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VISIONS OF ZHIVA

PRESENTING MUSIC FROM CENTRAL EUROPE

MACRONOISE: THE TRACK IS ABOUT THIS SORT OF CHILDISH ATTACHMENT TO THE PLACE WHERE YOU WERE BORN

Meditative electronics soundscapes of the Slovak-born and currently Prague-based producer MacroNoise are often populated with disparate elements that fit surprisingly well, such as the child choir sampled from a scene of 1960 film on the latest track called Domovina (Homeland). In my head they sometimes evoke images of cells shuffling about on the microscope slide and because of their pronounced rhythm patterns they sound like some imaginary ancient rituals. The release of his new tracks and the video for it sparkled the idea of a short tour and it was in this matter that MacroNoise (real name Tomáš Šebesta) got in touch We met up in a cosy Berlin bar to talk about the creative power of coincidence, revisiting his roots and the experimental electronic scene. Read more

GWERKOVA: IT’S IMPORTANT TO US TO KEEP MAKING MUSIC AND TO KEEP IT CLEAN

Enchanting female vocal inhabits a delicate landscape of gentle guitar and ethereal electronic sounds that mostly soothe and sometimes prickle a little bit, such is the sound of the Slovak band Gwerkova. The project started with two friends sharing a flat on Gwerkova street in Bratislava collecting musical ideas and writing songs together. The duo later became a trio and quietly stormed the Slovak music scene gaining a decent fanbase and a strong critical acclaim with every release, but instead of pushing it they always fell quiet for a few years in between retreating to their private lives. They teased fans with a single back in 2017 and nothing followed – but now they are back onstage and the promise of new songs is in the air. Keep reading

Молчат Дома (MOLCHAT DOMA): THE HOUSES STAND THERE SILENTLY AND INSPIRE US TO BE CREATIVE

 A band operating on the borderlines of post-punk, new-wave and darker ends of synth-pop, hailing from a country no one knows much about (which, in this case, can’t be attributed solely to the audiences’ ignorance but has to do with the fact that this particular country is being pretty secretive for European standards), playing music that is dark and danceable at the same time, that is a perfect emulation of the genre yet instantly recognisable as theirs, with lyrics sung in their native language on top of that – that sounds like a summary of everything a contemporary goth can wish for, and it also sounds an awful lot like the Belarusian band Molchat Doma. Read more

FIORDMOSS

The band’s career now spans longer than a decade and many things have changed, but two essential aspects remain: A pensive sadness, for which they have been labelled as “Nordic” sounding long before a Norwegian joined the band, and entrancing visuals stemming from their art school background. Keep reading

GHOST OF YOU

The music of Ghost of You is hard to categorize – as a band with strong electronic overtones, they shift smoothly between various elements within the running time of one song. Hailing from the Moravian capital Brno, these four ambitious lads aim high while maintaining close tights to their local scene. Read more

EASTER

It’s hard to pin down the essential element of the Berlin duo Easter. Their lyrics are notoriously surreal and explicit at the same, their videos are disturbingly capturing, they rarely play live shows and when they do, they make sure to blur the line between music performance and performance art. Read on

MINITOUR: GWERKOVA, AWALI, ILLL, MACRONOISE

 

Inspired by the release of the track Domovina (Homeland) by the Slovak-born Prague-based producer MacroNoise and its remixes by Awali and Illl, the quartet of Czech-and-Slovak acts are embarking on a joint tour of their homelands in April and May. Read more

INTERSLAVIC: EMBRACING THE SLAVIC HERITAGE

Interslavic is an event presenting musicians of Slavic heritage. We talked to the singer and producer Dmitrievna, who is along with Veronica Maximova a co-host and participating artist, not only about the upcoming event but also prevailing misconceptions against Eastern Europeans. Keep reading

GEORGIA SPECIAL – VZ GOES TBILISI

Georgia is having a moment. There’s been much hype around this beautiful Caucasus region country this year: Travel websites ranked it among top destinations to visit and lifestyle magazines seem to have found in Tbilisi the new capital of cool. Young people are raving for social change and 4/4 has become the soundtrack for a progressive revolution. Indie/ rock scene, meanwhile, seems to be a bit stuck. But it wasn’t always the case. Read more

LITHUANIA SPECIAL – VZ GOES VILNIUS

In the very first of our specials, we will have a look at the music scene of Lithuania – one of the three Baltic states you can’t ever tell apart. We met up with George East and Mark Adam Harold, two Britishmen who made Vilnius their home and supporting local musicians their objective. Keep reading

Europe is easy to travel but her cultures are hard to access if you don’t speak respective national languages. On similar grounds, it is not easy for musicians to reach listeners beyond their country of origin.  Visions of Zhiva is an English speaking zine presenting artists from Central Europe to broader audiences.

Zhiva is the anglicised spelling of the name Živa (also Živena, Siwa). The Slavic goddess of life and fertility was worshipped in the region of today’s Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia before the arrival of Christianity.

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