In memoriam: Emil Marciuš

Emil Marciuš - Waitapu, photo by Tomislav Sporiš

We were devastated from the moment when the disturbing news came to us that Emil Marciuš had passed away, above all a great man and a long-time friend and collaborator of the Seasplash Festival. As the founder and member of the band Waitapu he left an indelible mark in the history of our festival and the regional dub scene.

Goodbye Emil, the void left by your departure will be impossible to fill, we will never forget you,

Team Seasplash


Below is a final greeting from Emil’s bandmates posted on Waitapu’s Facebook page. Please take a few minutes and read it:

Dear friends,

the sad news of the untimely death of our friend, founder, bassist, and engineer of Waitapu, Emil Marciuš (aka Emil the Great) has probably reached you. In his 50th year after a month of fighting on Sunday, November 29, 2020, he succumbed to the consequences of a serious illness. Although more than a week has passed, it is difficult for us to accept the new state of affairs, but we must move on. This way we want to say goodbye to our brother Emil once again.

Emil was a good soul, a caring family man, smiling and always ready for a joke, but also for serious work, full of energy that he selflessly invested in all spheres of life. By organizing many concerts and festivals, he made an immeasurable contribution to the cultural scene of Čakovec.

He started playing music in the late eighties of the last century, and in the early nineties, he was one of the founders, singer, and frontman of the first Croatian stoner rock bands – Green Machine and Malo Morgen. This genre of music remained permanently present in all his later musical endeavors.

For the last fifteen years, he has been mostly involved in bass music, with an emphasis on dub. In 2007, Emil on bass and Ičo on drums, both with experience in underground bands, began experimenting with dub, d’n’b, and related musical directions at optional jam sessions. The duo is soon joined by guitarist Davor Kipke and thus the core of Waitapu is formed. In 13 years, several important musicians have passed through the band: Alan Dilger Pintarić made a significant contribution to the preparation of material for the first EP Bassonic Lodge, which was recorded in 2010 and released for the French Fresh Poulp Records.

We had our first concert (then still without a name) on February 13, 2010, in the Čakovec club Klub Prostor – “CeZam” Čakovec as a pre-band for Kawasaki 3P. After the first few performances in local clubs, at Emil’s suggestion, we chose the name Waitapu based on the allegorical novel by Jože Horvat. The book turned out to have a link to what we as a band wanted to do: search for the unknown and cross imposed boundaries, break taboos, and explore. Bojan Miljančić joined the band in that period, and later Filip Vrančić, who made a significant contribution to the electronic dimension of Waitapu’s sound. Our fourth concert was organized by Zvonimir Ante Stamać in KSET, later the host of the program in this cult Zagreb club. After the concert, he decided to join us as a sound engineer and a full member which he remains today.

Over the years Waitapu has performed a total of 45 times. In our work we made many friends and met good people who always made us feel welcome: Vedran Meniga (PDV, Pozitivan ritam, Seasplash Festival), Tomislav and Ivor (MIKK club, God Bless This Mess records, Berislav (Ill In The Head Records), Geoffrey (Fresh Poulp Records), Psychedelic Orchestra (Lisa, Phia, Ben, Sebastian), Sara, Izmo and the rest of the Psychobydub Festival team in Barnave, France, Jacko (Dubolik, Dubble, RDK) team from Zagreb clubs KSET, AKC Attack, Swamp Club, Mefa (Reunited Festival), Dejan and Masha (Channel Zero), Tola (Reggae Hr), Bamwise, Kali Fat Dub, Egoless and many others we probably forgot to mention.

Our biggest recorded success is the album Hortus, which we released in 2017 for Zagreb’s PDV Records, Slovenia’s God Bless This Mess Records, and Canada’s Ill in the Head Records. The album is available in digital, CD and vinyl form. Hortus would not exist without Emil’s constant guidance and commitment and he will remain his permanent musical monument.

We played the last concert in the old line-up in the summer of 2019. After that, Davor decided to leave the crew, and after a short break, a new member was recently added to the Waitapu crew – guitarist Dino Pavleković. We started working on new material and we were interrupted by Emil’s sudden death.

But not prevented. It is clear to everyone that Emil’s big shoes will be impossible to fill, but just as Emil would never give up, we decided to continue working in spite of everything. We will form the new material primarily from about a hundred shots of pits and rehearsals taken in the past two years. It contains the most valuable legacy for us – Emil’s author’s work. We will build songs around his bass parts and complete a new album. We also have some brand new song ideas. We will include some of the former crew members in the whole process. We thank you once again on your own behalf and on behalf of Emil’s family for expressions of condolence and turn to the future. Waitapu – Ičo (Sven), Zvone (Zvonimir), and Dino (Dino).