La buona novella

Bella Italia. Natale ’70.

Lato 1

A1 – Laudate dominum
A2 – L’infanzia di Maria
A3 – Il ritorno di Giuseppe
A4 – Il sogno di Maria
A5 – Ave Maria

(Side B is reserved for April.)

Two thousand years later…

Francesco De Gregori – Natale (1978)
Francesco De Gregori – Gesù bambino (1979)

Sretan Božić. Merry Christmas! Buon Natale.

Repetitor – Prazan prostor među nama koji može i da ne postoji (2020)

Kamo ćeš? Dalje na istok… fast forward u 2020. , preko crte, iz zlosretne regije u nesrećni region. Beograd.

Repetitor have perfected 8 song mini-LP format. Skin & bones? Damaged goods? No way, they are still lean with the heart in the right place, running at full power. Formidable though. I haven’t bought it yet but I will. I promise. But promises are shit! Stupid fuckin’ words… Recommended.

Džungla

bandcamp: Repetitor

Noise Slawonische Kunst: Osijek

Rock and pop (new wave or post-punk related) music in Osijek (SR Croatia) in the 1980s (incomplete overview)

*subject to change*

Svinjokolja u Slavonskoj Požegi (zadnji vikend u studenom), pa kirvaj Advent u multi-kulti  Osijeku (Esseg / Eszék)…

(korekcije krnje faktografije, dopune, lijepe fotke glamuroznih darkerica, mp3 320 kbps fajle, … su dobrodošle, također skidam uvršteni materijal ako mu ovdje nipošto nije mjesto)

Next short stop is Osijek, a sleepy city on river Drava and capitol of Slavonia region. It had relatively quiet New Wave / punk-rock front for the biggest city on the route between Zagreb and Beograd. Even if post punk happenings came around with a delay, they accelerated in the mid ’80s and at the end of decade Kunst Stadt Osijek was just about to fully blossom. However, I am not well versed in the city’s music history. Of all writers, poets and media people involved (Rem, Rešicki, Rizvanović) at the time, one rock critic was especially important to our little teen “gang” smitten by “noise”– Darko Jerković. We also appreciated “tamni zvuk” articles from literary magazine Quorum (impenetrably arty publication, mainly compiled or written in dense postmodernist style) although didn’t quite agree always. I guess that teenage me thought that contemporary American bands should have been included more. Less Euro noise or pop-noise, more post-hardcore (or earlier post-punk) noise-rock with shit-hot rhythm section. Then I grew up a bit and saw things in a different light. And heard pop music in a different way.

I have little time for Slavonian humor (“dumb-dumber” variety) in general, but I do enjoy (half-imagined) aura of city’s art striving, pretentious or not. Osijek was impressive at it.

VA “Osijek poslije bombe 81-91” (1991)

For a framework I’ll stick to VA tape „Osijek poslije bombe 81-91“ issued by already mentioned independent publisher „Plavi pilot“ (they released “Bez tišine!” second LP by Vještice). As always the beginning belongs to the most important early band that inspired or motivated others – Diskretni šarm buržoazije, barely known outside Osijek and eastern part of Croatia.

DISKRETNI ŠARM BURŽOAZIJE [1979 – 1984]

Diskretni šarm buržoazije started as a (junior) high-school punk-rock band (or just a cheeky provocation) and gradually became the synonym for the city’s practically non-existent new wave scene. By the time they finally recorded themselves on tape for the first and the last time in the winter 1982/83, Diskretni šarm buržoazije matured into awesome young post-punk band. They amazed me in retrospect. I like a lot what little I’ve heard.

Original line-up: Robert Higi – guitar, Goran Lišnjić – voice, Siniša Vučković – bass / voice, with revolving door of drummers: Zoran Konrad Potz, Zoran Galić, Roman Marinković (played on the Demo 1982/83), Miroslav Šimić.

