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

ELSEWHERE WORLD SERVICE: A quick overview of recent world music releases

ELSEWHERE WORLD SERVICE: A quick overview of recent world music releases

Here's a frequent flyer/transit lounge column for those at home who want to get their musical passport stamped. Elsewhere has so many CDs and downloads commanding and demanding attention that we... > Read more

Samuel Yirga; Guzo (Real World/Southbound)

Samuel Yirga; Guzo (Real World/Southbound)

With the Ethiopiques reissue series, the rediscovery of Mulatu Astatke, groups like Dub Colossus and Syriana, and singer Mahmoud Ahmed, the music of Ethipia has certainly garnered attention in... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Youssou N'Dour: Dakar-Kingston (Universal)

Youssou N'Dour: Dakar-Kingston (Universal)

After decades of almost becoming the biggest star out of Africa and commanding a global audience (support from Peter Gabriel, the 7 Seconds single with Neneh Cherry, Mandela concerts and so on)... > Read more

GUEST WRITER ROB SCOTT on the tug of two homelands

GUEST WRITER ROB SCOTT on the tug of two homelands



It really sneaks up on you, New Zealand. 

I’ve travelled close to 30 hours to get here. On this final 4 hour leg, I watch a few M*A*S*H episodes as the expanse of ocean... > Read more