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Balkan Beat Box

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Album Review

With the tag "world music" applying to everything in an easy catch-all umbrella category, it's hard to disseminate between a quality exercise in the fusion of cultures and a bargain-bin, second-rate throwaway imitation. Beyond some sort of run-of-the-mill world music act, Balkan Beat Box's eponymous debut fuses Arabic, Hassidic, and other traditional music with hip-hop beats without sounding generic and obvious. The opening number, "Cha Cha," is easily a standout among this session with its dubbed-out beats and blend of tension and release. The haunting Middle East-inspired guitar playing on "Adir Adirim" is another highlight. But like Fela Kuti, Sun Ra, and other large ensembles, the energy from this group stems from its vibrant and high-energy live performances, where songs are stretched and twisted every which way and the improvisation runs high. Sometimes albums are only documents that attempt to capture the essence of the performances and the results fall flat, doing the groups a slight disservice by misrepresenting what they're all about. Thankfully this is not the case here.

Customer Reviews


This is what you have been waiting for. Something zany yet classy yet over the top. I've heard it all and this made my top five of all time in about 30 seconds.

will rearrange the way you define world music

This album is sheer wacky, fun, dub, take your pants off, have a spin on the dance floor, get drunk, folk, saxaphone brilliant music. My highlight is the song "gross" I mean the saxaphones make this song so incredibly enjoyable. World music for people who hate generic world music. Its gotta a raw twist on middle eastern type music. EuGeNo

Live Performance

I just saw them tonight and i give them a strong 4 stars. The cd is very entertaining and delightfull how ever NOTHING compares to thier live show. They blew the roof off and really got every one moving!


Formed: 2003 in New York, NY

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With a group of musicians rotating around the Israel-born New Yorkers Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat, Balkan Beat Box plays Mediterranean-influenced music that incorporates traditions from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and New York electronica. Both men had plenty of experience playing in various eclectic bands before starting BBB: saxophonist Kaplan came to the U.S. to play jazz but soon fell into the underground, immigrant-driven scene, hooking up with Gogol Bordello and others, while percussionist...
Full Bio
Balkan Beat Box, Balkan Beat Box
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Customer Ratings