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Dzijan Emin: Flood Of Ideas, Part 1-2

By Published: August 25, 2005
DE: It's difficult to answer that as it demands a more extensive explanation. This band or this group exists, or we have been friends and have been playing together for the last 8-10 years, especially me, Miyo (Vladimir Pop Hristov) and Bejkov. In the beginning, DNO played in clubs only and some of our first intentions were to play music that was different and more interesting, compared to all those bands that were just cover bands. During that period, musicians such as Tony Michevic (guitar), Mihail Mishko Parusev (drums), Marko Petkovski (bass), Dino Milosavljevic (drums) played in the band. As you can see there were many of them that played in the band, but the only ones left from the first line up are Miyo, Kroki (Sasho Spasovski) and me. After awhile, Bejkov appeared on the scene.

I had another project with Bejkov and Parushev and we played something quite different. Bejkov understood quickly what we were all about and this was just the beginning. We began to hang out more often, to communicate and it was then that we sensed we could do something. When that starts to happen sparks begin to fly and interesting things happen. There is a flood of ideas about what can be done and what may happen. In 1998, we had a gig at the House of Jazz (a former jazz club) in Skopje where we were performing under the name of Foss, but actually that was the very beginning of Project Zlust. Foss performed as a quartet; there was me, Ivan Bejkov, Mihail Parusev and Gazmend Berisha on violin. We had a concert that was broadcasted directly on Radio Channel 103. That was great, as we had an opportunity for our music to be heard by a wider auditorium. The people loved it, both the music and the performance, as there wasn't anything like it at the time.

There were many styles and genres that were, in a way, filtered through our tastes. That was 1998 and during that time we met Bojan (Ugrinovski). This was the time when I was part of Bodan Arsovski's Ezgija Orchestra. We became friends and quickly found ourselves thinking along the same wavelengths. We were on the same frequency about many issues related to music — production, sound, etc. Bojan became our greatest initiating and motivating factor. He helped us a lot by organizing and focusing us and it was with him that we recorded our first release The Margina EP. In 1999, we recorded 4 tracks at Tralala studio and to this very day I'm very fond of this material.

In the year 2000, the Kumanovo Jazz Festival was first held and the organizers' initial idea was for it to be some sort of an ethno-jazz festival. We received an invitation to perform there and we were delighted and positively surprised. The material was prepared over a short period of time. The concert was great. We were lucky since Gazmend Berisha was available to perform with us, as well as Medo Chun, the great master on the clarinet. The older generations remember him as a member of Esma Redzepova's band (Ensemble Teodosievski). Not many people know this but as composer and musician he enormously influenced the music of Esma and the Ensemble.

The performance was recorded, it was mixed and we were delighted by the final results (our egos were satisfied). In the meantime, after the Festival, we had a gig with DNO, and I remember, just for a second I looked at Miyo and we both realized that we won't be doing club dates as DNO anymore and that was the end of it. Prior to this, while we were working on the creation of Project Zlust and its music, we already had certain songs that we thought were never going to fit in with the Project Zlust concept, at least not in that concept we had at the time. Then we had an idea, since Miyo had certain songs, to start a new form that is based heavily on the guitar sound, and those are the beginnings of DNO as we know it today.

We started writing songs, rehearsing, making recordings and the appearance of Malcolm Burn was an additional motivating factor that helped us see that we were on the right track. He said "You guys are great. Keep up the good work. I don't want to sound like I am bragging, but he said that he worked with countless other musicians but we were among the top 10 he ever worked with. At the time, we were nervous as he was a top producer who has worked with top musicians. Suddenly, many things began to happen to us and we found ourselves in a whirlwind of events, recordings, performances, as well as participating in the projects of countless other musicians.

For us, there is a great need for these 2 bands to exist, and in between there are countless other projects that are waiting to happen. Only time can tell what will happen.

AAJ: There is a huge stylistic difference between How I Killed a Saint and Project Zlust Live. It seems that Saintis more strings-oriented.

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