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Balkan Beat Box

Balkan Beat Box LP

With the tag "world music" applying to everything in an easy catch-all umbrella category, it's hard to disseminate between a quality exercise in the fusion of cultures and a bargain-bin, second-rate throwaway imitation. Beyond some sort of run-of-the-mill world music act, Balkan Beat Box's eponymous debut fuses Arabic, Hassidic, and other traditional music with hip-hop beats without sounding generic and obvious. The opening number, "Cha Cha," is easily a standout among this session with its dubbed-out beats and blend of tension and release. The haunting Middle East-inspired guitar playing on "Adir Adirim" is another highlight. But like Fela Kuti, Sun Ra, and other large ensembles, the energy from this group stems from its vibrant and high-energy live performances, where songs are stretched and twisted every which way and the improvisation runs high. Sometimes albums are only documents that attempt to capture the essence of the performances and the results fall flat, doing the groups a slight disservice by misrepresenting what they're all about. Thankfully this is not the case here.
 
-- All Music
item # 39923
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