The Sound of the Nineties
Turbo-folk, dance, rap, hip-hop, and electronic music dominated the 1990s music scene in the former Yugoslavia. Turbo-folk is a musical genre that emerged in the 1980s by combining Serbian ethnic and disco music with Arabic, Turkish, Greek, and Roma folk music elements. Some musicians and singers, such as Baja Mali Knindža, exploited this genre to support Serbian war policies. At the same time, turbo-folk star Svetlana Ceca Ražnatović took the unofficial moniker of “Serbian mother.”
Dance was a globally popular musical style, and in the 1990s, it found its representatives in the post-Yugoslav scene in bands such as Đogani fantastiko, Funky G, Baki B3, Tap 011, Moby, E.T., and Colonia. Hip-hop and rap groups appeared as well such Gru, Monteniggers, Tram 11, and, later, Edo Maajka and Elemental. Some of these bands and performers are still active today.
Since the 1980s, electronic music and rave party culture have developed worldwide. Radio B92, Studio B, NS+, and Treći kanal were the primary media boosters of this music in Serbia. In addition, rave parties were staged in the discotheques “Buha”, “Soulfood”, “Akademija”, and “Industria”. In Zagreb, enthusiasts organized unauthorized rave parties like “Under City Rave”, in the tunnel under Grič in 1993, and at the former Ustasha leader Ante Pavelić’s villa “Rebar” in 1994. These parties were seen as social and political alternatives to nationalism and isolation.
Inserts from the television report about “Under City Rave” in Zagreb are shown on the screen; sources: DJ Pepsi Mag (HRT) and MTV, October 30, 1993.
Punk and rock bands in Yugoslavia were frequently socially engaged during the 1990s, when the alternative scene was also developing under the influence of guitar rock, grunge, heavy metal, and hardcore. While some previously famous singers performed patriotic and nationalist songs (Psihomodo pop, Jura Stublić, Riblja Čorba, etc.), many artists actively participated in anti-war movements, such as the supergroup Rimtutituki (made up of members of Električni orgazam, Partibrejkersi, and EKV). In 1993, the project “Over the Walls of Nationalism and War” resulted in a compilation of anti-war punk songs and joint tours by bands across the former Yugoslavia. The new circumstances sparked widespread social and political criticism that can be heard on the albums “Stupidity is Indestructible” (1992) and “The Price of Pride” (1997) by Pula-based KUD Idijoti. They were also the first Croatian musicians to perform in Serbia in 2000, whereas Rambo Amadeus was the first Serbian and Montenegrin musician to appear in Croatia the same year.
On the headphones, we provide a necessarily limited selection of some of the most well-known musical works of the 1990s.
Turbofolk (headphone 1)
Dragana Mirković – Pitaju me u mom kraju (1992); Ceca – Beograd (1997); Nino – Donesi divlje mirise (1994); Sinan Sakić – Zoko moja Zoko (1995); Baja Mali Knindža – Ne volim te Alija (1993); Vesna Zmijanac – Malo po malo (1995); Džej – Nedjelja (1991); Dara Bubamara – Košava sa Dunava (1993)
Dance (headphone 2)
Đogani – Idemo na Mars (1996); Funky G – Samo u snu (1994); Tap 011 – Zbog tebe (Gaće) (1996); E.T. – Tek je 12 sati (1994); Moby Dick – Kralj kokaina (1994); Ivan Gavrilović – 200 na sat (1994)
Hip hop and rap (headphone 3)
Gru – Biću tu (1996); Monteniggers – So i tekila (1997); Voodoo Popeye – Karantin (1997); Sunshine – Žaklina traži sponzora (1996), 187 – Heroina (1998); Elemental – Pasivna Agresija (1997)
Electro (headphone 4)
Prodigy – No good (Start the Dance) (1994); Faithless – Insomnia (1995); The KLF – Justified and Ancient (1991); Juno Reactor – God is God (1997); Astral Projection – Mahadeva (1995); Snap! – Rhythm is a dancer (1992)
Punk and rock (headphone 5)
Rimtutituki – Slušaj ’vamo (1992); Let 3 – Vjeran pas; Atheist rap – Wartburg limuzina (1994); KUD Idijoti – Kad sunce opet zađe (1997); Ritam nereda – Put beznađa (1993); Goblini – Ima nas (1996); Hladno pivo – Ne volim te (1997); Sikter – Gudra (1995)