Though his exceptional achievements, the artist was nearly forgotten in the country where he was born. This phenomena inspired the Austrian culture activist Josef Gaffl (aka DJ Acid Buzz) to initiate the project Kingdom of Illusions | Kraljevstvo Iluzija. The idea was to bring back SUBA's artistic spirit to Serbia. Since the project started in October 2003, more than 200 artists and supporters contributed in more than 80 culture events, which were joined by 20.000 visitors. Thanks to all these volunteers, SUBA became popular again inside the amazing scene of DJs and electronic music producers in South-East Europe.
Kingdom of Illusions was not focused on Mitar SUBA Subotic and his achievements only. Reality transformed the project soon into a source for culture exchange and cooperations based on mutual respect and friendship. In this way, it follows the same principles like Mitar SUBA Subotic and his friends.
Kingdom of Illusions is fighting for to break the isolation of artists living in South-East and Eastern Europe. Equal conditions of travelling must be achieved for all citizens in Europe. If politicians are unable to provide fair conditions, artists and civil society must fight together for their rights.
The EU visa regulations must fall in 2009 like the Berlin wall in 1989.
The following review was not written for to be complete. If any wrong facts might be detected, please be so kind and inform us by email
on solid fundaments, he started
to produce electronic music in 1984. One year later an artist irritated
the domestic music and media scene with a groundshaking hybrid
sound: New Wave, produced in Yugoslavia. The only evidence for the
mysterious artist existed in his music. Neither information nor gossip
could be reported, only his synonym was known:
Finally the power of reality succeeded the artistic guerilla strategy of Mitar Subotic. The secret of Rex Ilusivii was revealed on a concert tour between Subotica and Sarajevo. In 1987, the accoustic legacy of Rex Ilusivii was published on a long-player, given the hyper-ironical title 'Disillusioned'. The four tracks on side A are rare documents of early electronic music published in former Yugoslavia; Side B contains the complex and epic composition 'Thanks to Mr. Rorschach', which shows the real face of the artist, who had created Rex Ilusivii.
The music of Eric Satie - provided by his piano professor and mentor Branka Parlic - was not choosen incidently for the 25-minutes piece 'Thanks to Mr. Rorschach'. The French artist was the first one, who integrated environmental sounds into compositions. 70 years later, Mitar Subotic turned the concept of the artist, who invented ambient music, upside down and inside out: he integrated the music of Eric Satie into his composition just like all the other sounds and created an electronic ambience, where he placed Satie's music like furniture - which was once the explicit wish of the French composer. At the same time, Mitar Subotic became the inventor of the art concept, which was later discussed as artistic antropophagism.
In 1988, Mitar Subotic was awarded by the UNESCO Fund for Culture Promotion for the concept of 'The Dreambird, In The Mooncage'. The project brought him first to Madagascar, then to France. In Paris the sounds collected in the southern hemisphere was finished with Goran Vejvoda and after this 'published' with ambiental installations in Italy and Yugoslavia. Some years later, such installations in public space were repeated in Brasil, where also a CD 'The Dreambird' was released in 1992.
Before Mitar Subotic was working on artistic projects abroad, he was deeply rooted in the progressive culture scene of Novi Sad. He composed music for contemporary theater plays and left his electronic traces on records of artists like Marina Perazic or bands like EKV.
His artistic cooperation with Milan Mladenovic, co-autor of Rex Ilusivii's lyrics and frontman of the legendary band EKV, is just one evidence, that Mitar Subotic never cut his connections with the art scene in Novi Sad. In 1994, Milan and Mitar recorded the album 'Angels Breath' in Brasil, which was released in Belgrade in autumn of the same year. The unexpected death of Milan Mladenovic erased their common dream of a concert tour with Brasilian friends like percussionist Joao Parahyba and guitar player Fabio Golfetti.
