GLAS.BA - Internet Music Magazine

Druyd of Zagreb are Dubravko Lapaine - Du (didgeridoo), Igor Ratkovic - Yr (acoustic guitar) and Mary Crnkovic-Pilas or BlackMary (vocals), and on this occasion they brought a stand with a large branch attached to it whose leaves had withered so as to, for a moment at least, draw the audience's attention to nature and ambience.
Lapaine held a very pleasant introductory speech at the onset stressing how the new sound is stretched widely in the sea of sounds and is sometimes difficult to find, but when one enters the expanse of space, a lot of material can be found within it and without further ado, performed the acclaimed "Misao iz daleka" or "Thought from Faraway", which was among the 10 best world music compositions at this year's World of Music Awards organized by We Are Listening. They performed the piece in quite a convincing manner which did not steer far from the version recently released on the "Kosmopterix" album, and interestingly enough, during this time, BlackMary sat besides them on the stage and crocheted! This reminded me of a concert by the Czech experimental free-noise weirdos Zabloudil in Mocvara held about 10 years ago whose female members knitted before the performance... I hope you have all heard the didgeridoo, and that there is no need to explain its specific hollow, brittle and rough sound, but for the moment there are few who have seen Lapaine in action. But, the way things have been going, there's still time.
He is a wizard who crams sounds of wind into three long, wooden wind instruments and modifies them at his will, forming them into subtle sound sculptures. It often reminds one of electronic effects, beats and diabolical samplers, but one can also feel how he improvises associative percussive sounds - tom, djembe, conga drums... On many instances, I almost disbelievingly searched the stage to see whether there was perhaps a sampler, but to no avail. The master is a master, the kind of which you will not find with much ease in this part of Europe...
Anyway, in the composition "Desert's thing", which began with a bombastic tribal rhythm in a very loud dance format, BlackMary stood up and showed the whole range of her vocals. She sings in an archaic way combining vox-extended technique with mute improvised arias which evoke the enormous desert expanse calling to the spirits of the past. She is always careful to be at least a foot away from the microphone, and her interpretation is very similar to Lisa Gerrard's early work from the Dead Can Dance opus. In their third piece "Magic Wood", Lapaine asked the audience for at least 7 minutes of concentration because, as is often the case, the deaf public near the bar were entertaining themselves by chatting. The combination of the didgeridoo and melodica sounded chamber-ish, almost like a bassoon, and the band performed a very complex and demanding composition in which Lisa (a Croatian Australian) sung the English text very well. For their last piece, they performed "Unwinding the wind", once again in an archaic way with vox-extended arias by BlackMary, who seems to have a trained voice (at least that's how it sounds), and throughout the entire performance, Igor Ratkovic was constantly based on his subtle acoustic guitar whose sound often had the timbre and expression of the oud or shargija (Bosnian traditional instrument). To compare them to the folk gothic ambient band Tamerlan from Belgrade would not be out of place and they are very similar in terms of interpreting a fusion of neoclassical, folk and world music.
For the duration of the half hour concert, a crammed Sax could be convinced of what the "new sound" really is and will most probably remember this performance for a long time to come as it was throughout quite a rarity in a sea of pop, kitsch and outright copy/paste imitations.

by Horvi - Vladimir Horvat

Katja Ceglar, director of Kulturni dom Krsko

Druyd, a very unusual and interesting music group from Zagreb, Croatia, performed in the Kulturni dom Krsko (Slovenia) on the 18th of October. The music of Druyd can be quite simply called world music. On one hand, there are several elements in the didgeridoo-guitar-melodica-vocals combination that can be found in different world music styles. However, on the other hand, we can find some parallels even with the funky groove in the rhythm and the sound effects of Du's didgeridoo. Du, definitely one of the most prolific and amazing didgeridoo players in the world, creates an acoustic environment of different music instruments just by playing his didgeridoo. He gives the rhythm and bass line to Druyd, which from time to time sounds very groovy. And at other times creates an ultra subtle connection to the guitar and vocals. The wide expression of the didgeridoo's sound is upgraded by great acoustic guitar playing (Yr), occasionally accompanied by melodica. All these elements complement the clear and opened vocals (BlackMary). Druyd performs an amazing and unusually consistent and harmonious sound combination, which - in spite of a trio performing - sounds very rich and unpredictable. The band is very well rehearsed - which is why their live acoustic performance is so strong in expression and sensual at the same time. A great concert by Druyd in Kulturni dom Krsko!

