Wednesday, April 3, 2013

MIMO - Rokambol and Marinada @ MSU 29Mar2013

MIMO or Media Inventory of Music Originals is a recent project in Zagreb that brings forth Croatian most original quality music through the (back) door of Croatian mainstream media. Every second Friday beginning 01Mar2013 they arrange concerts in MSU (Museum of Contemporary Art) Gorgona hall that are transmitted by online streaming on the Internet, broadcasted on Croatian radio HR2 and can be viewed and listened to live at Gorgona hall. As it is an interesting place and I was curious how "the indie people" are going to pull this off I went to see it.

First MIMO on March 1st 2013. featured Nina Romić and Olovni ples and they were all terrific. You can see photo gallery here and there are many reviews (in Croatian) available. Hall was full and we ended sitting on the steps but it was great as timing was perfect and acoustics in Gorgona hall so wonderful it brought tears to my eyes.

Nina was magnificent opening for this project and her velvety voice had just perfect timber there.

Olovni ples were vibrant with passion and their act had nothing of the darkness inherent to their studio albums. They also benefited immensely from brilliant acoustics as they performed last song walking around across the stage in kind of "every-man-for-himself" way and the sound was so wonderful that you could "see the movement in the sound" even if not looking at the stage.

No extraneous noise, no microphonics, no audio junk of any kind. Just bliss.

Second MIMO was held on March 15th and sadly I could not attend it due to other engagements. If featured Sara Renar  and Chui and I was later thoroughly briefed on excellence of their show by music-lovers and confidants so my heart ached (they did rub some salt there with diligence).

I went to see third MIMO featuring Rokambol and Marinada last Friday (March 29th 2013) and it was a bittersweet experience.

Rokambol was great.

He imagined his part of the show as very theatrical experience, from chosen attire to self-confidence he applied to direct the audience whether to clap or not. He greeted us; ones on the internet, ones by the radios and ones in attendance and then he just played and sung and went on playing in one awesome, super-practiced flow of songs one after another. Crystalline sound made for wonderful opportunity to discern his lyrics and stories just streamed forth from his lips and his fingers into darkness that contained the audience.

There are quite a few videos for his songs on his YouTube channel and his first studio album is apparently due this spring so I'll definitely keep my eye on Rokambol FB notifications.

And then, there was Marinada.

As many of you already know I'm in eternal love with all things from Rijeka and that heavy Fiume accent that the guy on the keyboards used to announce names of the songs and albums they were from was just a perfect ointment for my troubled soul on that fateful Friday. Every word and sound was just perfectly clear and wonderful acoustics of Gorgona hall was once again ideal partner for minimalist style and superior artistry. They played my favorite song - Instrument - in the middle of their set and that lifted my spirit and made the world bearable again.

I loved how they were just marginally connecting with the audience and I loved how the whole show was organized and orderly like browsing through books in a library: you read the label on the spine and take it out, you smell it, leaf through it, read a paragraph here - sentence there - get the feel by merely scratching the surface and then tidily return it where you found it, and pick up another. I love it because they say nothing in their songs and they say everything, they say all that matters. I love it because music, comprised of both instrumental sounds and sounds of their voices, enhances the experience. Information is added but message stays beautifully simple and intuitively understandable

Einstein once said that "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough". These guys can and they do. I'm in awe.

So where is the bitter part of "bittersweet experience" mentioned above?

Well, novelty already wore off and there were far fewer people there that I would imagine at a show like this one; perfectly organized, at a beautiful and clean place where there is no smoking and refreshments are available and that takes place so early in the evening that you can even go to with your kids or go clubbing after it. It is not expensive and there are lovely things to buy if you feel like having a memento of the evening. I would love if more people came to these events and listened and learned how to listen and to behave. It saddens me that this stays in the long tail and that it remains in the realm of "preaching to the choir".

So, prove me wrong - come and see MIMO 4 featuring Druyd and Lovely Quinces on April 14th!

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