The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Friday, September 09, 2005

A Taste of Rock music from Eastern (and Central) Europe (2)

Part Two
.
Here's the second leg of my adventure into the Rock music of various Eastern and Central European countries. I would have featured more than I had had, but the unavailability on the Internet of the music (MP3s) of most of the bands I discovered prevented me to pursue them. As I've said in my previous post, no amount of flowery description can encapsulate the melodies a single song possesses; for, music appreciation, after all, is almost always a personal and subjective experience. Because of this, listing bands whose music we could not sample would be useless after all.

I would like to give special acknowledgment to the Web site nostalgia.com which contains thousands of free MP3s of Yugoslav artists.

%%% Armenian Rock %%%
* The Republic of Armenia (capital, Yerevan) is a country between Black Sea and Caspian Sea, a neighbor of Turkey and Iran. It used to be a state of the Soviet Union until 1991, when it gained its independence brought about by the latter's dissolution.

@ System of a Down (formed in the late '90s) - Although, they originated in California, USA, the band may still be considered a representative of Armenian Rock mainly because all of its members are of Armenian ancestry. They set themselves apart from their co-genres by infusing Armenian Folk flavor in their music, as well as by employing various East Asian instruments like mandolin, sitar, and 12-string classical guitars. System of a Down's first eponymous album was released in 1998, but they were able to achieve commercial success with their second release, Toxicity, particularly with the songs "Chop Suey!," "Aerials," and "Toxicity." In 2004, the band recorded two albums, Mezmerize (released in May 2005) and Hypnotize (to be released this coming November). A few weeks ago, I saw on TV the video of the current single "Question!," which caught my fancy chiefly because of its obvious Classical influences. [Classical is another music genre I love.]



%%% Bosnian Rock %%%
* Bosnia and Herzegovina (capital, Saravejo) is a mountainous country in the western Balkans. It used to be a constituent republic of the former Yugoslavia.

@ Bijelo Dugme ('White Button') - formed in the early '70s in Saravejo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were able to record nine albums in the period 1973 to 1989. The band reunited early this year but only for a number of concerts. Many Yugoslav artists regard Bijelo Dugme as a Rock icon. Listening to their songs reminded me of '70s-popular Classic Rock bands like The Scorpions, Queen, and even Deep Purple.

You may download dozens of Bijelo Dugme songs here!

My recommended tracks are the following:

"Glavni junak jedne knjige"
"Ima neka tajna veza"
"Selma"
"Top"

@ Crvena Jabuka ('Red Apple') originally formed in the late '80s in Saravejo but, in the '90s, has relocated to Zagreb, Croatia, because of the war. According to references, the band cites The Beatles as one of their major influences. I like their music particularly because of the clean, crispy, and polished sound of the guitar tracks.

You may download dozens of songs here.

My recommended tracks are the following:

"Sanjati," "Opet sam sam," and "Stari moj."

@ Plavi Orkestar - Formed in 1983 in Saravejo, their music is a mix of '60s Rock n' Roll à la The Monkees and The Hollies and '80s Pop Metal with a style reminiscent of early Bon Jovi.
You may download dozens of MP3s here.

My recommended tracks are the following:

"Azra"
"Bestija"
"Goodbye, Teens"
"Mangup"

%%% Croatian Rock %%%

* The Republic of Croatia (capital, Zagreb) is a country bordering the Mediterranean, Central Europe, and the Balkans. It used to be a constituent republic of the former Yugoslavia until 1991, when it finally gained its independence.

@ Parni Valjak ('Steamroller') - A Pop Rock band formed in the '70s in Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia; still active to this day, Parni Valjak released its latest album, Pretežno Sunčano, in 2003. Its music reminds me of Classic Rock bands popular in the '70s, like The Eagles and Kansas and even a little bit of early Van Halen.


You may download dozens of MP3s here.

