Tuesday, 16 June 2015

EYOT - Stone Upon Stone Festival, Nis, Serbia

Slađan Milenović - guitar
Despite there being one more day to come of the Stone Upon Stone festival in Nis, Serbia this night was the axis for many of the audience (17/04/2015). It was the turn of local heroes EYOT to make their appearance on stage. Alongside poet Dalibor Popović the organisation of the festival had rested in the hands of EYOT pianist Dejan Ilijic. Not only had they put their sweat and tears into this 4 day fiesta but the title of the festival originates from their 2010 tune 'Stone Upon Stone' from their 2010 album Horizon.

Marko Stojiljković - bass
It was a trademark EYOT performance that dwelt in warm, dark and sickly themes yet retains that uplifting riposte through pulse and musical battery. Every time you experience EYOT you come to them afresh, a blank canvas if you will. To use another empty metaphor, a sheet of virgin lino sat before us on this night. As they opened their set we cut into our impressionable minds with our sharpened lino tools, we gauged its flat surface with their ruts. The dark ink of EYOT's sound pooled into our grooves and after each song we were left with this black sticky residue. We were unable to let go of their themes, to make sense of every complexity, we struggled to quell our delirium tremens.

Dejan Ilijic - piano
Dejan Ilijic plays the simple fool in the EYOT line up but do not be deceived. While the heavy machinery of Marko Stojiljković (bass), Slađan Milenović (guitar) and Miloš Vojvodić (drums) slam into the molten steel he is the flash that spits and sparks. As the crucible runs dry we can still hear the crackles of the cooling metal as it passes through Dejan Ilijic's piano.

EYOT are more than weighty metals and stone shorn from deep quarry. There is also majesty that unravels in delicate terms, a finery of thread, a golden braid which isn't so much about construction as its slow regal decline. Although Stojiljković towers on stage it was Milenović's guitar which held court, his sound was strong and monumental.

Miloš Vojvodić - drums
It is easy to get lost in the EYOT repertoire, you feel that you tread a road with no sign and no name but it doesn't seem to matter. Often it is about the building swell of themes but once again Slađan Milenović gave us something else, a slow creep that stopped any daydream in its tracks. It was like turning your head at a very slow pace, while trying not to let your eyes scan ahead, to be in this moment. Just to be here.

AL.

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