Darkwood Dub is an alternative rock band from Belgrade, Serbia, which, formed in 1988, gradually grew to prominence on the Serbian rock scene. Their music is characterized by gentle bass lines, a mixture of live drumming and electronic percussion, along with frequent use of slide guitar, synthesizers and samplers. The succinct and introspective lyrics are also a prominent feature, sung with offbeat vocals of Dejan Vučetić. Apart from 7 official albums, the band participated in several joint projects, composed scores for several films and theatre plays. They also showed a political streak by participating in many pro-democracy projects.
In 2009, the band was nominated for the Best Regional Act at the MTV European Awards. Today, Darkwood Dub are one of the top bands of the Serbian rock scene, and for the last 10 years, they have been touring regularly throughout former Yugoslav countries, Austria, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
The band was formed in Autumn 1988 with an intention of playing a combination of reggae and noise music in the lineup consisting of two drummers (playing the same drum kit), two bassists, a rhythm machine and a vocalist. The inspiration for the name the band members found in the Italian comic book Zagor, in a character who lived in the imaginary forest Darkwood. Throughout the years and many personnel changes, the default lineup became Vladimir Jerić "Vlidi" (guitar), Bojan Drobac "Bambi" (guitar), Dejan Vučetić "Vuča" (vocals), Milorad Ristić "Miki" (bass) and Lav Bratuša (drums).
The first live appearance the band made at the Belgrade SKC in May 1991. During the same year, the band released their first recordings, the tracks "Veliki duh" ("The Great Spirit") and "Srećna glava" ("Happy Head") on the Nova Aleksandrija record label various artists compilation Želim jahati do ekstaze, also featuring the bands Presing, Kazna Za Uši, Klajberi and Euforija. The release immediately became a rarity since all the records were printed in Zagreb where, due to the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars, remained to be sold in Croatia only.
From December 1992 until May 1993, the band recorded their debut studio album Paramparčad (Splinters), produced by Željko Božić, which was not released until 1995 by Take It Or Leave It Records. Since it took a long while from the band formation to the moment when the debut was released, the album featured a selection of songs from the band's early period, featuring a combination of punk rock and reggae influences. The song lyrics were written by Vučetić whereas the music was composed by the entire band. The record release provided the band with a cult status, achieving it without almost any media appearances, so that their live appearances in Belgrade were well visited.
In May 1996, the band released the second album U nedogled (Into the Indefinite), produced by the band themselves, which featured vocal versions of the tracks recorded for the film Paket aranžman (Package Deal). Since the release of this album by B92 Records, the record label has released all of the bands later studio releases. Guest appearance on the album featured at the time Plejboj member Dušan Petrović, who played saxophone and upright bass. Having precisely formed their musical expression, the band got positive reactions from both the critics and the audience. The tracks "Treći Vavilon" ("The Third Babylon"), "Imamo situaciju" ("We Have a Situation"), "Hej! Gringo" ("Hey! Gringo") and the title track were distinguished as the most prominent and some of the tracks featured samples from Aswad and Lee Scratch Perry songs. The album was pronounced the album of the year 1996 by most of the critics, and after the album release, for the first time, the band went on a promotional tour.
The release of the album Elektropionir (Electropioneer), recorded at the Belgrade Akademija studio from September 1998 until February 1999, was prevented by the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and it was not until September of the same year that the album was released. The album, co-produced by the band themselves and Aleksandar Radosavljević, featured guest appearances by Ana Žunić (backing vocals), Filip Krumes (violin, viola), Vasil Hadžimanov (keyboards), Dušan Petrović (saxophone) and Nemanja Kojić (trombone). The album presented the band to a wider audience, making it a mainstream act, and the success was noted on numerous live appearances on their two-year tour in former Yugoslav countries, including the performance at the first Novi Sad EXIT festival in 2000.
In 2001, the band participated in the project organized by a former Bjesovi vocalist Goran Marić, Pesme iznad istoka i zapada (Songs above the East and West), featuring various Serbian rock bands composing music to the poems and prayers written by Nikolaj Velimirović, with the track "Molitva Blagom Hristu" ("A Prayer to the Mild Christ"). After a three-year discography break, in 2002, the band released their fifth studio album Život počinje u 30-oj (Life Begins at 30), produced by Saša Janković and featuring guest appearance by Presing vocalist Zoran Radović "Kiza" on the track "Srebrna kap" ("Silver Drop"). Život počinje u 30-oj was the best-selling album in 2002, and was pronounced one of the best albums of the year by the webzine Popboks critics.
