SRP s/t LP

SRP s/t LP front cover
SRP s/t LP back cover
SRP s/t LP, A stran

Slovenian avant-jazz band SRP, formed by Gojmir Lešnjak, Tadej Pogačar, Matjaž Sekne and Primož Simončič, emerged in 1978 around and with students from the University of Ljubljana, in former Yugoslavia. During their 7-year lifetime, the band survived on scarce local live performances, airplay on Radio Student and word of mouth, until they ultimately released their unique official LP in 1984 – sadly also the year the group disbanded. In 1980, SRP appeared on stage during a RIO festival in Ljubljana along Art Zoyd and Univers Zero. In 1982, they created stage music for a Ionesco play, The Lesson. In 1984, director Jan Zakonjsek released a film titled Srp, with music by the band. Various SRP members, like Nino De Gleria, Aleš Rendla or Primož Simončič, were also members of Begnagrad and Quatebriga. SRP was definitely part of the Slovenian non-conformist punk and jazz scene of the 1980s which also included artists like Mario Marzidovsek, Electric Fish or Abbildungen Variete (see A Hogon’s Industrial Guide for info on this remarkable scene). In 2002, Slovenian label Arhefon released a compilation of SRP unreleased tracks from the 1981-84 period.

SRP logoThe SRP logo represents a sickle (or srp in Slovenski jezik) without a hammer. If unsure about SRP‘s pronunciation, it’s something like sirp, as in chirp.

♫ Released by state label RTVL (for Radiotelevizije Ljubljana), SRP’s unique album encapsulates the band’s usual trademarks: jazz lampooning, sarcastic lyrics, cabaret-like performances and musical theatre eruptions. The best exemple of the latter here is #5 Zadnja Vecerja, or The Last Supper, a live performance of a kind of semi-improvised operetta about cooking, apparently, complete with sound collage and audience noise. A reminder that SRP once pioneered free improvisation in ex-Yugoslavia and were known for their confrontational attitude during live performances. The entire B-side is in the cabaret-like style, culminating with the epic #8, Kriticna Pesem Št. 3, a disorienting, grotesque cornucopia of multiple voices, declaming, chatting, laughing, etc. The rest of the LP sounds more like written down, studio material, but is no less captivating, in a style comparable with some of Willem Breuker’s stage music realizations.

01 Blues (5:13)
02 Kako Umoriti Slovenca? – I (:45)
03 Maturantski Izlet (4:13)
04 Kako Umoriti Slovenca? – II (1:06)
05 Zadnja Vecerja (opera) (4:58)
06 Svuda Ljudi, Svuda Zastave (4:07)
07 Tovariši Slovenci Peš Naprej! (4:55)
08 Kriticna Pesem Št. 3 (5:38)

Gojmir Lešnjak, vocals, trumpet
Nino De Gleria, bass, double bass
Aleš Rendla, drums
Gregor Strniša, piano, synthesizer
Primož Simončič, saxophone
Matjaž Sekne, viola
Tadej Pogačar, double bass

Total time 30:55
LP released by RTVL, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1984


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