Max Vincent – The Future Has Designed Us (Discom, June 2015)

The most exciting record of the month for this writer is Discom’s highly anticipated release of Max Vincent’s previously unheard material, which brings to light some majestic additions to the Ex-Yu archive. Those familiar with the electronica that surfaced under Tito will already have encountered Max & Intro’s classic EP We Design the Future, released on Radio-Televizija Beograd in 1985. Those tracks are also reissued here in their (more interesting) demo versions, but apart from re-kindling everybody’s love for the anthem “Ostavi Sve” and for the duo’s beautifully celebratory ode to a girl from Belgrade, this record for the first time exposes the unrealeased material of Max Vincent aka Miša Mihajlović, and it’s interesting stuff.

Like many of his time and place, Vincent’s approach to electronic music was free and unformulaic, combining a variety of pop forms and aesthetics. “Never Say Never” and “Colours and Stars” are unexpected pieces – thick beats, anthemic synth progressions, heavily vocoded (in English!), similar to the known repertoire in sensibility but much more exploratory in form. The money’s on side B though, which reveals a romantic and noir Vincent the way we’ve never heard him: much more handsome in Serbian, oddly sleazy, brilliantly melodic and sometimes almost disco. The tracks on the second part of the record are imagistic, filmic things: Mihajlović drives through metropolitan landscapes, tropical landscapes, policier landscapes which for lovers of the genre are altogether irresistible. “Šta Je To Što Nam se Dešava” , “Torino and You” and “Odlazim” are curious and unforgettable: a dated, beige, dusty new wave made to sit in a bar watch the cars go by in the night.