Šizike – U Zemlji Čuda with lost DATA Tracks (Discom, April 2016)

Spring is in the air, across the Balkans the linden trees are in bloom. Perfect timing to listen to one of the freshest, and previously most unaffordable, records from the Yugoslav 1980s: so youthful and oddly girly it is, it almost makes you want to do your homework. Šizike were a dummy girl band that actually acted as an off-shoot of the experiments of Zoran Jevtic and Zoran Vracevic – also behind Master Scratch Band and Data, whose unreleased efforts are also documented here. The record is cream of the crop oddball Yugo-wave, with moments of interesting, dusty bubblegum (the single “Don’t Stop”, “Hula Hop Disco”) and ultra-inspired passages such as the strangely childish “Tuzbalica”, the electro-orientalist “Čudni Ples” and the distantly dancy “Svemirski Čistač”.

On the Data side, things are exciting – not least because Data only released their poorest tracks and left everything else in the vaults. There are no singles here, it’s the Data vault that Discom rifle through. Odd, eclectic stuff, much of it extremely seductive, including duets the two Zorans performed with other important players in the Ex-Yu wave scene, Du Du A and U Škripcku. Highlights here are the 1981 dark synth classic “Video Heroj”, the opaquely elegant saxophone and sequencer ballad “Beograd”, and surprises, such as the frozen, dusty alt-Schlager of “Granice Ljubavi”. After Max Vincent’s retrospective last year, Discom again gift us one of the most fantastic records of the month, and shine much needed light on some inventive and neglected music that has to be heard. Where to next, I wonder?