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Porto Morto- Portofon LP, Ammonite Records, AR014

by Porto Morto

18.00

In collaboration with Ammonite Records, Discom distribution introduces newer acts from the former Yugoslavian countries which deserve wider international recognition. One of them is Porto Morto, a young Croatian group from Zagreb who bravely searches for their place in the contemporary music scene, relying on the best traditions of Yugoslavian 80's new wave, synth-pop, funk, and psych.

Portofon is their second album and so far the most representative cross-section of their work. A side opens "Ne. ne, ne, ne" (Eng.: No, no, no, no), a fantastic groovy starter that combines funky rhythms with a new wave "minimal" mannerism in the style of SarloAkrobata or more precisely Disciplina Kicme. The song that follows "Kuća" (Eng.: House) goes further in developing of minimalism and deconstructs the typical petite bourgeoisie phenomena in the Balkans ("Sagradio sam kucu ... i sad ne znam kud cu’’/ Eng.: I have built the house ... and I don't know where to go now"). The house as a symbol of materialism and boundaries (both visible and non-visible) strongly pictures the individual necessity to fulfill basic living instincts without deeper concessions and sense of direction ("Izgubio sam kljuc, ne mogu ga nać, niko ne moze uć, ja ne mogu izać''/ Eng.:'' I have lost the key, I can't find it, no one can go in, I can't go out"). The hypnotic pulsating beat and thrilling FX-s in the arrangement keep the song's atmosphere intense all way through: totally opposite of the next theme called Alarmi (eng. Alarms), a tender acoustic break with psychedelic 70's rotary sounds and fine preparation for the next song Hodaj (Eng. Walk), a dynamic 80's electronic track fulfilled with interesting sound arrangement (irresistibly charming way of spelling Croatian alphabet, whistling, etc...). As a guest singer on this title appears Darko Rundek, the leader of legendary 80's Yugoslavian (Croatian) new wave-world music band Haustor. If you think it automatically means that this song resembles Haustor- you are wrong, that privilege is reserved for the next theme which opens B side: Bijeg (Eng.: Escape), an esoteric world-music hymn with Rundek's singing style and lyrics. This song opens doors for more intimate, personal introspective songwriting on B side, especially in the song Šećer (Eng.: Sugar), a soft ballad made in the style of more prominent folk-acoustic prog-fusion bands from the 70s. To some extent different in style and tempo songs Sajle (Eng.: Cables) and Priča (Eng.: Story) bring some new and unusual musical enjoyments: acoustic sounds under influences of David Bowie and Daft Punk! The final Sjedni (Eng.: Sit Down) gathers all musical and conceptual ideas expressed in the album. Musically, we found all the tunes we have already mentioned: high energy playing style generated by a nice groove, interesting arrangement, and intense beat. Minimalistic messages expressed in the lyrics call for the fellowship on the first glance ("Sjedni Pored Mene"/Eng.:"Sit down by me"), however, when the sounds of the dog barking appear later in the song then these calls become ironic and point out to loosing of freedom and control.

This album was the main reason why we decided to promote contemporary acts. The fact that band's members are so young brings a new hope that future generations are still capable to adopt the best from the musical heritage and to make their own expression. Their older colleagues from the former Yugoslavia: SarloAkrobata, DisciplinaKicme, Du Du A and Haustor would be proud of this album!

Review: Luka Novakovic, Vanja Todorovic

Tracklist:

A1 Ne ne ne ne
A2 Kuća
A3 Alarmi
A4 Hodaj, Vocals – Darko Rundek

B1 Bijeg
B2 Šećer
B3 Sajle
B4 Priča
B5 Sjedni

Credits:

Arranged By – Marko Mak Murtić
Arranged By, Backing Vocals, Trombone – Antun Aleksa
Arranged By, Drums – Matej Perić
Arranged By, Guitar – Matija Brajković
Arranged By, Vocals – Darko Rundek (tracks: A4)
Arranged By, Vocals, Percussion – Marijan Urojić
Composed By, Arranged By, Vocals, Guitar, Synth – Hrvoje Klemenčić
Composed By, Lyrics By, Arranged By, Lead Vocals, Bass Guitar, Synth – Roko Crnić
Saxophone – Marin Živković

Limited to 250 copies on black vinyl.

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