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Teknochek Collision

Slavic Soul Party!

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Album Review

American Balkan brass — it's not a bad idea, and given a bit of twist on Teknochek Collision by the fact that bandleader Matt Moran's Brooklyn-based ensemble has little if any true Balkan connections. If you like the big sound of the Balkan brass bands, this will seem a little different. There's no pedal-to-the-metal soloing, and there's a decidedly jazzier take to the improvising at times, but it remains a thrilling ride, albeit on better roads. With a mix of somewhat tweaked traditional Balkan material and originals, Slavic Soul Party! can raise a good head of steam, while thankfully making no pretense to be something they're not. This is their interpretation of a musical culture, refracted through their own prism, and actually stronger for it. Certainly there's not a bad tune here, with plenty of excellent playing, the solos concise and sharp, and the rhythms more than a backbeat. You might miss the tortuous turns, which have been smoothed out here, but there's no doubt that this Americanized version can hold its own anywhere in the world. The vocal cuts shimmer with some excellent, passionate singing, and the whole thing is a real success.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

The amusing name Slavic Soul Party! conjures up thoughts of East European musicians playing covers of James Brown, Sam & Dave, and Wilson Pickett songs — and that isn't such an outlandish idea because classic '60s and '70s soul does, in fact, have a lot of fans in that part of the world. But Slavic Soul Party! is actually a group of New York-based jazz musicians who, in the early 2000s, put their own spin on the instrumental folk music of Macedonia and the Balkans. Although Balkan-oriented,...
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Teknochek Collision, Slavic Soul Party!
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