Friday, 2 October 2015


I'm in Ljubljana at the moment, trying to meet up with as many people as possible to do some more interviews. I spent this afternoon chatting to David, who was part of the Hardcore Collective and mostly involved in booking shows. He also played in the band KPJ (which in English stood for Communist Party of Yugoslavia). One of the things we ended up talking about was how a lot of the hardcore punks in Ljubljana ended up having to be creative with regards to their clothes, as it was difficult and expensive to get hold of certain items, like bullet belts and leather jackets, which by this time had become pretty much standard fare across most of European and worldwide hardcore scenes.

The expense and difficult associated with buying DM boots led them to have to improvise, usually replacing  Dr Martens with Yugoslav army boots for example, whilst others travelled to places like Trieste to buy the clothes and records they could afford. David said he actually ended up ordering bullet belts, studs etc from the UK and distributed them in Ljubljana, in the same sort of way he distributed Maximum RocknRoll.

This all led me on to say how I always thought that Boris, the bass player in Odpadki Civilizacije had one of the coolest looks in the hardcore scene, based on the photos and videos I have seen.

You can see it on show in the video below as well, which incidentally is probably my favourite hardcore song to come out of the Ljubljana scene. I've no idea how he managed to play anything at all with those gloves on. 

These are just some thoughts off the top of my head based on today's conversation, but it's something I'm gonna think more about, ask some more people about, and maybe include in my thesis. 

Friday, 4 September 2015

Only a short post here, but just wanted to share a new jumper I recently received as a birthday present, which was made by the excellent knitpunx. Not sure how anyone in UBR will react to seeing this, but I suppose it's a step down from showing the members of Tožibabe my Dežuje tattoo at least.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Balkan Pank

Virgin Prunes, by Jože Suhadolnik

I've briefly mentioned Jože Suhadolnik and his photography on this blog in the past, having picked up a copy of his book last year. I've also spoken to him on the phone at some point earlier this year (I forget when) to ask him some more about his experiences as part of my research, but I've not yet got round to writing anything up for this blog about that. Today however, I came across this article on the Dangerous Minds website, which features a lot of his photography alongside a few comments about his photos and the environment in which he worked, which is taken from a slightly longer article on the Dazed and Confused website. It's a nice little introduction to his work, and there's also mention of a 400 page police file that he found in 1992. I'll need to ask him a bit more about this as I'm hoping to find some more evidence of police/regime responses to punk, and how they talked about it, when I head back over to Slovenia later in the year.

Monday, 27 July 2015

One of my more recent posts on here was about the new Dva Minuta Mrznje reissues on No Plan records. Maximum RocknRoll just made one of them their 'reissue of the week' so if my endorsement wasn't enough, you have no excuse now.

Check out the article/review here-

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Los Frikis

Photo by Helena de Bragança

One of the things I'll be writing about in relation to Slovene hardcore for my PhD is where the Hardcore Collective fits in with regards to youth reactions to communist states. A lot of academic work has been done on this, particularly in relation to Soviet Russia and I'm still working how applicable and transferable these frameworks are for the reality of life in Yugoslavia in the 1980s.

Anyway, the reason I'm mentioning all this is because a friend of mine recently recommended a podcast which is a product of the first collaboration between Radiolab and Radio Ambulante. For some reason I decided to listen to it on my journey back home after a weekend of little sleep and lots of beer at K-Town in Copenhagen and it wiped (an already tired and emotional) me out entirely.

It focuses on Los Frikis in Cuba in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I won't spoil the story as it's only a 30 minute listen and there are a couple of other video documentaries on the subject, but it's so so fascinating and amazing. The example Los Frikis pose is a completely heartbreaking, ultimate manifestation of what it is to 'opt out' of society, but also represents some of the the abstract opportunities and freedom, but also the literal shelter, that punk can provide. Whilst the ultimate conclusion to the story is incredibly tragic, the ripping back of symbolic, if not concrete, power through punk and political opposition is an inspiring and energising force.

Ultimately though, this short podcast and my summary of it can never be enough to do the issues it throws up justice. I'm still working out how I feel about it several days later.

You can listen via youtube here-

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Došao Je Kraj

I've previously written about Dva Minuta Mržnje on this blog (look back to the previous post to find downloads for all of their 1980s recordings) and as a result of that Dario from No Plan Records got in touch with me to say that they were planning to release all the bands material in the near future. I finally got hold of copies of the two 7's they released this morning. On the left of the picture above is a 7" made up of the tracks from the Izgubljena Alternativa compilation tape, with really great artwork by Chris Weston, who is best known for illustrating comics. I'm not sure how that link came about (and when I asked him on twitter he wasn't sure himself), but the Big Brother inspired art fits the general theme of the band. On the right is the Došao Je Kraj 7", featuring alternative artwork to the No Time to Be Wasted version, this time designed by Dario himself. Both releases are pretty limited (350, of which 50 are on colour vinyl) but it's good to have physical versions of both, as the 90s No Time... pressing i mentioned is still selling for £200 upwards on discogs and I've not seen a copy of the Izgubljena... tape available anywhere. Both releases come with single sheet inlays with some artwork from original releases, flyers and photos (see the very on trend drummer below), and most importantly for me at least, a lyrics sheet. All the lyrics are in Serbian, but are relatively simple which means i can piece together some general meanings from them. 

