Boris Kovac

World After History

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A composer and multi-instrumentalist from the ethnically and culturally diverse Pannonia region of the former Yugoslavia, Boris Kovac has an admirably wide-ranging musical aesthetic. Rather than attempting to re-create a particular musical style from the past, Kovac and his group take the basic common building blocks of Eastern European and Mediterranean folk music -- violin, accordion, clarinet, guitar -- and set them to a traditional bass-and-drums rhythm section. They're not as fearlessly cross-cultural, and nowhere near as prone to lapse into goofy novelty, as similar English and American groups like Brave Combo and 3 Mustaphas 3, yet the points of comparison are there: Gypsy music, folk traditions, and rock all meld in these 11 songs, sometimes in unexpected ways, like the strange cabaret vocals that add an unsettling edge to "To Entertain You" and the elegiac, Morricone-like tone of "The Limping Waltz." However, Kovac is a gifted composer in a variety of idioms, and so World After History sounds like the world of a single artistic vision and not merely a shallow tour through unrelated styles.

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