[Music] The Mariachi Men of Yugoslavia

Jonny Wrate of Roads and Kingdoms Magazine writes the article for the year for me!

Many years ago, while living in Macedonia, my friends and I would discuss music, and two, Igor and Goran, turned me on to the fact that Mexican music was actually a big deal in the former Yugoslavia. It was the most amusing thing I had ever heard, as I grew up with a lot of boleros in my house (Los Panchos, Los Tres Ases, and others, for example). It blew my mind that such a scene would exist, but they were emphatic in telling me that such a creature DID indeed exist. They even showed me record covers like the one above, recorded by the ever-tacky, ever awesome Ljubomir Milić.

Wrate’s back story really does a nice job of filling in the history of a very unique time in my beloved Balkans which ties into the music I loved as a child.

[Music] Various Artists – Nightingales & Canaries, Vol. 1: “Oriental” Women on Record, New York & Istanbul, 1928​-​55

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3272306330/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/transparent=true/New York City was home to a vibrant musical scene filled with singers from Anatolia, Istanbul and the region of Roumelia.  Christians and Jews joined together in making some rather bawdy music.

This treasure was released by Ian Nagoski’s Canary Records, a label filled with some absolute gems.

[Music] Mizar – Svjat Dreams

Behind only Laibach and Bijelo Dugme (White Button), Mizar were the most powerful name in the Balkan rock music scene, and crossed over into Darkwave with ease.  This is a cover of The Eurhythmics’ classic hit, “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This,” done with a heavy dose of Byzantine goth.