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ILL IN THE HEAD RECORDS

Osiguranje životne večnosti

by Ex-Cess

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about

Ill in the Head Records is pleased to announce the vinyl reissue of the almost forgotten gem of Yugoslav punk. Twenty five years after its underground release on cassette during the wars of succession in Yugoslavia, “Osiguranje životne večnosti” by a legendary Serbian punk band Ex-Cess is available on vinyl, the way it was envisioned by the band, remastered from the original tape. Digital formats (streaming and free download) are also available.

The peculiar story of this records takes us back to the early 1990’s––the final days of Yugoslavia, just before the breakup and consequent war. It was a time when the punk scene in Belgrade, the country’s capital, was booming with excellent bands, numerous fanzines and emerging independent record labels. Ex-Cess was one of the most promising punk groups of this generation and about to break out.

Ex-Cess was started by high school friends sometime in 1987, but the first studio demos were not recorded until 1989. By the beginning of 1990 the band was in full swing, writing daily and performing on a regular basis at the city clubs to ever growing audiences. As the band gradually came into their own, and the level of their musicianship grew, the relatively straightforward punk rock sound established at the very beginning gradually shifted towards much faster and heavier style that eventually morphed into a curious sonic blend brought on by an unusually wide spectrum of influences between the four band members. Simultaneously, Ex-Cess drew attention with their mature, clever lyrics, covering socio-political topics ranging from street life, anti-conscription, and asinine violence, to introspective stories of alienation, young adulthood, systematic abandonment, and rather stylistically unorthodox at the time––love. In a relatively short period, Ex-Cess managed to garner reluctant media attention, as their live shows attended by hundreds of disenfranchised youth become notorious, and often outright dangerous. Over the next two years, they toured the country performing in all major cities in the region, but as the civil war progressed, and with the inability to continue to travel, their shows become few and far in between.

In the fall of 1991 Ex-Cess entered the studio with an original idea of recording an EP, but on a whim decided to record a 14 song set instead. The material was recorded live in one day, mixed the next day, and in an attempt to protest the present devastating war circumstances, they ironically entitled the record “Osiguranje životne večnosti” (Eternal Life Insurance Policy). Soon thereafter it became more or less impossible to actively continue playing, and the band went on a hiatus. Hoping for the things to blow over, three out of four band members temporarily left the country, only never to return home. Newly recorded album was copied on a couple of cassettes and shared with a close circle of friends.
One cassette tape made its way to Croatia, the other side of the national divide and Yugoslav war. Perhaps by coincidence, or due to the interconnectedness of the Yugoslav punk scene, a small underground record label Ill in the Head Records picked up the material and released it as a cassette under the catalogue number ILL-008. The album was a true underground DIY release. Each cassette was copied individually from the tape that came from Serbia. The photocopied cover which came with the cassette was slightly modified to add Ill in the Head logo, contact information and catalogue number.

The war was in full swing in Croatia and national hatreds were at their highest levels at the time when the album came out. In Croatia, everything related to Serbian culture was deemed undesired, censored, and was banned from the public realm. Ill in the Head countered the official politics of the day and mainstream culture in a true punk fashion by releasing the band from the “other side”, or better yet the “enemy side”. No matter how small this action was in the greater scheme of things, and despite its confinement to the realm of subculture, releasing of this album was a genuine punk rebellion and attempt to counter the agenda of the official cultural order. Despite the lack of promotion (Serbian music could not get any airplay on radio, or be reviewed in music magazines in Croatia during and after the war) and confinement to the underground scene, the album sold well. The reason for positive reaction from the audiences was twofold. On one hand, it was an excellent album by a band that was at the peak of its creativity and artistic strength. On the other hand, listeners were eager to hear banned music from the “other side”. The album sold in several hundreds of copies in Croatia and neighboring Slovenia, which was a fantastic number for an underground release that came out during wartime. The cassette became sold out when the original “master” tape became too worn out to produce more copies.

“Osiguranje životne večnosti” was a first album by a Serbian artists published in Croatia since the breakout of civil war in Yugoslavia. While this was seemingly a highly controversial move, it ultimately echoed a well-known pre-war practice of Croatian record labels publishing some of the most important works of Serbian New Wave and other underground bands.

