Balkanist Playlist: Songs for a Bruised World

Old and new protest songs from Russia, Turkey, and the former Yugoslavia.

“Discipline”, Borghesia (1989)

Probably one of the most prophetic music videos ever made: Slobodan Milošević and a map of Yugoslavia covered in barbed wire and fire several years before the war began.

“Roadhouse”, Gnoomes (2015)

Our friends from the Urals Mountains in Russia made a gorgeous, shimmering psychedelic song about a safe outpost somewhere.

 “Bir Başka”, Ceyl’an Ertem (2013)

A beautiful song and video that manages to unveil with angelic delicacy the brutality of the Erdogan regime in Turkey.

“Poplinn Tim”, Cyanide, ft. BimBimma (2016)

The soundtrack to Kosovo’s current political crisis and a forceful denunciation of Hashim Thaçi’s  criminal government.

 “Çapulcuyuz”, EYPİO (2013)

Some menacing hip hop from Turkey.

 “America”, Laibach

A very dark and entirely warranted variation on the American national anthem by this Slovenian band.

 “Varazdin”, Pingvinovo Potpaljublje (1981)

Zagreb’s first post-punk band, at least according to local legend. This song is as sweet as anything New Order produced years later. We wonder what has become of them now.

“Zhonghuá”, Laibach

Another variation on a national anthem from Laibach, this time from China. Chills come with the chorus, around 1:15.

“Reach for the Dead”, Boards of Canada (2014)

The music’s not exactly from the Balkans, but the footage is. Almost exactly 17 years ago, NATO fired  missiles at the satellite ground station Prilike near Ivanjica’s station, “while minimizing, but not eliminating collateral damage.”



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Balkanist is an experimental, occasionally bilingual platform featuring politics, analysis, culture, and criticism for a smart international audience underwhelmed by what is currently on offer. Our aim is to provide bold, uncompromising coverage of the Balkan region and everything to its East.