Besh O Drom

Macho Embroidery

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Besh O Drom claim they're "taking traditions straight to the 21st century dancefloor" with this album -- and they're right. Combining a traditional rom (or gypsy) sound with flavors from the Middle East and some nifty, if understated, turntablism, they're reinventing the style. There's also a healthy sense of humor at work, such as the injection of '60s spy music into "Roman Swing" or "9 S," where part of the melody seems to have been swiped from "Chim-Chim-Cheree." That the musicians are top-notch is immediately apparent, easily negotiating the twists and turns that make up "Pusztito" without even pausing for breath. Where they really add something unique is in the scratching and the beats that accompany the pieces. Suddenly this is far more than Hungarian gypsy music, it's something danceable and exciting in a way techno can never be. A mix like this could easily be slapdash, jamming two apparently incompatible styles together. But there's plenty of thought and work that's gone into this, and the result is remarkable.

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