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Sarlo Akrobata


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Sarlo Akrobata Bistriji Ili Tuplji Covek Biva Kad... album cover
4.21 | 32 ratings | 4 reviews | 44% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side 1
1. Sarlo Je Nezan
2. Pazite Na Decu (I)
3. Fenomen
4. Sad Se Jasno Vidi
5. Rano Izjutra
6. Ljubavna Priča
7. Samo Ponekad

Side 2
1. Čovek
2. Bes
3. O, O, O...
4. Problem
5. Ja Zelim Jako
6. Pazite Na Decu (II)

Total Time:

Line-up / Musicians

- Milan Mladenović / guitar, vocals, drums (A2)
- Dusan Kojić "Koja" / bass, vocals, percussion (A2)
- Ivan Vdović "Vd" / drums, vocals, guitar (A2)
Guest musicians:
- Jurij Novoselic "Kuzma" / saxophone (B3)
- Dragan "Gagi" Mihajlovic / piano (A2), percussion (B6)
- Dejan Kostic / bass (A2)

Releases information

LP Jugoton LSY 66145 (1981 Yugoslavia)
CD Eagle Records CD11272 (1996) (cd reissue jointly with "Paket aranzaman" on 1 disc)
CD Croatia Records CD 5701163 (2007 Croatia) (cd reissue as a part of 3-disc box set "Paket aranzman")

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
and to Snow Dog for the last updates
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SARLO AKROBATA Bistriji Ili Tuplji Covek Biva Kad... ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

SARLO AKROBATA Bistriji Ili Tuplji Covek Biva Kad... reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The best album of Yugoslavian rock?

I have to be honest: I tried to start writing review for this album at least ten times, every time wondering where to start, what to say and finally giving up and logging out. I wanted to do dedicate my 200th review to this oddity, but I didn't had enough strength, and I've made a weak review of a weak album instead.

I'm still not sure where to start. First of all, a word of warning. This is not for the faint-hearted. This is not for prog snobs. This is a punk record.

A damn good punk record. It's full of furious guitar riffs, raw bass sound, and wild shouting. Lyrics are either nonsensical, randonmly recited from the book, either rebelious - a true example of a punk angst, either minimalistic (like two or three versers through entire song) representing an auditive graffiti painting.

Punk, punk, post-punk, new wave, and some more punk. In literature, in reviews, on internet, in every possible source you will find SARLO AKROBATA mentioned in a punk context. Which is fine because they were a punk band indeed, with the authentic zeitgeist.

So where's prog?!?

Progressive approach is omnipresent. You can find in various sources phrases like arty attitude or elements of psychedelia, and that's true, but it's much more than that. This is not some more sophisticated moment in the career of XTC or intelligent approach of THE STRANGLERS. This is a record full of studio tricks that are de-constructing a classical approach to the songwriting, gradually(or abruptly) adding/subtracting instrumental layers in the songs, repeating simple one-two-three-four chorus ad nauseam, making at mantra at first, and then deconstructing it by simply adding polyrhytmical pattern on bass (and dissonant too), while drums get heavily processed with an echo effect (which paved the way for very popular genre in Belgrade startted in 80s, called dub, a sort of electronic reggae - but that's another story). There's much more: a tune where drums sound like they were performed on a snare with a broken skin, or on a concrete wall's wireframe, constantly shifting between two eight notes and triplets, with furious and nonsensical guitar solo. Or a moment where all the band members shifted their roles, and grabbed a different instrument while reciting some random sentences from the old medicine man's handbook. Lyrics are worth mentioning too, but if you don't know the language you will not be able to experience the magnificient shout I'm a typewriter!!, surrounded by the bass and percussion stampedo. Or the moment of total avantgarde where everyone is shouting Give me a cloth to wash our car while musical background being more than bizarre. Utilising major 7ths and diminshed chords. Those punks.

There's more, but I hope I described a picture enough to caought your attention. Do not be discouraged by a few pure punk rock tunes; most of them were not published on the album, only on various artists compilation called Paket Aranzman (A Package Deal). However, those tunes were always the most exposed ones (and representing a milestone in Yu-rock in a same way as London Calling did) but just get the right thing - this, one and the only, unique avant-punk album.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Thanks Moris for informative review and other help you've provided. My rough estimate of title would be something like: "Clever & Stupid man is xxxx (something)", which should be more or less correct, even I haven't consulted the title with any native speaker.

My review will be just short summary of thoughts that are connected with this band, album etc so here we go:

First we should start with the fact that this is basically Punk. But it's just basis, there are other important things and even band that is generally considered as Punk can be masterpiece of Prog music as Moris just described in his review that is few hundreds pixels upwards than mine.

Psychedelia and Arty elements and I dare to say that there are Avant psychedelic elements too, like in similar band from Czech Republic I'm trying to suggest these weeks - KNS. Actually, these two bands have a lot in common.

OK, let's get back to this record: Weird atmosphere, dissonant sounds at times (but exactly the kind of mild dissonance that I love so much because of various reasons - mostly because it reminds me similar atmosphere of bands from Czech Republic), but managing to be interesting from beginning to the end.

