The Development of Slovenian Progressive Rock, part II

In the first part of the development of Slovenian progressive rock, we presented some jazz-rock and heavy progressive favourites. Now we continue with folk rock and avant-garde. Again, these are some of the best albums in a worldwide sense.

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FOLK ROCK

Folk rock music wasn’t developed to the same degree in Slovenia as it was in places like England, for example. There was plenty of folk being used as a side influence, but there weren’t really that many bands which played straight folk rock.

Sedmina – II. dejanje (1982)
(Click on the album cover to hear a song from the album)

Sedmina released their first album in 1980, but it was very much a straightforward folk album. With II. Dejanje they ventured into longer, more developed pieces with considerably more instrumental bravado. Still, it was fairly straightforward stuff, nevertheless. Veno Dolenc continued his Sedmina activities in the 1990s, albeit with a different singer, but the magic of the first two efforts is hard to outdo in terms of the Slovenian progressive rock idiom.

AVANT-GARDE

Although many credit Buldožer with being the first Slovenian avant-garde rock band, but Begnagrad would be a more appropriate contender for that crowd. Buldožer played mostly hard progressive rock with a touch of humour in the Frank Zappa style (that’s where their title probably came from), but they didn’t incorporate that many dissonant and unorthodox ideas into their music to be really avant-garde.

Begnagrad – Begnagrad (1982)
(Click on the album cover to hear a song from the album)

Bratko Bibič and his band of merry man certainly created one of the most memorable albums in Slovenian history with their self-titled album. Released in 1982, the album fused the band’s love for folk music, both domestic and from abroad, together with strong humorous avant-garde elements and an obvious nod to classical music as well. A truly unique album.

Quatebriga – Revolution in the Zoo (1985)
(Click on the album cover to hear a song from the album)

Quatebriga continued where Begnagrad left off. Not surprisingly, really, as Nino de Gleria (bass) and Aleš Rendla (drums) were both “survivors” from the Begnagrad days. Despite their credentials, it was actually Milko Lazar (winds, keyboards) who was actually the driving force behind this operation. Their debut, Revolution in the Zoo, is a fine example of fusing jazz, rock and avant-garde music – and to grea teffect, might I add!

LAIBACH

You won’t find Laibach in many progressive lexicons, but they certainly belong there, proving several times in their career that the natural state of their music is to constantly evolve. Therefore, they are one of the key ingredients in the Slovenian progressive rock scene.

Laibach – MacBeth (1990)
Click on the album cover to hear a song from the album)

Laibach were the ones who kept the progressive tradition going throughout the 1980s, when bands like Begnagrad and Quatebriga ceased to exist. Although not usually considered progressive, their music embodies the true spirit of constantly evolving and progressing towards a higher purpose. And in that goal, Laibach never fail. MacBeth came at a time when Laibach were most creative and includes elements of industrial music, avant-garde, rock, neo classical, etc.

The final and most extensive part of this article will deal with the development of Slovenian progressive rock after the Yugoslavian was. Stay tuned!

This special is originally written for TheRocktologist.com

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