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Trio Dag - Secanja CD (album) cover

SECANJA

Trio Dag

 

Prog Folk

3.82 | 17 ratings

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Seyo
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars TRIO DAG was seemingly a typical representative of the so-called "Belgrade acoustic scene" of the mid-seventies. Dragan Popović (vocals, guitar) and brothers Aleksandar (vocals, guitar) and Grujica Milovanović (vocals, percussion) came together in 1972 naming the band after their first names initials. After two singles that enjoyed moderate success on the local acoustic folk scene, they recorded LP "Sećanja" ("Memories") in 1974. In order to expand the musical performance and offer richer arrangements, they invited a large group of colleagues and session players to support the recording. The result is pretty remarkable acoustic/electric acid folk rock album with elements of psychedelic and symphonic/chamber pop. However, the term "folk" should be understood as describing the Anglo-American "folk rock" rather than the local/Balkanian folk influences as was the case with another famous similar band, their contemporaries S VREMENA NA VREME.

The album starts with gentle acoustic ballads "Svitanje" ("Dawning") and "Jutro jednog fauna" ("A Faun's Morning") that are enhanced by symphonic/baroque sounding strings. It seems like an early precursor of what would recently be labelled "chamber pop". "Ljubav" ("Love") continues in the acoustic style, bringing a sad, melancholic atmosphere of the PINK FLOYD's "A Pillow of Winds" and the dark moments of Nick Drake's songs. A Neil Young-ish mouth harp introduces another beautiful harmony of tenor vocals and acoustic guitars in "Cvet starog samuraja" ("The Flower of the Old Samurai"). The song ends with an odd psychedelic effect of reversed electric guitar solo, like the one utilised for instance in the BEATLES' "I Am Only Sleeping".

The second part of the album provides a space for guest players to add their spices to the musical act. Notable appearances include the POP MASINA rhythm section (Robert Nemeček on bass guitar and Bata Popović on percussion), another two drummers: Rasa Đelmas (ex YU GRUPA, POP MASINA) and Nikola Jager (ex S VREMENA NA VREME), a distinguished session keyboardist Slobodan Marković on organ and piano, who played on numerous rock and pop albums in the seventies, and lyricist Marina Tucaković who was yet to build her, often disputed, song writing career in the pop music scene by the end of the decade.

"Tragovi u pesku" ("Traces in the Sand") has a pleasant and highly accessible melody provided by laid-back organ chords, supported by slow drums pattern and fine brief electric guitar solo. Psychedelic/acid highlights of the album are present in the following two tunes, which are played in a very electrified folk rock style of CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG or JEFFERSON AIRPLANE. "I sad." ("And Now.") contains changes of tempo between easy/acoustic and speedy/electric sections of the song. The eight and half minutes magnum opus "Na Drini ćuprija" ("The Bridge on the River Drina") opens with sitar sounds courtesy of Ljubomir Ristić. The song develops along the INCREDIBLE STRING BAND sounding raga rock timbre with additional electric guitar with wah-wah effects and piano. DAG vocals are somewhat put in the background but nonetheless are perfectly fitted within the frame of this acid folk masterpiece. Strings are back again just to announce a sudden shift into a brief hard beating boogie-rock led by electric guitars, while the organ fades out the track. The album finishes with another ballad "I na kraju zvuk" ("A Sound at the End") which presents even a nice, short jazz-rock jamming with electric piano, energetic drums and excellent lead guitar play.

Don't expect amazing production or instrumental performance on "Sećanja" - we are still in the period of an early Yugoslavian rock discography, when LP vinyl records used to be printed in 500-600 copies only! Hence the rarity nature of albums like this one. I found information that this album used to be allegedly priced at 300 US dollars at e-Bay! True or not, it shows that we are talking about a rare gem. It has not been issued on CD so far and it is a pity that only devout vinyl collectors (and those not minding mp3 rips) may enjoy it.

If compared with international contemporaries, this record may sound sub-standard, even dated or amateurish. But, being situated within the Yugoslav rock scene, "Sećanja", due to its sincerity, creativeness, lyrical and topical approach and unpretentious performance, must be graded with high mark. Together with the eponymous album of S VREMENA NA VREME, DAG debut is perhaps the best album of acoustic prog folk of the seventies in former Yugoslavia.

PERSONAL RATING: 5/5

P.A. RATING: 5/5

Seyo | 5/5 |

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