Pankrti – Dolgcajt (RTV LJ) 1980. Along with the utterly brilliant first Pekinska Patka LP, Dolgcajt by Pankrti represents the high water mark in late 1970s/early 1980s Yugo punk. These two albums should be essential additions to any punk’s record collection, native tongues be damned. The combination of oi-like streetpunk structures with artier chord progressions and conventions is uniquely representative of pogo music from that area of the world. Pankrti is probably a little more streetpunk than a roasted duck but what does that actually mean anyway?
To understand, we must begin at the beginning. Let’s consult their Wikipedia entry….
Pankrti (“Bastards” in Slovenian) were a punk rock band from Ljubljana, Slovenia, active in the late 1970s and during the 1980s. They were known for provocative and politically engaged songs and billed themselves as “The First Punk Band Behind The Iron Curtain” (though actually the non-aligned Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was not behind the Iron Curtain). They are one of the most important former Yugoslav Punk groups and one of the first punk rock bands ever formed in a socialist state.
Peter Lovin and Gregor Tomc, two youths from Kodeljevo, a suburb of Ljubljana came to an idea of forming a band in 1977. The band, from its beginnings, was under heavy influence of the UK punk scene. Tomc and Lovin were the primary song writers. Lovin was the singer of the band, while Tomc came up with the band name and was the band’s manager.
The band started playing in fall of 1977, practicing in the basement of Kodeljevo’s music school, and held the first concert in Moste High School. Initially they played covers of established punk bands including Sex Pistols, The Clash and New York Dolls. Some of their first songs that became popular were Za elezno zaveso (Behind The Iron Curtain), Anarhist (Anarchist) and Lublana je bulana. They were included in the Novi Punk Val compilation album. They released their first album Dolgcajt in 1980 and gained a status of a cult band all over former Yugoslavia.
So that clears things up, no?
Look at it this way, in many ways, Pankrti was Yugoslavia’s Clash while Pekinska Patka was Yugoslavia’s Sex Pistols. Huge oversimplification but valid nonetheless. There were so many other good bands from this part of the world, from Idoli to Paraf to Sarlo Akrobata but these guys really nailed it with this album. Listen to Totalna Revolucija and tell me that it doesn’t make you want to throw a brick through a window…