With the last album RELIGION & SEX, first for the “Third Ear” Production label and the soundtrack for the Milčo Mančevski’s film DUST, Kiril Džajkovski finishes the circle which drawing started (in the midst 80’s) with the first Macedonian electro-pop band BASTION. Finally, his music, that incredibly exciting juncture of contemporary electro “loops” with the emotional heights of the Macedonian folklore and ethno legacy, is a noticeable segment of the whole contemporary global sound offer.
#1 “We don’t live in vacuum. We are not stupid. We think! Our music begins from the rhythm, but it doesn’t ends there. It’s in our hearts and it’s in our heads. It has its own and unique universal message” – among the other, Kiril Dzhajkovski would say in one of his interviews, on the eve of the promotion of the first (and only) album called “Bastion” in 1984, by his first serious band BASTION (his previous bands POST SCRIPTUM and BERZA were nice high-school fun with the friends and nothing more than that). This band is probably the first that suffocated the primitivism and conservatism in our environment in the 80’s. Besides Kiril, the other members were Ljubisha Stoisavlevic – Kuchkar and the actress and singer Ana Kostovska. But, the significant part in the work of this band has, also, Milčo Mančevski. Then, the young director Mančevski, who gained his education and profession on the other side of the Atlantic, worked on the texts for the album, filmed two video-spots (Hot day’s in Mexico and Colors). The video clips were banned immediately (?!) by the eager “defenders of the order” from the National TV Channel. So, it’s understandable why Mančevski was considered as a fourth member of the band. Also, BASTION did the music score for the Mančevski’s short feature Musaka, a feature that (you already guess) from unknown and unclear “financial or else” reasons (claimed by some “authorities” here), remained on the stadium of a script. Such a fuss was made that this feature ended in a “bunker” till today… BASTION, in spite of the desired (and necessary) media support, and in spite of the very good reception by the critics in former Yugoslavia, soon and unexpectedly quick, ended its adventure. “The highest, the invincible citadel tower” remained to be testimony of some different (and not only sound) thoughts of one generation whose restless rebellion couldn’t be burnt to ashes by those – blinded and run-over by the time. But, every period stands with its own indestructible stupidity.
The end of this Odyssey, for Kiril Dzhajkovski meant a start of a different life experience. In the period of 1987-89, he took a stand behind the keyboards of the legendary Macedonian band LEB I SOL, imprinting a part of his author’s credo on the two (probably the most commercial) albums of this band: Kako Kakao (Like a Cocoa) in 1987, and Patuvame (We Travel) in 1989, both originally published by, at the time, powerful Yugoton from Zagreb.
Since the beginning of the 90’s, and almost until the end of the 20th century, Kiril lives on the relation Skopje – Melbourne and vice versa. In the surrounding where the laws of commercial discography business rule, and where the success mainly depends on the perception capacities of the (under) average auditorium, he became a member of the band called RAZORBRAIN (musically kindred to BASTION). After the two albums that were better accepted in UK than in its own yard, he abandoned the band and started his own and quite different music journey. Possessing the sense for the environment and the time he dwells in, with the final enlightenment that in the synthesizer-cords, computers and electronic gadgets has a valuable ally and not the enemy that should be conquered, with the nostalgia in his throat, he embraces the creation of the musical form in which the contemporary global rhythms interlace – including the odd (broken) Macedonian ones. Unlikely the few from his generation (Čapovski, Origjanski, Trajkovski, Spasovski… just for example), who reached the essence and the basic code of the Macedonian melodic language after “swallowing and absorbing” the idioms of the western (Anglo-Saxon) pop music, Kiril is “freed” by the obligation to re-read the once-given (and by the way: genius) matrix. He is in a position to create a music that possesses the spirit of the distant past, but in the same time possesses the pulse of the time of its creation. Therefore, the quantity of the drawn attention and the noticeable interest for his next two projects (Synthetic Theatre, 1996 and Homebound, 1999) that he published in behalf of his own label Avant Garde Records, is very understandable. Worth of mentioning is his joint project with Vlada Divljan (former leader of the cult Belgrade band from the “new wave” period in Yugoslavia – IDOLI), named as APARATCHIKS (electronic with the remains of the “post-communism”), and also, there was a period when Kiril was considered (almost) as “added” member in the strongly increasing band KISMET (the period when Gorazd Tchapovski’s Macedonian-Australian band publishes the excellent album Wake Up Gods for the American label Tone Casualties) with joint world strategy of KIRIL and KISMET, both. Finally, their strong activity in the fatherland soon did put things at their place. Developing the idea to expand through the new Balkan states and Europe – with the start-point from the place they were best known and established – brought them home to Skopje.
On other hand, Kiril Dzhajkovski, at the start of the new Millennium, primarily, more than once did performances at the stages on the capitols of our neighboring countries. Also, he participated with some of his unpublished music numbers in a few “electro”-compilation projects (like, one of the versions of Religion & Sex appeared on the second sampler of the Progressive Multimedia Group – the PMG Collective, and his number Murder was on the compilation Preskok /Overleap/, which was published as an supplemental on the occasion of the 50th issue of the magazine MARGINA). Must be mentioned that these compilations most directly influenced on the affirmation of the newest generation of authors on the contemporary Macedonian electro-music scene. Later, KIRIL did the fruitful collaboration with the film & theater director Aleksandar Popovski (the music for the plays Roberto Cuko, Powder Keg and Proud Flesh).
Along the work on the materials for the theater plays, KIRIL, for the needs of London DJ-s, printed the EP-edition Primitive Science on vinyl. This is a valuable edition for every lover and researcher of the contemporary electronic music. Besides the original version of this track, there are also the mix-versions by the well-known BUSHVAKA, DREADZONE and Denny Briotit from RENEGADE SOUNDWAVE, which is a kind of a significant recognition desired by every musician, showing that this music deserves the attention of those who can “read” the global modern beat.
There is nothing more to be said for the excellent trip-hop version of the folklore song Stojne, le mome kochansko from the album of our great folklore primadona Vanja Lazarova – Rhytmistica, but the conclusion that this track is the most exciting contemporary hit made on ethnical music matrix – once & and always!
And if it’s known that behind the mentioned edition with its authority stands the Third Ear Production, then is understandable why KIRIL decided his latest edition Religion & Sex to be published for this label, and with that to “legal” the cooperation with the agile Ivo Jankoski. By the way, this edition mainly includes the tracks and remixes worked in the period of ’94-’97, the period with Kiril’s collaboration with Mark Ingram. The material is richly interlaced with a large number of samples from Macedonian National ethno-traditional music. There are the voices of Vanja Lazarova and Goran Trajkovski, and the offer carries the mark of the time it is made, with the note that the trilogy named as Blueuropa conditionally introduces us in the “assigned music” that this author makes.
It’s interesting that for the covers of this album are used photo-slides by Milčo Mančevski, who did work on photography in a meanwhile, and this undoubtedly brings us to the conclusion that the circle is finally drawn again.
What remains is to see up to where did KIRIL reached into the world of the contemporary modern music. One of the possible answers to that – inevitably – is hidden at the soundtrack for the Milčo Mančevski’s latest film Dust, with its public promotion not so far from now…
P.S.: With main purpose to avoid the “pirate”-production of Macedonian audio projects, Third Ear Music, donates a surf-card with 10 hours free surf on the On.Net provider.
Translated by Filip Stojanovski