VISIONS OF ZHIVA

PRESENTING MUSIC FROM CENTRAL EUROPE

INTERSLAVIC: EMBRACING THE SLAVIC HERITAGE

Interslavic is an event presenting musicians of Slavic heritage. Three live performances and two DJ sets will be held in Berlin’s Monarch venue as part of the first edition. 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.

INTRODUCING: FIORDMOSS (from Brno, Czech Republic, based in Berlin)

When fire stroke in their shared apartment burning down Roman’s record collection and Petra’s guitar, the fellow art students did the most reasonable thing they could in that situation – they formed a band. Ten years have passed, during which Fiordmoss expanded twice, released two acclaimed EPs, moved countries and eventually brought out their long-awaited debut. 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

AWALI: WHEN I’M ONSTAGE AND SINGING, MUSIC FLOWS THROUGH ME LIKE A RIVER

Her music requires concentration. If you cut yourself off from the hectic world that is out there, mute your own noisy thoughts and listen, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty that lies within the delicate sound texture created by the Prague-based singer, producer and composer Awali. Synthesizer sounds, sonic experiments, very often field recordings and her soft voice intertwine to form compositions that seem very organic. Read on

DUDEY: THERE IS SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL
BREWING HERE

Dudey is a singer, composer and producer based in the Georgian capital Tbilisi. Though she sees herself (and rightly so) rooted in the club music scene which is currently in full bloom, her roots go further back into alternative rock that she grew up listening to. Or as she puts it in her bio, she “manages to synthesize house music with gothic-influenced songwriting”. Who would say no to that? Read more

 

INTRODUCING: GHOST OF YOU (Brno, Czech Republic)

Captivating voice takes you into the dark corners of psychedelic pop where you meet the ghosts of your former selves. 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

INTRODUCING: LEA PORCELAIN (London/Berlin/Frankfurt)

Two music worlds clash to produce a piece that is well-balanced and beautifully haunting. The duo had international music webs (such as Stereogum) sing odes to them soon after they released their first material. It seems that Markus Nikolaus and Julien Bracht have reached the perfect constellation of energies, both sonically and personally. Continue reading

LITHUANIA SPECIAL – VZ GOES TO 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. We discussed why is the craft of playing an instrument more respected in the post-Soviet republics than in the West, the legacy of the band Foje, the somewhat awkward dialogue between older and younger musicians and the assumption Western countries seem to have that Central and Eastern Europe only produces Eurovision crap. Keep reading

GEORGIA SPECIAL – VZ GOES TO 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 after the alleged “death” of traditional culture hubs such as London or Berlin. Meanwhile in Tbilisi, 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

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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