A young Serbian writer and a big music aficionado, Igor Marojevic brings you the ten best Serbian rock and roll albums of all times.
1. Disciplina Kicme – “Svidja mi se da ti ne bude prijatno” (recorded in 1983)
Recorded in drum&base, which will become hugely popular in the world a decade later, the first album of Disciplina Kicme is known for its minimalistic, punk-like concept but less explicit. “Svidja mi se da ti ne bude prijatno” (loosely translated “I like it that you are not comfortable”) could be deemed as Serbian version of ‘Nevermind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols’. The fact that the blues and jazz elements pervade punk on this album is just an additional poetic defect and another moment that made Dusan Kojic a visionary.
2. Šarlo Akrobata – „Bistriji ili tuplji čovek biva kad..“ (recorded in 1981)
This album caught the wave that swept through the late 70s and early 80s, while looking for a poetic backbone in the post-punk and new wave period, as represented in two Gang of Four’s projects. Undoubtedly, the unique, imaginative but disciplined drum performance by the late Ivica Vdovic Vd contributed to the album’s quality.
3. Idoli – „Odbrana i poslednji dani“ (recorded in 1982)
This album is visionary in many aspects. If it were recorded only ten years later, the lyrics of some of its songs like „St. Sava’s gentle hand showing the way” (in the song ’Kenozoik’), the mention of the term Orthodox cantilation (in the song ’Moja si’) or the parody of the Croatian and Bosnian mainstream (in the song „Gde si moja cica maco?“) would be interpreted much more malevolent. But, in the country that was deprived of political pluralism in the early 1980s, all of the aforementioned sounded surprising and avant-garde.
4. Nista ali logopedi – „Vaspostavljanje“ (recorded in 1998)
’Nista ali logopedi’ use elements of folklore to provide, in pop register, the smallest and most humorous, but also the most fundamental answer to the eternal question of the Serbian archaic being. More than half of the songs on this album perfectly illustrate the root of the collective discombobulation.
5. Elektricni orgazam – „Lisce prekriva Lisabon“ (recorded in 1982)
The early works of Elektricni orgazam, including this album, perfectly capture the search for identity in the 1980s and for a worthy successor to of punk, like new wave, or maybe post-punk in a more narrow sense, or New Romantic.
6. Katarina II – „Katarina II“ (recorded in 1984)
This album is a more intellectual but also more communicative search with songs of somewhat lesser quality.
7. Partibrejkers – „Partibrejkers“ (recorded in 1985)
This is a bold combination of various musical directions – i.e. an attempt at introducing garage rock, or rather almost Dr. Feelgood-like rock and blues into the post-punk atmosphere.
8. Beograd – „Remek-depo“ (recorded in 1983)
The album is a slightly latent collection of New Romantic and techno-pop elements in the production. Musically, performance and idea-wise, this album has enough quality songs that need to be listen several times to be really appreciated.
9. Kanda, Kodza i Nebojsa – „Prekidi stvarnosti“ (recorded in 2005)
By default, I had to include at least one album from the 21st century in this list. The backbone of this album is definitely the guitarist Nenad Pejović’s skill to play in a striking and often unpredictable manner in any of the very versatile music registers.
10. Heroji – „88“
In a widest sense, this album searches for the signs of time in a very relaxed and yet comprehensive way. Unfortunately, the album’s reach was certainly reduced by the contraposition of its producer of Momcilo Bajagic Bajaga in search for an alternative form.
This post is also available in: Italiano