Music cycle JUTRI (TOMORROW)

Tovariš Strmoglavljen

Martin Ukmar: lyrics, vocals, el. guitar, bass, clarinet, flute, percussion, "strmoglavec" ("toppler"), effects Nastja Janžekovič: el. viola, violin, vocals, percussion, effects

Friday, 4 May 2018, at 8 p. m.

Two years after one of the most ingenious and original musicians and performers appeared in KIBLA PORTAL in Maribor, Tovariš Strmoglavljen (alias Martin Ukmar) returns in a duo with Nastja Janžekovič. Last year they self-published their album Bioakustika ekoelektronika (Bioacoustics ecoelectronics), one of the best releases of 2017 (ranked 4th according to Radio Študent Ljubljana).

The silent protagonist of the unconventional musical wave, a must-see for anyone truly in love in expressive music, has been working alongside an extended cast for some time now. Nastja Janžekovič has become a constant member, and the two are joined in some of the pieces by Samo Pavlica – Linč on drums. The multi-instrumentalist duet consists of dispersed melodies: from a seeming expressive chaotic atmosphere, coupled with Ukmar's dislocated vocals, the viola, and other props, these melodies result in a specific polyphony with fragments of psychedelia. 

The tracks are easy to remember, and despite of various improvisational moments, they can be easily followed by the listener. Tovariš Strmoglavljen does not found his musical expression upon strict improvisation, but rather integrates it cleverly into pre-conceived compositions. His releases to this day have all been playful, vivacious and highly original products.

We could say that Bioakustika ekoelektronika, presented for the first time in KIBLA, Maribor, is Ukmar's most complex album so far. But this kind of 'novelty euphoria' would obliterate his previous releases, undermine the exceptional achievements on his musical path, and underestimate the freshness of what he has created and recorded to this day. Originality and authenticity ooze throughout his musical legacy, which is always distinctive enough and at the same time highly recognizable, making Tovariš Strmoglavljen a truly unparalleled artist, beyond comparison to anyone else.   
Tovariš Strmoglavljen brings together a unique way of performing and an extraordinary way of putting musical instruments to use. The live performance with Nastja Janžekovič is an opportunity not to be missed, especially because his appearances are rare, while his studio projects (completed sets) have more of an accompanying value in this respect, although they are outstanding nonetheless. We should particularly point out the use of a unique instrument – "strmoglavec" ("toppler"), which employs a special mechanism producing electronic, emotive melodies that establish quite a difference in his fixed acoustic repertoire.  

Martin Ukmar has participated in various projects (Kislu grozdje, Bržjast, Kraški solisti); he is always on the hunt for folk and blues sonic anti-structures, which he usually catches by turning around intonations and melodies, covering them with a layer of strings, an abundance of percussions, and his own voice, the latter always somewhat concealed, due to the delivered message. The set is now completed with Nastja Janžekovič on vocals, viola, and other instruments.

Production: Association for Contemporary Art X-OP
Co-organizers: Association for Culture and Education KIBLA and Association for Art and Audio-Visual Production KODA MODRO

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Photo: Dijana Božić, Kibla archive



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