A digital compilation entitled “Stay Human” was released for pay-what-you-want yesterday with all proceeds going to the Brody Jewish Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. The compilation is a direct response to last month’s Neo-Nazi rally that resulted in the life of one protestor in Charlottesville.
Thanks to its Like a Version segment, Australia’s Triple J radio station has gifted us with oodles of amazing covers from a diverse range of artists. Aussies have been able to revisit those covers time and again due to the station’s various compilations, and now American listeners will be given that same opportunity via Triple J’s first North American compilation.
Due out September 22nd, the compilation is comprised of 21 covers the station has amassed over the last several years. On it, you’ll be able to hear Ben Folds cover The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights”; Bon Iver tackle “Coming Down” by Anais Mitchell; and Mark Ronson offer his own unique spin on Queens of the Stone Age’s “I Sat By the Ocean”. Other featured artists include Tame Impala, CHVRCHES, Mumford and Sons, James Vincent McMorrow, and The Jezabels. See the full tracklist and cover art below.
Below, stream two of the compilation’s tracks. The first is Tame Impala’s maximalist take on Kylie Minogue’s “Confide in Me”, while the second finds CHVRCHES offering an earnest rendition of the Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know”.
Like a Version Artwork:
Like a Version Tracklist: 01. Tame Impala – “Confide in Me” (Kylie Minogue) 02. Flume – “My Boo” (Ghost Town DJs) 03. Mark Ronson – “I Sat By the Ocean” (Queens of the Stone Age) 04. CHVRCHES – “Do I Wanna Know” (Arctic Monkeys) 05. Chet Faker – “(Lover) You Don’t Treat Me No Good” (Sonia Dada) 06. Ben Folds – “Such Great Heights” (The Postal Service) 07. John Butler Trio – “Happy” (Pharrell Williams) 08. Meg Mac – “Bridges” (Broods) 09. Bon Iver – “Coming Down” (Anaiis Mitchell) 10. Mumford & Sons – “Unfinished Business” (White Lies) 11. Boy & Bear – “Back to Black” (Amy Winehouse) 12. Cub Sport – “Ultralight Beam” (Kanye West) 13. Broods – “One Dance” (Drake) 14. Robert DeLong – “The Mother We Share” (Chvrches) 15. James Vincent McMorrow – “West Coast” (Lana Del Rey) 16. San Cisco – “Get Lucky” (Daft Punk) 17. DMA’s – “Believe” (Cher) 18. City & Color – “Settle Down” (Kimbra) 19. The Jezabels – “Don’t Stop Believing” (Journey) 20. Ásgeir – “Stolen Dance” (Milky Chance) 21. Catfish & The Bottlemen – “Read My Mind” (The Killers)
With Planned Parenthood coming under increasing fire during the current administration, musicians far and wide have banded together to support the organization in any way possible. The latest effort is Cover Your Ass Vol. 1, the first installment in a series of charitable compilation cover albums From Lionfish Music. Out May 26th to comp features contributions from artists including Hinds, Cass McCombs Band, Porches, TEEN, Palehound, The Lemon Twigs, Deerhoof, Daddy Issues, (Sandy) Alex G, and Luke Temple.
To preview the compilation, Lionfish has shared Speedy Ortiz’s interpretation of the 2003 TV on the Radio song “Young Liars”. Recorded in 2015 with the band’s friend Jesse Weiss (Palehound, Grass is Green) at his practice space, the cover brings an extra bite to the original thanks to fuzzy guitars and frontwoman Sadie Dupuis’s more aggressive approach to the lyrics.
As the band explains to Consequence of Sound, the over decade-old song has new relevance now that 45 is in office:
“‘Young Liars’ is poetic and lovely, but also rife with the American shame and sneering political skepticism that marked the best of W. Bush-era post-punk. So the song has a renewed resonance considering the fearful dystopian anticipation our current administration’s ‘marked down freedom’ has generated in so many of us.”
Lionfish has pledged to donate 100% of profits from Cover Your Ass Vol. 1 to Planned Parenthood. Pre-order the compilation here, and find the full details below.
Cover Your Ass Vol. 1 Album Art:
Cover Your Ass Vol. 1 Tracklist: 01. Deerhoof – Fight the Power (Public Enemy Cover) 02. Hinds – When It Comes to You (Dead Ghosts Cover) 03. Cut Worms – Truly Julie’s Blues (Bob Lind Cover) 04. The Lemon Twigs – White Flag (Dido Cover) 05. Daddy Issues – Boys of Summer (Don Henley Cover) 06. Speedy Ortiz – Young Liars (TV on the Radio Cover) 07. Palehound – Miss Independent (Kelly Clarkson Cover) 08. The Quilz – Girl U Want (Devo Cover) 09. Cass McCombs Band – Yes We Can Can (Pointer Sisters Cover) 10. Porches – Morpha Too (Big Star Cover) 11. (Sandy) Alex G – Druglord Landlord (Cold Foamers Cover) 12. TEEN – Boys Keep Swinging (David Bowie Cover) 13. Luke Temple – Duchess (Scott Walker Cover)
“I Can Already Smell Your Unhappyness” is an awesome compilation featuring 16 DIY punk bands to celebrate five years of Prejudice Me label’s existence!
