Balkans contemporary culture guide

Photo Memories
Servis Invites Wata Igarashi (06.12.19 in Prishtina, Kosovo)


August 7, 2020

“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

July 16, 2020
by Andrijan Apostoloski

Pinch – Reality Tunnels

Reality Tunnels starts with “Entangled Particles” that features Emika on vocals, a very deep sounding track that immediately puts the cards on the table for what is about to come next. The switch from the slow trip-hop breaks to the junglist fast-paced rhythm hugged alongside the massive and atmospheric pads alongside Emika’s vocals is done with a real sense of sound manipulation and creation of the atmospheric universe that only a sound storyteller can do properly.

And Pinch has never been a producer to create fast-groove-bangers, the words I’d like to use for just dancefloor bangers. The addition of another layer in the sound story is what puts him and this release aside from the others. For some this could be uniqueness, but I believe its first the ability to transform his ideas and transform his soundscapes into reality at the end, besides the unique signals he strongly radiates throughout the album. Continuing forward with the second track and former Roll Deep member Trim on vocals, he introduces us to a sub bass focused tune alongside brutal mid-tone wobbles and industrial sounds throughout.

June 23, 2020
by Jack Hunter

Pablo Splice – Do The Work

Presented to me in the following six tracks offered a diversity of sound that I readily welcomed upon receiving this package from Woodwork Recordings. Found here were squelching timbres and artificial artefacts that summoned a kinetic energy I thoroughly enjoyed, those of which I will delve into greater detail with the following account.

June 10, 2020
by Philipp Smaller

Jailed Jamie – Rave Tool

Have you ever seen a cover and thought: „I am just going to buy it, because this already looks like something I would like“? Rave Tool comes in a relatively normal cassette cover, but it’s the details that made me buy it right from the spot.
The title itself, „Rave Tool“, already implies what musical journey you are about to take and yet you are not prepared for the tools that are being handed to you.
Rave Tool is Jailed Jamie’s (also known as Skygaze) debut album and was released on the DIY label Templos Tapes which he started with friends in April 2019.

This record is not only one single tool, it is a full-on tool box filled with all the gadgets you need for a great rave. Jailed Jamie uses break-beats in a way you probably never heard. Ever.

May 26, 2020
by Andrijan Apostoloski

3Phaz – Three Phase

A bit aside from the popular stuff of Acid Arab like tracks “Gul l’Abi” and “Stil”, I stumbled upon a mix they did for Ninja Tune where I discovered mahraganat, Egyptian electronic dance music which takes a big part from the folk elements, especially evident in the percussions and synths. Since then I’ve stumbled upon some hardcore mahraganat music that my friends would seriously say it is completely equal to turbo-folk music, not realizing that even in rock music there is good and bad stuff. This is something like that, but nevertheless the whole style of this Egyptian styled music can have many similarities with Slavic folk and highly pitched synths and bad vocals are no help when debating this with friends.

May 24, 2020
by Jack Hunter

Red Axes – Red Axes

“Well, if you talk to the average teenager of today and you ask them what it is about rock n’ roll music that they like, the first thing they say will be “the beat, the beat, the beat…”

I’ve been simmering on this Red Axes album for about a week now, and I would like to let it be known that upon first listen, I wasn’t entirely sure what I made of it. Sure, the hooks are catchy, the songs are structured appropriately. I basically felt that the effort was quite inoffensive and somewhat on-the-nose about what it was trying to convey. Now, don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the record, I definitely did, but nothing really grabbed me straight away. That was, of course, until I meditated on this record more and more, and I must say, I’ve actually grown to treasure this record as a slice of fun, sleaze and character. There is definitely more taking place here than what would initially meet the eye.

May 16, 2020
by Jack Hunter

Rico Casazza – First Law

Rico has always made my head turn when it’s come to music. I think maybe at first, I might’ve overlooked him. This is due to a personal bias that I’m trying to shake off – if people I know send me music they’ve made, I become skeptical. Nowadays, it doesn’t happen so much – if you get too caught up in your own biases, you may miss what is actually there. I was recently sent this release to be considered for review and wow, am I glad I left the wolf at the door for this one. If I were to summarize my experience, it would be as follows; prominent tones of mysticism throughout, with acidic mids that feel like warm lava crawling and seeping within. Truly the core of magma.

May 16, 2020

Dense with Leo Lumezi

Don’t compromise, rave. A mix from Leo Lumezi, co-founder of Kosovo’s rave and techno organization Servis, takes us to a dark concrete garage with strobe lights flashing over the gloomy fog. An industrial wonderland that for the moment being is your mental spiritual connection with the true techno hypnosis, connecting you to the grooves, the essence of the rhythm and feeling one with the music like there is no tomorrow.