Lola V. Stain

Ikona

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AllMusic Review by

The music on this record is a great document of pre-war Yugoslavia. It was released on a Croatian label, Blind Dog, not to be confused with the Chicago blues label Blind Pig. The ethnic identities of four of the quintet's members might have been best described by the term Serbo-Croatian, an eventually discarded name for the mix of languages shared by much of what was once Yugoslavia. The fifth member is what really gives this group a distinct identity. He is Pece Atanasovski, a traditional Macedonian bagpiper and a few years on in the age department compared to the other bandmembers, judging from the photos. This group creates a blend of traditional and modern instruments, throwing in everything that comes to mind. It is not a totally unique concept, but it is one that is good for fine music whenever things click, as they certainly do here on the two side-long pieces. The combination of bagpipe and oboe is beautiful, and many of the percussion and electronic textures seem to foreshadow the post-rock movement that would come along a few years later. Of course, enjoyment of music is so much a matter of time and place, and perhaps no sensation could match the impact of hearing music like this in Sarajevo in 1990, only a matter of a year or more before a terrible war would split the country apart, making collaborative efforts between Serbians, Croatians, Bosnians, and Macedonians not impossible, but much more difficult. Yet there is plenty of majestical mystery residing in the grooves, and fans of world music fusions can keep this in mind anytime they want to embark on a quest for something next to impossible to find.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 16:58
2 16:00
blue highlight denotes track pick