Studio 24, Edinburgh, Fri 9 May
Saska Haramina, who organises Balkanarama, tries to sum up the night: 'It evolved out of a celebration of the Balkans' cultural diversity reflected in its musical diversity; upbeat riotous gypsy brass madness; yearning sweet Sevdah music that tells elaborate tales of love and hate; cathartic Klezmer that makes you want to cry and laugh at the same time; haunting polyphonic Bulgarian female choirs and traditional Greek songs.'
Virtuoso live performances on traditional instruments are fused with DJs and VJs spinning contemporary/electro Balkan beats and visuals. Welcoming talent from the area whenever possible, in April Mr Teo Krilic performed ancient Sevdah songs, while this month Balkanarama proudly present the punters at Studio 24 with their very special guests, Fanfare Vagabontu, a truly unique eight-piece gypsy brass band from Romania. With over 30 musicians at each event, including Black Cat and Orkestra Del Sol members, the night's packed with live performance. 'The electro-Balkan-beats DJ plays a trumpet over the tunes he spins and is usually accompanied by a belly dancer or two,' adds Haramina.
Balkanarama generates exciting, high energy, high quality music with a special element of madness, giving the Edinburgh crowds an opportunity to experience the appeal of South Eastern European music. Free shots of Rakija, and plum/grape brandies are offered with dried figs and other surprises fuelling a priceless night where you can really let loose, scream, laugh, cry, dance, sing, climb tables and, basically, party Balkan style.