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VINYL 7 (Snippets) - BALKAN BEATS SOUNDLAB (LP) - Slavic Soul Party, Besh o Drom, Berlinsky Beat, Gypsy Hill, Robert Soko​.​.​.

from Balkan Gypsy Vinyl Box - prepared by [dunkelbunt] by 14 VINYL + DIGITAL DOWNLOAD + SPICEBLEND



1. Watcha Clan - We Are One (Robert Soko Remix) 03:59
2. Slavic Soul Party - Sing Sing Cocek (Robert Soko Remix) 03:50
3. Ziveli Orkestar - Do Jaja (Robert Soko Remix) 03:40
4. BerlinskiBeat - Sex, Drugs, BerlinskiBeat (Robert Soko Remix) 03:28
5. Besh O Drom - Csango Leany (Robert Soko Remix) 04:15
6. Tommy Dollar - Balkan Bettie (Robert Soko & DJ Globalution Remix) 03:16
7. Boban Markovic Orkestar - Go Marko Go (Robert Soko Remix) 03:17
8. Gypsy Hill - Balkan Beast (Robert Soko Remix) 04:08
9. Romzil - Ca'N Banat (Robert Soko Remix) 03:36
10. Los Colorados - I Like To Move It (Robert Soko Remix) 02:48
11. Florian Mikuta - Giampara (Robert Soko Remix) 02:36
12. Robert Soko - Kad Ja Podjoh Na Bembasu (Robert Soko Remix) 03:37

Maximum Danceability: DJ Robert Soko’s Perfectly Calibrated Balkan Vibes and Hot Beats Merge on BalkanBeats Soundlab
In a gritty, hip quarter of Berlin, a new science was born. The mad genius behind it, marshalling all the curious power of Balkan brass and dancefloor beats, turned émigré blues and traditional roots into tracks of gold, finding a secret, subtle formula for uniting the unlikely.

Bosnian mixmaster Robert Soko and his BalkanBeats put Eastern Europe on the club DJ map, perfecting his style by carefully observing what actually got the dancefloor bumping. Now taking his club style to the studio, joined by Romanian Roma collaborator Florian Mikuta (one of the few Romany artists to turn DJ), Soko presents the results of years of experimentation on BalkanBeats Soundlab.

Soko’s open ear – taking in and spinning out wild versions of everything from swing to surf rock – does not mean anything goes. It’s got to bump, and it has to get people, especially the ladies in the house, on the floor and moving. Every track on Soundlab is precisely calibrated to maximize danceability and tear the roof off the sucker, the way only a hard-hitting dose of Balkan funky beats can.

Soko started off spinning tunes in a hole-in-the-wall punk bar in one of Berlin’s toughest, artiest neighborhoods. As a recent immigrant from Yugoslavia, Soko chafed as his new surroundings. He longed, like many of his fellow Yugoslavs, for the radio hits and underground tracks of his youth.

These nostalgic good times took an unexpected turn: Soko slowly integrated more traditional sounds into his mixes, inspired by the films of Emir Kustarica (Underground) and rocker-turned-roots-rethinker Goran Bregovic’s savvy use of age-old songs and sonics. Soko discovered to his delight that this mix—Balkan trad meets techno rad—got people dancing. His sets soon had Germans slam-dancing to odd-meter dance numbers, and newly arrived refugees and immigrants bonding despite Yugoslavia’s demise.

This kind of delicate balance between different sounds, approaches, rhythms, and origins took time to perfect, but Soko soon had one of the biggest parties in Berlin, and invitations from around the world to play. His compilations and sets opened up DJs to a new world, making Balkan music the raw material for club nights, not just traditional relics.

Now the “godfather of Balkan beats” has taken the next step in a thoughtful progression from hipster instigator to true mixmaster. Soundlab is Soko’s first serious, full-length studio effort. He tapped the keyboard whiz and Romanian Roma (Gypsy) DJ Florian Mikuta, whose vintage-tinged “Giampara” swings with jazzy vibes and funky guitar licks.

As international as his party schedule, Soundlab seamlessly blends the upbeat rhythms and deliciously serpentine melodies of a real Balkanalia with savvy global tracks by bands like France’s Watcha Clan (the anthemic “We Are One”) and the wry Viennese !Deladap (the sexy, cheeky “Georgian Lessons”). Disco cohabitates with Hungarian gypsy jug band stylings (Besh o Drom’s “Chango Leany”), and techno beats rest comfortably beside multi-lingual Ukrainian dancehall (Los Colorados’ madcap “I Like to Move It”).

Not content to mash up, Soko tries out his combinations live on the dancefloor, as his DJ sets become experimental research into what works and doesn’t (hence the “soundlab”). If they don’t dance, the track doesn’t make it further. But if the women in the club get up and start moving, Soko knows he’s on to something.

“The music itself is interesting and quite danceable,” Soko explains. “The party it provokes is really great, and women, they like it. Once women start loving something, guys are happy about that.”

- Tristra Newyear
(Rock Paper Scissors)


from Balkan Gypsy Vinyl Box - prepared by [dunkelbunt], released November 4, 2021


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[dunkelbunt] Vienna, Austria

Ulf Lindemann aka [dunkelbunt] was born in Hamburg in 1979. At the beginning of the millennium in his Vienna studio, he began to merge electronic music with Balkan, Gypsy and Swing sounds and along with his contemporaries like Waldeck, Parov Stelar and Shantel who helped popularize the new music genres, „Electro Swing“ and „Balkan Beats“. ... more

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