The title track of 'Došao Je Kraj' roughly means 'Coming to an End' and talks about how people have had enough of deception and lies and have turned into a wild mob. I'm assuming it's about Yugoslav communism. That might be a simplistic/obvious conclusion to make but it would make sense given what I previously talked about as far as the song 'Crni Mercedes' goes and what I know of the bands general outlook. 'Zašto?' translates as 'Why?' and actually has a resemblance lyrically to another Discharge song, 'Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing'. 'Terorizam' is about hearing about and seeing terrorism on the news and in the street, and ends with 'Terorizam protiv dosade!', or 'Terorrism against Boredom'. I'm not entirely sure what conclusions can be drawn from that.

On the other 7", 'Sudije' or 'Judges' discusses the empty words of judges and executioners which are only followed by obedient sheep and loyal dogs, 'Moderna Omladina' describes the entertainment modern youth find in breaking someones jaw, and 'Maske', like several of the other songs, seems to be a cryptic message to Yugoslav communists, with the singer urging them to take off the mask and show what they really are, and to spit in his face.

I highly recommend buying both records from- as they've done a really decent job with the releases and the songs are great. It would've been great if they had gone down the Ne! Records route of including a biography of the band etc. but half of my motivation for reading that kind of stuff is down to me being a nerd, the other half because it would be useful for my studies.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

I flew out to Slovenia around a month ago for the Tozibabe gig, and whilst I was there got a chance to do a couple more interviews, one with Robert from Quod Massacre. It was interesting to hear from someone that, despite being active in a punk band at the same time as the rest of the Ljubljana hardcore scene, wasn't really a part of the 'Hardcore Collective' as such. I'll be writing more about this, and about Quod Massacre in the future, but for now, here is are a photo I took after the interview. Robert now works as a sound engineer, and has worked on several of the Ne! Records releases, including the release of Quod Massacre's 'Kje Je Odgovor'.

As I mentioned however, the main reason for my trip was the chance to see Tožibabe. They were reforming for a one off gig (which took some persuading to make happen) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of their only 7" EP, 'Dežuje'. The rumour I had heard before the gig was that they were only going to play one song, but in actual fact they ended up playing 5 (if i recall correctly, I had drunk a few Laškos by this point) and returned to play Dežuje again at the insistence of the crowd. They switched instruments for a couple of songs and whilst you could tell they hadn't played together for several decades, it just wouldn't have made sense if they were super tight. The general atmosphere was enough to carry them along and the fact that they were playing songs from a complete classic obviously helped too.

The other bands were all local and were picked via some sort of contest. Inevitably they were of varying quality. I ended up talking to my friend Jaka about the current scene, and he said he found it strange how a city which was able to produce several great bands in the 1980s, would have so few legitimate current hardcore bands. From what I've seen myself, it seems Zagreb has a thriving DIY hardcore/punk scene, and whilst Metelkova has gigs happening every night almost, a lot of tours end up skipping Ljubljana.

After the gig I managed to speak to Mojca again, having previously sent her some questions via e-mail, and introduced myself to the other members. I also showed them my Dežuje tattoo, which seemed to confuse, intrigue and maybe scare them in equal measure. I didn't manage to get too many photos from the gig that I am happy with, as it was difficult to find a good place to stand, but here are a few of the best ones that I took...

I should also mention that FV Music and Ne! Records reissued the 7" and it's available to buy now, on black, clear or yellow vinyl, or a picture disk featuring the cover art. It also comes with a reproduction of the original lyrics sheet, in both English and Slovene, and a chunky booklet with photos, stories, press cuttings and other great stuff. I'll be doing a separate post dedicated purely to this record, so I'll save a full dissection until then. For now, I highly recommend getting a copy of this as Ne! Records have done the great job I expected. 

Monday, 16 February 2015

I just booked my flights to go back Ljubljana in March, so I can see Tozibabe in Ljubljana. The gig is being organised by FV Music, to celebrate the release of the 'Dezuje' 7" 30 years ago. It's being held at Metelkova and from what I have seen so far, all the other bands are current local bands. 

The facebook event is here-

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Like the last time I wrote on here, I'm having to start with an admission/apology of sorts given that I've not posted much up here recently. I swear I've had good reasons though... I was recently in Vancouver giving a paper based on my research so far, which is the first time I've attempted anything of the sort, so I've had to concentrate on that. I'm hoping to update this a bit more in the next few months, especially as I've recently been talking about ex-Yugo/ Slovene punk to people I met on my travels in Canada and the US, and I realised that a lot of the stuff I've been recommending isn't actually up here to download/read about, including a lot of the stuff I would define as 'the classics'.

For now, here is Ženevski Dekret, from Mostar, covering Anarchy in the UK in a rehearsal (I'm not sure when this was). I love stuff like this. I'm fairly sure this is Habbi from Ne! Records band from the 1980s (he's now based in Sweden) but I'll look into stuff some more and do a longer post on them in the future.