Balkan Grooves in SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

Author: Zvonka
Date: Apr 13, 2005
Views: 3359

All you need to know about Trance in Serbia-Montenegro!


Balkan Grooves in SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

Let’s surf through Belgrade my friends! Text is divided into sections, so you can ‘click’ on a subject you are interested in or read it in linear direction. First thing first. Party time!

Trance-sceneing. Who’s who. XperimenT are there from the start. Their crew are DJ’s Buca, Jakov, Mikica, Max and Stole. It was nice to share an enthusiasam and energy with them, when in the 1995. they organized a first open-air party here (“Positronic brain”, also to be mentioned is “Liska party” at Kalemegdan park, a year later), for more than 1000 people. Club house/techno scene had been already developed in Belgrade when they brought trance music, fluo backdrops and black light instead of strobo; it was pretty infective. Intelect are two young guys, Aki and Vlada, well known to audience here as really good djs. Lately, XperimenT and Intelect teamed up for making parties of good reputations. Wish them luck! Those names on the flyer could indicate a good music. In last few years also active is an association called Goasapiens and they, let’s put it that way, organize more commercial parties. (Once upon a time existed Technocratia, but they lost their trance-credibility a long time ago). Once you are in Serbia, if you hear of some party in town of Kragujevac, that’s could be worth of checking ‘cos guys who work there are doing it right; last year they tried to organize the first international trance festival here, it wasn’t with quite happy end, lot of problems, police… but they tried at least. There is trance scene in Novi Sad, too. Talking about other places, something happens from time to time, but it is on local level (no foreign dj's ) and house/techno/MTV are predominant there.

If you feel like something comletely different, a small and cosy gathering, often starting in the late afternoon, with ambient-to-dance music, good chai, film projections and anti-globalist flavour, there are guys from Stani-Pani collective from Belgrade with resident DJ Tishma.

Live acts. Many bands make good trance and techno trance music and some of them like Manibus, Species, Eqked released their tracks on the labels such as ZMA records Etnikanet records, Headshot records, Neurobiotic records.

Party calendar. Check sites www.chillout.co.yu and www.transmute.co.yu (these sites are on Serbian, but that would be no problem to choose the option ‘calendar’ to find the party data with date, artist and place details). Walking through a city centre one can easily spot posters which promote parties. Parties are held till six or eight in the morning often followed with some after-party. It is not (just) a nostalgia to say that mid and late 90-es were the golden ages of trance parties here, with never ending after-parties and the best crowd; don’t ask me now what I mean by “the best crowd”:) but I can tell what is a good crowd, and here in Belgrade crowd knows to be exactly like that, with a real strong energy, appreciated by guesting djs for the good vibe. While everything was falling apart around, wars in the neighbourhood, even during the NATO bombing, people partied. Escapism? Power of music? Good vibrations? Due to the hard economic situation and visa in passport needed for almost every country, people didn’t do a lot of traveling, so don’t expect a bunch of hippy, fluo and dread freaks. Now is time to underline that people here are pretty educated musically and up-dated with latest trends (this could also be a moment to praise an inventor of MP3: Viva Karlheinz Brandenburg! I know that musicians would hate this and I wish them to sort out the problem how to charge their music, which circulates over the internet, soon, but a bit more, I wish to people enough money to afford wanted music.) However, everything has its ups and downs, so do the parties. Basically, one of the most astonishing locations is “Barutana” at Kalemegdan park, an old gun-powder storage, surrounded by medieval walls and beautiful spacious green area, a perfect spot for an open-air party (although it has its indoor compartment), placed below the belvedere with a mind-relaxing view over the Sava and Danube. The cult place of an electronic music in Belgrade is “Industry”, now is closed, but it was steamy during 90-es.

Shops. No shop with clothes and things of a kind you can by on some stall at  trance festival, for example. No music shop with strictly trance music.

Who played in Belgrade? In so many different locations and venues for one-partynight  stands, here we heard trance from: The Green Nuns of the Revolution, Cosmosis, Etnica, Cydonia, X-dream, Astral Projection, Sun Project, Haldolium, Shakta, Skazi, Alien Project, GMS, Wizzy Noise... DJ’s: Mark Allen, Tsuyoshi, Sid Shanti, Joti Sidu, Dino Psaras, Stiv Ronan, Cristof, Peter Dijital, Star sound Orchestra, James Monro, Max Lanfranconi, Mat Mashroom, Alpha, Sinchro, Antaro, Edoardo, Goa Gill, Raja Ram, , Anti, Jean Borelli and many many more. (The appropriate question would be, Who didn’t play?)