Visokofrekventni autoriteti
Yah-Yah

Diskretni šarm buržoazije played together with many major ex YU new wave groups (Prljavo kazalište, Film, Haustor, Boye, Paraf, Električni orgazam, Katarina II, etc.) as well as with less-known but important groups from neighboring Slavonian towns (Rukopotezno povlačilo, Spitz 66, etc.), or with like-minded avant punks Profili profili from Belgrade. Being under-aged they couldn’t play out of Osijek just like that, without logistical problems, so they stayed home and remained city’s cult memory. After the break-up,  experimentally minded vocalist Goran Lišnjić founded industrial art project Metropolie Trans [1985- 1990] which morphed into Nowy Lef [1990-1992]. He remained active on ex YU fanzine scene and among other things published esoteric various artists tape “The Cassette Played Poptones” which brought together obscure cut-up/industrial electronic acts: Autopsia, NEP (Zagreb), Padot na Vizantija (Skopje) & Metropolie Trans (Osijek). Although, looking back one would expect Aporea (Skopje) instead of Padot na Vizantija in this company.

THT [197?-83]

Ceste

NEHAJNI JAHAČI [1980-83]

Demo 1982

Ovo bi mog’o biti reggae ali ne
Prazna vreća
Život oko mene mrmori

NESSI [1983-85]

Kralj ulice

OSMAN [1983-85]

U sjeni bogova

RODERICK [1983 – 1991]

Ksenija Gottwald – vocals
Branko Kostelnik – founder, band leader, vocals
Danko Burić – viola
Ivan Fekete – bass
Dražen Zelenika – drummer
Darko Žeželj – guitar

When young woman was a moth.

Roderick were main or most significant band from Osijek. Their art-rock foundation was upgraded with melange of elements (avant-garde, neo-psychedelia, cabaret, vintage industrial, white funk etc.) combined into hermetic whole. Roderick were so good it’s hard to pinpoint specific bands as influences in their music – imagine Central European coordinates Osijek – Brussels (Crammed Discs) – Berlin that can loosely outline them as a band. They played concerts out of town and even opened for Swans in Ljubljana, during “Children of God” tour in 1987.

Bilo jednom na Balkanu – 1987 – FV Založba
A2 – Lovac
A1 – Letzte Dance
B3 – Querelle
Roderick – 1990 – Essek Records
A1 – Zašto žene u našoj unutrašnjosti još uvijek nose crne marame
B2 – Spleen
A5 – Katedrale nove

“Roderick” is uneven album, sadly I have to state. There are too many cover versions of late ’60 rock classics for a vinyl debut. Too bad. “Roderick” was recorded with Boris Kovač in studio “Barbarius” in Bukovac (SAP Vojvodina, SR Srbija) in 1988. If earlier recordings were too murky/low-tech (but aesthetically pleasing!) this one is too crystal-clean for a dirty taste like mine. Belatedly issued in 1990 on independent label Essek Records connected to city’s student center – STUC. Guess who played trumpet and trombone as a guest musician on this album!? Dr. Bela Tudósok Marjaš!!

METROPOLIE TRANS [1985-1990]

VA – The Cassette Played Poptones 1985-87 (1988)

Goran Lišnjić (ex Diskretni šarm buržoazije) as industrial/electronic artist:

Virus

PRIVATNICI [1984 – 1987] (ex Nehajni skakači)

Pop rock comedians.

NO PASSARAN [1985 – 1987]

Punk poet Senio with something to say (loudly) and his art-punk band with denuded sound (dry guitar tone).

Farewell concert recorded in front of STUC on 04.07.1987.

A gdje sam ja?
Gljiva
Kraljica
Grad

And series of garage punk bands/songs, with garage-rock gem of a song for goodbye:

VIBRA YUNKERS [1986 – 1988]

Zastave (live)

ROAD RUNNERS [1987 – 1991]

Rođen da pobjeđujem (live)

GALEBOVI [1987 – 1991]

The promising garage punk band from Osijek, often mentioned in the press at the tail end of decade.

