Label: Croatia Records
** Limited edition of 500 copies in stunning gatefold sleeve ** Yugoslavia - six republics, four decades, one dictator and a single record label that ruled them all: Jugoton (Zagreb, Croatia). Jugoton was by far the country's largest label with the strongest and most diverse output that stretched from Balkan roots to contemporary trends and the sound of tomorrow . The early days of Yugoslavia featured strong censorship but by the end of the 60's the Communist party views softened up by a large degree. Westernized music already had a solid presence and first James Brown influenced compositions were released. Yugo funk, a term coined by DJ’s and crate diggers from the Balkans, encompasses a wide variety of performers and genres: from the 60's merseybeat rock bands, prog rock groovers and big band jazz orchestras to the late 70's sophisticated 4x4 funk and essentially everything in between.
Jugoton Funk Vol.1, a first of its kind, celebrates the pioneer years of funk infused music released by Jugoton. While in pursuit of these treasures all over the Balkan region and beyond, the compilation’s selectors, Dr. Smeđi Šećer & Višeslav Laboš, both active as DJ's and crate diggers from the sole beginnings of the ex-Yu craze, wanted to capture the authentic and idiosyncratic funk sound of Jugoton and Yugoslavia. So here it is, comb your moustache, light up a fat one, turn up the amplifier and headbang away to these amazing tunes remastered from original master tapes dug out of the Jugoton vaults (now Croatia Records). - Compiled by Dr. Smeđi Šećer & Višeslav Laboš.
The music here isn't the usual American funk and soul of the decade – even though the tracks show plenty of influence from that scene, but work the funky modes through a range of jazz, pop, sound library, and rockish modes – all with a really cool vibe that makes these tracks stand out strongly from the other sorts of music you might have in your collection. Some cuts have elements that are similar to other Eastern bloc funk of the period – like work from Poland or Czechoslovakia – but the label was based in Croatia, and also had more Mediterranean vibes running through the grooves – especially in the latter half of the 70s. Titles include "Zaznamovan" by Mladi Levi, "Tema IV" by Oko, "Blue Jeans" by Rok Hotel, "Lezaj Od Suza" by Josipa Lisac, "Ja Te Uzlaud Ljubim" by Soul Sound Band, "Alfa" by Igor Savin, "Ideja" by Marijan Kasaj, "Puno Parom" by Arsen Dedic, "Ljetne Skice" by Plesni Orkester RTZ, DAvni Zivot" by Dalibor Brun, and "Novinar" by Alfi Kabilijo.