Various artists: Ost Klub, Kapitel 2 (Chat Chapeau)

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Balkan Beat Box: Hermetico
Various artists: Ost Klub, Kapitel 2 (Chat Chapeau)

The electro-ska Balkan/Russian sound seems to be taking off, what with internationally successful bands like Russkaja, Shukar Collective and Balkan Beat Box, and on the homefront too with the popularity of the Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band, and even The Mamaku Project who have assimilated just a smidgen of gypsy-rock into their sound.

It seems the movement is driven out of Vienna and specifically the Ost Klub which is a meeting place/melting pot of Eastern European bands who are exploring Balkan techno/Ukraine guitar rock/gypsy psychedelic ska and whatever else they can stir into a pot and get boiling while people toss back ice-cold vodka.

It's a heady mix and this double-disc might be your dropping in point: the first disc is 18 tracks by the likes of Balkan Beat, Russkaja, Kultur Shock, Rambo Amadeus (ain't that a great name?), 17 Hippies and Poum Tchack. The second disc is made up of 10 tracks recorded live in the club.

None of this will probably appeal to those in search of a more authentic gypsy music experience, but if you like having your socks (and the top of your head) knocked off then this'll serve that purpose very well indeed.

You have been warned.

 

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