Published on 15/11/2022 11:00 am

This week we are going to poke around North Macedonia in an attempt to find us a ska-punk reggae band. And lo-behold, we just found one. The go by the name of Superhiks, which is a proper ex-Yugoslav inside joke, which our Italian listener (singular, I presume) might actually understand if we translate the name of the band as Superciuk.

You see, Superhik, or Superciuk in its Italian original, is a drunk villain superhero in the cult Alan Ford comics. Superhik steals from the poor and gives to the rich, using his foul breath, a combination of bad wine and onion tomatoes. None of this, of course, has anything to do with Superhiks, the Macedonian band, other than to signal that they understand the cultural context of the Western Balkans. And also, that you should really read Alan Ford comics.

Three decades of getting bigger and bigger

Superhiks were founded in 1993 by three high-school friends. Vocalist and bass player Petar Mladenovski, guitarst Boris Minov and drummer Zoran Žežov. And while Žežov later left the band, the band flourished and is today a seven-member act, including a brass section and a DJ.

They may started playing in 1993, but it took them full seven years to release their first album. Superhiks recorded Čekaj be vikam, kade be malku, translated roughly as “Wait a tick, where’s the kid?”, in 2000, to much critical acclaim. Not only did they take North Macedonia (then known officially as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) by the storm, the album saw airplay as far away as France and Israel.

In almost thirty years since their inception, Superhiks have broken through the fairly tight constraints of North Macedonian, well, overall situation. They kept doing what they love and throughout the years performed with or shared stages with the likes of Manu Chao, Fun Lovin Criminals, Fishbone, Tito and Tarantula, Henry Rollins, , Faith No More, Green Day, House Of Pain, and many others.

Seven albums, going on eighth

Throughout the years, Superhiks released seven albums. It is fair to say that they are not overly productive. Still, such a production pace is nothing to scoff at. Especially given the way they go about creating new material. At least on one occasion, apparently, the band locked themselves into an apartment for three-day-long rakija-fueled recording session. It all came to a halt when their own wives called the police to break it up

Superhiks released their latest album back in 2017. But judging from their online activity, new material is being developed. Hopefully in a more organised manner. Meaning that we can wrap this episode up with their latest single, released in June.

Check out Superhiks 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

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Balkan Express takes weekly trips into contemporary musical production of the Balkans.

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Superhiks (Balkan Express 099)