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Crossover Prog • Bosnia and Herzegovina

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M.M. Bartulica picture
M.M. Bartulica biography

Miroslav 'Miso' Bartulica was born in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He started his musical career in the 80's with the band BOLERO (in which he played guitar, and was an overall spiritus movens), which played pop and rock with art and poetical sensibilities, embracing the darker side of emotions, nurturing various aspects of Slavic folklore, even doing a homage to the poetry of Sergei Yesenin, executed with acclaimed actor Rade Serbedzija.
The band went on hiatus in 1989, in the meantime, M. M. Bartulica continued composing occasionally. His first solo album, 'Ludnik' is a result of 15 years of composing, covering the era from the late 80's to the post-Bosnian war period.
'Ludnik' reflects the spleen and musical approach of BOLERO a lot, mixing singing-songwriting sensibilities with various aspects of Bosnian folk music (namely starogradske - 'old town' songs), adding a compact and very artistic shades of various forms of rock, progressive rock (with a nod to neo-prog), and dark, moody piano passages.
Currently, it's uncertain if Bartulica is willing to continue with releasing his solo material, since he announced a comeback of BOLERO on several occasions, the band clearly being his main interest; besides 'Ludnik' was described as his 'emotional summary' of 15 years of his life, and it shouldn't have been released at first place, as Bartulica stated in an interview.

The music of M.M. Bartulica is the example (and not the only one on Prog Archives) of 'Sarajevo school of pop' and it's branch extending into art rock.

Moris Mateljan, 2010.


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3.10 | 2 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ludnik by BARTULICA, M.M. album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.10 | 2 ratings

M.M. Bartulica Crossover Prog

Review by historian9
Forum & Site Admin Group Site Admin / JRF Team

3 stars It's surprising to see the kind of music that is labeled throughout the Balkan countries as only pop and ballad, and M.M. BARTULICA certainly isn't someone who I would check out on a whim so I thank the PA for showcasing these artist's talents.

The ballad label does hold some strength on some tracks, for me mainly because of vocal delivery and sometimes cheesy choruses (reminding me of BIJELO DUGME) but the instrumental side of music is too good to ignore with lots of instrumental passages and lyrics sometimes too dark and personal for constant airplay, making it more of an album you listen for yourself alone than anything else.

So what does it sound like? Music has this MIKE OLDFIELD syndrom, where it plays in with nice rock on electric guitar with elements of folk or various different genres (a bit neo-prog maybe on the instrumental track) poping up here and there in a modern way. This album is like that, but having more pop rock sensibility which breaks apart every now and then but fits the music well, for example "Basna O Bosni" ("Tale About Bosna") has this you could call it fusion type piano passage around which the bridge of the song is formed and you wouldn't expect it the way song starts. Most of the songs have enough of headroom where they explore different musical ideas before they turn back to delivering lyrics and choruses (songs being around 5 minutes long rather than classic 3), which is the main great difference between this album and all other pop/folk rock being released in these countries. This is the type of music that I put in my brain somewhere near solo work of the Macedonian guitar virtuoso VLATKO STEFANOVSKI with less early fusion and more on later day combination of rock and folk (but not his acoustic albums).

Overall, the more classic songs outnumber the better ones (track "Običan Dan" "Normal Day" is like something of the original pop band BOLERO in the 80's ) but those with the knowledge of the language should absolutely check this one out; so I'm making it 3 stars for prog fans, as I imagine that the excellent opener "Ludnik","Basna O Bosni", nice filler "Put prema ti?ini.." or instrumental "Faun" will be too little good material for an album with 10 tracks. Also recommended to art rock and folk rock fans.

Thanks to clarke2001 for the artist addition.

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