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Generacide's unmodified YouTube profile picture, displaying a "G" with a teal background.
Generacide's unmodified YouTube profile picture

Generacide (Pronounced "ђе-nе-ra-side") is an audio engineer and tape collector from Canada. In 2016, Generacide discovered Serbian war music after doing research on a video sent to him by a friend, which led to him developing an interest. Having produced music since 2013, he started restoring Serbian and Bosnian war music after being dissatisfied with the quality of available files online, and used his music production knowledge to make crude restorations of various songs.

The Generacide channel was created on July 7th 2017 with no intention of uploading the war music he had restored, and the name was completely made up and had no relation to the war. He maintains the word "Generacide" is meant to denote a "Generic killing" but that hasn't stopped some commenters from believing it's a dog-whistle term for "Genocide".

In the summer of 2018, Generacide had invented a new technique for restoring information lost by MP3 compression (the main quality killer at the time) and sought to release some of the works he made as a result. The details of the method have never been disclosed, but it's known that Generacide uses FL Studio 21 and iZotope RX9 for his restorations, and claims to own legal copies of these programs.

Generacide's first public video was uploaded on December 31st 2018, a now deleted restoration of "Sarajevo Heroj Grad" By Hanka Paldum. Roughly a year after uploading, Generacide was given a copyright strike for this, and at the same time, EMDC Network (Who allegedly owns the rights to the song) made moves to take down every video on YouTube containing Hanka Paldum's war music. This was not done in preparation for an official release, as no official uploads followed, and the songs are considerably harder to find. It's unclear if Hanka Paldum herself had anything to do with the takedowns.

Generacide kept making restorations, including high quality versions of "Hvala ti Arkane" by Mišo Bojić, "Srpska Granata" by Perica Ivanović and "Sve Delija Do Delije" (Now known by the official "Hrabri Dobrovoljci" title) By Prva Linija. The restoration of "Hrabri Dobrovoljci" was notable for being a restoration that included three times more audio information than the base MP3, raising the peak audio frequency from ~5khz to 20khz.

While most war music channels at the time were using image slideshows, documentary footage or just the Serbian Flag for the video, Generacide generated obscure and psychedelic imagery combined with on screen subtitles for each video. These "Visualizers" ranged from concentric rotating rings to tunnels of brown and red noise that seemed to occasionally line up with the music. One video was just gameplay of Duke Nukem 3D, with subtitles over the footage. It should also be noted that there were occasional spelling mistakes in the subtitles, such as writing "Л and Ј" together instead of writing the proper "Љ". There were also some misspelled English words, which amused viewers.

The visualizer format was abandoned when Generacide uploaded the album "Živeće Ovaj Narod" by Baja Mali Knindža, for which he owned the tape. Generacide opted to use his own scan of the tape for the video, because it was the proper way to document the album. Some people have expressed that they long to see the classic Generacide visuals again in newer uploads.

Generacide received his first physical cassettes around September of 2019, and has since then switched to more traditional J-card and cassette scans for the video contents.

Interview with Generacide

Why did you start your channel?

Largely personal interest. I don't think the real view of the war was ever properly shown to the same audiences that saw the events of the war unfold on the news each day. In my own interest of finding out exactly what happened during what was a huge world event, I found a deep library of amazingly emotional songs that greatly capture the exact feelings of the artist and people at the time. In Canada, people have forgotten this war. It was big while it happened, but despite being born in 1999, I had never even heard of Serbia before I found this music and since there was little information about it online at the time, I decided to find the information myself.

Are you Serbian? Is your family Serbian?

No, and as far as I'm aware, nobody in my entire family lineage has even been to Serbia. I have great respect for the Serbs as a result of this endeavor, and I'm able to speak a few words, but I can't carry on any kind of conversation, really. I can also read the Cyrillic alphabet, but I'm not the fastest :)

Why did you use visualizers?

When I started, I didn't have my own scans of the songs I was restoring, and it felt cheap to use some else's scans. Since I was engineering audio and not video, the imagery mattered less, and therefore could be whatever I wanted. The audio was the focus, so the video was a bonus as far as I was concerned. It definitely made my videos unique, but I don't know if I'd return to that format.

How many tapes do you own?

I have over 70 cassettes, with around 90% of them being Serbian. The remaining 10% or so are Bosnian, and I own no Croatian war tapes. The vast majority of those tapes are war tapes, but some of my Bosnian tapes are non-war, along with a minority of my Serbian tapes. The unfortunate part about owning so many is that I have tapes that the public have been trying to find for years, and I've already HAD them for years. I don't publicize my whole collection because I don't want to leave people hanging for months until I get around to digitizing it. Some tapes are rare, but are so bad they're not worth saving, some tapes are VHS, but I don't have a PAL VCR, and it's all fucked, why did I pick this hobby.

What's your rarest tape?

Vera Pravoslavna by Ljubiša Kalas. There were no photos of it, there was no audio of it, and I think we found only one reference to it on a forum. It was particularly unique because it was published on a previously unknown record label "РВ" (RV), so it was a lot of stuff knocked out all once. The quality of the tape was amazing, and I'm glad I brought it to the web for public viewing. I've got others like the Perica Ivanovic tape and the Največi Hitovi VHS, but I think Vera Pravoslavna is still rarer than those.

Who's side are you on?

I'm not on any side, because nobody won.