July 6, 2016
Fanfare Ciocarlia | 20
LABEL: Asphalt Tango
Fanfare Ciocarlia, the Romanian 12-piece brass band who play sirbas, horas and the like with military precision at Ramones-like tempos, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. This two-LP set looks back at the band’s first two decades with an emphasis on their first five albums. Side A, entitled “Roots,” is their classic village brass sound; A5 is a great example. B (“Orient”) is the best of their Roma repertoire; B1 features legendary singer Dan Armeanca, B3 is sweetened by accordion and strings from the band Rom Bengale and B4 is hardcore gypsy brass. On Side C (“Jams”) Ciocarlia let their hair down on some of their funkiest, funniest performances including covers of the James Bond theme (C1), Duke Ellington (C3) and the “coffee rumba” (C4). And Side D (“Amigos”) includes six of their many wide-ranging collaborations; I especially enjoy hearing them backing leather-lunged Macedonian singer Esma Redzepova. The sole previously unreleased track (D6) featuring klezmer-rapper Socalled and remixer Kottarashky is a delight. As is the whole album, and pretty much everything Fanfare Ciocarlia has ever committed to tape for that matter.
TOP TRACKS: A5 B1 B3 B4 C1 C3 C4 D4 D6
ALSO RECOMMENDED: All of the rest of them