The Stroj

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The Stroj (The Stroy)
OriginSlovenia
GenresIndustrial Percussion
Years active1997–
LabelsStrojMusic

The Stroj is a musical collective formed in 1997 in Laško originally as a percussion band, consisting of eight members who used plastic or metal waste barrels, worn out machine parts, and various working tools to make their music.

Name[edit]

The name The Stroy comes from the Slovene word ‘stroj’ which means a ‘machine’. Pronounced together, the words sound like ‘destroy’. The Stroy is a pun with two meanings: machine and destruction.

History[edit]

The musical collective The Stroj was formed in 1997 in Laško. Originally The Stroj was a percussion band, consisting of eight members who used plastic or metal waste barrels, worn out machine parts, and various working tools to make their music. Distinctive percussive compositions which were based on striking, mechanically structured rhythms, and industrially sounding percussion instruments marked the collective's early work. Music from this period can be found on the albums Ventilator (1999) and Gremo! (2002). When artist and musician Aleksij Kobal joined the collective, the group's music became enriched by original wind and string instruments, as recorded on the album Cona/The Zone (2006). All three albums were produced by Aldo Ivančič (Borghesia, Bast), who had an important influence on the development of the collective's distinctive sound during this period.

The Stroj became known mostly for its striking music performances, which were based on expressive rhythmics, created by using non-conventional percussion instruments, on spectacular pyrotechnics, and unusual concert settings, like quarries, mines, a remade city bus and various industrial buildings. In the past decade the Stroj performed at festivals across Europe, in countries of the former republic of Yugoslavia, and in Singapore.

In the year 2000 The Stroj received the Zlata Ptica award for its musical accomplishments, and a documentary film about the group (directed by Brane Bitenc and written by Edvard Žitnik) was filmed by TV Slovenia. In 2006 the collective was featured in a music and dance performance called Začasno avtonomna cona (Temporarily autonomous zone) at Cankarjev dom.

At the beginning of 2007 most of the original members of the collective left The Stroj, and started working under the name StrojMachine.

In April 2009 the new line up, led by the founder of the group Primož Oberžan, premiered their latest project Cymaticon at Kinodvor movie theater in Ljubljana. The project, named after the device which displays cymatic visualizations of sound, indicated a transition to a new creative stage, with notable changes having been made to the sound and visual presentation of the group. With this project The Stroj began upgrading their performances with live video projections of sound effects by using different types of liquid and powdered matter.

On November 3, 2009 at 52nd anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 2, The Stroj released single Laika with Eva Breznikar on vocals. The Stroj's music is still based on expressive and complex rhythmical structures, as well as typical percussion instruments and sound devices, made by Oberžan, but is now complemented by electronically manipulated field recordings, various electronic devices and odd electromechanical equipment.

In 2010 and 2011 collective undergone some line up changes and recorded most of the material for following album. In 2012 The Stroj took part in the European Capital of Culture, where they staged a large scale musical event at Surovina recycling centre in Tezno near Maribor. Few thousand people attended the show and special train was organized to bring audience to the venue.

In 2013 Stane Špegel aka HouseMouse aka Monom joined the collective and helped them to finish the compositions for album Metafonik. Metafonik was released in October 2013 at MKC Maribor. Their music is still based on expressive and complex rhythmical structures, as well as typical percussion instruments and sound devices, made by Oberžan, but is now complemented by electronically manipulated field recordings, various electronic devices and odd electromechanical equipment. In Oktober 2014 TV Slovenia presented one hour production with The Stroj's live performance and interview with members of the collective. In addition to their recent repertoire, they also performed a remake of Terminator theme with LadyBird on vocals.

In April 2017 The Stroj celebrated 20 years of existence followed by retrospective exhibition in the Coil Mining Museum of Slovenija in Velenje. They also released their latest single Grandioso.

In September 2018 collective staged their latest production 'Plamen v prsih' (Flame In the Chest) on Ljubljana Castle.

Line up[edit]

  • Dare Hriberšek – percussion
  • Nina Orlič – percussion
  • Žiga Miklavc – percussion
  • Matej Voglar – percussion, hang
  • Stane Špegel – electronics
  • Matic Kadliček - percussion
  • Fabijan Purg - percussion
  • Matic Gselman - percussion
  • Primož Oberžan – percussion, effector, samples, theremin, cymatics

Crew[edit]

  • Aldo Ivančič – sound design and manipulation, sound production
  • Loris Vižintin (Intralux) & Črt Birsa – lighting design
  • Aleksij Kobal – graphic design
  • Čop Robert & Cym - webmasters
  • Luka Drinovec – cymatics
  • Arnold Marko (Kabum Production) – cameras and video production
  • Damjan Švarc – photography

Former members[edit]

  • Leon Vavričuk (1997-1999)
  • Dare Gozdnikar (1997-1999)
  • Rok Deželak (1997-2001)
  • Andrek Krašek (1997-2003)
  • Aljaž Cestnik (1997-2003)
  • Jure Šuhel (1997-2007)
  • Črt Lipovšek (1997-2007)
  • Sergej Dobovšek (2000-2003)
  • Sonja Dernjač (2000-2007)
  • Matjaž Madjar (2000-2007)
  • Gregor Brvar (2000-2007)
  • Uroš Srpčič (2002-2003)
  • Bojan Krhlanko (2002-2007)
  • Aleksij Kobal (2003-2007)
  • Miha Markošek (2004-2007)
  • Janez Levec ( 2004-2007)
  • Sašo Kotnik (2004-2007)
  • Goran Završnik (2008-2009)
  • Anže Žurbi (2008-2010)
  • Žiga Kožar (2008-2011)
  • Matija Jašarov (2009-2011)
  • Eva Breznikar (2008-2012)
  • Janez Spruk (2011-2012)
  • Matija Bencik (2012)
  • Matej Bib Selan(2008-2012)
  • Nina Orlič (2012 - 2017)

Discography[edit]

  • Ventilator (StrojMusic/Dallas Records 1999)
  • Gremo! (StrojMusic/Dallas Records 2002)
  • Cona / The Zone (StrojMusic/Dallas Records 2006)
  • Metafonik (MKC Maribor 2013)

External links[edit]