PREDMESTJE — Brez Naslova (review)

PREDMESTJE — Brez Naslova album cover Album · 1977 · Post-Fusion Contemporary Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
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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