Strugare @ Petnoto, Plovdiv

I didn’t plan on writing any reviews during my Christmas stay in Bulgaria, but this is Bulgaria so usually things don’t go as planned. At my first evening back to Plovdiv I went out to see some of my friends. There was option between three shows that evening and I didn’t find even one appealing so I ended up at Strugare. I have to be honest – I knew very little about the guy so I googled him. The songs had electronica background, rhyme-less lyrics and melancholy vibe – I would characterize them as “hipster rap” or “alternative hip-hop” if I have to be nice. It’s something new and phenomenal locally for Bulgaria but if we’re talking internationally – it’s riding the wave of the newest trends. Me and my friend Ragga One were very sceptic and didn’t want to go downstairs for the show, but our friends were already there so we ended up paying the 10 lv for entrance and going to check it out.

The room was full of people mostly younger than me, some old friends were there too. The stage setup was simple – DJ in the back who was wrapped up with a scarf under the hat and Strugare or Troian in the front. He sounds better live than on recordings if you ask me. And probably if I didn’t read all the media reviews that were saying “he’s an emerald in our scene”, “so special and one of a kind” etc, I would be more pleased. But I got the initial feeling that he’s way overrated and that kind of killed it for me. That might not be his fault – media can break you or make you, may be it’s good for him in Bulgaria, but I feel that overly praising is working to the disadvantage of the artist. That’s why my review here is probably healthy.

I think the guy has potential, his stylistics are close to the “new wave of the Bulgarian underground” that may be I’m now too old to understand. May be he’s for the new generation what DRS used to be for us back in the days. I might even start loving him at some point, the same way I wasn’t that fond for Deftones or Lana Del Ray and then I became a big fan. And I wish him luck – I just really hope he doesn’t fall into this “high art” pretentious pseudo-art scene that keeps thriving here. Here he is:

PS: I got my lip smashed from a confused hipster who thought that moshpit is to start pushing everybody around you out of the blue. SMH. The irony I would get hurt in a mosh at Strugare with all the brutal shows I go to all year though. 😀

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