Unbridled Vaudeville Joy


Balagan (Ozella Music # OZ 017 CD, 2008)

Balagan’s CD is one of the freshest and most creative albums I’ve heard from Germany in quite a while. The multicultural band, based in Berlin, is formed by 8 outstanding musicians coming from diverse countries: Germany, Poland, Russia, the Ukraine, Italy and Israel. The band was originally part of a theater project called Balagan. Under the musical direction of Ukrainian maestro violinist and composer Mark Chaet, this troupe of musicians combine a vaudeville punk attitude with cutting edge classical, klezmer, and pop, on their self-titled album, Balagan (Ozella Music).

Balagan is the Russian word for Hullabaloo – "a fiery ruckus coupled with melancholy." The Balagan theater project originates from Trio Bravo, founded in 1994 by Mark Chaet in Berlin. When Trio Brav“ took over the musical direction for Balagan 2001, music and international vaudeville acts worked side by side, including comedy, pantomime, dance and acrobatics. The show was produced by Fliegende Bauten (Flying Buildings) and staged by director Sebastiano Toma.


The Balagan CD features singer Momo Kohlschmidt, spectacular fiddler Mark Chaet, a horn section with Anke Lucks on the trombone and Pavel Kurdakov and Dima Geller on trumpets,  Adam Tomaszewski on drums, Sergeij Sweschinskij on  bass/stickbass, and Giorgio Radoja on piano and keyboard. 

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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.