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CD Review: Balkan Beat Box

nice chicken!Balkan Beat Box JDub Records JD003, 2005.
CD available from amazon.com
If there is an album that I like as much as Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars, this is it. Balkan Beat Box provides a wonderful fusion of sounds from balkan brass to rai to international hip hop. Like their label-mates DJ SoCalled (but entirely different in sound), BBB pull together a new world folk dance gestalt. Favorite cuts? The incredible middle eastern weave around Victoria Hanna's chant, "Adir Adirim" or the amazing harmonies on "Bulgarian Chicks," the unstoppable beat and cheer of "Sunday Arak," the growling bass and kaval of "Hassan's Mimuna," or the bluesy intro to the "La Bush Resistance" rap ... Stop me before I kvell over each track. If you ask me, world hip hop like BBB and Idan Raichel, SoCalled's new album, and Frank London's (okay, not hip hop) that define the exciting dance music this last couple of years, and I expect, the next years to come. Stay tuned—the band is doing a lot of Hanukkah tours. Could be coming to a town near you real soon. [GRADE: A]

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