Taraf De Haidouks – Of Lovers, Gamblers and Parachute Skirts (4 stars)

The Romani collective return to older styles for their 25th anniversary album

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Taraf De Haidouks – Of Lovers, Gamblers and Parachute Skirts

For their 25th anniversary album, the freewheeling Romani collective Taraf de Haidouks have returned to the older styles which first inspired them: Romanian ballads, Gypsy love songs, old-time dance tunes and Turkish-influenced instrumentals. Of Lovers, Gamblers and Parachute Skirts is also a tribute to late members of the group, with Tsagoi and Gheorghe Manole stepping into the shoes of their fathers, the great singers Neculae Neacsu and Ion Manole.

While celebrating the band's history, the album also looks forward, continuing the evolution of a sound that has never been preserved in amber. On the dance tunes, violins and cymbalum fly at breakneck speeds over whomping bass, as joyous a sound as you could wish for. The creaking violins and creeping bass of 'No Snow, No Rain' wouldn't sound out of place on a Tom Waits album, while the accordion-led 'Marius' Lament' closes the album on a beautifully reflective note.

Of Lovers, Gamblers and Parachute Skirts is out now, on Crammed Discs

Taraf de Haïdouks – 'Clejani Love Song'

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