Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Begnagrad -ST.(Konzert for a Broken Dance),LP,1982,Slovenia

Slovenian avant-garde band BEGNAGRAD was formed in Ljubljana (Slovenia, ex-Yugoslavia) in 1975, with following members: Bratko Bibic-accordion, vocal; Bogo Pecnikar-clarinet; Igor Musevic-drums and Vlado Spindler-bass. They recorded early material in 1977 at a Novi Sad radio station, but that was not released before 1992. This formation played an unconventional blend of jazz, rock, swing and European folk traditions, particularly mixing the Alpine, Mediterranean and Balkan influences. This line-up disbanded in 1978, just to be re-formed in 1981 with new members: Nino de Gleria-bass; Ales Rendla-drums, violin and Boris Romih-guitar, with Bibic and Pecnikar as old members. They finally recorded their first and only album "Begnagrad" in 1982. The band was short-lived and ceased to exist in 1983. B. Bibic continued a solo career along with participation with several groups like THE MADLEYS and NIMAL.
Their only studio album "Begnagrad" was internationally re-issued with some bonus tracks and it remained a highly preached among the avant-garde/prog afficionados. BEGNAGRAD shared many artistic approach with RIO movement and their frequent live gigs across Western Europe in early 1980s led a prominent RIO leader Chris Cutler to claim "they were so good that they were really their own best promotion. ...RIO had ceased to exist by then, otherwise I'm sure Begnagrad would have been invited to join." They were often compared with such RIO acts like SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA or STORMY SIX.
from:Prog Archives

On the Konzert for a Broken Dance, originally entitled Begnagrad,everything is closer to a basic RIO sound, is much more complex and harder to get into than band’s 70’s works. It’s interesting how originally classic RIO bands started and then slowly moved to more definite (but still not that much definite) sound which Chris Cutler defined together with H. Cow as a basic RIO sound, and actually all of them converged in it. This is characteristic of all 70’s RIO or pre-RIO bands including Samla, U. Zero, Stormy Six, Begnagrad, etc. Music on Konzert has stressed ethnic component, some alpine touches are again present, but medieval elements have all gone. Instead there is a differently darkened quality present in some tracks, for example on "Waltz" (="Cosa Nostra"), and again diverse influences from jazz, rock, ethnic pop from various parts of late Yugoslavia and beyond, hardcore, etc., which define the "Broken Dance" as a kinda concept of the album. The musicianship is widened with violin, and for this occasion Mr. Bibic played also melodica and Faninger piano; Mr. Pecnikar besides clarinet ocarina and whistling. Mr. De Gleria (known from Nimal, too) double and electric bass. Violinist also played drums plus there was percussionist which played electric and acoustic guitars. Guitars were not characteristic for the 70’s line-up (thus showing even more opposed musical statements than in second incarnation). "Thelastnewone" ("Tazadnatanova") is definitely predecessing Nimal in a way, showing similar fusion craziness and tight playing. On "Knecht-ska" (="Narodna/Kmetska"; real translation would be Popular/Peasant’s song) can be heard staccato attack, which would make blush all punk/hard core bands of that time and plenty black/death metal bands of today. Overall, this is again one of those truly essential listenings, which certainly do take time to get into, but is payed with high interest rate.

get it here

No comments: