gloss) and the dark (post punk, dark-wave, goth).

One more thing … if you dislike the sound of brass (saxophone) … the true arty sound of 80’s Zagreb is probably something to avoid!


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