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Toni Dimitrov on Macedonian music scene 12/13

Published January, 2013
by Easterndaze


1. What’s the highlight for you in the Macedonian music scene in 2012?

More than 50 albums and many singles/EPs were released within the alternative/rock/punk/dance scene last year in Macedonia. Most of them were just a repetition of the 80s/90s sound, though. Still there were lots of artists and releases that caught my attention or were played at my radio programs and/or DJ sets, like the following…

Dimitar Dodovski released Aluminium Bend EP on Japanese label Lantern with great remixes by Mick Chillage and Mark Thibideau, also a track “Seeds for the future” on the Mizukage compilation. Dodovski also collaborated with me and we released our first release Nature on post global recordings.

Herzel and Genoveva released two 12"s, No More Lies for the Belgian Other Heights and The Action of Staying for German Dubwax.

Genoveva also released a collaboration album with Alveol named Unity and started a new project with Tim Diagram named Bluhm.

Stojche released a couple 12"s with nice deep house music, one of them on his label Tangible Assets, but he also signed a record with Subwax in Spain.

Another hard working label worth mentioning is Logos Recordings. They released a couple of releases by international artists last year but for this occasion we can mention the album by the owner of the label Samoil RadinskiSoul Galaxy.

Then there is Juan’s Kitchen Delights Recordings, releasing the local techno sound for a couple years already. Difference Engine EP by Andreas Hz released last year was their 40th release.

Ljubojna is a band that plays contemporary interpretations of Macedonian traditional folk music. They released their album Brass Fantasy. One of the best local live acts.

Composer Oliver Josifovski of Ljubojna together with the composer/pianist Aleksandar Pejovski and Vladimir Nikolov (guitar) are working together on a project Um Zaum that released the album Um Zaum 001beautiful improvised material recorded live in our radio studio.

Lefterna is an underground bedroom producer worth mentioning. An artist that you can’t find in the media, but last year he came up with a whole package of experimental 3”/5” CDs and tapes released for various international labels. 

One of my last year’s plans was finally realized in 2012. I started my label post global recordings last summer and have released three releases by now. First one is a collaboration project (between Goce Gligurovski a.k.a. Mnemonic45 and Dragoljub Curcic a.k.a. Delta43) named Delta M45 and their album Space Probe. Second one is the aforementioned collaboration between Dimitar and me (as sound_00), and the third one, released at the end of the year, is the second collaboration between Iversen and me. We released another material last year for the Canadian label Panospria. As a part of the label I also started the post global podcast series.

The soundscape workshop was another project that I started last year together with Sashko Puckovski as a series of workshops focused on field recordings and soundscape, gathering and training new and already established artists on these topics, on various locations, mostly in the wilderness and away from the city chaos. Part of the material produced on the workshops will be released on our labels post global and co-linear.

From the last year live acts I can mention the gigs of Mnemonik45 a.k.a. Goce Gligurovski, Scant Intone, D’incise, Jonas Kocher & Amplidyne Effect, Ljubojna…

2. What is the low point for you in the Macedonian music scene in 2012?

At the Moonride festival Easterndaze conference we shared our experiences with other regional/Balkan organizers/label owners, and we noticed that we share more or less the same problems. Unfortunately most of the endemic local problems here are the same as last year. They are not solved at all and the situation has not changed much since last year, so maybe it is good to repeat them.

Lack of communication and collaboration between the artists on a level of a scene is still the case here. Lack of clubs/venues and infrastructure is also another huge problem. This problem produces lack of passionate audience. If there is no audience these events are not attended by many people and the organizers can’t organize further events. Unfortunately you still can’t see exciting international live/DJ act in Skopje because the audience is not open for new sound and artists. Subsequently, organizers are demotivated to organize events, which in turn provides for the proliferation of cover bands.

3. Discovery-new artist of the year in Macedonia? 

I must admit that there are no new artists that achieved something special in the last year and are worth mentioning as discoveries. Most of the last year discoveries are now in the first ‘highlights’ part and in a small scene that’s developing quite slow new discoveries are not coming so often. So let’s wait until the next questionnaire.

4. Personal tips and wishes and plans for 2013?

Dimitar Dodovski finished his new ambient album “Rivers” that should be out on Databloem in 2013. Also album as a collaboration with his music influence Lee Anthony Norris under the name Moss Garden that should be out on Kai Ko and a very exciting techno EP with Olle Sjögren with remixes by Tomas Jirku and Stefan Schneider (To Rococo Rot, Mapstation, Hauntologists) that should be out on Stem Records next year. Looking forward to all this.

Post global recordings has couple of releases scheduled. Databoy78 and Purl are already waiting for their release this spring. Sound_00/iversen collaboration is also on the way; and finally my solo material as Sound_00.

Last year we had a gig under the name of post global trio/quartet, live collaboration between local artists, an idea that should be developed further in the following months! We are also doing at least one more soundscape workshop this summer.

And of course I wish for more gigs, more artist discoveries, more audience, more clubs…

ps: I’m really sorry but I made an oversight here and 01plant were unjustifiedly omitted from the list as they deserve to be in the discovery section so here they are as a post scriptum. They don’t have an official release last year except their bandcamp Missing link ep with which they show that they are a mature project with fresh sound and approach. It is a conceptual project between three experienced musicians that offers a complete audio-visual enjoyment that you can see from their videos and concerts. After a long-term cooperation on various projects, they finally managed to form a whole through 01plant and recently completed their first album. They also had couple of concerts last year like the powerful concert at our radio studio. Undoubtedly a discovery of the year. 2013 is their year.

Toni Dimitrov is a DJ, radio host and owner of the Post-Global Recordings imprint, check his radio shows on Skopje’s Kanal 103.