Boban & Marko Markovic Orchestra: Gipsy Manifesto (Piranha Musik)
Serbian Father and Son, Boban and Marko Markovic, release a new album of Balkan Gipsy Brass. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
Around this time last year I reviewed Balkan Beats Soundlab by Robert Soko, I wasn’t particularly complimentary, but, I do remember insisting that there was something quite endearing about the album. Soko even thanked me for my honesty in the comments section. Now, he’s back, this time sequencing the new album from the Boban & Marko Markovic Orchestra, and I’m happy that my thoughts have been validated.
Gipsy Manifesto’is the feel good album of 2013.
After receiving an unparalleled five straight 10s in the coveted Guca Trumpet Festival in 2001, Boban Markovic decided to retire from the competition. A Serbian Romani gipsy, Boban is revered as the greatest trumpet player to emerge from the Balkans. At the age of 9, son Marko started lessons from his father joining the orchestra at 14 and inheriting it at 18. The Boban & Marko Markovic Orchestra was born. Now 25 he and Boban have moved away from the more traditional sounds and adapted their music to a more dance groove.
Taking elements of funk, reggae and even New Orleans ensembles Boban and Marko have created an album so frenetic and lively that you cannot fail to be impressed.
From the opening cheers and Jewish Harp of Caje Sukarije the pace is set, performed in their native tongue, it’s oompah-oompah-upbeat and incredibly infectious. And that’s about it for all sixteen tracks on the album!
All the tracks are standard pop length – around the three to four minute mark – and everyone as catchy as its predecessor. Disko Dzumbus 2013 is high powered and solid with the addition of screaming guitars in the background. You’ll frequently smile at this album.
Try not to sing along to Balkan Karavan. You can’t. There are times when the album borders on Euro-pop, but, to be honest, it’s actually pretty damn good! Many of the tracks are performed in English so the reach for a bigger audience is clearly intentional. Cokolada, is an attempt at some shoddy innuendo based around a bar of chocolate but don’t let that deter you.
An album of surprises, an album of talent, and, an album of pure fun.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog. Paul is working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, the BBCs longest running alternative music programme. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow hiapop Blog on Twitter, @hiapop.