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Doktor Spira i Ljudska Bica picture
Doktor Spira i Ljudska Bica biography
Unconventional singer/songwriter from Belgrade Dusan Mihajlović "Spira" began his career in 1972 when he founded an acoustic duo MIRA & SPIRA with Mirjana Marković. They used to play as support act at POP MASINA gigs and were part of the then burgeoning Belgrade acoustic scene. His name became more prominent when his song "Prvi sneg" appeared on the debut LP of another Belgrade folk-rock acoustic band SUNCOKRET in 1977.

In late 1970s he changed his style and formed an alternative post-punk band DOKTOR SPIRA & LJUDSKA BIĆA (Dr. Spira & the Human Beings). In 1980 they recorded their debut album "Dijagnoza", which contained unusual songs inspired by the New Wave urban alienation aesthetics and strong artistic feel. Although he enjoyed a brief fame as a cult personality at the Belgrade alternative scene, no record label wanted to release his album. That's why he went to England and independently pressed some 50 copies of the record and shared them among friends. December 1981 saw the promotion gig at Belgrade's Atelje 212 theatre. The group disbanded in 1985, but ironically only then the state-owned PGP RTB label decided to release it the following year. Mihajlović has been living in London since 1988 and in the meantime he also invented a small guitar amp called "Iron Chicken".

Dr. Spira re-activated during 2006/07 when he decided to make digital remastering of "Dijagnoza". 2CD set " Arheoloski Artefakti..." appeared in 2007 containing a second disc of previously unreleased album "Dizajn za stvarni svet", which was recorded back in 1987. He gathered a new backing band for live promotion with: Predrag Kozomara (guitars), Predrag Milanović (bass), Aleksandar Miletić (keyboards), Slobodan Jurisić (drums), Ana Milanović and Sanja Bogosavljević (back vocals). Special guest appearances included Emily Jane Sarić (vocals) and Mitropa Music Project from Sweden (with Dragan Popović, ex-DAG). They played several gigs in October 2007, Belgrade.

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DOKTOR SPIRA I LJUDSKA BICA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 4 ratings
3.73 | 3 ratings
Arheoloski Artefakti Tehnofilskih Civilizacija Proslosti Ili Naucna Fantastika Kao Zanr U Umetnickim Delima S Kraja Dvadesetog Veka

DOKTOR SPIRA I LJUDSKA BICA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)


DOKTOR SPIRA I LJUDSKA BICA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DOKTOR SPIRA I LJUDSKA BICA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Arheoloski Artefakti Tehnofilskih Civilizacija Proslosti Ili Naucna Fantastika Kao Zanr U Umetnickim Delima S Kraja Dvadesetog Veka by DOKTOR SPIRA I LJUDSKA BICA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.73 | 3 ratings

Arheoloski Artefakti Tehnofilskih Civilizacija Proslosti Ili Naucna Fantastika Kao Zanr U Umetnickim Delima S Kraja Dvadesetog Veka
Doktor Spira i Ljudska Bica Crossover Prog

Review by historian9
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars This compilation of the first and second album brings the best of Spira's work. Even though all the labels that his music is surrounded by, like new wave, alternative and post-punk still apply, the songs are very sophisticated and experimental at times. This serves as a fair warning to prog listeners cause Spira does blend in the new wave 80's scene, a dark and underrated part of the scene that is. Listeners might catch on to some krautrock, maybe gothic and some jazz influences, people who are into COCTEAU TWINS might like something like this. Also, lyrics are important piece with more than a few songs being in a spoken word form, and even when they weren't carrying message across they were little stories on their own; so understanding the language maybe made me rate this higher.

First 11 songs from the album "Dijagnoza" ("Diagnosis") are less interesting, mostly basic new wave with remnants of acoustic folk and krautrock, with a theme of alienation throughout the album, which makes it interesting but not the jolliest of listens.