I recommend the following tracks:

"Aandjeli se dosadjuju"

"Romansa"
"Stranica dnevnika"
"Ugasi me"

@ Prljavo Kazalište ('Dirty Theater') was formed in 1977 in Zagreb. Its last album is Radio Dubrava (2003). I fancied their music chiefly because of the presence of violin tracks. Listening to their songs reminds me of Hootie & the Blowfish and, at times, even Bruce Springsteen.

You may download dozens of MP3s here.

I recommended the following tracks, particularly songs no. 3 and 5:

"Ako tre i nekoga"
"Bye, Bye"
"Kise jesenje" [accompanied by an orchestra]
"Korak po korak"
"Lupi petama" [accompanied by an orchestra]

%%% Serbian Rock %%%
* The Republic of Serbia (capital, Belgrade) is a republic in southeastern Europe which, in 2003, was united with Montenegro. Both republics were once parts of the former Yugoslavia, whose constituent republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina) began to secede in 1992. In 2003, it formed a union with the Republic of Montenegro. These two former Yugoslav republics are known now as the Union of Serbia and Montenegro.


@ Electricni Orgazam started in 1980 as a Punk Rock band. As its career progressed, it developed into an Alternative Rock band with a style reminiscent of bands like Gin Blossoms, The Plimsouls, and Toad the Wet Sprocket.


You may download the following songs from the band's official Web site:

"Sex, droga, nasilje i strah" (Seks, Droga, Nasilje i Strah / Balkan Horor Rock, 1992)
"Da si tako jaka" (Zasto da Ne!, 1994)
"Kakav je to svet" (A um Bum, 1999)

Download here and there.

@ Šarlo Akrobata was a short-lived band formed around 1980 and splintered in 1982 into two new bands, Disciplina Kičme (eventually changed its name to Disciplin a Kitschme) and Ekatarina Velika. Fans of the band regard Šarlo Akrobata as one of the pioneers of Yugoslav Rock music. Their style of Punk reminded me of Dead Kennedys and Sex Pistols, with a sprinkle of Oi! and the "garage sound" of Grunge.

You may download from their official Web site the following songs:

"Ljubavna prica ['Love Story']"
"Niko kao ja"
"Rano izjutra ['Early in the Morning']"

Download here.

@ Disciplin a Kitschme - A band that rose, in 1982, from the ashes of Šarlo Akrobata. Initially known as Disciplina Kičme, the band is currently active. They recently released a new single, "Političari + virusi" (2005). Their music has an Industrial and funky flavor, at times reminiscent of Red Hot Chili Peppers at their funkiest and The Beastie Boys at their punkiest.

You may download the following songs from the band's official Web site:

"Evil Man"
"Have You Ever Heard of Any Other Rhythm?"
"I'm a Shape-shifter"
"That Is How It Should Be Done"
"Your Soul"

Download here and there.

@ Ekatarina Velika ('Catherine the Great'), also known as EKV, was the other band that came into being, in 1982, after the breakup of Šarlo Akrobata. The band's last studio album is Neko Nas Posmatra ("Somebody Is Watching Us") (1993). Its music is darker and more New Wave–sounding than that of its predecessor. There are moments when their song would begin coolly like The Church then build up into something energetic like The Alarm or even The Arcade Fire [Check out "Amerika"].

After patiently searching the Internet, I finally found a Web site which features MP3s of Ekatarina Velika. I recommend the following songs, many of which fascinated me chiefly because of the prominence of the keyboards, the lingering guitar melodies, and the use of backing vocals:

"7 dana ('7 Days')"
"Amerika"
"Krug ('Circles')"
"Neko nas posmatra ('Somebody Is Watching Us')"
"Oci boje meda ('Honey-Coloured Eyes')"
"Srce ('Heart')"
"Tonemo ('We're Sinking')"

Download here dozens of songs!

