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Leb I Sol

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Leb I Sol Leb I Sol 2 album cover
4.30 | 76 ratings | 12 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Akupunktura (4:08)
2. Kako ti drago (3:58)
3. Aber dojde donke (4:49)
4. Talasna duzina (4:09)
5. Dikijeva igra (4:09)
6. Uzvodno od tuge (4:10)
7. Marija (6:30)
8. Bonus (1:34)

Total Time: 34:02

Line-up / Musicians

- Vlatko Stefanovski / guitar, vocals
- Nikola Dimusevski / keyboards
- Bodan Arsovski / bass
- Garabet Tavitijan / drums, vibes

Releases information

LP PGP RTB ‎- LP 55-5335 (1978, Yugoslavia)

CD Taped Pictures ‎- CD 2036 (2000, Slovenia) Bundled with "Leb I Sol" on one single disc

Thanks to seyo for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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LEB I SOL Leb I Sol 2 ratings distribution

(76 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

LEB I SOL Leb I Sol 2 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The second LEB I SOL album repeats the formula from the debut. The same line-up, the same instrumentation, the same producer (J.Bocek) and similar ratio between instrumentals and songs with lyrics (one less in this case ). Preconditions for the "second album trap"? No, this time we are talking about genuine masterpiece of ex-Yugo fusion! Production is better, all instruments sound better, compositions are better, and all musicians expressed their ideas more bravely. Stefanovski is not much of a vocalist - indeed, LEB I SOL are first and foremost the instrumentalists - the vocals are often moved to the second front, much like Andy Latimer did with CAMEL. But even his rare voice is better here on the second album. Side A of the original vinyl (first 4 tracks) are simply stunning: "Akupunktura", "Kako ti drago", a great crescendo of another traditional "Aber dojde Donke" and vocal hit "Talasna duzina" are worth the price alone. But the rest must not be overlooked: the most furious guitar solo I ever heard in "Marija" and a closing short acoustic song "Bonus" which was to become a sort of LEB I SOL anthem during their live performances when it was usually pretty extended. All members of the team are giving their best, especially Dimusevski's piano and synths shine. LEB I SOL music was always more melodic and skillfully played than avant-garde or explorative, so if you are looking for a tasty and technically superb rework of traditional Macedonian folk melodies with odd time signatures done in a vein of Allan Holdsworth playing guitar with RETURN TO FOREVER, search no more! It is available on a "2LP on1CD" reissue coupled with "Leb i sol" (T.Pics/PGP RTS, CD 2036, 2000) so you better go and get it!
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This time I've found a true masterwork! OK, I'm not an expert of the genre neither I do know the yugoslavian prog scene deeply. Nothwistanding ears, heart and mind suggest me this is one of the finest records I've ever listened to.

Leb i Sol their second release to date offers you a breathtaking crescendo of dynamic and eclectic (in the true sense of the word) jazz-rock numbers blended sometimes with spacey atmospheres a la PINK FLOYD or ELOY (as in "Aber Dojde Donke", 4:49 mns), some other times moulded with fresh and explosice guitar's riffs in the highest prog tradition (the opener "Akupunktura" is the most stunning example) and also tinged with warm and convincing electric and classic pianos, now played soft and romantic a la CAMEL with also some delicate synth' solo and gentle touches of acoustic guitar ("Uzvodno Od Tuge", 4:10 mns), now technical and intricate as in the second part of the superb "Marija" (6,30).

The album is mainly instrumental, with the exception of the great "Talasna Duzina" and the totally acoustic guitar played closer "Bonus".

The high rating is all entirely deserved. This album is memorable!

