petak, 21. travnja 2017.

MARJANOV ČUDNI ZAJEC - Svinjam diamante (1985)









































During the 1980s Marko Brecelj led an unconventional career of a solo artist. He used to play minimalist one-man show performances, accompanied by guitar or violin, with hilarious poetry recitals and stage acrobatics (burning his hair, singing from a wheelchair...). In 1985 he assembled a short- lived band (or rather: a project) called MARJANOV ČUDNI ZAJEC who recorded a minor avant-rock masterpiece under the indicative title "Svinjam diamante". Album went unnoticed on the Yugoslav market due to poor distribution and obviously deliberate underground Lo-Fi approach. Brecelj's twisted sense of humour and absurd lyrics is best heard in the short miniaturist sketches performed live in front of small audience constantly bursting out in laugh. The opener "Vrba" contains nonsense quasi-translation mix of Slovene and German lines, while "Midnight" is a straightforward finger showed to the class of "Tovariši" (that is "the Comrades" - the Communist party aristocracy) backed by the sounds of pigs squeak and jazzy piano! "When I Am Dead" shows the band capable of delivering a true "a capella" in the vein of Negro spirituals, but still with a sort of distant echo of Zappa's doo-wop workings. Along with Brecelj (described on the album cover as "the former rock star"), his long-time associate singer/songwriter Ivan Volarič Feo is also present and both were actually credited as "guests" on the album. Strange indeed, but when you start listening to other compositions, MARJANOV ČUDNI ZAJEC shows very good musical competencies, much greater than is commonly the case for usual backing bands. The members were: Leon Ukmar-guitar, Zlatko Basič-bass, Taljub Lapajne-guitar, Robert Vatovec-keyboards and Marjan Medvesćak-drums. Music is full of unusual and odd rhythm patterns provided by scratchy guitars, leading bass lines and occasional synths. Brecelj's voice is funny, exaggerated, aggressive, satirical, mocking, gentle, and cool all from one moment to another. Comparison with Frank Zappa cannot be avoided, but this music is related to many different styles - avant-gardist RIO approach, especially in strong political overtones like in "Soldaška" satirising the JNA - Yugoslav People's Army - everyday life of involuntary soldiers, post-punk guitar and bass riffs as in "Ali slišite" and "Drugi, tretji", BULDOZER-like psychedelia with disturbing vocals and jazz-manner played bass and piano in "Mamici za 1. November", or spacey beat with odd time signature in "Bilećanka"invoking certain elements from Krautrock or even "Planet Gong" universe. "Svuda ljudi, svuda zastave" with its keyboards and synth flushes is even close to progressive rock. "Sexy Disco Hit" is one of Brecelj's best songs, in which Zappa meets Talking Heads or Pere Ubu, having one of the most fervent spits into the face of popular dance culture. And it is really seducing, hypnotic, danceable and funky! "Majmuni" is the electric version of the angst-filled protest song against Yugoslav rock dinosaurs Bijelo Dugme, previously recorded on the acoustic EP "Parada" in 1981. "Stonesi spoznajo moje stare starše" is previously unreleased old acoustic track in a folksy singer/songwriter style, presumably written in 1970s. This fine, excellent, funny, serious, obnoxious, ridiculing, mesmerising piece of unconventional rock music ends on another absurd poetry note in the closing 20 seconds "Smrt" - "Death is without colour, taste or smell/Death does not have acid-base reaction/Death is an isolator/Death does not show any signs of life"! (from wikipedia)


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