Welcome to Balkan Express, an Ara City Radio show where we take trips into contemporary musical production of, you guessed it, the Balkans. Forget the gusle and tamburice, this show is about rock, pop and a sense of humour. Well, at least there’s guitars. Usually.
With this here show back after the Halloween break, it’s time to visit the part of the Balkans we haven’t yet paid much attention to. The Serbian autonomous province of Vojvodina. And those of you reading ahead can probably already tell the subject of today’s episode will be a band called Obojeni Program.
If we are completely honest, Obojeni Program, Colour Programme in English, are quite long in the tooth. At least for an alternative rock band. Formed in 1980, Obojeni Program are considered the pioneers of Vojvodinian and entire Serbian alternative rock scene. And despite the fact that their latest studio album is a decade old, they are still going strong. Truth be told, one of the reasons Obojeni Program are still around is the fact that over the last four decades this four-member act has had more than twenty members. In fact, the lead singer Branislav Babić aka Kebra is the sole original member of the band left. But seeing as he is kind of the driving force of this whole thing, that’s OK.
Over the course of the four decades, Obojeni Program have released eight albums. As this here presenter mentioned already, the last album is about a decade old. More to the point, however, the first letters of their first seven albums spell Novi Sad, their home town and Vojvodinian capital. Just so no one forgets where Obojeni Program hail from.
Novi Sad, some of you will remember, is one of the summer music destinations. And has been for the last twenty years. This, of course, is due to the world-famous EXIT festival, a multi-day musical debauchery which regularly features world-class acts. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. But also, if you’ve been there, chances are you’ve seen Obojeni Program live and in, well, technicolor. Namely, the band had performed at every single Exist edition since the beginning of the festival
One of the side-effects of Obojeni Program being around for a really long time is also the fact they went through various phases and genres. Their initial quasi-punk phase, for example, lasted almost a decade. It was only in 1989 that they went full alternative rock. That phase, too, lasted for about a decade, after which they discovered electronica. And it was only in 2011 that they returned to their roots.
Obojeni Program released eight studio albums. But after they released the last one in 2012, they also released a live album from their 2017 EXIT performance. And just to show they’ve still got it, they released a six-track mini album in May last year, titled 2021 = 41
And that’s all the time we have for today. Check out Obojeni Program on YouTube, Spotify and 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.