"The King is Gone" - by Zvonko Ninkov, "Nova Barselona", 2000


Cruel twist of fate or bitter coincidence: On the 5th year of Milan Mladenovic's death there came another: In distant Sao Paulo died Mitar Subotic - Suba a.k.a Rex Ilusivii. There's more than just a coincident - Mladenovic and Subotic were close friends and co-workers - More than that: Mladenovic's last project - "Angel's Breath" - was their creation.


Who was Mitar Subotic ? A Visionary, eternal experimentator whose innovations and alternative music approach always headed one step forward. Because of that - it was hard to gain any award or support for his work. That's the weight that avant-gardes always had to carry-on, and we know that those awards will come, at the end. Sadly - for that's too late now.


All of those works that Suba created since 1980 till 1987, by the pseudonym Rex Ilusivii, were recorded only on "Disillusioned" LP record, and only there, because Suba started as musician full of ideas which could not be recorded easily. For a year he recorded music themes for radio show "New perspectives - the other side of pop scene in Yugoslavia" without any attempt of discovering his real name. Later (when he finally announced his identity) Suba cooperated with many of the most popular musicians from Yugoslav new wave-art rock-pop scene. But, except two songs from "Ventilator" compilations (web site editor: compilation lp's during 80's, something like "John Peel Sessions") and "Disillusioned" album, all of that ended as home-demo-recordings, because no one could dare and publish alternative, non-commercial music. Taking a look from a distance of 20 years, you can't recognize what stopped the distribution: That was intelligent, electronic pop music with tiny atmospheric, avant-garde feedback.


Anyway, Mitar Subotic discovered full taste and richness of folk music from all parts of the world (he already used motives from Eastern cultures), and when he realized that nothing would change for his music in Yugoslavia, he moved to Paris. "The Dreambird" and "In The Mooncage" projects were successful and he finally got support. "The Dreambird" (Suba co-operation with Goran Vejvoda) - based on birds songs from Madagascar - were re-changed by Suba's "ambient touch", and this work was broadcasted as "street music" in Brazil, Yugoslavia and Italy. The Ideas were delivering some egzotic atmosphere into urban places. For "...Mooncage" Suba used old lullabies from Yugoslavia as starting point of his work and that work was awarded by UNESCO for promotion of (different) culture. But he was already reaching for more authentic mixture of cultures, so he moved to Sao Paulo.

Very soon Suba got his place in Brazilian music scene. He made lots of "applied music", cooperated with well-known musicians and examined Brazilian folk music. He finally found his soul in Sao Paolo: That period of time is corner stoned with "Angle's Breath" LP record and "Sao Paulo Confessions". "Angel's Breath" presents a fascinating mixture of Brazilian and Yugoslav/Balkan folk music, with a fine touch of modern music. That cooperation (musicians from Brazil and Yugoslavia) Suba called "Music of the Fourth world" and this is his most known work in Yugoslavia. More than that - songs like "Crv" (Cocoon), "Ogledalo" (Mirror) and "Metak" (Bullet) were often broadcasted by radio stations in Yugoslavia.

His last recording "Sao Paulo Confessions" received nothing but excellent ratings!
The moment of inauguration came, but Suba tragically died in his studio.


Tragic personality and carrier of Mitar Subotic/Rex Ilusivii is definitely not lonesome because destinies like this are quite often in a world of art. But the terrible thing is that those who contributed to underestimation of importance and originality in vanguard art later try to redeem themselves and use that kind of art as a product on which they can earn some money. I hope that won't happen to Suba but I also hope that true fans of this kind of music will finally discover him and his music.



Bruce Gillman: Suba - The Work of an Avangardist - (original)

Petar Janjatovic: Rex Ilusivii - taken from "Ilustrated Yu Rock Encyclopedia" (Geopoetika, 2001)

Zvonko Ninkov: The King Is Gone

Lee Gardner: A Taste of Brasil (Bebel Gilberto Review) - (original)

Petar Janjatovic - "The Street Of Illusions" (magazine "Rock", 1987.)

Petar Lukovic - "Angel's Breath Review" (magazine "Vreme zabave", 1994.)
Goran Tarlac - Mitar Subotic Suba - Prica o kralju (Reporter, 2002)


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