Sunday, August 31, 2008

P.P. Nikt

Yugoslav tape experimentalism is pretty much rare per se, but this is a rarity even for experimental music production standards in Yugoslavia. Formed in Belgrade during the latter half of the 1980ies, P.P. Nikt stands for Plastično Pozorište Nikt [or Plastic Theatre Nikt] and is the brainchild of Serbian filmmaker, theatre director and musician Dejan Vlaisavljević "Nikt".

While his activities were primarily associated with filmmaking, Dejan Vlaisavljević also composed soundtracks for his films and theatre plays. In the beginning, around 1987, he was the only member of the group, performing live several times as a one man band and occasionally with the help of video/sound artist Petar Milić. The concerts combined video and film screenings, live instrumental music and spoken word. During that time P.P. Nikt recorded the four cassettes I will present here - Besmrtnost [Immortality], Great Movies, Private Eyes, Up and released all of them on his own label Nikt Music in 1989. In 1989 Mirko Mikulić and Dragan Ve Ignjatović joined in making P.P. Nikt a trio that performed several times in Belgrade and Warsaw. Later on, in 1990 Dejan dropped the 'P.P.' in the band name as well as the two other band members, teamed up with longtime friend and a colleague Igor Toholj and produced an album called Amazing Flight Stories. Soon, in the wake of war in Yugoslavia, he relocated to Amsterdam where he remains until today, making movies and just occasionally composing music.

Music of P.P. Nikt was homemade experimentalism usually consisting of abstract, loop-based patterns [usually sampled from 50ies movies] and/or bedroom jams deploying lots of synths, guitars and other unidentifiable sound-sources. The overall effect of which is very emotional often mesmerizing lo-fi music made out of virtually no proper means, as a product of sheer enthusiasm. Double cassette release Great Movies is probably the most representative of this 'typical P.P. Nikt' sound.

P.P. Nikt - (1989) The Great Movies [mc,Nikt Music] are - HERE

Pretty much in the vein of Great Movies - the suggestively titled Private Eyes album obviously evokes film noir atmospheres with it's cool jazz-reminiscent synths. It's probably the most diverse or the least coherent album in terms of style [for instance songs like: Elephant's Song or Happy], but that's the case with more or less every P.P. Nikt release. Sometimes the effects employed in making these albums - and this especially goes for Private Eyes - will leave a feeling of naivety, but that's just a part of P.P. Nikt's charm.

P.P. Nikt - (1989) Private Eyes [mc,Nikt Music] is - HERE

The most implicit and intense P.P. Nikt album is Up, a soundtrack for the movie of the same name, an inhumanely minimalist piece of work occasionally contrasted with beautifully melancholic tracks 'Ponekad Kao I Uvek Nekad' [Once in a while as always sometimes], 'Posle' [After] and 'Jednog Dana Će Sve Ovo Biti Tvoje' [All of this will be yours one day] . This is P.P. Nikt at its best. The Up film is an informal remake of Tomislav Gotovac's 60ies avant-garde classics 'Pravac' and 'Kružnica'.

P.P. Nikt - (1989) Up [mc,Nikt Music] is - HERE

Besmrtnost stands out in P.P. Nikt's opus primarily because of the 'concrete' nature of the samples used: steel-mill echoes, machine hums, jet propulsion noises here constitute long drone symphonies that arouse feelings of silent perverse optimism in prospects of impending technological doom. If one hasn't been previously introduced to the highly implicit nature of previous P.P. Nikt efforts and his naturalist approach to sonic experimentalism - he could even argue that Besmrtnost is an example of industrial ambient and that wouldn't be too much of a mistake, either.

P.P. Nikt - (1989) Besmrtnost [mc,Nikt Music] is - HERE

All tapes ripped as 320 kbs mp3's by pop3. For a more detailed biography of Dejan Vlaisavljević "Nikt" which I used as a valuable source, click - HERE. Naturally, if anybody has any additional info on Dejan Vlaisavljević "Nikt" or would like to contribute to this blog with his publications, tapes or maybe even films - I would be more than glad to have them here.Link