J.U.F.

Gogol Bordello vs. Tamir Muskat

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"Where the f*** is, for example, gypsy-disco-punk for the after party," Eugene Hütz asks in the liner notes to Gogol Bordello vs. Tamir Muskat. "Where is Arabic-dub-sextura and where the f*** is the soundtrack for a Balkan train robbery?" The questions answer any inquiries into J.U.F. -- the "Jewish-Ukrainishe-Freundschaft" -- a configuration that combining the ethnic punk wilding of Hütz's band Gogol Bordello with the eccentricities and pulsing multi-culti groove of his DJ sets at the N.Y.C. nightspot Mehanata. Programmer Tamir Muskat provides a base for Hütz's outrageous multilingual vocals, samples of violins and accordions, the guitar of Oren Kaplan, and horns of Ori Kaplan; the songs draw on everything from Eastern European and Arabic influences, through gutter punk grit, to the urban electronica of Stereo MC's and the downtown chatting of Soul Coughing's M. Doughty. "Gypsy Part of Town" and "When I Was a Little Spy" are cut up and hyperized, a bewildering but inviting blend of rock, garage, and klezmer, while "J.U.F. Dub" lives up to its name with loads of reverb and a consistent upbeat. "Romania" features Israeli vocalist Victoria Hanna over a modified traditional rhythm and layers of lusty brass, "Samiao's Day" is purely rhythmic, its snare locked in a marching duet with trebly pipes, and "Onto Transmigration" is a captivating mix of hip-hop, Massive Attack beats, and Algerian rai music. Gogol Bordello vs. Tamir Muskat is essential for any fan of Hütz's DJ sets, or his work with Gogol Bordello. It continually combines the two outlets in new and varied ways, so that one never knows what's coming down the zigging, zagging corridor next. Don't bother putting it on in the daylight, though. This is city music, made for what happens long after the midnight hour.

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