Elipse during their soul period.
|Origin||Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Genres||Rock and roll, beat, rhythm and blues, soul|
|Years active||1962 – 1968|
|Labels||PGP-RTB, Simke Music|
|Associated acts||Siluete, Kongo Kinšasa, KIM Band, Korni Grupa, Mag, Orkestar Zorana Simjanovića|
|Past members||Aleksandar Mandić|
Elipse (Serbian Cyrillic: Елипсе; trans. The Ellipses) were a Serbian and former Yugoslav rock and roll/beat and later soul group from Belgrade, notable as one of the pioneers of the Serbian and former Yugoslav rock scene.
The beat years (1962-1967)
The band was formed in 1962 by Momčilo "Moma" Radovanović (guitar), Radomir Dmitrović "Đura" (guitar) and Minja Tasić (vocals), as a part of the Society for Culture and Arts Gradimir Mihajlović. The first live appearance the band had was at the Belgrade club Euridika on June 21, 1963, performing cover versions of The Shadows. On Autumn of the same year, the drummer Vladimir "Furda" Furduj joined the band, bringing along Zoran Simjanović (keyboards), formerly of Siluete. At the time, beside Radovanović and Dmitrović, the lineup also featured Božidar Knežević (vocals), Kosta Ignjatović "Gule" (saxophone), and Bojan Hreljac (bass guitar). However, it did not last long and the new vocalist became Slobodan "Skaka" Skakić, Ignjatović left the band and Dmitović was replaced by Simeun "Simica" Vuković (solo guitar). On the departure of Skakić, the band decided to turn to polyphonic vocals with all the members doing vocals beside their instrumental duties. For a while, the band member was also the director Aleksandar Mandić (backing vocals, tambourine).
Elipse often performed live as a backing band for the, at the time, popular singers Ivanka Pavlović, Đorđe Marjanović, Dragan Stojnić and Miki Jevremović. With the singer Miodrag Marković, the band recorded an extended play featuring the songs "Predaću tugu zvezdama" ("I Will Hand My Grief to the Stars"), "Ne reci sad" ("Do Not Say Now"), "Ne, nemoj nikad plakati" ("No, Do Not You Ever Cry"), and "Zaboravi me" ("Forget Me"), released by PGP-RTB in 1965. At the time, the band had become increasingly popular, with the media propagating a rivalry with Siluete, resulting in a competition held at the Belgrade Dom Omladine, where the audience was to poll the winner. The competition, consisting of a musical performance, caricature drawing and poetry presentation, was won by Elipse with 146 votes advantage. Despite this fact, PGP-RTB did not find it as a token for good record sales, resulting in a split EP release with the popular Niš rock and roll singer Perica Stojančić. The EP featured Elipse and the vocal group Korali as Stojančić's backing band, and on the B-side, Elipse recorded the instrumental tracks "Signal Evrovizije" ("Eurovision Signal") and "Plaža" ("The Beach").
The success of the EP release resulted in their winning the 1966 Sajmište Guitar festival, their appearance at the Ponoćna zvona (Midnight Bells) concert held in Belgrade in front of two thousand people, and the recording of a short television movie, made at the Belgrade Zoo. During the same year, the band released their second EP, featuring the songs "Pogledaj kroz prozor" ("Look Through The Window", a cover version of the song "Look Through Any Window" by The Hollies), "Reci da me voliš" ("Say That You Love Me", a cover version of The Beatles song "Tell Me What You See"), and the censored song "Maja" ("Maya"), originally entitled "Naga Maja" ("Naked Maja"). After the EP release, on April of the following year, both Siluete and Elipse had performed as the opening acts on The Searchers concerts in Belgrade and Zrenjanin. Soon after, due to the obligations at the architecture studies, guitarist Vuković left Elipse.
The soul years (1967-1968)
After Vuković's departure, on the Spring of 1967, Edi Dekeng, a foreign student from Congo, joined the group as the new vocalist. On the arrival of Dekeng, a former member of Crni Panteri founded by the students from Congo, the band moved towards soul music, adding a brass section consisting of Nikola Zembić (trumpet), Dragan Kuprijanov (saxophone) and Zoran Jurkić (saxophone, flute). The new lineup had their first live appearance at the Belgrade Dom Sindikata, performing as an opening act for The Hollies, getting positive reactions from both the audience and the critics. During the same year, the new lineup also released an EP, featuring the songs "Za one što na licu nose bore" ("To the Ones Who Have Wrinkles on Their Faces"), written by Vlada Kanić, and "Le Telephone" ("The Telephone"), a cover version of a song by the French soul singer Nino Ferrer, and performed as an opening act for the Italian singer Rita Pavone concert held at Tašmajdan. During 1967, Elipse appeared in the movies The Naughty Ones, directed by Kokan Rakonjac, and The Rats Woke Up, directed by Živojin Pavlović.
On August 1968, Elipse and the band Mladi Levi from Ljubljana, as the representatives of Yugoslavia, performed at the Sofia Peace Festival. Since the two bands had similar musical directions, they decided to have a joint performance at a park situated in the city centrum. As soon as the performance had started, the audience started clapping their hands to the rhythm of the music, which provoked the police to stop the Elipse performance after ten minutes and brutally attack the audience. Despite the indecent, Elipse got the silver medal for the second best festival performance. By the end of the same year, due to the decision of the band members to focus more on their studies, Elise disbanded.
In Autumn of 1967, Slobodan Skakić (organ, vocals), with Radomir Dmitović (guitar), Nenad Nedić (bass guitar) and Milenko Kašanin (drums), formed the band Nove Elipse (The New Ellipses). However, they did not achieve any success and in 1969, Skakić moved to England, where he currently resides. He had been a keyboard player and vocalist in a band called Ici-la until 1987, when he had an accident in which he injured his arm. After the disbandment of Elipse in 1968, Furduj and Hreljac joined Korni Grupa. Dekeng went to Germany before moving to the United States where he works as a physician. The saxophonist Zoran Jurkić moved to Denmark where he started working at a Porsche service.
Zoran Simjanović started working as a composer, recording music for theatre and film. He wrote an autobiographical book called Kako sam postao (i prestao da budem) roker (How I Started (and Stopped) Being a Rocker), released by Narodna Knjiga in 2004. The promotion of the book also included a concert held on November 22, 2004, at the Belgrade Dom Sindikata, where both the Siluete and Elipse members appeared as performers. Guest appearances also featured Seka Kojadinović, Janez Bončina, and the group Valjevski Dečaci.
The Elipse material released on the EPs, along with the unreleased material, appeared on the compilation album Elipse za prijatelje (1963-1968) (Elipse for Friends), released by Simjanović through his own independent record label Simke Music in 1999.
In 2015, Furduj died in Belgrade. He was 70 years old.
- Sentimental Baby/Plaža (split EP with Perica Stojančić; 1965)
- Pogledaj kroz prozor (1966)
- Le Telelphone (1967)
- Elipse za prijatelje (1963-1968) (1999)
- EX YU ROCK enciklopedija 1960-2006, Janjatović Petar; ISBN 978-86-905317-1-4
- Fatalni ringišpil: hronika beogradskog rokenrola 1959—1979, Žikić Alkesandar, publisher: Geopoetika, Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1999