Igra Staklenih Perli The Next Generation - "Apokaliptus" (Exit Music, 2012)
Igra Staklenih Perli were the pioneers and the most successful psychedelic space rock band in former Yugoslavia. After the band`s reunion, a couple a years ago, the band finally split-up. Some former members continued the band legacy by the name of Igra Staklenih Perli The Next Generation. Current band members are: Drasko Drak Nikodijevic as bass and keyboard player and lead vocal, Predrag Wolff Wukovic percussions and vocals, Ivan Stankovic as guitar player, Spomenka Milic as keyboardist and vocalist and Vlada Funtek on drums. Their first release under the renovated name saw the light last year. Album “Apokaliptus” was recorded in Belgrade and produced by famous Serbian musician and producer Dusan Kojic Koja (former Sarlo Akrobata and Disciplina Kitchme). Inspired by the whole “end of the world” euphoria, band released an album with eleven tracks, each speaking the unique story for itself. Album begins with intro “Second moon rising” followed by “Wake up” that surely brings a lot of attention. “Scorpio moon” is hard-rocking adventure into the world of space rock atmosphere. It is followed by heavy “Moon over Bosnia” that reflects the story of that Balkan country lacerated by ancient history and wars. Well, “Run Run Run” is surely psychedelic as it can get – in the best traditions of the 70s. The common thing about “Nothing” and “2012” is that both are the heaviest tracks on the album, powered by great riffs and solos. Like many space-psychedelic albums, this one also has the “middle break”. In this case it`s the instrumental “Segment A” that appears to be like the intro for the song “Putovanje U Plavo” (Voyage Into Blue) that is actually the re-recording of the song that Igra Staklenih Perli released on their self-titled album in 1979. The new version sounds fresh and is more convincing that the original. Probably the technology had its touch… Yoga inspired mantra “Aum Hare Aum” is placed perfectly in the album, and probably is a true inspiration for meditation fans, which many of psychedelic listeners truly are! Album ends with confessing track “Blissfully Insane” that sounds surely psychedelic insane, but it’s also a great conclusion for this fantastic album.
The thing that makes this album so unique is the fact that it was done by Serbian band that can proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with many worldwide psychedelic space rock artists. The production side of it side on top level, as well as the songs and the concept. This is definitely something each psychedelic fan must hear, and the band allowed that by putting it online for a free download!
I interviewed band`s frontman Drasko Drak Nikodijevic, and asked him a couple of questions regarding the band and the “Apokaliptus” album:
Last time You gave interview for "It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine" two years ago, the band was re-uniting. Now we have the situation of two bands: "Igra Staklenih Perli" and Yours "Igra Staklenih Perli: Next Generation". What happened and why are you divided in two bands?
OK, so what happened was, we opened up the next generation of the Glass Bead Game (Igra Staklenih Perli). That was in December of 2011. Two of the original players fell off in the first round of the Game. Why? I don't know. Karma, neh? I think they are stuck in the past, and they were trying to apply the past rules of the Game to the present situation and that did not work for them. This is the next generation of the Game, and the new rules apply. I heard something about the formation of the "original" Igra Staklenih Perli, but I think it is all hearsay. To the best of my knowledge, THIS is the only Igra Staklenih Perli around.
Last year Igra Staklenih Perli The Next Generation released its first album under that band name. The album "Apokaliptus" was inspired by the end of the world. Were all the songs inspired by that occasion? When were they written?
Wolff and I quickly realized the futility of trying to recreate the "original" Igra Staklenih Perli sound, so we pulled together a whole bunch of songs, some of which were old, and some created in the album recording process. We are very inspired by the whole process of the Great Change happening on the planet. The dinosaurs are slowly dying out and this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. The album is "good medicine" and it is our contribution to the awakening process happening on the Planet right now. (When we speak of the "end of the world", we obviously mean the end of the old corrupt world, which is finally collapsing :))
Album has been produced by legendary Serbian musician Dušan Kojić Koja and there are also session musicians from other Serbian bands. Do You think that this is the most advanced album You had recorded? What can You tell us about the process of recording it?
Yes, this is probably the most ambitious project any of us have ever done so far. It is a very spiritual album, and for the recording sessions I invited my friends who I recognize as very spiritual. Koja is a deeply spiritual person. Man, his music is deeeeep. Ljuba Đukić and I have played in bands and shared meditation practices for decades now, we're old friends. We even traveled through India together in 2006. Spomenka Milić is also a uniquely spiritual person, she writes articles about shamans and alternative medicine practices from around the world.
What inspired You to write and record "Aum Hare Aum"? Is it a prayer for better times?
Aum Hare Aum is based on an actual meditation mantra for raising the kundalini, for the inner awakening, if you will. So, the mantra is in the song. It is a song of joy, gratitude, prayer... man, I just love that song!
In Your last interview for our magazine You`ve mentioned that You were on Occupy Wall Street protests. Magazine "Rolling Stones" graded it as unsuccessful because the organizers of the protests didn`t have appropriate set of conditions? What is Your opinion?
Yeah, I was in New York at the very start of the movement in 2011, and the energy and the enthusiasm was just awesome. Lack of organization is a fact, but maybe that is a good thing. No leaders, no power structure. We are building a new world, so why bother with the old ideas, which we know do not work. And the movement is still growing, more and more people are hitting the streets, expressing the need for a profound Change.
What do you think of modern psychedelic music scene today?
The psychedelic music scene? To me it seems rather fragmented, like pockets of culture around the world. Like, there is a pocket of psychedelic culture in Belgrade, the same in Zagreb, Split, Ljubljana, etc... but they are not really communicating to each other... well, not enough, anyway... I do not see any psychedelic festivals, or stoner events, where more people can join together and create a regional scene... I just came back from Zagreb two days ago, and I spoke to some people about promoting psychedelic culture in Croatia. We want to create a fusion of music, dance, video, poetry.... We are still mapping it out, but it is going to be great. I hope to create a sort of a unified psychedelic scene in the region and promote various art fusions.
Can fans of Igra Staklenih Perli The Next Generation expect more albums in the future?
We certainly hope so. Since last summer, when we recorded APOKALIPTUS, new songs have come up. We really liked Spomenka during the recording sessions, so we decided to keep her as a member of the band, and Vlada Funtek, a veteran Belgrade drummer, also added his own touch, so the band is sounding more "American" now: there is a touch of blues, and jazz here and there and that's what the Glass Bead Game is all about: finding the commonality in all things. We intend to keep on experimenting; we will collaborate with other artists on various projects.
Thank You Drak and good luck with the band!
Thank you for the interview, please stay in touch, this is just the first ray of many good things to come.
In depth interview about the band
Review & interview made by Andrija Babovic/2013
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