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Many folks (except at RateYourMusic) feel this second album is superior to the debut and I say "No Way!" I'll side with the RYM guys on this one. This album is a huge letdown after the brilliant debut. LebiSol's first album (see my review for a brief history) was a warm and charming piece of music. On the second album they apparently got bigger heads and decided they needed to be more sophisticated. So the arrangements are more complex I suppose, but in the process they have lost the charm that is all over that first album. I admit the second album has better sound due to the extra studio time they were given, but that's all it has over the debut. Perhaps it is similar to what happened with Finnforest. While I like all of their albums obviously, for many people the Finnforest debut is much more fun and the other two lost something as the music got more complex. The Lebisol debut had so much joy in the playing to compliment the bits of traditional music they include, on the second album they have given that up for a harder edge. My theory is that when a young band makes that first record they have all these tracks they've worked on for a few years, in many cases honing them live at tons of shows and knowing exactly what is needed when they get that chance at a record. Then, if they get to make a second, they are often trying to come up with next batch of material somewhat quickly, while under the gun of doing more shows, interviews, etc. The "sophmore jinx" theory? Who knows. There are still some good moments here though. The lead off track "Akupunktura" picks up right where Lebisol-1 left off with some big time shredding but even here the playing is not as inspired. "Aber Dojde Donke" is downright annoying, kind of like a 5-minute ending with one dramatic roll after another. You want it to just stop and it never does. The album's highlight is the excellent "Marija" which is an amazing instrumental that builds into a powerhouse finish, undeniably rocking. As if sensing perhaps that they left off some of the acoustic charm they tack on "Bonus" to the end, but even here they botch the attempt by leaving it hang there sounding half-finished. The tracks not mentioned are OK or average but not outstanding. The bottom line I guess is that I was not sold as much on the material here. The first album was so laid back and natural, so unforced. Here it sounds like they are out to prove something to someone-perhaps they did, but they also compromised some of the magic. Still enough to call good for sure, but for me a disappointment after the review I wrote yesterday.
Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars

Today is the carnival procession in my town, and I really don't want to go out in the crowd. So I have too much time on my hands which I'm spending with some of my favourite music.

I just discovered - silly me - how to read older reviews on this site chronologically: click on 'latest 50 reviews' and simply change the number in the navigation bar: . Wow. A lot of material to read, and knowledge to gain, and conclusions to make. One of the conclusion is that I'm certainly not posting reviews too frequently; it's a pity because I love that hobby, but because of my laziness I'm just not forcing myself to do it more often. Well, here it is, the review of a record I'm listening just now: it's one of my all-time favourite records, and one of the best prog rock (and jazz-rock/fusion) records ever. I mean, ever. Among the ultra-popular TASAB, ITCOCK, CTTE, BSS, SEBTP, CIA, FBI, CCCP and CNT-FAI this one stands tall.

Leb & Sol, Volume Two.

Needless to say, I love it to death, think it's a masterpiece and it will be rated with a maximum number of yellow-orange stars. And I will recommend it for / to everyone.

I concluded my review, now it's about time to start it. Let's start with a paragraph who these guys actually are, from where and when and what kind of music they play. And a few words about the album, comparations with previous and forthcoming albums. Then I will say something more substantial about the album itself, then mention a few components of art that are important in my opinion, and the emotion that it provokes in me. Then a sentence or two with some witty comment, then the conclusion.

After such a brilliant review algorithm, it's time for the input parameters:

It rulezz.

(director's cut - the end here)

Is it with one or two Z's?

If you aloud the to extract, you'll get something like this:

LEB I SOL are the band from the Skopje, the Former Capital Of A Yugoslav Republic, and they started their career(s) in the late 70's - the prog's heyday was gone, but that wasn't bothering these guys much. Punk euphoria will be a bit delayed in this part of the Europe (this is not true). When Vlatko, band's spiritus movens, voice and guitar, was around 14, his father complained about him, because young Vlatko was playing guitar all day long instead of studying, or working, or whatever his father thought it was appropriate. 'Dad,' replied Vlatko, 'how could I possibly be anything else in my life than a guitar player? I'm already the best in Skopje.'

