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S VREMENA NA VREME

Prog Folk • Yugoslavia


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S Vremena Na Vreme biography
Belgrade-based semi-acoustic prog folk band S VREMENA NA VREME (Eng. "From Time To Time") was formed 1972, with original line-up consisting of: Miomir Djukic - prim, guitar, vocal; Vojislav Djukic - guitar, vocal; Asim Sarvan - vocal, guitar; and Ljubomir Ninkovic - guitar, vocal. They grew out of an informal assembly of musicians who gathered from time to time in order to record songs and soundtrack for Radio Belgrade broadcast programmes. They also gained reputation as prolific composers and arrangers for numerous TV, radio, film and theatre performances and shows. They were pioneers of introducing traditional folk elements into popular and rock music, utilizing old instruments such as prim or sargija and making crossover between genres. Drummer Nikola Jager became more or less a regular member of the band since their debut album, while many excellent musicians appeared as guests on their studio works. They built a slow but growing reputation releasing several important singles from 1973-78, many of which hit the top charts in the former Yugoslavia. However, their eponymous debut album from 1975 remains as the most successful achievement to date. Following two more releases, a compilation "Moj svet" and a studio album "Paviljon G", the band decided to split up in 1979. The band re-formed in 1993 for several successful concerts, which were followed by a new studio album "Posle kraja" (1995) and a live album "Unplugged" (1997).

Debut album "S vremena na vreme" from 1975 is highly recommended to all prog folk and folk-rock fans as one of the better works from the Yugoslavian prog era of the mid-1970s. It features a mix of acoustic and electric songs with occasional backing sounds of flute, organ and mandolin-related traditional instruments. Arrangements sometimes associate with earlier works of MAGNA CARTA, THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND or JETHRO TULL, with harmony vocals resembling SIMON AND GARFUNKEL influences.

by Sead S. Fetahagic


Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Progressive folk-rock from ex-Yugoslavia with crossover between classical, traditional and contemporary style.



Discography:
- S vremena na vreme (studio, 1975)
- Moj svet (compilation, 1978)
- Paviljon G (studio, 1979)
- Najveci hitovi grupe S vremena na vreme - Ljuba i Asi...
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S VREMENA NA VREME discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

S VREMENA NA VREME top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.08 | 23 ratings
S Vremena Na Vreme
1975
2.13 | 4 ratings
Paviljon G
1979
1.32 | 3 ratings
Ljuba & Asim: Najveci hitovi grupe S vremena na vreme
1990
4.05 | 2 ratings
Posle kraja
1995

S VREMENA NA VREME Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 2 ratings
Unplugged
1997

S VREMENA NA VREME Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Uzivo (Sava Centar, Novembar 1993)
1993

S VREMENA NA VREME Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.09 | 4 ratings
Moj svet
1978
4.05 | 2 ratings
Vreme ispred nas
1993

S VREMENA NA VREME Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Suncana Strana Ulice
1973
5.00 | 1 ratings
Cudno Drvo
1973
5.00 | 1 ratings
Povratna Karta
1974
5.00 | 1 ratings
Jana
1974
5.00 | 1 ratings
Kao Vreme Ispred Nas
1974
5.00 | 1 ratings
Dixie Band
1975
5.00 | 1 ratings
Put Putuje Karavan
1977
5.00 | 1 ratings
Moj Svet
1977
5.00 | 1 ratings
Ucinila Je Pravu Stvar
1978

S VREMENA NA VREME Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 S Vremena Na Vreme by S VREMENA NA VREME album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.08 | 23 ratings

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S Vremena Na Vreme
S Vremena Na Vreme Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Pioneers of Yugoslavian Rock and Folk, found in 1972 in Beograd by brothers Miomir Dukic and Vojislav Dukic, Asim Sarvan and Ljubomir Ninkovic with all of them playing guitars and singing.Their name (''From time to time'') reflected on the band's hard times to rehearse together due to the military service and actually any possible core left behind had to collaborate with outside musicians.They rarely performed live during their early years and focused on composing music for theatre plays.First single comes in 1973 and several ones would follow, before the first eponymous album would be launched by the Slovenian ZKP label in 1975, featuring among others future drummer of the band Nikola Jager and Pop Masina's Robert Nemecek on bass.

