Friday, August 07, 2009


Why Made? - Balkan Beat Box remix review

Balkan Beat Box – Nu Made (remixes)
By Jordan Clifford for The Weekly Dig

Remixing BBB is a confusing concept: Remixes render things more danceable, but BBB, a gypsy-klez-funk hybrid, is itself a sort of remix project (of traditional/modern, live/taped, cultures, genres) and has always equaled the dancinist party around. So why a remix album? Well for one thing, it features the unreleased “Ramallah-Tel Aviv,” written to heal the Israeli-Palestinian divide, and until that happens is at least a good song. For another thing, the super fun “Red Bula,” a mash-mix-up of B3 and the Romanian trad-style Mahala Rai Banda, is as good a song as they’ve ever produced. Then there are the remixes, which I guess serve as filler for those two new essentials.
Among the otherwise hit-or-miss collection of already dance-floor worthy favs mixed up by an assortment of DJs and producers who often add as much as they subtract, “Joro Boro” stands out because it was cut and collaged by BBB themselves into new melodies as a song distinct from the original. Alternately, "Habibi Min Zaman (BBB Remix)" doesn't diverge enough, with the disappointing exception of a new repetitiveness, while "Adir Adirim (Nickodemus Remix)" gains a beautiful oud solo that seems now to fill a void from the original, but at the expensive of the percussion. The new beat takes it off the gypsy dance floor and into the club, which is a downgrade, even if that was their goal.
Even with little discernible reason for the collection, if this noble attempt at extending the dance party means another live tour, that’s reason enough.

Appearing April 1st @ The Paradise, Allston, MA.

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