Guide to SKOPJE

Thirteen thousand visitors at the 13th “Taksirat”

Who says that the number thirteen is unlucky? At least this can not be said about the music festival “Taksirat.” Its thirteen edition which happened earlier this month (25 nov.-3 dec.) and which was seen as one of the best ever, had a diverse festival program. A lot of domestic and foreign music artists who work in multiple genres and styles, representatives of the so-called independent alternative scene, some of them with an impressive biography, others just launching their careers. The statistics at the end of the festival, who were, by coincidence or not, the same as the number of the edition, showed that during the eight festival nights of the “Taksirat” there were 13 thousand visitors.

The festival started off with our acquaintances, the Bosnian energetic band “Dubioza collective” who    held a mini-concert at the city square during the day and then moved to the night club “Colosseum” where the real party for their passionate followers erupted like a volcano. That was expected since the audience already had the opportunity to attend their concert last year at the 12th “Taksirat”. This time also, “Dubioza collective” managed to heat up the atmosphere with its sound palette composed of ska, reggae, punk, rock sound lines and topics related to the political reality. The concert was part of the promotion of their latest album “Wild Wild East”.

Dubioza kolektiv

This was a great opening of the festival which continued in the following days with a thematic focus. For example, within the “Myth and beat” night, there was a real surprise in the club” Colosseum” where the Serbian band “SARS” was very well received by the audience. The people gathered there unexpectedly started to get crazy about their concerts, singing almost all their songs by heart and dancing euphorically at their music. Unlike “SARS”, the performances of the Croatian rapper General Woo which was on the program for the same evening didn’t had the expected response despite his talent, nor our Roma hip-hop trio our “Sutka Roma rap” which was accompanied by a brass band, guitar and drums, which are in general fascinating in their expression.

The evening called “Hip-Hop World” was reserved for the American rapper B Real from the legendary band “Cypress Hill” who performed together with the Latino American hip-hop group, “Psycho realm”. Their support band were the California’s hardcore musicians The “Priks.” B Real, well known for the hip-hop devotees, is a true legend that gained widespread popularity with the album “Black Sunday”. The audience had the rare opportunity to attend his live concert and witness his unique style, because its not a coincidence that he is considered as one of the most famous political rappers of today, spreading the essence of the hip-hop all over the world.

B Real

The most impressive was the fifth night and the concert of the German band “Atari teenage riot” Despite the technical problems the band was very fascinating with its revolutionary musical concept. Since its beginning in the 90’s “Atari teenage riot,” was the intellectual, lively counterpoint to the sleepy dance scene and also to the punk movement which was visibly declining in Germany.  In Skopje, the band has encountered a number of fans who responded with tremendous emotion on their ferocious and extreme hard-core sound, despite the excessive decibels and the droning in the ears which was felt as a aftereffect the next day. Of course, the audience demanded an encore, but then the technical problems occurred and the frontmen Alec Empire nervously started to hit the speakers showing the middle finger to the organizer, so at the end the concert was interrupted.

In the main, last night of “Taksirat” the many visitors initially faced the aggressive, but a great metal sound spiced up with the traditional instruments in the performance of the band “Verka” from Delcevo, that played their last year’s album “Motor Songs”. The rock fanatics “T.B. Tracheri” moved through the albums “Shake and roll”, “Hits from Sodoma” and “Buy Me” and as always the audience was singing the sarcastic texts of their songs, which are connected with themes of the social and everyday life.

TB Traceri

The Swedish pretty loud band “Clawfinger” presented its controversial sound spiced up with anti-racist views. With “Clawfinger” and the several guest groups that were mentioned before, this year “Taksirat” was not just about the music, but it also had focused on the politics and social issues that were transmitted through an authentic artistic variant.

Asian Dub Foundation

The next was the performance of the British band “Asian Dub Foundation” which is well known for the domestic audience. But their sound is quite different from the band that was previously occupying the stage so they brought new electric-electronic energy. They were actually a great opportunity for dancing and a little more relaxed atmosphere. The American rapper Joseph Antonio Cartagena, known as Fat Joe, managed to gather the fans in the first rows of the “Metropolis Arena”, while the British “Kaiser Chiefs” transmitted us on a completely different sound planet. They are indie-rock, new wave and post-punk band which is popular in the world and are also a real inspiration for the Macedonian fans of the new generation.

Kaiser Chiefs

Since “Taksirat” is really a “running marathon” festival, only the ones in good condition stayed up to the end and enjoyed in the rare attraction. The Portuguese band „Buraka Som Sistema” created an exotic atmosphere with explosive rhythms which were a perfect ending of   “Taksirat 13”.