@ Partibrejkers were formed around 1982. They were one of the forerunners of the Yugoslav Punk Rock scene in the '80s. Their last album is Gramzivost i pohlepa, released in 2002. They uncannily reminded me of The Rolling Stones, mainly because the vocalist sounded like Mick Jagger singing in Serbian.

You may download their songs here.

I recommend the following tracks:

"Ako si"
"Generacija"
"Molitva"

@ Pekinska Patka was a Punk Rock band formed around 1980. Many Yugoslav Rock enthusiasts regard the band as one of the pioneers of Yugoslav Punk music, citing "Poderimo rock ('Let's Tear the Rock Apart')" as one of the songs which triggered the '80s Punk scene in the former Yugoslavia. [Read this.] Their brand of Punk Rock reminds me of The Circle Jerks, The Cockney Rejects, The Exploited, and The Vandals.


You may download eight Pekinska Patka songs here.

My recommended songs are the following:

"Apatija"
"Biti ruzan, pametan i mlad"
"Poderimo rock ('Let's Tear the Rock Apart')"

%%% Slovenian Rock %%%
* The Republic of Slovenia (capital, Ljubljana) is a country in southern Central Europe, a neighbor of Italy, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria. It was also part of the former Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1991, when it finally gained its independence.

@ Laibach - Formed in 1980 in the Slovenian town of Trbovlje, Laibach is German for Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital city. The band's music may be classified as Industrial, the type which may be put alongside those of bands like Kraftwerk, Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and Machines of Loving Grace.

Unfortunately, I could not find any Web site which has free MP3s of Laibach, so I instead downloaded a number of songs through Limewire.com, a peer-sharing site. In case you're interested in doing the same, I recommend the following songs (all of which, however, are covers of classic bands):

"Life Is Life" (Opus)
"One after 909" (The Beatles)
"Sympathy for the Devil" (The Rolling Stones)
"The Final Countdown" (Europe)

@ Zablujena Generacija ('Stray Generation') - An Alternative/Punk Rock band formed in 1994 in the Slovenian town of Idrija. Listening to the music of this band reminded me of The Ramones (its main influence), Stiff Little Fingers, The Offspring, Rancid, Green Day, and Blink-182. The band's last album is Pop Idoli (2003).

Listen to a dozen Zablujena Generacija songs here.

Song no. 2, "Upornika brez razloga," reminded me of Green Day's "Basketcase."
Songs no. 5 and no. 6, "Samer Hit 13" and "Moja Lisa" respectively, are my instant favorites—very melodic.

%%%
Listening to the music of countries whose cultures are very different from my own is a truly wonderful and enlightening experience. If there was a single nonmusical lesson I have learned from the researching process and from the very purpose of what I'm doing—that is, to be able to listen to the songs of artists from such countries—this must be it:

People, irrespective of race and beliefs, best express their sacred ideas and most heartfelt emotions through music, regardless what style or genre of music they choose.

"If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music."—Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

Like me—my life has always been musical.


Archive
Classic Alternative Rock / New Wave music
Icelandic Alternative Rock music
Canadian Alternative Rock music
Russian Rock music
New Order connections
Music eclecticism
Dozen favorite artists
The humble beginnings of my band HLHD
My life has always been musical

15 Comments:

  • At Sunday, September 11, 2005 7:54:00 AM, Blogger Alain Edbert Dizon said…

    Alfie,

    As promised Ive created my own blogspot and if you have time drop by and see for yourself. Well still a newbie when it comes to this so dont expect fireworks...
    www.veilsidegm.blogspot.com. Thanks...more power to your spot...

    Alain

     
  • At Sunday, September 11, 2005 1:17:00 PM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    Alain,
    I'll visit your site.
    Fireworks? No problem. Everyone, even me, has to start somewhere.

    Even the greatest novels, for sure, started with a single idea or at least, a few simple sentences.

    Just keep on writing.

