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

Terakaft: Alone (Out Here)

Terakaft: Alone (Out Here)

Old hands -- greybeards we might say -- in the genre that we loosely call "world music" have long ago given up trying to anticipate where the next great sounds might come from and, as we... > Read more

Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Slide Guitar (Elite)

Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Slide Guitar (Elite)

Three years ago I chose the Mahima album by Bhattacharya and American guitarist Bob Brozman (who played at Womad that year) as one of the best of the year in the Herald with the comment that their... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BEATLES' HELP! RECONSIDERED (2007): The band in a Bond film

THE BEATLES' HELP! RECONSIDERED (2007): The band in a Bond film

The Beatles' career was rife with strange coincidences and symmetries, and that's excluding the fact they played in Auckland on my 13th birthday. More pertinent in the greater scheme of things... > Read more

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD looks at a doco about words and pictures

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD looks at a doco about words and pictures

Many years ago while working in London I met a bloke who was, like me I suppose, one of those identikit “something in the The City” types. We all wore the same suits, laughed at the... > Read more