"I was actually looking for dance that reminded me of the late 90s in Belgrade, during the NATO bombing. We would go in clubs and dance because the reality was ... we would rather die dancing and being cool than in a dark space, just sitting and waiting. So it was a coping mechanism ... dealing with fear."
Bogomir Doringer's Project - Dance of Urgency
Speak to any real tech-head these days and they’ll tell you that Eastern Europe now has some of the finest places in the world to party. From Belgrade to Kiev, Tallinn to Tbilisi, these places have become tourist hubs for electronic music enthusiasts, with the festivals, spaces and musicians to match. To find out more about just why techno has taken such a hold in the region, we spoke with a couple of creatives from Serbia to explain the rise.
Bogomir Doringer is a Serbian artist, researcher and curator from Belgrade, now based in Amsterdam. His diverse work attempts to map socio-political trends in societies through art production, often with unique, subversive themes. His most interesting project to date has to be “Dance of Urgency”, which attempts to show that the way people dance in clubs can change based on the political climate outside of the dancefloor – that a country in crisis will inform the way that young people go out and express themselves when listening to electronic music. He told me about his findings from the project, how his ideas for it started growing up in Belgrade during the Yugoslavian conflict of the late '90s and whether he thinks techno can fundamentally change societies for the good.
I also chatted to Edin Omanovic, another Belgrade-based Serbian who is part of the team behind Drugstore, one of the city’s finest venues for live music of all flavours. Located in an old slaughterhouse, Drugstore has made a local name for itself as the place to go to for electronic music, exhibitions and more. Edin told me about how it all got started, the history of electronic music in the region, its popularity among all Europeans now and how he has seen the good that can come from spaces like theirs, regenerating the urban environment around it.
"Techno in Eastern Europe, I think it has a big role. Especially in the 90s when it all started. Electronic music, it's pretty much in our DNA here.
Edin Omanovic - Drugstore, Belgrade
Cuban Chamber of Commerce - Winter X (Single // Self-Released)
Kӣr - Akrasia (Balčak // Disk)
33.10.3402 - ovde ne zuji (Single // L.I.E.S.)
Stevie Whisper – Public Homage Limited (Single // YES)
Dubfound - Karakut (Karakut // What Becomes Now ltd.)
Jan Nemeček - Organs (Recurrences // -OUS)
WoO – Outendo (Outerlife // Herbarium)
Bejenec – Watter (Didulya) (Single // Self-Released)