zykopops!
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zykopops!

Zagreb, Grad Zagreb, Croatia | SELF

Zagreb, Grad Zagreb, Croatia | SELF
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"Z is for Zykopops!"

A self-styled ‘trash-folk” band who describe themselves as “worse than turbofolk” (turbofolk being the unholy combination of Balkan folk music with Euro-dance and pop), Zykopops is a collaboration of guitarist Erol Zejnilovic and bassist Konrad Lovrencic of Croatian band Kries, Scottish musician and producer Martin Swan (Mouth Music), Balkan singer Lidija Dokuzovic and various percussionists and beatboxers.
A heady concoction of classical and obscure traditional songs from Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and Hungary filtered through the band’s singular vision, this is a thrillingly offbeat and inspired left-of-centre vision of Balkan music that has the tradition in the rear-view mirror and its eyes fixed on the horizon.
With Dokuzovic’s brilliant vocals to the fore, it’s a breathless roller-coaster ride through the region with its unlikely amalgamations of traditional fiddle, hip-hop, rock guitar heroics and manic percussion (often within the same song : see opener “Babino Bonbonce”) creating music of startling originality.
Impressively those disparate elements are given a cohesion that’s particularly evident on tracks such as the brass-inflected “Romano Horo”, the dramatic “Ramo Ramo” and’ especially’ the improbably catchy, Celtic-tinged “Tiralej”, all of which makes for one of the most original albums of the year.
- RocknReel


"Z is for Zykopops!"

A self-styled ‘trash-folk” band who describe themselves as “worse than turbofolk” (turbofolk being the unholy combination of Balkan folk music with Euro-dance and pop), Zykopops is a collaboration of guitarist Erol Zejnilovic and bassist Konrad Lovrencic of Croatian band Kries, Scottish musician and producer Martin Swan (Mouth Music), Balkan singer Lidija Dokuzovic and various percussionists and beatboxers.
A heady concoction of classical and obscure traditional songs from Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and Hungary filtered through the band’s singular vision, this is a thrillingly offbeat and inspired left-of-centre vision of Balkan music that has the tradition in the rear-view mirror and its eyes fixed on the horizon.
With Dokuzovic’s brilliant vocals to the fore, it’s a breathless roller-coaster ride through the region with its unlikely amalgamations of traditional fiddle, hip-hop, rock guitar heroics and manic percussion (often within the same song : see opener “Babino Bonbonce”) creating music of startling originality.
Impressively those disparate elements are given a cohesion that’s particularly evident on tracks such as the brass-inflected “Romano Horo”, the dramatic “Ramo Ramo” and’ especially’ the improbably catchy, Celtic-tinged “Tiralej”, all of which makes for one of the most original albums of the year.
- RocknReel


"Z is for Zykopops!"

ZYKOPOPS
Z Is For Zykopops
Zykopops 885767232549

Mild-mannered British producer, violinist and violin dealer Martin Swan, perhaps best known for leading the Scottish Gaelic band Mouth Music, found himself in Croatia producing, and indeed for a while playing with, the mighty roots-rock band Kries. Singer Lidija Dokuzovic is one of Croatia’s most prominent trad-roots singers, particularly in the band Afion and also for her work with Ethno Croatia. Between them, the two have come up with Zykopops, which they sum up with the great tag-line “Even worse than turbo-folk”.
It isn’t turbo-folk (which would take too long to explain here – Google it); what Zykopops do is re-energised versions of popular traditional songs from across former Yugoslavia, performed with mighty appealing gusto pleasingly unfettered by the restrictions of good musical taste. It’s cunningly and skilfully made nevertheless, and full of memorable, hooky, chunky-riffed songs, bright ideas and wild-squeeing breaks. Try the infectious groove of Ramo Ramo for a starter, a track that surely deserves to be a hit, but the whole CD bursts with vitality, variety and freedom.
Prior to Zykopops I’d thought of Dokuzovic as a fine, controlled singer with extensive knowledge of and feeling for traditional music; in Zykopops she cuts loose as a tight-dressed, all-out rock diva, and she does it with all the naturalness and stagecraft of one born to boogie. Apart from her lead vocals and producer Swan’s violin, mandola and accordion, the line-up includes guitarist Erol Zejnilovic, bassist Konrad Lovrencic plus percussion, drums, trumpet and beatbox.
The CD captures the spirit of what I’ve seen of the band in sweaty-cellar, red-hued live YouTube videos (for example, Google them doing a powerful Ramo Ramo at Zagreb’s KSET Club) and affirms that here’s something new for Croatia, tearing with liberated, infectious fun through the wall of Euro-bland tack that seems to still dominate the country’s media music and well-destined to get worldwide festival and club audiences wild and dancing.
Nice witty line in cod-academic-analytic-dialectic-bollocks in the liner notes, too. - fRoots


Discography

"Z is for Zykopops" released November 2012, available on Bandcamp, iTunes etc

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Bio

In November 2012, Croatian daft ethnopunk outfit Zykopops! released their first album and immediately received 4 star reviews from fRoots and RocknReel. “Here’s something new for Croatia” said Andrew Cronshaw – “a thrillingly offbeat and inspired left-of-centre vision of Balkan music” according to Dave Haslam.
With extensive radio play on BBC “World on 3”, Zykopops! recorded a live session in March and is booked for the BBC Stage at WOMAD 2013.
Now the band is onto their second album, still working with corny and much loved/hated traditional songs from the former Jugoslavia, but faster, trashier and dirtier than ever.