Monday 24 September 2018

Various Artists - Druga Liga Prvo Kolo -1995- (CD, Helidon), Slovenia/Croatia

Druga Liga Prvo Kolo -Second League First Round - is an essential cornerstone compilation from post-Yugo 90's Slovenia. It compiles both Slovenian and Croatian bands that were active in the early and mid-90's in their respective underground scene. Eastern European underground bands from this time were very weird and unclassifiable, playing a combination of both unskilled punk and hyper-complex rock in opposition drenched in a healthy amount of absurdism while existing within a genuine alternative culture based on communal uplifting activisim and desperate local divertissement. Also don't forget that the decade of the 90's in former Yugoslavia and the Balkans was heavily loaded with political tensions and war sentiments that needed an explosive creative output in one way or the other.

Slovenian bands in general, also before the fall of the iron curtain and the disbanding of Yugoslavia, were always very intriguingly weird. With Laibach as main national music reference you know you're in for a blast when digging into the Slovenian musical underground. Other great alternative bands from Slovenia I can think of are Miladojka Youneed, Begnagrad, Lolita, Strelnikoff or the later Pinja Dzazna (who has those files for me!?)

The Slovenian bands on this compilation are experimental group Mamojebac (of which their whole and only existing tape from 1995 Tko Je Ovdje Kome Guzica? is present), strange punk band Absent Minded and the great avantgarde art-rock band Žoambo Žoet Workestrao

The Croatian groups present on Druga Liga are the demented HC-punk group Why Stakla (of which almost their whole cassette Daj, Dođi! from 1995 is compiled) and the free punk no jazz band from Rijeka Plod Mirže (I'm curious if more of their music exists). These bands also remind me of the Croatian band SexA.

Essential uneasy listening of post-Yugo punk-noise-insanity from the underground!

Get it HERE

Saturday 15 September 2018

Barbieri & Fabbri - Angeli -1988- (LP, Stile Libero), Italy

Next up is another album that connects to the previous post balancing on the thin line of alluring musical ambience and a generous pinch of cheesiness.

Italian Bass player Tiziano Barbieri and Guitarist Moris Fabbri made this quite obscure album of Mediterranean contemporary jazz and late 80's ambient sounds in 1988. Both musicians were not heavily involved in other projects but were definitely active musicians. Moris Fabbri still makes  remarkable experimental music today which you can find on his own Youtube channel.

The music on this album is pretty much divided: the A-side has three tracks of composed atmospheres thriving on Italian Mediterranean guitar, eastern voices and guitar-synths-scapes. Actually no real synthesizer is used on the album and all electronic sounds are coming from the processed guitar. These first tracks are maybe too slick, although you also have the feeling that you're familiar with those melodies already for an eternity. The impressionistic style is similar to the Swedish Vinterhjärta tape I posted some time ago.

The music on the B-side should be more pleasing for the improvisation and experimental jazz fans. Those tracks are more abstract and free-form, showing the cinematic and adventurous side of the duo. It reminds me a bit of the Dutch contemporary Jazz soundtrack Golven by Louis Andriessen, but it mostly reminds me of the biblical Risonanze series of Italian library music that I posted ages ago on the blog.

Maybe something different, but it's definitely the soundtrack of the current Indian summer channeling the elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire while you reminisce of a summer that gently flushes away...

Get it HERE

Friday 7 September 2018

Dionys Breukers - Koer Locale -1992- (LP, W139), Netherlands

This is a record with compositions by Dutch keyboardist Dionys Breukers. It was released through W139 which is a gallery and art space that is located in the center of Amsterdam. It was established in 1979 mainly to offer space to artists outside of the established art world in The Netherlands. W139 still functions today somewhat in the same way and places a large emphasis on art installations inside of its building. You can still find surprising exhibitions there if you want to escape the tourist inferno of the red light district.

From the liner notes of the record:

Koer Locale is the third project of the series called De Centrale, that is being realised by the W139 foundation in Amsterdam. Three artistic leaders are connected to it: Bas van Tol, Madje Vollaers and Pascal Zwart. In the spring of 1992 they created a hull from different elements a.o. a rotating wall, a cascade and a bar. Based on this composition various participants of different disciplines were asked to create a weekly new order by adding different "building blocks". One of these building blocks was provided by Dionys Breukers. In his contribution, to be heard on this LP, he led himself by the notion of background music: muzak. Basically this is opposite to the intention of the interior-project: to fill in a background was out of the question. But don't worry: the muzak of Dionys Breukers is not real muzak, but an original composition. During Koer Locale his musical building block was constantly to be heard from the bar (one of the art components of the space). - Jozef van Rossum, Amsterdam May 1992

The A-side of this album mostly contains compositions that are being played by Breukers himself while on the B-side there are also own compositions but often being played by others. A curious fact is that on the track Mais Non there is a guest contribution by canterbury legend Hugh Hopper, the great bass player of Soft Machine. Still I credited all tracks to Breukers to keep it simple.

The album indeed contains elements of experimental collage, cocktail music, Dutch jazz, a few maybe dated keyboard sounds and even funky notes. Sometimes it kind of hints to what would become known as Nu-Jazz during the nineties, but it also definitely has a lot of cheesy elements. Normally they would bother me a bit too much, but since the whole concept of the album revolves around the theme of muzak, maybe that was the whole point... I'd say: decide for yourself what to make of it! The record is a bit crackly but it was probably published in very limited quantities, I've never seen another copy.

Get it HERE