Thursday, March 24, 2022

Kultur Shock - Fucc The INS *20th Anniversary Remaster [Koolarrow Records 046]

Put out on the digital circuit von March 18th, 2k22 to celebrate its 20th anniversary is "Fucc the INS", the seminal album by Gino Srdjan Yevdjevich's project Kultur Shock. Originally released via Koolarrow Records back in 2001 and now available in remastered and restored sound quality the album was recorded by a multi-faceted, multi-national collective comprised of Ex-Yugoslavian immigrants, Bulgarian defectors, a Japanese bass player and Seattle natives and mixed by Faith No More's Bill Gould in his very own basement, marking the very first of many official studio albums released by the band as well as the beginning of a similarly melange'esque style described in the albums promo sheet as Gypsy Punk. A rather misleading genre drawer as Kultur Shock's music to us is more leaning towards energetic Metal riffing and complex MathRock reminiscing structures, paired with heavy Rock drumming, electronic-influences, a present brass section and Yevdjevich's dramatic vocal performance which draws a lot of inspiration from traditional music roughly located in the South Eastern regions of Europe and the bordering Balkan area. And it is exactly this regional influence and the specific traditional vocal intonation coming with it which presents somewhat of a dividing factor for at least an audience brought up on specifically Western tonalities, notation and scales - one either rolls with it or perceives this element as quite annoying and over the top. We're with the last mentioned side of the spectrum and therefore, despite all musical open-ness and curiosity as well as admission for its cultural and historic relevance, "Fucc the INS" doesn't do much for us and is a rather demanding, stressful and not necessarily pleasant listening experience over its full course of 11 songs and 47 minutes total runtime but might be a totally different affair for someone connected to and entrenched in its cultural context.


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