The two main projects that I was involved in and that are no longer active are ‘Soba 23’ and ‘Electro City’, both of which I started with Zarkoff in 2004. These projects made their mark on the local and regional clubbing scene as projects that followed the current movements on the primarily electro scene, referring to ‘electro’ in a brother sense – everything from oldskool EBM via electro-funk and electro-techno to synth-pop/wave sound. We were not the only one, but we were one of a few. Next to electro we had any other style that we liked, be it italo, acid-house or simply techno – being ‘pure-anything’ was never our game.
Before saying something about those two projects, it has to be said that in my case their predecessor was ‘Fragmenti’ – my very first club residency in Sisak’s Dali Club – as well as Kontakt Festival in 2003, which in my opinion was an important segment of the development and partially creation of the current Sisak based electro(nic) scene.
In Zagreb, Soba 23 came to life at OTV Club in the Spring of 2004. There we invited primarily our friend DJs spinning different styles of electro music, mostly the members of the today’s CroEBM Crew. Luckily, the event fairly soon moved to the hottest underground venue of that time, Tockica, where Uomni Plus DJs already rocked the place with similar but more narrow or better say pure sound from the one we played.
There, besides Zarkoff and me, other local electro performers whom we invited to play (like Ghetto Booties and Crobot Crew) found another rare event to do their thing. For our first anniversary of Soba 23 we invited Sendex (Bunker Records) from Holland with his live performance of original jackin’ Chicago sound.
Following the unfortunate closure of Tockica, Soba 23 did not have much luck finding good and appropriate venue for its events. The only highlight was bringing Rude 66 to play KSET Club – unnamed event we did with Crobot Crew DJs. After fairly unproductive 2005/2006 season, in the autumn of 2006 Soba 23 moved to Aquarius Club. This was at the same time the closing season for Soba 23. With performers ranging from local duo Dekolaž, DJ Iva Starkova and Home Made Electronica’s DJ Sergej to London’s Jonty Skrufff, Soba 23 also hosted artists like Sneak-Thief, Legowelt and Luke Eargoggle, the latter two also performing as Catnip.
In parallel to Soba 23, Zarkoff and I organized Electro City events in our hometown of Sisak (nearby Zagreb) at different venues – we moved from the uber cool 19th century Veliki Kaptol squat alike venue via small and cozy basement of Daskaliste to Skwhat Club.
The list of regional and international performers who played at Electro City goes like this: Belgrade’s Videododir and Apparatchik, Luke Eargoggle (SWE), Bangkok Impact (FIN), DJ I-F (NL), Sneak-Thief (CAN/DE), Manasyt (BG), Mr Pauli (NL), Orgue Electronique (NL), Psyche (CAN/DE), Borgie (BH) and Slovenian DJs Frigid, Ocular and Schrauff.
Our idea was also to make it possible for as many Croatian artists to play at Electro City. Among those performing live were Cable Bends Steel, Christian Wolf, Dekolaž, Examine, Florence Foster Fan Club, Le Chocolat Noir, Lollobrigida (band), Malfunction / Recent Reason, Marina Perazić (ex-Denis&Denis), Monofonik, Narayan, N_ter, Narrow, Phantasmagoria, Popsimonova, Sasha P and Zarkoff. Even though we focused on underground artists, at few occasions we went ‘overground’.
Disc Jokeys spinning at Electro City were Alen (Urban Music), Hellmanager (CroEBM), Ivan Krželj (Musiquefantastique), Kalle (CroEBM), Konrad Medvedov (Borderline Music), Sergej (Sirup, Home Made Electronica), Solist, Strip Jura, Tomi Phantasma (Twillight), Ulrike Meinhof, Xed (Crobot Crew), Yas and Zlee (Crobot Crew).
Indirectly, Electro City had its fingers in organising Belgrade’s Ilegalne Emocije concert at Skwhat Club, we played alongside Macedonian producer Robotek and brought Croatian DJs, bands and projects Liquid Level, Leut Magnetik, Homeboy, Davor O and the very first line-up of Lollobrigida to Sisak.
The Electro City party in November 2009 closed this five year project with the performance of Rude 66 from Holland.
During the last almost two years of the project, Electro City melted with another similar one – Urban Music – whose creator but primarily music lover and DJ Alen rocked the Sisak Town already in the late 80s with the coolest selection of EBM and synth-pop. Great help was also received from other, both old and new, members of local NGO Kult.com and Skwhat Club, as well as from Andreja from Channel Zero from Ljubljana.
Electro City was home for live performances of Sisak based electro musicians with their various projects – Cable Bends Steel, Dekolaž, Florence Foster Fan Club, Le Chocolat Noir, Popsimonova and Zarkoff. Electro City for real! Presently its spirit lives through Tanz! events in Skwhat Club, which started in the early 2010 and will for sure continue where Electro City stopped.
Sisak Electro City – the Croatian Sheffield some people say. To be continued…
More pictures and flyers in the gallery