Archive for Aktivna Propaganda

Review: Aktivna Propaganda

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on June 19, 2012 by Magadh

Aktivna Propaganda Podobe Iz Teme

I must admit, I have never heard a band from Slovenia so far as I know. If Aktivna Propaganda’s Podobe Iz Teme is anything to go by, this is something that I need to remedy. Back during the Cold War, a time that must seem like the stone age to many of you, punk in Eastern Europe was the sort of thing that one only read about in the pages of MRR. Of course, our European brethren were more proximate to the whole thing, and it must have had a bit more reality, but for most of us living in the US the only thing we knew about it was what could be gleaned from the occasional Yugoslavia scene report. The idea that there were kids like us living behind the iron curtain was just bizarre, I think mostly because a lot of us had imbibed the media view of things in which life in Eastern Europe was like Orwell’s 1984.

Putting aside for another time the question of how far wide of the mark those ideas were, I must say that I’ve really been lax in the attention that I’ve paid to this part of the world. Partly this has to do with the issue of language. My interest tends to focus on Western Europe because I have most of the languages spoken there. I’m always a little afraid that I won’t really be able to tell what’s really up with a band. This is not a problem with Aktivna Propaganda because, although they sing in Slovenian, they wear their politics right on their collective sleeve. They are unapologetically anarchist, anti-fascist, and committed to the d.i.y. ethic that is very much the best part of punk.

All of this wouldn’t necessarily mean that much if their music was lacking, but I am pleased to report that it is not. Podobe Iz Teme (which apparently means “Images from the dark”) is loaded with high quality, up tempo punk rock. The musicianship is excellent, especially in the case of the drummer, which is so often the failing of faster bands. Their music thrashes along quite pleasantly, slowing occasionally for spirited sing along sections. They have a really excellent sense of melody, although not so much of the dark variety that is so often adverted to on this blog. From first to last, this is an extremely catchy record, and I bet one that is very satisfying to sing along with, if one knew the language. Well, I’m fine with that. Too many bands sing in English. It simply abets the tendency of most English speakers not to learn other languages. But that’s another matter.

They’ve been around since 1999 or so and I’ve been none the wiser. I stumbled on this band purely by serendipity. They’ve got it up on Bandcamp on a name-your-own price listing, yet another indication that these guys have the right attitude. Now, if I can just find a Slovenian dictionary…

Magadh