Robert Soko - Balkan Beats Soundlab
Traditional Balkan folk ruined by cheesy and dated club effects
Balkan folk, with its breakneck tempos and whirlwind instrumental breaks, is some of the wildest, most energetic dance music around. Small wonder that DJs like Bosnian expat Robert Soko have sought to put a modern twist on these traditional styles. The problem with Soko’s remixes is that the club elements he brings are so cheesy and dated, diluting the raw vitality of the originals. The last thing gypsy brass bands need are naff Manu Chao-style ska, dodgy rapping and beats that wouldn’t pass muster on a ‘90s Euro-dance flop. The novelty cover of Reel 2 Reel’s ragga-house hit ‘I Like To Move It Move It’ is the nadir, although the jazz-hands swing of Tommy Dollar’s horrid ‘Balkan Bettie’ comes close.