This year’s edition again, as every year, will abound with famous names from the European and world music scene, with huge support from local artists whose home stage is being built in MKC.
September 3, YCC Park.
Over eighteen boundless albums as experimental as they are pop, Deerhoof has continuously quested for daring storytelling and radical sounds, creating a new shared language of revolution. 2020’s critically acclaimed, overwhelmingly prescient Future Teenage Cave Artists explored fairytale visions of post-apocalypse, welding intrinsic melodies with absurdist digital recording methods. Its immediate sequel Love-Lore, a live covers medley, channeled futurist mid-century artists—Parliament, Sun Ra and Stockhausen, to name a handful— into a patchwork love letter to the anti-authoritarian expressions that inspire the band.
Deerhoof’s latest, Actually, You Can, is a genre-abundant record that uses technicolor vibrancy and arpeggiated muscularity to offer a vital shock from capitalism’s purgatorial hold. The band says, “Think of all the beauty, positivity and love that gets deemed ugly, negative and hateful by the self-proclaimed guardians of ‘common sense.’ We’d hardly be destroying society by dismantling their colonial economics and prisons and gender roles and aesthetics. We’d be creating it!”
The transition is almost over. Several years ago, Porto Morto were a promising DIY artist with the self-released debut album on Bandcamp, and a small fan base recruited mainly through local Zagreb gigs. Right now the great single and video Čekam ih’ (I’m Waiting for Them) reveals much more than just the first taste of the forthcoming third studio album Portopop.
Refreshed, Porto Morto is ready to move to the main stage, and could be the leading creative force of Croatian alternative music for a long time. On previous collaboration ‘Hodaj’ (Walk), with veteran singer/songwriter Darko Rundek and made for 2019 album ‘Portofon’, the 7-piece band perfectly caught the spirit of early 80’s art rock, but didn’t change its primary focus on the new sound and vision.
It’s a very interesting new experience for the art rock band and a rare chance to stand in front of an audience in the days of Covid-19 restrictions. The next Porto Morto single ‘Vrijeme je za chill’ (It’s Time for Chill) will be released in June followed by their album ‘Portopop’, out this autumn.
Lasha Chapel is a Georgian refugee from Abchasia who grew up in Tbilisi. After ten years of playing rock ‘n’ roll, Lasha Chapel turned to electronic music in 2015. Having moved to Riga, he felt the lure of a world in which he could form and mould everything to his liking, and the importance of the quality and detail of the sound he created became clear to him. He began to play regularly at clubs, open airs and concerts in Riga and elsewhere.
Electronic music brought him to Berlin, where he faced the competition in this pulsing hub of electronic music. Lasha Chapel’s music has always incorporated elements that stem from his georgian roots, which he initially rejected and avoided. With time these elements became stronger, finally culminating in a separate project: TAMADA. Swirling between the worlds of electronic music and old georgian tradition. Tamada takes his name from the toast master and table host at any Georgian feast. Hand raised with a goblet of wine, stories, songs and toasts on his lips. Determining the atmosphere at a feast as surely as a DJ determines and creates the atmosphere on the dance floor.
His lyrics resemble toasts in ancient georgian, touching on current social issues and romantic sentiments. Tamada mixes many musical directions, acoustic as well as electronic and traditional georgian music. He christened this distinctive new style Deep Duqan. Tamada is still searching and experimenting, an ongoing process that is unlikely to end.
*Their performance is part of the LivEurope programme
Holy Fuck took the world by surprise around 2005 because there was just nothing like them—a hardcore thrift-store found-object punk band with a relentless commitment to rhythm and a sense for atmosphere, better matched to a close encounter of the third kind than a simple concert. Think Einstürzende Neubauten re-inspired by Fela Kuti with Brian Eno working as keyboard tech and every channel on the mixer set to max power. It was the best ride out there, up to and including their 2010 full-length “Latin”, recorded largely in too-brief breaks while on the road. That album cemented Holy Fuck’s sound and reputation for unapologetic instrumental noise. In the meantime, the band started exploring other projects and production work, like the bands Lids, Dusted and Etiquette, or production for Metz, Alvvays and Viet Cong.