S Vremena Na Vreme played an unusual and innovative Folk Rock, based on the typical electroacoustic changes but often coloring the sound with interesting jams and even more surprisigly with proggy synthesizers.The tracks are short and usually very lyrical with a poetic atmosphere and strong presence of acoustic guitars, but the limited length of the songs would not prevent the band from delivering some clever hints of Psych and Progressive Rock.The album features the constant presence of sargija, an acoustic instrument of the Balkan countries pretty similar to the Turkish baglama, showcasing the deep, traditional roots of S Vremena Na Vreme.But do not expect something close to Eastern Folk from this work.Some pieces are supported by floating synthesizers, heading for a pretty proggy enviroment, other ones contains echoes of the Hammond organ in a more old-styled, psychedelic mood.On the top of these comes the good use of electric guitars and some mellow interplays to produce a slightly adventurous style.The vocals are mostly great and the album has a great sense of melody in most of its pieces, sometimes flirting with Pop Rock, but always maintaining an artistic flavor.

A second album from 1979, ''Paviljon G'', is said to be more electric but also quite poppy.The band dissolved for the first time the same year due to Vojislav Dukic'es army service and reunited in early-90's, producing the album ''Posle kraja'', before disbanding again in 1997.Several shorter reunions for live purposes took place from 2010 and on.

Warm, sensitive and pretty challenging Folk Rock from the 70's.Highly recommended to all fans of the genre and a good proposal for anyone looking for smooth yet intricate musicianship...3.5 stars.

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 Vreme ispred nas by S VREMENA NA VREME album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1993
4.05 | 2 ratings

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Vreme ispred nas
S Vremena Na Vreme Prog Folk

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This compilation appeared in 1993 when S VREMENA NA VREME re-united in its original quartet line-up and gave a successful reunion concert at Belgrade's Sava Centar in November that year, which was separately released on a VHS video tape. The compilation was issued in modest circulation both as a vinyl LP and a cassette, so it is a kind of rarity nowadays.

The collection interestingly captures the band at their best in the period 1973-79, repeating however five tracks from the earlier, also excellent, 1978 compilation "Moj svet". Still, here we have three previously unreleased recordings that should attract the SVNV collectors:

"Na pocetku i na kraju" (En. "In the Beginning and in the End") was taken from a TV show in 1973, a live version of "Suncana strana ulice" (En. "The Sunny Side of the Street") recorded in 1977 and the first version of "Ucinila je pravu stvar" (En. "She Did the Right Thing"), slightly different from that released on a 7" single.

Other tracks are well-known treasures from the SVNV repertoire; eight tracks taken from their 7" singles and two from studio LPs (including one of better songs - "A sta sad" (En. "And Now What") - from otherwise weak album "Paviljon G"). Songs like "Odisej" (En. "Ulysses"), "Cudno drvo" (En. "Strange Wood"), "Povratna karta" (En. "Round-Trip Ticket"), "Moj svet" (En. "My World"), "O glumcu i narodu" (En. "On the Actor and the People"), "Ponekad" (En. "Sometimes") are excellent examples of sincere, authentic and creative songwriting in the vein combining the pop mastery, folk inspiration and progressive attitude and instrumentation.

Unless you already own "Moj svet" LP collection, "Vreme ispred nas" (En. "A Time To Come") could be a perfect companion to their wonderful eponymous studio LP from 1975.

PERSONAL RATING: 3,75/5

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 Ljuba & Asim: Najveci hitovi grupe S vremena na vreme by S VREMENA NA VREME album cover Studio Album, 1990
1.32 | 3 ratings

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Ljuba & Asim: Najveci hitovi grupe S vremena na vreme
S Vremena Na Vreme Prog Folk

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

1 stars S VREMENA NA VREME disbanded after the failure of their previous studio album "Paviljon G" to hit the charts amongst the Yugoslav punk/new wave boom in 1979. A decade later Ljuba Ninkovic and Asim Sarvan re-united briefly, without Djukic brothers, and re-recorded a collection of old SVNV songs from their "golden" period in mid-1970s.

Titled "Ljuba and Asim: Greatest Hits of the Group 'S Vremena Na Vreme'", this collection unfortunately did not bring any new or creative aspect of the old songs, except rather awful musical production for which Ninkovic and Sarvan are responsible. Apart from Toma Milakovic who played bass on all except one track, all other instruments were performed by Ljuba Ninkovic. The most problematic aspect of this work, however, is the sound of synthesizer keyboards and electronic drums programming, which simply ruined most of the songs covered here. With possible exception of extended and re-arranged version of "Vreme ispred nas" (En. "A Time To Come") having a nice electric guitar solo part at the end, most tracks are unattractive or even barely listenable. Original versions, taken either from singles or LPs, were way better sounding with much more emotions and creativity involved.

These versions of old songs as recorded on "Ljuba and Asim..."are cold, empty-hearted and too technical. Unless a die-hard SVNV completest, you should avoid this album!

PERSONAL RATING: 1,5/5

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 Unplugged by S VREMENA NA VREME album cover Live, 1997
5.00 | 2 ratings

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Unplugged
S Vremena Na Vreme Prog Folk

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars After excellent returning album "Posle kraja", S VREMENA NA VREME played several concerts and decided to record a live album in Novi Sad in early 1996. The title "Unplugged" although quite "modern" and trendy at the time (mid-1990s, one can remember a popular MTV series of such live performances) is actually a bit misleading. S VREMENA NA VREME are in fact mostly ACOUSTIC band on most of their previous releases, so to call it "unplugged" does not mean much really. Moreover, technically and strictly speaking, this album/performance contains electric bass and organ, so not everything is purely acoustic!

Aside from the technicality, "Unplugged" presents the band in their top form indeed. Djukic brothers, Sarvan and Ninkovic are masters of string instruments, harmony vocals, composition and lyrics. They are neither avant-garde nor experimental - they are artistic, emotion-filled and romantic. Therefore their sound can often be described more "pop" than "rock" in terms of accessibility on the first listen. However, when they are inspired, they can offer longer and improvised playing (as is the case with almost 10-minute version of "Cudno drvo") to satisfaction of the listeners of prog rock. The backing band of drummer Macura, bassist Bozanic and keyboardist Lokner is a strong support, which is no wonder because they are respected session musicians. Unlike her appearance on the studio album "Posle kraja", Marija Mihajlovic gives here much better vocal performance both as backing vocal and as lead in "Spavaj". Extended version of "Cudno drvo", with string sounds of sargija, prim, good melodic bass lines and short but effective keyboard solos is a prime example of "acoustic progressive folk rock". For those uninformed, "prim" sounds like mandolin, while "sargija" has a more "eastern" sound with sustained (drone) effect, like sitar for instance.

There are also hints of American folk-rock and country rock, like in "Vasar" with its Balkan low life/outlaw topic, "Moj svet" or like the name suggests "Dixieband". One can spot definite influences from artists such as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Tom Petty, GRATEFUL DEAD (from their early 1970s country-rock phase), while some harmony arrangements are firmly rooted in THE BEATLES legacy.

Although these concerts promoted the latest studio album "Posle kraja", on this live set only one song "Spavaj" is taken from that album. The majority of tracks cover the old, mid-1970s period (the debut album and the singles collection "Moj svet") of the band when they were in top creativity condition. Special treat for fans is inclusion of an old song "Vreme" (Eng. "Time") which was not available on other releases. Komuna official release contains 11 tracks, but on the Internet one can find some mp3 versions with 13 songs. Two additional are: a classical hit from the debut album, "Tema Classica" and crowd-pleasing cover of Bob Dylan's "Knocking' On Heaven's Door", the latter being interesting to hear because the lead vocalist gives his best to sound like Dylan and he largely succeeds in doing that.

This excellent, fair, unpretentious, competent and emotional record is one of the best live albums issued on the territory of former Yugoslav republics. As such I can pronounce it a masterpiece of live recording of acoustic (progressive) folk rock, and this mark comes from the person not generally inclined to praise live albums.

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 Posle kraja by S VREMENA NA VREME album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.05 | 2 ratings

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Posle kraja
S Vremena Na Vreme Prog Folk

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars After they split up in 1979, S VREMENA NA VREME were mostly forgotten in the Yugoslavian music scene. Asim Sarvan formed in early 1980s the folk rock group MUZEJ SARVAN, while Ljuba Ninkovic joined the mainstream rock revival band TUNEL. Both endeavours proved to be unsuccessful commercially as well as artistically waste of their talents. Then, in 1990 they got together as duet (without Djukic bros.), recording again some of their old hits from the 1970s and issued an album under the title "Ljuba i Asim: Najveci hitovi grupe S vremena na vreme". During the dissolution and wars of former Yugoslavia, S VREMENA NA VREME appeared at a charity concert in Belgrade 1993 and decided to re-group and even to record a new album, the first new material since "Paviljon G".

