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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Pop Festival Ljubljana '72 - Boom CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In the course of the 1970s in ex Yugoslavia, series of annual "Boom Pop Festivals" took place. These happened to be the first real "rock" music festivals (in spite of their name!), because prior to that, rock or beat bands had to share the scene with mainstream pop artists ("schlager" or "chanson").

This was the first Boom Festival, held in Ljubljana, and it was released as a double LP. Among the many forgotten and short-lived heavy rock/acid groups like NIRVANA (I wonder if the late Kurt had ever heard of these...), HAD, or GRUPA MARINA SKRGATICA, the big names like INDEXI, TIME and Drago Mlinarec also participated. They were at their creative peak at this time, regarding their prog rock works. Mlinarec had behind him two acclaimed progressive albums, TIME had just released their self-titled debut which remains as icon of Yugo prog rock, while INDEXI released their famous psyche/prog song "Plima" and were just about to change their style drastically into more commerical pop. Therefore, this release is quite an interesting document of the era, for the history of progressive rock in Yugoslavia.

On the performance quality, it is of course quite amateurish and you can even hear TIME and Dado Topic struggling to catch the correct rhythm while playing their prog anthem "Za koji zivot...", while Drago Mlinarec, accompanied with T. Domicelj and I. Kis, sound more in a "protest" Dylan/Guthrie mood than in a performing one.

But, there are two exceptionally good moments: INDEXI playing one of their more progressive titles "Hej ti", showing an amazing instrumental capabilities in doing that; and a phenomenal fusion-like instrumental "Vspominjem se antimaterije" by unjustly overlooked Ljubljana's band MLADI LEVI, who were in the late 1960 pioneers of a soul/r'n'b/brass rock style in ex-Yugoslavia.

Report this review (#104649)
Posted Wednesday, December 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An excellent example of early prog in Yugoslavia! The intention of editors was not, of course, to publish a set of "progressive" or "art rock" bands, this is just a double live pop album. But, those were the days when pop was...this. I would give five years of my live if could have been there...( usually I'm using a phrase "I would give 10 years of my life..." but I'm getting older:) ).

This records is the FIRST double rock vinyl published in Yugoslavia, and it's also the FIRST LIVE rock record.

And it's good.

IN a way, it's excellent. However, a casual listener might get an impression it's horrible. See, the recording quality, although not horrible, is far from perfect. As for the songs themselves - many of them had a certain scent of amateurism, like they wallowed in all the syndromes of the new band: non-focused music, getting even tedious at the moments, like on a punk festival where teenagers are enjoying being on stage and amplified.

But the music is daring, and it's sincere. Pressed on the vinyl straight from the hearts of these youngsters. Many of them will became legends in years to come. Many of them will sunk into obscurity.

Thirteen tracks, ten artists. At the moments I'm writing this (November 2007), only three out of ten artist are listed in ProgArchives. That doesn't mean the others are less worth or even non-prog. They're just obscure, and some of theme disbanded before releasing an album.

The most professional (and coherent) performances here are surely by TIME ("Za koji zivot treba da se rodim") and INDEXI ("Hej ti, mlado momče"). They were both established musicians before. These two are great, hands down. For the comparison, check the studio version on TIME's debut album.

The rest of material vary in "progressiveness" and professionalism, but it's overloaded with sincerity; some professional degree had DRAGO MLINAREC and IVICA PERCL, who were both quite successful. "Kaj God Blues" is a good acoustic blues tune", "Skladista Tisine" didn't impress me that much. I prefer both from MLINAREC and DOMICELJ their more histrionic prog folk (I'm not familiar with KIS). PERCL was famous for his easy listening career, but over here he proved he's able to do intellgent rock too! For comparison, try to imagine SINATRA on Woodstock doing some good psyche!!

After aforementioned ones, everything else is obscure. MLADI LEVI performed a psychedelic, longish "Vspominjam se antimaterije", led with the swirly organ. It's a bit unpolished, but nice example of this music nonetheless. This record is a historical document, mind you.

I'm really wondering what is today with people who played in GRUPA MARTINA SKRGATIČA, NIRVANA, GRUPA 777, ALARM. GRUPA 777 were popular at the time, but not for prog. I have a cheap East-European-made bass guitar, and my GRUPA 777 sticker on it is doubling the value of the instrument. Ha! NIRVANA (one more band with that name!) were from Pula, Croatia, and acording to the poll that was published in "ČEMPRESS" magazine (which was published by the KUD IDIJOTI, another legendary band from Pula), well, according to that poll, NIRVANA was one of the most popular bands of the Istrian peninsula ever. So, they were not that obscure after all.

I have no clue about GRUPA MARTINA SKRGATIČA and ALARM. I never heard of them before or after. They both provided enjoying performances here.

HAD is a heavy band hailing from Slavonski Brod, who had famous Pejaković (ex-KORNI GRUPA) for a vocalist. However, I think he is not singing on this record, it sounds more like their second vocalist Veseli. I'm enjoying HAD's two tunes the most. Heavy psych in "Put u nista", with a riff so catchy it's beyond description; and beautiful ballad "Nebeski Dar".

Great, great record. Great concert. Great bands. Great people. I salute you all.

Report this review (#151696)
Posted Monday, November 19, 2007 | Review Permalink

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