Two Little Girls (Demo) – 1990 – self-released

Bulevar sumraka

Osijek bonus fat (metalhead punker Lale made a tape for you):

Bitch Magnet – Live in Osijek ’90

Bitch Magnet missed concert scheduled for Zagreb but managed to reach Osijek in time the following day.

Dragoon
(broken bass string – drum solo – stage banter)
Americruiser

Noise Slawonische Kunst: Slavonska Požega

Rock and pop (new wave or post-punk related) music in Slavonska Požega (SR Croatia) in the 1980s (incomplete overview)

*subject to change*

(korekcije krnje faktografije, dopune, lijepe fotke odrpanih pankera, mp3 320 kbps fajle, … su dobrodošle)

Moji snovi su otišli nebu pod oblake, putokazi su slomljeni / Kuda poći ovoga časa, gdje ostaviti svoje tijelo / Prošlost, zaboravi prošlost, prošlost, ostavi prošlost / Prošlost, zaboravi prošlost, prošlost, ostavi prošlost….

In late spring or early summer of ’82 (or maybe ’83), I visited Slavonska Požega while attending some sort of summer sports camp. I remember morning swimming in an open pool in nearby Velika. Even today I can clearly recall battered ceramic tiles covered with slimy green algae in cold and slightly murky pool water. I didn’t drown though. I returned once more after the war to spend two months in a military training complex situated in town. Actually, not bad memories for me.

Now we are in eastern part of Croatia – Slavonia – land of plains, rivers & hills (vineyards!). Don’t let this picturesque (almost idyllic) old postcard fool you. Behind the scenes there was enough of unholy racket to break out provincial constraints. So let’s get back to the noise – r’n’r inclination of local folk, carried on discordant notes and mangled chords. There was an important punk-rock axis in Požega: Rukopotezno povlačilo – Žak fatalist – Married Body. As usually, nothing has been officially documented for posterity. A blessing or a curse of living in a small town?

RUKOPOTEZNO POVLAČILO [1977-1982]

Dražen Heraković-Đuro (guitar, vocals)
Mario Blažević-Mac (bas guitar, back vocals)
Željko Nekić-Štakor (rhythm guitar) (1977-78)
Krešo Mihić-Miha (drums)

Demo Tapes

1 – Sigurno mjesto
2 – Hrabrost iz boce
3 – Moćni momci

2,3 – recorded in “Druga maca”, Belgrade in 1981

Slavonska Požega rightfully boasted with an original ’77 punk-rock band with a wacky name – Rukopotezno povlačilo. Young Slavonian punks explored possibilities suddenly offered by punk-rock and new wave and in the process probably thoroughly enjoyed rite of passage, while getting out of their provincial town and playing concerts around Yugoslavia. In legendary Belgrade studio “Druga maca”, together with Enco Lesić and Dušan Kojić-Koja, Rukopotezno povlačilo even recorded their first professional demo tapes (late post-punk phase as trio). Unfortunately none of these tracks have been officially released. Master tapes have been lost. After successful appearance on YURM ’82 rock festival in Zagreb, Rukopotezno povlačilo won title of “New Hopes”. And then they broke up.

ŽAK FATALIST [1982 – ?]

Unavoidable Đuro founded post-punk Žak fatalist when Rukopotezno povlačilo fell apart (JNA!). I like a lot their demo material. I am not sure about the date of recording (sometime in early or even mid ’80s?) & exact demise of Žak fatalist. Few years later restless guitarist appeared in Married Body and continued his artistic trade producing noise that we loved so much, and still do.

