V/A – Gypsy Groove

V/A – Gypsy Groove / 2007 Putomayo Grooves / 11 Tracks / http://www.putumayo.com /

I must admit, before sticking in “Gypsy Groove” to my CD player, I had not hear anything from the dance scenes present in Eastern Europe, beyond what was played during earlier Eurovision song contests. Even then, these tracks were ones that I did not pay much in the way of attention to. However, with !DelaDap’s “Zsa Manca”, I regret not giving this genre a little more time. “Zsa Manca” is a track that blends new and traditional styles to make a vibrant and vital dance track, something that is chill while still having a quick beat.

The blend of styles is something that is not often heard in the American dance scene. “Jednou” is a track by Gipsy.cz, and it seems to have a very early nineties sound to it. I can’t say I am the biggest fan of this track, but the rap flow that is included at points during the track should be enough of a reason for individuals to keep the track going. The deliberate, slow tempo of the track during the rap section is good as a backdrop for the rapper’s flow, but it is more than a little annoying when one sees it in the context of dance-worthy tracks. The next really intense track during “Gypsy Grooves” has to be the Amsterdam Klezmer Band, which blends what feels like a Russian military march with a dance beat in their “Sadagora Hot Dub”.

The inclusion of a horn during the track brings the overall sound of the track much more in line with the “gypsy” sound that the album is named after. At the worst, individuals can come into this album an hear 11 different tracks by 11 artists that they have likely never heard. Any more positive, and it will be that the listener has found a love for this merging of new and old, and will actively search out more artists and songs in this genre. Putumayo Grooves has done the whole of music a service in releasing this album. Individuals that were not aware for this fusion style can now get a good headstand into the genre with these eleven cuts. Hopefully it is in the cards that Putumayo comes out with subsequent volumes revolving around this same genre. Give the disc a go if you consider yourself a fan of dance or tribal music, and chances are good that you will dig this album.

Top Tracks: Balkan Beat Box – Sunday Arak , Amsterdam klezmer Band – Sadagora Hot Dub

Rating: 6.5/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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