Taraf De Haïdouks & Kocani Orkestar
Band of Gypsies 2 (Crammed Discs CRAW74, 2011)
Two European record labels, Crammed Discs and Asphalt Tango, have been an outstanding job at introducing new Gypsy music to worldwide audiences. Belgian label Crammed Discs once more introduces some of the finest Gypsy performers from the Balkans. Band of Gypsies 2 brings together two of the best and most important bands in the current Roma music scene: Taraf de Haïdouks and Kocani Orkestar.
Taraf de Haïdouks, of course, was one of the first Gypsy music stars. The band was started in 1991 in the small Romanian village of Clejani. The name of the band means literally the “band of honorable brigands.” To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Taraf de Haïdouks put together a large Balkan folk music orchestra that includes the 13 Taraf musicians and singers and the 13 members of Macedonia’s renowned Koçani Orkestar.
Although both bands play Balkan Gypsy music, the sound of Taraf De Haïdouks & Kocani Orkestar is complementary. Taraf De Haïdouks uses passionate violins, cimbaloms and accordions while Koçani Orkestar plays vibrant brass and percussion.
Band Of Gypsies 2 presents music inspired by Romanian folk music, Balkan pop, medieval ballads, Oriental brass band music, as well as Turkish, Jewish, Greek and Indian influences. In recent years both bands were rejuvenated and currently include musicians from various generations.
With Band Of Gypsies 2, Taraf De Haïdouks and Kocani Orkestar present an infectious blend of Balkan music virtuosity and vitality. The album comes with three bonus videos.
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.