Thursday, December 20, 2007
Shantel - Disko Partizani
Shantel, "Disko Partizani" (YSI link)
Shantel, "Sota" (YSI link)
We started taking a look at the Balkan beats scene last week, let's continue with the biggest release in 2007, Shantel's Disko Partizani. Shantel has been the man most responsible for bringing Balkan music into the clubs, bringing his dub and house influences to bear on the exuberant gypsy tunes. We've covered his Bukovina Club project already, a great introduction to the entire scene that blends the old and the new so well for the clubs of today.
Disko Partizani is Shantel's first LP in 7 years, For this LP, he has decided to eschew the electronic sounds and manipulations of his more recent work and create his music with a full, live band. There's a ton of people guesting on it, a nice who's who of the rising generation of Balkan, Middle Eastern and Southeast European musicians. It's a really great album, although it doesn't quite live up to its claims as a new form of urban music. To my ears, it sounds like a great example of the exuberant, horn-led music that the Balkans seem to specialize in. There isn't a whole lot of electronic sounds or beats on this one, but there is a greater reliance on lyrics which gives it a more pop feel. "Disko Partizani" is a great example of this, with its lyrics sung in English mixed with the sounds of an accordion and bouncy brass band to create something good. "Sota" is my favorite, featuring great vocals by Vesna Petkovic over a burping tuba, guitars and percussion; once the lyrics stop, a furious wedding song with raging horns, claps and complete abandon. So much packed into a little more than 3 minutes, awesome.
I'd recommend this album for anyone who has been interested in the gypsy dance stuff we've posted over the year or fans of Gogol Bordello. It's a nice intro to the more traditional brass sounds, but with a more melodic, pop base than you will find in that stuff. Buy a copy and let us know what you think.