"Posle kraja" (Eng. "After the End") was released in 1995 to a half-hearted reaction of the public. The time and the political moment were not friendly towards rock music in general, so the media simply ignored the disc. However, this album is excellent and its ill- tempered appearance only adds to its value, especially when contrasted with awful situation in their home country Serbia and surrounding ex-Yugoslav republics. The general feeling of pessimism and regret for the past is most evident in the upbeat opener, "Povratna karta" (Eng. "Round-Trip Ticket") with catchy rhythm tracing the TALKING HEADS' "Life During Wartime", folksy percussion-lead "Tavan" (Eng. "The Attics") and the lament for the passed rock icons in "A ja" (Eng. "And Me"). Sound of the album is excellent, production is crisp clear and performance is impeccable. Most of the songs feature acoustic guitars, their signature prim-tambura, percussion and tasty background organ and keyboards. The famous session player Pera Joe contributes with fine harmonica in three songs, while ballad "Spavaj" (Eng. "Sleep") contains female lead vocal by Marija Mihajlovic. The album presents the second version of the track "Maskenbal" (Eng. "Masquerade"), originally recorded for the previous album "Paviljon G", but this time in not so interesting country-rock manner. Beautiful guitar chords (sometimes in the vein of the guitar pop wizard Johnny Marr of THE SMITHS) and wonderful vocal harmonies of these old gents prove that they still had lot to offer. Literally all the tracks, with possible exception of "Spavaj" and "Maskenbal", are first rate folk-rock compositions; if not entirely "progressive" they are extremely seriously composed and arranged with genuine artistic approach.

"Posle kraja" is one the major pleasant surprises from the post-Yugoslavian prog rock scene, therefore I can highly recommend this album. It deserves almost 4,5 stars.

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 Paviljon G by S VREMENA NA VREME album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.13 | 4 ratings

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Paviljon G
S Vremena Na Vreme Prog Folk

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars This album brought S VREMENA NA VREME closer to classic rock outfit. Nikola Jager on drums is now full-time member, while V. Djukic switched to bass, thus providing a strong rhythm section. Traditional instruments that made a characteristic music style of the previous releases (prim tambura, sargija, and flute...) were gone, while electric solo guitar is now more frequently used.

The best tracks on "Paviljon G" ("Pavilion G") are a heavy, almost metallic, rocking of "Rok kriticar" ("Rock Critic") with bitter lyrics against rock journalists, and a country-rock beat of "Maskenbal" ("Masquerade Party") with funny, humoresque lyrics and chorus sounding like satirical giants BULDOZER. Two nice ballads, electric "Jesenje svitanje" ("Autumn Dawn") and acoustic "A sta sad" ("And What Now?"), are just nice and easy to listen to, but not on par with earlier compositions. "Ajsa" ("Aisha") is a sort of folk-rock but not very progressive one, utilising their obligatory images of Ottoman Balkans story telling. The remaining tracks are rather weak with banal lyrics and even trendy reggae attempts, except that "Ostrvo" contains a very good solo on electric guitar.

Ljuba Ninkovic proved on several tracks that he is a skilful guitar soloist. However, I can assume that he overtook the control of the band, pushing Sarvan and Djukic brothers behind, and tried to bring it as close to mainstream rock scene in ex Yugoslavia as possible. Even "Rok kriticar" hit the charts in the former country. On the whole, the album suffers from uninspired composition and arrangement, sub-standard lyrics, even though the musicianship and production were quite good. The fact that the band split after this release, with Ninkovic forming a rather mainstream AOR rock band TUNEL in the 1980s, says enough of the crisis documented on this album.

Out of prog context, "Paviljon G" may be estimated as average work, but here it is not enough good to be considered "good".

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 Moj svet by S VREMENA NA VREME album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1978
4.09 | 4 ratings

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Moj svet
S Vremena Na Vreme Prog Folk

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Moj svet" (Eng. "My World") is a collection of singles issued in the period 1973-77. It is extremely handy compilation since only 3 tracks were previously released on their debut album, while all other were scattered over the singles.