The lo-fi, sped up bootlegs of these cassette tapes eventually found their way to the Internet, and that’s where this story might have ended. Well, it almost ended there. Twenty-five years after the original release, Ill in The Head, now based in Hamilton, ON, tracked down the band members in USA. The DAT master tape of the album was amazingly unearthed somewhere in Belgrade, remastered, and prepared for a vinyl re-issue. So at last, for the first time ever, the album is available in the way it was always meant to be heard.

The album was recorded by the late Igor Borojević, a prominent Serbian producer, musician and composer at Studio O in Belgrade, October of 1991. He also co-produced the record with the band members. This reissue was mastered by Gavin Lurssen at Lurssen Mastering in Los Angeles in February 2017. Guest vocals on the track “I Want You For Ex-Cess Army” feature ‘who's who’ of the Belgrade’s punk/HC scene from the beginning of the 1990’s: Drakula (Direktori), Gvido (Brainstorm), Lesa (SMF), Ruža (Urgh!), Vojin, Bole (Svarog), Vanja (Overdose).

credits

released June 5, 2019

Max Maksimović – Vocals
Dragan Milovanović – Guitar
Vladimir Martinov – Bass
Aleksandar Avakumović – Drums

Lyrics by Max
Music by Ex-Cess

Recorded by Igor Borojević at Studio O in Belgrade, October 1991
Mixed by Igor Borojević, Ivan Brusić & Ex-Cess
Produced by Igor Borojević & Ex-Cess
Mastered by Gavin Lurssen at Lurssen Mastering in Los Angeles, February 2017

Ivana Pavlović – Backing vocals
Paca Živković – Cello
Gvido Obradović - Violin
Miško Radivojević – Congas
Guest vocals on I Want You For Ex-Cess Army (in order of appearance): Drakula (Direktori), Gvido (Brainstorm), Lesa (SMF), Ruža (Urgh!), Vojin, Baki (Hands in Ashes), Vanja (Overdose)

Artwork by Christopher Friedman
Photography by Vanja Bukumirović

© & ℗ Ex-Cess BG

Dedicated to you.

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Track Name: Sam protiv svih
Sam protiv svih

Ono što sanjaš kad ostaneš sam
Ili panduri kad dolaze u goste
Kad napusti te novac, najveći čovekov prijatelj
I seks pokvari sve
Ideš sam protiv svih i sam protiv sebe

A namerna greška postane velika
I niko ne gleda kroz prste
Kao fliper žeton radiš sve što je potrebno
Svaki dan kroz istu rupu
Ideš sam protiv svih i sam protiv sebe

Glupost, dosada, neznanje
To je način na koji gledaš oko sebe
Dok ništa se ne menja osim tebe
Ideš sam protiv svih i sam protiv sebe

Sam.
Track Name: Tramvajljudi
Tramvajljudi

Ponoć je ovde hladna ko svuda
Pločnik je ovde širok ko svud
2:30 uživam tišinu
I čekam svoj tramvaj bez vozača
Tramvaj bez vozača vozi samo noću
Njega se dnevni prolaznici stide
Uvek zastaje na raskršću
Jer ne zna zapravo kuda ide

Noćna vožnja je brza ko svuda
mesta ima dovoljno za sve
2:50 prelazim vodu
I ne vidim nikoga oko sebe

Nepokretne slike ponovo vidjam
I uvek isti ljudi su tu
3:20 izlazim u noć
Jer ovaj tramvaj vozi samo u krug
Track Name: One vole da liče na dečake
One vole da liče na dečake

Njima treba mnogo više
I njihove potrebe su abnormalne
Prave žene nikad nisu lepe
One šire zarazu

One vole da liče na dečake
I one jako veruju u to

lgra znači igra
A laž ne znači ništa
Prave žene nikad nisu lepe
One šire zarazu
Track Name: Zabava
Zabava

Zabava je dole iza zaključanih vrata
Večeras hodamo ulicama slučaja
Tu nema ničeg vrednog pomena
Tu se ništa lepo ne dešava
S obe strane šetaju gomile
Nešto dobacuju i jako galame
I bez povoda, i bez razloga
Bili su oni, i bili smo mi

