If saxophonist Ori Kaplan left the shambolic Gogol Bordello for any particular reason, it wasn’t for a more sedate musical setting. His band with fellow Israeli expat Tamir Muskat is a frenetically paced Eastern Bloc party in Gogol’s anarchic, multiculti spirit -- the difference is that where Eugene Hutz’s Ukrainian mob favored Gypsy-flavored speed metal, BBB is inspired by Bulgarian polyphony and Jamaican dancehall. Muskat, drummer with New York’s Big Lazy, spins a panoply of rhythms, from martial brass-band bombast to hip-hop, Moroccan trance, samba, and beyond while Kaplan leads a fiery horn section that slides from Eastern wedding music to New Orleans second-line shenanigans. Dropping primitive samples -- sirens, radio blasts, teakettles -- and employing a merry-go-round of singers and rappers in English, Arabic, Spanish, and Bulgarian, the BBB is a bracing barrage, something of a world encyclopedia of noise. In addition to the prodigious musicianship displayed, the key to the band’s success, both live and on record, is the utter lack of irony and self-consciousness. Confrontational, rude, and extremely fun, Balkan Beat Box is a bull in a world-music china shop -- breaking out soon to a venue near you.
Performance CreditsBalkan Beat Box Primary Artist
Itamar Ziegler Bass,Guitar,Guest Appearance
Ori Kaplan Saxophone,Woodwind,Group Member
Tamir Muskat Percussion,Group Member
Dana Leong Trombone,Trumpet,Guest Appearance
Boom Pam Track Performer
Technical CreditsItamar Ziegler Live Crew
Ori Kaplan Liner Notes
Tamir Muskat Programming,Engineer,Liner Notes
Dana Leong Live Crew
Tomer Yosef Contributor,Live Crew
Eyal Talmudi Contributor,Live Crew
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
For us Middle Americans, Balkan Beat Box is one fun ride. Alternately hip, edgy and traditional-bordering-on-ancient, these beats will make you smile and get you bumping along with them - as in a camel ride, or is it the New York subway?
Great music to belly dance to. The music makes me smile.