Politically incorrect Balkan, Ska, Punk, Reggae extravaganza
Once upon a time (2003) in a dubious corner of the world and a land called Bosnia and Herzegovina, a group of friends decided to form a band. But this was no ordinary band, and they did not form under ordinary circumstances. True, along with local Balkan flavors, musical influences came from all over the world: ska, punk, reggae, electronic, hip-hop. Yet, there was no music industry, few concerts, and no space for cultural or political expression among the new crop of plugged in youth. In fact, the entire region was reeling from a deep moral and economic post-war stagnation. It was from this environment that Dubioza Kolektiv was born, and not quietly, but kicking and screaming, presenting no-go topics front and center, and demanding to be heard. In doing so, they created a phenomenon.
For a quick rundown of the band’s history, their self-entitled first album Dubioza kolektiv was released in 2004, and was instantly met with an enthusiasm not seen on the Bosnian scene since pre-war times. Next came the EP Open Wide, this time featuring dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah and Mush Khan from Fun-da-mental. Then came their second full-length CD Dubnamite and this is when their popularity began to spread beyond Bosnian borders. By 2008, with the release of Firma illegal, their bold and uncompromising stand against the nationalist establishment elevated them to fame across the entire Balkan region. In 2010, album number four titled 5 do 12 followed, and in an open snub to ultra-capitalist music labels and as an expression of commitment to their fans, Dubioza made the album available for free download at dubioza.org
It was around this time that Faith No More’s Bill Gould discovered Dubioza Kolektiv, and his label Koolarrow Records, picked up their fifth album Wild Wild East and introduced the band to the international stage with worldwide distribution.
Apsurdistan was released in 2013, becoming a huge success with more than 300,000 downloads. Animated music video for the featured track “Ka?u” was viewed 35 million times on YouTube and their Western Balkans tour sold-out arena-size venues. All of this, along with a relentless approach to touring, has brought Dubioza’s sounds to every corner of Europe.
In 2016, the band released their seventh LP album, Happy Machine, with guest appearances by Manu Chao, Benji Webbe from Skindred, Punjabi singer BEE2, Catalan ska-rumba band La Pegatina and trumpet player D?ambo Agu?ev from Macedonia. The video for the album’s single “Free.mp3 (The Pirate Bay Song)” was featured on the homepage of the world’s most famous torrent site thepiratebay.org.