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DAH

Heavy Prog • Yugoslavia


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Dah biography
DAH (Eng. "Breath") was formed in Belgrade 1972 and original members were Zlatko Manojlovic (guitar), Branko Marusic Cutura (vocal, guitar), Branko Gluscevic (bass) and Radomir Dubicanin (drums). The band appeared at Ljubljana's "Boom Pop Festival '73". They promoted the first 7" single "Ako pozelis" by playing live in a record store's shopwindow, which was a bit of oddity at the time. Cutura left the band and they continued as trio with Manojlovic assuming vocal responsabilities.

Velibor Bogdanovic soon joined as new drummer, replacing Dubicanin. This line-up recorded debut album "Veliki cirkus" in 1974. The group enjoyed brief but prominent international success when they recorded hit single "Shoshana" during their sojourn in Belgium, in 1975. For this occasion Manojlovic was supported by Dragan Mihajlovic (violin), Zdenko Pomper (bass) and Stevan Milutinovic (drums). While in Belgium, the band used the name LAND, and featured new members. Along with Manojlovic and Bogdanovic, there were keyboardist Goran Manojlovic, Tommy Schpalteholtz and Villy Pulz. "Shoshana" single was issued by Polydor across Europe and it even raised to No. 1 on the top list of Radio Morocco (!). During their stay in Luxembourg in 1975 they played joint sessions with Dutch progressive rock legends FOCUS. Upon return to Yugoslavia in 1976 they released the third album "Povratak".

DAH disbanded soon after its release. Manojlovic continued with a not-so-successful solo career and formed heavy metal band GORDI in late 1977.

DAH were typical band of their time in mid-1970s former Yugoslavia. On the classic (hard) rock base they tried to introduce elements of post-hippie folk psychedelia and ambitious progressive-leaning, "artistic" concepts, searching for inspiration in the mythical and literary themes; "Prolog/Prohujalo s vihorom", a 10-minute suite from "Veliki cirkus" album is recommended to listen. The third album "Povratak" contains more structured and concise songs (including a version of "Shoshana").

by Sead S. Fetahagic



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Noteworthy prog rock band from former Yugoslavia.



Discography:
Veliki cirkus, studio album (1974)
Povratak, studio album (1976)

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DAH discography


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

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

2.14 | 5 ratings
Veliki cirkus
1974
3.88 | 6 ratings
Povratak
1976

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

DAH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DAH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Ako Pozelis
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Samo Jedna Noc
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ti Si Ta
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mali Princ
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Zlatko & Dah: Sosana
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Zlatko & Dah: Zedj
1976

DAH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Veliki cirkus by DAH album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.14 | 5 ratings

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Veliki cirkus
Dah Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

2 stars A heavy rocking trio formed in 1972, Yugoslavian band Dah not only managed two albums in their five year existence, but managed a hit single with `Shoshana' and also got to tour with Dutch prog legends Focus. On their debut album `Veliki Cirkus' ("The Grand Circus") from 1974, the band favoured a psychedelic and acid folk mix of heavy rocking tunes with softer melodic ballads, and on the strength of the material offered here, it's the latter that were more convincing. Sadly there's not much here to offer here in the way of progressive rock elements to interest followers and collectors of that genre, even though it's full of energy and well performed.

Listening to the effective nightmarish sound collage that opens the disc with `Prologue', you'd be expecting this album to be experimental and ambitious all the way through, but this inventive beginning is sadly short lived. It soons morphs into `Prohujalo Sa Vihorom', a by-the-numbers collection of heavy rocking passages, despite moving through a few tempos and direction changes. `Troil I Kresida' and `Desetorica Sa Loace' are bouncy but utterly forgettable throwaway grooving rockers, only the roaring vocal from guitarist Zlatco Manojlovic leaves any impression in the first, some twisting electric guitar soloing on both sides of the speakers the latter.

The jangling ballad title track that opens side B is spirited but ultimately repetitive. `Dobar Vetar, Plava Ptico' could have been a promising acid folk ballad (lovely mandolin from Zlatko throughout), but a semi-comical half-spoken narration over the top and a silly forced childish psychedelic ending destroys it. `Mozda Zvoni' is a forgettable one minute novelty old-school rock-'n-roller in the same manner as E.L.P's `Are You Ready, Eddy' - urgh! Album closer has plenty of slow-burn bluesy guitar wailing, Branko Gluscevic's purring bass and pounding drums from Velibor Bogdanovic the standouts, but a screeching falsetto vocal from Zlatko is utterly excruciating and completely ruins the piece altogether. Despite a different surname here, I had a bad feeling this was the same Zlatko that offered a similar unlistenable guest vocal on the Yugoslavian `Hobo' album from 1975 that I reviewed a few days back, and sure enough it's the same guy. His usual singing voice is perfectly fine, but as soon as he moves into that shriek, it spells disaster for any track, and like on that album, it just goes on forever...