Is Moris rating so well because it's band from "his country", or because he knows it so well (because he is from "this country") ? My opinion is that because when I for example review something from Czech Republic, I'm prone to rate high because I know it usually for a long time and also I understand these little elements and signs that foreigner cannot understand. So I believe it's completely OK to rate higher if you know it better.

Take for example the longest track here Ljubavna Prica - for some it can be just bunch of weird, dissonant, ugly and unpleasant sounds, but I see masterpiece in it.

Later on we get more of Avant-garde element (nothing Hardcore though, which is who knows, maybe better, maybe not).

4(+), but almost tempted to give the same rating. Maybe in future, this album is really great.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Belgrade-based SARLO AKROBATA (according to some sources, this name "Charles the Acrobat" was used in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia of the 1930s as a popular nickname for Charlie Chaplin) definitely deserves the status of a "cult" group of the former Yugoslav rock scene. Borne out of the post-punk musical and art revolution in the early 1980s and riding briefly on the ska-revival tide that helped them score several popular hits like "Ona se budi" and "Niko kao ja" topping the charts, they pursued more experimental direction on their one and only LP record.

"Brighter Or Dumber A Man Gets When?" (as the title of the album would roughly translate in English) did not meet initial success upon its release in summer 1981. It was too uncompromising, too non-commercial and it lacked strong hits that would attract general audience. Due to unbearable artistic differences between two main songwriters, Milan Mladenovic and Dusan Kojic "Koja", the band collapsed shortly after the release of this album, paving the way to the creation of two of the most creatively and commercially relevant bands that came from the so-called Belgrade Alternative Scene in the 1980s, DISCIPLINA KICME (later known under English spelling DISCIPLIN A KITSCHME) and EKATARINA VELIKA (ex-KATARINA II). "Bistriji ili tuplji?" thus became a staple for frequent re-discovery or review in the years to come, with every new generation of rock listeners in all post-Yugoslav societies finding something new, refreshing or inspiring in its grooves.

The album is not a flawless perfection, however. The production at times sounds sloppy and uneven (if you do not consider it as an element of a "deconstructive" avant-garde approach or simply a "punk" method) while several tracks are seemingly dumped into the track list only to fill the space. On the other hand, the record is filled with extremely powerful rock statements of intent.

The opening instrumental waltz-like 2/3 time signature "Sarlo je nezan" ("Charlie Is Gentle") builds upon the STRANGLERS' "Waltzinblack", introducing an original and abrasive bass playing by Koja he would pursue more methodically with his later DISCIPLINA KICME projects. The two-part composition "Pazite na decu" ("Take Care of Children") is connected with the album title and the inner sleeve design. The lyrics and graphic themes were taken from the 1879 book "Narodni ucitelj" ("The People's Teacher") by Vaso Pelagic, the 19th century writer, physician, cleric and politician, containing among other things tips and advices on how to treat different illnesses or how to take care of children, which at that time was a pioneering work of enlightenment amongst the poor and illiterate South-Slav population. Musically, these are cacophonous jam sessions where the band members exchange their instruments and with the help of several associates created an experimental maze of different sounds. Shortly before the recording sessions for this album, SARLO AKROBATA played live as a support to GANG OF FOUR and CLASSIX NOUVEAUX gigs in Zagreb, wherefrom they were allegedly influenced by the brutal rhythm attacks and chainsaw guitar bursts of the Andy Gill's company.

Perhaps the most controversial and the strongest moment of entire album came with the 7-minute "Ljubavna prica" ("Love Story"). According to Koja's interviews, this track was the reason why the executives of the Belgrade's PGP RTB record label dumped the band, which was later embraced by Jugoton in Zagreb. The story of a Yugoslav everyman being "in love" with his "Stojadin" car (brand name "Zastava 101") so that he diligently devotes his time to thoroughly wash it with a cloth dipped in tepid water with detergent was accompanied with amazing free-form music recorded from one take in studio, where Mladenovic demonstrates his guitar skills playing a sort of KING CRIMSON-like chord progression. A sheer brilliance of unconventional play and a middle finger showed to the pop-establishment, who expected more radio-friendly hits but got this in turn!

"O, o, o" and "Problem" present excellent attempts to do ska and reggae in a way little more creative than the numerous instant pop hits flooding the Yugoslav scene at that time. The latter track even contains interesting dub technique experiments that were probably among the first ones in the flourishing Yugoslav New Wave movement of 1981. Ivan Vdovic's drumming is breath-taking, showing also his jazz-inclined percussionist style.

"Sad se jasno vidi" ("Now It's Clearly Seen") and "Ja zelim jako" ("I Want Strongly") demonstrated Koja's minimalist graffiti-like lyrics with powerful statements that he would perfect with later DISCIPLINA KICME works.

I must admit I was never a fan of this album. It is difficult to listen and it requires more patience than I probably had in the past. But now in retrospect, it would be unjust to give anything less than 4 stars - extremely strong and brilliant 4 stars! "Take Care of Children, the Children Are Taking Care of You!"


Latest members reviews

5 stars This is one of most important albums in ex-Yugoslavia music history. Energy of young people with strong music ideas of punk, prog rock, avantgarde music and earlier Yugoslav hard and jazz rock bands made some unbelievable coctail which was totally organic and authetic in its own mix. Analogue stu ... (read more)

Report this review (#171684) | Posted by Boki | Monday, May 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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