In 1990, Mitar Subotic visited Brasil for the first time to study there afro-brasilian and native music. After three months he returned to Europe - but soon later Sao Paulo became his home again - then for almost one decade. He started a new carreer (or better: several carreers) and became the most influential and sought after producer in Brasil until his untimely death on November 2nd, 1999. (Guto Barra)
Brasilian oevre is impressive: he created music for dance theater
like Os 12 Trabolhos de Hérculo, Sáfara or Bonita &
Lampao, which was awarded by APCA in 1994. Between 1995 and 1988 he
produced albums for Taciana Barros, Dinho
Ouro Preto, Edgard Scanduro, Arnoldo Antunes, Edson Cordeiro,
Ambrósio and Marina Lima. He dropped remixes
Science, Daúde, Os
Habitants and many others. He
created music for TV-spots and soundtracks for fashion shows, performed
at electronic music festivals and toured the whole country with his
congenial artistic partner, the Brasilian master percussionist Joao
was Joao Parahyba, who persuaded the by producer SUBA to start working
on his 'own Brasilian album'. Their friendship has started in 1990,
after Mitar Subotic was
- totally out of the blue - knocking at Parahyba's door in Sao Paulo.
Since this day they collected ideas and accoustic material,
they discussed artistic concepts and performed live many times. Eventually
noone else than Joao Parahyba knew more about the artistic visions
and dreams of the late Mitar Subotic.
SUBA's 'own Brasilian album' started to grow slowly. In the end of this process, it integrated the voices of Cibelle, Taciana, Katia B., Joanna Jones and Arnaldo Antunes, the guitar playing of Kuaker, Roberto Frejat, Edgard Scandurra and Andre Geraissati, the percussion sounds of Mestre Ambrosio and of Joao Parahyba, who appears on all tracks. Piano, keyboards and programming remain in the gifted hands of the mastermind, who arranged and mixed finally twelve tracks at his Wah-Wah Studio in Sao Paulo.
The variety of artists on the album reflects the megapolis Sao Paulo as a dynamic and modern melting pot of cultures. Like many other people, SUBA arrived there as a foreigner and became one of estimated 18 million souls in an chaotic urban jungle. The album reveals the secret, how such souls can survive this ambience. The title SAO PAULO CONFESSIONS expresses clearly, which degree of sincerity can be expected. Nobody confesses just for fun ...
Paulo, Brazil. The world's fourth megalopolis with over 18 millions
souls, and more arriving everyday. A stressful maze of massive sky-scrapers,
kilometric avenues and relentless chaos. Think 'Blade Runner' in the
Tropics. Life in Sao Paulo is fast,
crazy and dangerous, as reality changes constantly. The city is full
of people from all over Brazil and foreigners, all trying to make
sense out of it. With time and patience to dig deep enough you can
make discovery after discovery, you find very strange people and very
notes taken from:
While SUBA was working on SAO PAULO CONFESSIONS, the Belgian label Crammed Discs signed the project for a release in Europe and contracted Mitar Subotic also as producer for the next album of Bebel Gilberto. Suddenly he was working on two albums - and during this time, more and more labels and artists started to knock at his door.
In September 1999, Crammed released SAO PAULO CONFESSIONS in Europe. After the music press celebrated the album and it's producer as delightful discoveries, Crammed prepared a worldwide release. SUBA, who had reserved the publishing rights for Brasil, hesitated to contract a domestic distributor. It looks like too many new dreams appeared since the successful start in Europe: an international Sao Paulo Confessions tour and the perspective of producing music for a global market.
3rd November 1999, SUBA was expected to appear in Belgium at a press
conference of Crammed Discs. He died the day before after a fire in
his home studio in Sao Paulo.
In 2000, Crammed released a SUBA EP with 'Voce Gosta' remixed by Phil Asher and 'Felicidade' remixed by The Funky Lowlives, Buscemi and Juryman; in 2001, Crammed released another SUBA EP with reconstructions of 'Samba to Gringo Paulista' - produced by Zero DB and Bigga Bush.
In 2002, Crammed released the album 'SUBA TRIBUTO' with 16 tracks. It contains new arrangements of 'Sereia - Amor D'Água' by Cibelle & friends - 'Are You Sleeping?' by Katia B & BiD - 'Lagoa Pinheiros' by Marina Lima & Apollo 9; the new song 'Na Neblinha dos Sonhos' created by Taciana & Apollo 9; remakes of 'Segredo' by Boyz From Brazil and 'Tantos Dejesos' by Modern Quartet & Cibelle; six of the recently released remixes and re-constructions; Joao Parahyba appears with a homage called 'Nithtly Sins' and he is present as live percussionist on three 'Futuro Primitivo' cuts, which were processed by SUBA during a common performance recorded in 1996.
