Having DJ'ed across various parts of the former Yugoslavia for around 15 years, it's safe to say that I've not come across a great deal of straight up, authentic Disco or Boogie action from the region (or at least any that was any good). Some New Wavey and Cosmic/Italo sounds certainly, but most of the music being produced across the region at the time was largely suped-up Folk music - reaching its crescendo in the 90's as 'Turbo Pop.' Folky elements with a pumping pop backing - the soundtrack to many a cross country taxi ride, back when I was playing Exit every summer in Novi Sad.
So I was happy to discover this total beaut. by Macedonian musician, Arian Kerliu. Basically, Arian decamped to New York City in the early 80s at the ripe of age of 19, set up a band with bass player James Benjamin-Fish, Arian & The Funky Family, and subsequently played regularly at every club in town.
Various US tours helped them connect with some of the best musicians of the time and all of a sudden they were hitting the studio. The talent back of house is quite something and amongst the tracks is an ace cover of Bobby Caldwell's 'Can't Say Goodbye.'
Picked up by Favourite Recordings and re-issued this month, it's an album by default, but essentially it's an EP with 4 tracks performed in English, with Croatian translations on the flip and for my Kunas, the Croatian versions boss it. Go seek it out...
Arian - Arian is re-issued now on Favourite HERE