The music of the Balkans must be some of the most incendiary being played today. Outfits such as Taraf de Haidouks, KoÃ§ani Orkestar and Mahala Raï Banda play with a trademark brass sound that reaches fever pitch pretty quickly – and never comes down (think of a film by Kusturica and you won’t be far off).
So what would happen if you give their material to a selection of mixers, turntablists and DJs? The answer is “Electric Gypsyland 2”. Tunng, Buscemi (best known for his Latin lounge mixes), Oi Va Voi (a klezmer afficianado) and London’s Russ&Roc accepted the invitation. So what do we get for our time? Click through to find out…
If you’re like me, you’ll probably think you can’t top Balkan music for sheer madness. The best mixes here take the raw gutsy impact of the brass and psycho singing and dissect them to create something a bit more spacy. Buscemi and the Balkan Beat Box definitely stand out, the latter adding a welcome squirt of fun. DJ Click and Istanbul’s Smadj also provide interesting new slants (the latter a tasteful electronic Arabic-influenced piece).
Overall, an album as diverse and exciting as the various people involved. Now, back to the originals.
To check the music, click on the sleeve (above). Note that if you buy the actual CD, you get a bonus CD with unreleased tracks from Taraf de Haidouks and others.