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2013 in Slovak music by Samčo, brat dážďoviek

Published January, 2014
by Easterndaze

Samčo, brat dážďoviek is a Slovak musician and an enigma, with an affinity for subversion of national identities and all sorts of ideology recontextualisations. He is also an expert in obscure music, check out his article about the Czech and Slovak Bandzone scene here

1. Musical highlight of the year?

Being a big fan of local obscure music, I was pretty excited by the first “official” releases of Slovak unknown legends. VooDooMan from Bratislava is a true art-brut sound-artist and sort of “kutil” (a specific Czech/Slovak term for “do-it-yourself” with one difference; in socialist Czechoslovakia, being a kutil was not being a part subculture, but a necessity). Vacuum cleaner controlled by MIDI and such stuff, you know.

Voices from Antidimension by VooDooMan

Noizy Days is sort of “the noiziest of” compilation by musician named Cadillac Face (again from Bratislava). This collection of really dirty, dark and sincere home-made indie pop songs makes 99% of Slovak indie-pop projects sound like your local synthfolklore wedding band.

Noizy Days by Cadillac Face

Small/D.I.Y Slovak labels like LOM or Nomad Sky Diaries did their job exceptionally well; Jonáš Gruska from LOM also organised “ZVŮK”, a D.I.Y/guerilla festival of experimental music, almost secretly and right under a highway bridge over Danube in Bratislava. I also enjoyed the live gig of Czech oracle and esoteric TV guru Vlastík Plamínek, roaring his cute simple lyrics (“puppyyyyyy! puppyyyyyy!”) while frantically banging on shamanic drums, true harsh anti-music. And let’s not to forget the POKE festival between Košice and Prešov – in eastern Slovakia, where lots of people don’t even know, what a music festival is, it is nice to have a multi-media festival amid abandoned brickwork, loads of local artists along with international “stars”.

2. Discovery of the year?

A new source of Slovak bedroom-pop (along with casual small-town alternative rock/pop) has appeared: the music chart “Demovnica” on Radio_FM, where non-professional musicians can send their works. My favourite was “Leopardón”, homemade acoustic aww-pop from middle-Slovakian mountains. More and more musicians or labels release their work on audio cassettes, I’m getting sentimental. Besides the local scenes, I got pretty excited by Japanese toothbrushing training music videos for kids – onomatopoeic gargling and brushing combined with cute animals and catchy melodies.

3. Lowpoint in terms of music/scene of the year?

Though Košice became the European capital of culture and there were some interesting events here and there, the townhall did not obviously notice anything, and the live concerts they organized on the Main Street were as bad as they always have been. The R’n’B singer and #swagger Tomi Popovič recorded a song “Sorry, Girl, Your Body is Mine”, which was supposed to be a Slovak summer hit. Legendary novelty synthpop act “Miroslav Martin a Drahomíra Masaryková DUO” did not play a single live gig, even though they announced it (their recent summer hit, “Ruky nad hlavou”/“Hands up” was first-rate, though). Festival of experimental/dark ambient/noise/etc music in the ruins of Máriacsalád monastery (south Slovakia) was cancelled; a fate of local non-legal volunteerism (last year, people who attended, also helped to tidy up the ruins of the monastery, full of rubbish). Justin Bieber has announced he is retiring from music, and he disappointed his fans because he “used a bucket instead of toilet”.

4. Personal wishes and tips for 2014?

Looking forward for the first youtube festival of noise music, #InternetNoiseFestival at Feb 1., anyone can attend as a musician (some local noise heroes are already planning to). First world problem: want to see Kraftwerk live, but can’t afford to attend Pohoda festival. I’m awaiting the renaissance of phonograph cylinders and reel tapes. I’m awaiting big hit single(s) generated[composed] by computer software instead by human composer. And I desperately want to attend a march of Justin Bieber fans some day – I missed the recent one in Brno.