Kids are wiser sometimes. And yes, Leb i Sol are mostly oriented around Vlatko Stefanovski's virtuoso guitar playing. He is the closest think from former Yugoslavia that could be described as 'shredder'.

But the band was so much more than that.

First of all, they're from the pre-shredding era, and if you are looking for something suitable for YNGWIE/VAI crowd, look elsewhere (or not). Second of all, it's much better to compare him to some other guitar players from the 70's with great speed (if not so great technique): Alvin Lee, Ritchie Blackmore. But they are so off the mark. The key name is Allan Holdsworth, Vlatko's guru. Great (prog) rockin' ultra-fast solos, expressive playing, great technique, soaring melodies. A teaspoon of jazz. Not more. It's not Vlatko the reason why LEB I SOL are considered a jazz-rock/fusion band. To be very honest, he's been playing only a) major scales, b) minor scales c) blues scales, d) Macedonian-Balkan-Oriental-Middle Eastern-whatever scales. All of his life. Some smartarsey reader might conclude that the jazz itself contains mostly those scales. Get off. Let's not get into mixolydian mode; this man couldn't play in jazz combo to save his life. Okay, okay, I'm exaggerating. But you see the point.

Koki represent's the shade of jazz in the overall picture. Nikola Dimushevski, nicknamed Koki, provided killing jazz tapestries on his electric piano and synth. Rhytmical, bouncy, toe-tapping phrases, high pitched arpeggios, dreamy melodies, hollow and ethereal synth. And occasional string tapestries in a good old sympho rock style. The professional and a genius. Still one of the best in business. I saw him before the gig in 2004; he was just smearing his fists with a handcream. A skin care? No, a device for elasticizing his fingers and decreasing the friction!

Garabet 'Garo' Tavitijan, the man who is hanging out with the musicians, is equally capable of being a wide-scoped and bouncy as Koki, but much less sublime. If you think the drummer should be an octopus on speed/steroids, LEB I SOL is the band.

The man from the shadow, always well-shaved, with a shy smile, a band's John Deacon: it's Bodan Arsovski (not 'Bogdan' as you might find incorrectly in numerous publications) and his Electric Fender Jazz Rock Fusion Bass Guitar. He sounds like a...well, there's fine article on Wikipedia about trigonometry. Try to imagine Vlatko, Koki and Garo as a triangle and a silent guy, Bodan, carefully calculating what exactly is every band member contributing to the sound picture to find the perfect balance point in the triangle. Now imagine him exactly in that point, playing so open-minded, open-hearted and spontaneously it's unbelievable. Like his bass guitar harmonics.

One thing that ties them all. Folk music. Not an ordinary one; the most beautiful of all Balkan folk music; the Macedonian one.

The quartet in it's entirety is Yugoslavian finest prog moment, named after bread and salt. Their music is penetrating the human brain according to this scheme:

Stage 1. Vlatko is drilling deep, fast like an arrow into the listener's corpus callosum.

Stage 2. Garo is entering the brain on a machine that looks like a combination of a biggest bulldozer and a 500 mph dragster.

Stage 3. Bodan is entering the newly drilled cave announcing that will be actually an art gallery, not a motorway tunnel.

Stage 4. Koki is slowly examining the hole, convincing the shocked neurons that they actually like the new hole.

There is no remedy.

(review ends here, if anyone wants some additional info, send a message)

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I'm still not sure if I like the debut or this one better. Both are very good albums no questions about that.This band's second album would be with the same lineup as the first and the same overall style too.

"Akupunktura" has this relaxed intro then it kicks in at a minute. Nice drum and guitar work here. In fact the guitar provides a light show after 3 minutes. Nice. "Kako Ti Drago" has these intricate sounds that come and go and the tempo continues to shift too. "Aber Dojde Donke" opens with atmosphere as the guitar makes some noise. Keys come in. Drums 2 minutes in. So good.

