When I was in Serbia earlier this year, singer-songwriter and poet's son Miloš Zubac told me he had disbanded his band PRKOS DRUMSKI (www.crvenifenix.wix.com/prkos-drumski
). He said the band would produce one last album that he hoped would be a good one, maybe even a classic. With a minimum of fuss Mi smo se već sreli **** (VIGVAM) is now with us and available for download on Bandcamp.com
This is not a long, drawn-out goodbye. The album is short and sweet and harks back to the band's beginnings, with it's original line-up gathering for the musical equivalent of a group hug. This music has been made instinctively and naturally, the band's members nudging each other along the road to beauty with knowing glances rather than the spoken word. The performances are full of affectionate warmth and creative tensions are completely absent. The people who made this album are friends and always will be.
Zubac's deeply poetic, mantra-like lyrics are glimpses into moments of beauty, spirit and the mysticism in the rites of passage of our lives. There is both doubt and belief in these songs; there are answers and questions; there is simplicity of meaning and subtle abstract.
As with all Prkos Drumski's albums, vocals are shared and on this occasion four equally wonderful performers provide the sonic variety that is an important ingredient in the band's works. Zubac's deep, rich vocals are soulful and affecting. He sounds like a wise old sage with a heart full of the knowledge that life is not forsaken. Isidora Milivojević, who left the Prkos Drumski fold some seven years ago, returns to provide four stunningly beautiful and mesmerising vocals. Particularly on the title track, which translates as 'We Have Met Before', she achieves a wonderful, ethereal, yearning beauty.
The songs are infused with simplicity and purity. Some are minimal and bare like naked confessions while others are full and cosy like a reassuring security blanket. The particularly beautiful 'Porubljene reči', which features a lovely, understated vocal provided by Zubac's wife, Dragana, has a lone plucked electric guitar accompanied by distant, resonant keyboard notes that seem to hang in the air. The song 'Dugo te već nema' appears twice in radically different versions and closes the album with a keyboard-led chill-out that has touches of unlikely but very effective slide guitar.
Zubac is a supreme catalyst and would not preside over anything less than creative. This is an album of organic, living folk music. It's roots are ancient as mountains in parts, imbued with a wistful nostalgia but the music does not live in the past and reaches towards a hopeful future. I don't believe this is the last time these people will make music together but it may be the last time they press the Record button and call it Prkos Drumski.
Eddie Cooney / for United Kingdom music R2 Magazine (Rock'n'Reel)
Issue (No 53)
released May 20, 2015
Isidora Milivojević: lead vocal, acoustic guitar (2,6,8,9)
Miloš Zubac: lead vocal, acoustic guitar (1,3,4,10,11)
Nevena Stefanović: backing and harmony vocal (2,3,4,6,7,9)
Dragana Zubac: lead vocal (7)
Miloš Drobnjaković: bass, electric guitar, mandolin, keyboards, percussion, programming, synths (1,2,4,6,7,8,9,10,11)
Vukašin Višković: acoustic slide guitar, ukulele (1,5,11)
Milan Korać: acoustic and electric guitar, bass, percussion (3,7)
Nataša Pajović: backing vocal (4,10)
Recorded at Sound Guru Studios 2013-2015
Sound recording, mixing, mastering: Miloš Drobnjaković
Produced and arranged by Miloš Drobnjaković 2015
Published and released by:
KREATIVNI CENTAR VIGVAM 2015