The following year, the album U nedogled was remastered and reissued on CD, featuring bonus material consisting of the track "Smak" ("The End of the World") and demo version of the track "Filadelfija" ("Philadelphia"). The band also participated in the Milan Mladenović tribute album Kao da je bilo nekad... (Posvećeno Milanu Mladenoviću) (As if It Had Happened Sometime... (Dedicated to Milan Mladenović)) with the track "Geto" ("Ghetto") originally released on the album Katarina II.
Their sixth studio album, O danima (About the Days), produced by the band themselves and released in 2004, featured nine tracks including "Laka radost" ("Easy Joy") and the title track for which as guest vocalist appeared Veliki Prezir vocalist Vladimir Kolarić "Kole" and the track "Centrala" ("Central Station") featuring Lira Vega member Vladimir Đorđević "Vlaca" on lead vocals. The album was recorded under the work title Melos, but was eventually renamed due to the usage of the phrase in turbo folk music. In 2006, the band performed as an opening act for Morrissey in Zagreb.
In 2008, the band released the album Jedinstvo (Unity). The guitarist Vladimir "Vlidi" Jerić had left the band prior to the album release, and after the album release the vacant spot was filled with a keyboard player, the famous Serbian jazz musician Vasil Hadžimanov. As per update on band's Facebook page, since 2013 Hadžimanov left the band and Darkwood Dub remained as quartet. Their track "Ženeva" ("Geneva") was voted the sixth most popular single in 2008 at B92 and the fifth at the same list on Studio B.
The following year, Darkwood Dub was nominated for the best MTV Adria regional act at the MTV European Awards. During the same year on the webzine Popboks annual lists, the single from Jedinstvo, "Šećer" ("Sugar") was voted the tenth most popular single in 2009 and the music video for the track "Robot" appeared at the sixth place at the music video of the year award. The track "130" appeared on the first place of the Jelen Top 10 list for two weeks on March 2010.
On April 7, 2011, the band released the song "Nešto sasvim izvesno" ("Something Quite for Certain"), featuring the famous Serbian jazz singer Bisera Veletanlić, for free digital download through the Exit Music online record label. The single was announcing their eight studio album. On June 8, the band released yet another single promoting the upcoming studio release, "Kraj oktobra" ("The End of October"), accompanied by a music video for the track. On July 1, the band's eight studio album, Vidimo se (See You), was released in mp3 format for free digital download thorough Exit Music, as well as on compact disc through Odličan Hrčak. The compact disc edition featured two songs not included on the download edition, the album title track and the song "Tama" ("Darkness").
On June 30, 2012, the band performed on the last evening of the first Belgrade Calling festival. In autumn of the same year, the band and Bisera Veletanlić announced a tour across Serbia, with performance at the Belgrade Jazz Festival as the first one. Just before the start of the tour, the band and Veletlanić released new versions of Veletanlić's old hit "Milo moje" ("My Dear"). and the B-side of "Milo moje", "Ručak za dvoje" ("Lunch for Two"). The concerts on the tour were performed mostly in theaters and similar venues.
In July 2014, Ristić stated that the band would release their new studio album during the autumn of 2014.
Based on their song "Usamljeni hašišar" ("The Lonesome Hashish Eater"), which appeared on the debut, Đorđe Marjanović and Nikola Majdak Junior recorded an animated movie of the same name, which got the Yugoslav ASIFA reward for animation.
During 1995, the band recorded their own movie Paramparčad directed by Miloš Stojanović and recorded the soundtrack for the omnibus Ivan Stefanović movie Paket aranžman (Package Deal), used in the story Mačo trip (Macho Trip). The following year, the band recorded the soundtrack for the movie Geto (Ghetto) directed by Mladen Matičević and Ivan Markov.
In 1997, the band recorded music for the play Trainspotting, based on the Irvine Welsh novel of the same name, performed at the BITEF theatre and directed by Đorđe Marjanović. The recorded material was released as Darkwood Dub by B92 records which also featured five remixes made by Chiq Toxiq, Velja M. and Boris K.
In 2001, a remix of the track "Zapremina" ("Bulk") appeared in the Munje! original soundtrack, released by B92. The following year, the band recorded the soundtrack for the movie Ogledalo (Mirror), directed by Dejan Kovačević, and in 2004, they performed live in the play Rat/Sećanja (War/Memories) directed by Đorđe Marjanović with Putu Viđaja.
In 2006, the song "Kolotečina" was ranked No. 33, and the song "Treći Vavilon" was ranked No. 35 on the B92 Top 100 Domestic Songs list.
The "Zampremina tela" lyrics were featured in Petar Janjatović's book Pesme bratstva, detinjstva & potomstva: Antologija ex YU rok poezije 1967 - 2007 (Songs of Brotherhood, Childhood & Progeny: Anthology of Ex YU Rock Poetry 1967 - 2007).