"Talasna Duzina" opens with synths and guitar. Drums and vocals join in. I like this one, it's very enjoyable. "Dikijeva Igra" kicks in quickly to an uptempo instrumental soundscape. "Uzvodno Od Tuge" is spacey with piano and bass. Drums and guitar follow. "Marija" opens with electric piano and cymbals. It picks up with drums out front. Guitar 3 minutes in. Killer stuff. It's the keyboards turn after 5 minutes then the guitar returns 6 minutes in to end it. "Bonus" is a short piece with laid back guitar and vocals.

They started their careers with a couple of exceptional albums that would satisfy any Progressive Jazz / Fusion fan.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The smoke of the flaming Leb I Sol debut hasn't been blown out and the ex-Yugoslavian quartet had already prepared material for a second album.It was a common practice for a band back in the 70's to release more than just an album during the same year and Leb I Sol were no exception, releasing ''2'' in 1978, again on the mega PGP RTB label.

With this album the group epitomized the fact of being one of the best Fusion acts, not only in East Europe, but worldwide.Stefanovski and his intelligent, stunning guitar work still leads Leb I Sol's fiery yet deeply melodic music, being supported by the nervous electric piano of Koki Dimusevski.The album is filled with energetic and passionate solos, technically perfect drumming and furious keyboard passages, sometimes surrounded by ethnic overtones, but mostly coming in a tight mix of Jazz/Fusion and Progressive Rock.The ability of the group to combine the music roots of the country with the rockin' attitude is more than impressive, while some tracks contain also some nice and spacey synth preludes.The vocal moments are now quite limited, giving more space to solid instrumental interplays and virtuosic deliveries, characterized by odd meters and shifting tempos.But the music of Leb I Sol had always a deep sense of melody, thus a wide audience always supported the group.

This group needs a wider recognition by the public.Clever, intricate, melodic and demanding Prog/Fusion with lovely melodies and a personal character.Highly recommended to all Prog fans.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Perhaps I shouldn't do this as the album is hard to find anymore and bringing attention to it could be considered as teasing. Then again, ignoring this excellent work would only assist in letting this often fantastic band fall into further obscurity. The good news is that much of their materia ... (read more)

Report this review (#1179421) | Posted by Anon-E-Mouse | Monday, May 26, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Leb i sol 2 is second album from these jazz-rockers, and technical skills are now even more powerfull, and they stil manage to put some emotions into it, especialy guitar, that is sometimes warm and emotive, but sometimes only techically fun. In Acupunktura, Stefanovski uses techic of shreding in ... (read more)

Report this review (#129806) | Posted by nisandzic | Sunday, July 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is for me the best Leb i Sol release. Music comprises jazz, folk and rock elements performed by excellent musicians in a superior jazz-rock manner.If I put aside closing vocal tracks on both side of the record which are real fillers (Talasna Duzina and Bonus) all other tracks are si ... (read more)

Report this review (#77070) | Posted by bsurmano | Wednesday, May 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Leb i sol 2" is the band's creative peak. Their strongest point are compact and colorful prog instrumentals with tight musicianship. The only ex-Yugoslavian 70's band that could similarly play flaming instrumentals was DEN ZA DEN or maybe also SMAK in their instrumental mood. The few vocal track ... (read more)

Report this review (#75972) | Posted by terramystic | Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is Leb I sol's best album and one of the best jazzrock albums ever made in Europe. The standout tracks are instrumentals "Marija", "Kako ti drago", "Dikijeva igra" and the song "Talasna duzina". Here is also the band's trademark number, the folk originated "Aber dojde donke (The message has ... (read more)

Report this review (#39727) | Posted by | Monday, July 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ok,this is the best ethno prog you will ever heard!Typical Balkan(Yugoslav) sound with Rock elements,one of the best bands from Ex-Yugoslavia .This is also the end of Prog Rock in Yugoslavia,in early 80s emerged many 'new wave' rock bands that will create the best rock scene in the world of th ... (read more)

Report this review (#37286) | Posted by | Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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