They’d been moving faster than they’d ever expected, especially after their 2007 release titled “LP” came close to securing Canada’s prestigious Juno and Polaris Music Prize. Not to mention festival slots at All Tomorrow’s Parties, Glastonbury, Coachella and more—plus Lou Reedsaid they were the best band he’d seen at SXSW. The strategy was just to stay busy, says founder and noisemaster Brian Borcherdt. Few days ago, they’ve released their newest single titled “Ninety five”, which came after the excellent release of their 2020’s “Deleter”. ‘Holy Fuck’ is a perfect band name because that’s the way the audience reacts after their show.
Sitzpinker is a four-piece band from Belgrade, Serbia. Members are Dunja Mijačić (vocals, synth), Danilo Ilić (guitar), Pavle Trifunović (guitar, bass) and Andrej Mladenović (drums). The debut EP “Podlo poštovanje” (Despicable Respect) was recorded in 2018. As one of the bands from the HaliGali collective they performed at the HG festivals and appeared on their influential compilation in 2019 with the single “Metanoja”, together with Vizelj, KOIKOI, Gazorpazorp, Šajzerbiterlemon, Proto Tip.
In the meantime, they played everywhere across Serbia – the biggest performances so far were concerts at Arsenal and Beer Fest. With the singles “Da li”, “Sudan” and “Mustang”, Sitzpinker announced their first album in collaboration with Pop Depression/Kišobran collective and along the way hinted a new sonic direction in which the band is moving. All three singles became regional hits and the euphoric videos further boosted huge expectations from the band in the coming period. Sitzpinker’s music is the sound of New Belgrade, indie garage rock with hints of shoegaze and psychedelia. Expect their debut album in the second half of 2022.
*Their performance is part of the LivEurope programme
The post-punk trio from Skopje consists of three recognizable figures from the lively local underground scene: Vasko Atanasoski, Rade Jordanovski and Deni Krstev. We know most of them from their previous projects, including Bernays Propaganda, FxPxOx, XAXAXA, My Tear and others. Last year, the band released their third studio album entitled “Si nacrtav zivot” with Password Production. Even before the release, we connected the band with a recognizable mixture of punk and rock, supported by rich lyrics that reflect social dilemmas and other topics. On the new album, the trio adopted a sound that is closer to pop, but continues to be characterized by a characteristically wide range of expressions.
Dancing ‘strawberry jam’ packed in TootАrd at Zdravo Mladi 12!
Arabic Strawberry or TootАrd is a habibi funk duo composed of brothers Hassan and Rami Nakleh. They come from the mountain village of Majdal Shams in the occupied Golan Heights.
Their music evokes nostalgic memories of an underground disco in Cairo in the late 1980s. Electrified bodies carried away by colors and lights, elevated to ecstasy by the penetrating sounds of sizzling and rhythm machines. A real religious moment. That time may be over, but Tootard’s latest album, Migrant Birds, magically promises not to be.
Do not ask us how we discovered them, just indulge.
Rush to relax
The exciting composition of Damjan Manevski, modeled under the strong influence of the international rock and roll heritage in every form, is a product of the relation Bitola – Ljubljana. As he himself says, Rush to relax is a band composed of several other disbanded bands. Their music is often melodic, but unpolished. At times it may sound like a layered sound, while at times only the simple riff or sequence is important to capture the most essential DIY echo.
Rush to relax on Zdravo Mladi come in an expanded lineup: Damian (vocals, guitar), Jan Cisey on bass guitar, Eric Kerpan on guitar and Vasja Onich on drums. The audience has the honor to hear the latest material from their new album, which should be released exactly one day before the festival.
Hajka are a young punk band from Skopje. With their first EP “Neprekinato dvizenje”, then their first debut album “Antitalent” that folds 25 songs plus their newest single “Meka mashina”, Hajka definitely attracted everyone’s attention. Who writes today 25 songs for their first album? Those who have a lot to say. Drawing inspiration from the beat generation of writers and postmodern art, placed firmly in garage punk riffs, Hajka definitely are heading forward. Probably when Iggy Pop and Jello Biafra meet somewhere in the world in some backstage, they would talk a bit for the “Gol Ruchek” song. Hajka’s second album titled “Meka mashina” goes out later this year.