Previously unreleased second album (translated "Design For The Real World") is excellent and much more diverse, with more influences coming into the mix, world music for one. Ambient, boogie, dance and atonal music also can be mentioned as influences in the album sound, but every song is a story for itself. For instance, "Negde U Gradu" ("Somewhere In The City") is more in a electronic blues tone, "Moji Prijatelji Mi Kazu" ("My Friends Say To Me") is a dark dance influenced number, while the mouthful "Kraj avanture otimača izgubljenog kovčega na Pesčanoj planeti", (translated "End Of Lost Chest Kidnapper's Adventure On The Sand Planet") is a short but sweet ambient motive with space rock qualities that slowly degrades into an loud aggressive guitar with female chorus. PINK FLOYD influence also shows up in "Prvi Sneg" ("First Snow"). "Vruće Pile" ("Hot Chicken") is something like post-punk bands GANG OF FOUR or SHRIEKBACK but with a flute and "Molitva svetom Kamenku Katiću ("Prayer To Kamenko Katić") is a prayer reminding a bit of THROBBING GRISTLE. Whole album is all over the place like that, with even cabaret showing up as an influence.

Overall if you won't mind the language barrier and are interested in the experimental side of 80's music you might want to give this one a listen.

 Dijagnoza by DOKTOR SPIRA I LJUDSKA BICA album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.00 | 4 ratings

Doktor Spira i Ljudska Bica Crossover Prog

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I can't remember who proposed the addition of Dr Spira to PA, but it was apparently I who added his discography and a profile here. Many years ago I wanted to write a review after listening to this album several times, and I was prepared for an enthusiastic review being delighted for what I heard. But it never happened back then. Now I finally revisited this strange album and I must say that it appeals to me somewhat less than earlier.

To be sure, "Dijagnoza" (Diagnosis) is not prog rock but is certainly a kind of avant-garde exercise in the Yugoslav understanding of the new wave. Dragoslav Mihajlovic Dr. Spira and his band "Ljudska Bica" (The Human Beings) were a sort of cult figure during the early 1980s Belgrade alternative scene. They recorded this album in October 1980, but since no label wanted to release it in Yugoslavia, he went to London and privately cut a 50-copy limited edition at Trident Studio to be distributed among his friends. It was only in 1986 that an editor of the PGP RTB label in Belgrade was persuaded to officially release it domestically. 

Had it been released back in 1980 or 1981, it would have certainly stirred a sensation akin to that of the famous "Paket Aranzman" record, a sampler of young punk-inspired bands from the "Belgrade alternative scene" - Sarlo Akrobata, Idoli and Elektricni Orgazam. They even shared recording premises of the same Belgrade studio in the autumn of 1980 and were probably hanging around together, exchanging ideas. There is a striking similarity in the sound of the more uptempo songs like "Uvek isto zbogom" (Always the Same Good Bye), "Slobodan pad" (Free Fall), "Igrac na zici" (Tightrope Player) to the future works of Sarlo Akrobata and even Katarina II (EKV). Strong beat, prominent bass, jerky guitar chords, and neurotic vocals are reminiscent of Pere Ubu, Talking Heads, XTC, or Gang of Four. These are the strongest tracks on "Dijagnoza" that combined the art rock side of the new wave equation with melodic hooks that would have certainly guaranteed radio play success. Dr. Spira's lyrics are surrealistic, dealing with the topics of urban paranoia, alienation, decay, or madness in line with post-punk aesthetics. Vocals are mostly non-singing, shouting, whispering, speaking, reciting, and acting out.

Other interesting moments are more subdued and experimental, such as xylophone and flageolet picking of bass guitar strings in "Ima dana kad mene moja dusa boli" (Some Days My Soul Hurts So Much), percussion-heavy spoken word recital with some echo effects and bass solo parts in "Budjenje" (Awakening), or a slightly dissonant avant-folk acoustic number "U znaku lava" (In the Sign of Leo) that sounds like taken from the repertoire of the Slovene avant-garde singer/songwriter Marko Brecelj. The remaining songs are not very good and some slow-tempo jazzy numbers with piano - "Ponekad" (Sometimes), and "Marina" - are particularly boring to listen to. "Dr. Paranoia" contains whispering vocals and introductory guitar chords that remind of the Smak's title song off their album "Zasto ne volim sneg" from 1981.

Overall, this is a worthy album that is diminished by several subpar compositions and bad overall production. It is amazing to hear that Dr. Spira actually influenced so many bands that would become more popular and critically acclaimed. I was initially prepared to give full 4 stars, but given the said flaws I must lower my mark to 3. Still, it is recommended to listen to all who like the above-described style of music.

Thanks to seyo for the artist addition.

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