SOMETHING ON BELA's FIRST BAND - KONTRABANT
Best live. For almost 20 years already.
They sizzle at concerts and enthuse brimming concert audiences. At weddings they are the bride’s accomplice, and when playing to celebrate a divorce, they work like a hangover cure.
They gravitate towards ethno music, but vibrate in all varieties that give themselves up for smuggling. Kontrabant is the first trans-Slovenian music gang. The Kontrabant guys come from almost all parts of Slovenia, making their musical collage a mix of Pannonian and Mediterranean sounds, dancing songs from the Alps, classical and Balkan songs trimmed with dialects from their own homeland, and the languages of the Roma and nearby Hungary.
The merry sounds of Kontrabant invigorate the old, enchant the young, surprise the bad tempered and drive the party animals wild!
THE BAND’S MISSION
Kontrabant has for more than a decade been exploring the sounds of Slovenia: Gypsy, Pannonian, Balkan, Mediterranean ethno music influences, taking great delight in incorporating these with urban musical practices into the unmistakable smuggled collage that makes up the songs and melodies of Kontrabant. Already at the beginning of their musical travels the Kontrabant guys forged friendships with the Slovenian gypsies, which has had a strong influence on their music. But an even more significant influence on Kontrabant’s musical expression definitely has to be the variety of environments and musical experiences of the guys in the band, and that includes those that were still whippersnappers.
Kontrabant’s musical smuggling has an important mission to uphold in popularising the musical treasures from different environments and areas of human endeavour, with the intention of making listeners actively learn and understand others with different lives, cultures and perceptions of the world. Such a diverse collage of musical practices can one only rarely experience in one place! That’s Kontrabant’s concerts and the music on as many as seven of their solo CDs.
Sadly, in recent years, extreme forms of nationalism have sprung up all over Europe. This has spurred on the band even more to develop its recognisable music making and original smuggler’s stories of also those minorities that have far too often become ostracised and threatened entities. With the help of the universal language of music, Kontrabant in an informal, very amusing way goes beyond those boundaries, smashes through negative stereotypes and opens up the horizons of those that would otherwise find it difficult to accept something foreign and unknown.
Respect and tolerance of others is an important, and for many a fairly unfamiliar notion in our social order. Kontrabant in its way promotes a better understanding among the people of this world.
WHERE THE BAND PLAYS
The Kontrabant guys perform everywhere where there’s at least one listener. Otherwise they listen to themselves. Their public is very diverse. A good number of their most faithful listeners fall into the baby category, who in the warm thrust of the breast bring their mothers to concerts. Wise old men and their clever wives jig to their tunes in the homes for the elderly, as well as students at the wildest parties, and all young and old with a thirst for good music and lots of fun. In character Kontrabant are truly universal, which can be confirmed by their ability to play at large-scale festivals, parties, smoky clubs, elite circles, on the street with a hat, in concert halls, at weddings and even better, at divorces. They sound brilliant on speakers on stage, as well as loose on the floor, mingling with their instruments between the tables in the pub or restaurant.