Trash-hopper Shonegrad O'Connor selected his five favorite video clips from his home country Serbia. Grown up in ex-Jugoslavian capital Belgrade he absorbed music from hard rock to gipsy and hip hop, while in today's times of YouTube he is suffering the agony of choice. Some years ago Norient already introduced O'Connor and his band Duboka Ilegala – read the interview Trash-Hop from Belgrade and see Shonegrad in the videoclip of Aman here.
It took me months to choose 5 videos from Serbia. It’s hard to choose only 5 that would represent both my views and liking and represent at least part of the spirit of all of the countries I grew up in (SFR Yugoslavia, SR Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, Republic of Sebia). But, let’s get to the point. The first song is the oldest one in the list, dating back to 1994.
Artist: Darkwood Dub
Track: Usamljeni Hasisar («Lonely Hashish Guy»)
The smell of sweat and gasoline
One man and one machine
The lonely hashishar….
Simple and to the point, for me it was always more about the atmosphere which was so different than anything I’ve heard before – energetic and rebellious at the same time, it was a complete contrast to the dark 90s in Belgrade.
The first band I heard and thought: «Wow, isn’t it great that we have a band that actually sounds like they are not from Serbia?» Eyesburn started off as a Hardcore band in the 90s and gradually expanded their music views, flowing in and out of other genres like reggae, dub and other genres. They are still active today.
That day will come.
Under the Sun.
We’ll spread our love.
Under a gun.
Or under the Sun.
Thin in between the dog & God.
No one to turn.
No one really trusts me.
I don’t even trust myself.
Video not available anymore.
Artist: Bad Copy
Track: Esi mi dobar
Moving on to hip-hop. The guys that redefined hip hop themes and lyrics. This video was shot in the suburbs of Belgrade where 2 of 3 members live. Bad Copy managed to stay very funny, but at the same time sharp and critical. The saints on the grafitti are politicians and turbo folk stars, the kids are the actual residents of the slums depicted in the video. The tattoos are not real.
Mravi (meaning The Ants) are a band that was active during the late 90s and begining of 2000s. Their whole first album Na travi («On Grass») from 1998 is a great mix of different music influences ranging from African music of Fela Kuti to Yugoslav rock of the 70s and 80s, with a special meaning to me, since I knew them in person and learn a lot from their music and life approach. The song is called «Disanje» («Breathing») and was only recently discovered by the band who thought it was long lost.
Artist: Šaban Bajramović
Track: I barval pudela
Šaban Bajramović is the greatest author of the true Gipsy music from Yugoslavia with a very distinctive voice (sometimes even reminiscent of that of Tom Waits). He had a very rich and diverse musical career, always balancing between the folk gipsy music and jazz, never afraid of stepping into one or another, collaborating with various musicians. His life was also a somewhat sad story of a great musician who died in poverty, unrecognized by the broader audience, while authors like Goran Bregovic made a name for themselves recklessly stealing his songs and not even signing his name as an author.
This is well explained in an excerpt from an interview with a member of Mostar Sevdah Reunion, a group of musicians that played the song in the video below, which is actually a soundtrack for a movie called Sampionite od Sutka, which i strongly recommend.
«Over the years, his music has been constantly copied, and imitated by both famous and unknown musicians. Promises and contracts have proven worthless. Actually, he’s never been interested in protecting his work. Where others would have earned millions, he’s lived as he’s always lived: from day to day, making music, going wherever he wants, and not recognising any limits at all.»
Dragi Šestić – Mostar Sevdah Reunion
As part of the preparation for this post, I made a request to my Facebook friends to suggest the songs that meant something to them and at the same time were made by the indigenous people of former Yugoslavia. The result was overwhelming, with more than 200 songs and videos ranging from pop, dance, heavy metal and trippy psychedelic songs from cartoons and commercials. If you want a more meaningful insight, check out the list below – you will not be dissapointed.
Videosex – zemlja plese
Jugosloveni – Jugosloveni
Zdravko Čolić – Loš glas (1978)
Kosmoplovci – Satelitska stanica
Lepa Brena – Decko mi je skolarac (1984)
Belgrade, My Belgrade – Nataša Gajević (Zana)
Toma Zdravkovic Umoran Sam Od Zivota
Šaban Bajramović – Pitao sam malog puža
Juzni Vetar – Nek’ puknu dusmani
Prti Bee Gee – Pajp
Modrica optima sint 2001
Jimmy Barca Kad Budem Mrtav i Beo Dzimi Barka
Bajone – Voz (Original Version)
U Tudjinu Otisla Si
Mirsada i jarani – Adidas dimije (Official Video 2005)
Azra u Beogradu (1981) Live! (Poljubi me / Rodjen da budem šonjo)
Dragoljub Aleksic Akrobata 1
Boban Zdravkovic NLO
Disciplina Kičme – Da li ti znaš za neki drugi ritam (HD)
Djogani – Idemo na Mars
Obojeni Program – 981 (MTV)
Noise Destruction – Laki je malo nervozan
Vlastimir Đuza Stojiljković – Devojko mala (1960)
Disciplina Kičme – Buka u Modi
ExYU reklame – IGLO PKB (198x)
DLM – Dobar dan
Na slovo, na slovo (1971) – uvodna spica
Laboratorija zvuka – Špica (TV emisija Poletarac)
Kolariću Paniću – uvodna špica i odjava
ExYU reklame – PEKABELA (198x)
Zele Zeka reklama
Cortan Car 2
Lutkomedija – Oooooo zasto nemas cetri noge
Na slovo, na slovo (1971) – uvodna spica
Cedevita TV Spot 1989. Godine
Na slovo na slovo – Dragan Lakovic i Djuza
Jugoslavija-Poletarac sfrj skolski program
Xenia – Iznenadi me – 1983
Professor Balthazar – Maestro Koko
Smogovci epizoda 03 – Ljubavna Priča Dade i Marine
Devojka iz drugog sveta – Robna Kuca
Al sam gladan, baš sam gladan
Ersatz (Surogat) – Zagreb Film (1961)
Kviskoteka – Uvodna špica TV Zagreb JRT