“What did you know about us before you came?” was the first and foremost question the local Belgraders asked me inquisitively.

“War. We know about war.” That was my standard answer.

With CNN reporting general negativity and gross propaganda regarding The Balkans, along with constant stories of war atrocities, it was difficult to not know anything else. After ten years of both civil and cold war, this country and its people are fighting to free themselves in mind, body and spirit from the constraints of those damage years, and are looking for a vehicle which will take them away – move them onto the next level. Enter Techno, stage left. Never before had an Australian dj traveled to this part of the world.

I had travelled from Amsterdam, Holland, and was to stay in Serbia for a period of 2.5 weeks, where the goal was to play as many gigs as humanly possible and become connected with and understand a little bit about the local scene in this part of the world. They are an excitable bunch and were thrilled to have not only just an Australian DJ in their country, but a female too. I was taken from live television interviews to live radio performances where they questioned me about the techno scene in Australia and asked about my career in music to date.

To say these people were a little enthused at my presence was to say the least. It was an amazing experience to share the feelings and energy of the people within the new and emerging Yugoslavian underground scene, and it bought me great pleasure to share my music selection with them. To create such an amazing response was both flattering and wonderful. On route to Brcko, Bosnia where I was to appear in discotheque “Fantasy”, I was removed from the bus on the Serbian/Bosnian border as I was an Australian citizen. After 3.5 hours of negotiations, I was granted a visa, only because I was an international artistic performer and was to appear immediately on live Television.

Preventing an international performer to move through the border would have generated some negative media, and it was therefore in their best interest to allow me right of passage. The struggle to make it to the other side was well worth the wait and worry. The 600 strong Bosnian party people were certainly excited and did not stop screaming and whistling for 5 hours straight. No break, no exaggeration. It was wild experience to be so overwhelmingly well received at this “Technokratia”party. The Bosnian television crew followed me from the live network interview into the club and filmed half of my set which was later televised, and repeated the following week to promote the other parties which I was to make an appearance.

These gigs were back in Serbia and included Club Intermezzo in Belgrade, The Underground, Incognito, and the grand finale up north in the cultural city of Novi Sad at Club Aquarius. With 1000 happy punters leaping off tables and generally creating an electric energy, it was an incredible way to end my stay in this part of the world. The main man behind the techno movement in this region and responsible for the success of my tour was Dusan Kalicanin, who has developed the organization “Technokratia”. Technokratia has been an electronic music movement now for the past 7 years and they are responsible for the promotion, growth and development for the techno/trance scene in the Balkans. They are also behind the world wide party “Trance for Peace”, which promotes peace amongst nations. Trance for Peace is designed to bring various dance party organizations and artists together in an attempt for global harmony. With the assistance of other local electronic organizations and artists, I am hoping to bring a “Trance for Peace” to our home shores, and am currently looking for any interested parties to unite on this appeal in an attempt for greater peace worldwide.

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