Sightseeing. Positioned at the crossroads between East and West, it would be nice to approach Belgrade by the river, like lots of invaders did, only in your case because of the splendid view and yourselves being introduced to the delights of town from that perspective (on a shiny day possibly). There were some international river cruises but that’s not an everyday thing. That feeling of discovering a new shore which gets closer to you can be experienced by simple passing over the bridges from one to another part of town. There are two rivers in Belgrade, Sava and Danube, and that’s the real pleasure, to walk/rollerblade/bicycle by the river sides or do some water sports during the summer; so, you’ve learnt something :) GENERALY Belgrade is an alive city. After-midnight café-cruising in the mid of the working week? No problem. There are also a lot of 24h grocery shops, fast foods, kiosks, even bakeries. Lots of restaurants, with different cuisines, but only one or two vegetarian, hopefully there are enough of healthy food shops with products satisfying for vegetarians and good open-air green markets. Belgrade is a sound city but usual awareness is welcome.

Politics. You can see awful things did under the name (or in the name!) of some higher cause, even democracy, whatever… Political situation in Serbia is (still) turbulent but it’s safe, don’t worry. Average salary is about 250 € per month (it speaks for itself, but that doesn’t mean that prices are much lower than in other European countries). Serbia and Montenegro is federation of these two republics since beginning of  2003. It used to be Yugoslavia (remaining part of ex-Yugoslavia ) and so far exist under this new name. (Montenegro has a beautiful sea coast, there were some summer parties but ideal festival-spot would be (and maybe it will) a paradisal  place called Ada Bojana, with a long sand beach.)

Police. There are not some act reached by a law-making body (like CJA or C.R.S.) against repetitive music or some special police squads against parties, there were few ‘situations’ but this is a party zone.

Police&Drugs. Nothing encouraging, but people fulfill their needs. Drugs. No liquid on the “market”, the rest…

Reason to visit us. To talk, walk, rock (the dance floor) and have fun with frendly people!

Links

Contacts

Date: Apr 13, 2005
Text: Zvonka aka Tinkerbelly
Photos: Yasmina
Taken from: The Trancers Guide to the Galaxy 2004

Could-be-useful info.

  • CLIMATE The Belgrade climate is moderate continental, with four seasons.
  • WATER Tap water is safe and pleasant to drink.
  • BPT, Belgrade’s public transport, is branched and one can easily get to the center, but lot of its vehicles are wrecking and often packed, sometimes using them could be a real experience (by your ticket at the kiosk or from the driver). However, if it isn’t your daily mean, taxi is affordable.
  • INTERNET CAFES Maverik, Dom omladine, Makedonska 22, Phone: 322-24-46 and Plato, Akademski plato 1, Phone: 303-06-33
  • TELEPHONE Direct calls with Belgrade: + 381 11 phone no. Direct calls from Belgrade start with 99. Mobile phone numbers usually begin with 063 or 064. Usefull phones. Railway stations: 636-493, 629-400 / Airport: 601-424, 601-439 / Belgrade bus station: 636-299, 658-759 / Ambulance-First-Aid: 94 / Police: 92.
  • MONEY  Serbia uses dinars, 10€ = 680 din. (check rate before coming). Exchanges offices are everywhere, VISA, Diners and MasterCard are widely accepted. Travelers cheques can be exchanged in banks: Societe  Generale, HVB, Raiffeisen.
  • VISAS Members of EC, UK and USA citizens don’t need visa but it is better to check, Administration of the Border Police for Foreigners (235-22-44, 235-24-77
  • TOURIST-INFO (Don’t count to much on hostels, only two of them, check the site – www.hostels.org.yu , updated and on English). Tourist Organization of Belgrade – Information Center Terazije, underground passage below the “Albania” building (9-20, Sat. 9-16) ( 635-622. Tourist Organization of Belgrade – Information Center at Belgrade airport (everyday 9-20) (601-555 (www.belgradetourism.org.yu  recommended, very good site for all kinds of informations, updated and on English).

Text

Zvonka aka Tinkerbelly

zvonkag@hotmail.com

writer, journalist, professional party / festival consumer, dance-floor activist

sometimes it matches and we are doing the same thing for living and for pleasure, but people are much, much more than their profession / occupation.

 

   

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