Korowa Bar (1981-83) ∗ Karlowy Vary (1983-86)
Excellent post-punk band backed by a drum-machine and fronted by female vocalist Varja with striking presence and androgynous voice. Allegedly the opiates had a substantial role in band’s creative chemistry but they cannot be categorized as new psychedelia as much as post-punk. KB continued where Metal Urbain / Dr Mix and the Remix / Metal Boys stopped. They would fit nicely in Leeds post-punk scene, in between other drum-box bands of note like Sisters of Mercy or March Violets as their Eastern European contemporary. Although still not officially available the 6-song studio Demo 1982 is recommended for people who fancy the first Big Black EP or, thinking locally, KAOS (Rijeka) and early Borghesia (Ljubljana).
After departure of original guitarist Piletić, Korowa Bar transformed into Karlowy Vary. In 1984 under new moniker with changed line-up they recorded what would have been the first album (including re-recorded KB songs) and offered it to Jugoton (record label from Zagreb). Jugoton deemed material noncommercial and morally corruptible and declined. It has been shelved since then. Korowa Bar to Karlowy Vary transition was similar to the one of their comrades from Belgrade: Katarina II to EKV. Indeed being good friends with EKV, Karlowy Vary felt at home in Belgrade as much in Zagreb. Their official debut LP (second studio album actually) “La Femme” was put out by PGP RTB in 1985. It sounds a bit dated today – it suffers form tinny digital production (of choice), unfortunate EKV influence & an unnecessary cover version (“Get It On”). Tomo in der Muhlen (bass player) continued to work as studio engineer/producer and a DJ in electronica field.
Korowa Bar – Demo 1982
To ne ginemo mi
Karlowy Vary – Haotika ’84 (unreleased album)
Znam da nisam
Karlowy Vary – La Femme (PGP RTB, 1985)