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Nemanja’s Cosmic Disco – from a World Music perspective – isn’t what we’d expect from Croatia – specifically Istria, an historically contested region in the Adriatic, with its own special, mystical/Mediterranean vibe. Throwing together African, Cumbia, funk with a kind of predilection for far-out flower-child-era vocal samples and hippy/trippy instrumental flourishes, it is something that could be produced anywhere in the world – at the first listen.

Luka Šipetić is the man behind the enigmatic Nemanja – in addition to being a traditional Serbian male name, a word in Serbo-Croatian which means the condition of “not having” – in other words negation of  fact. So far, so mysterious.

Coming after the awesome Tarot Funk with it’s marked  Anatolian rock air set forth  in such memorable tracks as “The Fool”, Cosmic Disco plugs into a kind of Oriental vibe in “Kozmik Oyun”, with a Lebanese disco feel to it – expressed in its trippy Arab keyboard playing, mixed with wah-wah guitars.

Otherwise, Cosmic Disco is funkier, blending Santana-like guitar riffs and  chica cumbia with African drumming and  wigged-out, hallucinatory  electronica.

Some of the ingredients are from close to home – for instance sampled vocal play from Yugoslav funk, in particular in the track “Terra Magica”, which pits African style drumming against some typical Istrian vocal tropes, specifically a melodic Istrian “trajnaninea” hook, supplemented with some hippy flute trilling.

Robert Rigney

TRACK TO TRY Kozmik Oyun