Alternative Music Scene in Bosnia and Herzegovina — Exceptional & Individual
Author: Hana Tiro
Music scene in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been wide in genres in its 21st century creativity. Last year was marked by pandemics, and it seems like this year follows that path, but when the things get tough only the tough get going. This article is a partial showing of the music projects, where the focus is on the underground, original, and with a bit of stick-it-to-the-man vibe coming from the pores of their creative powers and truths.
Amar Šantić (Aye-Aye Complex) is 25-year-old musician from Mostar. He plays a few instruments but guitar, bass guitar and beatbox are his primary instruments. He has always been fascinated by film music and the way it follows the ambience, movements, monologues and dialogues and in the same way makes them eternal; including the way it goes on and on without the necessary repetitiveness.
Šantić says he was raised in a family of musicians, so the story with the music is obvious, and he started working on it more seriously 12 years ago.
"After 4-5 years I started to notice that the band scene in B&H is based on a very basic repetition pattern. One and the same musical theme where the emphasis is on the concept. We live in a country that we can only shout punk at, so I understand the reason why the musical aesthetics in our bands are relatively small and weak. For all the awareness and empathy I possess towards our music artists, I have to put one big point on an already outdated and ingrained way of expression."
Šantć's album brings calculated and deeply thought-out progressive music rich in odd and compound rhythms, and noise ambience with great emphasis on chromatic, atonal and exotic musical scales, all decorated with passive romantic poetry that sometimes springs from under the stone. The aim of this project is to bring awareness to the alternative scene of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the message that alternative music comes in all forms, and that it is very important to reject the ideals of the traditional concept of musical composition.
"We no longer live in the eighties and nineties. With this album I open the end of that world and the beginning of a new, better and essential creative energy. It is time to move forward and respectfully leave the old greats and their imposed ideals." Šantić adds.
The concept of the band is very simple - to be the heaviest and most technical on the scene. Since the scene itself is dying out and withering, Silfra's goal was to bring a sort of revival with something vicious. They indulged the idea of making Rotgiver with a non-existent budget and ambitions that borderline unachievable.
"Thankfully, Sandro Zjajo, drummer and producer extraordinaire gave us a shot, and after dealing with our bull**** for two long years, had realized what we had envisioned the whole time. Rotgiver, as our singular opus, encapsulates the progress we've made as artists, and shows how we've matured, fully grasped and projected the message that Rotgiver portrays from start to finish. A lot of time has passed since then, a lot of things have changed, but that message reverberates now even stronger than it did before; everything is fucked up and it will never get any better."
Vocals - Irvin Kenović
Drums - Sandro Zjajo
Bass - Nermin Mujkic
Guitars - Eldar Gološ / Nino Pezer
Sarajevo alternative band Chinchilla has released their new music video for the song "Pogledaj".
“Pogledaj” is about today’s time and society, about dehumanization and the lack of individualism within the modern way of life. Theme of the song is focused at a certain group of people who try to remain consistent with their ideals regardless of external and systemic influences.
It is a story about "outlaws", about those who do not fit into the imposed social patterns and norms. Lyrics of the song are written in the manner of their direct confession.
"Pogledaj" video is themed in the genre of psycho crime films from the 1990s. The video shows one classic detective story in which a detective set out to find lost children.
The author of the video is Zoran Herceg, recorded by Kemal Sulejmanović, and the mix and mastering of the song was done by Haris Saračević.
"Pogledaj" is on their latest album "Bez oblika", which they released under the label of the Belgrade publishing house Lampshade Media.
DISTURBING People since 1999
KLPJHCNFB is is a group of artists through which have passed, since its beginnings in 1999, between 20-30 members. Although KLPJHCNFB usually plays in a group of 7 to 9 members, they sometimes function in the form of subgroups ŽBZ and Spiritual Administrators.
KLPJHCNFB has never performed in front of an audience, and the audio recordings have been posted on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. The specificity of this collective are kid logic, freedom of expression, expressiveness and improvisation within different musical influences.
