Album DetailsLabel: Choux De Bruxelles
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Pretty much all music in the world stems from a mix of other music, frequently from different cultures. And the richest cultures are usually the most diverse. I enjoy listening to “world music” because it’s most of the music out there, and it’s often enchanting and enriching beyond belief. In the mid-1990s accordionist Piet Maris contacted gypsy musicians, traveled regularly to a Roma community in Slovakia, and learned their gypsy style of playing. As frontman with the acclaimed Euro roots outfit Jaune Toujours (based in Brussels), Piet Maris and his band began to arrange music with cross-cultural influences. A few years back, Mec Yek released the album entitled SuperDiverCity.
Falling into each other’s cultures, Piet Maris is joined by young Roma vocalists Katia and Milka Pohlodkova, as well as Théophane Raballand (drums, percussion), Mathieu Verkaeren (double bass), Mattias Laga (sax, clarinet) and Bart Maris (trumpet, tuba). Taisa (meaning Tomorrow) now offers a wide range of styles from tarantella and ska, to Roma rock and island blues. I was listening to Mec Yek on my way home from a New Year’s Eve party, and this band of eclectic adventurists seemed to really tap their groove on the more up-tempo tracks like “Soske Me Te Tshorel Geilom,” “Anitshko & Andro Kartshma Me Geilom,” “Korobushka & Dolina,” and “Shukar Romani.”
The band exhibits a high regard and respect for tradition, but the consummate musicians are clearly on an adventurous journey to build a charming original and visionary contemporary sound with focus, flair and originality. The CD’s booklet provides translation of the lyrics, sung in Romanes, but sometimes in Russian or Dutch. The lyrics allow us to understand more about the songs’ electrifying sentiments of life, leisure and love. It all provides for a very good vibe full of emotion, energy and excitement that has helped this album climb to #6 on The Roots Music Report’s Top World Album Chart. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)