Thursday, 27 November 2014

Interview with BEGNAGRAD 1983 on ADN Fanzine N 5


The group Begnagrad was formed  in Ljubljana in 1975 by 

Bratko Bibic: accordion,vocals
Bogo Peckinar: clarinet
Igor Nusevic: drums
Vlado Spindler: Bass

They recorded some material in 1977 at a Novi Sad radio station released by Novi Sad Label Nikad Robom during the 90's as a cassette called  "Jodlovskaurska" and later on a CD called "Tastare".

From 1979 to 1981 they stopped their activies and after that they re-started from the original nucleus Bibic-Peckinar adding Nino De Gleria: bass , Ales Rendla drums and violin and Boris Romih percussions, guitar.
This group released their first Lp "Begnagrad" in 1982 (re-realeased later by AYAA on CD as "Konzert For a Broken Dance")

In 1983 they composed and recorded the music for the long feature film "Eva" and 3 short films by Slovenian film director F. Slak.
"Begnagrad's music was based on the collective and individual work of its musicians and it tried to go beyond the usual representation of traditional music structures in order to explore their untouched potentialities. It was surely inspired by folk (mostly Yugo), jazz, rock, and "serious music". Begnagrad tried to modify these musics , using its instruments to create a new, undefinable kind of music ,whose intention was to decline the specific problematic into a new sensibility.
Every Begnagrad concert is a new experience for its musicians in order to communicate this new sensibility , even in the form of a broken dance. It's sometimes a desperate try to invoke a new Dionysian feast."

We met them in Reims where they were playing at the festival "Musiques Traverses" in 1983

How did you start to play this kind of music?

We started around seven years ago, at the time we were also playing folk themes. But we think that music keeps changing all the time. I suppose that our music is very much shaped by the instruments we are using.: Normally, the music we like, is not played with these instruments. Accordion and clarinet are very popular instruments in our land Slovenia, and they are the basis of our folk music, which was originally influenced by German folk music.

Did you only make one record during these 7 years?

Yes, because in reality, we stopped our activity for around two years and after that only two members of the original group were left.

And what about the distribution of your record?

Well, the record company that produced it knew that it wasn't a commercial product, so they didn't spend much money for its distribution. We sent some copies to Recommended Records but we had to buy them from our record company because they don't care about exportation.

Is it a commercial record company?

Yes, the produce many kinds of music and they are based in Lubyana.

Did you have "political" problems playing this kind of unconventional music in Yugoslavia?

No,not at all.

Do you often play live in your country?

We have some logistical problems because two of us are studying in Graz (Austria) and they spend most of their time there.

And about your European concerts?
Before this tour we only played once in Trieste (Italy). It was a concert organised by some friends of us. It was a leftist school. We had to wait the end of the Yoga lesson before starting our concert. It was amazing!

Who did influence your music?

As a group we don't recognize any kind of influences, as individuals we have many.

And Yugo folk?

Only one piece of ours ha a traditional intro, but we composed all the rest.

Do you have other activities  outside the music field?

Yes, as I told you, two of us are students in Austria, one is working and the other 2 are studying at the jazz academy and playing as semi-professionals.

Are there other interesting groups in Yugoslavia?

Yes but they are different from us.

Do you have contacts with them?

Sometimes we play together.

What about your future projects?

We don't know what we will do tomorrow!

Would you like to do a record outside Yugoslavia?

It would be very nice!

Many of the members of Begnagrad took part in the group Bratko Bibic and The Medleys but this is another story........


Monday, 27 October 2014


The initial nucleus of Metamorphosis was a duo, compsed by the Turkish/Chzech guitarist Martin Alacam and the Austrian violinist Cristoph Pajer that began doing concerts in 1992. In 1996 the band started as a quartet including also Turkish cello player Julide Canca Eke and Austrian guitarist and composer Richard Deutsch. During that period they made a lot of concerts in clubs and festivals of the Czech and Austrian underground scene. Finishing her studies in Vienna Julide Canca Eke decided to return to Istanbul (where she founded Feministabul Orchestra in 2012 ,the first feminine classical orchestra in Turkey) so Christof Rothaler , an Austrian cello-player , took her place in the group. In 1999 they recorded their debut album "Contaminated Chamber Music" that appeared on the Czech label Rachot/Behemot (the label hosting Dunaj,Iva Bittova, Richter Band and Rale).After the release of their first album the group started to tour all over Europe (Belgrad, Paris, St. Peterburg and Marseilles)

After that the group found its new home at the British Label Leo-records ( a well known jazz label with artists like Anthony Braxton, Sun Ra and Soviet Jazz but also Remote Viewers and Sergey Kuryokhin). They partecipated on many festivals like: Ring Ring Festival in Belgrade, Festival Alternativa in Prague, Les Nuits Europeennes in Strasbourg, Festival des Musiques Innovatrices in Saint Etienne, KIF in St. Petersburg and played at The Knitting Factory NY, Club Dom Moscow, Empty Bottle Chicago, Club Worm Rotterdam and many more.
They released their second CD "Dip" in 2002 on LEO Records and in 2003 Jan Kavan (cello) joined the group (replacing Christof Rothaler)

Another record came out in 2006 "Luff" also on LEO Records

Metamorphosis' music is a whirl of feelings alternating strenght, poetry and rationality. It's the desirable evolution of a classical chamber string quartet that has the power to catch the attention of your brain not forgetting to stimulate your heart. 

