PREDMESTJE
Post-Fusion Contemporary • Slovenia

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Slovenian jazz-rock band PREDMESTJE ("Suburbs") was formed in Ljubljana in 1975. They released the debut album in 1977 which immediately established them as an important jazz rock/fusion ensemble in the former Yugoslavia. Group was disbanded in 1982. Members were: Peter Gruden - guitar, vocals (1975-1980) Andrej Pompe - keyboards Aleksander Malahovsky - saxophone (1975-1980) Janez Hvale - drums (1975-1979) Gabriel Lah - bass (1975-1980) Lado Jakša - saxophone (1979-1980) Tone Dimnik - drums (1979-1980) (ex Buldožer) Marko Bitenc - vocals, percussion (from 1980) (ex Izvir) Marjan Lebar - bass (from 1980) (ex Izvir) Slavko Lebar - guitar (from 1980) (ex Izvir) Andrej Petković - drums, timbales (from 1980) (ex Izvir) Jernej Podboj - saxophone (from 1980)

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PREDMESTJE Discography

PREDMESTJE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.42 | 3 ratings
Brez Naslova
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1977
.. Album Cover 3.42 | 3 ratings
Danes Včeraj In...
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1979
.. Album Cover 4.33 | 3 ratings
Hazard
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1980
.. Album Cover 1.59 | 2 ratings
Kamasutra
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1981

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PREDMESTJE Reviews

PREDMESTJE Kamasutra

Album · 1981 · Post-Fusion Contemporary
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
seyo
After the excellent previous album "Hazard", PREDMESTJE decided to do what is usually perceived fatal to all progressive or fusion bands - to sound "modern" and trendy!

And New Wave and Ska Revival were trendy in this period of early 1980s in Yugoslavia. Add to this a cheesy, tasteless cover design with female legs and overall "concept" of sex and eroticism as a main idea of the album, and you get a terribly unconvincing, at times even awful, record.

Still, when they play instrumental jams they do it nicely and with musicianship that can be a raw model ("Jugorama", "Eureka", "Kamasutra") for sort of commercial, highly accessible "soft fusion". Even THE POLICE-invoking opener "U Parizu" is a decent and catchy song done in Ska rhythm. But, the rest of the album is pretty bad and those vocal parts are really moronic.

PREDMESTJE disbanded after "Kamasutra" and hearing it nowadays makes it obvious as to what went wrong. Only for collectors.

PREDMESTJE Hazard

Album · 1980 · Post-Fusion Contemporary
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
seyo
This is the third and in my opinion the best album of PREDMESTJE, a Slovenian fusion combo from former Yugoslavia. For this occasion the group line-up radically changed leaving keyboardist Andrej Pompe as the sole founding member. He was accompanied by the four of earlier disbanded jazz-rock group IZVIR, which for their own part released their only, excellent self-titled debut in 1977.

Sound of "Hazard" is fresh and well-produced, introducing elements of funk and jazz-funk, in the vein of Herbie Hancock. Solo parts are tasteful and just in right places. This is especially evident for lead guitar, electric piano and synths. Addition of timbales invokes a SANTANA's Latino feel. Vocals are reduced to only one singing track ("Mislec sveta"), while scat vocals are used more frequently, which better suits this style of music. They are used efficiently as an additional instrument. All the tracks are excellent, offering an extremely pleasant listening experience, while "Aleja" contains a nice and melodic main guitar theme that keeps listener wishing to replay it again and again.

At times, particularly in the vocal moments, PREDMESTJE again sounds like jazzier incarnation of CAMEL from the "Moonmadness" period. Along with early LEB I SOL albums, "Hazard" is one of the best jazz-rock albums of the era and is therefore recommended to all jazz/rock lovers.

PREDMESTJE Danes Včeraj In...

Album · 1979 · Post-Fusion Contemporary
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
seyo
The second PREDMESTJE album introduced two new members. Tone Dimnik (ex BULDOZER) replaced Janez Hvale on drums, while jazz veteran Lado Jaksa (also worked with SONCNA POT and BULDOZER) took the saxophone.

Music style is closer to jazz-rock than on the debut and overall sound and production is much clearer and better produced. There are three vocal songs, all the rest are instrumentals. Nothing outstanding is heard on "Danes, vceraj in" ("Today, Tonight And"), so if you are fan of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, RETURN TO FOREVER, Pierre Moerlen's GONG or LEB I SOL, you will enjoy this record too.

Of course, this album suffers from typical fusion problems: at moments too flat and boring music with outstanding instrumental skills shown by musicians, but lacking innovation, emotion or diversity. This is evident on the first half of Side B of the vinyl, where these guys approach the sleazy Latin muzak territory.

However, good moments prevail and particularly interesting, melodic and strong compositions are "Paklenski stroj" ("Time Bomb"), "Danes je moj zadnji dan" ("Today Is My Last Day"), "Zivim za jutri" ("I Live For Tomorrow") and "Slepa ulica" ("Cul de Sac"). Andrej Pompe and Peter Gruden show on this album that they are capable composers and players, although they sometimes lack brevity and energy to pursue more adventurous structures.

Still, this album is very good record that confirmed PREDMESTJE as a premier jazz-rock act in the former Yugoslavian scene.

PREDMESTJE Brez Naslova

Album · 1977 · Post-Fusion Contemporary
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seyo
Debut album of Ljubljana-based PREDMESTJE (Eng. "Suburbs"), along with their countrymen SEPTEMBER's "Zadnja avantura" (1976) are quite representative of the mid-1970s jazz rock wave in ex Yugoslavia.

At this time Slovenia was a hotbed for this style of music and they were to influence other parts of Yugoslavia, notably Serbia and Macedonia. Although jazz elements had been occasionally present since the earliest albums of Yugoslav progressive rock - such as eponymous debuts of KORNI GRUPA and TIME (both released in 1972) or some famous INDEXI compositions around the turn of the decade - it was only after 1976-77 we can trace the immediate influence of international acts of the genre.

"Brez naslova" ("Untitled") is a solid album of largely instrumental jazz rock. There are several vocal parts courtesy of guitarist P. Gruden who did a nice job, so his singing does not stand out of the overall picture and it is rather a part of the whole instrumental concept.

This album is actually still closer to rock than to jazz. One can hear extremely confident and flawless instrumentation. There are parts of music that evoke not only the early CAMEL, but also THE DOORS in their most jazzy improvisations, as well as early prog-oriented CHICAGO (especially excellent saxophone parts). It is hard to single out any particular track; the whole album is enjoyable to listen throughout and once it's finished I had an urge to play it again. So, I guess it is sort of recommendation to lovers of this music style.

At the time of release this album was largely unnoticed (it could be partly due to a self- contained Slovene market within the Yugoslav federation), but the style these Slovene guys were developing later influenced many other Yugoslavian bands to follow the suit.

For example, the most successful fusion works like SMAK's "Crna dama" or the first two LEB I SOL albums appeared after this release of PREDMESTJE. In that context, "Brez naslova" deserves to be mentioned as an influential record.

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