Bosnia Rocks at 16,000 Hz

A country of many intertwining traditions… The music of Bosnia is forever linked to the nations surrounding it, which together make up the former Yugoslavia.  This week we welcome our friends Bojan and Zoran to the program, a pair of fearless musical scholars who present us with the history of popular music in Bosnia.

BosniaDuring the 70s and 80s, Sarajevo was the mecca of rock music in the Balkans.  We’re talking stadium-sized guitar riffs and women screaming every word.  Need proof?

We share some of the best bands of this era,  the electric Gypsy sounds that came before it, the most influential composer of the 20th century, and amore.

Listen to the Bosnian feature here.

Listen to the global mix here.



The Slept-on Beauty of the Balkans

Her roommates get all the attention:  Serbia is known for its brass bands, Turkey, for its psych guitar-rockers, Romania, its gypsy folk music.. But Bulgaria (yes, she’s a lady– her middle name is Sofia) plays all of these styles with dignified grace.

Bulgarian history is amongst the richest in all of Europe

Bulgarian history is amongst the richest and most ancient in all of Europe

Oddly enough, the only internationally-known group from Bulgaria is a women’s choir (daringly named the Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir) whose album The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices was discovered by indie UK record label 4AD in 1986 (11 years after its original release) and unleashed into the global ear.  More albums and heroine addictions followed.  An unlikely story, but once you hear the sublime juxtaposition of angelic voices and dissonant harmonies, you’ll understand why Bulgarians are considered some of the best vocal-chordists of the human band:

Our sampling of Bulgarian sounds also features some blazing punk, classic rock ‘n roll, old school hip hop, new wave rumba, and the world’s most frenetic wedding band… they’ll have you puking on the dance floor in no time.

The Ivo Papasov Wedding Band. DO NOT touch his clarinet.

The Ivo Papasov Wedding Band. DO NOT touch his clarinet.



Ajlávmjuzik Slovensko

A universe in itself:  The modern muzik of Slovakia.  Quality 1960s bigbeat swonk, sophisticated artrock, ancient hip hop, 80s synth pop, and fujara flutescapes…  Enjoy the rhythmic odyssey to the Tetra peaks of Eastern Europe.

The Rap Steady Crew from Bratislava, with classic ’93 old-school swagger:

Oh, and for the trivialists out there, the Dobro guitar was invented and manufactured by the Slovakian Dopyera brothers (the Do-Bros!) in 1928.  On behalf of the Country/Jazz/Bluegrass communities, thanks gents!

The Legacy of Yugoslavia

This week we radiowave to a great nation of the past.  The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia existed between 1946 and 1991 before ethnic and political tensions dissolved the SFR into 6 separate Balkan nations.  Some call it Yugo-nostalgia, but this period represented a fascinating mixture of traditions and transitions.  A nation with one eye on Western culture,  the other flirting with Communism.  One foot in pop music of the West, the other in the deep history of Eastern European music.  Expect world-class rock of many breeds.

This program is curated by two friends and musical scholars who grew up in the former Yugoslavia.  On behalf of Mladen and Bojan, we hope you enjoy the trip through time…

And a happy holiday season to all.  We will make it through the darkness with goodwill and love for all beings!  Here’s a little ode to the holiday celebration that gets very little attention while retaining a high degree of integrity: