Many moons ago this here show took a peek at this particular Macedonian post-punk band. But not only did Balkan Express not have its place on ara.lu website, some things are so good, they’re worth repeating.
Bernays Propaganda hail from North Macedonian capital Skopje and are alternatively billed as post-punk or dance-punk band. In case you can tell the difference between the two, that is. They are considered to be one of the regions most successful and internationally recognised underground acts. Though it should be noted that “an internationally recognized underground act” a very peculiar niche to occupy.
An activist band
Bernays Propaganda came about in 2007. Three years later they released their first album, to much critical acclaim. From the get-go, the band took an activist approach, promoting and defending basic human rights and freedoms. And they’ve stayed the course since.
Over the years, the band’s lineup had changed somewhat, but it always read like a who’s who of Macedonian contemporary music. Currently, Bernays Propaganda are vocalist Kristina Gorovska, multi-instrumentalist Vasko Atanasovski, Deni Krstev on keyboards, Rade Jordanovski on bass, and drummer and percussionist Kristijan Lafazanovski.
To date, Bernays Propaganda released six albums, each of them with a critical (in the literal sense of the word) or even slightly dystopian take on the world. I mean, titles like Happiness Machines, The Forbidden Planet, or Nothing That Doesn’t Divide Us aren’t exactly oozing joy. Neither does the title of their last album, released in 2019, Second Youth, Third World War. But then again, we shouldn’t expect that a band named after the pioneer of propaganda and public relations, to sing kumbaya and wax lyrical about the future.
Trying to make a world a better place
But then again, even though Bernays Propaganda may have been right in looking at the world with a critical eye, that doesn’t mean they are not going to anything about it. Their human rights activism extends offstage. For example, they donated the track Nothing That Divides us to the project Songs under the Floorboard, the proceeds of which go to to the US non-profit Planned Parenthood. As they say in one of the songs, celebrate civil disobedience, human rights and freedom. This is a political dance
Check out Bernays Propaganda on YouTube, Spotify or wherever you get your music from. Balkan Express will be back next week.
Balkan Express takes weekly trips into contemporary musical production of, you guessed it, the Balkans. Forget gusle and tamburice, this show is about rock, pop and a sense of humour. Well, at least there’s guitars. On air most Tuesdays in a new-and-improved time-slot at 1100 hrs. Usually. Your train conductor is Aljaž (aka @pengovsky) who once did the world a solid and decided never to sing again in public. Which is why he ended up doing radio.
TuesdaysWith : Aljaž Every Tuesday at 10.00
Balkan Express takes weekly trips into contemporary musical production of the Balkans.