Gordan join traditional Serbian singing with abstraction, energy and minimalism. Their music is marked by radical reduction, seemingly endless ascension and a passion for experiments.
The Serbian singer Svetlana Spajić is an internationally recognized and acclaimed artist. She, like almost no other contemporary singer, is a master of all the complex local stylistic variations of singing from Balkan music. Guido Möbius plays bass and various electronic sound generators. Additionally he uses guitar amps, microphones and effects to provoke feedback which either harmonize or are juxtaposed with the song. It is a dialogue between sound and noise which is accentuated or fragmented by means of Andi Stecher’s expressive drumming. With a rich pool of ideas the percussionist drives the sound forward breathlessly and grounds it. Together the trio form a dynamic body of sound.
Gordan recorded their debut during the first wave of the Covid19 pandemic in Europe in March 2020. Due to the lockdown in Berlin at that time the city didn’t have many distractions to offer, so the trio just concentrated on work. The atmosphere of being isolated in a recording studio had a big impact on the musical results. All three band members came up with ideas for new pieces, which were immediately tested, worked out and recorded. On abstract instrumentals provided by Stecher and Möbius, Svetlana Spajic sometimes reacted with personal interpretations of serbian traditionals, and the other way around. Most of the time it was as if the music just happend to the band; playing together felt natural from the first moment on.
Some of the old serbian traditional songs that Spajic sang are extinct forms with a specific local melodic mode. The skillful improvisation of their lyrics and ornaments was of great importance and very estimated among village singers. The title song Down In The Meadow for instance originally is a love song from the village of Odevce in eastern Kosovo, Serbia. The singing manner is of a great intensity and sonority, with lots of specific local ornaments. It disappeared along with the village communities from the area. Oh, my Rose flowers is from the region of Kopaonik mountain (southwest Serbia) and the mode, scale is known as ”kopaonički glas” (Kopaonik mountain air). Svetlana adopted the style from the late singer Veličko Veličković from the village of Ostraće. It is an old mountain solo chant, rich in fast ornamentation movements and microtonal intervals. Don’t ask how I live is Svetlana’s homage to the new popular folk music movement from the 80ies known as Južni Vetar (Southern Wind) led by a musician and composer Mile Ilić, known as Mile Bas („Mile the Bass“) which revolutionized popular music introducing tabooed oriental music and original arrangements.
Svetlana Spajic – vocals
Andi Stecher – drums & percussion
Guido Möbius – bass, feedback, electronics
Down In The Meadow (Morphine Records 2021, LP)