I don't think anything can bring people together like music. And no music is probably better fit to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western Europe than Kal's new record Radio Romanista, released on of my absolute favourite labels Asphalt Tango Records. (Did they ever release anything bad?)Kal's homepage. (C) Kal )
Kal has turned into ethno-stars since their self titled tribute three years ago, but there is nothing tired about this record. It's definitely punk. It's definitely rock. It's maybe ska, but mosty of all it is a return to the roots. The ingredients are age old - accordeons, a shrieking "gyspsy" violin (that brings to mind Dylan's Desire LP). The beats are newer, tough, and the most appealing with Kal's music is that there is not distinction between old or new. It is just music.
The musicians are Serbian roma, and this is not only visible in the rythms - Kal speak up for their rights, and a number of songs on the album are topical. But more than anything this is a contribution to a globalized post-communistic balcan culture, open and aware of a multitude of traditions. Anyone familiar with Kustoriza films will feel at home in this music. As will fans of Moldovan Zdub si Zdub, or Bulgarian The Pomorians or Balkandji. You don't need to feel at home there, but I storongly reccomend a visit to Kal's imaginary state Romanistan
And the ticket to Romanistan? How do you get a hold of this brilliant music? The record will be found in record stores around Europe, and can also be ordered online from Asphalt Tango records. Personally I borrowed a copy at the local library.
The record can also, like all other productions from the company, be downloaded from their download shop.