01 November 2007

Roma + Techno = Rromatek!

Shukar Collective: Rromatek (CD Review)
(Eastblok Records)

I've made no secret of my love for Shukar Collective's first album, Urban Gypsy. A graceful balance of traditional Romanian "bear-tamer" vocals with subtle programmed beats, it brought new life (and a new audience) to an old art form.
Shukar Collective - Rromatek
The collective's second album is a lateral move. They certainly won't be accused of recycling ideas, but neither is it clear that they're building on the first album. Rromatek tosses out the old balance, and leaps into a more techno sound, letting the beats and programming dominate much of the album.

Incessant thudding may be great for the club, but less appealing to the world music fan. Several tracks with less electronica work well for me, including "Oh, Girl," "Ragga Mami," "Napolament," and the "hidden track" at the end of the album, a re-imagined "Taraf." The rest...well, maybe you should hold off buying the album and instead catch it at your neighborhood global disco.

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