The Development of Slovenian Progressive Rock, part III

Last time round, we covered folk, avant-garde and Laibach, which included some amazing albums, but this time we present albums from the 1990s onwards, the so-called post-war or independence period, when Slovenia became an independent country.

POST-WAR ERA

After the Yugoslavian civil war, the Slovenian scene gained renewed momentum in the mid 1990s with the emergence of bands like Kapela la chateliere, Terra Mystica and Veronica. Laibach were naturally also active and always searching for new ways of expression.

Kapela la chateliere – De profundis (1996)

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

Kapela la chateliere was one of the first bands to emerge in the post-war era, which makes them quite seminal in putting progressive and experimental music back on the map. Naturally, their sound was dominated by jazz rock, but also with a strong emphasis on Balkan beats and the avant-garde. They would release another album after De Profundis (both are equally strong) and saxophone and flute player Andrej Čopar would later form another excellent band, Miusow Quartet.

Lazar, Milko – Barbara (1997)

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

Even though this was intended for a dance performance, this recording explores many musical territories, from new age, classical, world music, jazz, rock and so on. Barbara develops a very strong atmosphere and vibe in a very short period of time, showing Lazar’s real talent and uncompromising vision, even for this seemingly unimportant project.

Veronica – Natura Naturans (1998)

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Although Veronica’s smooth jazz/pop/rock hybrid can sometimes seem a tad too saccharine and restrained, it does supply us with an ample amount of “pretty” music. Their music definitely had potential for mainstream exposure, which they took advantage of in Slovenia. The band was, however, soon forgotten and fell off the musical map.

Terra Mystica – Carsica (1998)

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

Terra Mystica is one of those bands that’s impossible to describe. You can find elements of pop, folk, new age, rock symphonic, avant-garde, world music, classical and just about anything you can think of in their music, but none of these terms actually describes the band. I think the name of the band says it all really, certainly better than any description could. The music, especially on Carsica, is full of mystical moments, explosions of joy, musical exploration and a general sense of excitement. Their mostly instrumental style is perfect, so you don’t have to deal with the Slovenian language and the music is bound to give you goose-bumps.

Read the full review HERE.

Miusow Quartet – Smejmo se skupaj (2007)

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

One of the newer bands to grace the Slovenian scene and unfortunately also one of the most short-lived. This jazz rock ensemble with Balkan, blues and avant-garde undertones had amazing potential, most of which was, lucky for us, explored on this gem of an album. The album is instrumental, apart from one track sung in English, and well worth tracking down.

Moonlight Sky – I Am (2009)

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

A farewell statement of the keyboard player who went to study music in North America after the release of this album, I Am shows Moonlight Sky reveal their true potential after the inconsistent debut. Space rock, symphonic and jazz rock all play a vital role in creating the band’s trademark sound, which can hardly be mistaken for anyone else’s.

Read the full review HERE.

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