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Jazz Rock/Fusion • Yugoslavia

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Izvir biography
Jazz-rock band IZVIR (Eng. "source" or "spring") was formed in Ljubljana (Slovenia, ex-Yugoslavia) back around 1971, although not under that name, and was active until 1978. In this period they released two singles and the eponymous LP album, which today rank as highly valued collectors' items and are rare to find. Members of the band were: Marko Bitenc / vocal, percussion, Marjan Lebar / bass, Slavko Lebar / guitar, Andrej Petkovic / drums, Franc Opeka / guitar, Davor Petric / guitar and Andrej Konjajev / organ, piano, vocal. After the break-up of IZVIR, most of them collaborated with group PREDMESTJE and other Slovenian jazz-rock acts.

Why this artist must be listed in :
It is a highly regarded rarity of former Yugoslavian jazz-rock.

Izvir, studio album (1978)

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IZVIR discography

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IZVIR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.99 | 44 ratings

IZVIR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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IZVIR Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.33 | 3 ratings

IZVIR Reviews

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 Izvir by IZVIR album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.99 | 44 ratings

Izvir Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is an interesting album that came out of Yugoslavia back in 1977. I'm impressed with the compositions and instrumental work but I'm not a big fan of most of the album. I was surprised at the Disco flavour considering this was released when Disco was popular among the masses. Surprised because a lot of these countries were generally behind the times when it came to what was popular in the West. The Disco influence is a problem for me since I was in my mid-teens when Disco was on the radio causing yours truly to feel sick every time I heard this stuff. And no I don't like bands who have that Disco flavour these days either. They were a six piece band with lots of clavinet and three guests helping out as well. There are vocals in their own language and they are quite well done. While the first two tracks impress me the rest is too Disco or Funk driven for my tastes.

"Sel Je/ Pepetnik Skozi/ Atmomski Vek" is obviously divided into three sections and is the longest tune at over 12 minutes. Synths, cymbals, guitar and more as it sounds like they are warming up here. Bass to the fore as it picks up around a minute to this catchy groove. I like the picked guitar over top as the vocals arrive. There's a strong psychedelic flavour here as the organ floats in the background. This reminds me of AGITATION FREE when the vocals stop believe it or not as it feels like they are jamming here. A change before 4 1/2 minutes as the drums and guitar lead, clavinet as well. Another change 7 minutes in as the vocals become the focus for a minute. When they stop we get some guest flute that is quite solemn along with keys playing slowly. A change before 9 minutes as we get a full sound. The guitar leads before 10 minutes then the vocals return but not for long as the guitar solos. A great sounding track.

"Oblak" is the other tune I like. It's relaxed to start out as the drums and organ stand out. Vocals after a minute and we get a feel-good vibe here. The vocals then stop as we get this great sounding jam with the organ and drums being the focus. The guitar will replace the organ after 4 minutes but not for long as the organ and vocals lead after 4 1/2 minutes. "Izvir" is uptempo with pulsating sounds and plenty of drums and clavinet, the guitar joins in as well. Passionate vocals after 2 1/2 minutes. Not a fan of this one and that Disco smell. "Sareni Pas" is a catchy uptempo clavinet driven track. Vocals kick in quickly and the Disco vibe is strong. "Covekov Strah" is again uptempo with lots going on. Vocals a minute in, organ as well. There's that Disco flavour rearing it's ugly head. Nice bass before 6 minutes as it settles back and the organ and vocals continue. It's picking up before 7 minutes. "Vibrolux" sound like it could be the name of a vacuum. Bass and guitar to start out as the drums and clavinet join in. Funky stuff. High pitched synths after a minute. A drum solo ends it which is so appropriate(haha).

This just isn't my thing overall. I can understand the hype especially since it wasn't released on cd until something like 2014 but in my opinion the hype isn't warranted at all.

 Izvir by IZVIR album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.99 | 44 ratings

Izvir Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars The self-titled debut of IZVIR, their only LP to date, is quite a phenomenon of the Yugoslavian/Slovenian 1970s jazz-rock. It is one of the rarest albums to find on the market. If you happen to trace it at some Web music online sellers, it is likely that the price will be extremely high. for instance, offers this vinyl record for a mere 440 USD, while used to have it in their 2001 catalogue priced - 400 EUR! Is "Izvir" worth it? - a logical question arises.

According to very few information I gathered, the band that would soon be called IZVIR (En. "Source", "Spring" of water) was formed around 1971 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, at that time part of Yugoslavia. They appeared at several minor rock festivals in Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Subotica... in the period from 1972-76. They managed to record two singles prior to this LP album in 1977, which seemed to have been circulated in a limited number of copies. Therefore, a rarity nature and the enormous prices mentioned above.

The music is excellent and wonderfully performed jazz-rock with strong funk and progressive rock influences. Dual electric guitars, effective Andrej Konjajev's use of various keyboards like clavinet, organ, el. piano and strong tenor of vocalist Marko Bitenc are main ingredients of this music. Lyrics are mixed in Slovene and Serbo- Croatian languages (a typical combination of many Slovene artists of the time). The sound is fairly similar to some other Yugoslavian bands of the same era like SEPTEMBER or SMAK, who on the other hand were informed by American jazz-funk and improvisational jam bands, from Herbie Hancock to ALLMAN BROTHERS to hard rock. But in "Izvir" in addition one can also hear several interesting spacey moments which reminds of Krautrock treatments of the fusion, like the post-1974 phase of GURU GURU, or KRAAN. This is especially evident in 12-minutes opening "Sel je popotnik skozi atomski vek" which contains several parts of different tempo and arrangement, and in the closing "Vibrolux". This is extremely listenable but also very rewarding music for genre-oriented fans. Bitenc is excellent singer although at certain moments he cannot keep from crossing to high-pitched falsetto range, which can be annoying. The same objection I have for SMAK's singer Boris Arandjelovic. On the other hand, since all songs are with vocals (except instrumental "Vibrolux"), this album is not meant only for die-hard jazz elite who enjoy instrumental improvisations. It could have probably match other Yugoslavian commercially successful albums of the era, like SMAK's "Crna dama" or SEPTEMBER's "Domovina moja", had it only been released for wider public. Since until now this album has not been re-issued on CD (at least to my knowledge), it seems doomed for devoted collectors who can afford to pay its value. The mp3 version ripped from vinyl can be occasionally found at some blogs, but its sound is fairly poor. Better anything than nothing.

Upon releasing this album IZVIR broke-up in 1977, never to be assembled again. However, four members that played on "Izvir" joined another jazz-rock band of the Ljubljana scene, PREDMESTJE, for their third album "Hazard" released in 1980.

Thanks to seyo for the artist addition.

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