Prejudice Me is Fran & Zoe’s cute DIY label and distro that started out in 2011 simply as a way to raise money and awarness for a local group trying to turn a disused school in Leeds into a community hub. However, they continued releasing rad stuff and this compilation proves that it’s definitelly worth it.
There are several things that make this comp so amazing. First, it starts out with “Mirage”, the best song ever written by Eaglehaslanded… and we already wrote about it here. Second, the compilation comes out on a tape, and we love tapes. And last but not least, the tape comes with a zine… and we also love zines!
Besides Belgrade’s skramz afictionados Eaglehaslanded, there are also 15 other great bands on here. There are Budapest’s dark hardcore overlords Rivers Run Dry and Oaken, Brighton’s anarchist harbingers Burnt Cross, skacore furies Atterkopp, and anything from the blastbeat madness of Indoctrinate and Tout Suite to the anthemic melodic punk of Holiday. Special attention should be paid to Trophies, xKATExMOSHx, and Lawine who are featured with rare or unreleased tracks on here.
The comp is also available for free digital download but nothing beats the feeling of having both the tape and 40-page zine in your hands. The zine itself features interviews with most of the bands in the comp, and those who didn’t answer Fran and Zoe’s questions are featured with band related articles and tour reports. So even if you have never heard of some or more of the bands, Prejudice Me’s zine is a chance to learn everything you need to know about them. As I’m writing this I’m halfway through reading the zine. Veganism is also strong in this one, there are some vegan recipes from Veganslime and Bakabush I have to try at home. The package was also awesome and came in with cute stickers and a pin.
Unfortunatelly, the enevelope got lost on its way thanks to the Bulgarian Post Office services, so you can already smell my unhappyness. However, Fran and Zoe were kind enough to send me the stuff for a second time through a private courier services.
For those who missed last 25-30 years or skipped history classes, Yugoslavia was a socialist and communist country in the Balkans. But unlike the similar countries of Eastern Europe “behind the Iron Curtain”, Yugoslavia was out of any blocs. In fact, the country was a founder of Non-Aligned Movement, but still had a good influence on Western culture.
That was the reason why all subcultures were present and started developing few years after their beginnings in Western countries. We had R’n’R, punk, post-punk, hardcore, disco, pop, comics, art etc. scene, you name it. The “Ljubljana-Zagreb-Belgrade axis” (capital cities of the republics) was very strong, connections were made, people traveled a lot, exchanged ideas, played and you can tell that was “the Golden age” of our underground scene.
The year of 1992 was the end of Yugoslavia. We’ve split into six countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. I am sure some of you have heard about the civil wars that ended in 1995. Most of the contacts were broken or hard to maintain, a lot of artists moved to some other countries, or stopped being active, however, there were some new generations that grew up in between.
After the war, the connections between ex-Yugoslavian republics were slowly restored, mostly by fanzines. The Internet came few years after, and fanzines were moving slowly to their demise. Here and there you will find some punk, art, sci-fi or other fanzine, but by now they are more of “by accident” than a regular thing.
Video Killed The Radio Star…
Internet Killed The Fanzine
Webzines are now dominating underground media scene, and every few months there is some new portal, blog or something like that popping up. Like fanzines, most of them last just for a year or two. Though, there are few of them that last for more than a decade-decade and a half.
Labels? Physical labels are disappearing as well. There are few indie labels in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, and I think they are doing pretty well. But most of new labels are starting as net-labels. There are all kind of them that support punk, metal, noise, industrial, electronic, D’n’B, and many more.
Fortunately, we have younger generations that are active, and that’s a pretty good start.
Since it is hard to cover all of underground genres, maybe the best way to scratch the surface is to check some of the labels and compilations they prepared throughout the last few years. You’ll see how diverse the scene is, from obscure bedroom projects to artists who have a commercial potential.
So, let’s start with LIBRARION, which is basically art fanzine, but almost every issue was followed with release. Sometimes it was a single track, but through time the net label became a parallel part of Librarion project. So far three compilations were made:
“Strah” (Fear) as part of issue #3 of the zine, as well as “Opasna ženska muzika” (Fearsome female music) with #2 issue. This compilation is quite interesting since only girl bands and acts were gathered there. It was made to highlight the Balkan women of the underground.