Katja Ceglar

Damned by Light webzine

At our hands we have now an exploration of ethnic timbres that build a whole, but the one element that arise above all is the throbbing swirl of the didgeridoo. In the unholy alliance of voice, strings and 'the doo', spiced with various odd percussion and melodica, comes heavy wood music that is to bridge the gap between ourselves and the universe.
The music is at times meditative and earthly but also dives into fierce violent swirls with pulsating stabs from the didgeridoo and the hammering of the acoustic guitar.
The serene female vocals are like ones of a nymph. She drugs you, makes you crave for more and makes you her own. But when her silence washes over you are left feeling cold.
This combination of elements that is Druyd, is all you need on a hot summer day while being one with nature. Warm sounds cover you like a whip of honey you just wait to be licked of, but when the spell is over you find a craving for something more. When the last drone from the didgeridoo has died away, the silence must be replaced by heavier sounds.
Druyd provides the soundtrack of love and the making. The ultimate soundscape for the beautiful sunny days.

Kenneth K.

Junior's Cave Online Magazine

Sometimes a band comes along that offers something so new, so refreshing, and so unique that missing out on their music would be a crime. Many cool alternative bands get lost in the shuffle of average joe bands. This next band will certainly need not worry about this as they are making music that makes them instantly stand out above the masses. Who is this band? Meet DRUYD in this fun and exclusive spotlight with our Webzine.

Isaac: We'd love to know about your inspirations growing up. I hear so many influences in your music. How old were you when you first discovered music? Is there any kind of musical history in your family?
Druyd: We all discovered music when we were very young but the career paths we took in the future were quite different. Du had many mathematicians and musicians in his family, however, there is no musical history in Yr's and BlackMary's family.
Isaac: What drew you to pick up an instrument in the first place?
Druyd: When Yr was in 1st class, he wanted to take up guitar lessons at the local music school. However, he was told that his fingers were too short and as such, gave up for a while. His father then made him take tamburica (a rather small Croatian stringed instrument) lessons when he was in 3rd class and he attended for a year. Then at the age of 16, he taught himself to play the guitar and never looked back. Du was attracted to tubes by his sheer curiosity and fascination.
BlackMary first discovered the piano at the age of 5 at a factory where her mother worked as cleaning lady and from the moment she touched it, decided she had to learn how to play this bewitching instrument.
Isaac: As you hit your teenage years, did you know that this was what you would be doing for the rest of your life?
Druyd: She says yes and they say no. When BlackMary hit puberty she chose to do a double major at university - Music and French. She wasn't sure she wanted to be singer until her second year when on July 7th, 1990, The Three Tenors held their historical concert in the Baths of Caracalla in Rome on the eve of the World Cup and that was it.
Isaac: Is there a performer in any genre of pop culture that you would like to work with?
Druyd: We don't really think about stuff like that as most of our time is taken up with work for Druyd. However, having said that, we would love to work with any hyper positive, looney, innovative workaholics. Those are our friends, those are our space comrades.
However, as BlackMary is an avid knitter (she knits on stage when the boys play instrumental pieces) it would be cool if a well known knitwear designer designed a special outfit for her that she could knit while on stage.
Isaac: Who are some musicians that you really like, present or past?
Druyd: The boys like all hyper positive, looney, innovative workaholic musicians as mentioned above, with whom they would gladly be cooked along with in a large space cauldron.
And anyone who knows BlackMary well will undoubtedly roll their eyes and without any hesitation reply - Eva Cassidy.
Isaac: What is your ultimate goal with your music career?
Druyd: We don't really believe in any ultimate goals - our music making is not a means to the goal but is a goal in itself. In general, we have a goal to fulfill everyday and feel that this will lead us in the future to a place which at this point in time is impossible to forsee.
Isaac: What has been some of the obstacles it has taken to get this far in your career?
Druyd: Short fingers, bad breath and lack of musicality. Just kidding! Seriously, for BlackMary, as she is the mother of umpteenth children, it has been trying to find a balance between her music career and family. For Yr, he is constantly, abnormally ill. And for Du, it's been his bad breath! Again, just kidding! Du has had many obstacles which he failed to realise and therefore he is a kind of no-obstacle phenomena!
Isaac: Would you recommend this "field" to others who are aspiring to be musicians like you?
Druyd: Nothing is as rewarding as doing something you love, putting everything you have into it and then knowing that others appreciate your effort. We feel that this is not connected solely to the music field but to all fields. The real answer is always an individual one and a person can answer it through the consciousness or that is, in being honest to oneself, never in a cliched, always in a deep way.
Isaac: Describe one piece of advice you've have been given to by others in the music industry.
Druyd: Do a quality studio recording as soon as possible, create a website and put your music on the internet. We think it's really important if you want to be a successful musician to be "out there", to make your music as accessible as possible to your fans and people in the music industry. You need to be played in order to be heard and be heard in order to be played.
Isaac: What genre of music do you consider most of your music?
Druyd: It's hard to put our music into any specific category but we call it "Space Music" or „Heavy Wood Music". However, if you want the usual terms, our music could be considered world music, ambient, new age or accoustic.
Isaac: What has been your favorite piece of work?
Druyd: Magic Wood, Unwinding the Wind, Desert Stinkyroom, The Spatialist, Misao iz Daleka, Valso de sufokato.
Isaac: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
Druyd: On the MUSIC section of our website there are whole length previews of all of our singles and it's regularly updated with each new song. It's even possible to download all of the songs by visiting our ReverbNation page . A few months old Du's solo album Kosmopterix with two guest songs by Druyd is available at CD Baby and Bandcamp Our first full length release is planned for June 2010.
Isaac: Is there anyone you'd like to acknowledge for offering financial or emotional support?
Druyd: We would like to thank you for your support!
Isaac: Any last words?
Druyd: Blessed are those who slip. And fall into wonderland. For wonderlands are easy to miss. And so is bliss.

