Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mdzhreni - rehearsal demo (2007?)

MDZHRENI "demo"

Year: unknown (probably 2007)
Genre: Raw Punk/D-Beat
Country: Georgia 

Track List:
  1. Capitalist's Hell
  2. War
  3. Belief
DOWNLOAD

Now it's time for some really - I mean, REALLY - rare and obscure stuff. There's absolutely no info about this band, and even the date of this release is dubious - it's most likely from 2007, but there's a possibility it was recorded during the 08/08/08 war. Google search yields no results for "Mdzhreni", but it's probably because the transcription is wrong - however, I know neither Georgian language (which differs drastically from all the world languages), nor their alphabet, so I have no idea how this band is called correctly. Anyway, this demo consists of 3 tracks of very raw and angry d-beat/punk, all under 1 minute long. Only for fans of primitive/lo-fi stuff.

BTW, I doubt if this band has ever existed (and not a hoax like AAIL) - because there's no punk scene in Georgia, except for a few apolitical punk/alternative bands in Tbilisi. Well, some of them are actually quite good (i.e. Outsider and Butaforia), but it's a separate matter. I seriously doubt if there currently are any dis-, crust, or just anarcho-punk bands in Georgia (or in the whole Caucasus for that matter), and more so - if there were any 5 years ago.

The metal scene there isn't much bigger, consisting of only a handful of bands, all of them from Tbilisi. The situation is slightly better in the neighbouring Armenia - at least there's a sizable amount of alternative rock fans (because of SOAD and Louna), and a growing metal scene. However, the people there are mostly religious to a fault, so at least a half of Armenian bands claiming to play black metal are in fact "unblack". Things are quite hard there for punks too - not so long ago the only DIY club in Yerevan was set on fire by two right wing extremists. Despite all that, Armenia remains the only country in the region to hold an annual metal festival (Highlands Metalfest). Yes, it's mostly used as a "safe haven" for Iranian metal bands, but at last 3 bands from both Georgia and Armenia participate each year too + even some world-class bands (Saturnus, Throes of Dawn, and Horse the Band). Don't know if any Russian bands participated there, though (except for Arkona in 2007).

P.S. Perhaps I should try to contact Darknagar Recs., the only known underground label based out of North Caucasus, and ask if they know anything about Mdzhreni. AFAIK, this label is run by Alextos Georgiadi, a Pontic Greek living in Pyatigorsk, who's playing in a BM band called Atra Hora. Judging from his VK page, politically he resembles me 7-10 years ago ;)

UPD: it turned out that the correct Georgian spelling is "მძღრენი" ("mdzghreni"). Still don't understand what it means, but it's most likely some slang word or curse.

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