September 11, 2014
Slavic Soul Party | Five Albums
TITLE: Five Albums
Slavic Soul Party is without a doubt the most accomplished Balkan brass band in the USA. They’ve been at it for 12 years now, and they’ve played every Tuesday night at Barbes in Park Slope, Brooklyn for almost all of that time – that’s how you develop the chops for the demanding and highly technical, yet festive and exuberant Balkan brass repertoire. The band has recently packaged its five most recent albums as a single 61-track MP3 CD, available only at their gigs so far, and it shows the full breadth of this outstanding ensemble. This isn’t simplified four-on-the-floor Balkan beats – these guys are playing (and writing) the same kind of knotty, jazzy, worldly stuff as Macedonia’s Kocani Orkestar, Bulgaria’s Ivo Papasov and Romania’s Fanfare Ciocarlia. And their best material is the most recent: half of my favorite tracks here (2, 3, 4, 6 and 11) are from their last album, 2012’s New York Underground Tapes. In fact, start with 6 – you’d never, ever guess that these guys are Americans. 14 is a Roma standard, 61 is their top contribution to the Balkan remix trend, and 32 is something different: Balkan gospel. Great stuff.
TOP TRACKS: 2 3 4 6 11 14 32 37 50 61
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