KAL: Romology; Rock'n'Roma (Arc Music)

 |   |  <1 min read

KAL: Play It Again
KAL: Romology; Rock'n'Roma (Arc Music)

Although this group from Belgrade led by singer-songwriter Dragan Ristic have been a very popular and energetic live act, and previous albums have topped world music charts, to casual listeners who had numerous skirmishes with this very popular style of gypsy dance music driven along by vigorous violin, busy accordion and punching horns, this album too often seems as obvious as its subtitle.

They bring traditional and modern sounds together into the same dancehall together and on the English-language Negro (with sampling and scratching, and acknowledging the influence of Mano Negro) and Emily they reveal a sense of humor.

However at times -- notably on Spunky Man -- they can sound like a parody of gypsy music becase they use such familiar tropes.

The best here are the sentimental love songs (the traditional Ljiljano, and Vust which hikes up the tempo).

No one would question their honorable intentions of advancing Roma culture, or when they poke at faux-Roma types (the frantic turntable'n'horn driven Gadzo DJ) because there are enough of them around these days.

But as authentic as this may be, the irony is there seems little to distinguish them from the all the cash-ins, copyists and adopters out there.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

The Baboons: Spanglish (Global Gumbo)

The Baboons: Spanglish (Global Gumbo)

In a cover designed to catch attention, this Miami band fronted by husband and wife Mano and Majica Pila toss a stylistic salad together almost as if they hope something is to your taste. So... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: John Convertino of Calexico

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: John Convertino of Calexico

Elsewhere has interviewed Joey Burns of Tucson's Calexico previously, but now with the band coming to this year's Womad (see dates below) we thought it timely to flick our Famous Elsewhere World... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

MARILYN by ANDRE de DIENES: Little girl heading for the big time

MARILYN by ANDRE de DIENES: Little girl heading for the big time

For those who came of age after her death, Marilyn Monroe belongs to that generation of American males whose idea of cool was smoking a pipe and reading Playboy. That seems pretty tame to those... > Read more

A FAST 15 MINUTES: Sounds peculiar to me, pal

A FAST 15 MINUTES: Sounds peculiar to me, pal

In this fast 15 minute programme we listen to the sound of unusual instruments like PVC pipes, flowerpots and other found objects. Peculiar, but in a good way. For more of these fast 15 minute... > Read more