Mizar (band)

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Mizar
Мизар
Origin Skopje, Macedonia (Yugoslavia at time of formation)
Genres Dark folk, avant-garde, dark wave
Years active 1983-1992
2003-present
Labels Helidon
Avalon
Associated acts Padot na Vizantija
Arhangel
Badmingtons
Members Gorazd Čapovski
Zoran Origjanski
Pece Kitanovski
Jana Burcheska
Past members Goran Trajkoski
Risto Vrtev
Boris Georgiev
Panta Džambazoski
Goran Tanevski
Eleonora Stojanović
Ilija Stojanovski
Žarko Serafimovski
Vlatko Kaevski
Harmosini, (male byzantine choir)

Mizar (Macedonian: Мизар [miˈzar]) is a Macedonian rock band from Skopje. They achieved a status of a cult band, especially in Macedonia and across the former Yugoslavia.

The group is notable for its first self-titled album, as it was the first Yugoslav rock record in Macedonian language. Previously, Macedonian bands often recorded in Serbo-Croatian for marketing reasons, as it was the most widespreaded language in the multilingual former Yugoslav Federation. The album was a major success and it is listed among the top ten rock albums ever released in Yugoslavia.

Mizar was formed in 1983 in the then Socialist Republic of Macedonia, a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Because of the band's avant-garde sound and image, its Orthodox Christian leanings and support for Macedonian self-determination, they were viewed with certain degree of suspicion by the former communist regime. Still, the group received great media attention including numerous appearances on the national television.

Name[edit]

The band got its name after Mizar which is a guiding star for orientation of travelers in the deserts. The name was given by Panta Džambazoski.

Mizar music[edit]

Mizar's musical style is post-punk, darkwave and gothic rock. Beside influences such as Joy Division for instance, Mizar also uses elements of Traditional Macedonian folklore and Byzantine music. Another main part of their music is Goran's (both Tanevski and Trajkovski) vocals which are based on Eastern Orthodox church chants.

Story of the Mizar[edit]

In their long history Mizar had 3 Revelations, all of them with different singers.

The First Revelation (Risto Vrtev)[edit]

The band was formed in 1983 in Skopje, but their first self-titled album came out in 1988. The first line up of Mizar was:

The Second Revelation (Goran Tanevski)[edit]

In 1985 Vrtev left Mizar and was replaced by Goran Tanevski. Also the keyboardist Slobodan Stojkov joined in. This change affected their musical style as well. They started to use elements of the traditional Macedonian folklore and Byzantine music blended with post-punk, darkwave and gothic rock. This phase of Mizar is known as Мизар - Второ Откровение (Mizar - The Second Revelation). Vrtev later founded Arhangel (Archangel) which was awarded as the best rock act in Macedonia during the 1990s. Arhangel inherited certain features of Mizar but with a more conventional rock approach which is why Arhangel was sometimes referred as the Rock Mizar. During 1986 and 1987 there were many changes in the line-up, which during a certain period included the prominent Macedonian musician Goran Trajkoski as a bass player. Later he was a lead vocalist of Anastasia) .

In 1987 they recorded a few demos and were a support act for Laibach and Disciplina Kičme on their Yugoslav tour. The following year they were awarded for their unique sound at the most significant rock music festival in the former Yugoslavia which was held in Subotica.

They released their first, self-titled album, in 1988 with the following line-up:

  • Goran Tanevski (vocal)
  • Gorazd Čapovski (guitar)
  • Boris Georgiev (drums) (formerly of Badmingtons)
  • Sašo Krstevski (bass guitar)
  • Katerina Veljanovska (keyboards)

The producer was Goran Lisica-Fox. Beside their own songs, the album also included a cover version of the notable Macedonian folk song Zajdi, Zajdi under the title "Златно сонце" (Golden Sun). One of the best known songs from the album is "Девојка од Бронза" (Girl made of bronze).

Their second album Svjat Dreams was released in 1991. The title of the record is inspired by the song Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics. On this album they covered the traditional song 1762 and a song written by Vrtev, the first singer of Mizar titled "Дом" (Home).

After the release of the band's second album Tanevski left the group and was replaced by the vocalist Nora, but soon by the end of the 1991 the band split. Tanevski got involved in organising concerts, Kaevski restored his old band Kiborg, while Chapovski left to Australia. There he formed Kismet in 1993 which is considered a sort of continuation of Mizar's work because the musical style was similar. In 1999, Chapovski returned to Macedonia and contributed two tracks to a tribute album dedicated to Mizar, which was released in 2001. In 2002, Kismet released an album called "Dreaming". The band broke up in that year.

The Third Revelation (Goran Trajkovski)[edit]

In 2001 a tribute album named Tribute to Mizar was released. It was a collection of Mizar cover versions by some of the most notable groups in Macedonia incl. Majakovski, the black death metal band Syniac and others. Two years later the first two albums of Mizar were re-released on CD solely for the Macedonian market, but the record quickly spread across the countries of former Yugoslavia. Beside the albums, the CD also contained demos and live recordings.

Mizar was reunited in early 2003 with their former member Goran Trajkovski as a vocalist, with whom, first they released the single Macedonian: "Почесна Стрелба" (Gun Salute). That summer they played at the Exit festival in Novi Sad and in the alternative club Mochvara in Zagreb. The entrance tickets included give-away records featuring the new single. The following year a new album titled Terrible Beauty (is born) came out. During 2005 Mizar toured ex-Yugoslavia, August 2005 Mizar toured Croatia together with Croatian gothic band from Zagreb - Phantasmagoria, with its leader Tomi Edvard Sega. That was Jadran Tour - Pula (Viva La Pola! festival), Zadar (Maya Pub), Split (O'Hara Club), Dubrovnik (Lazareti) and in the beginning of November they visited Serbia and Montenegro playing in Panchevo, Belgrade and Kragujevac.

After Trajkovski[edit]

During the summer of 2006 the former Mizar vocalist Goran Tanevski replaced Goran Trajkoski. In the beginning of November that year Mizar played in Belgrade and announced their new album featuring Tanevski as a vocalist. The album Pogled na cvetnata gradina was completed and released in 2007.

In 2010, Goran Tanevski left Mizar again and was replaced by the Byzantine choir Harmosini. The album Deteto i beloto more was released in 2010. The album contains a rerecording of "Hoden zhe" from Mizar's debut album.

In 2014, they were selected as the support band for Simple Minds' concert at the Kale hall in Skopje. Their new album, Sharena krava (Coloured Cow) was announced at that concert. Sharena krava returns the band to its punk rock roots, removing all traditional Macedonian instruments and patriotic lyrical themes. Harmosini have been replaced with Jana Burcheska, the second female singer in the history of Mixar since Nora Stojanovic's brief tenure with the band from 1991 to 1992.

To this day, Chapovski has remained the only constant member of Mizar since its formation in 1983.

Discography[edit]

Band members[edit]

Current band members (2010)[edit]

Former band members[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]