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Slavic Soul Party!
Teknochek Collision
Barbes Records (

Consider the exclamation point warranted. Slavic Soul Party! is one of those outfits that's heavy on the Balkan brass and they know how to build up the sort of musical fever pitch that will have you trying out dance moves you didn't know you had in you. Apparently all from the NYC jazz scene, the players seem to have absorbed a few lessons from the likes of Fanfare Ciocarlia and Boban Markovic when it comes to maximizing their attack formation of tuba, truba(?), trombone, trumpet, sax, clarinet and percussion. They don't always hit the ground sprinting like some such bands, though. A number of these tunes saunter and sway with a New Orleans flair, others have a klezmer-like tartness which kicks without the hyperactivity brass bands can be subject to. Then there's the accordion player- not a typical feature of a group like this but perhaps ought to be because of the added tones of whimsy and melancholy that come about. And the "soul" part is appropriate as well, since the music certainly possesses it. Gypsy flair, jazz intricacy, military precision and pure fun(k) collide without injury on this disc, as do surprising little rhythmic jolts and the wonderful voice of one Eva Salina Primack on two tracks. Though I could do without the campy spoken interludes that disrupt in a few places and the way the final track segues into uncredited (though not bad) remix territory, Teknochek Collision both respects and trips up tradition in many a wonderful way. - Tom Orr

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