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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

12 O'Clock Track: "Zivot Cigana," a blast of Balkan brass from Boban and Marko Markovic

Posted By on 09.25.13 at 12:00 PM

Boban and Marko Markovic Orchestra
  • Marko Stajic
  • Boban and Marko Markovic Orchestra
On Gipsy Manifesto, due October 29 from Piranha, the Boban and Marko Markovic Orchestra, that most celebrated of Balkan brass combos, continues an inexorable march toward a more global, contemporary sound. Boban's son and fellow trumpeter, Marko, joined the band a dozen years ago, when he was just 13, and since then he's clearly been groomed to inherit control of the Macedonian juggernaut, with the group increasingly broadening its sound for contemporary dance floors. On the new album, the group's first in four years, the transformation has hit warp speed; witness the electronic beats, synthesizer squiggles, faux early-jazz riffs, and English lyrics of "Cokolada," or the manic embrace of trashy eastern-European pop on "Turbo Dizel." Marko wrote most of the pieces on the album, and there are moments when he seems more interested in showing off his talents than maintaining the band's traditional high-octane sound: the ballad "Truba I Covek" is a showcase for his expressive horn playing, but between the mawkish piano and wind chimes, it stops the record dead in its tracks. I understand that Marko is probably addressing the musical interests of a younger, eastern-European audience, but he may start losing the old fans. Today's 12 O'Clock Track is one of the best and more traditional pieces on the album; check out "Zivot Cigana" (which translates as "Gypsy Life") after the jump.

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