Friday, February 23, 2007


New wave/post-punk period (late70s/early 80s) has to be the most creative time in the history of Yugoslavian music - both quality and quantity wise. Of course, quantity means there was a lot (and I mean a lot) of crap that popped up under the new wave banner, but Bassta! Pex won’t get too deeply into that - let’s talk about good things. Like Sarlo Akrobata.

Sarlo Akrobata (Loosely translates as Charles the Acrobat) started playing under that name in 1980 in their native Belgrade. At the same time two other local bands Idoli and Elektricni Orgazam also started making noise and soon after all three bands ended up on legendary compilation “Paket Aranzman”. It must be said her that all three bands were quite different: Idoli were new wave-ish pop, Elektricni Orgazam punk with synth and Sarlo Akrobata were... um, Sarlo Akrobata!

Sarlo Akrobata sounded like bastard sons of Pere Ubu, Pop Group and Gang of Four (whom they supported in 1981), yet, they sounded like nothing else before or after. Loud, wild, not afraid of experimenting (both in studio and live), Sarlo Akrobata created sounds that were never extremely popular, but certainly very influential on the upcoming generations of Yugo bands.

They recorded their only album in July/August 1981 and pretty much broke up immediately after. Bass player Koja continued to do similar stuff with Disciplina Kicme, while Milan (guitar) formed highly successful Katarina II - later Ekatarina Velika or EKV. Milan passed away in 1994 and Sarlo Akrobata drummer Vd passed away in 1992. Until this day there hasn’t been a legitimate reissue of “Bistriji ili tuplji covek biva kad...” LP. We hope it happens soon.

Here's all of their studio recordings, as well as some live stuff (not great quality, though):

Thursday, February 22, 2007


OK, time for some obscure Serbian post-punk stuff: split tape of Kazimirov Kazneni Korpus and Profili Profili from 1982.

Really don't know much about this, but I think it was the same band under two different names. Both bands do a few versions of the same song each.

Profili Profili had two songs on "Artisticka Radna Akcija" compilation LP from 1981.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Yui Torigoe - Dualism exhibiton

As the newspaper article recently said: discovering new artists is as easy as going to the restaurant! It was in October 2006 when my then girlfriend/now wife and me went for a dinner at the restaurant in East Victoria Park (part of Perth, Western Australia, for you not familiar with Bassta! Pex’s whereabouts).

Food and service were awesome, but we also realised they had some cool artworks hanged on their walls. Had a chat with the owner while we were paying the bill and she told us the artist is a young Japanese woman who is currently visiting. We passed on our number and asked to get in touch.

A couple of weeks later I’ve heard from Yui Torigoe – the artist. Next day we met her and she gave us a CD-R with her artworks. After a few clicks through the thing I wanted to organise an exhibition for Yui straight away!

So, about 4 months later the exhibition Dualism is up and running at Central TAFE Artist-in-Residence Studio, at 149 Beaufort Street, Perth. It’s open 12 – 5pm Monday to Saturday, until 10 March 2007. If you’re in Perth come and check it out.

Now, I won’t bullshit too much – I don’t know more about the art than anyone else. And to be perfectly honest, there are not many works of art that really impress me. However, every now and again I stumble upon some artworks that impress me and make me go back to it and check it again and again: paintings by Dino Buzzati, works by young Taiwanese female artist I-Ching Hung and now Yui Torigoe.

Yui does child-like surrealist pieces about places, people and objects that do not exist, except in her mind. Or perhaps that’s how she sees the world around her and it’s up to us to either embrace or reject such world. I embrace it wholeheartedly!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Soviet Valves

Soviet Valves formed in May 2004, played over 40 shows in their native Perth, released a couple of CDs and 7” singles and broke up in May 2005.

Now, I’m aware of the fact that hardly anyone heard of this band, but every now and again I hear from someone who is still after our music or simply inquires about Soviet Valves. So, I felt like giving my perspective of the band and chuck in some of our tunes for anyone who bothers to listen.

Roots of SV lay in Sokkol - another anonymous Perth band from the past. Sokkol were around from October 2001 until early 2003. We played some 20 odd shows in Perth (One at the Amplifier, two at Grosvenor Hotel and the rest at Hyde Park Hotel). The music was a bit rough version of (almost) arty punk. Comparisons went from the Humpers to Rocket From the Crypt to Germs to Black Flag. Occasionally we threw in “Ex-Lion Tamer” cover. Never recorded anything in studio, however, almost all songs got recorded on shitty walkmans, Mini Discs and video tapes, and some of it were compiled on “No reason No Hope No Goal” CD-R. Of course, nobody heard it, as we did only 10 copies. Brendan played drums, Mark played bass, Milos sang and yours trully played guitar.

