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Vlatko Stefanovski - Vlatko Stefanovski Trio CD (album) cover


Vlatko Stefanovski


Prog Folk

4.04 | 5 ratings

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4 stars Vlatko Stefanovski, excellent Macedonian guitarist of LEB I SOL fame, started with his solo career before LEB I SOL disbanded, but this is the first album of his VLATKO STEFANOVSKI TRIO and logical continuation of LEB I SOL's work.

The alum is -of course- guitar-oriented, extraordinary combination of hard-rock, fusion and Macedonian folk music. Production is excellent, although a bit too "modern" for my taste.

Along with standard acoustic and electric guitars, Vlatko is playing a MIDI guitar, triggering sounds from the Roland's sampling unit, so all the flutes, Hammond organs and ambiental pads that you can hear are actually crafted with Vlatko's fingers and his guitar. But don't worry, there is no exaggeration, all the sounds are tastefully dosed.

The album is opened with "Igri Bez Granici" (Games Without Frontiers), excellent contemporary rock utilising almost rap vocals (don't run away!) about political changes and general changes in nation's consciousness after the Yugoslav wars.

The following "Kalajdzisko oro" (oro is a type of Macedonian dance with very complex rhythmical structures) is a usual concert-opener since his LEB I SOL days, and pretty much in their style. Vlatko's technique is brilliant. One more proof that he is world class guitar player. B y the way, tune is in 11/8.

The third track "U.F.O." is humorous instrumental, reaction on work of artists like VAI, SATRIANI, MALMSTEEN and the like.

"Vlatkovo oro" (Vlatko's Oro) is another instrumental with lovely, expressive solo, while "Gluvo Doba" is catchy mainstream pop-rock, (obviously influenced with Croatian mainstream pop-star Gibonni, to whom Vlatko is collaborating with) but extraordinarily well played. In 7/8 :)

The next three songs ("7/8 Oro", "Urban-Kurban" and "Ne Si Go Prodavaj Koljo...") are excellent instrumentals with nice solos and interesting use of dissonant harmonies. "Thailand" is another instrumental, much slower and with meditative atmosphere. Lovely. "Pustelija" is closing the album, a hard rock tune with excellent social message.

By the way, all the songs were sung in Macedonian. Why am I mentioning this? Because all of the LEB I SOL lyrics were written in Serbian (occasionally Croatian) to attract wider audience of the former Yugoslavia. (You can find similar cases with Slovenian bands, BULDOZER, for example).

Sorry I didn't translate all the track's titles, my Macedonian is not that good.

Conclusion: excellent album, perhaps missing the diversity of first LEB I SOL albums, but diverse enough from guitarist's point of view and luckily he's not delving too deep into pointless guitar solos; he's brief and effective.

If you are guitar-oriented progger (Allan HOLDSWORTH is all-times Vlatko's guru) this is well worth giving it a try.

clarke2001 | 4/5 |


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