Their name suggests a troupe of plugged-in Gypsies, and Balkan Beat Box is that, for starters. Lob on overdoses of klezmer and hip-hop, funk and dub, brass band and Arabic elements, and you'll be closer to getting it. Formed around two Israeli-born musicians,Tamir Muskat, who pounds the drums and takes care of the programming, and saxman Ori Kaplan, Balkan Beat Box is a veritable melting pot of disparate sounds and seemingly contrary influences, all scrunched together seamlessly and disguised as an exhausting riot. It's not that others haven't attempted the sort of mix that BBB does on this sophomore effort, it's that none have been so successful at pulling it off. On tracks like "Digital Monkey," with its dancehall-style toasting atop bottom-heavy techno and snaky brass, and "Joro Boro," with its surfy guitar, stark, industrial rhythm and mesmeric guest vocal from Dessislava Stefanova of the London Bulgarian Choir, it's one surprise after another here. Calling it world music wouldn't do it justice, it's more like out of this world music.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jeff Tamarkin