                                 Richard Deutsch (photo: Krystof Havlice)

Interview with Richard Deutsch:

Does your name come from Kafka's Metamorphosis ? 

No, we just managed to choose one of the worst bandnames on earth. Ever googled Metamorphosis? You'll immediately see what I mean. 

You started as a duo, violin and guitar did you use other instruments during your first live shows?

As a duo just for a couple of very first concerts and no, no other instruments. The band as you know it, which records and publishes songs is a quartet, pretty much from the start.

                                               (photo: Ioulia Kondratovic)

Do you think that the fact of being a multi-national group, not having a stable national scene behind, is an advantage or a limit?

To be a multi-national group does not neccessarily mean to have no roots in a certain national scene. In the case of Metamorphosis our roots are in Vienna and Prag.

But generally speaking I believe that it is indeed helpful to really establish a group first on a local scene and only then perform international. It obviously takes time to build an audience in a country and a band should show up there on a regular base.
We started very early to play all over the world and did not have a master-plan, so we were very unfocussed - everywhere and nowhere. 

How would you define your music? 

It's the part of our madness which we take really serious. An Italian organizer once called it 'Musica da camera contaminata' and we somehow liked that.

                                             (photo: Ioulia Kondratovic)

Are all the members of the group classically trained? 

We all had more or less unsuccessful carreers in music-schools and conservatories, except our cellist who is really classically trained in the sense which you probably mean.

Can you speak about the albums you made and your impressions about them nowadays, would you change something or you still like them in their original form? 

The albums are snapshots of a certain period. They bring back the feelings and the emotions of that time, like a time machine. They are what they are and I never look back, thinking that we should have recorded something different. 

                                         Christoph Pajer (photo: Krystof Havlice)

Your phonographic production is not abundant, does this depend on logistic problems or does it have other reasons?

 Back then, when we made our first albums we were jamming together in the kitchen. Already the third album was done over a distance of 2000km, sending files etc before we actually met and reheased the whole thing straightly before entering the recording-studio. Yes, it's not easy for us to meet and it also needs certain funds for flights etc. which musicians not always have in their pocket. 

Now it's a long time you didn't release anything are you preparing a new release? 

We are right now working on music for a collaborative project with the French group Volapuk. We will perform the material on festivals in France in November 2014. I suppose that this will lead to a release as well.

                                            Martin Alacam and Jan Kavan

 Could you talk about your relation with Leo Records? 

Leo is one of a kind. I love him as a person. In one of our first conversations he said - I really like your music and I am happy to publish it, but Metamorphosis is a very strange fruit in my catalogue-. He referred to the fact that the audience which Leo has is more directed towards improvised music. We always have been a bit proud to be on this label with so many other musicians which we adore. If it was particulary helpful to reach a crowd which could potentially love our music, this is another question.

 You already spoke in other interviews about the influences of Iva Bittova, Pavel Fajt and Uz Jsme Doma, so I want to ask your opinion about the Austrian music-scene and musicians like Cristoph Dientz (Die Knoedel), Attwenger and others you might know? 

Sure, we know and like them. Martin Alacam is playing on a guitar which was previously owned by the guitarist of Die Knoedel. There is a rich music-scene in both countries AUT and CZ and there are also other bands which I personally like, for example Radian or BulBul, or the Czech duo DVA. 

Do you know DAAU (Die Anarchistische AbendunI think that in some passages their music is not very far from yours ?

  Yes, some years ago I even tried to come in touch with their manager. I thought it could be interesting to collaborate on some level. Unfortunately we never received an answer. 

You did many concerts around Europe did you always find a public concentrated on your music or sometimes they came for something completely different? 

In most cases we perform on festivals or in clubs for an audience which would come to hear the sort of music we do. Additionally our program somehow works exceptionally well on concerts. I think we are a real live band and we had tours where we played one day for punks in Berlin and the next in a seated hall for a crowd interested in contempory music and had memorable performances in both cases. It's our strength and our dilemma, as the market asks for clear categories. 

Which is your favorite concert location, if you have one? 

Motorschiff Stubnitz, without any doubt. 



Are the members of the group involved in other musical projects? Can you speak about them? 

