Roadtrip Through A Different Europe, And Music To Go With It
Bleak panel blocks, roads falling apart with potholes and Trabant cars that never once changed their design through the decades: or at least that’s what we see in movies. Even though it’s on the same continent, Balkan culture and music are quite exotic to a Western European traveler.
What are the Balkans like?
For years, the Balkans were a playground for foreign powers. Now they’re broken down into many small countries at odds with their neighbors. A visit is well worth it - beautiful nature, hospitable locals, and picturesque cities coexist with grotesque landmarks, leftovers of wars and the communist regime.
Every region has a completely different sound! Balkan music is a strange mix of oriental influences, added to colorful local music.
How do I get a taste of local music?
Small, but vibrant modern rock, blues and punk scenes are thriving! For a pure taste of local music, though, visit the brass music festival Guča, or listen to Goran Bregovič’s songs. He fuses pop with motives from all Balkan countries, gypsy communities and European classical styles; the result is a captivating, eclectic brass orchestra sound, characteristic for the region.
Another pick? Emir Kusturica – he is a world-famous film director with numerous awards at the international Cannes festival. In his music and films, he crafts moving, witty, and painfully true stories that tell the truth about the Balkans and its many peoples – always at the edge of modern culture, stuck between the East and the West.