Thursday, August 2, 2012

CD Review: Municipale Balcanica's 'Offbeat'

Municipale Balcanica
Red Tomato Records

The Italian band, Municipale Balcanica, rattles the airwaves with a bit of Balkan music that is hip, contemporary, and rock-inspired, which is similar in tone to klezmer, jazz, and gypsy music. The instrumental music is a party in itself, but some vocals are present in English. The music is lavishly illustrated with numerous instruments, including clarinet, sax, congas, cajon, santoor, cymbals, trumpet, bass, guitar, violin, accordion, among others. The upbeat melodies and brassy rhythms make Offbeat a fascinating recording that is anything but 'offbeat.' In fact, Municipale Balcanica hits the right beats and chords to make this new recording an unforgettable experience. While other musicians tend to rely solely on brassy horns, Municipale Balcanica mixes it up enough to give equal time to most of the instruments involved. There is something magical about this album. It is one of the best progressive Mediterranean albums in a long time. ~ Matthew Forss

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