Sometimes around the time of last Sokkol gig
I met Clinton, a young fellow who claimed he plays guitar. He was into good music and seemed like an OK person, so I asked him to have a jam on just two guitars. Right after a few seconds I recognised a great player and realised with two of us on guitars we won’t need a bass. In the meantime Milos and me crapped on about starting another band, but we never got off our arses to actually do it.

Then I went to Japan for holidays and over there decided to start a band as soon as I get back to Perth. There was no particular reason behind it. So, I rang Milos and Clinton pretty much the day after I landed back here. They were both keen to give it a go. We were thinking about the drummer and the only choice was Brendan, as we didn’t know any other drummer at the time. Luckily he was available.

In early May 2005 we went to the rehearsal room and churned out 4 songs: Gift, Zip, Jebediah and Bait. Went in again the next week, but my guitar amp blew up. I went to get it fixed and the repair guy said he needs to replace the valves, but I have to wait for a few days as he just ordered them from the USSR. For a minute I wondered what was he talking about, as I haven’t heard anyone using that term for some 10 plus years. Then I realised he meant Russia. I told that anecdote to Milos that night and he said: “That’s it! That’s the name of the band!!!” Of course we voted on it, but it was just a formality.

Next two months we spent rehearsing once a week and writing songs. When we had 8 songs we booked our first gig. It happened on Monday 5 July at this new pub in Joondalup. I know many people reading this are not familiar with Perth, so here’s a short explanation: Joondalup is one of the suburbs furthest from the city, so playing there on Monday night in winter didn’t sound very appealing. But what the heck, it was our first gig, so if we fuck up, it’s better to “fuck up in Joondalup”! Miraculously, at least 50 people turned up, the venue was cool and we played a good set. Nobody heckled us, nobody even threw a bottle.

Next couple of gigs we played at the famous Hyde Park Hotel and then we started getting bigger and better gigs. We pretty much never turned a gig down, sometimes even played two gigs on the night. All in order to get more experience, to play to as many people as possible and to get as much money as we can and record something in studio.

In September 2004 we went to Bergerk! Studio and recorded our first 6-track EP with Al Smith. We decided to do it there because everyone who recorded there was raving about Al and how nice he is, as well as because he recorded some cool local bands. Very soon I realised hew was not what people led me to believe - he was even better than that! Honestly, the nicest guy in the world, great sound engineer and person that can make recording for the first time ever a very relaxed experience.

We recorded Carrion Luggage (which became one of the most popular songs we did by that time), Small Doses, Gift, Throne, Just because and Panic Dance. Some three weeks later we released it and launched it. First pressing was 100 CDs, which took a couple of weeks to get rid of (considering that we sent 40-50 copies to radio stations/labels), so we did another 100 copies soon after.

SV kept playing and writing new songs. Feedback from some labels was great, but nothing happened yet... We released a split 7” single with local lads Whitechapel - we put on “Carrion Luggage” on it. Only 50 copies were made on lathe cut vinyl at King Records in New Zealand. After serious consideration we decided to replace Brendan with James, a young kid who already gained some experience with hard core bands A.I.D.S. and Collapse.

James got in and one week later (late February) we were back in Bergerk! recording another 6 songs. “Fun, Safe & Anonymous” took 12 hours to record and some 6-7 hours to mix/master. Mostly because we were pretty relaxed and didn’t look at the clock too much.

Again we sent a few copies to the labels and Smart Guy Records from San Francisco said they want to do a 7” EP with four songs straight away! And that was on the day when we played a big fund rising gig for local radio RTR FM. So playing in front of the biggest crowd ever while realising we’ll have a proper vinyl release soon was fuckin’ awesome!

Since Smart Guy Records agreed to do the single, we decided just to make 100 copies of our new CDEP for local market. We booked the CD launch for 20 May 2005, knowing that it probably might be the last Soviet Valves gig, as Milos decided to go to London for a long while. Greta Perth bands Sabre Tooth Tigers, Macarburetors and Snowman played and together with 300+ punters made it a memorable night.

A week later Milos was gone overseas.
A few months later “Sight That Harms/Gaze That Harms” EP was released, 100 copies on transparent green vinyl and 400 copies on black vinyl. It looked fantastic! But the band was no more. Clinton, James and me went our own ways. Soviet Valves did, however, one more gig in April 2006 when Milos visited from England. It was very low-key at a house party, but it brought back lots of good memories...

Here you can download a few extremelly rare SV tracks recorded live at rehearsals and gigs:

You might check

And if you soulseek look for basstapex and feel free to download pretty much all of our audio recordings and some cool pics

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bassta! Pex is in da haus

It's another morning I couldn't sleep - someone rang me at 4am and there was nothing on the other end of line except for some loud chatter in the background... thanx for that fucker!

So what's a man deprived of sleep to do? Start a blog, of course.

Expect rants, music posts and similar stuff here...