Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bernays Propaganda - Igraj Slobodno! [2012]

Bernays Propaganda are a band from Skopje, Macedonia. Since 2007 they've been creating post-punk music you can -- gods forbid -- dance to, with words you can -- if you know Macedonian -- raise a fist and get pist with. Any band that names itself after the dude who applied psychoanalysis to marketing in order to transform propaganda into the public relations industry is going to have a fairly up-set view of politics; but few things are as aggravating as a political band whose lyrics don't go beyond lazy sloganeering. Thankfully these folks write more from a perspective of personal struggle in the context of social and political relations, and are much better off for it. Musically, they are punk rock for the Club, weird as it feels to say; they lie somewhere among LCD Soundsystem, early Liars, or Soviet rockers like Kino.

Igraj Slobodno! is an album of remixes, collaborations, and covers of Bernays Propaganda songs from their previous two full-lengths. The people sitting in on this are as varied as they are esteemed. My favorite track is the version of "I Care Not to Know" by cult breakpop act ZEA (aka Arnold de Boer, lately also singer of the Ex): a glitchy, acoustic skeleton of the original which underpins the paranoid vocal. Other highlights are the two versions of "Buldozer" by Gang of Four's Mark Heaney and "the oldest active Macedonian jazz band," Sethstat. Each take the tune to very different places: the former makes it into something you might hear at a rave, the latter a stomping jazz number with cool vibraphones and a brass section. Overall a real great set if you aren't instantly averse to dance floor stuff.

This one is available from bandcamp for free, as hinted by the translation of the album title: play freely! Check out the original versions of the songs on the other two albums up there, as well as a song from their forthcoming third full-length, Zabraneta planeta.

No comments:

Post a Comment