Almost 20 years ago, they kicked up dust as one of the first bands from our region that spoke explicitly and loudly, with an indispensable dose of humour, about social and political problems in the dubious, post-war Balkans. This environment produced Dubioza Kolektiv, whose members stood uncompromisingly and firmly against national, religious, and other artificial divisions among people. Unstoppable and stubbornly persistent, today they are a crossover sensation with an international career, whose messages and humour whose messages are easily translated and understood in any corner of the world, “from the Vatican to Iran.”
Their work erased all imaginary borders and barriers – starting with the geographical ones and the fact that the band’s members come from all over former Yugoslavia, living in three countries and five cities – all the way to their own multilingual, international dialect, understood by the entire world. Over two decades, they have established themselves as the voice of an aware, rebellious, revolutionary audience eager for change, which systematically breaks the status quo with the help of humour. Sarcastic, socially engaged, with insightful and satirical criticism of society, they use music as a communication platform, as they themselves have explained on several occasions.
Their music has been described as original but unashamed of its roots and the lyrics as a way out of a generational predicament. You will recognise the influences of punk, reggae, ska, and rock in their original sound. The energetic arrangements will heat up the atmosphere at every performance, making you jump tirelessly to both cult songs like “Kažu,“ “Kokuz,“ “U.S.A.“ and “Volio BiH“, as well as more recent hits like “Take my Job Away,“ “Space Song“, or “Kafana“. The entire discography’s connective tissue highlights the band’s value: their ability to get every audience member to dance, sing, jump, rejoice, and – think for themselves!
The truly significant international success of Dubioza Kolektiv is reflected in the fact that in the past two decades, they have toured almost all countries in the region and Europe and performed at numerous influential global festivals such as Sziget, Roskilde and Rock al Parque in Colombia. At the same time, their smaller, local concerts, especially the “forbidden” ones, in which they greeted those who “forbid” them by name, reflect the integrity and reputation whose foundations they laid in the early 2000s. We would be remiss not to mention their collaboration with the great Manu Chao, a world-renowned singer-songwriter and activist with whom they share fundamental values, as well as the song “Cross the Line” on the album “#Fakenews.“
When all is said and done, the multi-award-winning Dubioza Kolektiv delivers a winning combination of insight, satire, sharp criticism laced with humour, and highly energetic performances accompanied by a phenomenal, multi-genre musical backdrop. That’s why the masses love them.
Therefore, it is no surprise that the fantastic seven in black and yellow is the most sought-after band in the Balkans, the region, and beyond, nor is it a surprise that their schedule is constantly overbooked. This year’s schedule also includes the Sea Dance festival, which Dubioza Kolektiv supported by sharing the pre-festival euphoria with social network followers. The band’s 2015 performance at the festival’s second edition is still remembered, and they arrive at the Budva Buljarica beach with another studio album, “Agrikultura“, under their belt, bringing the biggest hits from a career spanning two decades and 11 studio albums.
Written by: Branislava Kolarov