Atak na usnuli gradski mir
Nema zabave na ulici
Dok traje pijana svečanost mržnje

Glas pištaljke prekida zabavu
Ulični heroj stupa u akciju
Večeras ćeš osetiti ruku zakona
Kako se spušta na tvoja pleća
Track Name: Babylon by Bus
Babylon By Bus

Momci su u redu
Dok u gomili sede, ispijaju na eks
Glavne uloge su davno razgrabljene
I svak igra svoj marionetski ples
Postaješ statist isto ko i pre
Glavni glumci uzeli su reč

Zadovolji se onim što je ostalo
Zadovolji se, ako možeš
Zadovolji se tim što nikad nećeš imati
Zadovolji se, ako možeš

I ako ikada kreneš za Babylon By Bus
Rezerviši kod Boga jednu kartu za sve nas
Track Name: Ti si sve i ništa
Ti si sve i ništa

lzadji večeras i vidi moje lice
U gradu bez ulica, u gradu garaža
Nije pitanje, nije odgovor
Samo poziv da izadješ van
I svojim prisustvom zaustaviš auta i ljude

Jer ti si sve, i ništa

lzadji večeras dok čekaš da oživi
Lutka iz izloga jeftinih slatkiša
Koju ne pokreće
Ni novac
Ni ljubav
Ni smrt
Track Name: Zamorci '69
Zamorci '69

Mali beli zamorci došli su na svet
Nova generacija broj 69
Zaživeli jeftin život, i čekali na red

Generacija '69, novi zamorci došli su na svet

Odrasle jedinke uzeće ih slepe
Daće im silikonske vakcine
Jedni će postati imuni na sve
Druge će baciti na djubre
Track Name: Stranac u ogledalu
Stranac u ogledalu

Dan kad si rodjen postaje važan
I čudno se raduješ iz godine u godinu
Dan kada odeš ne znači ništa
Prodaće te jefrino - ne pitaj za cenu

Dečak gleda širom otvorenih očiju
Stranca u ogledalu
Decak gleda svet napravljen ni za koga

A čudno je mešanje karata u špilu
Svaka dolazi na svoje mesto
Njihove reči su laž od prve do poslednje
Ti si krv i meso
Track Name: Monopol
Monopol

Večeras se ponovo rokenrol svira
Al uvek isti izlaze na binu
Odvrću momci gitare glasne
Al niko ne zna da nadjača tišinu

Suviše isti da promene nešto

Od samog početka ritam je isti
Jaki tonovi u lakom nizu
Kad jedni odu i drugi dodju
Niko ne shvata da gleda reprizu

Momci se trude, ali badava
Prodaju pamet naivnoj deci
Talenat im u gomili vene
Al nema veze - skloni su dreci

Ovo je poslednja akcija Ex-Cess-a
Na konačnoj podeli poslušne publike
Što uključuje potrebu
Da i vi mrdnete svoje dupe

Ja bi da viknem - oni vas lažu!
Al niko ne bi čuo mene
Niko ne mari što ništa ne govori
Široki osmeh klovna sa scene
Track Name: Velika ljubav
Velika ljubav

Beli bizon sa zvezdom na čelu
Dolazi u san
Ti znaš sve, ja samo jedno

Velika ljubav

Kad uzmeš sve što možeš
I od toga praviš ono što ti treba
Kad ne veruješ u ono što kažeš

Kad Božijom rukom dodirnuta Rajska ptica
Postane pokretna slika
Kad ustaneš, i ponovo umreš
Track Name: Dijabolik
Dijabolik

Dijabolik gleda kroz prozorsko okno
Dok čovek stoji na ivici, i urla

Dok mnoge ljude iz susedstva treba brisati
Sa spiska sranara
Iz knjige rodjenih
Čekajući nekog
Dijabolik hoda
U dosluhu sa pogrebnikom

U vreme kada svako pristaje
Da postane nešto
Dijabolik vidi samo crno i belo
Dok dečake uče da se plaše
Dijabolik hoda
U dosluhu sa pogrebnikom

U vreme kada mačka kuca na vrata
Na mestu gde noću pacovi pomile
Nešto gubi, i nešto dobija
Dijabolik hoda po prvi put
Dijabolik hoda
U dosluhu sa pogrebnikom

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