Illusivii | King of Illusions
An subjective travelling report by Josef Gaffl
My interest in the music of SUBA began incidently during a journey to
Brasil in 1999. I was looking for contemporary music for the project
Terremoto Sound System. My idea was to collect Brasilian sounds more
up to date than electronically boiled up clichées of Bossa Nova
and Samba. On this journey I discovered Mangue Beat, Macutú,
Forró and many other mutations of Batucada eletronica. The name
SUBA appeared almost on each electronic music sampler, which I found.
What else should I suppose than this: probably SUBA is a crazy guy,
but for sure he must be ... a Brasilian!
Terremoto Sound System appeared the last time in Vienna inside the walls
of a bridge-like construction, on which the underground trains were
passing by ... yes, overground ... and down below I was shaking a superstylish
bar with the vibrations of electronically pimped up lixas, bombos and
xaxados ... yes, you know exactly what I am talking about, don't you?
BRASILEIRO, SEM DÚVIDO!
almost one decade I found no answers to all these questions and the
same happens with the music on these two dark discs inside a mysterious
cover. Even after one decade I discover something new, when I am listening
Sao Paulo Confessions. And I also discovered this: people between Mexico
City and Minsk liked the music of SUBA and his friends at once. The
mysterious double vinyl is always in my record case, where ever I go.
gave Jobim's 'Felicidade' back, what mainstream Bossa Nova tried to
imitate in recording studios in the northern hemisphere: sincere emotional
expression - inside a tropical ambience. When I heard Felicidade the
first time, I asked myself: Who else - but a real Brasilian - would
be able to re-invent the great Carlos Jobim?
Bebel Gilberto's album 'Tanto Tempo' was released, I found more and
more informations about SUBA's death. One of my stupid ideas was this:
probably there's a popular producer, whose identity must be hidden by
all means, since his style became popular ... maybe he might be a slave
of the music industry ... maybe someone on the payroll of a major label
... someone who was producing Brasilian music undercover ... for independent
music labels ... maybe a Brasilian clone of an artist like ... Fat Boy
PONTE & OVERDRIVE
Dejan interviewed me for Crossradio on a Friday evening, next day I visited the mother of Mitar Subotic in Novi Sad. She welcomed me like a friend at her office and offered me tea. I hesitated to ask her anything - and before I said Good Bye, she gave me a green map with some documents and CDs inside, adding: This is all what I am left from my son. I hope we are going to meet soon again.
Out in the streets of Novi Sad, I started to ask people, whether they know the musician SUBA or probably the artist Rex Ilusivii. There was nobody who answered me with yes - although pirate copies of Sao Paulo Confessions were sold at each street corner. Even the street sellers in Novi Sad had no idea, where SUBA came from. After this experience I had the impression: the most successful music producer from Novi Sad was forgotten in the city, where he was born.
later I reached the 'Strand' for the very first time, the bank of
the Danube River in the north-west of Novi Sad. Finally I was standing
upon the ruins of the destroyed bridge Most Slobode. Maybe I understood
in these irritating moments, how it had been possible, that Mitar
SUBA Subotic was forgotten in the city of his birth.
In the meantime, Most Slobode (Freedom Bridge) is reconstructed - and I was there that Sunday morning in spring 2005, when the two wings of the bridge - destroyed in April 1999 by NATO bombs - touched each other again after six years.
Of course there are still some initial ideas unrealised in the framework of Kingdom of Illusions. One of these illusions appeared in autumn 2004: the idea of a little stage, dedicated to the artist Mitar SUBA Subotic at the EXIT FESTIVAL in Novi Sad. Kingdom of Illusions and it's promoters claimed this stage for a couple of years, while EXIT became the most important music festival in Southeast Europe.
But however, also this illusion will be transformed into reality: EXIT 2009 will honour Mitar SUBA Subotic, who was born in Novi Sad, with a stage given his artist's name. With the SUBA STAGE at EXIT 2009, the artistic spirit of SUBA will definitively return to the city, where he was born as Mitar Subotic in 1961 - and his name will be brought back to the public conciousness of his motherland.
the SUBA STAGE, the project Kingdom of Illusions can be finished with
a feeling of joy. I feel grateful, that SUBA finally arrived there,
where he belonged the most. Probably it will need some years more for
to understand his meaning in full - but I am convinced, that SUBA's
'comeback' in Novi Sad will cause a sustainable impact on the spheres
of art and culture in his motherland.
Josef Gaffl | Austria email