Romano Drom

Ando Foro

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Budapest-based Romano Drom is from the Olah Romany people, who lived in Romania until the middle of the 19th century, before migrating to Hungary. Their musical heritage is decidedly vocal, since the only instruments used by the Olah were percussive, consisting of churns, spoons -- anything but specific instruments. It's only in the last 40 years that the adventurous young Olah have taken up real instruments, and the result is the music of this band, who in many ways seem to have more in common with the guitar-based flamenco music of their Spanish cousins than most Central European gypsies. Bandleader Anti is powerful on the fretboard, and the others (including accordion, bass, percussion, and butter churn players) back him up well on this set of traditional music. While they've updated their heritage, they haven't abandoned it by any means -- the vocals, and the interplay between voices (although real instruments have largely replaced voices imitating instruments), remain the same. The seven-piece certainly doesn't sound like anyone else, and there's a touching beauty about some of their material, while other songs drive hard. Now that they've established themselves with one disc, it'll be interesting to see how they develop their sound.

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