Cheer up Croatia. Maybe 2011 was not the best year considering the ongoing crises and political scandals shaking the country. That said, thanks to the certain individuals we had more than a few bright music moments to make up for things. After all when summer starts and the festival season begins nothing is as important as dancing!
Let’s start with Ilija Rudman who stands at the top of the dance floor with his new album on Bear Funk. One of the finest Croatian producers collected all of his unreleased materials and The Revealer came out in February and was the perfect Valentine’s gift to nu-school disco-boogie lovers across Europe. Josip Klobu?ar was definitely the breakthrough performer of the year with his debut mini album Fallback Functions on 4lux Records, while techno-daddy Petar Dundov stunned us once again with in April with the Tent Plateau EP. His new album will be out in 2012, which we are looking forward to together with some other loyal fans of Dundov – Paul Oakenfold, Sven Vaeth, Laurent Gariner and Dave Clarke, just to name a few. We’ll conclude with two other 2011 memorable names. Homeboy from Zagreb who has teased us last few months with snippets from his upcoming Halfway EP on Hypercolour, while ‘Memory Level’ by SymbolOne aroused fans of their signature slow-motion french influenced sound as foreplay for the duo’s new EP on Tropical Doom Records.
2011 also gave birth to Burek a label founded by DJ Pytzek which hosted RA darling Kink on their first release. Home Made Electronica label owner DJ Sergej introduced us to How Convinient capturing synth-poppers hearts with their first single ‘Time is on my Side’. Hemendex released a critically appraised sequel to their first album called Reset 2 as well making numerous live appearances. Synth fans had a lot to celebrate this year. Our EB Croatia fans also reminded us to also mention Domes from Zvuk broda who entertained us with his cheerful edits on Soundcloud and we’d also like to add DJ Labud to the list with his humorously ridiculous ( and best ever ) party teaser which only Croatian readers/viewers will understand. Others will just have to take our word for it.
Summer of 2011 will be remembered for the Hartera Festival in Rijeka (Trentemoller, Hercules and Love Affair, SBTRKT, James Holden… ) as well as well known names Outlook, Seasplash and newcomer Sirup Nation all sharing the attractive location inside fortress Punta Christo in Istria. Hideout festival on the Island of Pag finally brought some fine tunes to the so called ‘Croatian Ibiza’ ( Jamie xx, Mount Kimbie, Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones… ), while Dalamatia danced along to Soul Clap, Art Department, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Wolf & Lamb and many others in Petr?ane during Garden Festival. Party went on with Electric Elephant, Suncebeat and Soundwave, but the biggest thing happening in summer of 2011 was the first-timer Terraneo Festival in Šibenik bringing electronic and indie lovers under the same roof.
Terraneo’s main organizers Mate Škugor and Nenad Borovi? didn’t stop after the idyllic summer ended and they have continued their work as program directors in Tvornica kulture Zagreb breathing new life into the (almost forgotten) venue with sounds of Lamb, Human League and others. Rijeka also got it’s new and improved Stereo Dvorana, and we must mention the day when clubbers saved small but longlasting Zagreb club Masters with their donations. After the club owner found himself in debts and announced Masters will soon close it’s doors, a group of DJ’s and fans organized an event to stop this from happening. Luckily they’ve succeeded, so Gerd Janson had a place to play in one of DJ Jogarde’s loved Freilauf nights. Confusion crew also worked hard ending this year with their famous Illectricity festival (Pearson Sound, Machinedrum live… ) and introduced us their greatest discovery of 2011 the young DJ Moz who will for sure follow the steps of Confusion’s previous newcomer Iggy Dub.
The end of the year will also be remembered for first ever Electronic Beats Zagreb festival which brought Roisin Murphy, Digitalism, TEED and When Saints Go Machine to the country’s capital in November. The festival was a massive wake-up call to clubbers who are usually hibernating after long summer party season full of attractive locations and line-ups.
All in all, we had a lot of dancing going on in 2011, even at home where newly founded online Radio 808 entertained us with excellent music choices, as well as Leri Ahel with his Mutant Disco Radio Show. New year is already preparing us to dance with some juicy albums, EP and festival announcements. It will be a great one for sure!
Creative and forward thinking house productions became the mission for Croatian based DJ Pytzek when he established his own label Burek a little less than a year ago. The first Burek release – Kink‘s Leko/Yako EP – was a huge success capturing the hearts and minds of artists such as Ben Watt, Soul Clap, Erol Alkan and MCDE. Announced through the label’s Soundcloud channel Burek’s upcoming releases have already been picked up by Sascha Koesch and Philip Sherburne and of course by Electronic Beats.
Humandrone‘s self-titled 4-track EP will be out at the end of January while a third release is going to introduce a new guy called Vadagor to the label catalogue in March. Vadagor by the way seems to be the moniker of Vakula but that’s just something we’ve heard…