Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday, we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “War Again” by Balkan Beat Box from their 2010 album Blue Eyed Black Boy on Nat Geo Music/Crammed Discs.
New York’s Balkan Beat Box is a group that doesn’t seem to mind change. Considered one of the very first “Gypsy Punk” bands in existence, they have almost created their own world of musical expressionism, constantly pushing themselves and almost daring the musicians they enlist to try new things. For their third album, the band once again has pushed the creative envelope. Recording in exotic locales like Belgrade, Vienna, and Tel Aviv seems to have made a significant impact on the overall sound of the album, as did being able to work with authentic gypsy musicians. Horns have always been a central theme to BBB music and this album is no exception. Using ancient recording techniques has given the brass a truly unique sound that you don’t hear from any other bands. There’s a very organic feel to the album. For a band who uses so many different genres to complete their sound (Cumbia, Electronica, and Afrobeat to name a few), they never seem to forget their roots. This is a perfect time to get re-acquainted with Balkan Beat Box and listen to where it all started.
Balkan Beat Box are currently on tour and well into the Summer. They are scheduled to play at this year’s Bumbershoot Music Festival in Seattle on Sep. 4th. You can read more about the band on their website and listen to additional songs on their MySpace page. For now, here’s the new video for “War Again”: