Today, we have a special release in our review section, partially because we haven’t covered any similar projects on these pages in the past. Those with a much broader knowledge of electronic music could already assume this has to do something with Kraftwerk, and you are not far from the truth. Dejan Stanisavljević (Beograd), Zoran Jevtić (DATA, Šizike, The Master Scratch Band), and Nikolaj Bežek (Consequential) have joined forces to deliver an exceptional piece of electronic music artistry called Beokraft. If you delved deep into an eastern European or ex-Yugoslavian electro scene, then you probably heard some of their earlier works. Beokraft is their Kraftwerk-inspired LP that carries three compositions per artist. Some readers might think Beokraft is more of a split release than a project, but I’ll leave that debate for some other time.
The importance of this material lies in old-school electronic music, long forgotten and piled up by more modern and mainstream music nowadays. It’s nearly mindblowing that these folks even pulled this project in these modern times, considering with what ease listeners forget particular genres and audio aesthetics. Luckily, people who appreciate this style will have plenty of fun while spinning this vinyl record. As I said, these producers separated Beokraft into three segments. Each segment carries three compositions produced and performed by each respected artist. It’s also good to mention that every producer took its approach to Kraftwerk’s sound, or perhaps how they perceived or thought Kraftwerk should sound over the years. Therefore, these nine tracks carry different aesthetics and ambiance, but altogether, they represent a complex electronic music album worth listening repeatedly.
Beokraft commences with The Time Machine, Robot Men, and Transformator, three compositions performed by Nikolaj Bežek. These tracks will immediately throw you back in times when electronic music was an entirely underground phenomenon and almost an obscure genre considered by many music critics. The Time Machine also serves as an overture into this release, with its longevous ambiance, drones, haunting sci-fi synths, and detailed sequencers. Robot Men and Tranformator carry a much more dynamic, complex, but equally ear-appealing atmosphere empowered by so many sonic maneuvers. Unlike The Time Machine, these two numbers also contain danceable synthwave beats that will force you to move around.
Ex Yu Roy At The Control, Quantum Computers, and Into The Future by Dejan Stanisavljević follow the footsteps of the preceding numbers but with slightly warmer and even more complex sounds. These compositions are much closer to the early to mid-eighties electronica with all those warm-sounding synth basslines, high-pitched leads, multi-layered ambiances, and slightly heavier synth beats. Ex Yu Roy At The Control, Quantum Computers, and Into The Future also contain enormously detailed arrangements, empowered by catchy segments that will immediately grab your attention. Quantum Computers stands out from this set because of its addictive rhythm, sequenced melodies, and atmosphere. It’s also good to mention that Dejan Stanisavljević picked up much darker themes for his set, so if you’re into a dystopian future full of evil machines that threaten society, these tracks will be right up your alley.
Zoran Jevtić sets the bar high with Man, Woman and Inbetween, Artificial Mind, and Ja Sam Tvoj Robot. His set unquestionably differs from the remainder of the material, but it briefly keeps up the same Kraftwerk-inspired ambiance. Jevtić picked up much more synthwave or synth-pop sonic direction, decorated with upbeat rhythms, modern leads, melodies, harmonies, and vocal lines. It’s also good to mention a higher percentage of vocoders included along the way that perfectly pair with complex, warm-sounding basslines. This material comes close to the late eighties and early nineties and maybe even more into the future due to the implementation of modern production. Even some big names in the electronic music scene couldn’t brag about sound quality that emphasizes all the elements included in these compositions.
The pioneers of Belgrade’s electronic music scene put a lot of ideas and time into this release, and their effort paid off in a marvelous full-length that you need to check out as soon as possible. I recommend you to listen to the entire material, so you could comprehend its brilliance. The album is available on all streaming platforms, but I recommend a vinyl record because it sounds greater, warmer, and more luxurious than the digital version. After all, this sound format comes much closer to an era these producers tried to convey through their tracks. The vinyl record is available via Discom, a Belgrade-based record label closely specialized in publishing lesser-known music of former Yugoslavia. Head to their website for more information about ordering.
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