Saturday, 1 May 2010
I am living in Kumanovo, second biggest city in Macedonia, after Skopje. The city is located between the capitol Skopje & the Macedonian-Serbian border. The city is kinda conservative, old people are still nostalgic about communism, the culture of the people here is kinda different, many people are more interested about what's going in on in Serbia, than in their hometown...
The local dialect is different from the official macedonian language, sometimes it reminds of a southserbian dialect. After reading these few lines you will see that this city is really close to Serbia. Well, that's not wrong, but it's not right for every human living in Kumanovo, but for some good percentage it's true. They act like Serbs, interested in serbian politics, kids are loving serbian football clubs (even the whole city is marked with grafitti about serbian football clubs).
In Kumanovo there are 120 000 citizens, but only half of the population is compact and it's functioning like twice smaller than the real size. The reasons why it's like that is because some suburban parts of the city were villages, and undeveloped few years ago, and they become part of the city now, but the people there are still acting like they are living in a village, so it's part of the city just on paper, but in practice not. Also another problem is that Kumanovo is a multicultural, multinational, multitheist city...In Kumanovo are around 60% Macedonians, less than 30% Albanians, 10% Serbs and a small percentage of Turks, Bulgarians, Gypsies, Bosniaks, Vlachs. So, the main problem is the conflict between macedonians & albanians. You know, two different nationalities, two different religions living in the same area always leads to problems.
There was some kind of war going on in 2001, between these two nationalities, and Kumanovo as a multinational city with a big percentage of both nations was directly involved. Right now, everything seems to be OK, but the both parts of the city are not working together. There are still some radical attitudes on both sides & that's why there is still some kind of fear.
I have written so much about the history & situation in city because there is nothing special to write about the hardcore scene. :)
There is no big crew that is into hardcore, just 3-4 people & nothing more. We have the band - SMACK ATTACK.
I am running BOILING POINT, organisation that's doing hardcore shows in Kumanovo, working on my own small distro that I bring on shows.
I was running a label, but due to financial problem I stopped releasing activity, but when I stopped, a friend of mine that plays with me in the band, started his label called No88 Recs. That's it.
Artwork: Hiver/The Clit Commander
I am working on a fanzine called 2-3 LISTA (Translated: 2-3 Pages), but its not so musically orientated, it's more about showing negative sides of the culture here in the city. I am also involved in some non-hardcore activities, me & few friends are running an NGO (not politically coloured, just some kind of official, registered collective) about the development of the whole culture in the city, because the whole culture here is really fucked up. For example there is no cinema, there are very rarely art events, what I think is a shame for a city with 120 000 citizens.
About shows there are some hardcore shows happening, around 10 hardcore shows in a year, when some foreign bands are on tour. People are not interested in going on shows, so almost always there are not so many people, less than 30-40 for sure. The kids here are not interested in listening to new music, they download from the internet what they think its cool and don't even want to hear some new bands, some new music.
As well as Kumanovo, there is also some hardcore scene in Skopje. The situation in SKopje is better than Kumanovo, there they have more tradition in playing hardcore, doing shows, but it's also fucked up right now.
There are only a few hardcore bands active:
HaHaHa (Rites Of Spring / Dag Nasty / One Last Wish style)
Backstab Warning (rock'n'roll influenced hardcore, like Citizen's Patrol / Government Warning / Annihilation Time)
Shock Troopers (fast / brutal hardcore crust)
Od Vratot Nadolu (dark / heavy hardcore)
Fonija (melodic punk hardcore, those kids are younger than 18 years and they are releasing their second album!!!)
There are a few more shows going on, but not much more. There also, the struggle is between 10 people or less that are doing shows, running labels & playing in bands. I should mention here NAPRAVI ZAEDNO collective and FUCK YOGA that are working on doing shows & releasing.
Also, there is label called INSULIN ADDICTED records. That's it...
There is always great connection and great relations between the people from Kumanovo & Skopje, working together on shows, having fun together at gigs, even now playing in bands together...
If someone needs a show in Macedonia, feel free to contact me on BOILING POINT or on: firstname.lastname@example.org...