Blesok no. 26, May-June, 2002
The missing link
Kismet - Dreaming (Avalon Production, 2002)
This is the album that all who knew and respected the heroism of the cult band Mizar, were waiting for. For almost a whole decade. The album Dreaming is, definitely, the missing link for the closure of their circle. Gorazd Čapovski, the only one from the original band that remained to “fight with the demons” for all this time: to overcome and to overbuild the historicity of Mizar, now, with every right can feel as a big winner. Namely, this “cyber-ethno-gothic” (the definition of the critics) North Atlantic Balkan Express (which, by the way, is the fruit of the author’s torn-up position between the two different life contexts: Australia and Macedonia, between the everyday’s habits and the longing for the motherland) and the made “Mizar tribute” album (with significance only for the respect towards the cult that the new generation of Macedonian bands showed on Mizar), here signs a material that isn’t only most-like to the sound and the poetics of Mizar, but is also its contemporary upgrade, in some way. And, that isn’t some kind of ballast for him and his band, but a catapult that launches the band into the reality at the beginning of this century. That’s why the “sorrow” for the charismatic vocal of Goran Tanevski, now is replaced with the joy that behind of the songs there are so great music personalities as: Vanja Lazarova (the new version of the traditional Slaga se sl'nce zadade is the most beautiful example how much energy a folklore elegy theme can have, if you approach to it with the sentiment of the generation who doesn’t please to “conserve” its own sound heritage); then, Goran Trajkovski from Anastasia (he’s also the bassist and the back vocal and one of the revelations of Mizar, (with the song Spring \Izvor\, he shows that he still doesn’t revealed to us all of his vocal beam-light);
Rubin Kantardžioski (the leader of the band Don’t!Who?One can only be mistaken for the closest to Goran Tanevski, because his singing isn’t a copying at all – it’s an interpretation that characterizes the depths of the human voice and nothing else; and finally – Biljana Volčeska, the true discovery girl that, as a vocalist will show her final word in the time that comes very soon (best proof for this is the highly emotional performance of the band Indeksi cover-version classics I Dream \Sanjam\, the title theme of this album). It’s a different story the role of Risto Vrtev, the man who, in his own time conceived the Mizar-story, and the man who determined the first revelation of that band – in the midst of the 80’s. He actually on the album Dreaming, played the guitars, helped around the arrangements for some of the songs, and he’s an author and performer of the – deep down to the pain dived “Macedo-Americana” number I'm so sad (unfortunately, you won’t find it at the edition that was published by Avalon Production, but only at the one that will be published by the American Tone Casualties –!?!), but the most important is the fact that Vrtev’s spirit additionally increased the Čapovski’s adrenaline and definitely confirmed his determination to part from his own ego, enjoying at the same time in the new collaboration with those – so kindred to him – souls. In some hand, Dreaming can be seen as a silent, but powerful rebellion of the generation that straightened the Macedonian rock’n’roll and made it proud of its specifics.
And, when talking about that, it’s most interesting how Kismet (by its sound and melody) was never more close and kindred to the Macedonian root and context. That’s why, gone through the tremors of the souls of: Volcheska, Čapovski and all mentioned above, Dreaming is the soundly signed dedication that Bodo Kovachevic, Davorin Popovic and all others from the Sarajevo legendary band Indeksi can only wish for – something that only the “made ones” can. At the same time, the cover-version is that much “ear-sticky” that it wouldn’t be a surprise if it provokes even numerous different (commercial) treatment of the band in global frames – it’s a full-blooded radio-hit. And, if we speak of the remakes, the good tradition of Čapovski (by the way, he is a very confirmed at this field, let’s mention just the musical re-reading of the Joy Division, the hymn of the so called “dark generation” – Love Will Tear Us Apart) is fulfilled with its reaching for the one of the highly noted themes of the great British punk-band Stranglers, theirs unbitten “dark” hymn Raven.
Instrumentally, the album is made very functionally (in the meanwhile, the band consolidates its members, so besides Čapovski and the bassist Ilija Stojanovski, here are Dimitar Petrov, drums, Zoran Origjanski, drums and tarabuka, and Biljana Volčeska, vocal). Dreaming is – unbelievably – both original and brave music creation, at the same time. In its tissue the codes of the Macedonian music language interlace with the rock’n’roll-riffs with the same amount as the depth and the purity of the Slav spirit interlace with the Western sense of the classics, or as the Southern, even Mediterranean emotionality, does it with the Northern pragmatics. And, for the first time since the existence of the band, their work seems and sounds so natural. Above all, this kind of an album can be signed only by the band from this part of the world (or maybe the Balkans or the transferal Vienna – Istanbul…), a band whose music, as in this case, is equally dramatic as the time we all live in.
Let mention that, as it is up to a modern band of this caliber, a band that works at the beginning of the new Millennium, Kismet skillfully uses the samples of: Led Zeppelin and Sintezis (Galactic Eye), the Bristol band Massive Attack (Izvor), Mizar (Side by Side and Epitaph), Killing Joke (Sonce)… This understands the sufficient number of hours in the studio (the album is recorded in the period of November 2001, until February 2002), and an extraordinary careful and wise producer’s work (Dimitar Dimovski).
And for the end: the provocative (the intentional “overdo” – the pale face of Majakovski with the hellish-yellow Macedonian Sun and the National red color behind) visual cover-design by Sergei Damovski and Coma Lab.), that, unfortunately, isn’t made on a proper paper (saving money!?!), so it’s a stain over the visual impact of the album… Such a pity.
But whatever, that kind of a badly realized idea is a minor (although not unimportant) mistake, regarding the fact of the extraordinary – by quality – album contents inside. Finally, the album Dreaming, by the modest opinion of the author of this text, is the album that enters within the circle of the key-editions of the Macedonian rock’n’roll – generally. Of course, together with those that in its own time were done by Mizar and published by the Slovenian Helidon – the debut album Mizar and Svjat Dreams from 1990. This is just – not to be forgotten.
Translated by: Petar Volnarovski