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

Malouma; Nour (Harmonia Mundi) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Malouma; Nour (Harmonia Mundi) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

The shrink-wrap that this exceptional album came in provides the clue: "blues woman mauritanienne, transcende les frontieres musicales". And Amen -- or more correctly Allahu Akbar -- to... > Read more

Hossam Ramzy: Sabla Tolo IV (ARC Music)

Hossam Ramzy: Sabla Tolo IV (ARC Music)

Percussionist, arranger and producer Hossam Ramzy has appeared frequently at Elsewhere, and been interviewed. From Egypt, he is one of the few Arabic musicians whose name might be... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

STONED by ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM: Would you let your daughter meet Andrew?

STONED by ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM: Would you let your daughter meet Andrew?

Andrew Loog Oldham enjoyed considerable notoriety in the early Sixties as the young manager/producer of the Rolling Stones. He hit the headlines in his own right for his liner notes to a Stones LP... > Read more

A CRITIC INTERVIEWED (2004): Putting opinion in print

A CRITIC INTERVIEWED (2004): Putting opinion in print

A decade ago I was interviewed by Trevor Reekie of National Radio as part of his series about music writing and critics. I recently found the CD of it which he gave me -- the 30 minute... > Read more