The one absolute highlight of the album for me is the seven minute slinky, sexy, mellow borderline-reggae grooving ballad `Majka Jugovica', which reminds me of the same sun-kissed optimism and warmth of Guru Guru's `Tango Fango'. Smoothly sung, with chilled electric guitar solos, spontaneous drum fills and a general laid-back shuffling groove and toasty atmosphere makes this one to share with your lady. Only a splintering audio pop that slices through the speakers at the 3:33 mark lets it down, was this locked into the original recording? Anyway, this chilled number showed far more potential than the heavier tracks that make up the bulk of the album, and is worthy trying to have a listen to on it's own.

Admittedly the Eastern Time label have down a superb job with the 2013 CD reissue of `Veliki Circus' that adds an additional 9 bonus tracks, a collection of single A and B sides and live performances, so if you must own it, this would be the edition to get. But if you want to investigate the Yugoslavian prog acts from the early 70's period, bands like Korni Gruppa and Izvir should be way up the top of your list over something like this. Grupa Dah were no doubt a solid rock band, but they sure aren't too exciting for progressive rock listeners.

Two and a half stars.

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 Povratak by DAH album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.88 | 6 ratings

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Povratak
Dah Heavy Prog

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Sometimes truly interesting rock music lies beyond the often banal and worn-out tags like "groundbreaking", "avant-garde", "mind-bending" or even "progressive"! Old, unearthed records that were overlooked, misunderstood or simply neglected by the public at the time of their recording or publishing have got a real treat to offer sometimes, if you are patient enough to listen to.

DAH spent several months of early 1975 in Belgium and Luxembourg where they released a hit-single "Shoshana" (sung in English) under the name LAND. The single was internationally released by Polydor and it enjoyed brief but important European-wide success. Upon return to Yugoslavia, obviously well-inspired by the international experience in Benelux (they even had a few gigs with Dutch prog legends FOCUS), DAH recorded their follow-up album "Povratak" ("The Return").

Instead of ambitious semi-prog structures "Povratak" offers a collection of strong, musically unpretentious but melodic and convenient rock songs. Performed mostly in a hard rock style, with elements of boogie, funk and jazz, the radio-friendly 3-4 minutes songs range from dynamic and power boogie of "Ko te sada ljubi" ("Who's Been Kissing You Now"), slow-rock ballad of "Sta je ljubav" ("What Is Love") where we hear important addition of Zlatko Manojlović's brother Goran on organ, fuzzed guitar riffs and percussion soli in "Na nebu mojih misli" ("In The Skies Of My Thoughts"), up to funky heavy prog of "Sahara". All of the songs are actually very good, concise, melodic and rocking hard as necessary. Zlatko's tenor voice is up to the standards here, without silly exhibitionism as was the case on the previous album "Veliki circus". International fans of RUSH, LED ZEPPELIN, DOOBBIE BROTHERS or WISHBONE ASH might do well to check this album. Two compositions slightly differ from the rest, though.

The above mentioned single "Sosana" is included in Serbo-Croat version here. It is a folk-based pop rock with typical Balkanian/Middle-Eastern rhythm pattern that was a popular hit in ex-Yugoslavia and even served at one time as a sort of "hippie anthem". Actually, I must confess that I only recently discovered the true origin of this song. It was recorded in 1957 in Hebrew as "Erev Shel Shoshanim" ("Evening of Roses") and for many years remained a popular love folk song. I was earlier covered by many notable pop singers such as Nana Mouskouri and Harry Belafonte. In DAH's interpretation it has a playful folk-rock touch.

Finally, the closing 8,5 minutes "Osećaj" ("The Feeling") is a true psychedelic/progressive composition. Starting with eerie organ and echoed cymbals, the songs brings a melancholic repetitive guitar chords that may remind fans of the influential Yugoslav post-wave alternative "art" rock band EKATARINA VELIKA and their excellent dark wave manifesto "Geto" from the album "Katarina II" (1984). There follows a heavy part with fiery guitars and weeping sound of what sounds like a synth (although it may be a guitar too) while Zlatko's vocals are emotional and natural.

