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2013 in Serbian music by Nikola Vitkovic

Published January, 2014
by Easterndaze

Nikola Vitkovic is a Belgrade-based promoter and label owner at Nauk, musician himself as the wonderful Magma Trakt and an overall expert on what is hot and what not in Serbia. Joking, he simply just has a good eye and ear for worthwhile music – old or new.

Serbian alternative scene has always been too safe. A typical local underground figure is a cool self-assured urban male student, who takes himself too seriously, but still has no guts nor madmanism it takes to make an impact with music. Striking a serious pose seems dandy, but without craziness and passion and adventurism, it won’t get you far.

Year 2013 finally spawned out several female fronted bands who unscrupulously swung an axe into this lukewarm male narcissism, showing once and for all that being cool is not cool. Here are some of them:

Za Pokolj Duše is a kindergarden of bastards of all ages. Apart from virtual demonic pipe organs and occasional Tibetan growls, they play bafflingly simple garage punk, with abused lyrics and riffs stolen from mainstream pop rock, enhancing only worst sides of it – and of their bad selves. With such conservative instrumentation and source material, their self-exploitation of the rock genre is more radical, shocking, liberating and adventurous than any experimental / avantgarde project around. They might disagree, but what sets ZPD leagues above other exploitation acts is the lack of irony – they are rather self-ironic. It is a culturally incorrect mazo-torture porn feast, which turns the lack of agenda into the agenda, at the rate of 20 hits per 15 minutes [weather hits are ‘songs’ or ‘ananas-vodkas’]. And all that with an honest necrophile’s psychic hard-on.

Aranka Makoš I Plaćene Daviteljke from Subotica and Bačko Gradište is another kind of beast. Although equally primitive and anarchic as ZPD, there is something primordial in their non-violent endlessly long [2+ minutes!] math kiddy progressively idiotic punk poems which always speed up and down, up and down. This cavewomen duo often sounds like 7 limbs playing together – not because they play masterfully, but quite the opposite – because they make so many mistakes – and that is exactly what makes them so unique. If they had an album, it would sit neatly on your shelf with Bada Dada and similar Hungarian primitive dada-punk. Cool listeners beware: this is the most instant brain-and-dancefloor cleaner of the season.

Some alternative musicians’ persistence on professional approach to playing, performing, presenting and selling their music. Sure, it’s nice to secure yourself a place in a hierarchical pyramid of showbiz if you can, where the artist is above the club and where everything has a price tag. But such capitalist mentality has no place in true underground, because it turns its back on private no-budget initiatives, no-budget promoters and no-budget audience [that’s just 99% of the audience].

To see Serbia’s most secret deity Weapon God finally come out in public and release his dub-glitch-minimalistic gesamtkunstwerk in form of 40 x vinyl box. Well, you asked for “wishes”… So let’s keep our eyes on A Hogon’s Industrial Guide and No Basement Is Deep Enough!

You can read his 2012 tips here.