Although the songs were recorded across the 4-year period, the album is surprisingly well sounded and encapsulated. Presence of prim tambura as a lead instrument on most songs is a real treat for fans of "exotic" traditional or folk instrumentation. Here we can hear probably its most successful use in rock music of former Yugoslavia to date.

"Moj svet" is mostly an acoustic record, with electric guitar and drum beat present only in two recent songs, Orient-inspired "Put putuje karavan" ("The Caravan Travel") and the closing title track, both issued on singles shortly before this collection appeared. "Cudno drvo" ("Strange Tree") is another excellent all-acoustic/percussion song that draws influence from Turkish/Arabic traditional, featuring prim and sargija - an instrument akin to Turkish saz (long-necked lute). The rhythmic chords remind me of Jimmy Page/Robert Plant intake of Moroccan traditional sounds recorded for their album "No Quarter" in 1994. Vocal harmonies sound like those of THE BEATLES circa 1966/67. "Kao vreme ispred nas" ("Like Time to Come") is a gentle ballad with flute reminiscent of PINK FLOYD's "Julia Dream". "Tavna noc" ("Dark Night") contains lyrical reflections from Renaissance-styled Adriatic/Dalmatian coastline folk.

"Jana" and "Dixie Band" are the most pop-sounding tracks and both were very popular hits in late 1970s in Yugoslavia. The former is a typical festival-orchestral piece of easy listening pop, the latter a commercialised take on Dixie Jazz with Honky Tonk piano. "Odisej" is another mini masterpiece of prim-led Mediterranean story line inspired by the classical hero, Odyssey. "I kad budem stariji" ("And When I'm Older") is elegiac ballad recycling the theme of "too old to rock'n'roll, too young to die", with self-reflecting verses of any serious die-hard (prog) music collector (in English roughly: "and when I'm much older than now/I'm gonna buy me LP records/when I'm super-old/I'm gonna be as young as now"). "Tema Classica" ("Classical Theme"), taken from debut studio album, is almost a mini symphonic/acoustic suite with several changes of tempo and melody, with dark minor-key overtones. Acoustic guitars, prim tambura and what sounds like a synth-harmonium are perfectly produced and arranged, with beautiful harmony vocals.

Except for the two pop hits, "Moj svet" is more than a typical compilation. Each song is beautiful in its own right, while retaining diversity and liveliness that force you to listen to it again and again. S VREMENA NA VREME were quite unique band, not only in Yugoslavia, and for that matter - very underrated and almost forgotten. It is hard to compare them to any international/Anglo-American group. If I say there are distant ties with THE BEATLES, PINK FLOYD, JETHRO TULL, AMAZING BLONDEL, MAMAS AND PAPAS or INCREDIBLE STRING BAND, it's probably over-reacting. But anyway, "Moj svet" is a wonderful and highly recommended addition to prog folk collection. Two pop songs and the fact this is not "real" studio album prevent me from giving the highest rating.

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 S Vremena Na Vreme by S VREMENA NA VREME album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.08 | 23 ratings

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S Vremena Na Vreme
S Vremena Na Vreme Prog Folk

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Eponymous debut album of this band was surprisingly a mature and strong work.

Surprisingly only if you are not familiar with the fact that these musicians were already established veterans of the Belgrade acoustic music scene in the early 1970s. Additionally they gained skills through frequent composing and performing for various theatre and TV plays and shows, as well as guest appearances on many other albums as studio players.

Although this album is, first and formost, a collection of excellent individual songs where practically all of them could have been hits, the overall arrangement of this release gives a feel of a unifying idea. Seamless flow from one song to another is perfectly done, in a manner that some later BEATLES albums can surely be evoked as a model. Excellent harmony vocals, nice acoustic but also occasional electric guitars and flute, melodic bass lines, organ and some electronic devices, plus several traditional instruments like "prim" and "sargija" (both akin to mandolin or lute), all that make of this album a true masterpiece. It is hard to pinpoint a single track as best example, but the sample provided here, "Tema za sargiju" ("Theme for a Sargija") is an excellent choice. It is instrumental including sargija, acoustic guitars, percussion and later an electric guitar fuzzed solo. All of that can remind of some JETHRO TULL moments. Prog purists may find "S vremena na vreme" too accessible and song-oriented instead of complexity or experimentation. But, perfection sometimes lies in simplicity, harmony and beauty, of what this album is plentiful.

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Thanks to seyo for the artist addition.

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