(“Taksirat” 2 – “Misfortune” 2) “Oak” version
#1 The Festival, held in the night between 25 and 26 November this year at Skopje Fair, did not have the ambitions to be an official indicator of the Balkan “co-operative movement” in the relishing of “European licking sticks” as well as “the event” in Zagreb for instance, and this makes it an ordinary honest and nice move for consuming life energy in normal doses and without walls in the head.
Rock ‘n’ roll, as a specific stadium of consciousness and expenditure of energy, basically canalizes the revolt and instigates action, which by rule should bring about an inter-generation unity and an idea of open and unconditioned communication. For its part, a couple of decades backwards its “Balkan” reading did not only promote rock ‘n’ roll stage in the-then common country as one of the more exciting ones in Europe in the given period, but also naturally opened processes in youth (sub)culture that significantly influenced the courses of social life in general. Nonetheless, when this level of understanding of the world was confronted with the practicing of the rudimentary trash Balkanhood in its animalistic shape, there occurred the opening of “Pandora’s box” and … Eventually, the start of the New Millenium will be marked as the time of the healing up of the wounds and the regaining of the belief that there must be a way-out of the labyrinth of the “wild Balkans”, and the people in (counter)culture will be the ones that will increasingly continue tracing bridges of mutual understanding, which the above-mentioned miraculously did not manage to stop even in the days of bloodshed however absurd it may sound. Hereby, in no case must it be forgotten that owing to the “orthodox rock ‘n’ roll guys” in the country, right Macedonia was the place where on many occasions in the days of antagonism hands were given and memories were evoked as an overture to a different tomorrow and as perspectives that will end at the stake of the newly-built fence of the “flock”.
#12 Now, what is the relation of all this with Taksirat Festival and the guys from Lithium, where the spokesmen are “the dirty Balkan people” Login (Kochishki) and Trendo (Sasho Macanovski)? A simple one. The above-mentioned, with a dose of humor and an idea of reality characteristic only of them decided to take the anti-depressant Taksirat (*way of action: Taksirat is quickly absorbed in the cells diseased with transition. It inhibits stupidity and has a favourable impact on the vocal cords and on the overall agitation of the body.) as a medication for the Indications: “chronic nostalgia for the better times, the ear inflammation caused by Toshe, Karolina, Ceca or Orbital, the body weariness caused by Dejan Milicevic”. Said, done. The first dose of the Balkan R’n’R Festival (27 November 1999 MKC Skopje) was in the following package: ZABRANJENO PUSHENJE – Bosnia, Darko Rundek – Croatia, EXIC and KORPUS – Macedonia, Rambo Amadeus – FR of Yugoslavia and NUK DI – Albania (HIPODIL from Bulgaria were also expected, but who knows for what reason we were deprived of the pleasure of listening to them). This year’s dose, created on the basis of the already acquired organisation experience implying exclusion of improvisations as a rule in the conduct of many who from this part of Europe have decided to make an attempt in production, consisted of groups that are more or less known for the domestic audience, but with whom every meeting again is hued with curiosity and wish for handling the accumulated negative energy. Hence, essentially nothing new, unheard, or surprising, but definitely recommendable, taking into consideration the restored wave of “the cry… (explicit) offer” from local and “foreign” origin. So the current dose of #4TAKSIRAT* we talked about was composed of 5mg of PARTYBREAKERS, Vlada Divljan & OLD STARS BEND (Serbia), KUD “IDIJOTI” (Croatia), RAMBO AMADEUS (Montenegro), UIKEDA (Bulgaria), MOSAIC, LAST EXPEDITION and SANATORIUM (Macedonia).
#7 Now, the looking through the file of the event reveals the following pictures: “Armed”, according to the instruction, with “beer, juice, cabbage pickle, motor oil, and other mixed liquids”, the couple of thousands (the free estimation is that there were approximately 6,000) of “patients” after they had forgotten the army of muscular boys, whose hands they had to pass through (definitely important newly composed factors of all that is going on in this country), started dancing at the music of MOSAIC. For their part, Vele, Alexander, DJ SMJ, Djole, Dino… as on other occasions, with an imposing poise, made the opening of the festival heroic. They presented the material from the debut album (a wonderful combination of rap, hip-hop, funk, jazz, rock…)with an admiring energy and in no moment did they let be “swallowed” by space. They commenced the craziness in the audience, which in a variety of amplitudes reigned all the way to the first hours of the next day. Consequently, the mood (without many question marks in the air) suited the guests from Sofia – UIKEDA for presentation of their incredibly joyous and playful music (sca, funk, punk, Balkan music + engaged texts). In addition, the seven extraordinary instrumentalists, whose presence on the stages throughout Europe is already reality (last summer they were at the renowned Pepsi Siget festival), confirmed the old rule that studio records are frequently only an overture to the madness of the concert performances (on both sound album editions one cannot feel much of the magic that live performances have, which says that UIKEDA should wisely record live material), Nicely and simply. We believe not for the first and the last time in Macedonia.
