The sound of the instrumental band Divje jezero (Slovene for 'Wild Lake', the name of a well-known natural monument near Idrija, the band's hometown) can be described as sophisticated jazz rock laced with intriguing rhythms and arrangements that draw inspiration from the performers and bands of the 1970s music scene (both in Slovenia and abroad), such as Predmestje, Jutro, Sončna pot, Billy Cobham Band, Chick Corea, Jeff Beck, and Dixie Dregs, to name just a few.
The band was founded in 2008 by Luka Čibej (drums) and Alen Bogataj (bass), who invited Aleš Golja (guitar) to collaborate on original music. Soon after, the band recorded their self-titled demo Divje jezero, which Tine Kolenik from Rockline.si defined as "a fascinating series of transitions between melodies, with a jazz-rock vibe that demonstrates an excellence of musical interpretation". The band was joined by David Križaj, a promising young keyboard player whose Rhodes piano contributions and excellent interpretation helped the band flesh out their new sound. After a number of occasional collaborations, they were joined in 2014 by the band's old acquaintance Tomi Peljhan (saxophone). "The saxophone definitely complements our music," the band members say. "It makes it somewhat softer, but fuller." In that line-up, the band recorded their debut Mestni vrvež (City Bustle) in 2015. The album was released by the Slovene record company Celinka and offers "an array of musical experiences that invite the listener to leave the busy everyday life behind and take the time to fully experience the present moment" (Nina Novak, Jazzetna). The band presented their debut studio album in numerous club concerts and festivals both in Slovenia and abroad, e.g. the Godibodi Festival, Letni oder Ruše, Jazz ma mlade, Marezijazz, Bačva Rijeka, and Jazz Club Bacchus Zagreb.
"We all share the desire to make music and play live," say the band members. "It's what keeps us together and motivates us. We believe you need to make music you love and feel, regardless of the many trends and restrictions imposed by the market. It's the only way music can be considered real art, not just entertainment." Currently, the band is hard at work at recording new tracks for their upcoming second album to be released in spring 2017, followed by a concert tour. The band members state: "After two releases, our greatest wish is to step onto as many stages and concert venues as possible, and to spread what makes us happy and what we enjoy creating – our music."
Selected quotes by music experts on the Mestni vrvež album by Divje jezero:
"An extraordinary album that, along with the Tolmin-based band Feedback, fills the Slovene progressive-rock lacuna and creates the much needed link between the new generation and the works of the 1970s Slovene musicians (Izvir, Predmestje, September, Jutro)." (Aleš Podbrežnik, Rockline)
"The very coherently designed content of the 10-track album is further enhanced by the diversity that can be heard 'between the tones'." (Andrej Lutman, Glasna)
"The album invites the listener to leave the busy everyday life behind and take the time to fully experience the present moment. This is why the music of Divje jezero stirs in us so many shades of emotion." (Nina Novak, Jazzetna)
"Mestni vrvež is a diverse combination of well-known and familiar practices of mixing jazz with related genres (rock, blues, reggae, prog, Balkan and Latino) that feature technically elaborate themes that may sound somewhat derivative and uninspired at times, but much more often create dynamic, fun and unencumbered music with a generous helping of genre-fresh and intriguing passages." (Tine Kolenik, Koridor)
"Mestni vrvež is a collection of interesting compositions that show no lack of audacity and originality in musical expression. With this album, the members of Divje jezero prove their mastery of all the elements of their trade – composition, arrangement, and performance – everything is on a very high level. The ten instrumental compositions from the album provide ample space for each of the band members to show themselves in the best possible light." (Dragutin Matošević, Barikada)
"This results in diverse tracks with both complicated and simple melodies. The intertwining of the above-mentioned musical genres is not distracting, but careful and fluent – a clear result of the band members' team work as well as their skill." (Dušan Mijanović, Sigic) "On their instrumental album Mestni vrvež, the quintet channel all their technical and creative abilities, producing a release that is rich with fusion elements and moves gracefully from solid jazz rock/fusion bases to clear progressive rock digressions." (Hamelinprog)
Album reviews:Rockline review SIGIC review Barikada review HameilnProg.com review
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