Dubioza Kolektiv are a band from Bosnia and Herzegovina, founded in 2003 by Adis Zvekić and Almir Hasanbegović (former members of Gluho doba against Def Age from Zenica) and Brano Jakubović and Vedran Mujagić (former members of Ornamenti from Sarajevo). The band was later joined by guitarist Armin Bušatlić, drummer Senad Šuta, sound engineer Dragan Jakubović, and in 2011 by saxophonist Mario Ševarac.
DK are known for their fresh take on hip-hop, reggae, dub, rock and Bosnian folklore. Initially, the concept of the band came through an urgent need to voice the problematic issues in Bosnian society, while also showing the rest of the world that life in the Balkans exists outside of the familiar and overused media stereotypes. Understandably then, many of Dubioza Kolektiv’s lyrics revolve around themes of peace, understanding and tolerance, alongside an extreme criticism of nationalism and injustice; but what gives these lyrics weight is that they speak with the authority of direct experience.
However, outside “The West”, the group has already established itself as among the best and most popular live outfits in Eastern Europe, and notorious leaders in the fight for social change. They were also nominees for IMPALA’s “Best Independent Album of 2011.” Their musical skills forged in basement shelters during the siege of Sarajevo, these guys know more than anyone how to use music as a weapon against the forces of negativity.
Their fifth album, “Wild, Wild East” was picked up by the label Koolarrow Records and introduced DK on the international stage with worldwide distribution. This was followed by, “Apsurdistan”: released in 2013, was a huge success with more than 300,000 downloads. The video for the featured track “Kažu” was viewed 12 million times on YouTube and their Western Balkans tour sold-out every single venue (and we are talking about large venues here). All of this, along with a relentless approach to touring, has brought DK’s sounds to every corner of Europe.
Which brings us finally to their newest release, “Happy Machine”-aka, the next step forward. As always, the subject matter might be confrontational and challenging, but the music is always catchy as hell, now more than ever. Inspiration developed over two years, largely inspired by events that unfolded over that time – from Istanbul’s Gezi park protests (“All Equal”), the jailing of the founders of The Pirate Bay (“Free.mp3”), the Syrian refugee crisis and Europe’s shameful response to it. More kindred spirits in the music world have jumped on board, with guest appearances by Manu Chao, Benji Webbe from Skindred, Punjabi singer BEE2, Catalan ska-rumba band La Pegatina and trumpet player Dzambo Agusev from Macedonia. Songs are in English, Spanish and Punjabi.