     
  • At Friday, January 20, 2006 11:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I AM FROM CROATIA(I AM WRITING YOU FROM CROATIA) AND I AM GLAD THAT SOMEONE NOTICED CROATIAN ROCK MUSIC AND GENERALLY EAST AND CENTRAL EUROPEAN ROCK MUSIC. YOU SHOLD TRY TO SEARCH FOR CROATIAN PUNK BAND "HLADNO PIVO"(COLD BEER) AND ROCK MUSICIAN DAMIR URBAN (HIS BEST SONG:"BUDI MOJA VODA")BYE AND I HOPE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO SEE MY COMMENT. THANK YOU BYE
    P.S. TRY TO VISIT CROATIA

     
  • At Friday, January 20, 2006 11:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I AM SCARLET THAT IS THE NAME THAT I AM USING.
    BYE GIRL FROM CROATIA

     
  • At Friday, January 20, 2006 8:30:00 PM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    Dear Scarlet,
    Wow! Thanks for your commendation and for appreciating what I've shared about Croatian Rock music.

    I will check out Hladno Pivo and Damir Urban, especially when I return home. I currently live in Manitoba, Canada; but I'm on vacation in another province, Ontario. I'll be back home soon.

    Until then, I'll be active again with my blog site.

    Again, thanks, Scarlet.

    If this won't be a bother to you--kindly send me MP3 copies of the songs of the two bands you mentioned, in case I find them elusive on the Internet.

    Someday...someday...I'd love to visit that part of Europe where you are.

    aLfie

     
  • At Sunday, January 22, 2006 7:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    WELL AT THE MOMENT I DO NOT HAVE MP3 COPIES BUT SOON AS I GET THEM I WILL SEND IT TO YOU.MAY BE DURING THIS NEXT WEEK.IF IT IS NOT A PROBLEM.
    SCARLET

     
  • At Saturday, January 28, 2006 8:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I CAN NOT SEND TO YOU MP3 COPIES FROM "HLADNO PIVO" BUT IF YOU WANT I CAN SEND YOU SOME SONGS FROM ANOTHER CROATIAN ROCK GROUP "AZRA" AND ONE SONG FROM CRO PUNK GROUP "PSIHOMODO POP"
    SCARLET

     
  • At Tuesday, January 31, 2006 10:57:00 PM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    Scarlet,
    Any MP3 will do. That would be something new to look forward to.

    I'll be waiting.

     
  • At Sunday, February 12, 2006 1:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    DID YOU GET MY E-MAIL WITH MP3 COPIES?

     
  • At Monday, February 13, 2006 1:34:00 AM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    Scarlet,
    No, I haven't received any e-mail with MP3s. May you resend them. Thanks!

     
  • At Thursday, March 30, 2006 2:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I tried send you e-mail again!so I just want know have you received it yet?I am sorry that you have to wait for so long I had to change something on my compuer!
    scarlet

     
  • At Thursday, March 30, 2006 2:12:00 AM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    Scarlet,
    I don't think I received it. Anyway, take your time. As soon as your PC becomes cooperative, just send me the MP3s. Nice to "hear" again from you.

     
  • At Thursday, March 30, 2006 2:14:00 AM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    Scarlet,
    You may send it here:
    elfideas102 @ yahoo . com

     
  • At Saturday, April 08, 2006 8:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I will send another e-mail.Thank you for understanding.I think that it is really great that you are open for all kinds of music.
    By the way I like this song that you have on your blog. I am bored so I am in mood for writing. It is now 3 p.m. in Zagreb, very sunny and warm. Today I went to concert of Star wars music. Music was played by orchestra( I am not sure how do you spell that word sorry). I must say it was pretty amazing.I do not know to say any more...
    I hope I am not boring to you with this e-mail thing.
    Scarlet

     
  • At Wednesday, June 21, 2006 8:49:00 AM, Anonymous Mags said…

    i love Crvena Jabuka!
    greetings from Bosnia, and Sweden.

     

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