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World Music CD Reviews Europe

DARKO RUNDEK AND CARGO ORKESTAR

By NATHAN GILBERT
Published January 25, 2006

Ruke
Piranha

Croatian actor, poet and musician Darko Rundek has assembled his latest ensemble, Cargo Orkestar, to create music as diverse as the band members themselves. Coming from Croatia, Bosnia, France and Switzerland, Cargo Orkestar backs up Darko with an eclectic mix of styles and instruments. Blending Balkan musical traditions with a jazzy after-hours feel, Cargo Orkestar sails placidly, with cigarette in one hand and glass of slivovitz in the other. “Ista Slika” and “Ruke” show off the ensemble’s fusion of Balkan, jazz, and rock sounds; part of the Balkan new wave rock revolution in which Darko is a leading player. Darko sings the songs in his native Croatian, as well as French, Spanish and English, and without translations included, it’s sometimes difficult to follow the record’s moody, impressionistic, noir-ish flow. However, the passion and feeling of the music is unmistakable, easily communicated across borders and language barriers.