Hello from Belgrade, Serbia

Zdravo – Hello from Belgrade, Serbia.

At this point, I’ve not been in Belgrade very long but I have already come to fall in love with Kalemegdan Park and the views from the Belgrade Fortress. At the center of the city, where the Danube and Sava rivers meet, the fortress is the oldest part of Belgrade, originally dating back to 1st century AD. Throughout its history, it has been attacked, rebuilt, and ruled by many groups including the Romans, Huns, Ottomans, and many more. The city has a very rich, complicated history between the east and the west which I am just beginning to learn.

Belgrade Fortress
Confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers from the Belgrade Fortress

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Public art in Kalemegdan Park

Over the next nine months, I will be researching electronic and dance music in Belgrade and the region as part of my Fulbright-mtvU Fellowhsip. Throughout the experience, I will be sharing a video series exploring my research, and writing posts for this blog. On a recent walk through Kalemegdan, this piece of art caught my eye as I thought about questions that will guide my research. What is the local expression of this global music? Is there a Belgrade sound? A Serbiansound? A Balkansound? What are the local and global influences guiding this underground dance music scene?

On one of my first nights in the city, I went to a show at Drugstore Beograd. Located on the second floor of an old factory building, you walk up the exterior stairs to enter the large, industrial venue.

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Beginning of the night at Drugstore Beograd

The night was headlined by an American post-punk band – The Soft Moon, with support from Berlin-based techno – Phase Fatale, and local electronic-producer – Hetem. A wide range of sounds on a Wednesday night drew a big crowd and filled the space. For me, the highlight was Hetem’s varied live performance featuring hardware electronics and some guitar looping – building the crowd up from some washed-out chill lines to more intense techno beats.

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Looking toward stage at Drugstore Beograd

With a calendar that includes a wide range of international and local underground events (house, techno, rock), I’ll be sharing more about Drugstore as my research continues.

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