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DEN ZA DEN

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Yugoslavia


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Den Za Den biography
Short-lived, high-energy fusion quartet from Skopje.



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4.01 | 19 ratings
Den Za Den
1980

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Den Za Den by DEN ZA DEN album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.01 | 19 ratings

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Den Za Den
Den Za Den Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Short-lived Fusion band from Skopje, formed in 1978 and featuring ex-Leb i sol's drummer Dimitar Cokorovski.Original crew comprised also of Vladimir Jankulovski on bass, Dragisa Soldatovic on keyboards/piano and Sinisa Stojanovski on guitar, the later was very soon replaced by Arian Dema.The band recorded one and only self-titled work at Studio Akademik in Ljubljana, released in 1980 on the Slovenian RTV label.

Did Cocorovski bring some of LEB I SOL's energy into this fresh start?Because Den Za Den's high-octane gears, extreme interplays and furious grooves are so reminiscent of the compatriot Jazz-Fusion legends.The band always plays in uptempo, featuring very strong melodies, impressive breaks and fiery rhythms and solos, while their music contains some nice tunes propably from Balkan and Latin tradition.Cocorovski is a very skilled drummer, no doubt about this, but his colleagues are also excellent.Plenty of electric piano and synth flashes, technical guitar parts and intelligent bass plays complete a band with a passionate, instrumental sound, heading only for the mystified.It seems like they're playing a thousand notes in a single minute and all pieces are very dense, full of both dramatic and energetic moods, sounding a bit like BRAND X and GUALDAQUIVIR, never forgetting to throw in some more melodious ideas, but mostly led by their love for dynamic, solid and intricate jazzy patterns.And there are stll some progressive flashes within the structures, where melody and atmosphere meet technique and virtuosity.

Den Za Den unfortunately disbanded in 1980.Soldatovic later played with the underground band Paskvalija, but he sadly passed away in 2008.

LEB I SOL-linked fast and furious Jazz Fusion with fascinating interactions and solos but some more melodic and down-to-earth passages as well.One of the best of the style and highly recommended.

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 Den Za Den by DEN ZA DEN album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.01 | 19 ratings

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Den Za Den
Den Za Den Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by clarke2001
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A Leb i Sol offshoot?

Another record balancing between jazz-rock and Balkan folk. Yes, if you think it sounds like LEB I SOL, you're right. It does sound like that. At the moments if this was an offshoot of the band, with aliases in the line-up. As a line of comparison it's like listening to THINK FLOYD. I don't have a problem with that. If someone is stealing the style, that's fine, as long as the songs themselves aren't stolen.

There are a few things distancing this record from the LEB I SOL ones (and distancing even more from SMAK another jazz-rock/folk combo): it's more jazzy. The playing is tight, dense, perhaps too homogenic for my taste, I would rather prefer a bit of collage and a few silent moments here and there.

It's closer to, let's say, WEATHER REPORT, and therefore closer to contemporary fusion/Balkan folk scene (VASIL HADZIMANOV). And DEN ZA DEN sound more like a combo then a group of individuals; all the instruments are bold, piano is even more daring (in jazz context), but the palette of the soundscapes is somewhat limited. Please note that Limit here still represents a huge area for improvisations.

Maybe, maybe, maybe there was no intention to sound Leb i Sol-like, perhaps it was sort of a coincidence. Is this too streched and naive? Well, Leb i Sol hadn't started the whole thing, SMAK did, if I'm not much mistaken. Perhaps there was a fusion-y trend in the mid-late seventies that gather more names under its blanked while many remained obscure. Such a thing won't be unusal in contemporary Macedonian musical scene - the bands gather around Makedonska Streljba folk-goth-punk movement (late 80's/early 90's) or more recent wave of world/fusion ensembles (mid-late 90's with EZGIJA; OKTOEHOS etc.). From that point of view, DEN ZA DEN have a clear place in Macedonian rock culture, and a good place at that. Even if we force the copycatting argument, Den Za Den sounds like some of BETTER Leb i Sol albums - it was issued just when thing started watering down. With or without any of the contexts, this is a very good record.

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 Den Za Den by DEN ZA DEN album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.01 | 19 ratings

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Den Za Den
Den Za Den Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is a very good fusion album, the only DEN ZA DEN ever recorded.

Due to total neglect by the public they soon disbanded after its release. Music style and instrumental line up of this album are quite similar to that of LEB I SOL's early career. "Den za den" almost sounds like a "lost" fourth LEB I SOL album. In 1980 LEB I SOL dropped keyboardist and continued as standard rock trio. If they recorded another pure fusion album after the acclaimed "Rucni rad" from 1979, it may have sounded like "Den za den".

Speculations aside, this is a worthy album of furious tempo. None of the tracks is longer than 5 minutes and they are all instrumental. Arian Dema's guitar work is powerful, fast and crazy. Still, sometimes seems to have too excessive soloing technique at the cost of melodies. He seems to be influenced by John McLaughlin. The sci-fi "crucifiction" cover design is one of the memorables in exYU.

Although "Den za den" more than often sounds like a LEB I SOL copycat, it is quite a rewarding listen and if you are a fusion fan you should not miss it.

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 Den Za Den by DEN ZA DEN album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.01 | 19 ratings

BUY
Den Za Den
Den Za Den Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by In the Flesh?

4 stars An interesting fusion album, released in a bad moment. When Den za Den showed up on the Yugoslav scene, punk and new wave started to control the music scene. Aside from that, Leb i Sol (arguably the best Yugoslav fusion band) appeared with their first two albums, both of which can be called 'masterpieces'. In that climate, the sole album by Den za Den was released and simply passed by many music fans unnoticed. However, it has some really great elements. Unlike Leb i Sol's albums, this one is completely instrumental. I recommend songs like 'Zedj' (Thirst), 'Ciganka' (Gypsy), 'Vodopad' (Waterfall) and a short drum solo 'Cokor ritam'. A very good album that may be of interest to jazz-rock collectors.

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Thanks to progbear for the artist addition. and to seyo for the last updates

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