18 December 2006

Monday's mp3: Gypsy Blackout

Here in the USA, natural extremities are regional. The east coast and south have humidity and hurricanes. The midwest has biting winters and huge mosquitoes. And here in the Northwest, we've got earthquakes and windstorms. Two such windstorms hit last week, ripping branches from the many Douglas firs, toppling other trees, and causing widespread power outages. Here at SoundRoots HQ, we're still warm and well-lit, though some of our neighbors' homes and businesses are still dark. It's one of those times when families come together (for warmth and hot showers), and random strangers go into dark neighborhoods offering free hot food.

One casualty of the storm was the power to local radio station KAOS-fm, home of Spin The Globe. A planned show on Rom (Gypsy) music was thus postponed until January 12, but we've still got a sharing spirit. So here's a taste of things to come.

KAL-KAL - Gypsy/Roma bandKAL is a contemporary band from the suburbs of Belgrade. In part, they remind me of the tradition-meets-electronica sounds of Shukar Collective. But more than Shukar, they dig deep into their roots, which you can hear in the Indian-style vocal scat in this song. "Kal" is the Romany word for "black," and brothers Dushan and Dragan Ristic formed the band to confront bias and stereotypes facing their people. The album was recorded at Dragan's home studio, and has an edgy modern feel throughout, though the roots are always present.

[mp3] KAL: "Dvojka"
from the album KAL


Anonymous said...

Roots can be heard, and should even be stronger. The drum sounds too synthetic. Accented tapan drum sound would be much better

SpinTheGlobe said...

You've got a good point... one of my complaints about a lot of modern global music is the reliance on canned elements and electronics. Too often the balance shifts too much in this direction, when there are traditional drums/rhythms that would work wonderfully.

For those unfamiliar with the tapan, you can see a photo of this Balkan drum (aka tupan or goch) here, and also read more at wikipedia.