Title - 'Teknochek Collision' (Barbès Records)
Artist - Slavic Soul Party!
Although the amusing name Slavic Soul Party! conjures up thoughts of East European musicians doing their thing around a hot fire on a cold Esatern night, Slavic Soul Party! is actually a brass band based in Brooklyn, New York!! Indeed, Slavic Soul Party!’s new CD 'Teknochek Collision' represents a new era for Balkan brass. The nine-piece band has scoured tradition, from five New York boroughs of immigrants all the way to the former Yugoslavia’s small town brass festivals, in search of underexposed “messed-up” rhythms and “twisted” harmonies only to turn them inside out and make them their own; all the while keeping the essential brass band tradition of moving their listeners, literally and figuratively, with a live and direct sound.
Clearly, the members of Slavic Soul Party! are drawn to instrumental Balkan music for the same reason they're drawn to jazz: they love to improvise. Like jazz - or, for that matter, klezmer - traditional Balkan music can be full of improvisation. And Slavic Soul Party! has most certainly found the parallels between Balkan music and jazz here on 'Teknochek Collision.'
California singer Eva Salina Primack, who sings on two songs on the album, is sought after by Balkan communities to sing their music. She has a blend of Balkan and Rom styles, and the skill and confidence to interpret Balkan and Rom anthems in a rooted yet original way. 'Teknochek Collision' — as an album and as a name — captures so much about Slavic Soul Party!. Çoçek (pronounced CHO-chek) is the Romani word for song or dance. Tekno is the era, the context of our life experience, and a defining sonic influence of the day. Therein, there is the Balkan and the American, the Gypsy and non-Gypsy, the acoustic versus amplification. It‘s a beautiful metaphor for them and for anyone taking the chance to listen in ... which you should ALL do and VERY soon!