The wave that continues to sweep – 40 years of the “Package of arrangements”

In the 1980s, there was an economic crisis in the Balkans. Because of that, they sometimes had dinner by the light of a kerosene lamp or a candle, and they could drive their car every other day. There was a shortage of coffee, detergent and oil, but rebellion and originality abounded. The alternative music scene was just then experiencing its heyday, turning from pure, classical rock to something fresh and raw – that sound was popularly called New wave.

On this day, February 17, 1981, in the production of Jugoton, it was announced “Package deal“, The most significant compilation album of the former Yugoslavia. Three legendary Belgrade new wave groups found themselves on the same board: Idols, Electric Orgasm i Charles the Acrobat. Although they did completely different things, these three bands had a common essence and idea that caused a revolution in the world of alternative music. In itself, the album can be considered a precursor to domestic punk, and the fundamental basis of the Yugoslav new wave scene. None of this would have happened if it were not for the initiative Enca Lesića i Siniša Škarica, who combined three new sounds. But, above all, it is important to mention the actions of the bands before the fateful moment.

The revolt was then coming from all sides, at high speed. A surge of electricity and enraged hormones jumping with the sound of distortion came from the United Kingdom, reaching Ljubljana (Bankrupt), Rijeka (Paraf, Termite), Zagreb (Haustor, Azra) and Novi Sad (Peking Duck), and finally Belgrade.

Electric Orgasm was formed in January 1980 after the concert of the group Leb i sol, and they had their first official performance five months later in SKC as a pre-band for Hypnotized Chicken, that is, for themselves. To the general dissatisfaction of the audience, Hypnotized Chicken disintegrates, and thus the composition of Orgasm changes, which continues to play with the line-up: Srdjan Gojkovic Gile (guitar), Ljubomir Djukic Ljuba (keyboards), Marina Vulić (bass) i Goran Čavajda Čavke (drums).

Two months after the emergence of Orgasm, the concept band Boys, founded by schoolmates Vlade Divljana (guitar, vocals), Zdenka Kolara (bass) i Bože Jovanović (drums) grows by two more members, Srdjan Shaper (percussion, vocals) i Nebojsa Krstic (percussion), and grows into a vocal-instrumental ensemble Idols. Shortly afterwards, with the help of media attention, they released the first single featuring “I rarely see you with girls” and “Help, help”, and then recorded B as a B side in Zagreb.Boys“.

In the spring of the same year, a hard rock band Lemon tree he changes the line-up and the three-member Charlotte acrobats are formed Milan Mladenović (guitar, vocals), Ivan Vdović Acting (drums, vocals) i Dusan Kojic Koja (bass, vocals). They are recording several things in the “Druga maca” studio, but they are not publishing them anywhere yet.

A little later and a little further north, all three bands meet at the same festival – more precisely in October 1980 at the Subotica Youth Festival. Although the group Film won with the song “Unadjusted”, the performance of Electric Orgasm was very much remembered, but mostly due to the damage to the scenography. Charlotte the Acrobat with a song “She wakes up“Wins even second place, and VIS Idols receive the audience award for the song”Why are girls angry today?“.

That same autumn, Siniša Škarica, Jugoton’s music editor, came to Belgrade, who was there primarily for the recording of Bijeli Dugmet and in the hunt for Riblja Čorba. Coincidentally, Čorba’s first album was produced by Enco Lesić, whose studio “Druga maca” was located in the immediate vicinity of the hotel where Škarica was staying. As he met Enzo, Škarica also met Belgrade’s new wave bands, which had already recorded extensively with him, and he got the idea for compilations. The album was recorded in the studio “Druga maca”, and due to the lack of vinyl (among other things), it was released only on February 17, 1981. Soon, as a real unconventional experimental omnibus, this compilation became part of the culture.

Apart from being reminiscent of Talking Heads in the visual part of the performance, Charlo Acrobat really pioneered everything else, starting from the combination of aggressive expressiveness with harmonic sections, to the fact that they added dub and reggae, which also did not appear before. these spaces. They appear on the album with four songs, “She wakes up“, “Around my head“, “Little man” i “No one like me“. Unfortunately, after the collaboration, they are releasing only one more album, “A clearer or duller person becomes when…“, And the band falls apart. Milan Mladenović founded Catherine II, where he was later joined by Ivica Vdović, and Koja went to his side and founded Discipline of the Spine.

Without excessively changing their style of conceptuality, which they founded as Boys, VIS Idols present their artistic compositions on the “Package Arrangement”. An eight-minute song “America“, In which one chord and one sentence are hypnotically repeated, create minimalist boredom. Srdjan Shaper performs a song in German “Gays across Europe”(“ Omorina over Europe ”) and parts of the song“ Boys ”, in Russian. The last song is “Plastika“, The anthem of all the slaves of an immutable system from which a way out is hard to find. Idols continue to play for only 3 more years, and in 1985 they released their fourth and last album, the work of Vlado Divljan. “Six days in July“.

Unlike Idol and Charles, Orgasm appears on the album with three simple but dynamic concert hits. “Golden parrot“Is a story about the conflict between punks and make-up artists in front of the cafe of the same name in Belgrade, and about the easy life of the bourgeoisie, while”Crocodiles are coming”Paranoid depicts the apocalypse. “We”Still deals with a slightly different topic, prisoners of money in the hopelessness of the metropolis. This band is the only one from Paket who is still actively playing. Last album “Where are we now?”They released in 2018.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the “Package Arrangement” and the official start of the New Wave in Yugoslavia, the publishing house Croatia Records has published four luxury reissues (“Package deal”, “A clearer or duller man is when…”, “Electric Orgasm” and “Haustor”) with rare photographs, texts and archival documentation. This proves that, although it no longer exists as a movement, the New Wave continues to sweep generations, long after its emergence.

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