With a predictability of the Tory leadership contest we will kick the fourth (I think) season of this here show in Slovenia, where this presenter was sipping his last beer as little at 72 hours ago. Namely, it is impossible to talk about Slovenian contemporary rock without talking about a band called Mi2.
Mi2, loosely translated as The Two of Us, is – you’ll be shocked to learn – a six-member act. But it started out as a duo way back in 1995, when two guys from Rogatec, in eastern Slovenia near the Croatian border thought it would be cool to have a band. Hence, Mi2 – The Two of Us. Jernej Dirnbek – Dimek and Robert Firer – Fiki started out in 1995 and were soon joined by Egon Herman and two other musicians.
Vocalist with a Ph.D.
After turbulent first couple of years, the band’s lineup settled in 1998 with Tone Kregar as the lead vocalist. And despite his rock and roll success, Kregar – who holds a PhD in history and is a trained professor – still keeps a relatively important day job as the head of Museum of Recent History in the city of Celje. How’s that for dedication?
On the face of it, Mi2 are one of most prominent contemporary representatives of Slovenian comedy rock. They are by no means the only ones – interestingly, another such Slovenian band is also led by a teacher – but ten albums and hundreds of concerts later Mi2 have grown from a beer-guzzling, snarky, guitar-overdriving provincial rockers to a much more nuanced, emotional and sometimes even sombre band coming to terms with the fact that they are, well, getting old.
In case you’re wondering, Matilda is a Slovenian euphemism for The Grim Reaper. So, yeah. But unlike some other bands who worry about their own public image, Mi2 don’t really give a flying fuck . They continue to do tunes about everyday people doing everyday things and facing everyday problems.
Best of the best
Apart from doing rock and roll, various Mi2 members have also released their own poetry and released a songbook, while the band itself was a subject of a biography written by Mohor Hudej and a documentary by Rudi Uran. That said, and all their opus aside, Mi2 have authored one of the best Slovenian rock songs of all time. Released way back in 2000, it would easily make the Top 10 of any self-respecting chart even today.
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.