Should I consider giving an overall rating between 3 and 4 stars, based on the fact that all the songs are good or very good but none truly excellent or masterpiece, then "Osećaj" would be an argument for higher mark. It is interesting to note that this song, albeit with slightly different title "Osećanja" ("Feelings"), was issued together with "Ko te sada ljubi" on A-side as Zlatko Manojlović's solo single in 1975, prior to the release of this album. Thumbs up!

PERSONAL RATING: 3,5/5

P.A. RATING: 4/5

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 Veliki cirkus by DAH album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.14 | 5 ratings

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Veliki cirkus
Dah Heavy Prog

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Debut LP of DAH, under the title "Veliki cirkus" ("The Grand Circus"), appeared in 1974 in modest circulation at the former Yugoslav music market. Zlatko Manojlović (guitar, mandolin, vocal), Branko Glusčević (bass) and Velibor Bogdanović (drums) were keen to make a "concept" album, in line with contemporary trend of the "progressive rock". Thus, the album opens with "Prologue" and ends with "Epilogue", lyrics written by Zoran Modli (later well-known radio DJ and music promoter) pretended to have artistically "poetic" value, while the themes presented had been influenced by film and literature. Musically, DAH tries not to experiment too much but instead to follow the popular hard rock format of the time, adding occasional psychedelic effects, mainly in slower tracks. The power rock trio format, due to its limiting instrumentation - drums, bass and guitar -always provides excellent opportunity to hear both good and bad elements of a rock group. In case of DAH, solid instrumental capabilities do not always result with good songs.

"Prolog" starts silently with sounds of thunderstorm and rain, slowly building an atmosphere over an easy psychedelic bass lines. The vocal part continues into "Prohujalo s vihorom" ("Gone with the Wind"), a nice psych ballad where Manojlović sings about Scarlet O'Hara and provides some nice lead guitar licks. "Troil i Kresida" ("Troilus and Cressida") is powerful heavy rock invoking the classical Shakespearean legend. "Desetorica sa lomače" ("The Dozen at the Bonfire") and "Majka Jugovića" ("The Mother of the Jugović's", a character from the Serbian Kosovo epic mythology) follow in the similar heavy fashion where one can clearly see influences from LED ZEPPELIN or RUSH in the instrumental interplay. However, Manojlović's vocals are not very convincing in these two songs and the album here starts falling apart.

The next two songs are probably the most interesting on the album. The title track runs slowly across 7 minutes in a psychedelic jam vein. Lead guitar and bass are excellent, occasionally interspersed with sound effects of a flying airplane. Manojlović sings about "The Grand Circus" as an allegory for life of an artist and his tenor is very convincing. "Dobar vetar plava ptico" ("Good Wind, Blue Bird") is another soft-rock ballad with catchy melody and chorus that could make a hit-single. The namesake Yugoslavian/Soviet children's movie was shot in 1967 telling story of love and friendship among the youths coming from different races and nations and with a notable cameo appearance by Radmila Karaklajić, a popular Yugoslav lady singer who had successful career in the former USSR. Here DAH sings about a teenage romance between school kids.

Unfortunately, the last three tracks (including "Epilog") are disastrous and they tremendously diminish the quality of the album as a whole. Another seemingly film-inspired theme "Mozda zvoni Miss Stone" ("Perhaps Miss Stone Is Ringing") - "Miss Stone" is the title of the Macedonian movie of the late 1950s - starts nicely with mandolin and an easy rock rhythm just to be spoiled by stupid lyrics, and the senseless inclusion of two different tempos, honky-tonk/Charleston and Serbian "kolo" folk dance! The closing "Ceste budućnosti" ("Roads of the Future") must be one of the worst songs I heard in my life! An unconvincing attempt at blues rock is further destroyed by the most horrible vocals you can imagine. It sounds like one of pills and booze-induced takes during a rehearsal session!!! I wonder how Manojlović agreed to put this on to a record...? Amateurish screaming, yelling and idiotic vocal exhibitionism is unacceptable if you want to be taken seriously.

"The Grand Circus" is uneven and inconsistent album. It contains several nice (but not too essential either) tracks and a few very bad moments. Topical, conceptual approach is interesting but ultimately shows that it was underdeveloped. This is not a good album and I would not recommend it. Try instead the much better album - "Povratak"!

PERSONAL RATING: 2,5/5

P.A. RATING: 2/5

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