#9 RAMBO AMADEUS ( this year “an unfortunate man” as well due to many prosaic reasons – the insisting on his faithful local “fans”), arrived in Skopje on the eve of the disclosing of the latest album (working title) Limited Counter and the poem Thus Spoke Rambasutra, and was provocative and lunatic as always. Beside the frequently savoured material in his own manner he presented the new hits as well: Shepherd, Come Back! (the allusions are self-understood) and “the cover version” of the classic House of the Rising Sun (Erick Bardon, THE ANIMALS) with a text from the partisan Over the Forests and through the Woods… (?!). Antonie Pushic is one of the rare ones that with a flair can unbelievably impudently “misuse” the Balkan shrewdness and wisdom. All honours to them!
#6 On the other side of “the oratory” of the above-mentioned, recently the renewed LAST EXPEDITION roared with all intensity as if they had wanted to compensate for the missed. Convincing in their playing, with a choice of songs (material selected from the three album editions) that guarantees mass acceptance, were more than persuasive that their presence again at the stage is a necessity worth respecting. A great welcome and a suggestion that it is time for a new revelation (O.K. we are all aware that in our circumstances rock ‘n’ roll does not bring money, but just for an alteration of this opinion! Here and now!)
#5 The performance of the Balkan punk heroes, KUD IDIJOTI from Pula, went in the expected atmosphere. Beer (“Oak”), “shunting” beer (“Skopsko” and everything is possible!), jumping, shunting… Their army of followers is so big that even the evident non-coordination of the new formation (for the meticulous analyst, the absence of Fric’s and Ptica’s lunacy is irreplaceable, although, indeed, Bucko – the old-new bas guitarist is more of an entertaining type) is irrelevant because the listening to the latest compilation Gratis Hits (congratulations as always on the original title) offers a journey that is missing. In addition to this is the information that Veruda and the gang will be the first Croatian group to have a big concert in Serbia after the war – KUD IDIJOTI will play in Belgrade on 7 December.
#3 Vlada Divljan and his OLD STARS BEND came to Macedonia after the series of concerts throughout Slovenia and Croatia. They used the festival to promote the new album All Lies in the World (which also contains the version of the BULDOZER classics New Time), but they understandably refreshed the audience with Maljchiki, Kenozoik… the hits from “the art period” of the IDOLS. Ah, that nostalgia!
#11 Somewhere after midnight, the home “heavy” crusaders SANATORIUM thundered, with all energy and power typical only of them. Starving for exchange of energy with their numerous followers, they attacked the senses and veins with all strength making one admit that more than ever they are prepared for a breakthrough in much broader frames than the present ones, and in this context their performance before THE MOTORHEAD last summer in Sofia represents a wonderful reference for them. Go ahead! And eventually, the album unconditionally (if nothing else, for the hymn features of Without Reason and Consciousness) has to be with song lyrics in two versions – Macedonian and English.
#8 And finally, at the very end, after the pause of several years, an encounter again with PARTYBREAKERS from Belgrade. However, this time we heard and saw Cane and Anton with the new team in a much more agile and merry mood, with a choice of songs (“1000 Years, What I Try, Head for Me!, Halt, Johny, Born Bad, Crazy and Quick…) and playing (guitar accords that drive you crazy, “boogie” for bouncing to exhaustion…) that will remain in consciousness if nothing till the next concert meeting. And this meeting, and only for this concert, should occur after the release of the new album of PARTYBREAKERS.
All in all, owing to the almost seven-hour crazy party, the excellent performances of all participants, the clever organisation, we extend a welcome to Taksirat 3 as early as now. Just for the sake of informing about it.
P.S. The reportage was “sponsored” by Petar Georgievski and the people from JBL. Thanks to them, the signatory to this text occupied the best place for the following of the festival.
What they said after “Taksirat” 2:
Sale Veruda / KUD IDIJOTI: For a long time I have not been to a festival in the Balkans where at the same time there was so good performance and positive energy. I am impressed by SANATORIUM. This is a super bend. For us Skopje is a marvelous host for the third time already and that is the reason why we will come here with pleasure!
#2 Cane / PARTYBREAKERS: Cool, man! I am overwhelmed not only because of our performance but also for this entire atmosphere. I know that last time we remained “debtors”, due to the influence of the weather on us, and therefore now I do not want to hide my pleasure at all. It was really good, crazy, and quick, man!
Login: It was good, er? If you say that it is so, then let it be so!
Crni / SANATORIUM: Did you see what is breaking up, er? Now while we play and record the material for the new album, we are “built up” enough to tear everything into pieces wherever we may appear!
Petar Janjatovic (rock critic, author of Encyclopedia of Yugoslav Rock ‘n’ Roll): As an “old” and adult man I had the honour to follow part of the performances sitting on the stage. Both the performances and the organisation were amazing. We saw each other, exchanged experiences and materials, renewed friendships. It is good! We tried to be normal again. I’ll come next year again!
Translated by: Kristina Zimbakova