When I was trawling through used bins in California last year, I came across this interesting-looking record:
Since those who've listened to my show know I'm a fan of Eastern European music in general, this completely unknown-to-me lp from the early seventies looked promising enough to spend a few dollars on... When I got back to my sister's place, I googled the name but came up with nothing except a Branko Mataja who'd passed away a decade or so ago. He had lived in California where the record turned out to be from despite the title, so I figured the specificity of the name meant it must have been the same guy, When I got home from L.A. a week later and finally got to listen to his album (my sister has no record player), I was completely floored. Alternately melancholy and frenetic, this is reverb-drenched instrumental psychedelia of the highest order, like what Morricone might have sounded like if he'd grown up in Yugoslavia or Turkey.
After doing some more internet searching (and after being contacted by some collector after playing Branka on my show), I learned this lp I picked up because of the cover is actually some kind of 'hush-hush' top 'secret' album. So, ummm, don't tell anybody! [And one of the reasons it's hush hush, I'd bet, is because there's a reissue in the works.]
Anyway, until then, you can listen to some of my favorite tracks:Kolo (Folk Dance)