• GRUPA 92

: nothing at of

GRUPA 92 - SLIKE PRETEKLOSTI (Pictures from the past) LP+EP+CD (NE017)

GRUPA 92 was clearly among the most promising ex-Yu new wave/punk bands.

But they ended up being perhaps the most underrated band.  Yes, they were almost forgotten. It's hard to grasp that they only released one single and contributed with two songs on a V/A album  "Novi punk val" with other ex-yu punk bands, even though they played many gigs and got a lot of attention in media and were played on TV.      

This is a collection of all their songs from the years that they were active (1978-83).  It's an amazing musical trip of almost 60 minutes and an very important piece of music  that long ago should've gotten it's deserved place because it is simply  P-H-E-N-O-M-E-N-A-L!!!! 

Huge thanks to Matej, Bojan and rest of 92 for great cooperation.                                           Special thanks to Igor Vidmar for his support and text about the band.

This release looks like all other NE! records LPs: gate-fold sleeve, printed inner sleeve and insert with the band history in Slovenian and English . Moreover this releaase contains 7’’ EP with 4 studio tracks from the band's latest studio recording. 800 copies of the LP+EP (300 black/ 200 green/200yellow/100 red) and 500 come with a CD.  All tracks are remastered!! Great thanks to the guys in the aBOX studio!

“The beginnings of „92“ go back to the year 1976 when a couple of us boys from the neighborhood in Kodeljevo, Ljubljana started playing together. It was Bojan Oset who brought home a drum kit, set it up in the basement and demonstrated how rock beat sounds. We were very impressed and three of us, Matej Sršen, Aljoša Zupančič and Marko Banič grabbed the guitars. At the beginning we called ourselves “Termiti” (Termites) and played Beatles, Rolling Stones, Animals, Chuck Berry and other classics that we loved for their revolt, rock'n'roll energy and power. We did a couple of gigs where everybody danced like crazy to our rock'n'roll music.

When we started to write our own songs it turned out that the rock'n'roll formula didn't quite work for us, in spite the fact that we loved to play that music and were quite good at it, too. Then we got some new records from Sex Pistols, Ramones, The Clash and other punk rock bands of that time and suddenly a whole new musical world opened to us. That was pure energy squared, supported by critical and cynical attitude towards society and life back then and there. We renamed ourselves to “92” (after call number of the police) and started making punk rock songs… “     "92"  (2013)

 "Grupa 92 of Ljubljana, anno 1979, was part of the first wave of new bands that burst out of the Pankrti (our Clash Pistols)-initiated »big bang« of Slovenian/Yugoslav punk with an unprecedented array of musical ideas and explosive energy, but also with messages and social outlook that was different not only from the ideology of the regime's and it's Socialist Youth division, but also from the nichilistic dadaistic fun and »destroy-all« ethics or »white riot« sloganeering of the first Brit-punk. It was somewhat similar to the second, »proletarian punk« wave of Angelic Upstarts and  Sham 69, but with a massive difference: it happened in a »socialist people's Republic«, but outside the Soviet  block«- no Soviet troops in Yugo (or American, heh); it had freedom of movement- we all had passports since early 60-ties, and a strange but working »socialist market« economy with (small) private property, little unimployment, at least in the federal Republic of Slovenia, free schooling, health care etc.

So punk protest was directed primarily against the drabness and over-regulation of life and culture, »social differences«, lack of freedom of expression; the lyrics, images and attitudes were mocking the one-party »democracy«, prevaleny youth conformism, alienation and angst in a »socialist humanist« society... This also goes for Grupa 92: though not quite working class and musically softer they have written one of the first »working stiff«  lyrics on their first -and the only- single »Od šestih do dveh« (»From  Six to Two O'clock«) -then the industrial working hours. It's  staccato ska-punk with electric organ riff was so effectively conveying the drabness of working on a Fordian production line (»pushing buttons/becoming automatons«…) that it became an independent Radio Student (another Slovenian peculiarity) hit but it also got a lot of national airplay - and even a first-ever review in a British newspaper by any Yugo (punk) band- by Chris Bohn in the now defunct Melody Maker.                                                                                                                                                     

They would have surely recorded an album for a major if it were not for the draft into the Army that was the scourge of  punk bands - and probably a quite deliberate measure of curbing and harassment od the punk movement when it has become quite massive and visible in Slovenian cities in early 80-es, with a pinnacle in the punks »occupying« of a central Ljubljana square and re-naming it « Johnny Rotten Square« with an enormous black unerasable grease-paint graffiti ,and then the massive success of the first Pankrti album »Dolgcajt« (Boredom) and the sold-out Novi rock fest 81/82 where Grupa 92 were playing after Kuzle (the Bitchies), Šund (Cheap music), Indust-bag and Buldogi (Bulldogs) and with Otroci socializma (Children of socialism), O! Kult (O! Cult) and  Kuga (the Pest) in '82 - and around the time of Via Ofenziva (Via Offensiv), Berlinski zid (the Berlin wall), Gnile duše (the Rotten souls), Čao Pičke (Hello Pussies), Center za dehumanizacijo (Centrum of dehumanization) … and other first post-Pankrtian wawe bands. So its great that NE-records is releasing their first-ever album as Grupa 92 areone of the few that hasn't one. Through this and other NE releases an  important chapter of Slovenian/Yugo musical history - and one that has also triggered much wider social and even political repercussions in Slovenia/Yugoslavia - will become less unknown to the world. Cheers!Srečno!  

Igor Vidmar (november 2013)


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