The Balkan Bump EP is a contemporary reinterpretation of old folk tunes, primed for the twenty-first century dancefloor. Its good, the quality in each track is given by the particular folk tunes, and at least three of four have something special worth listening to in their own right. But this EP is not about classical folk music, its about using folk as a beautiful thread to give colour to a modern day musical weaving frame. The first track Irfan does what it implies on the can, its a contemporary reinterpretation of an old Balkan folk tune. An instrumental fusing the folk element and a modern stop start beat, its selling point is that it has some rollicking electronic wizardry thrown in. Perfect for keeping the party rocking. In many ways, in finding a perfect match between the contemporary and the old, it reminds me of Carmel’s Hari Kiri Blues. The next track, also an instrumental, Judaeo Slang has a middle eastern feel to it, its a bit slinky, a bit sly, a bit cheeky, the musical manifestation of Samson’s Delilah. Third track isn’t bad, but its the weakest of the lot, and I’m not sure it really needs the rapping of Talib Kweli on top. The EP was put together by a guy called Will Magid, a guy based in the States who is touted for playing the trumpet, but who can evidently do a lot more. Was Magid possibly saving the best ’til last on this EP? Probably not, but Wonderland comes close to the opening track in the party stakes. It’s all big trumpets, big bass drums pounding, my cultural cross-references are getting all tangled up but I’m seeing the can-can, fierce and proud women from the local village, shaking their hips and shuffling towards me. I’ll stop here although in my fantasy I’m not sure whether I should stay or run.
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