It would fill a whole page to really elaborate on that. I am into several projects in St.Petersburg, like The Frozen Orchestra or Black Volga, make film-music and work as a producer for Russian bands, Christoph makes theater-music (right now for the piece the Robbers/Friedrich Schiller, performed in the Reduta Theatre in Brno) and  had a group called Boo in CZ, Martin has an ongoing project with Michael Delia and he also works on film-scores. Jan is also involved in several projects music for computer-games which he actually also programs and which are becoming quite successful right now. 

I saw on youtube your Ucranian concert of 2013 and I think it?s great, how did you conceive this unusual instrumental line up?

Thanks a lot, but I don't exactly know what you mean with "unusual instrumental line-up". We always perform that way, even though my memory with the age....One thing is for sure - If you saw a flute you watched another band:) 

I think that in your more intensive peaks you remember the strength of first Art Zoyd do you know this group? 
Of course. We own some of their albums and enjoy listening to them. 


                                                     (photo:Jeffrey Martin)

What is the role of voice in your musical path?
 Martin has a talent to write song-lyrics and as a vocalist he is a great "story teller". We use vocals whenever it does not hurt too much, love to add a choir and definitely always make wooden announcements in our shows. 

Which are your future projects? 

Reve General, a collaboration with Volapuk, starting in about three weeks. 

The site of the band
The site of Richard Deutsch
Here you can buy their albums

the Video:

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Marco Veronesi ADN

One year ago Marco Veronesi ,one of the original members of Italian label ADN, died after a long illness I want to remember him here. He joined us bringing his passion for music and helped our label to develop and grow. His house/shop was a meeting point for many "out of standard" music lovers who could always find friendly competence and good rates.We miss you Marco!

Saturday, 19 July 2014


Italian Director , Screenwriter and Journalist
Born in Roma 29th of January 1929 died in Roma 10th of November 1989

On the set of: Un tranquillo posto di campagna


1961: L'Assassino (The Assassin aka The Ladykiller of Rome) 
actors: Marcello Mastroianni,Micheline Presle, Salvo Randone

1962: I giorni contati (The days are numbered)
actors:Salvo Randone, Paolo Ferrari, Vittorio Caprioli

1963: Il maestro di Vigevano (The teacher of Vigevano)
actors:Alberto Sordi,Claire Bloom,Alberto Mazzarella

1964: Peccato nel pomeriggio  (Sin in the afternoon) episode  the collective film "Alta infedeltà"
actors: Charles Aznavour, Claire Bloom

1965: La decima vittima (The Tenth Victim)
actors:Marcello Mastroianni,Ursula Andress,Salvo Randone,Elsa Martinelli

1967 A ciascuno il suo (We still kill the old way)
actors:Gian Maria Volontè,Irene Papas,Gabriele Ferzetti

1968: Un tranquillo posto di campagna (A quiet place in the country)
actors:Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave,Georges Gèret

1970: Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto
 (Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion)
actors:Gian Maria Volontè, Florinda Bolkan, Gianni Santuccio


1971: La classe operaia va in paradiso
(The Working Class goes to Heaven aka Lulu the tool)
actors:Gian Maria Volontè,Mariangela Melato,Salvo Randone

1971:La proprietà non è piu un furto
(Property is no longer a Theft)
actors:Ugo Tgnazzi,Flavio Bucci,Daria Nicolodi

1976:Todo Modo
actors:Gian Maria Volontè,Marcello Mastroianni,Mariangela Melato

1979: Buone Notizie 
(Good News)
actors:Giancarlo Giannini,Angela Molina,Aurore Clément

Elio Petri is one of the removed secrets of Italian cinema. His films are a rare melding of political engagement and artistic sublety. He started as a film critic for the communist newspaper "L'Unità" becoming afterwards screenwriter, documentary maker and film maker.He had the capacity to go deep into the heart of Italian society extrapolating its contradictions. He brought his characters to the limit of grotesque anticipating the inconsistency of modern capitalist society. He surely was one of the most politically charged filmmakers to emerge in the European cinema of the 1960s. His cinema was really disturbing the establishment but also the opposition.
His films went through different genres never loosing the main purpose: he just wanted to do political movies.He also was a real cinema conoisseur and all his films reveal a deep study concerning the script, the form, the dialogues, the visual metaphores and even the silences.
He worked with the most important italian actors like: Gian Maria Volontè, Salvo Randone, Ugo Tognazzi , Marcello Mastroianni ,Alberto Sordi.
His film "Todo Modo" that predicted the end of the party that dominated Italian political scene for around 50 years "Democrazia Cristiana" and the violent death of his leader "Aldo Moro" disappeared and is not available in DVD even in Italy.
After this film he had many difficulties in order to produce new movies and died, too early, 10 years after his last film "Buone Notizie".

                         This is "Todo Modo" unfortunately it's available only in Italian

Trailer of "I giorni contati"

Hommage video by  Claudio Gargano

Trailer of "La decima vittima"