By: Isaac Davis Jr., BGS, MBA

ROCKonNET - Webzine for Audiofiles

Krško / Kulturni dom
29. 1. 2010

If you have a fear of space travel and its expanse, you just ain't ready for it. The Club of the Cultural Centre Krsko for a moment became the Black Hole, or concentrated light that engulfed everything into itself. Druyd, the "Heavy Wood" band from Zagreb as they like to call themselves, played. With Dubravko Lapaine on the didgeridoo, Mary Crnkovic on vocals and Igor Ratkovic on guitar. With a complete production, a relaxed and unpretentious approach, and above all an understanding that music, in Dubravko's, words belongs to no one, they opened a world of vibrations to us. Dubravko performs so many sounds on his didgeridoo that he covers a whole rhythm section, which for most bands needs three members.

His unbelievable abilities on the didgeridoo surpasses every preconceived idea - his beats and rhythms pull in the "other side" while at the same time bring us down to earth, the ethereal voice of the singer touches the heart, while Igor binds everything together melodically. They all play together - and each on his own. Dubravko has transformed the traditional sound of the didgeridoo, which is no longer just a "tribal instrument", and yet creates "tribal" worlds. Don't quite comprehend? I suggest a visit to one of their web sites and watching Desert Stinkyroom to get a clearer picture. An explanation of their musical creative process from a reasonable point of view is no easy task, and in a way it's something that I don't even want to do. Which is why I recommend you turn off reasoning, press play and then tell me whether I'm right or not. In between their compositions, we listened to Dubravko's stories from outer space, which made us laugh while at the same time created jumps in thought, which lead us on Druyd's journey. This is not music that you merely listen to, but rather feel, you cannot define it mentally. At first glance chaotic, incomprehensible, even with a shock effect, but if you let yourself go at the end as a "listener" you find yourself smiling, somewhere out there, hanging in space. Bon voyage!

by Breda Špacapan

Radio Student, Slovenia

DRUYD: Dronas (Digiland Records, 2010)
Saturday, 22. 1. 2011 19:00

Among the multitude of excellent albums that came forth in the past year, Dronas, the firstborn of the Croatian-Australian group Druyd, surprisingly laid somewhere in a corner. With these astral aboriginal stories you depart for a meditation. You fly over the spatial dimensions within a few minutes and listen to the weightlessness of infinite space, the waves of the deep sea and the mystique of a yet deeper forest. Druyd is a breathing teacher and balm for the ears. The didgeridooish noisy siren announced the departure of the ship. Enter the doors on 89.3 (MHz)!

