Radio Quarantine -Darkwood Dub – Paramparčad (1995)

DARKWOOD DUB is the name that came up most often in searches when I was looking into the neo-Nazi, neo-Folk posted up yesterday. This band, from Belgrade, Serbia has been around in various forms since 1988 but this one from 1995 is their first release. It’s most interesting because it chronicles seven years of evolution from what was pretty much a straightforward punk band into something more experimental, and definitely more difficult to pigeonhole. This is another where, had you asked me what might be going on in Belgrade in the 90s, aside from genocide and landmines, I may have shrugged. Most of the world was inaccessible to us here, culturally speaking. The big thing at the time, outside of North American or Western European music, was “World Music.” Whether it was from Central or South America, or the Caribbean, or Asia or Africa, it was some form of traditional music from those regions, as if that was their sound and that’s what everyone listened to… and not just echoes of their past. Was there contemporary music outside of the US or the UK? You wouldn’t have thought so. From what we were exposed to you may have thought the rest of the world was trapped in a time warp. Our ignorance of pop culture and pop music outside of our own milieu is a good metaphor for how we think of the rest of the world, sadly.

All that said, Belgrade was rocking in the late 80s. I’m going to have to dig deeper into Darkwood Dub because their musical evolution is just fucking fascinating. But this is the beginnings.

I’m wondering where these guys were during the height of the conflict in the Balkans. There were no real clues from Google searches, at least not in English. That they continued to move along and record and to evolve musically while all that was happening, and in the wake, says something about the power of art and their dedication to what they were doing. Incredibly admirable!

Meanwhile my biggest concern in the world is why the fuck the heat in my apartment is cranking harder in April than it was in mid-January. Kind of humbling. I’m sweating like a fat kid chasing an ice cream truck. It doesn’t take much to take me out of any creative groove, and these guys kept it going through a war. Americans are such pussies sometimes.

Anyway, there will be more to say on Darkwood Dub. This is a hell of a find.

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