Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Kocani Orkestar

  • Alone at My Wedding [Crammed Discs, 2002] ***
  • L'Orient Est Rouge [Cramworld, 2006]  
  • The Ravished Bride [Crammed Discs, 2008] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Alone at My Wedding [Crammed Discs, 2002]
Macedonian tuba funk for that once-in-a-lifetime blowout, its horns, vocals, and beats imbued with Middle Eastern quaver ("Siki, Siki Baba," "Zen Nube"). ***

L'Orient Est Rouge [Cramworld, 2006]
There is no Gypsy music, only musics Gypsies play. The genre that captivated Beirut's Zach Condon is Gypsy brass, and this skillfully produced recording makes an ideal starter CD. Featuring trumpeter and hereditary leader Naat Veliov, expelled in an unsavory contract wrangle shortly after taking his tuba-bumping Macedonian band international, it beautifies the hot blare of Romania's Fanfare Ciocarlia and the raggedy-ass craziness of Serbia's Boban Markovic with Veliov's firm yet woozy lyricism. A stone classic caps the high-test performance: the Roma "national anthem," "Djelem, Djelem." [Rolling Stone: 4]  

The Ravished Bride [Crammed Discs, 2008]
Balkan brass's most fluent ensemble speaks the language of erotic commitment ("Kalino Mome," "Sahara Dreams"). ***

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