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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Slavic Soul Party

By Tad Hendrickson
Published July 5, 2007

Teknochek Collision
Barbes

Here’s a band that likes to see and hear different cultures and musics bump up against each other. Hailing from all over the U.S. as well as Japan, Slavic Soul Party celebrates Balkan music, second line grooves, articulate jazz-informed solos and other bits and pieces. Teknochek Collision gracefully finds commonality in Serbian folk tunes and Balkanized Western fare–the band’s cover of Alan Toussaint’s “Have A Beer” fits comfortably between traditionals “DPR Cupr” and “Rumenka Takes A Drive”–but does scale back on the bombast of Bigger and is better sounding than on In Makedonija. Happily, the band isn’t all about beating the listener over the head with brass bombast, creating a nice accordion and voice (from guest ESP) interlude on “Djelem Djelem.” Word is that the disc is a tribute to band friend Gus Dejan, a Serbian/Gypsy/American guy who ran an auto body shop in Queens, but like so many immigrant stories, there are universal themes that can reach out and touch each of us.