Blesok no. 40, January-February, 2005
Sound Reviews


Kobna ubavina – Scream of disagreement to the vultures

Ljupčo Jolevski


The album addresses those poor manipulated and tired little souls that have been subjected to indoctrination and political castration, as all of us, through the process of “de-education”, and thus their insides turn over at any mentioning of the word politics – say Gorazd Čapovski, Goran Trajkovski, Vlatko Kaevski, Žarko Serafimovski and Ilija Stojanovski, the guys who are behind the new revelation of the cult Macedonian band

Mizar – the band that issued two records and via Slovenia (Mizar – 1988, Свјат Dreams – 1991), due to the ignoring of the hard-headed ones in the only local production house at the time, MRTV, came to Macedonia and from here went to the world – has a new work 13 years later. This is quite enough for us to maintain the thought that something still happens, that not everything has gone to drains. Kobna ubavina (Terrible Beauty) is an album that is expected to be a strong impulse for the other restless souls of the enduring Macedonian sub-cultural stage.

Kobna ubavina as an album, is an indicator of the maturity of the third revelation of MIZAR. You have gone through many trials and tribulations from the idea of restoring the band to its realization. First it turned out that there were mountains dividing you from Goran Tanevski; then you also split with Risto Vrtev with whom you made Počesna strelba (Honorary Platoon). What was the turning point for your decision to move on: the worm reception of the audience at SRC Kale, the series of concerts in the neighborhood or something else?
– The insistence to oppose the Macedonian self-destruction syndrome above all. Although we must not neglect the facts of our concerts, both in the country and abroad, still the bitterness with the inability for a broader common “sharing” made us strong and decisive to overcome ourselves and at a certain moment prepare half a concert in seven days and not let down the people who eagerly expected to hear us, and on the other side to enrage the spies who wanted to see us fall, that is, cancel the concert.

The material for the album was made in a really turbulent time for the survival of Macedonia. How much did it influence the music and poetics that came from you as creators? Did you try to oppose the demons hanging over the healthy creative thought with your own creation?

– WITH ALL OF OUR STRENGTH! This album is a scream of disagreement to the gangs of local and foreign vultures that surrounded our fatherland from all sides these past years. Kobna ubavina is an artistic challenge – a glove thrown to the “stars” of the mountain and village trenches who eat chicken patés, and to the small town “board erasers” who drink whiskey with pickled salad. Let us not misunderstand each other, the album addresses them because: 1. They do not listen; 2. They do not understand; 3. They do not deserve.
    But if we were to address them, we would address them like this, on paper, because the paper can endure many things, some of which are very filthy. The message is: Get out of the media, electronic, written and non-written, because you are kitsch, because you are ugly and unpleasant.
    The album addresses those poor, manipulated and tired little souls that have been subjected to indoctrination and political castration, as all of us, through the process of “de-education”, and thus their insides turn over at any mentioning of the word politics.

With a lot of stage experience behind you and individual projects that have changed the course of the modern Macedonian musical language, did you have any idea how to move on in terms of sound? How should the new album of MIZAR be shaped?
– The decision to work on the new album was made this summer. The starting impulse was the ad hoc cooperation on Počesna strelba, which turned out to be a successful one, and after we listened to demo recordings together, and the music remarks from home, we saw that we had a serious amount of material for some joint work. The basic principles were: the sound of old Mizar, our experience with our previous bands and several other starting points – strong, brave and involved. We agreed that the sound is placed on a pulsating rhythm section with a broad range of guitars of various musical expressions, as well as a free use of electronics as we deemed it necessary, but not as an imperative.

Was there a danger of mistake in steps and strong approximation to what you had already signed as KISMET, ANASTASIJA, KIBORG? How did you avoid these traps?
– As far as I remember at no time was there such a thing as a subject of discussion or debate. We did not want to do anything on purpose – neither look like nor avoid some influence that was part of our biography.

The sharp guitar passages, dark-rock moments, electronic landscapes, original Macedonian song, wonderful Old Slavonic singing intertwine in Kobna ubavina… And it all sounds so much “Mizar-like”. Is this your vision about how the authentic contemporary Macedonian rock-and-roll should sound like?
– A logical conclusion and the answer would therefore be yes. With a small note. If somebody does not share this opinion, nothing would happen to him.

Where does the need to remake “1762 leto” (The Year of 1762) come from? Is this your message, your involved view towards what has been happening to us?
1762 is a lament over the lost independence and at the same time self-criticism because we allow things that had happened once to happen to us again. And the one who allows mistakes to be repeated is known as a fool. Right?

The name of the album itself, Kobna ubavina, is enough to show the need of such a concern about our survival. How can one be involved nowadays and avoid the banal political involvement?
– By monitoring the social occurrences within the global social and political processes. By cleansing oneself from the wish for instant daily political and economic profiting and not succumbing to the glow of power. By deep and analytical understanding of the situation, that is, what power really is and how it can fall on someone’s head. By long term and conscious following of the civilization and cultural developments, proper thinking of one’s future generations in the spirit of global cultural universal values. Or, in other words, by disagreeing with the government, because not a single government so far had any awareness of these things.

MIZAR has again restored its cooperation with Goran Lisica – Fox, its former producer and current owner of the Slovenian production Dalas. How prepared is he to get involved in promotion of the issue and the band in general in Europe and the world?
– We have signed a several year contract with Dalas because we think that they have the capacity to do something more than a plain documentation of the Kobna ubavina album. In the 80-es, Fox did many things for Mizar and his contribution to the weight of the name of the band itself is without any question. Of course we have confidence in him, and how prepared he is to do something for the band would be a question for him. IN the end, the time that comes will show it.

The album, at least the Macedonian issue, was supposed to appear under Litum Records, but it is issued under Avalon. What happened?
– The usual conceptual differences and disagreements. Things like this are not rare in this job, are they? We are neither the first nor the last that are facing it.

Finally, what will be the dynamics of the promotion of Kobna ubavina?
– The serious promotion will follow next year, that is, we plan that the coming spring will be the most active with concert promotions. Because of the publishing procedures we did not manage to agree on this fall, but I think that we have a good album and the delay of several months will not harm it.


sound excerpts


Translated by: Elizabeta Bakovska




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