Radio Quarantine – nemanja – Tarot Funk (2019)

Sticking around the Balkans for a spell, this one recorded in Pula, Croatia by a fellow who goes by nemanja but his real name is Luka Šipetić, and I’m sure there is a local dialect that goes with all those special alphabet symbols but I’m not going to attempt it. (How’s that for a run-on sentence?) This is how they describe Tarot Funk:

“Psychedelic sounds of eastern funk mixed with esoteric teachings of Tarot!

“Tarot funk” is an album that blends symbolism of Tarot with the musical heritage of ’70s Anatolian rock, Thai funk, Cambodian psych-rock of the ‘60s, Dub and Afro-funk in one eclectic new genre called – Tarot Funk!

Each song on “Tarot Funk” is written for one specific card, thus combining music with Tarot’s symbolism throughout the tracklist, with a purpose of creating a narrative which every listener must interpret for himself (download includes a special text guide to help you navigate).

nemanja decided to tell his story by using nine Tarot cards and compose music that is tied to the symbolism and meaning of each card. Set together, music, cards and text guide are referring to the full series of events that had occurred last year in his life. While he is recounting his tale, nemanja needs you to help him make sense of it all. While listening to the music and studying the cards, he is hoping that you will be able to transform his story; create your own meaning of these events, find patterns in your life, and by the end, your own story.
If, for some reason, you are not successful in finding meaning in all of this, just let the grooves free your ass and your mind will follow! I wish you all a pleasant journey!”

What it sounds like to me: I’ve got a few different points of reference and I do hear everything that’s described above, but what it sounds most like to me is one of those 1970s German softcore films soundtracked by The Gert Wilden Orchestra. It’s groovy psychedelia with swirling Turkish keys and guitars over funk beats and congas. Very groovy, man. And I’m not making fun of Tarot Funk at all. It’s a fucking blast and definitely not what I expected to be served up by the Youtube algorithms on a Sunday afternoon after everything else I’ve listened to in the last week.

The update from my perch atop the pillows: I’m calling the doctor again in the morning. Most of this day was spent face down in the dark. Things went from ungood to really fucking bad and that means devastating pain, nausea, blurred vision and the whole deal. Full on daytime cluster headache. This is one of those spells. They are generally a night time phenomenon for me but every so often there is string of daytime occurrences and they are usually the most painful. I’m not looking forward to the next couple weeks.

But… we’ll see what can be done.


I’m sticking with Nemanja for a bit though. It looks like Youtube has queued up a few of his albums, along with some others from that general region. We’ll see where that takes me. There’s so much in this one, including some surf guitar which makes perfect sense given Dick Dale’s background brought a lot of similar vibes into the early surf mix. There’s definitely no shortage of wah wah driven funk disco. I’m going to enjoy it while I can still enjoy sound.

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