It arose from a pure need to play, to express. A team of people absolute ignoramuses, amateurs, semi-pro and pro musicians gather and play.
"We are a group of people under various musical, social and other influences, so it simply has to be filtered unconsciously through instruments and sound. But the only thing we are interested in is the musical game"
This is the kind of a music which is nice to play but not as nice to listen to.
"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." — Miles Davis
Berin Češkić is a performer and a songwriter from Sarajevo. He graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts and the Faculty of Philosophy, and at that certain period he published his first album The Naked Act (2019).
"The Naked Act " is an album in two languages, recorded using two technologies (analogue and digital) and divided into two types of songs — songs with a full band and those on which the author performs alone with an acoustic guitar.
"This Train (is bound for glory)" is a traditional gospel song first recorded in 1922 on old slave-owning fields. "If I Don't See Your Face" is a murder ballad in the form of a killer's confession. Songs in between range from surreal tango ("Blackhair"), dedication to other artists ("Song for Schiele") to songs based on language games like “Love of Mine”. On the cover of the album is an old photograph of Andrew Elliott taken in the industrial parts of England where music once played similar to thhe one which inspired this album.
Berin is currently working on his second album which is a cycle of songs about Alexander the Great.
Srce (the Heart) is an alternative band from Sarajevo which started their engagement at a very inconvenient time. Initiated by three friends, inspired by dissatisfaction with the scene and unconditional love for music, the band has left behind several well-attended club and festival performances in 2019. At the beginning of the unfortunate 2020, they are releasing a couple of demos, the controversial punk song "Kosovo" and the sad ballad "Ruže" dedicated to the children of Sarajevo.
And then - silence!
"Some blame the pandemics, others the problems with the line-up, death, disease, and
lack of perspective, lack of resources... and some feel they have simply given up. But what we do know first hand is that the guys are working tirelessly on four studio singles that are in the stage
mix, and a studio album under the working title "Imena"."
"The future of the band Srce is uncertain, as are all of us. Are incredible obstacles, great victories or heavy defeats waiting for them? Despite all the talent and good will, is it possible to succeed as a demo band without publishers in BiH? At a time when a musician has to be both a producer and a manager and a PR expert and a video editor and a graphic designer, do guys have what it takes to get through tough times and tread the paths of glory?
We will leave to you to decide."
Blind Gut Shots
'Blind Gut Shots' is a band whose project's name is 'Sedition Yell' with a goal to spread awareness, fight for the change in corrupted government system, and sending the message for the people to stay in U.N.I.T.Y.
"Right now our people are fighting for the truth and we are striving to send the message to our youth. The project is non-profit or the made profit out of it would be donated for stopping the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to bring back culture, fight for our rights, spread the message with art, stand up and spit the truth for this upcoming vocal revolt, we are doing it by grabbing the mic and freestyling on the record."
Sunday Stories is a band from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, formed in 2013. The band consists of Nina Babić, Saša Ćirić, Mustafa Kurtalić, Mirza Sijerčić and Adi Avdić. The Bosnian band Sunday Stories announces a new chapter of the their work, with the release of a single called "Karma".
Public can start enjoying "Karma" on April 13th, 2021, Tuesday, at 9:30 p.m. when the single will be published.
In a conversation with the Balkan Art Scene team, the team explains their source of inspiration. Saša Ćirić states "For musicians and artists, the inspiration can be listening to the engine,
the sound of tires on the asphalt, rain on the tin roof. Any emotional state is possible
use for the purpose of creation; and depression, as well as euphoria, are well driven
medium. Sometimes even spontaneous interaction between people playing together
who are there for one reason only — that reason is the music."
Nina Babić says "In my opinion, it's important that there is no pressure. The song always comes at the right time. Any hard pressing on verses and work by force, or because we have decided
"Now we will write something new", is not productive for me personally. Specifically
as for the verses, the idea itself, as Sale (Saša Ćirić) said, comes in the most ordinary
or the least expected moments. Of course, the momentary verses are being worked on later. I also agree that the interaction between us, at rehearsals, contributes to better co-creation and is much more interesting that way than when we create independently."