A Look Into the Recent Past: Record Digging and Re-issues

I was surprised to find out that there are only a handful of record stores in Belgrade. On most days, you can take a walk into your nearest market and find some used records in amongst other odds and ends. It’s nice to pick up a record while shopping for tomatoes, but there is something great about being surrounded by crates of “to-be-discovered” “new” music.

Skadarlija Market

Skadarlija Market
A good place to pick up some produce, ajvar (delicious pepper spread), and some 2nd hand finds.

I was excited to check out Yugovinyl, a record store specializing in music from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, with the majority of the collection from ex-Yugoslavia. A non-aligned communist nation, Yugoslavia imported western music and played it alongside traditional music, so there is a large variety of Yugoslavian music that shares some familiar Western influences. I found a pile of records to listen to and was soon met with suggestions and a glass of rakija (Serbia’s famous fruit brandy) from the man behind the counter. Through his suggestions, I gathered some new names for my research and listened to some interesting punk, rock, disco, and new wave.

Recently, there has been a renewed interest in records made in Yugoslavia during the ‘80s. A number of labels have done re-releases and dance edits of songs and are finding a new audience.

Boban Petrovic – U Ludnici (“In the Mental Hosptial”) -1984, Re-released 2014 by DiscoNotDisco

Dobri Isak – Mi plačemo iza tamnih naočara (“We Cry Behind Dark Glasses”) – 1984, Re-released 2015 by Ne! Records

Max & Intro – Beogradska Devojka (“Belgrade Girl”) – 1985, Re-released 2015 by Discom

Releasing later this month, this is the newest compilation of dance floor edits of ‘80s Yugo music – The Very Yugo Cut Outs, released under the Polish label – The Very Polish Cut Outs.

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