Friday, May 11, 2018

Some Flowers For The Ancient Yugoslavia: 80s ex-yugoslavian hardcore punk special post. Part 1: Introduction and Hard-Core Ljubljana LP compilation

Note: Commodore 64 was a sensation everywhere, including ex-Yugoslavia


Coucou, les! We're back once again with another surprise special post. Following my lack of inspiration, I was listening to some 80s ex-yugoslavian hardcore punk compilations and BOOM!, this was born (although it wasn't originally conceived as such). I've always wanted to feature this kind of bands since they're not so well-known and are pretty underrated. So, if you remember your history classes in high school, Yugoslavia after WWII declared itself as a socialist republic with the rise of the local communist party. The problem was that this new shift of politics didn't solve the inner conflicts with the Serbs, Croats, Bosnians and Albans (they considered themselves as an independent country with different national, ethnic, cultural and even religious heritage). And, you already know the hideous consequences of the infamous "Yugoslav Wars" in the early 90s (including the United Nations' armed intervention) leading to an humanitarian crisis with genocide (ethnic cleansing and mass murder), crimes against humanity and rape. Finally, the war was over and many different countries were created (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia). Despite this seccession, Yugoslavia still remained until Kosovo and Montenegro finally won their own independence and Serbia remained as the successor of the country.

Now, Yugoslavia was fairly more open to the "western world" than other communist regimes since it didn't belong to the "eastern block". This also meant that music such as rock and pop were widely accepted. Thus, this country also had punk bands, notably post punk and hardcore punk, and developped its own scene like many other countries around the world. Basically, yugoslavian hardcore punk bands had huge british influence (notably UK82 and some early stages of d-beat) but also some american traits. Even there were many bands exploring both noise and grindcore (this kind of bands will be featured in another "ambitious" special post I've been working on lately). You can compare their sound to the early stages of latin american hardcore punk of the time. On the other hand, most of the bands were more interested in anarchism (for obvious reasons) and even some were, surprisingly, into the straight edge philosophy.

Lastly, I'll present to you some compilations and splits featuring different bands from the countries that formed ex-Yugoslavia (most of them will be from either Slovenia or Croatia, however) and hope you'll like it. I think I'll spend 3 or 4 entries for this special post but I'll try to be as brief as possible. This will be the only entry feautring one record since this weekend I'll be busy in other projects non-related to the blog. Don't forget that more surprises are coming in the next weeks, so stay tuned. With all that written, let's begin.   

Hard-Core Ljubljana LP  compilation

Featured bands: U.B.R. (Uporniki Brez Razloga), Odpadki Civilizacije, Tozibabe, Epidemija and III.Kategorija. 

This LP was originally released back in 1985 by FV Zalozba (an slovenian record label). I must admit that this is by far the best hardcore punk compilation featuring bands from the actual Slovenia. Most of the included tracks are exclusive for this release. So, I shouldn't feature more bands for this special post since this compilation could be regarded as the alpha and omega of the whole 80s yugoslavian hardcore punk movement. But no, there are some more surprises out there (*sigh*).

Regarding the sound, some bands expose a more raw and violent D.C. hardcore influence, for example, Epidemija is the angrier yugoslavian response to S.O.A. and Void (USA); U.B.R., perhaps the most well-known yugoslavian hardcore band in the 80s, plays short, fast and loud hardcore teasing with thrashcore, pretty similar to Raw Power, Negazione (Italy), H.H.H. (Spain) and B.G.K. (Netherlands); Tozibabe, one of the few all-female hardcore band of their time, displays an unique and forceful sonic attack, sometimes teasing with post punk and anarcho-punk. You can think of polish bands such as Dezerter and Siekiera (early recordings) as a reference but their energy is enviable. Their only EP named Dezuje (FV Zalozba, 1986) is definitely a must. However, if you're looking for a more raw, visceral and outrageous work from this band, the featured tracks in this compilation are undoubtedly for you; Odpadki Civilizacije's tracks are also such a blast with both american and british influence. Think of bands such as Atoxxxico (Mexico), Les Vandales (France) and Inferno (Germany); and, last but not least, III.Kategorija is probably the heavyweight of the compilation with a raging repertory. Pretty solid stuff. Finally, this is the 2004 re-issue featuring the LP with some extra tracks from U.B.R, Odpadki Civilizacije and III.Kategorija that are not included on the original release.

Lastly, click on the image for downloading it. The file contains the original 1985 LP artwork, lyrics translation and inserts. Highly recommended. Enjoy and see you next time. Kisses and hugs!     

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