Balkan Beat Box
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cd cover Balkan Beat Box
Balkan Beat Box
JDUB Records (

Balkan Beat Box is a 21st century fusion of Rom brass bands, Bulgarian wedding music, Greek electric guitars, and Brooklyn beats, all distilled through a distinctly Middle Eastern sensibility. Not everything is as it seems: "Cha Cha" isn't really a Cha Cha, "Bulgarian Chicks" has at least as much to do with a Spanish bull ring as it does with Bulgaria, and the gang in "La Bush Resistance" sound like they've done a bit too much ganja or opium poppies to be of much threat to anyone. In between, you're treated to a rich gumbo of belly dance beats, gnawa, metal guitar samples, odd meters, and even odder guest appearances.

To some extent, this turf is already well traveled by the likes of Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Les Negresses Vertes, 3 Mustaphas 3, and Ex-Centric Sound System (Yossi Fine mastered the CD). But that's good company to be in, and there's always room for more. While the CD itself might not always stand up to active listening, I'm guessing these guys throw one hell of a party live. That is, if you can remember any of it afterward. - Eric Iverson

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