Demo 198x

Film (masakrirana verzija)
Prošlost
Kružnice
Nema tu istine
Cover of YU issue (Belgrade, 1975) of Jacques le fataliste et son maître, a novel by Denis Diderot

MARRIED BODY [1989 – 1991]

Line-up ’89:

Jurica Dizdarević-Juri – vocals (ex Ex),
Renato Pok-Fudo – bass guitar (ex Ex),
Branko Goleš-Goljo – drums (ex Spitz 66, Žak fatalist)
Dalibor Platenik-Zec – guitar (ex Secto Limy, Flash)
Dražen Heraković-Đuro – solo guitar (ex Rukopotezno povlačilo, Žak fatalist)

Married Body were trail-blazing noise-rock band that covered similar rock terrain as reformed SexA, but they were discovering it from their own heavy r’n’r angle. As a rock group Married Body had everything needed. They were even visually striking, with a local rockabilly dude as a remarkable noise rock frontman. Married Body ended 2nd best during YURM ’91 rock festival and the future seemed promising. But it was already too late. Recorded studio album wasn’t realized as a finished product in time…

Jurica Dizdarević – vocals
Renato Pok – bass guitar
Dario Pavković-Pavka (ex Flash) – drums
Dražen Heraković – guitar

Live in STUC Osijek, 28.10.1990.:

Kuća zla
Charlie Brown
Smjena
Blues

Unissued studio album (samples), recorded in early 1991:

Ta
Gedanken
Koz
Gumilator
Great Balls

Slavonska Požega, industrial zone

SAT Stoicizmo [1981-87] Blajciffer / Mostić / Zrak

“Mah 2” on Artware Production/Kvadratura juga (Wiesbaden, 1997). Recorded in Slavonska Požega in 1985.

Mah 2 insert
9:36:57 po srednjeevropskom vremenu
Futur egzaktni

Other bands of note: Bliski susret (new wave pop rock band, actually formed in Zagreb by three students from Slavonska Požega, with a pilot single released by Jugoton in 1984 and two recorded but unreleased LPs), Ex (rockabilly / psychobilly ex YU attraction), Secto Limy (flanger post-punk / new wave band led by junior spiritus movens Dalibor Platenik), Flash (arty pop rock band active in the mid 1980s, continuation of Secto Limy), Apatridi (anarcho punks with Goc on vocals), Amen (local death metal harbingers) etc.

Slavonska Požega extra:

1 – Allegedly the first SexA (then Dežurna apoteka) concert ever happened in the fall of 1980 in Slavonska Požega due to the fact that SexA guitarist/vocalist Darko Kordovan-Dare comes from the town.

2 – Dražen Heraković-Đuro briefly played guitar with Trobecove krušne peći. It’s hard to say whether “Teško je reći (Đuro)” has anything to do with it.

Hare! – noisy, psychedelic and not normal

3 – Ivica Baričević-Bara, big enthusiast and driving force behind Zagreb’s underground music scene of the 1990s, as a teenager played in darkwave / gothic rock band Casiel (1989) in his home town. He never mentioned that fact. Bara simply moved on with his music projects and vision, devouring current stuff and looking ahead. He did mention Hare! (although reluctantly) and gave me a copy of their self-released seven inch EP (recorded in June 1990, in “Crveni vepar”) to check it out.

Bara’s (printed) firstborn: Žedno uho #1

4 – Kktz – local crust punker and fanzine (Fecal Forces) writer with talent for phantasmagorical drawings

5 – And last but not least, Igor, emperor of Dirty Old Shop, is also from Požega.

Croatia, such a small pond.

Nema tu istine. I traganje za njom je izgubljeno vrijeme. Da li je to dokaz? Da li je to dokaz? Da li je to dokaz da je nikad nije ni bilo!?

Dead Famous People ‎– Harry (2020)

OK, let’s dedicate this week to pop and rock music artists from New Zealand.

Turn On The Light

Dons Savage has beautiful voice. I still haven’t heard entire “Lost Persons Area” EP.

Billy Bragg issued part of it on his own label, as UK release “Arriving Late In Torn And Filthy Jeans”. Such a lovely title.

I’ve always enjoyed listening to ’80s jangle pop rock (later called indie pop).