"Tisuću gromova neće nadgrmiti snagu tvojih novih glasova!" "Nor thousand thunders will out-thunder your new voice power!" Druyd is the name of the band, which registers Zagreb as their home address, and Dronas is the title of this exceptional debut record, whose instrumental foundations are based on an unconventional terrain - the didgeridoo tribal rhythms, the Mediterranean warmth of acoustic guitars, and medieval mysticism of the female vocals. The central character in this three-member group is Dubravko Lapaine - Du, who established his name in solo appearances at the European didgeridoo festivals. He is a man who knows how to blow his thoughts through a hollow piece of wood and breathe new life into this dead object. It is impossible to describe Druyd using only the label of world music. However, since it is in our nature to stamp our people into stereotypes - otherwise, we would not purchase letterboxes in our homes and would have everything scattered on the floor - we will try to put him in a unilateral triangle made of ethnic, ambiental, and new age. The Heavy Wood band, as they call themselves, launches you from their platform into hypnotizing spins and wanderings without destinations - because there is actually no finite objective - only contrasts between galaxies. Between light and dark, fairies and witches, the moon and the sun, birth and death, female and male aspect... to look for an exact reference for this band is an ungratifying task. Certainly we will not be wrong to say that Druyd continues in a good tradition of Croatian folk bands in its new guises. The seals, that were struck by the dark tribal Legen and her son Kries, under the command of Mojmir Novaković, the sentimental lyrical "kajkavke" of Lidija Bajuk and Dunja Knebl, and jazzy Istrian Tamara Obrovac, to which we raise a toast with a carafe of "Istrian supa"!, have not yet dried out. They have contributed much to the success of the fusion tradition and modern components of rock, pop, jazz and techno. Druyd continues this train composition, but it is somehow moving aside, they sit in a separate compartment. The difference between them and those mentioned above is that Druyd does not draw from Croatian tradition, it does not work on "hits from the past centuries", modified, processed and plastically embellished too many times already, but it creates from scratch. It creates an unusual sound imagery and rarely abides by regular structures in songs. Abrupt shifts from one space and time to others are not rare. They are like passages from reality to dreamtime - not to dreams, but as in Aboriginal beliefs, to another, parallel reality. Objects from all places and from different viewing angles, as in the Borges' Aleph, will be flying towards you at the same time, or you the listener will be flying against them.

Let's get back to the tradition. Rather than the Croatian, Druyd would have contact points with Celtic musical traditions, which echo on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, in the misty sea among lost souls within sacred forests and ruins of ancient cities, that is where the introductory song Daorson leads us. Portugal is a place in old mother Europe where the sun goes down last, and the song Valso de Sufokato, sung in Esperanto and played with melodicas, could be without a doubt attributed to the sad fado of Madredeus, to Teresa Salgueiro and her voice. The singing of Mary Crnković-Pilaš aka BlackMary, who knits on stage during the instrumental tracks!!!, could easily be compared with druidic verses memorized by heart. Those ancient thinkers, healers and magicians, and especially mediators of the gods in the Celtic and Gallic tribes, were scattered all over Albion, and they, just as the band which we are getting to know today, paid much attention to elements of nature. Together with Merlin and the famous magical druid from Asterix, Druyd has joined the list of the famous ones. Their story is strongly infused with Gothic elements, which were significant for pop and art rock bands from a not too distant musical history. Some common features would be found with Jethro Tull and their folk phases in the album Heavy Horses. And then there is the Irish folk band De Danann, whose singer, notice the odds, had the mirrored the name of Druyd's first voice - that is to say Mary Black Vs. BlackMary! And speaking about the vocal, the common denominator is found in the British pop Gothic lyric Miranda Sex Garden from the eighties, and especially on the album Fairytales of Slavery, but also in All About Eve in some sequences. Unwinding The Wind begins with a slow lyrical avalanche of Cocteau Twins, and then moves to the wandering of Macedonian Mizar. Australia obviously bears something in itself - down under is the inspiration to which the trans electronic musician Kiril Džajkovski flew to, and ultimately Lisa Gerrard comes from there. But we can forget about all these, because in their music did not use the didgeridoos, which occupy an honorary place in the band Druyd and covers all the rhythms of music.

Finally we should mention the rest of the co-creators. The third is Ivan Uravić - Ur on acoustic guitar and tamburicas, as well as Igor Ratković - Yr as coauthor of the compositions. The producer Hrvoje Nikšić contributed in knitting the soundscape, known for the cooperation with local underground bands such as Petrol from Belgrade, and Andy Jackson, a former producer of the Pink Floyd and the album Tubular Bells.

prepared by Robert Suša
Radio Student, Slovenia @ 89.3MHz

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