Mahala Rai Banda
Ghetto Blasters (Asphalt Tango Records, 2009)
With their 2009 recording Ghetto Blasters, Mahala Rai Banda are now part of Asphalt Tango Records, a German label that specializes in high quality Gypsy music recordings. Although the Romanian "all stars" Gypsy band has only been around since the late 1990s, it is now one of the finest Gypsy music acts in the Balkans.
Aurel Ionita founded Mahala Rai Banda by bringing in some of the finest Gypsy musicians from the rural villages of Clejani and Zece Prajini, and also from Bucharest’s ghettos. The music in Ghetto Blasters includes spectacular brass solos and arrangements, virtuoso violin playing, masterful solos by cymbalom and accordion players, bluesy ballads, Balkan melodies and a loud and funky rhythm section that provides pop beats as well as Middle Eastern rhythms and the Spanish rumba of their Gypsy cousins far west, in Spain.
Ghetto Blasters by Mahala Rai Banda is a truly irresistible and passionate recording by some of Romania’s best Gypsy musicians.
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