- Vladimir Ivkovic is known to pepper his DJ sets with challenging music. Listen to him spin and you'll find yourself dancing to angular, dissonant records. It's a style he's honed at Düsseldorf's Salon Des Amateurs, where he's held a longstanding residency, and his home city of Belgrade, where he has a cult following. So it's little surprise that Ivkovic's new Offen Music label kicks off with something of a curveball.
In The Moon Cage focuses on Mitar Subotić, a Serbian producer who recorded as Rex Ilusivii and Suba. Subotić isn't around to soak up the attention that comes with retrospectives like these; he died after a fire swept through his Brazil studio in 1999. After many months of discussions, Ivkovic was able to access Subotić's catalogue with the blessing of his family. The previously unheard recordings on In The Moon Cage date back to 1988.
The first 12-inch contains four compositions. The way they twist and turn is somehow epic, with different elements gradually introducing themselves in a manner reminiscent of Arthur Russell. There's a sombre, almost elegiac mood to "Moon Cage I," with its Eastern vocals, classical strings and otherworldly electronics. "Moon Cage II" unfolds in rich, unsettling detail. Some percussion and a wind instrument (perhaps a didgeridoo) are added to the mix this time, sounding like a companion to David Bowie's "Warszawa."
"Moon Cage III"'s sonic landscape is windswept and vacant, while "Moon Cage IV" is punctuated by bursts of orchestral bombast. The album's C-side is given over to two "annexes" of "Moon Cage." Trickling water and acoustic guitar pervade the first, while the second sucks out any organic textures for something stark, beatless and eerie. (The final side in the package features an etching.) In The Moon Cage presents just one facet of Subotić's catalogue, as Ivkovic apparently is sitting on a wealth of unheard material. In recent times, there's been no shortage of producers from decades past—Ariel Kalma, Gigi Masin, Vito Ricci, Vangelis Katsoulis—plucked from obscurity by various record labels. The next name on everybody's lips might be Rex Ilusivii.
01. Moon Cage I
02. Moon Cage II
03. Moon Cage III
04. Moon Cage IV
05. Moon Cage - Annex 01
06. Moon Cage - Annex 02