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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Taraf de Haidouks - Honourable Brigands, Magic Horses and Evil Eye LP 1994

What is it?
Top class Roma funeral and weddings band Taraf de Haidouks (Band of Outlaws) produce an exquisite array of traditional Romanian folk tunes with an abundance of feverish fiddles, accordions and horns.

Why should you listen?
I couldn't wait to review this album as it's easily my favourite of the year so far. The Taraf boys range in age from their 20's into their mid 70's and the quality of the musicianship reflects this vast experience and passion for their genre. Virtually unknown in their native Romania they hail from the village of Clejani where a Belgian promoter gathered together twelve of the best musicians in the village and let them loose touring Northern Europe, with worldwide acclaim following hot on their heals. This album is my first experience of the group but certainly won't be my last as the music has the power to transport you into a world of whirling folk dances, duelling fiddles and hypnotic rhythms. The songs range from melancholy ballads (Jalea Tiganilor), frantic instrumental jigs (Geamparale), passionate vocal performances (Spune, Spune) and soothing rhythmic numbers (De Ma Deie But Te Pau). It's a must have collection and makes you want to go out an buy and accordion play along with them. A stormer!

What's it like?
It's like timeless, hypnotic music with no frills or compromise. 

What's the best song?
'Cintec de Dragoste Si Joc' is a 'to and fro' vocal love song you can dance to.

Who does it sound like?
I'm not sure but I've got albums ready to listen to from Gogol Bordello and Mahala Rai Banda so watch this space. If they're half as good as this I'll be very happy.


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