Their freshest compilation is published under minimalistic title “~”, released just few days ago. Unlike previous comps, this one has a totally free-form in its subject. You’ll find some noise, harsh noise, electro, metal, post punk and punk acts from Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia blended together. This last Librarion release is notable since it brings a bunch of new names, and also digs through the past. These are the contributors from ‘~’:
Dangerous Beat (Croatian techno/IDM producer, this time in noise outfit)
The Bane (two-piece ad-hoc band from Serbia, from military days)
Olja Wagner (solo project from prominent musician and poetess from Niš)
Summer Deaths (one of the rare Vaporwave/chill acts from Serbia)
Psihokratija (cult goth/dark cabaret band from Belgrade, they are active these days)
No No Instigator (fresh post-punk/no wave duo from Croatia)
Litanije Čaranja (one of the rare funeral doom projects, from Croatia)
Bitchslap (experimental act from Serbia, by owner of the Deathfuckarmageddon Records)
Monosiped (weird, melodic musical act from Serbia)
Acoustic Torture Chamber (experimental/noise from BiH, by owner of the Human Cross Records)
BxOxKx (digital punk/ska/hip-hop act from Kraljevo, by the editor-in-chief of AkuPUNKtura zine)
King Ubu (reactivated alt. rock sensation from Zagreb)
Antitalent (harshnoise/minimalistic project from Brus, Serbia, by owner of the underground label Jesboligakurac Records)
The Ant (minimalistic instrumental rock from Majdanpek, Serbia)
:dARM (one more experimental project from the owner of the Human Cross Records)
Nekro Batica (noisican from Serbia, owner of the Deathfuckarmaeddon Records and editor-in-chief of Ciklonizacija blog)
Eva Ras (post-screamo project from Serbia, by owner of the Confusion Specialist net-label)
Misha Mashina & Mashtrakala (very noisy and weird alt. rock act from Serbia)
KSEA (mysterious ambient/minimalistic project from Serbia)
Dosis Letalis (ANW/HNW artist from Serbia)
Ex You (experimental no-jazz ensemble from Serbia)
.vernacvlaar destrvction. (HNW/static noise artist from Serbia)
This label released some other weird releases, no fancy shit, just pure underground for the underground geeks like you.
Now, let’s move to the Crime:Scene Records. One of the oldest and most productive net labels from the front man of massacre industrial act dreDDup, that released more than 150 releases in 10 years or so. CSR is more oriented to some dark sounds, industrial, noise, post punk, goth, EBM etc. They organized some festivals and radio shows in the past.
Among releases there are some of nice compilations that will give you nice insight into this kind of sound.
Dark Balkan Music Vol.1 & Vol.2
Alchemy, VA release with ex-Yu bands doing covers
Also, there is a series of CSR regular compilations. For now, there are 14 volumes.
Black Planet Records
Black Planet Records is also active in connecting bands and producers in ex-Yu. They are most known by their series of compilations entitled “Balkan Under The Radar”. The name is self-explanatory. Every issue is like double or even triple CD edition. They do physical copies as well, in limited number. Style? You name it, they have it.
Vol 1 The Invisible Scene
Vol 2 The Black Wave
Vol 3 Black Generation
Vol 4 Antisocial Network
Underground Alliance has 60 releases under their belt, but I think this label is on hiatus right now. Check the compilations they made (similar idea like BPR above) two trilogies.
Ubivae is the youngest label/collective. So far they released two compilations, check it out if you are into electronic, D’n’B, experimental.
In the end, I’d like to mention a label from my hometown, Ćuprija, that just started as well.
Panda Jessus is dedicated to some alternative electronic genres: witch house, vaporwave, down-tempo/chill, etc. They have three releases so far, but you can check the first compilation they made, first one that gathered the next generation of artists that produce genres mentioned above.
I think this would be enough for now. I am sure that even just these few labels mentioned above will be enough to give you hours and weeks of new music and insight that music from Balkan is still alive.
There are more labels and bands to present but feel free to explore them yourself. This is just something to scratch the surface. I am sure you’ll find something exotic and I’ll be glad to hear your comments below.
About the author: Nenad Popović is editor-in-chief of HELLYCHERRY webzine.
21st Century PUNX Deconstructors, Trouble Making Agitators, DIY noise insurgents & Manufacturers of Dissident Political Wear.
PUNX.UK was formed by a Manchester anarcho punk collective in 2013 as a webzine sharing info on local gigs and bands.
Originally focusing on creating a DIY gig guide for our city we then expanded to cover the whole of the UK scene in 2014.
Since then we've faithfully tried to promote all the events, blogs, websites and sounds of resistance throughout the country and beyond.
In 2016 we partnered with Sabcat Workers Cooperative to produce dissident political wear providing financial support to the activist causes, benefits, unions, bands, and community groups that we work with.