Doug Shipton Top Ten
This week we are proud to have a Top Ten from the legendary Doug Shipton of Finders Keepers Records!!!
1. Korni Grupa – Korni Grupa (PGP RTB)
Square one for a lot of people dipping their toes into the world of ex-Yugo rock. A household name in their native homeland and amongst eastern European prog obsessives, the sprawling family tree that gave fruit to Korni Grupa epitomises the complex network of inter-communal collaborations and band hopping which was rife throughout the scene. With branches that reach into other important bands such as Had, Elipse, Indexi, Ambasadori, Zlatni Dečaci and more, Korni Grupa released a grip of beat driven sunshine pop psych singles before hitting their stride with this debut album in 1972.
2. Miša Blam – Gorila (Diskos)
An in demand slab of instrumental drum heavy jazz funk from the legendary Serbian jazz bassist. Featuring axe man Josip Boček (Korni Grupa/Dinamit), this is a prime example of the wave of incredible jazz funk that emanated from the region. Miša Blam cut his teeth in the New York jazz clubs in the late 60s before returning home to rule the Yugo jazz airwaves, eventually founding the first Balkan jazz magazine the Jazz Tribune. His sole long-player Sećanja is also worth a listen but don’t expect lightning to strike twice.
3. Darko Domijan – Pastir Kraj Vatre (Jugoton)
A middle of the road Croatian pop singer with rock’n’roll roots, Darko Domijan’s radio friendly proggy blues rock second album stands up as a career highpoint. Released on the verge of his wilderness years during which he would pack away his fuzz pedals before returning to become a full-time crooner, this record has been on the radar of beat miners and fuzz fanatics for some time.
4. Igor Savin i Orkestar Stanka Selaka – YU Disco Expres (Jugoton)
As a composer for the likes of Josipa Lisac and Zdenka Kovaćićek’s (for whom he wrote a big chunk of her seminal self-titled album) and as a session player for Ljupka Dimitrovska and Arsen Dedić, Igor Savin had already established himself as an important figure on the Yugo rock scene before releasing this his 1979 debut album. Backed by trumpeter Stanislav Selak’s group this tome of disco/jazz funk afforded the highly versatile Igor the opportunity to indulge his more experimental tendencies to great effect. A bent he would take a step further with the release of his classical jazz hybrid follow-up and his ambient electronic masterpiece Childhood.
5. Kornelije Kovač – Između Svetlosti I Tame (PGP RTB)
The debut solo album of former Indexi and founding Korni Grupa member, here he enlists old band mate Jocip Boček and premier jazz drummer Ratko Divjak (Tihomir Pop Asanović/Josipa Lisac/Pro Arte/September/Time) to inject a little Italo bluster into proceedings and produce arguably one of the more consistent and original Yugo prog records of the late 70s.
6. September – Domovina Moja (RTV Ljubljana)
The swan song of another important group of the time that throughout their four year existence counted a slew of big jazz rock names amongst their ranks (Tihomir Pop Asanović/Petar Ugrin/Marjan Maliković). Having taken time out of their 1978 US tour to record this album in Florida they disbanded for good the following year with only two albums and three singles to their name.
7. Kozmetika – Kozmetika (ZKP RTVL)
Three years in the making this is the one and only album from the short-lived Serbian new wave group that rose from the ashes of Dijamantski Psi (Diamond Dogs) spearheaded by the Serbian John Peel, Slobodan Konjović. Widely considered to be the forerunners for the Serbian new wave scene, studio procrastination rooted in experimental production techniques and exacerbated by an extended list of collaborators and guests pushed the band to breaking point but not before they turned in this gritty synth-pop masterpiece.
8. Various Artists – Originalna Muzika Iz Filma Nacionalna Klasa (PGP RTB)
An amazing disco rock soundtrack to a 1979 comedy based (from what I can tell) around the glamorous world of Yugo racing (the car not the country). There’s a few choice cuts on this record but the standout is definitely Serbian icon Slađana Milošević’s dance floor scorcher Inem Sve.
9. V/A – Gitarijada 69 (Beograd Disk)
One of the first ex-Yugo finds to really prick my ears to the scene. This split 7″ features Bezimeni and Kameleoni on the flip, however, it is Karmeleoni’s sprawling pigeon English freakbeat workout Moon Moan that makes this a must.
10. Iliriana Riza – Calif De Funk (Vojvodinakoncert)
This record is guaranteed to have any ex-Yugo dealer wincing in disbelief at the prices it has been capable of fetching in recent. Released in minuscule runs on vinyl and cassette by the obscure Vojvodinakoncert label not much appears to be known about the singer but it’s of little importance as the real heat on this album lies in the completely out of place blistering instrumental fusion scorcher Valla Brava buried at the end of side a.
Of course you know Finders Keepers but if for some mad reason you don’t check: www.finderskeepersrecords.com