The massive Baltic brass band Slavic Soul Party (SSP) has played in Istanbul and Carnegie Hall, Macedonia and the Kennedy Center, Serbia and the Knitting Factory, and currently resides Tuesday nights at Club Barbes in Brooklyn, which released this fifth SSP album on its own label. I think Taketron really shows our original style, more so than any of our other records," says Taketron's leader, percussionist Matt Moran. We get something electrifying: it sounds kind of Balkan and kinda not; kinda American and kinda funk and soul." Barbes label head Olivier Conan concurs: SSP's music is like 'surf music' for ...read more
Slavic Soul Party has the best steady gig in Brooklyn. Every Tuesday night at Barbé's belongs to the tight, Balkan ensemble: forever. It's a savvy business decision for the tiny bar-cum-performance space and a great opportunity for the ensemble to refine the potent mix of Balkan, gypsy, jazz and funk influences that make them utterly unique. Sets are routinely packed with a mix of dancers and onlookers and ten minutes in the air routinely takes on a sweaty, boozy thickness that is the perfect complement to their ebullient music. There's nothing quite like seeing this spectacle in ...read more
The music of the Roma--some of whom accept the gypsy moniker and some of whom reject it--is often joyful, necessarily so. Like the American blues, gypsy music isn't about complaining so much as surviving despite. For even the biggest Balkan stars, the money gigs are weddings, which involve a week of ceremony and parties. A successful Balkan band needs not only to know the popular songs of the day, but also be able to carry a week of gigs for the same audience. The Middle Eastern influences in New York's downtown have taken a different track--decidedly less ...read more
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